Mark David Drew-SmytheSmythe DNA Project - An experiment in lineage comparison - searching for the anecdotal link to Smyth/e of IrelandMark David Drew-Smythe and James Oliver Meade Smythe
? cousins in the line of "SMYTHE of BARBAVILLA" (Westmeath, Ireland)

Two Smythe families - DNA PROJECT - a workout for the family genes ...

The Context of this research - Captain Richard David Somerset Drew-Smythe (deceased 1987) and his younger brother, John Roderick Drew-Smythe (deceased 1995) - during their lifetimes - and independently of each other - maintained to their children that the Drew-Smythe Smythe line was linked to the Smythe line of Pat Smythe, Patricia Rosemary Smythe, the Olympic equestrian.

If this is the case, the "Family Vault" male line Smythe is also related to the Smith and Smyth/e families of Durham, Yorkshire and Ireland and so encompasses the ancestry of those lines. It is possible that these lines also lead back to the "ancient family of Smith" of Cuerdale in Lancashire and/or to the Carrington family whose ancestor, Michael, was the Standard Bearer to King Richard I during the 3rd. Crusade (1191) and whose descendant changed his name from Carrington to Smith/Smyth for safety reasons after a spell in exile during the early decades of the 1400s. He died in England in 1446. The ensuing struggles culminated in the bloody - family extinguishing - conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster which eventually saw Henry Tudor victorious and crowned as Henry VII in 1485.

James Smythe's family records trace back to the Barbavilla line. An ancestor of this line, John Smythe, was a brother of Henry Meade Smythe (1787-1862) - known as "Tiger Smythe" - of the same line as Pat Smythe and her brother, Canon Ronald Smythe who, to date, July 2004, is still unable to confirm any anecdotal or written evidence of any relatedness between his line and the Smythe line of this "Family Vault".

Back to The BeginningIn the meantime, David Smyth, whose line descends from the Hutchinson Smyth branch of the family, places his common ancestor with James Smythe as Ralph Smyth - of 'Ballymacash', Co. Antrim - known as Ralph the Tanner. For David Smyth's comprehensive history of the Smyth/e family, with emphasis on his particular family line from "Generation 11" of this Irish line, click on the "Rosedale spot" adjacent. For further investigation on the Carrington theory, see also David Smyth's notes on the Smyth/e and Carrington lines. These appear in the Endnotes to his research.

In the closing years of his life, Captain 'Dicky' Drew-Smythe insisted more and more on the use of the third forename, 'Somerset' when dealing with official documents. 'Somerset' as a forename is common to both Drew and Smythe ancestors but is most clearly marked in the Meade Smythe line of the Smythe family to which he and his brother, John, claimed kinship. Additionally, the use of place names as a second or third forename is/was not uncommon in Smith/Smyth/e genealogy -used as a 'distinguisher' where numerous family branches exist(ed). A recent cousin line ... possibly connected - click here

It would appear that the lineage of James Oliver Meade Smythe (click on the adjacent unicorn head) comes as close as possible to being a potential DNA match for the reputed "cousin" status claimed by Richard David Somerset Drew-Smythe and his brother, John, in connection with the line of Pat Smythe, descended from the Smyth/es of Barbavilla in Ireland - and thus descended from Smith/Smyth/e of Yorkshire and Durham. For this reason, and as a first for this site, James has kindly consented to take part in a DNA comparison analysis with Mark David Drew-Smythe as the representative of the Smythe line of this Family Vault - through the services of Oxford Ancestors which organisation states:

"For our Y-Clan™ service, we read ten elements of your yDNA fingerprint and build up a signature. By comparing it to thousands of others in our database, obtained from throughout the world, we are able, in most cases, to deduce your paternal clan and your ancient ancestral father. Not only will we be able to tell you from which ancient clan father you are descended, we will also give you some information as to when and where he lived. The genetic elements of your signature also change over the generations and by comparing your genetic signature with those of others it is possible to tell, on the balance of probability, how closely you are related.

