Some very exciting news – an exact 12 marker DNA match was made. The bad news is that we still can’t figure out how we are exactly related!
The match was made with Rawleigh Ray Howell who is a descendant of John Howell b. 6 Nov 1799 in Hawkins, Grainger Co., TN and his wife Elizabeth H. Larkin b. 8 Feb 1804 in TN. John and Elizabeth had 9 children. Rawleigh’s line descends from their second son, Joseph Anderson Howell.
When the match was made by FamilyTreeDNA, I was immediately contacted by Dorothy Howell Carroll who lives in Houston, TX. Dorothy’s direct line is to Samuel Henry Howell, the first son of the same John and Elizabeth above.
Dorothy and I have exchanged details on our respective Howell ancestors (her research began in 1960) but we are so far unable to make a connection between her line and ours.
So what is the probability that we are related? Here is the quote from FamilyTreeDNA (MRCA = Most Recent Common Ancestor):
If I submit a sample to you for testing and you find that I match exactly with another person, how many generations ago did we have a common ancestor?
Here are the times back to the MRCA when ALL the markers match. Those numbers are based in the latest results of the mutation rate study conducted by the University of Arizona. For example, with 37/37 (all 37 markers match), there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was no longer than 2 generations, and a 90% probability that the MRCA was within the last 5 generations. Compare these with 25 and 12 — with 25 markers, there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was within the last 3 generations, while with 12 markers, there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was within the last 7 generations. “
So, as I mentioned in my last entry, if we found a match at 12 markers, I would place the order for the 25 marker test – I have now done that (and am $90 poorer.) If Rawleigh does the same, and we match perfectly again, we will probably have to take the 37 marker test which would give a 95 % chance that our common ancestor is within 7 generations – as it stands we are each 6 generations from our oldest known Howell ancestor!
The complete results for all of the Howell DNA tests can be viewed here. If you are a Howell male, and would like to participate, contact Jean Howell firstname.lastname@example.org (the 0 after jhowell in Jean’s email is a zero “0” not an “o”.)