The purpose of this page is to introduce you to your Y-DNA results, then summarize the results of the participants in the Cushman/Couchman Y-DNA Project.
Results So Far: Thirty-seven Y-DNA marker results are available for twenty-two participants who have joined the project since its inception in late 2005. All but one of the project participants belong to haplogroup R1b1a1a2.
The row titled "Haplogroup R1b - Lineage 1" of the spreadsheet at the Y-DNA Results page shows the most frequent value (the mode) for each DYS marker for the Cushmans in lineage 1. The fourteen rows that appear below this modal row display the test results of the fourteen Cushman males who vary from the mode by no more than a genetic distance of 3. This means they are closely related, genetically. The paper genealogies suggest a common ancestor upstream from Robert of Kent, probably during the early to mid 1500s.
This grouping of men is an attempt to eventually define and replicate the most probable Y-DNA profile of our most recent common ancestor, the probable Y-DNA marker profile of Robert Cushman of Kent, and thereafter, any unique y-dna marker profile that might distinguish the four lines that flow down from his son, Thomas, b. 1608.
Three participants exactly match the modal DYS marker values at 37 markers. This indicates that, at the 37 marker test level, the Y-DNA has been passed down through the generations to each of these living descendants without change.
Diagram of Y-DNA and Genealogical Record Relationships: The following diagram shows the genealogies of thirteen project participants who descend from Thomas Cushman, Sr. b. 1608, Kent England. This Thomas had four sons. The project now includes at least one participant who, according to the genealogical record, descends from each of these sons. Some of these paper trails are weaker and/or less complete than others. The available paper trail genealogy for each man is summarized on the Patriarch page at this site.
You will find the chart of these relationships at: http://www.cushmansite.com/Cushman_Gen_site/Y-DNA_Signature_files/cush_desc_chart.pdf
The spreadsheet on the Y-DNAResults Page also shows the beginnings of two more Cushman/Couchman lines. These are labeled Lineage II and Lineage III. We believe these represent distinctly different Cushman/Couchman lines of descent, not closely related to the line down from Robert Cushman of Kent, but perhaps from Cushmans from other geographic areas of Europe. We will know more about these lines as more men join the project.
Participants who vary from the mode by a genetic distance of four or more markers, appear clustered at the bottom of the Y-DNA results page, unassigned to a lineage.
This interpretation of these results is tentative. A clearer picture of these relationships should appear as more Cushman/Couchmans join the project.
Understanding Your Results: Log in to your Personal Page at Family Tree DNA. Your Welcome (Your name) personal page comes up. In the left hand column, near the bottom, are the words: "Y-DNA Haplotree". If you click on that you will see how all the haplogroup letters and numbers are arranged into a tree diagram. For instance, most of the participants in our project, it will say: "My Confirmed Haplogroup: R1b1a1a2" . This is shorthand for R-M269. Somewhere along the rainbow of letters on the right hand side of the chart you will see an arrow with the words: "Your Match". Click on that and you will see another chart that traces your path to more detail. Ours will be marked in green. It will show the steady progression to get to our destination -- in our case, M269.
Geographic Origins: Most Cushmans/Couchmans are expected to belong to Haplogroup R1b and its extensions (R1b1,R1b1a2, etc.) This is a lineage defined by a genetic marker called M343. R1b is found strongly along the western seaboard of Europe --- Portugal to Norway including British Isles --- and extending inland in good strength to the Germany/Poland border. Most of the current project participants have been found to belong to haplogroup R1b1a1a2, a stub of R1b defined by a genetic marker called R-M269.
A haplogroup is all the people who descend from one person who had a certain harmless mutation in DNA, usually a few thousand years ago. Haplogroups form a "tree”, with branches and twigs. Each letter or number (they alternate) means a smaller branch or twig.
The first, broadest cut is to realize that people in a certain haplogroup tend to live in certain parts of the world. You will find a map, and a simplified haplogroup tree at: http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/WorldHaplogroupsMaps.pdf
A very large number of Europeans (and their North American descendants) are R1b. You will probably find that several of the marker values in your haplotype are modal -- the most commonly found value for a marker in R1b. But three or four markers might be off the mode, and their rarity in combination is what will make your haplotype almost unique. That rarity has intrinsic utility. When you find another haplotype with similar values, it is worth paying close attention to it even if there is a different surname involved.
Just as certain halogroups tend to live in certain parts of the world, persons with the Cushman surname tend to concentrate in distinct locations, associated with different Cushman ancestral lines and geographic origins. These are the places to look for your ancestors. Here is a map showing where Cushman families were concentrated in the US in 1840 and 1880 and 1920; and, in England and Wales in 1891. See:
The R1b Gateway Project is another way to learn more about your Haplogroup. See: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/r1b/default.aspx
Looking for leads?
Use the Cushman message board at: http://boards.rootsweb.com/surnames.cushman/mb.ashx
And the Cushman Genealogy Web site at: http://www.cushmansite.com/Cushman_Gen_site/Home_Page.html
Click here to place an order for a DNA test at Family Tree DNA
Participating in a Surname DNA Project provides:
A report on the participant's genetic DNA, which is very close (and sometimes identical) to the earliest known ancestor.
A classification of the participant's "deep" ancestry, which gives insight into the prehistoric origins of your surname ancestors.
A sense of camaraderie with all who participate in the Family Project, which is particularly strong for those who share a genetic ancestry.
Stimulation to family research and sharing of information.
A wider sense of identity and relationship, as we begin to realize how much we are a World Family.
A chance to compare your genetic ancestry with those of the Surname and the Variant Spellings.
Locates the genetic matches that do not share your common surname.For more information, contact: Robert C. Cushman Terry Barton This site provided by World Families Network