These are response to 2 students discussion post . Just have to be 100 words a piece:
Neftali (student 1)
Discussion Question #1: The authors do not provide the actual Y-DNA results of any of the test-takers, only providing what they term the “Y-chromosome ‘signature’ (haplotype)” of the two ancestors. For example, we know only that the two tested descendants of Thomas Riggs “genetically match at 35 of 37 markers on their Y chromosomes.” Is the identity of the two discordant markers vital to your interpretation of the authors’ conclusions? Why or why not?
The Y-STR testing helps determine if two individuals are related by, measuring how many times the DNA sequence is repeated at certain locations. Thus, helping the author come to his conclusions. By using Y-STR testing, we can determine the genetic distance between the two test-takers, which can give us an insight that the two test-takers are related. However, if they were to test at a 67 Y-STR marker and the genetic distance does not change it would conclude a closer ancestral relationship than at the 37-marker test. If the results changed to a higher genetic distance, that could still mean a connection but at a far greater distant ancestor. The ancestral relationship is not conclusive to what type of connection the two test-takers could be but that they could be related by a father/son or an uncle/nephew relationship in the patrilineal line.
Discussion Question #2: Is the authors’ conclusion that “[t]he DNA evidence proves that Thomas1 Riggs of Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1658 and Edward1 Riggs of Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1633 were related” sufficiently supported by the evidence? Based on the Y-DNA evidence presented, should the authors pursue research in Hawkshead to try to find the parentage of Edward Riggs, or is it premature? Why or why not?
The authors’ conclusion that Thomas Riggs and Edward Riggs are related is appropriate due to the Y-DNA testing conducted. However, what that relationship actually is, cannot be confirmed. Pursuing research in Hawkshead is appropriate in helping find a parental linkage of Edward Riggs. The Y-DNA evidence alone cannot be used by itself to make the claim that it is a certainty of the type of ancestral relationship that both individuals have. While conducting genealogical research, Y-DNA testing, used in conjunction with historical records (birth certificates, baptismal records, marriage records, etc.) can help one come to a proposed conclusion. The problem in this case was that of the misspelled surname of Riggs to Rigge. Taking an additional 67 or 111 marker test would be beneficial in furthering the relationship and determining the genetic distance.
April (student 2)
The author stated that the two descendants of Thomas Riggs genetically matched at the Y chromosomes with a marker match of 35 of 37; this leaves a genetic distance of two. By them only using a 37- marker test, the relationship between the two test-takers is within the range of the most well-established surname lineages but finding a common ancestor could be difficult (Module Notes). With the 37- marker test, 2-3 genetic distances are still an indicator that the test-takers could be related. So more than likely, the test-takers are related and are probably cousins because test-takers that have a 0-1 genetic distance are less likely cousins and are more likely closely related.
I’m still a little skeptical on agreeing with the author’s conclusion that Thomas and Edward were in fact related; however, there were multiple indicators that suggested they could have been. Thomas Riggs was identified as the son of Robert Riggs from Hawkshead and it was mentioned that Edward Riggs could have been the unnamed child of Robert Riggs. There were so many if’s and maybe’s; that if I were investigating, I would have been extremely mentally exhausted. Although, there was so much circumstantial evidence; I would’ve kept on investigating. Because, according to the article; Richard, Miles, and Rigge were all common names in Hawkshead. We know that there may be variants of surnames, meaning that Rigge could have very well been Riggs. Riggs; not being a very common name could have just been a one family name; therefore, I think it would be worth investigating based off the surname.