In many countries, surnames are also passed down from father to son, just like the Y-Chromosome. This means that you also can use your Y-Clan™ results to investigate your paternal lines alongside more traditional genealogical sources in a very powerful combination. For example, you will be able to compare your Y-Clan™ results with those of other men with the same surname to see whether you share a genetic connection. Our Chairman and founder, Prof Sykes, was the first scientist to establish this connection between surnames and Y-Chromosomes.

All men carry a Y-chromosome in every cell of their bodies, which is inherited exclusively from their fathers. Indeed, it is the Y-chromosome that makes men male! We despatch directly to you by post a Sampling Kit containing a small brush that we ask you to rub on the inside of your cheek to collect, painlessly, your DNA, which we extract and profile on receipt of the brush. Your DNA is made up of a string of chemicals whose names are abbreviated to the letters A, C, G and T. At particular points on the Y-chromosome, the exact number of letters can vary. The profiling process determines the exact number of letters at particular points or markers; in the case of our Y-Line™ analysis, ten markers, and these form your ten-digit Y-Clan™ signature.
"

About this project ...
Gratitude is extended to Marie Kitchin , Senior Scientific Officer at Oxford Ancestors for this genetic advice.

"We are not currently running a specific Special Names Project for the name of Smith/Smythe. You may wish to try Cyndi's List for others with this surname who may have already had a Y-chromosome analysis performed or who may be able to give other information. We do have 16 males with the surname of Smith and 4 with the surname of Smyth on our Y-Line database.  When our Y-Line database is released for use by our Y-Line customers, people will be able to search the database on haplotype, location and ancient paternal ancestor information.  Additionally, people will also be able to search on surname and contact e-mail address. However, these latter two pieces of information will only be made available for people who have chosen to make their own personal details available to others via the database."

The caveat ...

"When comparing Y-Line signatures, any conclusions drawn rely on statistical analysis of the results. This means it is only possible to say that the relatedness between two men is 'highly likely', or 'likely' or 'unlikely'.  This analysis will not provide absolute proof.  If two branches of a family are related, the results will also allow you to work out approximately when a common paternal ancestor existed. However, this time estimate is not very accurrate in individual cases as the range of possible times is very large. This is because on average there is a 2% (1in 50) chance that a father and son will differ at one of the ten markers. So, if a generation time is taken as 25 years, you would expect this to happen, on average, once every 1250 years.  Therefore, although this may be used to provide supporting evidence to other research indicating when a Common Paternal Ancestor is likely to have existed, it is not accurate enough to use it as the main basis for such a hypothesis."

In response to a question of any potential analysis of Smyth in the maternal line of this site - see William Smyth - ApothecaryWilliam Smyth - Apothecary of Shrewsbury, whose daughter was Corbetta Smyth, mother of the children of Lord William Manners, 2nd son of the 2nd. Duke of Rutland, Maria states ...

"The MatriLine analysis is designed to provide information on our ancient maternal ancestors who lived over 10,000 years ago.  It does not provide any information on more recent ancestry, and it is not sufficiently discriminatory in the vast majority of cases to be able to use the result to identify a single maternal line. This is because many people may possess the same mitochondrial DNA sequence.  For example, approximately 47% of people in Europe belong in the clan Helena. Although there are sub groups within this clan with slightly different DNA sequences, it still means that many people will share exactly the same sequence. So, if you have the same sequence as someone else it does not necessarily mean that you are closely related, although you are likely to have shared a common maternal ancestor over ten thousand years ago.

Inheritance of mitochondrial DNA and inheritance of the Y-chromosome are not connected. The MatriLine service analyses only our mitochondrial DNA which is inherited exclusively through the maternal line.
The Smyth/e Index  This is why we are able to trace our mitochondrial DNA back to one 'ancestral mother'. Any children inherit their mitochondrial DNA from their mother only. They inherit no mitochondrial DNA from their father. This means that all children (male or female) will belong in the same clan as their mother. A father may well belong in a different clan to his children. Similarly the Y-chromosome is passed from father to son. Females do not possess a Y-chromosome. This is why the Y-Line service would only show a connection between family branches if the descendants to be analysed have an uninterrupted male-male link back to a Common Paternal Ancestor (CPA). For these reasons it would not be possible to say if the Smith/Smythe family of the maternal line were one and the same as the paternal line."

