International Brough DNA Genealogy Project
In 2008, the BFO began the International Brough DNA Genealogy
Project. The BFO did so because it was felt that this DNA project
could further cement Brough family genealogies and provide another research
tool for people who wondered if they belonged to or were connected to
the Broughs of northern Staffordshire, England. It was also felt that
DNA testing could possibly help the BFO narrow down research requests
from different parts of the world by allowing the comparison of DNA's
from BFO members to those of other people requesting BFO assistance with
their research. Today, people can obtain DNA tests and analysis from several
different companies--such as Ancestry
Molecular Genealogy and Brough DNA Relationships
Compiled by the RBFO Research Committee
from information published by the
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Ancestry DNA, and
other reliable sources.
Molecular Genealogy: Analyzing DNA can allow people to find their
cousins who may be connected across generations and around the world.
This endeavor is sometimes called Molecular Genealogy. Here is some basic
information about Molecular Genealogy:
Cells, Chromosomes and DNA: DNA is found in every cell in your
body except red blood cells. In the center of each cell is a membrane
called a nucleus. A nucleus contains chromosomes, and chromosomes are
made up of long strands of DNA which contain all the body's genes. (Genes
are the functional units of DNA.) Humans have a total of 46 chromosomes,
which are grouped into pairs. Each of the 23 pair consists of one chromosome
from our mother and one from our father. In females the 23rd chromosome
pair consists of two X-chromosomes. Males, however, have an X-chromosome
and a Y-chromosome. Therefore, it is the Y-chromosome that determines
Y-DNA: The male Y-chromosome is one of the most useful chromosomes
in genealogical studies, because it has the unique property of being passed
virtually unchanged from generation to generation. This means that a man
and all his sons will have the same (or similar) Y-chromosome, and that
males with a common paternal ancestor have similar Y-DNA.
mtDNA: DNA can also be found in the mitochondria of the cell,
which is responsible for producing energy to perform all cellular functions.
The mitochondrial DNA-called mtDNA--follows the direct maternal line.
Women pass their mtDNA to all of their children, but then only their daughters
will pass it on to the next generation. This makes mtDNA useful for tracing
one's direct maternal line.
Markers: Y-chromosome contains 59 million bits of information,
each of which is encoded by a "base pair." Looking at all of
these base pairs is impractical, so geneticists have identified a number
of specific chromosome locations that can be used for analysis and comparison.
These unique locations are called "markers". In some ways, DNA
marker values are like telephone numbers, and because telephone numbers
may appear in different cities but belong to unrelated people, it is advantageous
for scientists to test many different DNA markers to avoid possible ambiguity.
Generally, the more markers tested, the easier it is to distinguish individuals
and family tree branches. Currently, some scientists believe that 36 markers
are a sufficient number of Y-chromosome markers to be tested for most
molecular genealogical research purposes. Also, it has been found that
individuals who share exact genetic DNA marker values also share a common
ancestor, and the closer the match in marker values the more recently
one's common ancestor may have lived. However, because of the extrapolative
and statistical nature of molecular genealogy, it is sometimes difficult
to predict how far in the past common ancestors may have lived without
the genealogical information found in reliable pedigree charts.
Non-Relatedness: DNA tests sometimes suggest that people who once
thought they were related are not so related. Such an unexpected finding
of "non-relatedness" may reflect an adoption, an altered or
assumed surname, an illegitimate birth, or maternal infidelity somewhere
in the ancestral line. In addition, one must keep in mind that the science
of molecular genealogy is relatively young, and there is still much that
scientists are learning about human ancestry and its migrations over time,
unusual DNA anomalies, and the extrapolation of specific ancestral relationships
What If Your DNA Test Does Not Support Your Genealogical Assumptions?
Suggestion: Always remember that "Family is family, whether it
is by blood, adoption or inheritance." If DNA testing does not support
your genealogical assumptions, do not distance yourself from those who
have supported and loved you during your life. Regardless of how you received
or acquired your surname--whether it was by blood, adoption or inheritance--stay
close to those who know and love you, and invest in strengthening family
ties that connect you to those you call and know as "family".
"Brough" related DNA test results by Ancestry.com,
For additional information on the genealogical relationship between
Ronald Peter Brough and Robert Clayton Brough, please click here.
"Brough" related DNA test results by Ancestry.com,
Ancestry.com's "new DNA testing service"
In 2013-2015, Ancestry.com introduced
and advertised a "new DNA testing service" that utilized some
of the latest DNA technology to predict genetic ethnicity and help individual
find new family connections. Ancestry.com's advertising publication entitled
The Science, the Technology and AncestryDNA (which was published
in 2013) was freely distributed at RootsTech in February 2015
in Salt Lake City, Utah, and stated the following:
Back to Basics - What is DNA?
"Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is
a long, complex molecule that's found in nearly every living cell in our
body and serves as the unique blueprint for each of us. DNA consists of
two long chains of molecules joined together in a double helix, or spiral
structure, by other small molecules called "nucleotide bases,"
which are represented by the letters A, G, C and T. The smaller molecules
form pairs - a bonds with T and G bonds with C. These bonds and the order
in which they are arranged, are what store the information in DNA and
etermine personal traits such as eye color or height. We look for single
nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which are variations in the DNA sequence
that we use to build a person's genetic profile."
How does DNA help with family history?
"The DNA is every human being is
99.9% identical, meaning that only 0.1% of it determines what makes you
unique. It's these subtle variations that help us analyze your DNA, predict
your ethnicity and find your DNA matches. Each parent gives each of their
children exactly half of their DNA. But the assortment or genes or markers
is unique to each child, except for identical twins. That's why most siblings
look and act differently."
Using DNA to find relatives
"By comparing certain sections
of your DNA with those of other people, we can see how much you have in
common and determine how closely you are related. The more DNA you share
and where you share it helps predict your relationship. This is the basis
of our DNA matching."
Using DNA to product ethnicity
"When our ancestors moved around
the world, they took their DNA with them. By looking at the DNA of thousands
of people from around the world, we can find the genetic signature of
the regions they come from historically. When you take a DNA test, we
look for those signatures in your DNA, which help us predict where your
ancestors since lived. New genetic signatures are being discovered all
What is AncestryDNA?
"AncestryDNA is a new DNA testing service
that utilizes some of the latest DNA technology to predict your genetic
ethnicity and help you find new family connections. Unlike a Y-chromosome
or mitrochondrial DNA test, AncestryDNA surveys a person's entire genome
at over 700,000 locations. It is an autosomal DNA test that covers both
the maternal and paternal sides of the family tree, so it covers all lineages."
"Reveal your ethnic roots and explore
your ancestor's birth locations on a modern day map. Your results may
be updated with new scientific findings as they are discovered. The AncestryDNA
genetic ethnicity map currently covers 20 regions around the world including
British Isles, West African, Native American and more. We look at a massive
amount of your DNA and compare it to others in our reference database,
which is currently one of the most comprehensive collections of DNA samples
from around the world. Open entirely new avenues of research as you discover
new regions that your ancestors called home 500 to 2,000 years ago."
"Your DNA is matched to other family
history enthusiasts through AncestryDNA, with currently over 100,000 and
counting. Find new cousins to grow your family tree. With your DNA results
you'll receive a list of people who you may be matched to, that's continually
updated in real time. We determine matches based on the amount of common
DNA two people share with one another. To do this, we measure over 700,000
markers in the DNA to analyze the number and length of continuous segments
that align: 1) DNA matching can find relationships from immediate family
to 4th cousins and beyond. 2) A 4th cousin shares an ancestor with you
from 5 generations back or about 150 years ago."
The Complete Experience
"AncestryDNA is even more powerful
when combined with the vast collection of records, family trees and community
on Ancestry.com. Connect with other Ancestry.com family history enthusiasts
for the richest family history experience available."
BFO Analysis of the effectiveness and limitations of
Ancestry.com's new DNA tests
To determine the effectiveness and limitations
of this new Ancestry.com DNA testing service, two closely-related Brough
cousins took Ancestry's new DNA test: R. Clayton Brough and Aaron R. Brough.
R. Clayton Brough and Aaron R. Brough are documented
"2nd cousins once removed"--whose common male ancestor is Samuel
Richard Brough (1857-1947). In March 2015, Ancestry.com's new DNA test
correctly indicated that they were genetically related cousins.
However, Ancestry.coms stated that
the "possible range" of relatedness between Clayton Brough and
Aaron Brough was that of being "4th" to "6th cousins
(as shown above). Interestingly, Ancestry.com also stated the following
caution about this possible range: "Our analysis of your
[Clayton Brough] DNA predicts that this person [Aaron Brough] you match
with is probably your fourth cousin. The exact relationship however could
vary. It could be a third cousin once removed, or perhaps a fifth or sixth
cousin. For relationships this distant from you, there is greater statistical
variation in our prediction. Its most likely to be a fourth cousin
type of relationship (which are separated by ten degrees or ten people),
but the relationship could range from six to twelve degrees of separation.
Its interesting to note that (at this degree of separation) we are
accurately able to predict only about 85% of the possible relatives that
are out therein other words there is a 15% chance that our DNA analysis
can NOT recognize an actual relative of yours. One way to be more certain
that the DNA testing captures as many relatives as possible is to have
multiple members of your immediate family tested.
Therefore, while this new DNA test by Ancestry.com
correctly identified Clayton Brough and Aaron Brough as being genetically
related "cousins" , their specific (or calculated) "cousin"
relationship was not as precise as their known genealogical kinship.