UPDATE - OCT 8 2009 - GTP


Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

The "modal" for any group is just the most common set of marker for that group. There's nothing mysterious about it and no "experts" saying what the modal is.

The modal for any group is usually assumed to be the DNA of the common ancestor of that group. If 15 out of 20 members of a group match perfectly, that would imply that these 15 have the DNA of the common ancestor, and the other 10, who are one or two markers off, have that same common ancestor but some mutations have occurred since that ancestor.

Take away markers 6 and 20 and the modal for all of group 3 in the rest of the markers is the same. This implies that the two groups have a common ancestor somewhere back down the line.

What seems to have happened is that there was one common ancestor for all of group 3, then there was a branching since that common ancestor.

One group probably has the DNA of the common ancestor but somewhere a descendent of that common ancestor had mutations in 6 and 20 and became a sub-line. Or it could have occurred in more than one generation; that is, maybe one Pace had the mutation in 6 and his son had the mutation in 20. Rebecca can correct me if this is not good thinking.

18 members of 3a have the 14-29 combination in those two markers, so that defines the modal for that group. In other words, these 18 probably have the DNA of the ancestor of 3a. 16 members of 3b have the 12-30 combination in these two markers, making that the modal for those two markers So this 16 probably has the DNA of the common ancestor of 3b.

This thinking only works if the samples are from different branches of the line. If they all come from one family or cousins, this would not make a "modal" for other branches of that line.

Now how about those "in between" folks? Can they be an "in between" group? I don't think so. If 3a has one ancestor and 3b another, how can this group have an "in between" ancestor?

Besides, there are three descendents of John/Sarah, and two of the three would be in the "in between" group and the third would not. If the documentation to John/Sarah is accurate, it would not make sense to put two of them in one sub group and the other in another.

In addition, all of these "in betweeners" submit lineages that put them in 3b. Surely they are not all in error.

The most likely explanation is that in more recent times there has been a mutation going from 30 to 29. That could occur even in the present generation. John probably matched with the modal for 3b but some of his descendents had mutations in 20.

Now some speculation.
Kit number 8179, Antony Pace of London (he has given permission to use his name) matches 62/67 with 3a, fairly close at that large number of markers, and has the 3a modal in those two markers. Could this imply that 3a carries the DNA of the original ancestor and 3b branched off from this? This is just a wild guess but speculation can sometimes lead to meaningful results.

Roy Johnson

PACE DNA STUDY Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2009

Subject: Re: [PACE] Documentation on Stephen Pace line?

Isn't that the point of taking DNA tests? We will never have full documentation on some of these early Pace people and we take DNA tests in order to confirm where to place an ancestor.

Roy Johnson
PACE Family DNA Coordinator
answers saying:

Here is my take on this:

DNA can point but not prove.
Let's say several donors have matching DNA and all of them submit an undocumented line back to an apparent common ancestor.

But it is entirely possible that all of the donors picked up their ancestry from something someone else posted on the Internet. Thus all of their lineages could be in error.

So what you have is evidence that this group of donors has a common ancestor, but until some documentation can be found, there's no telling who that common ancestor might be.

The John of Middlesex line is an example. We had numerous attempts in Pace genealogy to trace John back to Richard of Jamestown. DNA immediately disproved that hypothesis. But then Gordon Pace of Canada matched perfectly and had documented records to his ancestors in Shropshire.

His documented ancestor had a brother John just the right age to be our John of Middlesex. That John disappeared from English records after his birth, and our John in America and Gordon's George in England named five of their children (George only had five) the exact same given names. Two of the given names were the parents names of John and George in England.

We still do not have documentation that John of Middlesex was John of Shropshire. But it is Gordon's documentation that made it possible to assemble this nearly overwhelming circumstantial evidence. Without his documentation all we would have is a theory.

There might be a bit of leeway if the different donors all got their information from family sources, did not consult one another, and agree on the common ancestor. This would be strong circumstantial evidence and would make what is called in historical research a "strong hypothesis", as the sources agree and there is no contradictor data. But it still cannot be called a fact.

The Frederick Pace of Wales line is another good example. DNA proves that these donors are a separate Pace line and have a common ancestor. The existence of Frederick is hard to deny since all donors have him in their family sources and his name appears in other sources as well, but no documentation on Frederick has been found, and whether he was from Wales or (quite possibly) from the "border marches" next to Wales is unproven.

This is just my thinking on the subject.

The DNA study by itself cannot prove that anyone is a descendant of Richard Pace of Jamestown.
The PAPERWORK has to first prove that a particular line of Paces are descendants of Richard of Jamestown
then the DNA study can be used to determine if other participants share a common ancestor with the participants who can prove their lineage to Richard of Jamestown. As there have been questions created about the long-accepted link between Richard Pace of NC being the descendant of Richard of Jamestown, these questions have to be resolved with the paper trail before anyone can say that DNA has shown they are RELATED to Richard of Jamestown.

