The Y-DNA Project of the Ewing Family Association welcomes your questions and comments: dna@ewingfamilyassociation.org.

For each Ewing Y-DNA group, there is a "discussion" (a section of this web page) and a "table", which is provided as a pdf file for graphical viewing, downloading, or printing. Choose the discussion or table for the group of interest from the following table.

Discussions: Group 1 2 3 4 5
Tables: (pdf) Group 1 2 3 4 5

Updated November 30, 2008

Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project Group 1

Group 1 is one of the two Ewing Y-DNA Project groups that together comprise the “large, closely related group of Ewings.” All of the men in Groups 1 and 2 have very similar Y-DNA results. These results match so closely that we think these men must have had an ancestor in common who lived about 400 years ago, though we do not know who he was or where he lived. About two thirds of project participants who are in this closely related group have the marker DYS 391 = 11, and they constitute Group 1. The remainder of the men in the closely related group have DYS 391 = 10, and they constitute Group 2.

There is nothing intrinsically special about DYS 391. It is of interest to us only because 1/3 of the men in this closely related group have it and 2/3 of them do not. Because of this, we think it represents an early branching in the tree of this family.

In the Group 1 Results Table, mutations are shaded with respect to the Ewing modal haplotype in the first row.

All the men in Groups 1 and 2 have haplotypes characteristic of M222+, and though only two men in Group 1 (DN and JC) and one man in Group 2 (JN) have been tested for M222, we are confident that all of the men in both of these groups are M222+. M222+ is the SNP that defines the haplogroup once known as R1b1c7, but the name of that was changed earlier this year to R1b1b2e and more recently to R1b1b2a1b5, and “most” recently to R1b1b2a1b6b. These changes result from the discovery of upstream SNPs that do not really change anything but the naming scheme, but you can see that this has gotten completely out of hand. By any name, this is the same as the Uí Neill modal haplotype. We are resolved just to start calling it M222+.

Project participants in Group 1 that are known on the basis of their conventional genealogies to be related to one another have been broken out into subgroups designated with lower case letters: 1a, 1b, etc. Those in the group who do not know their genealogical connection with any of the others have been put in subgroup 1* ("one star").

