Project Success Stories

Subclades and Haplogroups Changes

         Recently received an email from FamilyTreeDNA saying, “Welcome to the R1b-L21 and Subclades Project!”  No explanation.  No further information in the email.  And I wondered, “Is this legit?”  My initial Y-DNA test had been a 12 marker test in April 2008, 16 years ago.  I joined the Phillips DNA Project, and placed in Group 11 where I found a growing group of several cousins.  If I recall, our haplogroup was designated as just “R1b.”

         That's the puzzle.  I am not a geneticist, nor a scientist.  I am a historian, and a theologian.  My interest was in breaking down a brick wall in my paternal family tree.  Haplogroup R1b is estimated to have arisen between 12,500 and 18,500 years ago.  That was not much help.  The earliest common ancestor among Group 11 members lived in Rhode Island in the mid 1600's, perhaps born about 1635 based upon the birth years of his children, and likely died about 1676, based upon the settlement of his estate by his widow.  Most assume that he was of English origin.

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Cousins Reunited After 67 Years

One of our Phillips DNA Project members, John Phillips of Sydney, Australia, recently related a story which needs to be shared about his wife Netalija. While technically it is not a DNA success story, it is a success story on the benefits of using the Internet and genealogy sites to do your family research. You never know what you might find and Netalija found something she thought was lost forever, her family in Russia.

The two videos below tell the story of how two cousins, Netalija and Marianna, separated by the Battle of Leningrad in 1941 and each thought the other dead for 67 years. John used to post his family history and the results from John's family history quest resulted in a joyous reunion between Netalija Karlovna Mittenberg, his wife, and her cousin, Marianna Aleksandrova Egorova.

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Our Common Objective

Presumably members of this DNA project share a common objective. That is to trace back as far as we can our bloodline, revealing distant relatives and gaining glimpses into the history of those who helped fashion our characteristics that make us into who we are today.  Each of us seeks distant Phillips's, recognising that somewhere the trail will finish but with the help of DNA we may be able to add a few more generations.

Eventually, we will find links with other surname groups who share our DNA and Smiths and Jones will begin to enter our family trees.  We are simply Phillips's because sometime in the past an ancestor chose the name Phillips.  Why?  Was he a horse dealer or lover as the Greek Origin suggests?  Was it for political or religious aspirations or did he merely like the name and chose it in preference to the many others available?  Some make choices to belong to a group; others seek the opposite and want to be different. Ultimately each of us, I suppose, is seeking the tribe to which we belong.

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Danny Phillips Success Story

I am 53 years old with 3 grown children, two granddaughters and another due in June.  I have lived in Macon County, Tennessee, my entire life.  Macon County is about one hour west of Overton County, Tennessee, where many Phillips lived.  I have worked as a meat department manager since high school.

I started genealogy about 25 years ago and zipped right through my mother's family but found that my Phillips line was not so easy.  I spent hours in libraries, courthouses, even flying to Oklahoma where my great grandfather migrated in 1905.  NO LUCK.  After all those years and TOO much money, I heard about DNA.

I had my doubts but was willing to take a chance.  I am so glad I did...shortly after testing, I received emails from two matches.  Beverly Phillips' husband and I are almost exact matches and Doyle Phillips is very close.  Beverly was a great help in sorting out my connections.  Without her help, I would still be looking for that missing link.  I also enjoy Doyle's emails and applaud his hard work.  Nancy and Carolyn have also been very helpful.

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