Foad Surname DNA Project - Results


So Far ...

Nine Foad and Foat men have now been tested for the standard 67 STR markers (Short Tandem Repeat Y-DNA markers) and we can assign each of them to one of four genetically-distinct family lines (see summary table below).  

Six of the men match each other on at least 63 of the 67 tested markers, so they all share common paternal line ancestors, probably within the last eight generations.   (Note that "eight" is a probabilistic prediction and is necessarily very approximate.)   Recent testing of these six gentlemen has found them to belong to the new (unofficial) haplogroup I1a3a1a, or I1a-Z140, giving reference to the groups defining polymorphism (single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP) known as Z140.   Two of the men have also now tested positive for a new polymorphism thought to be further downstream from Z140, known as F2642.   Haplogroup I1 is a very ancient genetic group and is often referred to as "I1a-M253", named after the polymorphism that characterizes it.   After a test of marker DYS462 with result "12", the Nordtvedt Haplogroup I1 research group has assigned this gentleman to one of the larger Anglo-Saxon sub-groups (I1-ASgen), although he also has qualities similar to sub-group I1-AS6.   Research is on-going.

The origins of Haplogroup I1 in northwestern Europe are under debate.   The group may have originated as long ago as 15,000 to 20,000 years ago (before the end of the last Ice Age) or as recently as 4000 to 6000 years ago.   More recent research favours the 4 to 6 thousand year ago period.   Haplogroup I1 is found throughout northwest Europe and is most common in Scandinavia.

The other three gentlemen do not match any of the others or each other.   One of them belongs to Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a1a, or R1b-U106 (named after the U106 polymorphism).   This group is thought to have originated about 3500 years ago and is today most common in Frisia, the Benelux countries, England, Austria, and northern Italy.   Like the I1* group, it also has an Anglo-Saxon association.   Another belongs to Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a1b3c, or R1b-L2, which some researchers believe originated about 2400 years ago and is today found in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, and Norway.   Ethnically it is referred to as Alpine Celtic.   The third gentleman, with surname Foat belongs to Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a1b4, or R1b-L21, which is thought to have originated about 4000 years ago.   It is most most frequently found in Ireland, Britain, northwest France, and southwest Norway, and is referred to as Brythonic, Gaelic and Gaulish Celtic.  

The appearance of several different Y-Haplogroups among Foad and Foat men is probably our first indication that the Single-Founder Hypothesis might be false for Foads.   However, there are many reasons for genetic diversity and our sample size is still very small, so it is essential to test more men before coming to any firm conclusion on this question.

Foad and Foat Family Lines

The table below describes the four genetically-distinct (Y-DNA) Foad and Foat family lines or groups discovered so far among members of the Foad Surname DNA Project :

Genetically-Distinct Foad and Foat Family Lines
Family Line
Number Tested
Genealogical Origins
Where Found Today
Y-DNA Haplogroup
and Terminal SNP
Probable Ancient Ethnic Origin
Foad
"A"
6
Kent (England) Kent, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Surrey (England), NSW (Australia), Ontario (Canada) I1a-M253
M253+ → Z58+ → Z140+ → F2642+
strongly West Germanic
Foad
"B"

1
Kent (England) Wales R1b-U106
M343+ → U106+ → Z381+ → Z301+
Germanic
Foad
"C"

1
Hertfordshire (England) Tennessee (USA) R1b-U152
M343+ → U152+ → L2+ → Z49+ → L562+
Alpine-Celtic (Hallstatt-La Tène), Italics
Foat
"D"

1
Kent (England) Wisconsin (USA) R1b-L21
M343 → L21+ → DF13+ → Z251+
North Atlantic (Brythonic, Gaelic, and Gaulish Celtic)


Notes -
1. Distinct family groups are designated arbitrarily by letters.
2. The genetic haplogroups are given as currently defined in the Family Tree DNA database, subject to revision as they keep up with advances in the proposed ISOGG* Y-SNP haplotree.
3. A terminal SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) has been determined for members of the "I1-M253" group and attention is now being given to finding terminal SNPs for members of the different "R1b" groups.
4. The probable ancient ethnic origins are according to various sources and will be revised as research in anthropology and population genetics goes on.
* ISOGG = International Society of Genetic Genealogy at www.isogg.org

Foad and Foat Family Lines in the Y-Haplotree

The simplified diagram below shows the positions of known Foad and Foat family lines in the Y-DNA haplotree.  In keeping with convention, the tree is shown in inverted format with the more ancient SNPs at the top and the youngest SNPs shown at the bottom of the branches.  Only the relevant branches of the tree and a few important SNPs are shown. 

Please note that, strictly speaking, the SNPs should be shown in the diagram as branches instead of nodes.  However "wrong" it is, it is just easier to draw the diagram with the SNPs as nodes. 

The Challenge

We need to test more Foad and Foat men everywhere to find common ancestors between family lines in England, North America and elsewhere, and to see what proportion of Foad and Foat men belong to each haplogroup.  If you are a male Foad or Foat (or variant surname), I invite you to join our project to see which family line you might be connected to and to possibly extend your own genealogy when a close match is found.