Subgroup Descriptions

  • Group 1a consists of the descendants of John Ewing of Carnashannagh, Parish of Fahan, county Donegal, Ireland, whose lineage appears in Chapter 11 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". There is a very detailed Ewing Genealogy Documentation (EGD) Project genealogy of this kindred posted on our website.
  • The seven men in this group who have the marker YCA IIb = 22 (are all descended from Pocahontas James Ewing b1722. An argument could be made that there is insufficient conventional genealogic evidence that Pocahontas James is in fact the son of John Ewing of Carnashannagh, and that his descendants who are included in this Group should be broken out into their own Group, but the Y-DNA evidence is consistent with there having been a mutation to this value in Pocahontas James himself, so it is certainly not impossible that he is the son of John of Carnashannagh, as many think. Y-DNA evidence alone cannot answer this question.
  • Three of the four men in this group with DYS 576 = 19 (RB, GW and RL) are descendants of John Ewing of Carnashannagh’s grandson, John b1754, m. Alice Caswell, and we can pretty well conclude that John b1754 had this mutation himself. LE also has DYS 576 = 19, and so does one man in Group 1b (DN) and one in Group 1* (RA). We do not know RA’s conventional genealogy back far enough to rule out that he is descended from John b1754 somehow, or that he might be related to DN, but it is rather clear that the lines leading to DN and LE had so-called parallel mutations to DYS 576 = 19, which means that they occurred independently and by coincidence, and that they do not have this marker because they inherited it from an ancestor in common with the descendants of John b1754 or one another. As it happens, DYS 576 is the third most rapidly mutating marker in the FTDNA 37-marker panel, and we see quite a few parallel mutations in this marker. We certainly cannot discount it completely, but we should hesitate to hang our hats on it.
  • EG2 has three markers not shared with the others in Group 1a and is genetic distance six from RL and genetic distance five from some of the other men. This raises some question about whether there might be a mistake in his conventional genealogy that resulted in us placing him in this group, but it is certainly not proof that he does not belong here. Interestingly, EG2 shares two off-modal markers (DYS 437 = 14 and DYS 576 = 17) with WC in Group 1c. This should make us wonder whether either he belongs over in Group 1c or if Group 1c is not somehow connected to EG2’s branch of the tree in Group 1a.
  • Group 1b consists of the descendants of James Ewing of Inch Island in Lough Swilly, county Donegal, Ireland, whose lineage appears in Chapter 41 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America", and elsewhere in Fife. There is a very detailed Ewing Genealogy Documentation (EGD) Project genealogy of this kindred posted on our website.
    • GR and HW are further from the Ewing modal haplotype at genetic distance three and four, respectively, and they are genetic distance four from one another (two steps at each of two markers). Based on their conventional genealogy, GR and HW are thought to be fourth cousins (see the Group 1b Relationship Diagram). If we assume an average mutation rate of .004, fourth cousins are most likely to be at genetic distance one from one another (exactly one 33.7% of the time), and 93.7% of the time they will be genetic distance 3 or less from one another. Of course, this means that 6.3% of the time they are genetic distance 4 or more, so what we have here is not impossible, just unusual.
    • Even more striking is the fact that GR and HB, who are thought to be sixth cousins, are genetic distance seven from one another. This is not impossible, but even assuming a fairly rapid average mutation rate of .004, over sixty-five percent of the time sixth cousins would be at genetic distance of two or less, and they would be at seven or more in only a little over a half a percent of cases. Again, what we see here is not impossible, but it is very unusual. See the discussion in Y-DNA Article 9, which is posted elsewhere on this website.
    • Also problematic is that GR has DYS 391 = 10, which is our criterion for including men in Group 2, but his conventional genealogy places him in Group 1b. Our working hypothesis is that there was a parallel mutation to DYS 391 = 10 in his line, but we have to consider also that there may be a mistake in his conventional genealogy. Again, while we can raise questions with the Y-DNA results, we usually cannot answer them without conventional genealogy.
    • As was mentioned in the second bullet under Group 1* below, HB has the unusual marker DYS 390 = 26, which is shared by three of the men in Group 1*. It is possible that some or all of them belong in his line, or that the four of them belong in another. The Y-DNA evidence strongly suggests that at least TF and DL are close relatives of HB.
    • Notice that DN has DYS 576 = 19, as was discussed in the second bullet under Group 1a above. Unless DN has a serious mistake in his genealogy, this must have been due to a parallel mutation in his line.
    • I do not want to beat a dead horse, but notice that both SR and HB have DYS 570 = 18. James of Inch cannot have had this, because none of his other tested descendants have it. This means they have been parallel mutations at this marker in their respective lines.
  • Group 1c consists of the descendants of James Ewing m. Maria Shellenberger, whose line appears in Chapter 37 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". He is thought to have been born in 1720-25 or so, perhaps in Pennsylvania, married in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, had most of his children in Washington County, Maryland and finally settled in Wayne County, Ohio sometime after 1805.
    • DC is the son of SC, and though we only have 12-marker data on him, he is all but certain to have exactly the same haplotype as his father.
    • WC is the brother of Jill Ewing Spitler, who has been banging her head against the brick wall of James Ewing m. Maria Shellenberger for many years. She has had the idea that perhaps it was this James who was the son of John Ewing of Carnashannagh, rather than Pocahontas James. The Y-DNA evidence is largely silent on this, but it is true that the men in this group are not systematically distinguishable from the men in Group 1a on the basis of their Y-DNA. Of course, the same thing can be said for all of the men in Group 1. You can read about Jill’s ideas in her article that appeared in the November 2008 issue of the Journal of Clan Ewing (Vol. 14, No. 4). Jill should also have a look at EG2’s line in Group 1a—her brother shares a couple of off-modal markers with him.
  • Group 1d consists of three descendants of Joshua Ewing b1793 in Kentucky and d1846 in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana. On the Group 1d Relationship Diagram we have also shown the lineage of DF from Group 1*, because his Y-DNA results bear some resemblance to a couple of the men in this group, most especially WE3, with whom DF shares the marker DYS 456 = 17.
    • DC is the son of SC, and though we only have 12-marker data on him, he is all but certain to have exactly the same haplotype as his father.
  • Group 1e consists of two men named Ewin, who are both known on the basis of their conventional genealogy to be descendants of William Ewing b. ca1750 maybe in county Sligo, Ireland.
  • Group 1* consists of men whose Y-DNA results do not differ significantly from the others in Group 1, but we do not know their conventional genealogic connection with the others.
    • FLH and CHY are men whose surnames are Hodges and Young, respectively, but though they do not know their conventional genealogic connection with any Ewings, their Y-DNA results are so characteristic of Ewings that it is certain that they each had biological paternal-line ancestors who were Ewings. Both of them have family stories lending additional credence to this idea. See Y-DNA Article 16 for some discussion of this.
    • MS, TF and DL all have the unusual value DYS 390 = 26, which they share with HB in Group 1b. It appears very likely that TF and DL are close relatives with HB and it is at least possible that MS is, as well, but we have not been able to prove this with conventional genealogy.
    • CA is descended from James Ewing (1755-1806), the subject of Chapter 9 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America".

