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HomepageCullen Family DNA
Major Haplogroups
Jim Cullen


Haplogroup Determination for Cullen Family DNA


This page is meant to be an extra resource and an extension of The Cullen Family DNA Project, headed by Bernie Cullen and Terry Barton. The Cullen Family DNA Project was made possible by FamilyTreeDNA.com and WorldFamilies.net. Here you will find what I hope to be useful information and analysis of the results obtained so far. Hopefully it will also convince those of you who haven't considered DNA testing yet, or perhaps haven't been able to make up your minds whether or not it's worthwhile, to take that first step.

For reasons of privacy, the individual participants in the Cullen Family DNA Project are identified here only by number and stated region of origin. If required, more information can be found at The Cullen Family DNA Project website. The results so far have been outstanding. Analysis of the results, even at first glance, proved to me that the Cullen DNA Project has great potential for interesting inferred connections to each other and to known genetic groupings in Ireland and Western Europe in general.

To better organize the Cullen DNA results, all Cullen results are examined on this page for major haplogroup determination. After that, the results are split into three groups, each of which are examined further on a separate page for more detailed testing. There are also links further down this page that lead to the appropriate haplogroup page. At present the three groups are:

Hg "R1b" Cullen DNA Results
Hg "I" Cullen DNA Results
Cullens of Upton DNA

The first observation I made was that, as could be expected, the majority of the results were Cullens of the R1b haplogroup. R1b is the most common haplogroup in all of Western Europe, accounting for almost 70% of all lineages. The sub-haplogroups (I will refer to them as subclades) are branches of the R1b tree, distinct and separate but still frustrating in their similar modal values. For this reason I would highly recommend that you consider only 25-markers or more for the STR Y-chromosome test. FamilyTreeDNA makes this same recommendation for those in the R1b haplogroup. If you've already obtained 12-marker results it's a simple matter to upgrade when you are ready and able to do so. For tough subclades or in cases where more accurate timing for suspected genealogical connections is an issue, I would then recommend upgrading to a 37-marker test. A logical, affordable, and understandable approach is to start with a 12-marker test and upgrade when necessary - such advice is found repeatedly in the various forums and websites.

For all the members of the Cullen Family DNA Project, I've taken the results and compared them against modal (normal, or expected) haplogroups from the entire world family tree. For reference, I've included here the modal haplotypes of the most common haplogroups in table form. The modal values are from John McEwan's Website. Notice that there are subtle differences between them, indicating the occasional mutations that have occurred over the tens of thousands of years of human history and how these gradual changes have evolved into the haplogroups that make up the world family tree that we see today. The red markers are the fastest mutating markers, pink are fast, white are average (about one mutation every 500 generations), light blue are slow, and dark blue are extremely slow. Notice that there is little variation worldwide for the very slow mutating markers such as DYS455 and 454. In combination with other slow markers, your variations can be matched to a specific haplogroup. Such was the case with my own DNA test results. My DYS455,454 combination of 10,12 and my DYS459a,b combination of 8,10 - along with other indicators - was a clear sign that my haplogroup was certainly Ix (today known as I1b2*). Faster mutating markers are useful for distinguishing between separate related branches of a given haplogroup.


Modal Haplotypes of the Major Haplogroups
DYS



Hg
3
9
3
3
9
0
1
9
/
3
9
4
3
9
1
3
8
5
a
3
8
5
b
4
2
6
3
8
8
4
3
9
3
8
9
-
1
3
9
2
3
8
9
-
2
4
5
8
4
5
9
a
4
5
9
b
4
5
5
4
5
4
4
4
7
4
3
7
4
4
8
4
4
9
4
6
4
a
4
6
4
b
4
6
4
c
4
6
4
d
A&B13211511111212111213112916899112315213410111516
E3a1321151116161112121311321681011112414213113161618
E3b132413101618111212131130179911112614203214161617
J122314101317111511131129168911112615202913131516
G142215101414111311121129169911112316212812131314
Fx142216101113111212141131169911112216213112121213
Ix1325161113161113111211281681010122515192814141515
I1a13221410131411141112112815898112316202812141516
I1c1523151015151113111312301581011112514202711141415
I1b1324151112151113121411301881011112515202912141415
K2132313101416111211141330189911132615193411131616
F142314101313111213141131178911112315193012121516
I*1323151012141113121211291710911112515212911151617
Q132313101417121212131430169911112514192914141515
R1a1325151011141212101311301591011112314203212151516
N142314111113111210141430179911122514192814141515
R1b1324141111141212121313291791011112515192915151717


