OBSERVATIONS ON THE JAMES RIVER
CHILDERS/CHILDRESS VIKING CLAN EXTENDED
MARKER DNA RESULTS
Patrick Childress, Project Administrator
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For those viewers who really want to get into the "nuts and bolts" of how Family Groups are determined, using the extended marker Y-DNA tests, this is the page for you. Click on this link to bring up the open source Excel spreadsheet on your computer, then use the following notes to follow the logic of defining family lines. Please note the date of this spreadsheet as it is updated on an irregular basis. For the conventional, up-to-date and comprehensive Y-DNA results (without the comments shown on the below spreadsheet) for all Participants, click here.
The observations and conclusions on this page and on the spreadsheet above have been reviewed for content by Elizabeth Lindsey Britton (Project Administrator of the Britton surname project, the Kevan surname project and a Co-Administrator for the Sandidge Project) and by Michelle Fiedler, Information Specialist for FamilyTreeDNA. Our appreciation to them for their time.
Notes on Childers/Childress Spreadsheet dated 12.26.2013
“Worksheet for Group Analysis, showing only Mutual Mutations”
A. General discussion of conventions used in construction of worksheet:
Initially, all mutations against the proposed ancestral Y-DNA "signature" were noted and marked with either a bright YELLOW highlight (indicating a unique mutation showing up for only one tester) or “softer” color highlight (indicating a “mutual mutation”) that exists for two or more testers in the same allele location.
4. UNIQUE MUTATIONS are of course useful in determining how far one must go back in time to find a Most Recent Common Ancestor. However, once that determination has been made, the UNIQUE mutation has largely served its purpose and that data is not necessarily helpful in determining probable family lines within the overall group. For that reason, all columns that had zero mutations and/or UNIQUE mutations in the column were eliminated from this spreadsheet.
5. MUTUAL MUTATIONS (more than one individual having a marker value that is different from the overall group value) in allele locations enable us to speculate on possible family lines within a Family Group, particularly if the mutual mutation occurs in a non-fast mutating marker.
IN SUMMARY, instead of showing all 111 marker values and columns, this spreadsheet has been condensed from 111 alleles values down to only 16 columns (some with multiple values).
B. INITIAL FAMILY GROUP ASSIGNMENTS
No major mutation activity within the first twenty five markers results in little value being assigned to the basic kit resolutions of 12- and 25- marker kits. While we can use these basic results to definitively place the testers into this sub-project, no further delineation of family groups can be made; consequently, all ten of these participants with 12- or 25-marker tests are put together in Group 09, Limited Markers.
1. The first major division of families is based on CDY a and b (first column highlighted with green). However, as noted by several researchers, this marker is highly susceptible to mutation and may experience changes much more rapidly than others. Consequently, we can label this mutation as “subordinate” to other allele mutations such that when there are conflicting results for a tester (kit #8287, Cody Childress, for example, whose CDY value is “35-37” which would normally exclude him from his assigned Family Group 04), the other mutual mutations prevail (in Cody’s case, his mutual mutation at DYS 576 of “15” puts him into this group). There has been a tendency by some researchers to suggest that this primary split of the population at this marker can be traced back specifically to a mutation at this marker between the paternal historical figures of Abraham I (b. 1622 England; d. VA) son of William (b. 1599 England; d. VA) and his cousin or nephew Philemon (b. abt. 1630 VA; d. VA). This is possible and if proven true, makes for a very convenient delineation of basic family lines. Thus far, the three testers (kits 12758, 284830 and 19389)whose lineages have been conclusively documented back to the two patriarchs above have validated this convention. Using CDY as the first primary division results in the creation of Family Group 01, descendents of Abraham I (CDY=35,37) and Family Group 02, descendents of Philemon (CDY=35-38).
2. Family Group 03 was eliminated and the earlier testers were assigned to other Family Groups, based on extended testing.
3. Family Group 04 consists of those testers whose marker value at the fast-mutating DYS576 = 15. The eight individuals in this group likely are a subset of Family Group 02, based on their CDY=35-38.
4. Family Group 05 consists of two testers whose mutual mutation at DYS456 and whose documented family lineage coincides with one another and commences in the Spartanburg, SC area about the same time. Common given names exist in both families and instances of mutual movement from the East Coast toward the South suggest a strong genealogical connection. This Family Group likely is a subset of Family Group 01, based on their CDY value of 35-37.