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 Updated November 30, 2008

Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project Group 2

Group 2 is one of the two Ewing Y-DNA Project groups that together comprise the “large, closely related group of Ewings.” All of the men in Groups 1 and 2 have very similar Y-DNA results. These results match so closely that we think these men must have had an ancestor in common who lived about 400 years ago, though we do not know who he was or where he lived. About two thirds of project participants who are in this closely related group have the marker DYS 391 = 11, and they constitute Group 1. The remainder of the men in the closely related group have DYS 391 = 10, and they constitute Group 2.\

There is nothing intrinsically special about DYS 391. It is of interest to us only because 1/3 of the men in this closely related group have it and 2/3 of them do not. Because of this, we think it represents an early branching in the tree of this family.

In the Group 2 Results Table, mutations are shaded with respect to the Ewing modal haplotype in the first row.

All the men in Groups 1 and 2 have haplotypes characteristic of M222+, and though only two men in Group 1 (DN and JC) and one man in Group 2 (JN) have been tested for M222, we are confident that all of the men in both of these groups are M222+. M222+ is the SNP that defines the haplogroup once known as R1b1c7, but the name of that was changed earlier this year to R1b1b2e and more recently to R1b1b2a1b5, and “most” recently to R1b1b2a1b6b. These changes result from the discovery of upstream SNPs that do not really change anything but the naming scheme, but you can see that this has gotten completely out of hand. By any name, this is the same as the Uí Neill modal haplotype. We are resolved just to start calling it M222+.

 

Project participants in Group 2 who are known on the basis of their conventional genealogies to be related to one another have been broken out into subgroups designated with lower case letters: 2a, 2b, etc. Those in the group who do not know their genealogical connection with any of the others have been put in subgroup 2* ("two star").

Subgroup Descriptions

  • Group 2a consists of the descendants of Nathaniel Ewing b1693 and his half siblings. Notice that all seven of the men in Group 2a have CDYa = 35.

