07 October 2017

Copyright Brooking Society 2016

GENETIC PROJECT 2003 by Ian Logan

Summary

The Society has carried out a second round of DNA testing. The results show that three American men have almost identical DNA to that of a member of Branch J. This supports the contention that the ancestors of Branches X & Y went from Devon to America in the 17th. Century. Tests were also done on two members from the Branches FQ & SR - but the results did not show a good relationship to other results.

The Report

In the Brooking Family Historian (August 2002 Vol 10 No 2 pp 53-60) I reported on our first Genetic Project when the Society performed DNA tests on 7 men with the surname Brooking. The tests were done to see if DNA testing could be useful to the Society in suggesting links between the named branches of the Society. The results were very exciting and suggested that several of the test subjects were probably closely related. However, the results proved not to be as specific as might have been hoped for, and they posed as many questions as they solved. I am now pleased to be able to report that the Society has carried out a second set of tests. A lot was learnt from the first round of testing about who should be tested. But in particular it was thought very important that more sophisticated tests should be performed. So, whereas in 2002 we had the testing done by Oxford Ancestors who performed a 10 marker test, in 2003 we switched to FTDNA, an American company based in Houston, Texas, who do a 25 marker test. The service from this company was very impressive and extremely quick. An increase in the number of markers used can normally be expected to give a much more convincing linkage between test subjects as opposed to just indications of a possible relationship. Overall, close relatives will match for probably 22-25 markers out of the 25 with most of the changes being in those markers that can change every few generations.

The Science

I do not wish to repeat many things that are discussed in my earlier report, but it is appropriate to give a simple outline to the science behind DNA testing. The tests are done on the DNA that is found on the Y-chromosome. This chromosome is passed from a father to his sons, and in turn to their sons; and so the DNA passes through the generations. And, as surnames pass in the same manner a study of the DNA of possible relatives enables relationships to be suggested. The DNA of a father and his son is usually identical, however, the passage of the DNA is not always perfect and a change may occur. A change, or 'mutation', is a totally random process and it must not be assumed that a mutation should or should not occur. However, over many generations it is likely that there will be a few mutations to the DNA - but not many. In the testing of the markers a 'mutation' shows by an actual change in length of the genetic material, either a lengthening or a shortening, and usually by only '1' every time. A marker such as DYS#458 appears to change easily every few generations, whereas DYS#455 rarely changes even over thousands of years. Men who are related should have very similar results from their tests and if results vary greatly then some other explanation should be considered. The DNA testing is done by asking the subject to take a mouth swab and to send it to the laboratory. There, the DNA is separated; and by using the PCR technique (Polymerase chain reaction) the amount of DNA is increased many millions of times to obtain a practical amount for testing. It is interesting that the genealogical 'markers' are not in the working part of the Y-chromosome but in areas that are unused. Therefore the markers are not associated with any physical attribute in the subject.

The Subjects

The men selected for the 2003 project were chosen to expand our knowledge of how the major branches of the family might have developed. In particular, we wanted to see if it was possible to show the Brooking families in America originated from Devon. Their details are:

The Results

The actual numerical results of the tests are given on the chart. Mutations are marked with a dark background. When comparing the results to those in the earlier report please note the marker DYS425 used by Oxford Ancestors is not used by FTDNA and the markers DYS389-1 & DYS389-2 are added together rather than separated. The results for both Genetic Projects are given so that all the results can be compared.

Discussion

The results of the Genetic Project - 2003 show many interesting things with perhaps the single most important being that the results for Subjects X-1 and X-2 are identical. Also, these results are both only '1 mutation' different from subject Y-1. So, the genetic tests just by themselves suggest it is very likely that all three American subjects are indeed very closely related. The results for subject J-2 are also very exciting as they are only '2 mutations' different from those of subject Y-1. This very close matching supports the theory that Branches J, X & Y have the same origin - which is something that cannot be proved by the Society's records. So, it seems quite sensible to suggest that William Brooking of Virginia was a close relative of the early members of Branch J, perhaps with a common ancestor living in the Landrake area of Cornwall in the 17th. Century. Landrake is a very small country village and it is considered possible that the farm land and manor buildings owned by the Brooking family were purchased with money gained from business in Plymouth. It appears that William Brooking bought his own passage to America and is then known to have bought land and slaves in Virginia. It is likely he emigrated because of the political unrest after the English Civil War - but whether he comes directly from the Landrake family or from a London family is still unknown.

