SKILLMANS of AMERICA
6825 Campfield Rd, Apt. 11C-2, Gwynn Oak, MD 21207 4595
Skillman DNA Project
Science has recently provided genealogists with a tool, DNA testing, to help identify our ancestry. One test, Y-DNA, makes use of the fact that the male or Y-chromosome, which is only transmitted from male to male, changes very little from father to son. Since we believe that all the Skillmans listed on this site are descended from the immigrant, Thomas Skillman, then all male descendants should have closely matched Y-DNA results with only small changes even as far back as our immigrant ancestor, Thomas. When we compare our DNA with that of other Skillmans and if we find a close match we can say with good probability that we are direct descendants of Thomas. Females, not having the Y-chromosome, must make use of male relatives to verify their lines.
Although Thomas II had 7 sons, only 5 male lines exist today since Peter died in infancy and Abraham had only one son who had no children. However, Abraham's daughter, Ann, married her cousin John Skillman, Jacob's son, so there are male Skillmans alive today descended from Abraham who don't carry his Y-DNA, but Jacob's Y-DNA.
To get the ball rolling for the Skillmans, John Earle Skillman III and I submitted DNA samples (cheek swabs) to the largest genealogical DNA testing company, Family Tree DNA. His results are in for his full 67 marker test, mine are in for my 37 marker test. John and I have a 34/37 match which indicates a high probability that we are descended from a common ancestor, presumably Thomas II, since we are descended from different sons of this Thomas. Since then eight more American Skillmans have been found to be a close match to John and myself. As a group we include descendants from all five of the sons (with living descendants) of Thomas II, indicating we are all descended from him. Two English Skillmans have been tested and found to be highly mismatched to the American Skillmans and to each other! Tentative conclusion is that there are several unrelated Skillman lines in England and we have not yet tested the line of our immigrant Thomas. We are casting about for more American and English Skillmans to test.
Another interesting sidebar is that the American Skillmans are a very close match to three Harts. This is strong evidence that a Hart or a Skillman adopted or fathered the other. We know that Harts and Skillmans lived near each other in two locations. However the three Harts have not been able to trace their line that far into the past. Thus, our DNA project has had puzzling results, to say the least!
Our results are available to the public at a new Skillman Project web site created just for the Skillman Project. Here you can see our actual DNA results and find out more about DNA testing on the hosting site, Family Tree DNA. We would like to invite all of you to join us in this endeavor. If you join our Skillman Project you will get a reduced price on whichever test you take.
Another result of the DNA test is to identify which Haplogroup (major migratory group) you belong to. John's and my DNA indicates that we belong to Haplogroup R1b1a2. A recent change in classification from the original designation of group R1b1b2) The parent group, R1b, is most common in Western Europe, and R1b1a2 is by far the most common subgroup. So you might say that the Skillmans are about as common as dirt! However, the two English Skillmans belong to Haplogroup I1, another indication they are not related to the American Skillmans. Haplogroup I1 is predominately found in Scandinavia. See Wikipedia article on Haplogroups.
Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker 9/24/2009
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