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For the Corson Cousins newsletter, October 2013

Corson Surname DNA Project

The project currently has 66 participants, 65 of whom have results.  The most recent results arrived for Divisions II, III, IV, and V, and results are pending for Divisions IV and V.
Recent Results

Division II

Participant #65, surname Courson, believed that he descended from Benjamin Corsen (b. 1743) of Bucks County, Pennsylvania (Division III).  However, his DNA results indicate that he descends from an unknown Division II ancestor.  His genetic signature has one difference from the modal Division II signature, on a fast-mutating marker (CDYb), but no other tested descendants share it.  His documented male-line ancestry should be examined to attempt to connect him to the Division II family tree.

Division III Corson

Participant #61, documented descendant of Christian Corssen (1676-1765), upgraded his STR results from 37 to 111 markers.  Comparing them to those of Participant #9, the only other Division III Corson to have 111 markers tested, reveals 6 mutations from the modal Division III signature that could be used to identify descendants with some of the same male-line ancestors.
One of the mutations (on DYS 425) is shared by Participant #34, who hypothesizes descent from Benjamin Corsen, Jr., (1718-1774) but has no marker mutations in common with other documented descendants of Benjamin.  Since DYS 425 mutates much less frequently than other markers, the sharing of this mutation suggests that Participants #34 and #61 may be related more recently than previously thought.
In other news, Participant #9 tested positive for SNP CTS1977, which appears to have arisen in Division III’s male-line ancestor about 3500 years ago.  Other descendants of this ancestor’s “superfamily” have documented male-line progenitors back to Denmark, Scotland, Slovakia, and Ireland.
A potential Division III Corson participant who has taken only SNP tests has results consistent with (but not conclusive for) descent from Division III.  He would need to test STR markers to increase confidence that he descends from Division III.  He tested negative for SNP P95, suggesting that Division III also would test negative for it.

Division IV

Participant #6 had marker DYS458 tested again (this time at Family Tree DNA) to see if it carried a so-called “microallele”, which is a slight “stutter” in the repetition of the STR marker.  It acts like an SNP marker, which can be used to subdivide large superfamilies.  Participant #6 tested negative for this microallele, as did only 30% of the 28 individuals in the same superfamily (Z14), thus separating Division IV from the 70% of subgroup with the microallele.

Division V

New Participant #66, surname Carson, documents descent from Samuel Corson, who was married in Trowbridge, England, in 1751.  His haplotype (T-L131) is less common in Europe and matches on 32/37 markers that of a man with the Carson surname who traces descent from Northern Ireland, colonized by many from lowland Scotland in the 17th century.
Pending Results

Division IV

Participant #6 is awaiting results for SNP Z14, which arose around 1300 years ago.  While Division IV’s genetic signature (STR markers) indicates that its descendants do belong to Z14, the test will confirm it.  If confirmed, Division IV will be part of a superfamily whose male-line descendants cluster in northern Europe, from Norway to the UK.

Division V

Participant #66, introduced above, is upgrading his STR results from 37 to 67 markers. 

New Website Section

I recently added all the results and interpretations for each Division (to help me keep them straight) to the “Interpretation” page of the project website: interp.htm#summary.  You can also read about potential DNA-related steps for each Division.