Gowdy - Goudy Family

   DNA Testing on the GOWDY Family
(Vernon L. Gowdy III, the maternal line)

mtDNA Plus Test

 I decided to have DNA testing done on my mother's side of the family to determine if there was any Native American background. As a child an teenager I heard stories that suggested our Great Great Grandmother was full-blood Native American or part Native American.  I decided to have DNA testing done to determine if this might be true.

The first DNA test I had done was from FamilyTreeDNA and was the mtDNA Plus test. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited only from the mother.  As a result, the study of mtDNA is basically the study of female genetic lines within human populations.  Mutations, when they occur, are passed down to the children.  These mutations can be associated with geographical areas and populations. Researchers have constructed ancient migration patterns based on the presence of these mutations in human populations.

The mtDNA Plus test the HVR1 and HVR2 of females and the female lineage of male, and also verifies possible Native American or African ancestry in the direct maternal line. (HVR1 and HVR2 (HyperVariable Region 1 and 2 - these are the two sections or regions of the mtDNA which are tested in the mtDNA Plus test)

The mtDNA Plus test determines your haplogroup (genetic population group), based on your differences from  a standard Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS). Haplogroups are defined by specific mutations which took place tens of thousands of years ago and have been passed down to all of today's populations.  Your haplogroup identifies your deep ancestral ethnic and geographic origins of your maternal line.

My specific mitochondrial haplogroup is U5b.  The mitochondrial super-haplogroup U encompasses haplogroups U1-U7 and haplogroup K.  Haplogroup U5, with its own multiple lineages nested within, is the oldest European-specific haplogroup, and its origin dates to approximately 50,000 years ago. Most likely arising in the Near East, and spreading into Europe in a very early expansion, the presence of haplogroup U5 in Europe pre-dates the expansion of agriculture in Europe.  Haplogroup U5b - a lineage within U5 - is found distributed throughout western and central Europe, and was present in the original European populations.

Haplogroup U5b's HVR1 differences are 1st segment 1618C, 16189C, 16270T, 16311C, 16336A
Haplogroup U5b-s HVR2 differences are 2nd segment 55A, 73G, 150T, 263G, 309.1C, 315.1C

European origin; U5b is Caucasian; test shows negative for Native American and African ancestry on the maternal line.



DNA Print AncestryByDNA test

After taking the mtDNA Plus test above and finding out that my Haplogroup is U5b and negative for Native Amerian and African ancestry on the maternal line, I decided to take the DNA Print AncestryByDNA test. This test uses Ancestry Informative markers (AIMs) that have been characterized in a large number of well-defined population samples. This test relies on sequences throughout one's genome versus the maternal line only or the paternal line only. 

Without direct genetic testing, it may be uncertain that your ancestor was 100% Native American.  If you had only one such ancestor in your family this would make detection all that much more difficult. Since my family has always stated it was my Great Great Great Grandmother (Five generations back) the probability of detecting such a connection becomes more difficult.  The test was done on my mother Wynona Gowdy to reduce the number of generations.

The results showed 100% European, 0% Sub-Saharan African, 0% East Asian and 0% Native American.  It is 2 -times less likely to be 95% European , 2% Sub-Saharan African, 1% East Asian and 1% Native American. However according to the company even though the results show an Maximum Likelihood Estimate (MLE) showing 100% European, it may still be possible (though less likely) that there is a small amount of Native American ancestry.

Based on the DNA Print AncestrybyDNA test and mtDNA Plus test it's looking pretty slim that I have any Native American in my line.  In the future I might check on direct genetic testing and trying the Y-chromosome DNA test for the paternal line.









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