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Helpful Background on the Significance of Matches and Close Matches:



Discussion of the Lear-Lohr-Lair DNA Project's results:



Initial Thoughts as Results are Posted:

  • L-1, a Liehr, represents a somewhat unusual spelling variant, but one that is phonetically identical to Lear.  It will be interesting to see whether future results support a connection between these spellings.
  • Not much to note about L-2, since we do not yet have any pedigree information, except that if he eventually has a match over 12 markers, it will be necessary to upgrade to at least 25 markers, preferably 37 markers or more, before the match can be confirmed.  The 12 marker test is really only useful for disproving a relationship or as a screening test to help determine whether additional testing might be helpful.
  • With the posting of results for L-3, L-4 and L-5, we have a confirmed lineage.  See Lineage A discussed below.  While the traditional measure of genetic distance between L-3 and the others is 3, due to his allele reading at CDYa, a triple jump is very unusual.  FTDNA was asked to reexamine and confirm the results, which they did.  However, since a triple jump is very unusual, it may be the result of only one mutation instead of multiple mutations.  That in turn suggests a genetic distance of 3 may overstate L-3's genetic distance from the others.  Regardless, even a genetic distance of 3 establishes L-3 shares a common ancestor with L-4 and L-5.
  • L-6 belongs to the I haplogroup, as does L-1, and both have proven German ancestry.  It will be interesting to see whether a trend developes that those belonging to the I haplgroup are of German origin, while those belonging to the R1b haplgroup are of English origin.
  • L-8, while apparently an 11/12 match and thus seemingly a genetic distance of - 1 from L-1, is actually a genetic distance of -2 and thus not considered to be related to L-1.  This anomalous result is due to the way FTDNA reports the results for DYS #389-1 and #389-2.  Rather than report the actual results for each segment of DYS #389,  FTDNA reports the value for the first segment at DYS #389-1 and then reports the total for the entire marker at DYS #389-2.  In other words, L-8's actual values for each segment of DYS #389 are 13 and 16 (29 minus 13), while L-1's actual values for each segment of DYS #389 are 12 and 17 (29 minus 12), thus resulting in a genetic distance of -2.  In other words, the reported match at DYS #389-2 is really a mismatch due to the mismatch at DYS #389-1.
  • L-9 matches the modal haplotype for Lineage A.  That means we now have test results for descendants of each son of John Lear, Sr. of Culpeper County, Virginia, the earliest known ancestor.
  • L-10 and L-11 are a match, but the circumstances of the match make it difficult to draw conclusions.  See Lineage B discussion below.
  • No thoughts to offer regarding L-12.
  • No thoughts to offer regarding L-13.
  • L-14 is the son of L-5.  Mutations at DYS 389i/389ii are not unusual between father and son.

Grouping into Lineages:

  • Lineage A:  The earliest known ancestor of Lineage A is John Lear, who died Sep 1782 in Culpeper Co., VA, and whose will named sons John, William and James.  Son William is believed to the the William who died ca. 1807 in Garrard Co., KY.  Children of son John and son James also settled in Garrard Co., KY.  Children of son John also settled in Nova Scotia and Marion Co., MO.  The confirmation of this lineage accomplishes the goal of Robert Strong, one of your co-administrators of this project.  Previously, it was not clear whether William Lear of Garrard Co., KY, the most recent common ancestor of L-3 and L-4, was related to the John Lear line or to the Matthias Lair line.  (Both spellings were common in the records of Garrard Co. and both lines had an unaccounted for William.)  Although there are various internet and DAR accounts of this lineage, one should be skeptical of any account of the lineage prior to John Lear, who died 1782 in Culpeper Co., VA.  Specifically, any claim that Col. John Lear of Nansemond Co., VA, is part of the lineage is believed to be false, based on English court records which establish that Col. John Lear's only grandson, John, died without issue.
  • Lineage B:  It would be an important genealogical contribution if the Lineage B results were a true representation of the haplotype for the descendants of Matthias Lehrer (Lair in subsequent generations) of Rockingham County, Virginia, but it's premature to make that call.  One of the problems is that  L-10 was adopted and so there is no way of knowing the earliest common ancestor he shares with L-11 (complicating matters even more is the lack of pedigree information for L-11) -- such ancestor may be too recent to be a dependable proxy for the modal haplotype for the entire Matthias Lehrer lineage.  Also, L-10 and L-11 have several matches with the Stapp surname, which raises the possibility of misattributed paternity.  Additional testing of other descendants through different sons of Matthias Lehrer is necessary before the modal haplotype can be established.

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