IT'S ALL IN THE GENES!
Note: DYS 19 aka DYS 394
REO is DNA Testing-speak for Recent Ethnic Origins. Information on ethnic origins is provided by each individual testee. If the origin of the ancestor is not certain, the testee is requested to respond "Origin Unknown." That means, of course, that the named origins are only as accurate as the information provided by the testee who may or may not know what he/she is talking about. Even then, the information is speculative at best for localities undergo name changes as often as the people who live in them. While family history relates that your ancestor was born in Outer Slovolia, one needs to consider then the time frame in which Outer Slovolia was actually Outer Slovollia and whether or not that time period coincides with the period in which your ancestor lived there. That said, REO's are generated for exact matches, and one and two step mutations (eg., In a 12-marker test, 12-12, 11-12, 10-12). REO results for our esteemed Prime Minister, Robert Gardner are as follows:
In brief, --well, as brief as a Gardner can be-- the above indicates our Gardner line may have its origins in England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland. Or it may not! However, we can be fairly certain that the country of origin is Unknown. Oh, what the heck! Limbs are for going out on... Make that absolutely certain!
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN: Truth be told...we're in the process of figuring that out! Mutts, for sure! Our Queen tells us (and certainly a Queen should know!) that about a zillion years ago human-kind was divided into 8 distinct groups, four of which were: Nordic, Celtic, Euro and None of the Above. As fate would have it, our Gardner line falls into this last category.
WHO WE AREN'T: Not Native American, --a delightful blend of Semitic, Asian, African. Not Irish, Nordic or European. Not of African or slave ancestry. Though initially suggested that the line was of Semitic origin and most probably Jewish, a query on a database and --ZAP!-- not Jewish. But Semitic includes an array of wondrous possibilities that include: Hebrew, Turk, Indian, Iranian, Iraqui, Arabian, Egyptian and certain European tribes that wandered about creating random mischief. Only time and additional testing will tell.
THE LIMITATIONS: A match with another individual tells us that we share a common ancestor. Depending on the number of markers tested as well as the number of matches, we can approximate when that ancestor lived. (eg., in order for a relationship to exist between samples, there must be a minimum of 22 matches in a 25 marker test.) But DNA testing cannot, will not, does not, and absolutely refuses to share with us WHO that ancestor was. Bummer, huh?
DNA testing is a tool, --one of many--that can be of considerable value when used in conjunction with conventional methods of genealogical research. It does NOT replace those conventional methods so we'll still be scouring census records, visiting cemeteries, rummaging through old newspaper files, writing letters, and generally making a nuisance of ourselves wherever the hunt for Gardners takes us.
For an assist in understanding how to interpret DNA test results, Bruce Walsh provides the following information on his website.