VOLUME XXXV       MAY 2021       ISSN 1530-4132

VOLUME XXXV       MAY 2021

In This Issue:

Genetic Genealogy/DNA Project Update
IMFA DNA Project Administrators US409 Julie Crawford & US479 Mary Porter
Contact us at: dna@mx-world.org

Y-DNA Testing - Why Big Y?

Our IMFA Molyneaux Surname Project is hosted by FamilyTreeDNA. The Y-DNA tests that some of our male members have taken are at different marker levels. You may have heard of the 37-marker test that many of them took. FamilyTreeDNA also has 67- marker tests and 111-marker tests.

So, what is a 37, 67, or 111-marker test? These tests look at specific short segments of DNA that repeat, called short tandem repeats (STR). The 37-marker test looks at 37 STRs, the 67-marker test looks at 67 STRs, and the 111-marker test looks at 111 STRs. Some markers have a faster rate of change than others. These tests have helped us to carve out Mx lines from around 400 years ago to the present. Two testers’ genetic distance is determined by the number of mutations in the series of markers. This genetic distance is used as a tool in estimating how many generations ago the two people share a common ancestor.

In 2019 FamilyTreeDNA introduced their Big Y test. This test is twofold. It looks at 700 STRs and then it looks at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”). Some of the SNPs move more slowly than others, or put another way, we expect certain SNPs to mutate more often. The Big Y test is the key to helping us find our ancient origins and how our worldwide Mx lines connected to each other thousands of years ago.

DNA blogger Roberta Estes of DNAeXplained shares informational links and her own journey to help others understand the potential of testing for genealogical purposes. One of her blogs about the Big Y is found here: https://dna-explained.com/2020/05/30/y-dna-step-by-step-big-y-analysis/.

Currently in our Mx surname project we have four Big Y testers. One is from Haplogroup I and three are from Haplogroup R. We anticipate the Big Y results this summer from another tester in Haplogroup I. Big Y tests take a couple of months to finish processing, but the wait is worth it.

You may be familiar with the I-M223 and R-M269 haplogroup designators of our two largest Mx groups. These designators are ancient in origin and are not exclusive to the Mx surname. The SNP tracker website listed here was used to create the maps shown below. http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker.html

The I-M223 and R-M269 haplogroups both began thousands of years ago during the Mesolithic period. For more information on the Mesolithic period: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolithic

As our testers have taken higher-level tests, some of them have inched past the I-M223 and R-M269 into deeper subclades with slightly different designators. Big Y test results dive into deeper subclade depths.

Shown below are the current tracker results of our one Haplogroup I Big Y tester and three Haplogroup R Big Y testers. Additional testers may have different results or may cause minor changes in the current results.

The more men we have in our project who test at the Big Y level, the better we will understand how our Mx lines progressed from the Mesolithic period to Modern times and how they connected through common ancestors.

We want and need more Big Y testers and for our current testers to upgrade to Big Y. We need your help in making this happen. Help spread the word. You can even help pay for a particular person to test or upgrade, or you can donate to the Y-DNA testing fund. Big Y tests and upgrades are pricey. FamilyTreeDNA offers sales throughout the year, and the week leading up to Father’s Day on 20 Jun 2021 will be the next sales event. To donate, go to the Donate button on our website https://www.mx-world.org/About/JoinRenewOnline.aspx.

Make a Donation to Our DNA Project

If you would like to make a contribution to our Surname Project General Fund, click on the button below:

Donate Now


When you click the button above, you will be directed to a secure page on the Family Tree DNA site where you can make a contribution to our Molyneaux Surname Group Project using PayPal, VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DISCOVER.