DNA Project


Jackson Brigade DNA Project

At the end of October, 2011, the Jackson Brigade’s Board approved of the Jackson Brigade DNA Project with the following goals:

  1. To establish a base of DNA knowledge for others to compare to.
  2. To find cousins to whom we could reach out and invite to become members of Jackson Brigade.
  3. To gather DNA evidence to aid in proving family connections of interest to the Jackson Brigade.

The DNA Project’s Activities in 2011-2012

    • After the project’s approval, Board members identified two males with Jackson surnames who we were confident (by research and written documents) are descendants of John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins. In November, 2011, the two (Board members John M. Jackson and Robert Lee Jackson) took Y-DNA67 tests through the Jackson Surname Group of the company Family Tree DNA. The funds to pay for the testing were raised by special donations. The Jackson Group of Family Tree DNA has a web site at http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Jackson/


    • By the end of January, 2012, John and Lee had received the initial results of the Y-DNA67 tests. Everyone agreed that interpreting the results was daunting! We agreed to work on unraveling the jargon jungle and to study up on DNA testing in the summer, 2012, when many of us had more free time.


  • In July, 2012, after reading and investigating many hours on DNA testing, Dan Hyde decided he had enough details to create this Jackson Brigade DNA Project web page.

Links to Jackson Brigade DNA Project’s web pages

Chose link for Background on DNA testing.


Slides for Dan Hyde’s presentation on “Using DNA Testing for Genealogy” given at Reunion 2014

Dan’s handout for his presentation on “Using DNA Testing for Genealogy.”


Article on “Using Autosomal DNA Testing for Family History” by Dan Hyde


Results in 2013

As of February 2013, results are slim at the moment. We are just beginning this DNA project.

John and Lee’s Y-DNA matched 66 markers out of the 67. This gives a 95% probability of a common ancestor in the last 8 generations. Since John descends from John and Elizabeth Jackson’s son Henry and is 8 generations away and Lee descends from John and Elizabeth Jackson’s son John Jr. and is 6 generations away, this makes sense.


See the two Y-DNA results at
Look for label about two-thirds down the page: Stonewall Jackson – Jackson Brigade


From the two Y-DNA tests, we can determine the haplogroup for the John Jackson/Elizabeth Cummins line. It is a very common one (R1b1a2). A large percentage of Western Europe is in this haplogroup! One study determined 92.3% of the men in Wales and 85.4% of the men in Ireland are in this haplogroup. Another study states that in parts of north-western Ireland the R1b1a2 haplogroup reaches 98%. This seems to confirm that John Jackson was from Ireland.


Additional Results (added June 18, 2013)

Dan Hyde recently finished reading three excellent books by Bryan Sykes:


Dan thoroughly enjoyed reading all three of them. All three are very readable and an eye opener into DNA research for human population dynamics. He highly recommends them all. Read The Seven Daughters of Eve first. Here are some of his thoughts based on the three books.


From John M. and Lee Jackson’s Y-DNA tests, we determined that the paternal line of John Jackson (who married Elizabeth Cummins) is in the Y-haplogroup R1b1a2. This paternal line is established because a father passes on his Y-chromosome to his sons and they pass on the Y-chromosome to their sons, etc. This means all the males in this haplogroup have a common male ancestor (“clan patriarch”) in the ancient past (thousands of years ago). Human geneticists have recognized 21 paternal clans worldwide. Eight paternal clans of these 21 predominate in Europe, and five predominate in the British Isles and Ireland.


Bryan Sykes in his book Blood of the Isles (USA Title: Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland) gives imaginative names to the founders or “clan patriarchs” of the five major British Y haplogroups: Oisin (pronounced Osheen), Wodan, Sigurd, Eshu, and Re.
He named R1b in Europe the “clan” of a “patriarch” Oisin, reflecting the theory he belongs to the Celtic clan and came from Iberia in the Spanish Basque region. See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/celts-descended-from-spanish-fishermen-study-finds-416727.html


“About 6,000 years ago Iberians developed ocean-going boats that enabled them to push up the Channel. Before they arrived, there were some human inhabitants of Britain but only a few thousand in number. These people were later subsumed into a larger Celtic tribe… The majority of people in the British Isles are actually descended from the Spanish.”


“Here again, the strongest signal is a Celtic one, in the form of the clan of Oisin, which dominates the scene all over the Isles. The predominance in every part of the Isles of the Atlantis chromosome (the most frequent in the Oisin clan), with its strong affinities to Iberia.” (page 283)


Sykes calls R1b, the one associated with Oisin, the Atlantis chromosome, but it is generally known in genetics as the Atlantic Modal Halotype (AMH).