To identify which major haplogroup a particular DNA result belongs to, I've come up with a calculation that I call the WSD, or Weighted Squared Distance from a modal haplotype. The reasoning for this type of calculation is that a variation against a slow marker is more powerful than a variation against a fast marker. Also, modal values that indicate subclades within a haplogroup usually (but not always) tend to be the average or slower mutating markers. Using the weighted difference then amplifies your variations as compared to the important modal values. Squaring the variations amplifies your overall score, making it easier to distinguish between close and 'not so close' matches. In the end, close inspection by hand is still important. For the members of the Cullen Family DNA Project, in no particular order, here are the WSD results as compared to the modal haplotypes of the major haplogroups:

Cullen Members: Weighted Squared Distance (WSD) from Major Haplogroups
 C-3*C-9*C-5C-7*C-10*C-2C-8C-4C-1
A&B316.64583.57569.12105.4403.61391.57171.4386.33170.06
E3a97.6299.01137.16182.07171.74162.25384.3146.44393.34
E3b114.47336.26169.83180.86158.78174.17376.14149.65386.91
J260.73470.58264.41619.06609.38617.91823.71591.64827.16
G6.54249.0841.13204.72230.01224.22418.75187.05424.27
Fx82.98329.13110.58160.94211.12187.52385.37130.8385.74
Ix26.1622.97209.53208.77361.26355.22421.38192.78423.1
I1a71.24503.76645.24343.14914.41920.26559.25328.21562.69
I1c17.65229.4168.72214.22233.02227.39431.92197.11439.53
I1b28.7822522.65187.09187.36182.91404.91157.59405.63
K298.33370.98564.36116.36551.95560.46340.87101.53346.4
F81.01325.69104.33145.29158.83154.9366.59116.17372.2
I*15.91264.5549.08185.01193.61188.09404.23168.37406.68
Q193.31442.09256.5434.7643.3459.1100.7331.27107.34
R1a155.86368.09168.7749.8953.4540.58109.9928.03108.19
N90.39250.60251.5797.77228.75227.68351.6398.06348.1
R1b160.41407.14204.136.001.796.8984.583.6483.21


Cullen Members: Weighted Squared Distance (WSD) from Major Haplogroups
 C-13C-6*C-12*C-16*C-14*C-15*C-11 
A&B86.1182.69397.33405.54382.70384.35420.04 
E3a179.43151.03176.64155.89175.24169.79215.10 
E3b191.01148.76164.33144.94171.82164.38202.42 
J639.51588.00613.48609.36615.14612.65650.34 
G177.56178.88226.04216.73218.79221.92253.23 
Fx129.62137.18202.22208.11193.97195.79242.15 
Ix214.39181.86361.62359.67364.90366.97389.05 
I1a332.51317.30913.71906.93906.46910.11933.57 
I1c185.65196.22232.14218.06226.37229.38255.42 
I1b186.48161.23184.64186.89182.62182.12223.46 
K2133.90105.17553.56545.28549.88546.39567.54 
F116.03122.55154.20153.87148.07148.65191.14 
I*176.45160.20193.10190.96186.34187.41216.69 
Q65.3530.3747.4438.6151.8247.1758.50 
R1a45.4527.1448.0249.9442.7950.0775.01 
N96.91101.70224.94228.16218.82226.71230.86 
R1b19.010.001.876.662.674.7813.87 


