Morse DNA Testing Project
Most everyone is aware of Morse Code and its inventor, Samuel Finley Breese Morse. Morse Code combines dots and dashes to represent letters, making it possible to easily communicate via wire transmission to points along a telegraph line. In the 1800s, SFB Morse's invention linked distant geographic locations and made it possible for information to travel quickly from one community to the next.
Here at The Morse Society, we think of DNA as another method of communication. If we liken the markers (loci) of DNA to the dots and dashes of Morse Code, we can think of DNA as the code that allows us to communicate between generations. This communication even works when previous generations are no longer with us, so perhaps DNA is our modern-day Morse Code!
DNA testing can do two important things:
- If you have already researched your genealogy lines, DNA testing can be used to confirm your research.
- For those who do not know who their ancestors are, DNA testing can place them in a known DNA ancestral line.
The Morse Society DNA testing project has been underway for several years. We have been able to establish the DNA patterns for William1/Anthony1, John1 Moss, and Samuel1/Joseph1 descendants, and have also had participants from Europe. Two haplogroups have been identified in Morse Society DNA tests:
The I, I1, and I1a lineages are nearly completely restricted to northwestern Europe. These would most likely have been common within Viking populations. One lineage of this group extends down in to central Europe. DNA testing to Anthony Morse and William Morse has been consistent with Haplogroup I.
The most common haplogroup in European populations, R1b is believed to have expanded through Europe as humans recolonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. DNA testing to Samuel Morse, Joseph Morse, and John Moss has been consistent with Haplogroup R1b.
We welcome Morse or Moss men from any of the known descendent lines to participate, although our most dire need continues to be descendants of Joseph. The only requirement to enter the Morse Society DNA project is to be a male with the surname Morse or Moss, or a variation thereof. This will indicate a direct male Morse/Moss lineage, and direct passage of the Morse/Moss Y chromosome through the generations.
That said, DNA testing results will NOT be in the form of a family tree.
To participate in the Morse Society DNA project go to www.FamilyTreeDNA.com
, search the Family Studies beginning with M, then click on Morse Society (there are other Morse projects but we do not have access to their data). When you request to join, you will be asked to provide as much lineage information that you know for the Morse Society Database. You will then be given the link to order the DNA testing kit, which involves gentle scraping of the inside of your cheek. The Y chromosome kit for male testing is the one to order!
It is important to understand that DNA testing for genealogical purposes is an inexact science that includes assumptions, estimates and probabilities. Exact matches of all DYS loci shows a MRCA (most recent common ancestor), while one or more marker differences suggest common ancestry much further back in time (i.e. thousands of years).
The 12-marker test is sufficient to prove whether two people share a common ancestor. By adding additional markers to the test you can increase the test's precision in estimating how far back you have an MRCA. For example (assuming the standard mutation rate of .002),
- 12-marker test: If two individuals match exactly at 12 loci, there is a 12% probability of a MRCA within the last 14 generations.
- 25-marker test: If two individuals match exactly at 25 loci, there is a 50% probability of a MRCA within the last 7 generations.
- 37-marker test: If two individuals match exactly at 37 loci, there is a 50% probability of MRCA within the last 5 generations.