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Recent News

BIG Y Results:

Results are finally in for project administrator, Richard R. Kenyon, and another member of the Kenyon Project. Check the "Results" page for more information. Family Tree DNA has been doing Big Y testing for a year now (Since November 2013). They are now posting those results along with matches to others who have also tested with the Big Y. The company along with numerous people worldwide are busy analyzing these results.

Kenyon males with a brick wall in their lineage:

The Y-DNA results for Kenyons with a brick wall in their lineage was divided into three groups. These were arbitrary divisions based on STR values. Group A shows DYS 385 values of 11 or 12 and DYS 439 value = 13, which sets them apart from the other Kenyon males. Group B shows DYS 576= 18, which set these Kenyon males apart, while Group C shows DYS 576 = 19 which sets them apart. It is hoped that by subdividing the Brick Wall group, it will be easier to make comparative analysis. As the Kenyon project continues to add membership, it is expected there will be further subdivisions of groups. As always, your input is always welcome.

Updates from the FTDNA Decennial Conference October 10-12, 2014:

The 10th annual conference for group administrators was held in Houston, Texas. Both Kenyon Project Administrators (Dick & Marilyn) attended the event. The conference covered a variety of topics, SNPs appearing to be taking center stage at the moment over our beloved STRs, primarily because newly identified SNPs are becoming increasing closer to recent generations, having greater significance to genealogists. FTDNA is looking to build panels of SNPS to test (replacing the current practice of ordering single snps on a trial by error basis) to ordering a panel of as many as 50-60 snps. The Kenyon Project will be making some recommendations of possible snps showing relevance to Kenyon lineage for one of these panels. We will be updating you as soon as these become available.

Some side observations/notes from the conference:

* A number of people came up to us during the conference, having Kenyons in their lineage. Some of those ancestors where female Kenyons, in which they expressed wanting to know more about the Kenyon lineage. This was quite surprising to us, as the Kenyon surname has largely been under the radar in people's lineages. This would seem to suggest a greater interest and awareness of Kenyon lineage, in general, and in identifying the Kenyon lineage of females with Kenyon as their maiden name.

* Last year the buzz was the introduction of the Big-Y test. Two Kenyon Project members have taken the test, including Project Administrator, Richard Kenyon. The test was an enormous undertaking for the company. The results were overwhelming in their breadth of new snps but also in the analysis of those snps. There are numerous people working to analyze these newly discovered snps and working to extend the haplogroup tree. From these results panels for snp testing are being developed.

* While the Kenyon Project has largely been focused on comparison and analysis Y-DNA STRs, results from autosomal testing, using Family Finder, appears to be producing valuable findings through the use of triangulation and growing data bases. Jim Bartlett gave a very informative and instructive presentation on how to do this. His presentation was so popular that a video of it will be added to the learning center for any member of a project to view. If you have been working on autosomal DNA test results to further your ancestry, his video is highly recommended. He has been able to break through some of his brick walls through the use of triangulation. His video is a how-do on how to do it. There are a number of people in the Kenyon Project with a brick wall on their Kenyon line, so this is one more tool to add to your tool kit. If a Kenyon Project member is able to break-through a Kenyon brick wall using this method, please let us know about your success.

* CeCe Moore was named 2014 Genealogist of the Year at the conference. Some of you may know her from the television series by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Finding Your Roots, where she is a consultant for the DNA portion. CeCe's presentation was on a surprising success story from mitochondrial DNA. Much of her contribution to the show ended up edited out, but she showed an unedited version. She has long been a strong advocate of autosomal testing, using it in her own practice to help people discover their ancestry, including those who were adopted, with scant knowledge of their biological ancestry. Generally, mitochondrial testing reveals ancient maternal ancestry. It can be quite interesting to see where your female ancestry traces back to, but may have limited relevance for genealogists. Her example showed that the full mitochondrial testing (HVR1 and HVR2) was so specific for her client that it was able to target a narrow population of people. In effect, those results had significant genealogical relevance. She learned that even though something of ancestral significance doesn't show up with the HVR1 testing, it may show up in the HVR2 testing, which has a greater chance of identifying more recent generations.