5. Family Groups 06, 07 and 08 each consist of testers whose results placed them in this subproject, but suggests that a common ancestor lived between 7 and 15 generations ago, assuming that the probability of such exceeds the 50% level (using the 67-marker test results). While there is some small hope of finding the elusive common thread for the Jackson and St. Clair family to the Childers/Childress line, it’s likely that records validating the relationship between the Creed family and the Childers/Childress line are lost to time (between 300 and 400 years ago).
C. CONFLICTING MARKER VALUES – It might be helpful to examine some of the most remote relationships between the “Speculative” ancestral signature and contemporary values in order to estimate when some of these marker values may have mutated. Specifically, refer to DYS504, column “U.” This is not a fast-mutating marker and is considered relatively stable. If we look at Family Group 07, we see that the family of St. Clair carries a value = 18. Likewise, kits 8284 (Family Group 02), 43870 and 197794 (Family Group 01) also carry a value = 18, even though they’re in different Family Groups. The explanation for this conflicting situation could be that “18” was the initial value of the MRCA and subsequent mutations occurred at this marker before mutations occurred at other markers that determined family groups. This scenario could explain some of the conflicts between marker values that might place the testers in Family Groups other than those to which they currently are assigned (another example of this is DYS534 in which several testers carry the mutual mutation of “16” against the ancestral value of 17).
D. DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED FAMILY LINES AND ANOMALIES WITHIN THE FAMILY GROUPS
The spreadsheet includes extensive notes and is largely self-explanatory. The reader is invited to submit any questions or corrections to Patrick Childress, Project Administrator, via e-mail.
Archival Observations, dating back to
August 27, 2009
The following observations on the DNA spreadsheets are made after considerable consultation with Bennett Greenspan, President of FamilyTreeDNA. Mr. Greenspan has been most patient and helpful in analyzing the DNA results of the Viking Group:
The most outstanding feature of the entire spreadsheet is the
"tightness" of the values of the markers. Bennett noted that
it was very unusual to have this many matches on these markers, indicating
that we can be very confident that everyone on this sheet are is a
descendent of the same ancestor - we're still not sure who, however.
The "random" mutations on the various markers can largely be
ignored - except for those on which more than one donor matches. So,
we ought to be looking specifically at three markers: 576, 570 and CDYb (all
of which are shown in the column headings).
We can do a general split on this Clan (assuming a
37-marker test was ordered) by using the CDYb marker, as everyone is either
a "37" or a "38." However, this is a very volatile
marker and one that can be a bit "unstable." Thus, we should
group individuals who match on the other markers, in preference over this
In view of the above, William Childress (8284) and Benjamin
Childers (8772) likely are closer kin to each other than to the rest of
us. Likewise, Paul Allan Childers (19389), Clyde O.
Childress (8267), Cody Childress (8287) and Daniel Ray
Childress (8269) are most probably a "twig" off the main
branch. The same may be said for Robert E. Childers (8365) and Clayton
Robert Childress (8295).
It's interesting to note the current location of the donors, as this
relates to the migration of their ancestors. So far, all of us
"Texans" are in the same general CDYb group.
The DNA testing company for this
project, FamilyTreeDNA of Houston, Texas, has conducted tests and associated
analyses on hundreds of thousands of Y-DNA samples. One of the many conundrums
that has arisen in these tests is the situation of different surnames with
matching DNA characteristics. Statistically speaking, this anomaly
occurs in about 5% of all those males tested. And, while
matches on 12-marker DNA tests between different surnames are routinely
seen, near perfect matches on the extended 25- or 37-marker tests usually
point to one of four scenarios: (see Miscellany, B., above). In the case of this
Childress project there have been several matches with non-Childress
surnames. The individuals reflected on this spreadsheet have
indicated a desire to explore the possible links with the Childress lineage
that most likely is their ancestor.
In the case of John and Richard Michael Jackson, the
"spokesperson" for the family (Trellys
Erwin) speculates that a Childress orphan was adopted by the Jackson
family. She further speculates that the best candidate for this occurrence was one Jesse Jackson, born 1825 in Madison County,
Tennessee and who died in 1879 in Delta County, Texas. Please contact
Trellys direct if you have any information that might shed some light on
this relationship. It should be noted that, while there is a very
close match between both Jackson males and the "ancestral
signature" of the original Childres progenitor, both
Jackson males reflect mutations at 464b and 464c, so a match from a
Childress participant in the future on these two markers will narrow the
Jackson/Childress search down in a hurry!
