Q: My 4th great-grandfather is Denis Driscol born 1745 in Ireland. As I am
female, could one of my sons do the DNA test?
A: No, the surname testing is based on the "Y" chromosome which is a paternal
test and thus all samples must be derived from a male surnamed DRISCOLL or a
Q: My husband's mother's mother's mother is a DRISCOLL. Would he be able to
participate in the DNA research?
A: It depends on your research objective. If it is directed at Mrs. Driscoll,
yes as per
details, otherwise no.
Q: What paternal test should I order?
A: The 25 marker test appears to be the most cost effective if one is willing
to assume that sooner or later someone will join the project with whom you
will match. The 25 marker test will allow you to draw some conculsions with
persons with whom you match - all the 12 marker test can do is rule persons
out or identify the need for further testing. Anyone who realizes a 25/25
match should then upgrade to the 37 marker test to improve the confidence
levels in any conclusions drawn.
Q: If we realize a match, how far in back in time does this mean we have a
A: A 12 marker test gives you the following range: 14.5 generations (50%)
likelihood & 48 generations (90%) likelihood. The 25 marker test drops the 50%
likelihood to 7 generations and the 90% to 19.8 generations. With 37 markers
one can get to 5 and 16 respectively.
Q: How long is a generation assumed to be?
A: It seems most researchers are using 25 years per generation.
Q: What is a Haplogroup?
A: Research to date has not identifed the most ancient of our ancestors as
having originated from several different groups. Your Haplotype is that set of
numbers which defines your DNA and your Haplogroup characterizes your most
ancient ancestor. In a sense your Haplogroup is DNA's "brick wall" in your
link to Adam or Eve.
Q: If we all come from Adam and Eve then don't men in turn all have the
A: Mutations occur resulting in different lines. In fact one complication in
interpreting results is that mutations can occur causing once different lines
to evolve with the same Y-chromosome and effect termed 'convergence'.
Q: How can I be sure that an act of infidelity or adoption has no occured
in the line between me and my most ancient paternal ancestor?
A: Convince your most distant relation sharing that ancestor to submit a DNA
sample. You have to find someone who shares only that ancestor with you. If
you both match then you will be sure.
Q: Should I be concerned about privacy?
A: No. The DNA testing being done has no forensic or medical value. It will
not reveal any genetic defects, diseases or uniquely identify you as an
individual. You may wish to review the
Q: Please cite some examples of succesful projects as case studies.
A: Certainly! One of the best examples is: "Who
Was Harvey Kelley?". In the 1990 US Census the names DRISCOLL and
O'DRISCOLL rank 1569 and 17,214 respectively. The names amount to 0.009% of
the population. The surnames
also amount to 0.009% of the population thus their projects represent
reasonable benchmarks by which we can measure ours.
Q: When I order the 25 marker test on the order site, whose information do
I put in the box....the person being tested...or myself..the one paying for
A: Put the name of the person being tested (and let me know his name) but use
your EMAIL address.