Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Tree DNA Results Arrive...finally

I finally received result from the Family Tree DNA test that I had Charlie Brock take back on August 20, 2008. It took almost 91 days to get the results back, roughly three months. That is quite a bit longer than expected. All I have received from them so far is an e-mail that read as follows:

"New Y-DNA 1-12 results have been posted for your Family Tree DNA Kit. If you ordered a Y-DNA25 or Y-DNA37 test, please note that the tests are processed in sections and the remaining results should be posted within one to two weeks.

With the increased popularity of DNA testing, you may be asked to export your results to other databases not endorsed by Family Tree DNA. Please note that Family Tree DNA cares about your privacy and can only be responsible for the integrity and use of your data contained in our databases or automatically transferred from Family Tree DNA to Ysearch.org. We strongly recommend that you never share your kit number and password outside of Family Tree DNA as it may give away your personal information, including the ability to see and modify your personal contact information.

Follow the link below for more information at your Family Tree DNA personal page.


Since genealogy is all about matching to people with your surname you should now verify if a Surname Project exists for your surname. You can do that by clicking on the JOIN button located on your personal page. If you find a Surname Project for your surname just navigate to the Surname Project, click the link and then click the next JOIN button to become a member of that project. You may also join a subsequent Geographic Project; however you will have the best chance of matching someone if you are in a Surname Project. If you are already a member of a Surname Project you do not need to take any action.

Please remember to add your results at www.Ysearch.org, the FTDNA-sponsored public database. Go to the Y-DNA Matches tab, on your personal page, linked above, and you will see an explanation and a link for automatic upload.

Family Tree DNA...
The world's first and largest Genetic Genealogy organization"

Okay...here are several things to note. First of all, ysearch that they promote is not working. If you go there, it displays the following message:

"Due to excessive and abusive usage of the free Ysearch.org service, the site has been temporarily disabled while we implement changes in order to improve performance and user experience. We appreciate your patience in this manner."

According to the web page, that message has been displayed on the site since Thursday, March 06, 2008 at 4:00:57 PM. Why is Family Tree DNA partnered with a site that has been down for apparently seven months? I have also recently had several people complain that they have waited a long time for DNA test results from FTDNA. There must be something going on with them to be so disorganized.

To top it off, after all of this waiting, they cannot tell us which Haplogroup Charlie belongs to and there are only eight matches in their database of 139,861 Y-DNA records at the 12-marker level (but all are private). According to information provided by four of the eight matches, it looks like Charlie's ancestors were possibly Ashkenazi Jews. According to Wikipedia, Ashkenazi Jews "...descended from the medieval Jewish communities of the Rhineland in the west of Germany." That probably makes sense, seeing as though I was always told the Brocks were from Germany and came over during the American Revolution.

The page that the e-mail linked me to was very hard to understand. It was difficult to find the actual results. I am somewhat familiar with their site and with genetic genealogy, so I knew what I was looking for. Even with that said, it still took me a good ten minutes to figure out what was what.

Overall, I would say that this experience has been somewhat frustrating. When I took my own test several years ago, the experience was wonderful. This time...not so much. I think I am going to wait a few weeks and then get someone else to take another test, giving FTDNA one more shot at redemption. I will let you know when that happens.


Jerry Taylor said...

Kevin, my name is Jerry and I administer the Brock DNA surname project hosted by Family Tree DNA. Although FTDNA was unable to predict Charlie's haplogroup his results did show matches in FTDNA's database to persons in the J1, J1e and J2 Haplogroups. The closest match for Charlie within the Brock project was a 10/12 match to one of our members in the J1 Haplogroup. It is possible that the two mismatched markers were mutations that developed within these 12 markers. This has happened before with others that were known to descend from the same line. I would highly recommend Charlie's test be upgraded to more markers. This should not only aid FTDNA in determining his haplogroup, but should also help in determining if there could be a match with the above mentioned Brock project member. This member is a descendant of George Brock born about 1680, who lived in the area of New Kent Co. Va that later became Hanover Co. VA, in 1703. This George Brock died in 1752 Albemarle Co. VA.

Kevin Lett said...

Ysearch.org seems to be up and running now. I checked it tonight.

Kevin Lett said...

John Philip Brock (???? - 1823) lived Hanover County, Virginia
Henry Brock (c. 1791 - 1843) lived Henrico County, Virginia
Robert Henry Brock (c. 1829 - 1879) lived Henrico County, Virginia
George Washington Brock (1868 - 1937) lived Richmond, Virginia
Carlton Edward Brock (1912 - 1958) lived Richmond, Virginia
Charlie Brock lives Hanover County, Virginia

Many records of Hanover County, Virginia were destroyed by fire during the Civil War. Therefore wills are difficult to locate for the time period before 1865. I did find a copy of John P. Brock's will amongst the papers of his grandson, Robert Alonzo Brock. Robert was Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society and amassed the largest personal collection of Virginia-related documents know to exist. After Robert's death, the papers were auctioned off and purchased by the Huntington Library in California. I found a photocopy of John P. Brock's will on file at the Library of Virginia. However, further reproductions were restricted since Huntington owns the rights.

There are several sources that indicate the Brock family was from Germany. One such source is in the book, Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Miss Elizabeth Brock (daughter of Robert Alonzo Brock) was quoted as saying "the family had been in this country for three generations and was of German origin."

The story that I have always been told is the John Philip Brock was a Hessian mercenary soldier, brought over here by the British. After losing the war, the British were nice enough to leave him here...why waste the time and money to take him back? John settled in Hanover County, on a section of land known as "Brock Spring."