    The situation with CDYb is rather confusing. (The remaining part of this paragraph will be boring to all except those interested in the details of thinking about DNA. Please feel free to skip it if you don't fall into this category.) This discussion will be easier to follow if you will print out the Group 2a Relationship Diagram and the Group 2 Results Tables. The CDY markers are the most quickly mutating of those in the 37-marker panel and they can drive you crazy. Even so, we still expect a mutation in one of them only once every 14 generations, so they have value in trying to trace family lines over the relatively short term. All seven men have CDYa = 35, so we can conclude with some confidence that their common ancestor, “William?,” also would have had this. And since JN, DG and TW2 all have CDYb = 37, we would think that their common ancestor would have this, too. But this is "William?" again, and if he had CDYb = 37, then we also would expect WR, WW, TNS and JW to have it, but they don’t. In fact, WR, WW and TNS have the Ewing modal value at that marker, CDYb = 38, and JW has CDYb = 36. We could try to explain this by arguing that there were parallel mutations in the lines leading to JN and DG/TW2, so that “William?” actually had the Ewing modal CDYb = 38, JN and one of the three common ancestors of DG and TW2 had independent, coincidental mutations to CDYb = 37, and that the line leading to JW had another independent two-step mutation to CDYb = 36 (or two one-step mutations, first to 37, then to 36). But this seems rather implausible, because we need to argue that four independent mutations took place (or one two-step plus two one-step mutations) in a relatively small number of generations. A more parsimonious explanation is that “William?” and his son, Joshua did have CDYb = 37, but that there was a back mutation to the Ewing modal CDYb = 38 in the line leading to WR, WW and TNS, and there was an additional one step mutation from CDYb = 37 to CDYb = 36 in the line leading to JW. Since Samuel b1740 is the most recent common ancestor of WR, WW and TNS, we should think that the CDYb = 38 back mutation occurred in him or before. But the next generation before him is Joshua, and we think he had CDYb = 37, so we conclude that the back mutation must have occurred in Samuel b1740. This can explain the observed pattern by adducing only two independent one-step mutations, which is still improbable, but not nearly so improbable as the first alternative. It looks like ME2 in Group 2* (with CYDa/b = 36/37) could also belong to this kindred, but we have not made a conventional genealogical connection, yet.

    The name of their father is not known with certainty, but as Margaret Ewing Fife recounts on page 186 of Chapter 24 of her book "Ewing in Early America", Nathaniel Ewing b1772, one of the great grandsons of the progenitor of this line, wrote of his great grandfather in a letter just prior to his death in 1846, “I believe his name was William Ewing.”  Because of this, we have been calling this man “I believe his name was William,” or for short, “William?.” Furthermore, the names of William?’s wives are also not known, notwithstanding that there has been some speculation on uncertain grounds. In the Group 2a Relationship Diagram, we have stuck in names for these women that have no documentary support as far as we can tell, but have tried to flag the uncertainty with question marks. William? is supposed to have had seven sons:
    • Nathaniel b1693, who is the subject of Chapter 24 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America" , is the only son by William? and his first wife. So far, JN is the only project participant known to be descended from Nathaniel.
    • John b1695 is the subject of Chapter 31 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America", and is supposed by Fife to be William?’s son by his second wife, but there is at minimum some confusion about which of a number of contemporaneous John Ewings in the general area we are talking about, here. The only two men in the project who trace their lineage to this man (PT and RL2) are in Group 4c and are plainly not biological close relatives of William? Further, on page 188 of Chapter 24 in her book "Ewing in Early America", Fife says:

      “John Ewing ‘age about 55 in 1745’ (Q.A. 2:299) Deposition taken in Queen Annes Co., MD-1745. He died there in 1751 without a will. His children’s names and ages are in the settlement of his estate. I believe his age is in error and he was half-brother to Nathaniel [See Chapter 31 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America"]. He, too, lived in Sadsbury twp. Lancaster Co., PA 1738-40.”