Use the Unicorn link adjacent to access the "Smyth/e Index."


DYS 19 DYS 388 DYS 390 DYS 391 DYS 392 DYS 393 DYS 389 i DYS 389 ii-i DYS 425 DYS 426 POP %
14 12 24 11 13 13 10 16 12 12 8.36
15 12 24 10 13 13 10 16 12 12 0.29

Oxford Ancestors analysis - edited in this page

"The table above shows the Y-chromosome signatures (haplotypes) of two men with the surname Smythe analysed at ten microsatellite regions on the Y-chromosome and the approximate % frequency of those haplotypes in the European male population.

The Y-chromosome signatures differ at two markers, indicating that the Common Paternal Ancestor (CPA) for these two individuals probably lived between 500 and 1,500 years ago." (approximately between 500 CE and 1500 CE.)

There are other aspects attaching to the analysis which would require a far more detailed DNA test - many more markers - which would narrow down the time-scale of the "difference" and/or expand on any possible theories over the differences. There are many texts in the public domain which treat on aspects of DYS mutations and differences. Some suggest that a difference at two markers indicates "close" family relatedness whilst others argue against this. There are also instances where an identical string attaches to males with wholly different family names.

Marie Kitchin kindly offers the following comments: - edited in this page

"The Y-chromosome is passed from father to son, which means that male relatives who have an uninterrupted male-male link will share the same, or very similar Y chromosome signatures.  The Y-Line/Y-Clan service would only show a connection between family branches if the descendants to be analysed have an uninterrupted male-male link back to a Common Paternal Ancestor (CPA).

Known descendants of a CPA may produce Y-Line signatures that are a perfect match.  There is also a possibility that there may be slight differences in the Y-Line signatures of any known male descendants, because it is estimated that there is a 2% chance that between any one generation and the next a father and son will have a Y-Line code differing at one of the ten markers. 

It is sometimes the case that individuals with different surnames do share a common Y-Line signature, without there being a recent CPA.  Although in European populations and those groups that trace their ancestry to that continent there is a close connection between surnames and the Y-Line signature, it is unusual for a Y-Line signature to be exclusive to one surname only.  Therefore even if two supposedly unrelated males have the same signature it is not possible to say if they are closely related or when a connection may have existed.   Also, some Y-Line signatures are seen at higher frequencies throughout the population than others.  This means that if two males possess a Y-Line signature that is seen more frequently it provides less conclusive supporting evidence of a connection  between these two males - even if they are thought to be related - than if they possessed a Y-Line signature which is unusual in the population as a whole.

Conversely, individuals with the same surname may have different Y-Line signatures.  This is sometimes because the same surname may have originated in different places.  This is due to the fact that surnames were predominantly related to a person’s occupation, their location or any predominant physical attributes they possessed, such as Smith, Baker, Green, Wood etc.

When comparing Y-Line signatures any conclusions drawn rely on statistical analysis of the results.  This means it is only possible to say that a relationship between two men is 'highly likely', or 'likely' or 'unlikely'.  This analysis will not provide absolute proof.  If two branches of a family are related the results will also allow you to work out approximately when a common paternal ancestor existed.  However, this time estimate is not very accurate in individual cases as the range of possible times is very large."

Playing with the numbers ...

The DNA strings in the table above are (on purpose) not assigned to either individual - first as a privacy issue but also as an issue of research objectivity where the number strings may become of interest to another family researcher. Contact this site by e-mail if follow-up is required.

See also (.pdf) this study of Migration and Genetics which casts a degree of light on the subject.

"Following depopulation during the last glacial maximum and subsequent resettlement by hunter-gatherers ca. 7000 B.C., the history of Britain has been marked by a series of cultural transitions. These include the appearance of sedentary agrigcultural communities (the Neolithic transition) (ca. 4000 B.C.), the arrival and spread of Late Bronze-Iron Age and Celtic material culture (ca. 1000-100 B.C.), Roman occupation and influence (A.D. 43-410), the rise of Anglo-Saxon language and culture (ca.A.D. 400-800) Viking invasions and influence (ca.A.D. 800-1000), and the Norman Conquest (A.D. 1066) ..."

