Vance Y-DNA Group 6: Our Oldest Ancestors?
In January 2011, Adam Bradford, VFA DNA Advisor, published an insightful analysis of Vance Y-DNA Group 6 on the Vance/Vans/Wentz Y-DNA website. Initially, Group 6 was assigned to haplogroup I2b. Since January of 2011, this has been extended to I2b2 based on an extensive analysis by 23andMe of both the autosomal and Y-DNA submitted by the same VFA member who submitted kit #61703 (William Vance Sr., son Lemuel) to Family Tree DNA (FT-DNA). Forty-seven SNP mutations were reported for the Y-chromosome of this descendant. SNPs L38, L65, L39, and L40 confirmed his haplogroup as I2b2. The FT-DNA company also confirme this for kit #61703 with their results of SNP M170 as the terminal mutation. Haplogroup I2b2 has been recently refined to I2a2b, sometimes denoted as I2a2b L38+ (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/I2b2/default.aspx?section=ycolorized).
Adam Bradford’s genetic analysis pointed out remarkable similarities between Group 6 and the Bassetts of Wales. A close analysis shows a descendant of Capt. Jacob Vance (kit #133768) matches a Bassett from Wales (kit #6480) 67 out of 67 markers. This has caused the descendants of Vance Group 6 to research the possibility their ancestors originated from Wales. The challenges of finding a name change from Bassett to Vance earlier than 1700 are daunting. Had our immigrant ancestor William Vance (b. ca 1715) been born an Irish Quaker, there would have been a better chance to follow his lineage further back in time. But, the genetic connection to Wales may be helpful and the Vance surname does appear in the Census of 1851 for Llanwonno, Glamorgan, Wales. And, as Adam pointed out, the ancestors of former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance were also from Wales. To date, no one from this family has had their DNA analyzed and shared publicly.
The assignment of Vance Group 6 to genetic haplogroup I2a2b L38+ has provided an interesting twist to our family history. This haplogroup has been identified in the bones of skeletons found in a cave in Lichtenstein, Germany. Of the 19 males, 12 were in haplogroup I M-170+. As noted above, kit #61703 in Vance Group 6 was determined by FTDNA to be in haplogroup I with a terminal SNP M170. Using Y-Search to look for matches for kit #61703, there is a match for Lichtenstein Y1 with 10 out of 12 markers matching and another match for Lichtenstein Y2 with 9 out of 12 markers matching. The results of genetic analysis of the Lichtenstein cave skeleton can be found at http://dirkschweitzer.net/LichtensteinCaveAnalysis0804DS.pdf. Note that only 12 markers are listed for the Lichtenstein analyses. A picture of the skeletons in the cave and artifacts that were discovered later can be found at
https://sites.google.com/site/haplogroupil38/summary/on-the-lichtenstein-cave. Considering that these bones are about 3,000 years old, Vance Y-DNA Group 6 may have the longest genetic record of the Vances in the VFA.
Analysis provided by Bill Vance, November 2012