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Bob Stafford
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Our Y-STR DNA testing has provided us with the basic structure of Colonial Blanton genealogies. It had eluded researchers for years. We were also very fortunate to uncover a mutation at DYS438 that distinguishes the Tidewater Blantons from the Southwest Virginia Blantons. It is a very slow marker, so the same mutation is unlikely to occur in a different Blanton lineage (parallel mutation).

The next step is to look for other branch-defining markers to corroborate weak (or missing) links within each family group. This requires testing many Y-STRs. Even FTDNA’s 111 markers may not be enough. However, the recent announcement of a new full Y-genome test (Y Prime) by (FGC) presents better opportunities. It tests over 400 STR for $589 vs $339 for the Y-111 at FTDNA.

 But, more importantly, it tests 13.3 million base pairs to look for SNPs (point mutations).. Their mutation rate is about 1 in every 3 generations per 10 million base pairs. Thus, there is a good chance that some private mutations will have occurred in the past 500 years. If any are found, it would be conclusive proof of a branch, since SNP parallel mutations are only rarely found in humans.


Note that people need to enter YPRIME as the coupon code at FGC to change the test ordered.

FTDNA's Big Y costs $595, but has only 60% of the coverage breadth of Y Elite, the gold standard. Y Prime has 90%. In addition, FTDNA does not report Y-STRs, but third parties will do the analysis for $49-50.

Even if a person wants to take one of the above tests, I would still recommend that they transfer their results from Ancestry to FTDNA for $19 and join the Blanton Project. The project site is at However, the upgrade to 37 markers ($39) is a cheap price to pay for 25 years of DNA storage. Please remember that Sept. 29 is the last day to download Ancestry results.

Bob Stafford


August 5, 2014 at 3:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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