Sunday, April 5, 2009

DNA test results for William Skyvington

I've just received the results of my basic DNA test carried out by the Family Tree DNA company, whose headquarters are in Texas. In the following table, the references of the twelve markers are in blue, and my values appear after the equal signs:


In the terminology of this field, I appear to belong to a so-called haplogroup whose reference is R1b1b2, often designated as R-M269. Among the half a million or so people tested by this company since the year 2000, there are already 558 individuals in this same category. For the moment, in this group, there's nobody with a surname like Skyvington. Among them, though, I was delighted to discover the name of a man of whom I'm proud to be a "genetic cousin": Richard Dawkins. In other words, Dawkins and I had a common paternal ancestor—let's call him Fred—in the not-too-remote past, but nevertheless before the time at which people started to use surnames. This Fred had at least two sons, known, say, as Dick and Bill. Dick's descendants finally got around to calling themselves the Dawkins clan, whereas Bill's descendants preferred to call themselves the Skyvington clan. Be that as it may, what's in a name? In spite of their having different family names, they still remained, to a large extent, members of a common tribe... designated as R-M269.


  1. Frank McGonigalMay 5, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    There is one Skyvington listed on FTDNA.
    With an ancestor back to ..
    .... George Skiffington born abt
    1670 in Dorset England.

    RJ6XS Show Skyvington Skivington Blandford Forum, England R1b1b2
    (tested) Family Tree DNA

    Frank McGonigal Ont.Canada

  2. Hi Frank:

    Thanks for your comments. The genealogical stuff you unearthed is in fact my own pedigree chart. For the moment, I haven't found any other researcher interested in the DNA approach to the surname written as Skeffington, Skevington, Skivington, Skyvington, etc. But I'm nevertheless tempted to start a surname project at Family Tree DNA even if, for some time to come, there's a membership of one.

    Thanks for giving me the name of the lady who's researching a Skiffington in Ireland. I'm obliged to say that I ignore completely the genealogical path by which so many people named Skeffington/Skiffington exist today in Ireland. For the moment, I would like to determine the earliest-known Skeffington or Skiffington (outside the well-documented background of the Massereene dynasty) to appear in Ireland.

    I intend to take a look at your McGonigal stuff. I didn't see your name in my list of "cousins", but I haven't yet got accustomed to exploring the various DNA databases. It's certainly a fascinating new domain of research. I can't understand why there aren't more interested people. Let's keep in touch.

  3. William
    In my research into the family name I found that the town/village of Skeffington was founded and settled by a clan or tribe of folk known as the Skeffs
    and hence the eventual name of the town
    apparently the clan was called this due to the large spear heads they had on their weapons
    So if you are wanting to have another go at finding the 'elusive' patriarch you might want to research the Skeffs people or clan