Goal: To find out my dad’s patrilineal heritage through a Y-DNA test.
Why use Y-DNA?: Y-DNA is passed down from male-to-male, basically unchanged through generations. My dad inherited his Y-DNA from his father, my grandfather inherited Y-DNA from his dad Lonnie Dennis, Lonnie inherited Y-DNA from his dad Whit, and Whit inherited Y-DNA from his unknown father.
Background: I want to find out if our last name is “really” Dennis. My grandfather’s grandfather’s parents are unknown. It is assumed that Whit Dennis’ mother was Narcissa, but there is no evidence to support this besides that he lived with her on the 1870 and 1880 census. Whit was born about 1857. Many families were left off the 1860 census in Stewart County, Tennessee, to add to the confusion. You can read more about Whit and Narcissa here.
On the 1870 census, the family is listed twice, and living with them is someone named Thomas, age 20. When I searched for Thomas Dennis, I found in 1863 a Thomas James Dennis joined the union army in Metropolis, Illinois. He gave his birth place as Stewart County, Tennessee. He had to lied about his age though, because the Thomas from the 1870 census would only be about 13. THIS is an interesting find, because a cousin was later told, “Two orphaned boys came in to Tobacco Port.” Take a look at a map, and Metropolis isn’t far from Tobacco Port when traveling the river.
My grandfather previously took an Ancestry DNA test. I’ve found we are related to some other Stewart County, Tennessee families, but I can’t positively identify Whit’s father. The Y-DNA test results should help me narrow the search down.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Today, I decided to order a Y-DNA testing kit for my dad through familytreedna.com (FTDNA). They are currently running a special on DNA tests with the Y-37 kit being $129. That’s $40 off.
FTDNA also has Y67 marker and Y111 marker tests. I started with the lowest test, because you can always upgrade later. I am curious about what we can find from the cheapest test.
I’ll update this page when we receive the test, when it’s mailed off, the wait time, results, etc.