Cullen codes prefixed with an asterisk had a haplogroup determination made based on 25-marker results. The rest are 12-marker determinations. Red background indicates a very clear association with a known haplogroup and no other close matches. Magenta (pink) background indicates a very probable association with a known haplogroup. Yellow are the next closest matches. Those Cullen members whose haplogroup is identified as R1b have very clear results as shown in the table using either a 12 or a 25-marker comparison. The Cullens whose haplogroup is determined to be some variation on "I" show a greater affinity to adjacent haplogroups, making a determination more difficult. For my own peculiar DNA results, there can be no other determination besides Ix. In a table of Weighted Squared Distance calculations the scale is arbitrary; a lower score is a closer match and zero is a perfect match but the actual score depends on the number of markers used and the specific markers that have the variant number of repeats. The key here is to look at the lowest score and see that it is separated from the next lowest score by a wide margin.

Cullen C-5 is determined to be I1b. Cullen C-3 presents somewhat of a problem. C-3 may be haplogroup G or some variation of haplogroup I but is definitely not in R1b. I'm still looking closely at C-3's results because he does not really fit anywhere in the tree. Notice the similar scores between C-1 and C-8; what it indicates is that their positions in the world family tree relative to all the other haplogroups is roughly the same. Notice also that they have close relation also to haplogroups R1a and Q; they do not quite fit the R1b mold which indicates a problem. Although C-1 and C-8 exhibit similar DNA results, they are not related; at least not within the recent past! The same situation exists between Cullens C-2 and C-10. This is true whether we look at them together in the WSD calculation or in the straight Genetic Distance calculation. The DNA of these two pairs are closer to each other than they are to any of the other Cullen results.

Cullens C-6 and C-12 have results that are mainstream R1b but do not bear any great resemblance to any of the other Cullen results. However they do match each other in 10 out of 12 markers which, though not indicating a close relation, is something to note. They differ at DYS390 and DYS439 ( both fast mutators ) by one count. C-6 and ZD283 are one and the same so I will have to change the table to reflect this. C-6 is a 12-marker match to the Atlantic Modal Haplotype, the most common 12-marker pattern there is in R1b so not much more can be determined regarding C-6 based on the these 12 markers alone.

C-13, results for the surname Cullinan, is an outlier in the R1b family tree. At first glance it was not even certain that this was R1b at all but my own calculations, and a double check with Whit Athey's predictor, assures us that this is an R1b haplotype with some unusual variations. We may have trouble placing him in an R1b subclade but, on the bright side, there will be no trouble identifying related individuals who are tested in the future. C-13 has some unique STR values that set him apart from the Cullen results and, based on his closest matches ( there are only a dozen or so ), seems to identify an Anglo-Norman ancestry. There is no subclade for him but we have unique STR values and historically meaningful geographic distribution - so C-13's results almost certainly represents a separate R1b subclade.

In order to provide a more intuitive presentation of the data we have so far and the relation they have to one another, I've reformatted the WSD worksheet to interpolate between four haplogroups; two along the X-axis and two along the Y-axis. The haplogroups used for the interpolation were chosen such that individuals would be more spread out in the X and Y directions from one another. The resulting coordinates were plotted and then the modal haplotypes of all the major haplogroups were recalculated in the same coordinate system. The result is a DNA dataplot of the relative WSD distance of all Cullen members from the major haplogroups and the relative positions of all the major haplogroups in relation to them. This method of visual presentation certainly makes matters more comprehensible and also compensates for the differences between 12, 25, and 37 marker calculations since all are converted to the same relative scale. This dataplot will be updated just as the tables are when new results come in.



If your Cullen results are posted to this page then your haplogroup will have been determined to be some variety of Hg "R1b", Hg "I", or the specific haplogroup "I1b2*" matching the suspected DNA type of the Cullens of Upton. You may follow the appropriate link below for further analysis of your results:

Hg "R1b" Cullen DNA Results
Hg "I" Cullen DNA Results
Cullens of Upton DNA

The Cullen DNA Project now has 15 members but results are still pending for several of the newer members. As soon as the results are returned these tables and the tables on the specific haplogroup pages will be updated.

Document in progress...



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