After two weeks of set-up, it’s time to let you know what happened. This has been the longest four months. Yes, this is how long it has taken from start to finish—from testing to results. So, without further ado, here’s the answer:
My father doesn’t match anyone in the database.
Yeah, we were a little heartbroken to say the least. He still matches the closet to the Dorset group, but his mutations on the Y chromosome are too many. Out of the 43 alleles the groups test for, we had mutations at six of them. Now it could be more, as this company doesn’t test for one of the markers we have in the study, and I’m still waiting on one last result. Dad’s differences are shown in the table below:
According to these results, my dad has a genetic distance of 11 from these other men.
The genetic distance is the sum of the differences, or how many steps for a mutation, that the alleles show. For example: the other men they have a repeat of 14 at DYS441, and my dad shows 13. 14 minus 13 equals 1, or a one-step mutation.
If the mutation had stopped there, we would’ve been okay in saying that we’re related genetically and we could’ve proven it with genealogy. However, my dad’s genetic distance of 11 (1 + 5 + 1 +1 + 2 + 1 = 11) means that we’re not related to these men within approximately 15 generations. Comparing my father’s data to the other men in the family database showed that he was even less likely to be related to any of the others listed.
I shouldn’t be all that surprised: According to dynastree, the Combs family name is the 556th most frequent name. There’s even a nifty little graphic showing the distribution of people over the United States with the last name Combs. While it’s not an extremely common name, it isn’t rare, either. The states I’m researching have the largest numbers, and once again that isn’t a surprise.
While I was waiting, I did some online digging and found some interesting land transactions. First, I followed the lead previously mentioned in a post about the 1800 will of Wm. Combs. He left a wife, Sarah, and evidence of six small children in the 1800 census. Looking forward to the 1810 census, we find a Byrd/Bird Combs with who seem to be his mother, siblings, and the beginnings of his own family. His age fits for him to be my fourth-great-grandfather Charles’s older brother Byrd, who moved to Indiana with him. I was looking for land transactions linked to another Combs, prior to or after his death. I wasn’t successful in finding anything prior, but I may find something in Rowan County, as Surry split from it in 1777.
The find that has me making plans to visit Surry County was in the online indexes of land records from that county. I found five land purchases by Byrd Combs in the Index of Deeds for 1771 to 1903:
Title of Inst.
The most interesting listing there is the last one for James McCraw. Charles fought in the War of 1812 with several McCraws, and named his eldest son, and my ancestor, James McCraw Combs. Once again my heart is pumping with excitement at a new mystery to solve!
Well, my dad’s data is out there, and maybe in a few weeks or months I’ll get a hit that’ll lead us to a new branch of the family. Now I’m trying to convince my husband to participate in a genetic study because his Irish immigrants, the Bennett family, are driving me up a wall!