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About us

The American Skillmans in our project are each descended from one of the five sons of Thomas-2 Skillman, namely Jan(John)-3, Isaac-3, Jacob-3, Benjamin-3, and Joseph-3. All Skillmans in the project in the U.S. share Thomas-2 as the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) and all are in Haplogroup R-M269 which additional testing refines to R-P312. The Y-DNA results of these American Skillmans absolutely confirm extensive conventional research which previously determined these five separate and distinct ancestral lines. Surprisingly, the Skillmans in England to test so far, are not related to the Skillmans in the U.S., and there are two different family trees of Skillmans in England that are separate from each other. Both are in Haplogroup I-M253, but have separate DNA origins. This is not unusual, as many surname projects have many more DNA origins..

The Y-DNA results of all American Skillmans in our project show close matches with the Y-DNA results of three specific members of the Hart DNA Project, all of whom have also joined our project. Based on 37 markers and using the infinite allele method, their modal (average or most common) values differ from the modal values of the American Skillmans by a Genetic Distance of 2 (GD2), while the Genetic Distance between the three Harts and any of the other Harts in the Hart DNA Project is 10 or more.  A Genetic Distance of 2 (GD2) means that two individuals match on 35 of 37 markers, or mismatch on only 2. According to Family Tree DNA, the probability that two individuals at GD2 share a common ancestor is about 30% within 4 generations (100 years), 70% within 8 generations (200 years), and 90% within 12 generations (300 years). All of these probabilities fall easily within the 340 year period since the birth of Thomas-2 Skillman in New York in 1671. Despite the differing surnames, these close matches indicate that the American Skillmans most certainly share a common ancestor with the three Harts, the questions being who, where, and how long ago. Interestingly, the three Harts were not known to each other prior to their Y-DNA tests, but they are very tightly related, even though they have been unable to identify a common ancestor among them. Two match exactly on all 37 markers and the third matches on 36 of 37 (GD1) with the other two. They are not related to any of the over 140 other Harts who are identified in the Hart DNA Project.  We continue to research this intriguing connection and hope to discover the common ancestor between the American Skillmans and the three Harts.

The individual Y-DNA results for all members of the Skillman DNA Project (including the Harts) can be viewed under the Y-DNA RESULTS drop-down menu. If you choose the "Colorized" version, you will note that there are three rows above each subgroup which give the highest allele (marker) value, the lowest allele value, and the modal for each marker. The shading highlights the allele values that differ from the modal. Pink represents those values higher than the modal and blue those values lower than the modal. The darker the shading, the greater the difference from the modal. These differences in values are the result of mutations at random segments of the Y-chromosome which occur infrequently between generations. The new values are then passed on from father to son and are very helpful at splitting lineages into sub-sets, or branches, within our family tree.

The DYS numbers at the top of the chart which are color-coded in dark red have shown a faster mutation rate than those in blue, and differences in allele values between two individuals are less likely to indicate non-kinship.  Explained another way, if two members of the Skillman DNA Project match exactly on all of the markers except for one or a few of the markers determined by Family Tree DNA to mutate more quickly, then, despite the mutation, this mismatch only slightly decreases the probability of two members of our project who match 34/37 or 33/37 not sharing a recent common ancestor. These differences in mutation rates are taken into consideration by the FTDNATiP™, which is Family Tree DNA's proprietary calculator for estimating probabilities of Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) between two people with close matches. For example, if two pairs of people each have matches at a Genetic Distance of 3, but the mismatches for each pair are at different markers with different mutation rates, the two pairs will have somewhat different probabilities of TMRCA.