* Robert Baber gave a presentation of his analysis of STR's in his own Baber Project. Although he was working with a small sample size, limited number of test kits from which to make his comparisons, he did have some interesting things to contribute to the analysis of STRs in a family surname project. Of course, this is one thing we are constantly working on in the Kenyon Project - looking to further understand the ancestry of Kenyon members within the project, connecting each with a most recent common ancestor. He reduced the Y-DNA Marker Table to a Mutation Graph, showing only the STRs which have mutated. It makes it much easier to look at and analyze the mutation paths, by getting rid of the STRs which have remained the same over many generations. By this, he formulated certain "conjectures" that certain people were related to a common ancestor through a given path of ancestry. With the addition of a new test kit into his project, he discovered that one of his conjectures was false. This led him to reconstruct his thinking. He went back further in time to look at haplogroups 1500 years ago, pre-family surnames, and even included other surnames in his reconstruction. From this, he moved forward in time. This has significance to the Kenyon Project in our attempt to look at the mutations within the project and constructing common ancestors and path of ancestry. Of course, our working assumption is that the Kenyon Surname started in England. One thing that stuck out from Robert's presentation, the results in each new test kit can be the "fly in the ointment," which can either reinforce the current hypothesis or add a whole new wrinkle which needs to be accounted for in the analysis. Each new test kit is valuable to the Kenyon project as it adds more data, another piece of the puzzle, and hopefully will provide a clearer picture of ancestral lineage.

Group News:

If you haven't checked it out, FTDNA has been offering free Webinars in its learning center. Each webinar is about 60 to 90 minutes in length. There are several webinars on Y-DNA in the archives. You can click on one of these at anytime. We highly recommend, Family Tree DNA Results Explained: Y-DNA Markers, Matching, and Genealogy. There are also webinars on haplogroups, advanced topics, success stories, the Big-Y, and the 2014 Y-DNA Haplotree. Those are just the ones on Y-DNA testing!

R_R1b Group:

This isn't exactly "news" as several of you have already discovered and joined this group. Since every male in the Kenyon Project meets the criteria, it seems appropriate to let everyone know about its existence in case you weren't aware of it. After you log in, click on "Projects" at the top of the page, then "Join." Scroll down to "Y-DNA Haplogroup Projects," click on R(47). The group is listed at the top as R_R1b. Currently, the project has about 10 pages. Everyone, who has Y-DNA testing through FTDNA, can join, even if you haven't done additional haplotype testing. For those who have done additional testing (appearing in green), your haplotype is sorted by results. For those who haven't done additional testing of your haplogroups (your results appear in red), your results will be place in the last group, "Unable to confirm due to limited testing." There are 5-plus pages of the unconfirmed group all listed in order of your results. It still provides you additional information, comparing your results with others having the same haplogroup. FTDNA doesn't have a limit on the number of groups you may join, so search around and have some fun.

British Isles by County Group:

This is a worthwhile group to join, since it provides the listing of hundreds of members from the British Isles, listed by county of origin.

Non-Paternal Events (NPE):

A Non-Paternal Event (NPE) is most likely the result of a child whose father is different from the surname tested. It can also be the result of an adoption or an illegitimate birth somewhere along the line. If the results of your Y-DNA testing differ from what your lineage would predict, you may have a NPE somewhere along your line.

For instance: Let’s say you have a solid paper trail going back to the immigrant John Kenyon, but your DNA (Y-DNA with 37 or more markers) more closely matches males with a different surname. Since your paper trail goes back to the immigrant, then it is likely a NPE happened someplace along your line after he immigrated to America. Conversely, you may discover you match Kenyon surnames, although your own surname is that of another.

Either of these circumstances will pose another genealogical problem for you to solve, as you will be tracking a different surname, attempting to locate the location and circumstance of the NPE. You may want to join two surname groups; one for your paper lineage and one for your Y-DNA lineage. You can let the other project administrator know the circumstance of the request.


Contributions are always welcome. The money will be used only in rare cases where it seems that the only way to get a particular test for the project to pay at least a portion of the cost of testing. The money will only be used for tests done by FTDNA or to transfer information from a different test site to FTDNA. Any decisions concerning the use of such funds shall be made solely by the project administrators, subject to suggestions made by project members. Normally tests will be paid for directly by participants for themselves or others that they choose, rather than from the project funds.

Last updated: 9 November 2014