Part 465sr – Smith Robertson Genealogy – How Common Is Common?

06 March 2011

Good day,



From time-to-time and as I get new DNA information, I try to contact anyone who has been reported to me by Family Tree DNA as a possible genetic Match. This is just in case that there may be a chance of some connection hiding on some limb on some branch in my ever-growing Family Tree.

The Matches, in the search for my genealogy and ancestry, that I attempt to contact in order to explore the possibility of finding a “Most Common Ancestor” are usually at the upper scales of the provided results. This means that if there is a reported Match for my YDNA results, I will try to get in touch with those who are matched at the 25 Marker or more levels. The other criteria are that the Match should have no more than a Genetic Distance of 3. There is a fair write-up of a definition of Genetic distance available at Wikipedia.

To date the best two Matches have been at the 67 Marker level where our YDNA has a Genetic Distance of 3. This means that we match at least 64 of 67 Markers. It also means that there is about a 97.01% probability that within 16 generations there may be a shared common ancestor. The surname of both these Matches is “Seymour”. We also know that prior to “Seymour” the preceding surname may have been “Semer”. I suppose at anytime our ancestors could have changed their surname to "Smith"... We certainly do it today.

Today we know that the surnames, or derivative surnames, that have originated from our ggg-grandparents James and Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith include: Smith; Lloydsmith; Lloyd-Smith; Malins-Smith; and Landreth-Smith. (And I am not including the varying use of upper- and lower-case letters.) I am recording every possible descendant derivation as may find. One thing, based on the scientific data, all males descended from ggg-grandfather James Smith will all have the same YDNA result – R1b1b2a.

As you can see from the Ancestry DNA chart that I created in Part 464rs, I have been able to collect the YDNA and mtDNA of all my immediate paternal and maternal grandparents. Paternal line – Smith >YDNA = R1b1b2a; Abraham et al >mtDNA = J1b1. Maternal line – Robertson > YDNA = R1b1b1*; Robertson et al > H1a1.


The issue is, I have the most common name in the English language – Jim Smith. Also the surname Robertson is not necessarily uncommon. I also have three of the most common of European DNA Haplogroupings possible – R1b1b2a; R1b1b1*; and H1a1. This of course opens the “flood gates” for me to have to sift through the numbers of records of results that to date have been produced.

Apart from all the research that I am currently now doing, I have been following a possible lead with a Smith line from Logie, Scotland, who were also in Grenada. I have not been able to connect to the Smiths in 1760’s to 1781’s generation but there is “a possible and logical leap”. As the time goes, I am trying to research as to whether the James Smith, who was born 19 April 1767 and subsequently died in Grenada in about 1796/7, could have possibly been my ggg-grandfather James Smith’s father. But the gap does exist and am yet to find the bridge. You can see a Descendant Chart of the Smiths of Logie, Scotland at this link.

So in my search and research, I ask the question “How common is common?”

Regards,

Jim

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