    • If Fife is mistaken and the age given in this deposition is correct, then this John was born before Nathaniel, and so is unlikely to be William?’s son by his second wife, but it is not at all unreasonable to speculate that he was the son of William?’s second wife by a previous relationship and that William? may have adopted him when he married her. You can find some discussion of these issues in Y-DNA Article 10.
    • William b1700 and George, the second and sixth sons of William? and his second wife, are covered in Chapters 27 and 19 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America", respectively. So far, we do not have any project participants thought to be descended from either of these sons.
    • Joshua (c1704-), the third son of William? and his second wife, is the subject of Chapter 25 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". Four project participants trace their ancestry Joshua; their Y-DNA results are consistent with their conventional genealogies.
    • Samuel (c1705-1758), the fourth son of William? and his second wife, is the subject of Chapter 26 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". Some of the recent ancestors of project participant JD appear in this chapter, but his Y-DNA is completely different from the other descendants of William?. There must be a mistake in Fife, but we are not certain at what generation it occurs. As with PT and RL2, we have shown the Y-DNA results of JD in the Group 2 Results Table only for the sake of comparison in connection with this discussion, because he plainly does not otherwise belong in this Group.
    • James (c1712-), the fifth son of William? and his second wife, is the subject of Chapter 28 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". Two project participants trace their ancestry James; their Y-DNA results are consistent with their conventional genealogies.
  • Group 2b [Karen Avery’s Group based on Alexander b1732] RC and EN are known on the basis of their conventional genealogies to be third cousins of one another, but their connection with the others in this table is not known. WE and JC2 are both descended from Henry Ewing b1740 in county Tyrone, Ireland, and Karen Avery believes that AL is also descended from this man, but this is not proven. RF’s results raise the possibility that he and AL are related, but we do not have conventional genealogy establishing this.
  • Group 2c consists of the descendants of William Ewing (1768-). This is the ancestor of Margaret Ewing Fife and appears in several chapters of her book "Ewing in Early America", including especially Chapters 34, 38 and 43. We have two descendants of this man in the project so far, and we have included Margaret on the Group 2c Relationship Diagram for interest. She thought that this William was the great grandson of James Ewing of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, but the Y-DNA results of the two project participants descended from William b1768 bear no resemblance to those of the three other project participants thought to be descended from James Ewing of Hunterdon County, who appear in Group 4d.
  • Group 2d consists of men thought by Karen Avery to be descended from Henry Ewing (1740-). Project participant AL is descended from one of his sons, William Ewing b1762, who is the subject of Chapter 21 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America".
  • Group 2* consists of men whose Y-DNA results do not differ significantly from the others in Group 2, but we do not know their conventional genealogic connection with the others.
  • TG is an especially interesting case. He is descended from the Alexander Ewing who appears in Chapter 23 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". On page 172 in the first paragraph of the chapter, Fife says that this Alexander Ewing is "called by some 'cousin' to Nathaniel" (the eldest son of "William?" and the ancestor of project participant JN in Group 2a). Can this be true? If so, then "William?" and Alexander's father, Robert b. c1654, were brothers (who some to believe to be sons of the semi-legendary William of Stirling). Perhaps disappointingly, the DNA evidence supports a fairly strong argument against this hypothesis, though it does not conclusively disprove it.

    In the discussion above, I explained why we believe that "William?" had to have had CDYa/b = 35/37. TG has rather CYDa/b = 37/38, which matches the Ewing modal. Furthermore, he has four other markers that do not match those of any of the descendants of "William?" We have seen other lines where four mutations have occurred in this many generations, so it is not impossible that there were that many here, but the CDYa/b markers present a special problem. If "William?" and Robert were brothers, they should have had the same markers. Since Robert's descendant TG has the Ewing modal CDYa/b = 37/38, our first guess should be that Robert and his father had this as well. But we just showed that "William?" most likely had CDYa/b = 35/37. Do we want to argue that he had a three-step mutation? This is not impossible, but is very implausible. And if we argue that Robert actually had CDYa/b = 35/37 like "William?," then we have to explain the rather unlikely scenario of three steps of CDYa/b back mutations on the way down to TG somewhere, not to mention four independent mutations on other markers.

