Aug 2, 2008

The Van Norman (etc.) Y-DNA Project Results

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You will notice that a lot of the numbers between the three sets of tests do not match! This indicates that we have three different ancestors represented in the results. Because we have so few results at the moment, there are several interpretations at this time.
The first possibility is that there are more than one Van Norman (etc.) ancestors that we descend from, who were not originally related. This is plausible because the very origins of the name "Van Arnhem" indicate that the original ancestor came from (or "Van") the Town of Arnhem in the Netherlands. Naturally there was likely more than one person from that town who came to North America in the earlier years.
Another possibility is that one or two of the lines trace back to an original Van Norman (etc.) immigrant, and the other one or two lines are the result of one of the anomalies that we talked about earlier -- Adoption, Illegitimacy, and Infidelity, etc.
As additional participant's results are added to our database, we will be able to get a better idea of what situations we are dealing with.
i.e. Are the New Jersey Van Normans descendants of a different line than the New York families? Are the Pennsylvania crowd related to the New Jersey or the New York lines? - Or both? -- Or neither?? Etc., Etc.
As we stated at the start of this project, the rewards are not going to come overnight, but will benefit researchers of the Van Norman surname over the long haul. Naturally we had hoped for more definitive results, but it was not to be!
Here is a brief outline of what the charts do tell us.
1) If all the numbers were identical, except for perhaps one or two, we would consider these people to be all descendants from a common ancestor, within a few hundred years or so. The DYS numbers in red tend to mutate or change faster than the ones in black, so these numbers are usually the ones to watch for. It is these mutations however, which might help us determine which line a particular Van Norman ancestor might connect to, when we are trying to knock down a brick wall in our research, assuming the mutation took place a few generations back, and is not a recent occurrence.
2) Listed on the chart is a Haplogroup that is predicted for each participant. These are generalizations used to "track" the various routes of migration of our early ancestors after they travelled out of Africa many thousands of years ago. While the actual results can be much more detailed, depending on the line, a general rule of thumb indicates that R1b lines are from Western Europe and R1a lines are from Eastern Europe. (There are many more categories than just those two as well.) The Genographic Project is a large study currently underway using this information to determine how humankind populated the earth. For more details go to and click on the icon near the bottom left hand side of the page.
More to follow at a later date,