In fact, we have very little DNA evidence for most of the Pace lines. The DNA study has been very effective in determining that there are at least two main groups of Paces in the United States - and also other Pace lines which have not had as much research performed and WRITTEN about.

We have learned that
  1. the John Pace of Middlesex line,
  2. the majority (or the most written about) of the NC Pace lines,
  3. and the Michael Pace/Pees lines
are very distinct lines
and have no common ancestor in "modern" times.

But, as for Group 3 of the Pace DNA study, we really have very little representation of family lines in the DNA project.

Most of the Group 3a participants are descendants of WILLIAM PACE and RUTH LAMBERT - a line that has several theories of the lineage back to the early Richard Pace of NC.

Other participants are from
  1. two different HARDY PACES,
  2. an unconnected GEORGE PACE,
    whose DNA results can only give us the *ancestral* DNA results for RICHARD PACE whose wife was ELIZABETH CAIN
    - and not any further back.

Group 3b is not any better in representation.
Basically there are three lines represented
  1. the JOHN PACE
    (wife SARAH)
    of Surry Co., NC,
    (wife SICELY WALKER)
  3. and the JESSE PACE line.

We have been advised by FTDNA
that Group 3a and Group 3b
share a common ancestor and that a rare 2-step change occurred that separates these two groups.

this change occurred.


We really need
Pace descendants with documented lines to the early RICHARD PACE of NC that descend from lines other than RICHARD PACE

to find participants from their lines, to be tested.

Until we have participants
from other documented lines we will not be able to determine when the split between Groups 3a and 3b occurred.

DNA testing still has the potential
to help many NC Pace descendants determine where they fit in the Pace family tree, especially if the split between Groups 3a and 3b can be determined.

Rebecca Christensen - 09/11/2005

New postings

on Results and Donors pages of the DNA study
for kit 53888
There is a perfect match with 13827

both showing lineage to
with a common mutation in marker 2.

Roy Johnson - 24/04/2006 - DNA coordinator

New results
have been posted on the DNA page for 57109
This submission goes back only to the donor's grandfather Cosby Alonzo Pace b. 1878 Cochran, GA, died prob. Brunswick, TN.

The results place this line clearly in group 3a, and should be helpful in seeking further evidence. Perhaps the town names of Cochran, GA, and Brunswick, TN will also help.

Roy Johnson - 06/05/2006 - DNA coordinator

Interesting new results posted
from donor 55605

showing that this person is in group 3a
but an interesting mutation in marker 23

Also, I made changes
in the explanation
of groups 3a and 3b.

I became confused between the three Richards mentioned in the Winifred Aycock Lane letter (her father, grandfather, and great grandfather), and no one caught it and yelled at me.

Please read the new explanations in the Results page and see if they make sense.


For those who may be unfamiliar
with the Lane letter:

We have hard evidence that Richard of Jamestown had son George and grandson Richard, but here the paper trail vanishes.

The only record we have of possible descendents was written in 1791 by an old lady, Winifred Aycock Lane, relying on her memory as told to her by her mother. She says her father was Richard and Grandfather was Richard, Jr., and that they came from Virginia in a place where "five counties meet".

No such place has been found, but it is assumed (but not proven) that her great grandfather Richard was the aforementioned grandson of Richard of Jamestown. She gives the names of her grandfather's brothers. Those same names were found in North Carolina and assumed to be the brothers.

DNA evidence supports that these Paces had a common ancestor within the necessary time span, thus supporting (but not proving) that they are brothers and could be descendents of Richard of Jamestown.

In addition, the lone UK Pace in this group, whose ancestry is from London, matches closely enough to lead to the conclusion that the common ancestor was from London, as Richard of Jamestown was.

To see three versions
of the Lane letter and discussion,
go to The PACE NETWORK - Aycock

Roy Johnson
DNA coordinator

FTDNA has come up with an exciting new feature called FTDNATip that allows closer comparison of two individuals with a percentage display of how far in the past their common ancestor might be.

One of the best applications of this is for us to determine the possibilities for the John of Middlesex group with GTP(of England) and DHP(of America); both having had 37 marker tests, with 25/25 matches on the first 25 and a couple of mismatches in the 26-37 area, making them perfect specimens.

I ran the comparisons for them and got:

In comparing 37 markers, the probability that DHP and GTP shared a common ancestor within the last...
  • 100 years is 26.85%
  • 200 years is 65.86%
  • 300 years is 87.35%
  • 400 years is 95.88%
  • 500 years is 98.76%
  • 600 years is 99.65%.

I have not had time to apply this to any of the sub groups in the Richard descendents. The tool is available only to project administrators at present, but will soon be available to all, so that you can compare your results with anyone else's that you choose.

Roy Johnson - 03/12/2004 - DNA administrator