Site Note

View Interactive MapsThe initial DYS string - 14 12 24 11 13 - is sometimes seen as refering to a so-called Atlantic Modal Haplotype - a common Y-signature found in males of Celtic origins. The initial DYS string - 15 12 24 10 13 - has been seen in the public domain as having North African/Middle Eastern counterparts. Certainly, this latter string cannot be identified as being of Norse/Viking origin when compared with existing databases. The DNA is more likely to have been inherited from paternal ancestry belonging to one of the ancient Celtic tribes living in Britain and Ireland before the Vikings arrived at the end of the 8th Century C.E.

In the modern era, this haplotype group is more commonly found in Ireland, Wales and Northern Scotland where the original Celtic languages are still spoken. As such, the ancestry of this line probably predates Roman Invasion (1st Century C.E.) and may even trace back to settlers who arrived in Britain and its islands some 9000 years ago. In particular, this haplotype suggests a strong connection with the Basque region of Northern Spain and with the Iberian Peninsula in general, which may account for its lower (0.29%) frequency as a proportion of the (tested) European population. In this connection, the following information may be of interest:

Henry VIII's queen, Jane Seymour, had a sister, Dorothy Seymour, who married Sir Clement Smythe, of Cressing Temple in Essex. The son of this marriage was one John Smith, a first cousin to King Edward VI. During the Elizabethan era, this male line is described in extant records as being a man "of Spanish gesture". If Clement Smythe was of the Cressing Temple branch of the Smythe family – then it was the line of Carrington/Smith/Smyth with its genealogy tracing back to Sir Michael Carrington, who was Standard Bearer to King Richard 1st - the Lion Heart - at the time of the 3rd. Crusade.

In his Journal entries for 1576, Camden writes:

"In the Netherlands all things were now most confused, whilest the Spaniards without authoritie thrust certaine Counsailors of the Estates into prison, and committed all outrages against the Country, rifeling their goods and doing them all kindes of injuries, in such sort that the Estates were driven of necessitie to take armes. And forthwith they sent abroad their Messengers to all parts, and by Obigny signified the injuries to Queene Elizabeth, and the causes of their taking armes. The Queene by Doctor Wilson earnestly exhorteth both the Estates and the Spaniards to lay downe armes, and carefully searcheth out the causes why the Estates Counsailors were committed. In the meane time Andwerp, the most excellent of all Cities, which scarce yeelded to any the most flourishing Mart townes of all Europe, was miserably sacked by the Spaniards, the house of the English Marchants spoyled and rifeled, and they (though guiltlesse of all blame) constrained to pay the Souldiers a great summe of Gold for their ransome. Obigny, laying hold on this importunitie, importunately craved to borrow a great summe of money of Queene Elizabeth in the Estates name, to restraine such insolence of the Spaniards. The Queene, who had received certaine intelligence that they had formerly craved mony of the French King, denyed him, but promised to make most diligent intercession to the Spaniard for a peace. And in that behalfe she sent into Spaine Sir John Smith, cousin German to King Edward the sixth, a man of Spanish gesture, and well knowne to the Spaniard; who being most graciously entertained by the King, retorted with such wisedome the disgracefull injuries of Gaspar Quiroga Archbyshop of Toledo against the Queene in hatred of her religion, and of the Inquisitors of Civil [Seville], who allowed not the attribute of Defender of the Faith in the Queenes title, that he received thankes from the King, who was somewhat displeased with the Archbyshop, and prayed the Embassadour to conceale the matter from the Queene, and straightly commanded the said attribute to be admitted. For he knew the Queenes advice to be expedient for his affaires, though he followed it not, the fate of the Netherlands (if I may so speake) thrusting him forward to run another course"

The Seymours held Wolf Hall in Wiltshire - a favourite hunting venue of Henry VIII. Edward Seymour (brother of Jane Seymour, third wife (died) of Henry VIII) became the "Protector Somerset" who - from 1547 - virtually 'ruled' England during the first years of Edward VI's reign. He was eventually beheaded in January, 1552. The Seymour male line provides ancestors in the maternal line of this Family Vault.


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