Monday 24 January 2022

The Miller Big Y-DNA Results

 I have written about my search for my 2nd great-grandfather, John Conrad Miller in several posts (Miller Y-DNA: A minor break-through?, What’s new with the Millers?, More progress with the Millers and Down the Rabbit Hole). This one brings the information up-to-date and summarizes where we go from here.

Additional DNA Analyses

Richard Miller and I (for Donald Miller’s sample) both had a fuller analysis of the Y-DNA done – the “Big Y”. As Family Tree DNA states, the Big Y analysis is meant to “explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. This test examines thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers. The Big Y test is intended for users with an interest in advancing science. It may also be of great interest to genealogy researchers of a specific lineage.”

I have been hoping that we might be able to find out how far back the mutations happened and give us a better idea of who our common ancestor might have been.

The results do show that Don and Richard are close matches, which is a relief. And they are still the only two connected. And they are still the only people in the subgroup of the Miller DNA Project. The terminal SNP branch for both is R-FTB63071, with eleven variants. Each man has three additional and unique variants.

SNP analysis results for Donald Miller

Block tree (Big-Y SNPs) for Donald Miller showing family branch and connection with Richard Miller

The block trees for both individuals look the same. On the diagram the branches of both Richard and Donald are shown as originating in Germany, which is good since our information so far confirms that idea. The main branch point for us goes back to 18 SNPs on the timeline scale which tells us about 1,440 years ago, based on an estimated 80 years per SNP. Unfortunately, that is beyond the time when parish records start.

I had also asked for Don’s sample to be retested for autosomal DNA. Hopefully these results would give us additional family matches that included females. If we could winnow out the non-Miller lines, then hopefully we would have additional data about our German roots.

Richard also had his sample tested for atDNA. Unfortunately, though, he and Don were not matches using this test analysis likely because their relationship was too far apart (i.e. more than 5th cousins).

Where to go now

I am back almost to where I started again although I now know a lot more about the Württemberg area and the Műller families who lived there. Presently I am going through all the lists to find every Conrad or Johann Conrad born in the region that would be the right age for my ancestor. I am cross-checking these against marriage and death records to eliminate any of the individuals who did not leave the region.

I am also examining what passenger lists are available to see if I can find a match.

I will enlist the help of Max at some point to check records he has more familiarity with to see which ones might make sense.

With luck and persistence, I will find my 2nd great-grandfather!