     

  • JT is another interesting case, because his ancestors never immigrated to America. He was born in England, but his father and grandfather were born in Belfast. He thinks his second great grandfather lived near Lurgan, county Armagh, in Ulster, now Northern Ireland, presumably descended from folks who emigrated from Scotland during the time of the plantations. They were in Ireland for a few generations, and then immigrated to England rather than to America. The fact that JT is in Group 2 suggests that he is descended from the same family of Ewing immigrants to Ireland that gave rise to some of the families that later immigrated to America, though he does not appear to be descended from the William?, who is the common ancestor of the men in Group 2a.

Members of Other Groups shown in the Group 2 Results Tables.

  • GR has conventional genealogy linking him to James of Inch and so is in Group 1b, but since he has DYS 391 = 10, we have also put his haplotype here for the sake of comparison. Our current working hypothesis is that he inherited DYS 391 = 10 on the basis of a parallel mutation at this marker, and so does not belong in Group 2 even though he has it.
  • PT and RL2 are members of Group 4c, who are discussed above under Group 2a in the section on John b1695.
  • JD is in Group 5b and is discussed above under Group 2a in the section on Samuel (c1705-1758).

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 Updated January 11, 2008

Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project Group 3

Group 3: In the Group 3 Results Table, mutations are shaded with respect to the Ewing modal haplotype in the first row. Like the project participants in Groups 1 and 2, the participants in Group 3 are M222+, but they are too far from the Ewing modal haplotype to be related to them within a genealogical timeframe.

It is rather interesting that all four of these M222+ men have the marker DYS456 = 16, which not only does not match the Ewing modal, it also does not match either the M222+ or the McLaughlin modals, but it is hard to know what to make of this.

So far, Group 3 consists of two pairs of known relatives and one man not closely related to either. Just to give a general sense of the degree of relatedness, consider that the men in Groups 1 and 2 had a common ancestor on the order of 400 years ago, but their most recent common ancestor with the men in Group 3 probably lived more like 1500 years ago. The two pairs of known relatives in Group 3 have common ancestors more recently, but the common ancestor of all the men in Group 3 is also something like 1500 years ago—that is, the common ancestor of all the men in Groups 1, 2 and 3 is just the common ancestor of all the men with the M222+ SNP. Except for the two pairs of known relatives, the men in Group 3 are distant relatives of one another and of the men in Groups 1 and 2, whereas the men in Groups 1 and 2 are relatively closely related to one another.

Subgroup Descriptions

  • Group 3a consists of the descendants of Jacob Ewing (1783-1851), whose lineage does not appear in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". He may have been born in Maryland. The earliest civil record that has been found is the record of his marriage to Susannah Ebaugh in 1812 in Baltimore County, Maryland, and they appear in the census records there from 1820-1850. His surname is ordinarily shown as Ewen, but his sons gradually changed the spelling to Ewing. In one record, a granddaughter referred to him as William J. Ewing. Family tradition states that his father was James Ewing, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, who died when Jacob was a small boy, and that Jacob served in the War of 1812, but no proof of these traditions has ever been found. Jacob and Susannah raised eight children in Maryland, sometimes very near to the Pennsylvania state line. The children were Margaret Armacost, Henry E. Ewing, George E. Ewing, John E. Ewing, Zachariah E. Ewing, Jeremiah E. Ewing, Mary Eva Debaugh and William Jacob Ewing, with birth dates ranging from circa 1813 to 1831, and with their residences mainly in Maryland, Ohio and Kansas.
  • Group 3b consists of EL, a descendant of Robert Ewing (c1740-?), and RA2, who is a very close Y-DNA match of ELEL joined the project and persuaded RA2 to do so because he suspected a relationship based on the fact that their ancestors were living as neighbors in Ohio and Illinois from the 1790’s until at least 1857, and a number of unusual given names were the same in both families. It is also of considerable interest that though these men do not appear to be biologically related to other Ewings in the project, they are very close matches for a group of McLaughlins from the same part of Donegal to which many Ewings immigrated from Scotland before coming to the USA. It will probably be impossible to find records proving anything, but we consider it likely that one of their common ancestors was a McLaughlin whose son somehow ended up with the Ewing surname.
  • Group 3* ("3 star") so far has no members, but will consist of M222+ men who are not closely related to the men in Groups 3a and 3.

