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DNA Debate

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:16 am    Post subject: DNA Debate Reply with quote

Frank Thompson said:
The politics of the pre-Cromwellian, Cromwellian and post-Cromwellian era in Co. Cork favored English immigrants with Puritan or 'Low-Church' leanings. Oddly enough, Catholics often sided with low-churchers, against Royalist types appointed by King Charles (I). From 1642 on (when the 'Civil War' began), the London and Dublin Parliaments were controlled by the Cromellian Puritans, so a Cornelius Coveney sent to Co. Cork at any time after 1642 would probably have been an officer in the Parliamentary ('Round-Head') army and, very likely, a convinced Puritan. To become a freeman of Cork by taking the Oath of Supremacy in 1654, when Cromwell was at the height of his power and Charles was dead, Cornelius would clearly have been considered a convinced Cromwellian. The Daunts, Hodders and other local Protestants, who owed their local power to earlier governments, probably regard Cornelius, as a Parliamentary spy, which was also the attitude of Catholic 'Old English' families, like the Barrys of Tracton, and the Old Irish, like the McCarthys. Thus the old Protestants in the Tracton area probably became closer to the Catholics in their politics, if not in their religion. Cornelius took his Oath of Supremacy just one year before the Puritans lost the battlle and invited Charles II to resume the throne in 1662. It might have been expected that Cornelius would lose his property and influence in 1662, but , at least in Co. Cork, the former Cromwellians held onto their land. Charles did not deliver on his promises to Ireland, and he could not afford to provide his Royalist cronies with land grants. He was consequently not able to displace the Cromwellians, who started to consider themselves 'Protestant Irishmen'. If Cornelius Coveney came to Co. Cork as a Parliamentary officer, and never had to switch his allegiance to the Royalist party, he probably fitted in quite easily with the Protestant Cork gentry, who had never been of the High-Church party anyway. The extremely simple old Protestant churches in Co. Cork are witnesses to Puritan-like piety. I even suspect that the simple rural Catholic chapels of the early 1800s show similar religious feeling. I was almost shocked at how barren they are. The chapel at Ballygarvan, minus the Stations of the Cross and two statues, looks like a Quaker meeting house in rural Pennsylvania (William Penn was from Co. Cork!).

But maybe there were Coveneys in Co. Cork from Norman times, when, say, Tracton Abbey was founded by the Barrys and McCarthys. They may have come from Kent, via Wales, with Strongbow, about 1150, or during the Norman-Welsh during the next 200 years. That's how the Barrys, Cogans and arshalls (and a bunch of others) got to the Tracton area. Such familes frequently still held onto property in Wales or England, just as the Daunts or Roberts still kept English lands for 300 or more years after arriving at Tracton. Until banks and mortgages came along, it was as hard to get rid of land as it was to acquire it. So a Cornelius Coveney may have ended up in Co. Cork because he already had family there. Or he may have arrived as a settler sent by Elizabeth or James I, as was probably the case with the Jeffords. In any event, his descendants probably remained Protestants until they gradually started marrying into the Catholic strong-farmer class, perhaps around 1750. When the Tracton R.C. register begins in 1802, there was still clearly some religious confusion. I think a lot of Catholic families in Tracton had Protestant relations and a lot of C. of I. people had R.C. cousins. This is still the case, but I don't think people like to talk about it. Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is descended from Protestant Corrigans related to the Daunts, but I will bet he does not want to be reminded of it!

One point that has not been mentioned in the DNA discussions is how, or if, the 'markers' refer only to a direct male lineage, that is, from Coveney to Coveney, generation after generation. What if, as the R.C. parish register shows in more than one case, a Coveney man married a Coveney female. What if a Coveney male married a non-Coveney female who was the granddaughter of a Coveney, etc., etc.? In my Tracton-area ancestry, 3 Aherns married 3 Maddens, and 2 Maddens married 2 McCarthys. The Aherns considered the McCarthys cousins, and two McCarthy maiden aunts came to live with the Aherns, but I know they were not first or second cousins. I assume that both families were descended from Aherns or McCarthys. I would guess that any Tracton Coveney had a very good chance of marrying a spouse also descended from a Coveney.

Bill, without any justification I can see, omits the element of chance when he claims that Coveney X and Coveney Y share a common Coveney ancestor born about, say, 1750. It seems to me that the DNA gobbledygook says only that there is a 'chance' that there is such a relationship. I repeat pretty much what I said recently: "If there is a 51 percent chance that X murdered Y, do we hang him?" If there is a 99% chance? When the jury returns to court, they don't say, "We find that there is a 51 percent chance that the defendant is guilty, so, if it please the court, hang the poor bastard!". They don't even say that it is "extremely likely" that the defendant commited the murder, so hang him. All these DNA people are saying is, "If he is guilty, then hang him." To me, it sounds like want to have their cake and eat it too. If they don't say, "Coveney X and Coveney Y descend from a common ancestor born around 1600 or 1800", they are not speaking English the way I learned it, and the marker business remains gobbledygook.

If it is any help, I suspect they are surer of the results of their tests than they, or their lawyers, are willing to claim.