R1b reaches the highest frequencies in the Iberian Peninsula and in Great Britain and Ireland. In the Iberian Peninsula it reaches 70% in Portugal as a whole, more than 90% in NW Portugal and nearly 90% in Galicia (NW Spain), while the highest value is to be found among Spanish Basques.


The most frequently occurring subclade (subgroup) of R1b is R1b1a2 (John Jackson’s haplogroup. Estimates are that the mutation occurred 4000 to 10,000 years ago.) and is known in human genetics as the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (WAMH). It is the most frequently occurring 12-marker Y chromosome haplotype and associated with haplogroup R1b1a2, the most common haplogroup in Europe. The term WAMH was invented by Family Tree DNA to differentiate the newly found 12-marker signature from the six-marker haplotype known as the Atlantic Modal Haplotype. FTDNA customers who have a WAMH match will have a colored badge on their personal page. The WAMH badge is triggered when the customer has an exact match with one of four 12-marker R1b1a2 haplotypes. See http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Western_Atlantic_Modal_Haplotype


For R1b1a2 (WAHM) the frequency is about 71% in Scotland, 70% in Spain and 60% in France. In southeastern England the frequency of this clade is about 70%; in parts of the rest of north and western England, Spain, Portugal, Wales and Ireland, it is as high as 90%; and in parts of north-western Ireland it reaches 98%.


King (Pharaoh) Tutankhamun belongs to the haplogroup R1b1a2, which more than 50% of all men in Western Europe are members. See http://www.igenea.com/en/index.php?c=62


So all the males in our Jackson line with a Jackson surname have a common male ancestor with King Tut! The rest of us can

claim King Tut as a distant relative. Gives you bragging rights!

Additional Results (added October 17, 2016)

At the August, 2016, Jackson Brigade Reunion in Marietta, Ohio, Dan Hyde presented a talk on “Using DNA testing for genealogy.”   After listening to Dan’s presentation, Ted and Betsy Wieber decided to try to identify a living direct-male descendant of Betsy’s ancestor Col. Edward Jackson.  Ted and Betsy identified her late mother’s brother Franklin “Frank” Earl Jackson as a potential candidate.  They asked Frank and he agreed to take the Y-DNA 67 test.  Ted and Betsy along with donations from Jackson Brigade members paid for the test (cost was $281).


On October 15, 2016, Ted and Betsy Wieber received the Y-DNA 67 test results on Franklin “Frank” Earl Jackson.  Frank is a direct-male descendant of Col. Edward Jackson, son of John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins.


As we expected, Frank’s Y-DNA 67 test result confirms that Frank is a direct-male descendant of John Jackson!  This also confirms that the paper trail from Frank to John Jackson is correct.  This is good news for the Col. Edward Jackson branch of descendants.  No “hidden” adoptions, no surname changes, and as Ted put it:  “… apparently no ‘mailman’ managed to disrupt the Col. Edward line.”


The details:  Frank’s Y-DNA matches 66 of the 67 makers with John M. Jackson and matches 65 of the 67 markers with Lee Jackson.  Below is a table of the two Y-DNA 67 markers that are different among the three tested individuals.  The other 65 markers are the same for all three.


                 Marker CDY   Marker DYS534    Descends from
John M. Jackson     36-38           15         Henry Jackson
Lee Jackson         36-38           14         John Jackson Jr.
Frank Jackson       36-39           15         Col. Edward Jackson


This is consistent with one Y-Chromsome mutation on the branch from our ancestor John Jackson to Lee and one Y-Chromsome mutation on the branch from our ancestor John Jackson to Frank.  This implies the new conclusion that our ancester John Jackson had the exact same values of the Y-DNA 67 markers as John M. Jackson!


I would like to thank Ted, Betsy, and Frank for coming together to make this happen. . — Dan Hyde


Using Y-DNA to test your line against ours

Because the baseline shows a very common haplogroup, the matches at 12, 25, and even 37 are not reliable. It is a bit unfortunate, but to have a good match, the prospective match will probably need to test all 67 markers and perhaps even 111 markers.
We hope eventually the effort and money that went toward establishing our DNA baseline will work to others’ advantage. We know a lot of folks want to believe they are related to Stonewall Jackson’s line!! Now they have a way to verify that! But they will have to pay for the 67 marker test because the lower level tests just won’t do the job for this common haplotype.
Please contact Dan Hyde (hyde at bucknell dot edu) if you are interested in comparing your Y-DNA tests with our baseline data.