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 Updated November, 2008

Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project Group 4

Group 4 consists of project participants who are in Haplogroup R1b1b2, but not in the M222+ subclade. Their common ancestor with the men in Groups 1, 2 and 3 and (except for some related clusters of men) with one another probably lived something like 6000 years ago in continental Europe. Haplogroup R1b1b2 is a subset of R1b. A modal haplotype of R1b1b2 has been prepared and is called the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH).

We should actually probably speak rather of the “Super Atlantic Modal Haplotype,” because the early publications about the AMH were based on only a few markers—I think it was eight—and often times you will see the 37-marker modal distinguished from the 8-marker modal by calling it “Super.”

In the Group 4 Results Tables mutations are shaded with respect to the AMH. Several other modal haplotypes are also compared with the AMH, including the Irish type III modal, the M222+ modal, the Ewing modal and the R1bSTR43-Scots modal.

Project participants in Group 4 that are known on the basis of their conventional genealogies to be related to one another have been broken out into subgroups designated with lower case letters: 4a, 4b, etc. Those in the group who do not know their genealogical connection with any of the others have been put in subgroup 4* ("4 star"), except that we have stretched our group naming convention a bit by including some men whose genetic similarity is too close to ignore into subgroups with men with whom they are not actually known to be related.

Subgroup Descriptions

  • Group 4a is a cluster of six men in Haplogroup R1b1b2 that appear closely related to one another based on their DNA results. The men in this cluster are not related to any of the other men in the project in a genealogical time frame.
    • Three of them have conventional genealogy documenting their descent from William Ewing b. c1730 and d. 1774 in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, whose line does not appear in Fife.
    • The conventional genealogical relationships of the remaining three is not known, but they form a genetic cluster suggesting that they may have a relatively recent common ancestor.
  • Group 4b consists of a cluster of men who are thought to fall within McEwan’s R1bSTR43-Scots cluster. Steve Colson has identified a subset of this cluster he believes to have originated among the Brythonic Celts of Strathclyde. See his interesting article in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Clan Ewing.
    • SL and ME, are known third cousins, descended from Charles Alonzo Ewing (1836-1877) of Illinois, m. Mary Funkhouser.
    • PA is not known to be related to SL and ME, but has a very similar DNA pattern. PA lives in Scotland. His earliest known ancestors come from around Glasgow and never immigrated to America.
    • McE is the only McEwen (pay attention to the vowels—we do have a McEwan, too) in the project so far. Although he seems to fall in the R1bSTR43-Scots cluster, I think he does not fall into the subset of that discussed by Steve Colson. Though McE is more closely related to the men in Group 4b than he is to the others in the project, he is almost certainly not related to them in a genealogic time frame.
  • Group 4c consists of two men who believed themselves to be descended from John Ewing b1695, one of the sons of William?, the progenitor of Group 2a. RL2 and PT are known to be sixth cousins of one another and their DNA results are entirely consistent with that, but Fife thinks John Ewing b1695 was one of the sons of William? and the DNA of RL2 and PT is nothing like the DNA of the other descendants of William?, so there must be a mistake somewhere.
  • Group 4d consists of the descendants of James Ewing of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, who is the subject of Fife, Ch 7 and 13. JR is descended from John Ewing b. ca1739, one of the grandsons of this man, through Thomas b1782 who appears on Fife p359. Fife thought that her ancestor William b. ca1768 (he and his descendants are discussed at length in her Chapters 34, 38 and 43) was the older brother of Thomas b1782, also the son of John b. ca1739, but the Y-DNA evidence has shown that this cannot be so.  Project participants who are the descendants of William b. ca1768 have Y-DNA completely unlike those in 4d, and they appear in Group 2c.