In the case of Dover family, three individuals (Truman, David and
Albert Dover) have taken the 25-marker test and two of the three have an
exact match with the Abrah Childres on all 25 markers. Carol
Dover, spokesperson for the family, indicates that the family is
realistic about these situations and their primary interest is finding and
following the proper genealogical connections, wherever that may take
them. Please contact Carol direct if you have any information on this
This posting date of August 21,
2005 finds an almost "dead heat" in the number of Viking
participants split between Group A and Group B. Amber Dalakas
had her father Carlos Otha Saint Claire's DNA tested and the resultant match
with the Abrah Childres Group A was a surprise to her
family. There is no known connection between the two surnames, so if
any of the rest of the participants recognize the Saint Clare
surname, please contact Amber direct.
The reader will note that the
results of Robert Brooks Childress (last line) is a bit different.
That's because his test was undertaken with a different testing company, DNA
Heritage. They provide a 43-marker Y-dna test that is identical to the
FamilyTreeDNA test on only 31 of the markers, hence the "X" in the
columns that their testing does not provide. Unless his results are
retested by FamilyTreeDNA, it seems unlikely that we'll be able to move
beyond the matching on the 25-marker scale, the extra six markers
Kent Ross Childress' (kit #47845)
results for the 37-marker test are shown on line 36 of the attached Excel
worksheet. The DNA results confirm the family's belief that their
oldest known Childress ancestor, Thomas J. Childress (b. 1797) likely was
the grandson of William Childress, born 1740 in Goochland, Virginia.
This confirmation is due to the fact that Kent's DNA results were identical
to those of Ronald Brent Childress whose marker results are immediately
above Kent's on the spreadsheet.
The reader will want to closely
examine the marker values for the three Creed donors and the two Jackson
donors. You'll note that both family names contain the same mutations
on the 464 markers, both of which are different from the Childress/Childers
Ancestral Signature. After discussion and analysis by
FamilyTreeDNA experts, we concluded that, while there are many possible
explanations for this anomaly, perhaps the most likely historical event that
brought about this scenario is this:
Somewhere back in pioneer times (not sure
when), a Childers/Childress family may have lost both mother and their
Childress/Childers father at
the same time. As a result, the children (including at least two male
siblings) were packed off to either friends or relatives in undocumented
adoptions. The two adopting family surnames were "Creed" and
"Jackson." What we'll be looking for in the future will be
some Childers/Childress male whose DNA markers match the mutations shown by
the Creed/Jackson donors. We'll then be able to more closely discern
the Childress/Childers line for the Creed and Jackson names. What the
contemporary Creed/Jackson researchers will now be looking for will be
census records and other documents wherein their family name ancestors were
in close proximity to a Childress/Childers household.
The extended 67-marker results are
posted on this website for the participants who signed
up for the extended tests and whose results are now available on the FamilyTreeDNA
Public website. By clicking on the links at the top of this
page, the reader may review the details of the new testing. There remains a
significantly tight clustering of the results, to the extent that there are
no new marker mutations which give rise to various family lines. In
fact, a FamilyTreeDNA representative states:
at your spreadsheet, ... these 67 marker results re-emphasize the closeness
of the group as a whole. It is very clear that these different
Childress-Childers lines are all very closely related. Even people who
had 3 differences at the 37 marker level are identical on the 38-67, meaning
they are probably closer than you thought at first...
is really what strikes me the most when looking at these results. The
results may also help map out some of your various Childress branches more
as additional 67-marker results come in, we'll be able to better refine our
assessment of the various family lines.
Jerry K. Childers, Kit #68316, has his 37-marker
results posted on this update. His results place him squarely in Group
A (CDYb=37), whose markers are exactly equivalent to those which our
earliest common ancestor may have had. Put another way, Jerry's marker
values on the first 37 markers likely have no mutations at all when compared
to our earliest common ancestor.
