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For the Corson Cousins newsletter, July 2013

Corson Surname DNA Project

The project currently has 65 participants, 63 of whom have results.  The most recent results arrived for Divisions I, II, IV, VII, and XV, and results are pending for Division III.

Recent Results

Division I

Participant #64 traces descent from David H. Corson (1881-1962).  At the moment, the identity of David’s parents remains unknown; however, his mutation at marker CDYa somewhat decreases the probability that he descended from Division I-A (ancestor: Zebulon Corson, 1712-1786).

Participant #22 upgraded his DNA results to 111 markers, but they still show no difference from those of Participant #1 (me), a 7th cousin, once removed.  This was surprising, since the chance of no mutation having appeared in the 17 father-son generations separating us is about 1%.

At the same time, my Y-DNA tested positive for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) called Z253.  This indicates that Division progenitor Cornelius Cursonwhit shared a common male-line ancestor with the ancestors of other individuals who tested positive for Z253.  They trace their male-line ancestries to the British Isles, Scandinavia, France, and Spain, and from their genetic signatures, it has been estimated that their common ancestor lived about 2500 years ago.  Within this group, Division I matches most closely men with the surname Carrucan (Irish, but thought to come from a Viking settlement), Rawlings, and Heffernan.

Division II

Participant #63 traces descent to progenitor Cors Janszen via Van Tuyle Coursen (b. 1765).  As a son of Participant #48 and nephew of Participants #39 and #55, he unsurprisingly shares the mutation on marker DYS 635 identified only in these Division II descendants to date.  Interestingly, however, he has a mutation (on DYS 444) that they do not, which can occur, but is rarely observed in father-son pairs.

Divisions II, IV, VII, and XV

Thanks to CCFHA contributions (your membership dues in action!), Participants #57, #6, #24, and #59 from Divisions II, IV, VII, and XV, respectively, “upgraded” their DNA results to 111 markers, allowing us to estimate more precisely (since the October 2006 estimate) the number of years back to the birth of the common ancestor of each pair.

Based on the estimated 111-marker ancestral haplotypes of these seven ancestors, I used Dean McGee's Y-DNA Comparison Utility to calculate a 95% confidence interval for the number of generations to the most recent common ancestor of each pair.  Multiplying the interval by a mean generation length of 25 years gave an estimate of the number of years to the birth of each common ancestor:

Ancestor

Div. I Div. II Div. IIIa Corssen Div. IIIb Vroom Div. IV Div. VII Div. XV

Div. I - Samuel Corson (c.1686-1764)

 

3725-6075

3925-6375

1275-2500

1325-2575

1250-2450

3550-5800

Div. II - Jan Corszen (c.1649-1703)

3725-6075

 

2950-4925

3825-6225

4250-6850

3575-5875

3100-5175

Div. IIIa - Benjamin Corssen (1686-1740)

3925-6375

2950-4925

 

3625-5950

4700-7525

4075-6625

3825-6225

Div. IIIb - Hendrick Vroom (1683-1769)

1275-2500

3825-6225

3625-5950

 

1375-2650

1100-2225

4025-6525

Div. IV - Carsten Jansen (1634-c.1697)

1325-2575

4250-6850

4700-7525

1375-2650

 

1300-2525

3825-6225

Div. VII - Jacob Corson (c.1755-bef.1822)

1250-2450

3575-5875

4075-6625

1100-2225

1300-2525

 

4200-6775
Div. XV - Unknown progenitor (1700s?) 3550-5800 3100-5175 3825-6225 4025-6525 3825-6225 4200-6775  

(Infinite allele mutation model, mean mutation rate varies by marker (mean=0.026), mean generation length: 25 years)


(September 2013 Note: Since publishing this table, I have realized that these estimates are likely far too low because they are based on STR markers alone and do not consider haplogroup assignments (via SNPs), which explicitly define how family lines are related. Thus, these data are no longer presented on the Interpretation page, which now presents only relationship ages based on haplogroups.)

Pending Results

Division III

Participant #65 traces his descent from Benjamin Corsen (b. 1743) of Northhampton Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Thus, it is likely that he descends from Division III, and it will be interesting to see if his DNA signature contains any mutations unique to his family line.

Participant #9 ordered a test for a SNP called CTS1977.  A positive result for this SNP would identify a group of individuals whose male-line ancestors shared a common ancestor with Division III progenitor Cors Pieterszen.  Eventually, results of this and other SNP tests may be able to tell us something about his male-line ancestors.

As always, you can visit the DNA project website (http://www.corsondna.com) to learn more about the project and discover test results between issues of the newsletter.