Here is where we begin to learn about our paternal lineage by DNA. The Y Chromosome is only carried by males so is passed on from father to son virtually unchanged, allowing us a pathway to look back in time.

The Scottish Border Littles fall under the broad group of R1b. Specifically they carry a Y-DNA mutation, called a SNP (pronounced “snip”), with the name R-Z17299. This represents a common ancestor who lived about 1,000 years ago from whom this Little lineage descends.

About 700-800 years ago, one of these men developed another mutation called R-Z17296 which was then carried by all that man’s descendants. They now had a signature of R-Z17299>Z17296.

Francis Little, born abt. 1760 has this lineage, plus another mutation, called FGC36391. How do we know this? Because several of our cousins all carry it. It was handed down to us by our common ancestor, Francis Little.

Thomas has a SNP that neither Douglas, nor William Ray have – FGC36390. We tested Robert Jr. and he has it too. Since the two brothers have it, it must have come from their father, whereas Wilbur does not carry it, as determined by David not having it. This is how it works. Robert Jr.’s boys will also carry FGC36390, whereas David’s boys will not. In the future, it will be easy to see this branching away from FGC36391.

At some point from Francis to David Eash and Thomas John, there was another SNP inserted in the genetic signature, FT80667. Since further testing on Douglas Ross shows he does not carry it, we can safely say that neither Joseph nor his father, William Sr., carried FT80667, either. This mutation, then, must have occurred either with William Jr. or in one of his male descendants.

This is how the Y-DNA testing works on a wider scale. Men can identify their lineages with the genetic signature provided by Y-DNA testing. At some point, it would be wonderful if another man somewhere tested and matched Francis. That would be an exciting breakthrough! For now we wait and hope!

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