A new feature added with this posting is the "Mutated DNA"
Spreadsheet and associated HTM Spreadsheet. We believe that the reader
will find it easier to visualize the mutations (only) in the DNA signatures
of each participant, as opposed to the full listing of all DNA marker
values. In actuality, as long as the alleles value for ALL
participants are equal on any specific marker, then we can effectively
discard that DNA marker for purpose of attempting to align sub-branches of
the family tree. In lieu of the 67-marker spreadsheet and htm page,
the reader may now view the compressed spreadsheet featuring only the 21
markers (out of 67) in which at last one DNA Participant had a mutated
In summary, the reader may view the original, full Excel spreadsheet with
all 67 marker values; the same full HTM spreadsheet; the new, compressed Excel spreadsheet with the only the 21
markers that have mutations; or, the same abbreviated HTM
spreadsheet by clicking on the appropriate banner at the top of the
home DNA Page for each of the four versions.
When viewing the Mutations spreadsheet, note that the yellow
highlight on any marker
indicates that the mutation has occurred in only one single DNA
Participant. (Where this is the case, little can be discerned from
that occurrence.) On the other hand, where multiple Participants
have the same mutation, the mutated marker values are highlighted in a salmon
color. These mutations
are the one that should give us more ample clues as to family lineages.
date of November 9, 2006 reflects an additional three individuals whose
extended, 67-marker results have been received. An interesting
development of a mutation at marker 534 (the 55th marker) shows up for
Samuel Hall Childress, (earliest ancestor is Judge John Childress, m.
Elizabeth Robertson) and William A. Childress (earliest ancestor is Robert
Childress, b. circa 1758). These two individuals would do well to
compare ancestral notes. Carlos St. Clair also shows this marker
date of December 7, 2006 reflects a new DNA donor and his 67-marker
results. Terry Childress (Kit #710110) is listed second on both
spreadsheets. Notice that on the "Mutations" XLS and HTM
spreadsheet, Terry reflects two single step mutations from our Ancestral
"Probable" Signature. His first mutation is at 464b; this
mutation is also reflected in the marker values of the Creed and Jackson
entries. However, their mutation at 464b is accompanied by an
adjoining mutation at 464c, both fast mutating markers. Because these
markers oftentimes mutate at the same instant, it is likely that Terry's
mutation at marker 464b did not occur in the same generation as the others,
so the match of mutations between Terry and others at this marker is a
"coincidence." However, Terry also shows a mutation at
marker 456, a slower mutating marker. His mutation here is matched by
this author, Joel Patrick Childress (Kit #12544) and we are the only two of
the entire James River Viking Clan who reflect this mutation. In
comparing notes with Terry, we find that our oldest known ancestors (Terry's
David Childress, born 1768 in Spartanburg County, SC and my William
Childress, born ca. 1750 in Spartanburg County, SC) both were born
in SC and lived in Mississippi at about the same (within a three county
radius of one another). Further, several "unusual" given
names appear in both family trees. Lastly, one of Terry's ancestors
(Meredith Childress) was married by this author's ancestor, Justice of the
Peace Obediah Childress, when both were in Jefferson County, Alabama.
We're now working on the assumption that David Childress and William
Childress could well be brothers. This is a great example where the
benefits of a paper trail and the DNA research have borne fruit!
2006 reflects the addition of several new DNA Participants, as well as the
housekeeping of adding several participants whose results have been
available for some time. Unfortunately, none of the four new postings
have DNA results available beyond the 25-marker level, so no conclusions can
be readily drawn.
2006 updates the spreadsheet with the extended 67-marker values for Samuel
Graham Childers, in Group A. Samuel and Perry Creed both have a
mutated value of "21" in the fast mutating marker 570.
Are these two more closely related than the others, or did both have
ancestors whose marker value at 570 mutate coincidentally with one another,
perhaps at different generations?
April 7, 2007
posting includes the inclusion of Ralph Loyd, an adopted descendent of Silas
Childers, born circa 1857 in Arkansas.
2, 2007 posting once again includes the dna profile of an adopted
child. However, this time the Participant is James
Daugherty McCullough of Rockville, Maryland. His birth
father was musician Janus Hall, born 1908 in Sedalia, Missouri and his birth
mother was Frances Carter Hall, born 1907 Guthrie, Oklahoma. Jim has
been unable to find any information at all on his birth parents.
There is a considerably higher proportion of non-Childers/Childress surname
matches in our project as nearly 30% of the matches have surnames other than
our own. McCullough's situation is a bit unique, however, in that even
though he has a non-Childers/Childress surname, his DNA signature perfectly
matches three known Childers/Childress participants; Ralph Carl Loyd
(Childers), Mark Daniel Childress and James Ronald Childress. Jim will
do best by first confining his search to these four participants' family