|Click here to join the Franklin
(Only males with surname Franklin)
There are 3 choices for Y-chromosome tests:
12 markers often are not enough to distinguish a Franklin family from another surnames.
Also, send data showing your Franklin ancestry to FranklinGenetics@gmail.com
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Select Franklin in the list to correctly direct your contribution. Thank you!
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|This Franklin Y-chromosome project was among the first surnames to establish projects with Family Tree DNA.|
|Benjamin Franklin's DNA|
|Information about the Y-chromosome|
|DNA Evolution (an explanation of haplogroups/clades)|
Many Franklin families, including my mother's, have a tradition that they are related to Benjamin Franklin (b 1706 d 1790), the statesman. In my role as a genealogist of Franklin families I get e-mails regularly with such assertions.
If the Y-chromosome of Benjamin's could be extracted from, say, a tooth of his, these assertions could be tested. (A hair does not work for male lines unless it contains its follicle or some attached skin cells; it does work for female lines using the mitochondria DNA. See: http://www.promega.com/profiles/502/ProfilesInDNA_502_11.pdf) Perhaps more feasible would be extraction of the Y-chromosome from the DNA of a few known male-line relatives of Benjamin's.
I propose to do such an extraction and publish the pattern (called haplotype) so that some of the Franklin familie's traditions can be tested. This would be the ultimate artifact of Benjamin Franklin. (More information about Benjamin Franklin's DNA: Benjamin Franklin's DNA.)
If no tooth or known male-line relative of Benjamin's becomes available for testing, it still may be possible to use Y-chromosome tests to make more plausible suspected relationships of Franklin families to Ben. If many Franklin males (not those whose known ancestor changed his name to Franklin and not those whose female Franklin ancestor gave her children Franklin as a surname) have their Y-chromosome tests done and all or a large fraction have the same Y-chromosome, and many of these families have legends that they are related to Ben, then it would be plausible that, indeed, they are related to Ben.
Congress established the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, one of whose duties is to do: "The acquisition and preservation of artifacts associated with Benjamin Franklin." Information about Benjamin Franklin's DNA would be the ultimate artifact associated with him.
Elementary genetics teaches that a human egg becomes a female embryo when a sperm gives it an X-chromosome and a male embryo when the sperm gives it a Y-chromosome. Thus, the Y-chromosome is passed down suceeding generations only through the male line. The only change from one generation to the next is by random infrequent mutations. Over long periods mutations do occur, so one can determine male paternal lineage by comparing the DNA coding of Y-chromosomes.
There are "junk" regions (that have no effects on inherited traits) on the Y-chromosome that contain repeated base-pair sets (called microsatellites or Short Tandem Repeats or STR). Over time the number of repeats changes due to random mutations. Since these mutations have no effect on inherited traits, they are propagated into suceeding generations. The number of repeats, called alleles or markers, at these locations can be used to distinguish different male-line families. Thus, the detailed structure in terms of base-pair coding is not required; only information about certain aspects of a small part of the Y-chromosome is needed. This does not identify the individual, but only the family to which the individual belongs; determining the 12 or 25 markers (see below) is much less information than that obtained by totally sequencing the Y-chromosome. There are several genetics laboratories that do such work, at a cost of about $100 per person for 12 markers or about $170 per person for 25 markers.
This was recently done (http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rjh9u/jeffhemm.html) for descendants of a slave woman, Sally Hemings, with the result that one of her sons had a Jefferson Y-chromosome, either from Thomas Jefferson or one of his near male relatives.
Several families have used the Y-chromosome to determine the closeness of relationships in the male lines, and many more projects are underway. See http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~allpoms/genetics1a.html for a list of such families. See details of the Roper family project at: http://www.roperld.com/ropergenetics.htm.
After Ben's Y-chromosome pattern is determined, any male-line Franklin could have his Y-chromosome pattern determined and compare it to Ben's to see if he is related to Ben.
Perhaps a more important result of testing many male-line Franklins would be that sets of Y-chromosome markers would be determined for different Franklin families and rare random mutations for branches of those families would provide identity markers for the branches of those Franklin families. To see how this has worked out for the Roper family, see http://www.roperld.com/roperconnect.htm.
If you are a male-line Franklin and would be interested in participating in this project, please eMail: FranklinGenetics@gmail.com.
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In order to participate in the Y-chromosome DNA testing project for male Franklin lines, each male Franklin participant commits himself to provide a mouth-swab sample to be analyzed by a competent DNA laboratory, with the understanding that it may be found that he is not actually in a male Franklin line. (Several with the surname Franklin come from a surname break). The participant must also provide his Franklin family tree as far back into the past as possible, in order to correlate the test results with genealogical data..
We will need to have a sizeable group from several currently unconnected Franklin lines to make this project feasible.
It has been arranged for a company http://www.familytreedna.com/ to do the Y-chromosome tests for the Franklin family. If you wish to participate in the Franklin genetics project, send me e-mail: FranklinGenetics@gmail.com or go to http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_det.asp?count=14&group=Franklin, and you will be sent one of the test kits with detailed instructions. The 12-marker test, which is sufficient for some families to identify major families, costs $99 + $2 ($4 outside USA) handling each. However, experience has shown that the 12-marker test is often not sufficient to distinguish some Franklin families, so I highly recommend that Franklins order the 25-marker or the 37-marker test. One can get a 25-marker test for $124 + $2 ($4 outside USA) handling, which almost doubles that number of generations to a common ancestor for a given probability and enables branches of major families to be identified. The cost for 37 markers is $149 + handling. For a study about the efficacy of only doing 12 marker tests, see http://newsarch.rootsweb.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2002-08/1030558442.
|Click here to join the Franklin Y-chromosome
(Only males with surname Franklin)
The result of a test will be 12, 25 or 37 numbers that give the number of repeat units for 12, 25 or 37 different parts of the Y-chromosome. All Franklin male lines from a common ancestor will have almost exactly the same test result back several hundred years. Slight differences in the test results will indicate how far back the common ancestor is beyond several hundred years and, thus, will identify branches of a family. See: http://www.familytreedna.com/techfaq.html
There are many Franklin male lines in the United States and England that cannot be connected by data from documents. This project should allow some judgments to be made about how closely related these several Franklin male lines are.
Many of the testees are in the R1b1 haplogroup, the largest European haplogroup.
Family Tree DNA Results Chart by kit # (Key to paternal ancestor column: Participant Initials: Most distant ancestor)
NOTE: This chart uses the most distant ancestor information directly from your Family Tree DNA account.