DYS#
S
u
b
j.
3
9
3
3
9
0
1
9
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
2002
B-1 13 24 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 29 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G-1 13 23 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 30 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I-1 14 24 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 29 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J-1 13 23 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 29 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L-1 13 23 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 30 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N-1 13 23 14 11 - - 12 12 - 13 13 29 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S-1 13 24 14 10 - - 12 12 - 13 13 30 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2003
FQ-1 13 24 14 11 11 13 12 12 11 12 13 28 18 9 10 11 11 26 15 20 27 15 15 17 17
J-2 13 23 14 11 11 14 12 12 13 13 13 29 18 9 10 11 11 24 15 19 29 15 16 17 17
SR-1 14 22 15 10 12 13 11 14 11 12 11 30 15 8 9 8 11 23 16 20 30 12 14 14 15
X-1 13 23 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 18 29 15 16 17 17
X-2 13 23 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 19 9 10 11 11 24 15 18 29 15 16 17 17
Y-1 13 23 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 18 9 10 11 11 24 15 18 29 15 16 17 17

A further important result from the study is the similarity in the results from subjects J-2, X-1, X-2 & Y-1 and the results obtained in 2002 from subjects B-1, G-1, J-1, K-1 & N-1. This similarity does suggest that a pattern of markers has been found which identifies the majority of Brooking families. But all the results do not fit into the Brooking pattern as the results from subject FQ-1 and SR-1 do not compare well. In respect of FQ-1, the results are significantly different from, for example, those of subject J-2 and suggest that the FQ family does not have the same origin as other branches. The results from subject FQ-1 although different to the Brooking pattern are nevertheless typical of Anglosaxon Britain and very close to many results for persons in the Southwest of England. Now turning to the results obtained from subject SR-1. Unfortunately, the results do not compare well to the Brooking pattern; and in fact differ in practically every marker. The results for this subject are extremely unusual and do not match against any known pattern. The results are considered to be a European pattern rather than, say, Asian or African, and perhaps could possibly be considered as a rare Scandinavian pattern. In this context it is interesting that there is mention of a 'Rudolf Bruckins' in the Gloucester area in the late 16th. Century. Overall the results do make the origin of Branch SR uncertain - and at present the genetic testing does not indicate a link between Brooking and Brookings families.

The Future

The results from the two genetic projects have been very successful in tying together many branches of the Brooking family - but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. In my opinion it will be appropriate to do further tests in the future, in particular with subjects from Branches B & G. It is likely that these branches have origins that predate 'Plymouth in the 16th. Century'. In this respect it is important to say that whereas Branch B is considered to contain the descendants from just one man, Branch G is in three parts and comes from three men who may, or may not, be closely related. It would also be sensible to consider testing further subjects from the smaller branches - but the success of this type of testing is much more uncertain. In this respect, for example, Branches UD, UO and ZABA all have interesting origins - but unfortunately we do not have contact with many suitable men for testing.

Conclusions

Overall, the results from the Genetic Project - 2003 are very impressive and, in my opinion, fully justify the Society's decision to undertake the further set of genetic tests. By learning from the first study, the Society has managed to have a highly successful second round of testing. Indeed the change to the use of the '25 marker' tests has enabled us to produce very convincing genetic information by providing the Society with a reliable pattern of results that can be used to identify Brooking families. In particular, the genetic testing has shown convincingly that most American Brooking families do have their ancestry in Devon.