Other Null DYS439 Results
FTDNA has told us that they have experienced this null value in roughly 40 cases out of some 30,000 individuals tested in a number of different surname projects. Some of these other surnames have been identified by the group administrator; these names being Little, Atkins, Adams and Vines. All are R1b and all are of English origin but there are genetic distances of from 6 to 17 in 36 markers between the different surnames (although if the Adams result is omitted the maximum difference is 12.) Analysis by the average square difference method (used for population studies) indicates that, if there is a common ancestor between Fox, Vines, Little and Atkins, he would be some 77 generations back, putting the time frame back about 2000 years â€“ well before surnames developed. Adding in Adams would take it back still farther.
So several questions remain, â€œWhen did the mutation responsible for the null DYS439 actually occur or did it occur several times and there are several different causes?â€ Several possible explanations have been offered for the null DYS439 result but the most likely seems to be a unique event polymorphism (UEP) in the region adjacent to the marker that prevents the primer from working properly. If so, this would be a rare occurrence â€“ almost like the development of a new R1b subclade. Locating the source might make an excellent student project.
A phylogenic tree diagram for the null DYS439 participants is shown in Figure 5.3. It appears that there are no real clusters except for the Fox cluster. This being the case, the common ancestor would have to be way, way back. One would think, this being the case, that more cases of null DYS439 would have appeared by now.
We can learn more about this by finding a testing company that can locate the DYS439 marker. The Little group administrator has identified a member of his null DYS439 group in the Sorenson database. He has a value of 12 at DYS439 and the Sorenson technical staff have told him that this was a real result â€“ they do not find the null result, presumably due to using a different primer than FTDNA uses.
We also may be able to get a better idea of origin of the null value when there are more Fox project participants, possibly including some Vaux descendants. Did the null DYS439 occur among other Norman Invaders, for example?
The Norman Invaders
There is reason to believe that this Fox line may descend from a Norman Invader named De Vaux, a name which later morphed into Fox. According to this genealogy, 25481 is a 31st generation descendant of Harold De Vaux, who was born in Valaisia, Normandy, in 1010. The ancestor of William the Conqueror was a Dane named Thorofin Rollo, who invaded Normandy in the year 903. When the haplotypes for either 16564 or 25481 are input to the Sorenson database, three of the closest matches are of Danish descent. In all three cases the value reported for DYS439 is 11.
The administrator has found a number of other family groups who claim to be descended from Normans who invaded Great Britain in 1066. Some of the names uncovered are Devereaux, Dâ€™Arcy, Dâ€™Amore, Gammage and Hamrick. There are also related names such as Amory, Emory, Amore, Moore, Dorsey, Darcey and Darcy. The Hamricks are said to be descended from an Amore who went with Thorofin Rollo from Denmark to France in 903. So what do we know about these peopleâ€™s haplotypes?
A search of the Ysearch database located most of these names. The closest matches are with the Hamrick/Emory/Amore clan, where genetic distances range from 9 to 12 in 24 markers. They show a value of 12 repeats at DYS439. There is a genetic distance of 13 to 15 with two Devereaux in 36 markers. Interestingly, the Devereaux are a genetic distance of 2 in 15 markers from participant 28579, the descendant of the brother of Sir Stephen Fox. The only deviation is at DYS439, where Devereaux is 11 and 28579 is 13. This indicates a possible relationship and may be worth further investigation.
The others are of different haplogroups and are genetically far off from the Fox group. Dâ€™Arcy appears to be Haplogroup E3b and Gammage, Haplogroup I. Interestingly enough, each of these families claims to be related to William the Conqueror. This obviously cannot be.
A 25 marker phylogenic network diagram for 3 Foxes, 2 Hamricks, 1 Emory, 1 Amore, and 2 Devereaux is shown in Figure 5.4. Interestingly enough, the results do cluster about a central torso, though the common ancestor would have to be back at least 1500 years. It can only be said that this result does not conflict with the idea of a common Norman descent. Beyond that it is hard to say anything. (It might be interesting to throw the 3 Danes from the Sorenson database into this diagram.)