DNA Project

Introduction

The purpose of the Wanless Web DNA Project is

  • to identify common ancestors of various Wanless/Wandless/Wanlass/Wanliss lines (determine who is related to who)
  • to determine which lines do not share a common ancestor (believe it or not, even an uncommon name like Wanless seems to have sprung up indpendently in several different locales)

Volunteers Needed

We need test volunteers from several key lines:

  • tree 8 and any other trees with origins in the Washington/Lamesley area
  • tree 9 (descendants of Thomas Wanless & Jane (Manners) Cook – may be related to tree 4, as both have Alston roots
  • tree 5.1 (descendants of Bateman Wanless & Margaret Smith) – we already have a representative from the George Wanless & Elizabeth Bateman line, so there is a strong likelihood that we could prove/disprove the link between these 2 lines
  • tree 5.2 (descendants of Thomas Wanless & Isabella Robson) – same message as for tree 5.1
  • tree 5.3 (descendants of John Wanless & Jane (Rodison/Rogerson) Simpson – same message as for tree 5.1
  • tree 25 and any other Stockton-area or Durham-city area tree

We welcome volunteers from ANY Wan(d)l(aei)ss line!

If you would like to donate your cheek cells but cannot afford the test kit price, please contact me and I will try to arrange financing.

About the Project

Links to extensive descriptions of how DNA projects work can be found at the bottom of this page, but the main points are as follows:

  • The DNA sample is obtained by scraping cells from the inside of a donor’s cheek. It is painless. You do it at home, using a provided test kit, and send the sample to a lab by mail.
  • The DNA sample must be obtained from a male Wanless/Wandless/Wanlass/Wanliss. The Y-chromosome that is tested is passed from father to son, so the donor must be a male descendant of an unbroken chain of male Wanlesses. A female Wanless can participate by asking a father, brother, uncle, or cousin to donate the sample, or if none of those are available, by helping fund the test of another male.
  • No other genetic characterestics are checked in the test – this test will not identify any physical or health characteristics about the donor, and your personal privacy is completely protected.
  • After we have accumulated a group of donors and their test results, the results are analyzed to determine whether or not common ancestors exist. The more lines we have represented by donors, the better chance we have of proving a common ancestor between one or more lines.
  • The test cannot tell you who the common ancestor is, nor how far back the common ancestor is, but there is a statistical method of determining the rate of chromosomal mutation which allows you to estimate how many hundreds of years back the common ancestor is.
  • Ideally we would get 2 samples per line, from distant cousins proven by traditional genealogical methods. Having 2 distantly-related samples will avoid a mutation or a “non-paternal event” (grandpa wasn’t a Wanless after all!) from being established as the standard for a certain line.
  • The test can also tell you that 2 lines are not related (do not have a common ancestor), which helps us avoid wasting time pursuing a particular research path.
  • There are various tests, but the 25-marker or 37-marker test give more accurate results than the 12-marker test. It would be most beneficial if everybody initially took the 25-marker test; then, if there are questions about certain results, a few people might wish to upgrade to the 37-marker test, which is available for an upgrade fee (and they use your original sample). The 12- marker test is basically useless for our purposes, as it only establishes a general group (i.e. Northern European) for its participants.
  • DNA testing is not a substitute for traditional research, but a supplement to it. By showing relatedness between lines– or the lack of it– a researcher may have a better idea where to concentrate their efforts.

Extensive descriptions of DNA studies can be found here:

John Blair’s DNA 101

Cost

Cost: $148 (about £75) (plus postage) for a 25-marker test and $189 for a 37-marker test. Some financing is available if cost is a barrier to participation.

Lab: Family Tree DNA

If you are willing to participate, please contact Holly at the Contact Us link on this page.

The more people who participate, the more results we’ll get and the more families we’ll be able to link up!

Results

The haplogroup (sort of an “ethnic origin” designator) is Western Europe for all. (Alternatives include Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Semitic, etc.) Each person who took the test has a unique string of numbers representing the DNA of their earliest known male Wan(d)less ancestor. If 2 people share a common ancestor (are related), their numbers will match exactly in all 25 fields, or if there is a difference of 1 or 2 in some of the marker fields, they may still share a common ancestor but one line may have changed (mutated) a little bit. Some markers mutate at a faster rate than others. While that actual ‘faster rate’ has not yet been definitively calculated, not all markers should be treated the same for evaluation purposes. The markers in pink below have shown a faster mutation rate then the average, and therefore these markers are very helpful at splitting lineages into sub-sets, or branches, within your family tree. Explained another way, if two people match exactly on all of the markers except for close matches on one or several of the faster-mutating markers, then this mismatch only slightly decreases the probability of those two people sharing a common ancestor. Note that indeed the single 1-point difference between John & George Wanless below is in a rapidly-mutating marker, so it is almost certain that they share a common ancestor.