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 Updated January 3, 2009

Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project Group 5

Group 5 consists of project participants who are not in Haplogroup R. So far, they are all in Haplogroup I, though there is a question about DR2, our newest participant. The common ancestor of men in Haplogroup I with the men in Groups 1 through 4 lived something like 40,000 years ago in Asia minor. Haplogroup I is probably the oldest haplogroup in Europe, and it is more diverse than the larger Haplogroup R1b. The most recent common ancestor of Groups 5a and 5b may have lived something like 30,000 years ago. In the Group 5 Results Tables mutations are shaded with respect to the Group 5a modal.

Project participants in Group 5 that are known on the basis of their conventional genealogies to be related to one another have been broken out into subgroups designated with lower case letters: 5a, 5b, etc. We will probably eventually have members of this group who do not know their genealogical connection with any of the others, and they will be put in subgroup 5* ("5 star").

Subgroup Descriptions

  • Group 5a consists of men descended from William Ewing of Rockingham County, Virginia (c1696-1794), whose lineage appears in Chapter 32 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America". Two of them are surnamed Ewin, but they know which of their ancestors changed his name from Ewing. This group has haplotypes quite different from the others in the project. WM was the first member of this group and thought he must be descended from an adopted son of his ancestor—but then HN turned up as an almost perfect match!

    WM has prepared The ANDY Tribe, a humorous video skit about his reaction to the results. Lots of information in his skit has been superseded, but the only important mistake is him joking about not being a "real" Ewing. We are all Ewings and no Ewing is any more "real" than any other. [The link The ANDY Tribe leads to a large 115 MB MPEG file. It may take a while for this file to open and run on your machine. And the link sometimes appears to be 'broken;' nothing appears to happen when you click on the link. An alternative to opening the file over the Internet is to download the file to your machine and run it directly. Under IE, you can download the file by right-clicking on the link, choosing the Save Target As option, and identifying your desktop, or some folder, as the place where the downloaded file should be saved on your machine. If all else fails, contact the Web Master Martin Ewing (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and ask him to send you a copy of the file via EMail.]

    Another surprise was that FTDNA had predicted that WM was in Haplogroup G2, a rather rare type in Great Britain. We have subsequently had SNP testing of all three of these men and they have been found to be M170+, confirming their membership in Haplogroup I, which is found at a frequency second only to Haplogroup R1b in Great Britain. More recently, HN and WM upgraded to the 67-marker panel and discovered that they had a null value at DYS 425, which is to say that DYS 425 did not show up at all on the assay.

    This is thought to result from an SNP in the primer region of DYS 425 that renders it undetectable in the assay. By coincidence, this is the SNP that defines I2b1a1. There is really very little doubt that this is the case for our Group 9 men, but to confirm it unequivocally, one of them would have to order deep clade testing for this specific SNP.

    This is a finding that has been associated with men in haplogroup I2b1a1. We think that this haplogroup has been in Britain for a very long time, perhaps long antedating the R1b haplogroup and certainly antedating any Celtic incursions into Britain. Some have suggested that the makers of Stonehenge may have been members of this haplogroup. Genealogy, it is not, but I find this sort of stuff really fascinating.
  • Group 5b consists of lonesome old JD, who we probably should have relegated to Group 5*, except that he matches Ewan exactly at all 12 markers that Ewan was tested for. We cannot hang our hats on 12 markers, and we do not have lineage information on Ewan, but this is a provocative clue, and we thought it would be interesting to display his data alongside JD’s. JD has traced his conventional genealogy to James D. Ewing b1773, who appears on page 220 of Chapter 26 in Fife's "Ewing in Early America", the subject of which is Samuel Ewing (c1705-1758), one of the sons of William?, the progenitor of Group 2a. But JD's DNA results are nothing like the men in Group 2a, so there has been a mistake somewhere.
  • Group 5* as yet has no members, though perhaps DR2 will end up in this subgroup. Family Tree DNA has predicted that he will be in Haplogroup G, but we have been down that road before—see the discussion at Group 5a, above.

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