A McCormack DNA update – A strikeout!

I wanted to give everyone a DNA update. If I failed to announce it to everyone, the McCormack yDNA “project” results came in. Right now, “we” are in the R-DC9 haplogroup. We are awaiting more people to compare our results to. Our kit number is 436834.

What I really wanted to announce today for the McCormack yDNA “project” is that we struck out on our first attempt to find another branch of the Michael McCormack family. I need to give some background for this. About 4 or 5 years ago, I posted in an online Irish forum about my attempts to look for relatives of Michael. To my great amazement, someone from Ireland replied! Even better, he said his family was also from Kilkenny and lived there during the same time period that Michael did. We kept up the correspondence since then. Earlier this year, I finally got a yDNA test (Y37) and convinced my Irish friend to take it for me. In mid-October, FTDNA received the test. They said that it would be 4-7 weeks before our results would be posted. Well, last Thursday I got an email from FTDNA saying that our results were in and would be posted that day.

To start out, I had my Irish friend tested at the Y-37 level with the idea if that our results matched that we could always increase the testing level from 37 markers to 67 markers and beyond if necessary. I excitedly logoned to look at the results. As I looked at my friend’s results, my expression went from great anticipation to bitter disappointment. Well, by the 3rd marker our genetic distance, G.D., was 3. As I looked further at my friend’s results, the genetic distance only increased to a final result of 24. That is, “my” results only matched my Irish friend’s results at 13 out of 37 markers. I had put a lot of hope into the fact, or wish, that our results would match. My friend and I had talked many times about how we really thought that our families were related. So, when it turned out that we weren’t, I was “disappointed.”

I told my friend about it and he was just as disappointed as I was. He felt the same way that I did that our families were related. But as I explained to him, that sometimes you get results like this. Genealogy, especially genetic genealogy is not a guaranteed proposition. It was a roll of the dice and it didn’t payout this time. Both he and I are still working together to find Irish or non-Irish relatives for our respective families.

I am not sure what my next step will be in regards to DNA testing. There are two options that I can do right now. The first option would be to increased our testing level from Y67 to Y111. That would cost about $99. I am not exactly sure on what that would do to increase the number of matches for our results. The second option would be what is called the “Big Y” test. At the current time, it is an expensive test at about $475. The “Big Y” test would give us some finality to our haplogroup designation. As with increasing our testing level from Y67 to Y111, I am not sure what the “Big Y” test would do to increase the number of matches for our results.

I want to thank my Irish friend for agreeing to test for me. I hope that it works out for him. I also want to thank my McCormack cousin for agreeing to take a DNA test for me. I wouldn’t have been able to do this much without his cooperation.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you learned something!

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