Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Brick Wall Knocked Down Through DNA Testing

I am pleased to announce that DNA test results have confirmed a paternal relationship between the descendants of Arthur “Ardie” Pair (1864-1929) and Mabry Pair (1858-bef. 1900), both who lived in Greensville County, VA. My reason for testing the Y-chromosome or paternal DNA of these two families is that the documents (two marriage licenses and death certificate) found on my great grandfather Ardie did not name his parents. However, I determined the name of Ardie and Mabry’s mother through several research methods.

  1. Marriage License. Locating Mabry’s 1879 marriage license which named his parents as “Hal and Rainey.” No surname was listed for the parents on the marriage license.
  2. Surname Search. Doing a surname search of PAIR marriage records in Greensville County, VA which revealed that a Rainey Pair married a Joseph Briggs in 1867.
  3. Census. Search of the 1870 and 1880 censuses for Rainey Pair Briggs and Joseph Briggs where Ardie and Mabry were found living with their mother and stepfather in 1870.

Since I had not found any documentation on the paternity of my ancestor Ardie, I turned to DNA testing for answers. I wanted DNA test results to prove or disprove a paternal connection between Ardie and Mabry Pair.

In order to test these two lines, I needed to test direct male descendants of these two families. In October 2008, a great grandson of Mabry Pair took a 46-marker DNA test from Ancestry.com DNA . In November 2008, my father, who is a grandson of Ardie Pair took the same type of test. Results for both tests were received in late November with exact matches on all 46 markers. The paternal Haplogroup for these two tests is E3a.

The 46-marker test results mean that these two families share a paternal ancestor within the last six generations or 150 years. I do not know when Hal, the common ancestor in these two families, was born or died; however, I do know that he was a common ancestor within the last five generations of this family.

Further, these matching results also mean that the descendants of Mabry Pair have the same African connection as the descendants of Ardie Pair. In July 2007, one of my father’s brothers took a Y-chromosome test through the African Ancestry DNA Company) The results of this 8-marker test match present living people in three African countries:
  1. Balanta people in Guinea-Bissau
  2. Yoruba people in Nigeria
  3. Akan people in Ghana.
These African Ancestry results mean that the Pair family has genetic African cousins living in these countries and that we share a paternal ancestor who lived thousands of years ago.


Cindy said...

Great write up! I've been following your blog for only a few days (there is SOOO much to read!) and i've thoroughly enjoyed it. You share great stories, great family info and helpful ways to get a jump on research. Love your blog!

Ms Vicky said...

Great looking out Dru! I think I felt the earth shake and the sun shining brighter here in Ariz from you doing the happy dance and smiling when you got the news.

my Heritage Happens said...

Congrats to you Dru! All the testing you have done has really paid off! Exciting to hear when DNA testing helps!

Also want to congratulate you on your 100 post! :-) Great blog, I love it!

TK said...

Dru, I really enjoyed your explanation of how you went about researching this. I haven't had reason to look into DNA testing yet although I'm thinking of getting my dad to do it, and I'm curious to know how much explanatory material comes back with the test results?

Taneya said...

that is great! Thank you for sharing your results. I know you must be quite excited.

Professor Dru said...

T.K., the amount of explanatory information that comes with DNA tests depends on the company. With whatever information is given, one should also consult other DNA online and book sources to better understand the results.

TK said...

Thanks, Dru. I just Googled for a comparison chart and found one at The Genetic Genealogist. I had no idea there were so many companies to choose from.

Professor Dru said...

T. K., Ancestry.com has a 40% sale on its DNA kits until December 31st.

TK said...

Wow, that's pretty hard to beat! Thanks for the heads-up!

Genealem said...

I'm so pleased to see you have broken a brick wall though DNA testing! Congratulations! Check out my blogs, especially the one on Genetic Genealogy. I am in the middle of writing up on about success stories...May I link to yours when I do? Thanks!

If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email. LOL
Northwest Regional Coordinator and Speaker for ISOGG (www.isogg.org)
Administrator for eleven FTDNA DNA Projects

Professor Dru said...


Sure, you can place a link on your blog to my DNA success story.