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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
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An Empirical Analysis of Genetic Distances
in a Single Family in Genealogical Time
This analysis of Genetic Distance (GD) is based on the Y-DNA STR test results for a single, well-tested Haplogroup I1-L592 STRAUB family (please see this page for test results and lineages). 

Everyone here descends (or presumably descends) from Hans Adam STRAUB (1666-1726) of Großgartach, Württemberg, and the test subjects average 10 to 12 generations from him. 

The individual highlighted in yellow (below) descends from Hans Adam's son, Antonius STRAUB, who remained in Germany, while everyone else in the table descends from Antonius's brother, Johann Pieter STRAUB, who immigrated to Philadelphia, PA, in 1733.

The first data column shows the individual's GD from the family's modal haplotype.  No one has a GD from this haplotype greater than three at 67 markers or four at 111 markers.

The most frequent GDs between family members with a common ancestor 10 or 11 generations back are 1 or 2 at 67 markers or 3 or 4 at 111 markers.

The other columns show the frequencies for the GDs each individual has from each of the other members of the family.  Not surprisingly, GD from the family's modal haplotype roughly correlates with GDs from each other.  No one has a GD from anyone else greater than five at 67 markers or eight at 111 markers.

The significance of an empirical analysis, such as this one, is that it's based entirely on hard evidence, without making any a priori assumptions about or estimates of mutation rates.
Frequencies at 67 Markers (n = 27)
Kit # GD
from
Modal
  Frequencies of Individual Genetic Distances
0 1 2 3 4 5
78741 0   8 14 3 2    
94379 0   8 14 3 2    
145951 0   8 14 3 2    
211198 0   8 14 3 2    
26156 0   8 14 3 2    
30517 0   8 14 3 2    
N92037 0   8 14 3 2    
97358 0   8 14 3 2    
138239 0   8 14 3 2    
111298 1   1 10 12 2 2  
116646 1   1 10 12 2 2  
138214 1   1 9 12 3 2  
130123 1   1 9 12 3 2  
24212 1   1 9 13 3 1  
122322 1   1 9 13 3 1  
32866 1     9 13 3 2  
118841 1     9 13 3 2  
74957 1     9 13 3 2  
143321 1     9 13 3 2  
23492 1     9 13 3 2  
124348 1     9 13 3 2  
133507 1     9 13 3 2  
50052 1     9 14 4    
23426 2     2  9 12 2 2
130742 2       10 15 2  
75122 2       9 14 2 2
119218 3       2 11 12 2
203835 3         11 14 2
Totals   78 247 229 122 58 8
Kit # GD
from
Modal
  0 1 2 3 4 5
Frequencies of Individual Genetic Distances
Frequencies at 111 Markers (n = 24)
Kit # GD
from
Modal
  Frequencies of Individual Genetic Distances
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
26156 0   1 8 9  1 4        
N92037 0   1 8 9  1 4        
138239 1     3 7  8 1 4      
24212 1     2 7 11 1 2      
78741 1     2 7 10 1 3      
143321 1     2 7  9 1 4      
23492 1     2 7  9 1 4      
30517 1     2 7  9 1 4      
32866 1     2 7  9 1 4      
124348 2     2 7  9 1 4      
50052 2     1 2  7 8 3  2    
116646 2       4  9 6    4    
23426 2       3  9 7    4    
74957 2       3  8 7 1  4    
145951 2       2  8 9 1  3    
130123 2       2  8 9 1  3    
133507 2       2  8 8 1  4    
75122 2       2  8 8 1  4    
94379 2       2  8 8 1  4    
111298 3          4 8 7   4  
138214 4          1 4 7  7 1 3
119218 4          1 2 8 10 1 1
122322 4          1 2 7 10 1 2
203835 4           2 9  9 1 2
Totals   2 34 96 156 104 76 68 8 8
Kit # GD
from
Modal
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  Frequencies of Individual Genetic Distances
One thing to note in these tables is that some individuals have GDs that might initially discourage you from considering them a match, but their GD from the family's modal haplotype may tell a different story.  This is the effect of "in-betweeners," and it's why I believe it's a mistake to eschew testing additional cousins just because you think you've tested "enough," especially if you think one is enough.  You need the largest, most diverse sample size you can get to generate a useful family modal haplotype.

Every tested descendant tells you something, not to mention that every male needs to be tested, if for no other reason, than to establish that he does not have an NPE in his patrilineal line.  The empirical NPE rate in my projects is running at least 10%, so it is not a possibility to simply dismiss no matter how solidly documented your paper genealogy is, you still could have an NPE.  By definition, an NPE is unexpected.

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