rapidly-mutating markers
trees that match
differences in matched trees
Tree Earliest Ancestors (top of tree) Earliest Known Location Haplo DYS# 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389|1 392 389|2 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d 460 GATA H4 YCA II a YCA II b 456 607 576 570 CDY a CDY b 442 438
1 Ralph(?) Wandless/Wanless & Margaret (Wylam?) Newcastle, Northumberland R1b 13 24 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 14 13 30 17 9 9 11 11 25 15 19 30 13 15 17 18
20 Robert Wandless & Mary Bastow Washington/Lamesley, Durham R1b 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 16 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 16 17
12 James Wanlass & Margaret Neilson Edinburgh, Scotland R1b1 13 24 14 11 12 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 20 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 16 17 18 11 10 19 23 16 15 17 17 37 40 12 12
28 James Wanless & Christina Parkinson Edinburgh, Scotland R1b 13 24 14 11 12 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 20 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 16 17 18
5 George Wanless & Elizabeth Bateman Wallsend, Northumberland R1b 13 24 15 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 29 18 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 30 15 15 16 18
2 George Wanless & Bessie Carnes Yetholm, Roxburgh, Scotland R1b 13 24 15 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 14 16 16 18
3 John Wanless & Isabella Ewen Yetholm, Roxburgh, Scotland R1b 13 24 15 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 16 16 18
3 George Wanless & Mercime Riddell Yetholm, Roxburgh, Scotland R1b 13 24 15 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 16 16 18
4* Luke Wanlass & Barbara Dumble Alston, Cumberland
-
13 24 14 11 11 11 12 12 11 13 13 29 16 9 10 11 11 25 14 18 29
-
-
-
-
4 Luke Wanlass & Barbara Dumble Alston, Cumberland R1b1 13 24 15 11 11 15 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 15 16 18 11 10 19 23 16 15 18 17 35 39 12 12
7 William Wanless & Isabella Bell Penrith, Cumberland R1b1 13 23 14 10 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 30 16 9 11 11 11 24 15 19 28 15 17 17 18
16 John Wandless & Isabella Howe Brancepeth, Durham I1a** 13 24 14 10 14 15 11 14 11 12 11 29 15 8 9 8 11 23 16 21 28 12 14 14 17 11 10 19 21 14 14 18 21 36 36 12 10
19 William Wanless & Ann Smith Durham City, Durham
-
15 23 14 11 15 15 11 13 29 11 11 15 15 15 17 17 11 19 17

*This data was copied from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy database, which does not use all the same markers as FTDNA. ** Haplogroup I is “country of unknown origin”. A further “deep clade” test would be required, for $79, to determine the area of origin, which is likely to be northern Europe.

Updates

Oct 2005: We have a match in tree 3 (George Wanless & Mercime Riddell). This branch exactly matches the branch of John Wanless & Isabella Ewen. These 2 trees intermarried, but the descendants tested were not descended from the intermarriage, so this indicates that the trees were related before they married, as was indicated by the oral history that said George Wanless married his cousin Ellen Wanless (these 2 later lived at Carillon, Quebec). The FTDNA calculator says these trees have a 97.73% of a shared ancestor in the last 400 years, and a 94.15% in the last 300 years. Trees 2 (George Wanless & Bessie Carnes) and both branches of tree 3 (John Wanless & Isabella Ewen, and George Wanless & Mercime Riddell), which all originate in Yetholm, Roxburgh, Scotland, are an almost-exact match. The FTDNA calculator says these trees have a 98.75% chance that their common ancestor occurred within the last 800 years and an 87% chance that the common ancestor was in the last 500 years.

Feb 2008: A descendant of James Wanlass & Margaret Neilson (tree 12) turned out to be an exact match to a descendant of James Wanless & Christiana Parkinson (tree 28). Both families originated in the Edinburgh area with probable roots in Dundee. Since the Wanless/Parkinson sample was tested on only 25 markers, we are seeking to have it re-tested with 37 markers for a finer resolution of matching. Currently, the FTDNA calculator says the probability that there is a shared ancestor in 12 generations is 94.15%. The Wanlass/Neilson descendant did NOT match the descendant of Luke Wanlass & Ann Jackson, so it would seem that they are not related.