Thursday, March 27, 2014

yDNA Test Results for Miller/Müller Surname

I purchased a yDNA-37 marker test from Family Tree DNA in the hopes of finding where my Miller/Müller line, which is my direct paternal line, came from in Germany. I hoped that another male descendant from the same Miller line, although connected further back than my great-grandfather, would have also taken the test and had some genealogy research showing where his ancestors were from in Germany.
Charles Miller (aka Karl Müller) is in the front middle. We don't
know who is who among the rest but their names are: Gottlieb,
Annie Quenzer, Rika Susenberger, Sophia Schmalzl
and an uknown brother. 
I received my initial results back last week and I've been trying to make sense of them as I had time ever since. The short version? No other Miller that is related to me has had their yDNA tested. So many of the markers are unknown. Out of all of the levels of matching with others who have had the test done, I have a total of one that matches all except two markers at the 25 marker level. This means that there is a 50% chance that we share an ancestor if we go back 12 generations.

Okay, that's something at least, right? Maybe, until you discover that the person I match with has his furthest back paternal ancestor being a gentleman born around the year 1500 in Spain with a Spanish surname that doesn't resemble Miller in the slightest. In addition, he's not even on the radar when it comes to the 37 marker level.

Looking at the 12 marker matches, there are none that are a perfect match. I'd need a perfect match at this level to have any connection in the genealogical timeframe. I have several with a genetic distance of 1. It's possible I could be very distantly related to some of them but they say any relation at this level is likely to be from prior to surname adoption.

So, what does all this mean? It could mean that my great-grandfather, being as secretive about his origins as we know he was, just chose to use the name Miller to hide his origins. Given we know about his siblings and that he spoke German, that is probably not likely. Another possibility is that an ancestor of my great-grandfather served along with the Spanish allies of Napoleon or traveled with some other army and ended up settling in Germany. Still quite unlikely in my opinion.

More likely is that my Miller line is one of the only lines to have continued to the modern day. The others may have "daughtered out". So even though I have one of the most common surnames around, I'm related to almost no one else with the Miller surname outside of my immediate family and one single male Miller first cousin. Of my dad's brothers, one had no children and one had three daughters and one son. Of my grandfather, Leo H. Miller Sr.'s siblings, he had only one brother and he did not have any children. I'm glad that even though I didn't have any children of my own that two of my brothers have had a total of five sons to carry on the family name and yDNA.

If I could find a descendant of one of my great-grandfather's brothers, we might be able to come up with a little more information. Unfortunately, to do this, I need to track down a handful of Millers in New York City. Do you know a male Miller/Müller in New York City? Please ask them to get a yDNA test to see if we have a match!

Given the lack of matches, FTDNA is giving me a free Y-HAP-Backbone test. They do this for anyone that doesn't have a good match. This should hopefully be able to tell me the haplogroup of my paternal line. This means I might be able to tell if my great-grandfather was indeed descended from a German Müller line.

With the haplogroup matches so far, the majority are unknown. I have four 12 marker matches in the J1 haplogroup at a genetic distance of 1 with unknown origins and nine 12 marker matches in the J2 haplogroup at a genetic distance of 1 with unknown origins. There are several other haplogroups represented at 12 markers at a genetic distance of 1. Two with two matches each in the United Kingdom and England respectively and one match each showing the following haplogroup origins: Malta, Scotland, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, France, Georgia, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, England, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Does anyone have further insight on this type of result for a yDNA test? I'm interested in what anyone else has to contribute to help me understand these results.

In other news, I've reached 4000 blog views. This occurred in a little more than one year from the start of the blog. It took 6 months for the first thousand, 3 months for the second thousand and about 4 months for the third and fourth thousand. I'm glad you have discovered it and hope you continue to be interested in what I have to say about genealogy. I'm interested in what you have to say! Please post or send me an email! Thank you!

Coming up: the Menke, Kempker, Harmeyer and von der Haar families in Hanover, Germany and what you can expect from a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


1 comment:

  1. I'm waiting for the yDNA results from Family Tree DNA of my Uncle John Edward Miller's test. Results should be done sometime in mid November. He was born in Texas in 1929.