No, I am not willing to go into the science of genetics. Actually, I am not interested in the Coveneys as such. I am interested in the Tracton area and, in general, in Co. Cork and how Tracton and Co. Cork concerned my own ancestors.

Frank Thompson
448 West 19th Street, Apt. 3-B
New York, NY 10011
E-mail: ftcorkmdb@aol.com
Home phone: 212/627-8895

Last edited by Dickcov on Thu May 12, 2005 5:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 3:47 pm    Post subject: Ann Watts says Reply with quote

Good morning everyone. I assume I missed the earlier e-mails addressing DNA, but I have a few thoughts anyway. A few years ago when DNA for geneological purposes first became popular, the Boston Globe ran a story about two men, co-workers, who shared the same last name but to their knowledge shared no common ancestor. All they knew was that their great-grandparents of the same surname had come from Ireland in the 19th c. On a lark they sent off their DNA cheek swabs and received the ambiguous information that they were related via their y chromosomes, but that the relationship could be traced accurately to no closer than four hundred years back...which effectively proves nothing in Irish history. There are more sophisicated tests, of course, but they would have to include the impact of mitochondrial DNA. A woman could be a direct Coveney descendant and neither she nor her female ancestors could have carried the name Coveney for many, many generations. Conversely sharing the same surname doesn't indicate near relationship. As Frank has pointed out, the intermarriage of cousins over many generations in Tracton area's past, made for a population that was by default quite closely related. I've always taken it as a given that we of the MBRG are from the same gene pool. As ever, Ann Watts .
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Arthur Harris

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply to Bill Reply with quote

I have now been back into THEIR site and looked at the results posted there for all five sets and the associated matchings. On the site, they only quote the probabilities for 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 year gaps. The results that you are referring to go back to 850 years. I do remember seeing those and thought that that is what they would have had on the site.

At the 12 marker level:-
Phillip, Sean, Gerry and Dick all have the same markers, so their chances of a common ancestor, in a given period is the same. So they all have a 91.41% probability that that common ancestor was around at about 1400. You have a difference in 1 marker, so the chance of having a common ancestor with them, at that time is only about 66.71%. So it is fairly certain that the common ancestor for Phillip, Sean, Gerry and Dick was back about 1200 - 1300. I would read it that your common ancestor with them is back in about the same time frame, but there is less chance that it was more recent.

At the 25 marker level:-
You are more closely related to Gerry than Sean and Dick. But back at the 600 year mark the difference has just about been eliminated, but it is still there.
The ratio of probabilities has dropped from 3.44 at 100 years to 1.07 at 600 years.

You MAY be on the outer, but not that far. I still stand by my previous comments and the implications for the family history.
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Family DNA reply to Bill Reply with quote

Copy email from Catherine

Hello Bill,.

The project may work best when you present the most evidence you can to the group, and there can be discussion over the theories. People can use their genealogical information to come to decisions over when common ancestors may have been shared. With this in mind, I present all of the probability determinants, without having changed any of the generation information.

William and Richard's Probability to a Common Male ancestor:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 7.86% 28.94% 52.01% 70.38% 82.84% 90.50%

William and Sean's probability:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 7.86% 28.94% 52.01% 70.38% 82.84% 90.50%

William and Gerald's probability:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 27.10% 57.58% 77.68% 88.91% 94.69% 97.52%

Richard and Sean:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 27.24% 57.78% 77.85% 89.03% 94.77% 97.57%

Richard and Gerald
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 27.24% 57.78% 77.85% 89.03% 94.77% 97.57%

Sean and Gerald
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 27.24% 57.78% 77.85% 89.03% 94.77% 97.57%

And the comparison with Philip's 12 marker test:
William and Phillip:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 6.67% 18.94% 32.64% 45.68% 57.13% 66.71%

Richard and Phillip:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 33.57% 55.88% 70.69% 80.53% 87.07% 91.41%

Sean and Phillip:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 33.57% 55.88% 70.69% 80.53% 87.07% 91.41%

Gerald and Philip:
100 years 200 years 300 years 400 years 500 years 600 years 33.57% 55.88% 70.69% 80.53% 87.07% 91.41%

I would refer to genealogical and historical information to determine which of the high probabilities: 70-99% is more likely for these individuals to have shared a common male ancestor.

I would say that William and Gerald shared a common male ancestor more recently than with the others. The same is to be said about Richard and Sean and that the four of you shared a common male ancestor. It could be that William and Gerald are descended from one brother and Richard and Sean are descended from another. This may account for slight variances in the probabilities for example: 90.5% for William and Sean and 97.52% for William and Gerald 600 years ago.

Phillip's relationship is a little harder to determine because we do not have as much information. I would hesitate before stating that Philip and Sean shared a common ancestor between 1700-1800 because that 70% is based on less information than the other comparisons. It is entirely possible that they shared that ancestor within that time frame, but using this amount of markers and no genealogical records or info to verify it, I would be hesitant.

Y-DNA analysis for genealogy, needs to have some sort of genealogical boundaries to be useful. Are there genealogical records to confirm the time frames that you have chosen for when individuals shared a common ancestor or are they based entirely on the probabilities?

I believe you all descended from a common male ancestor, and definitely within the last 600 years-800 years.The group should look for clues in the genealogical record that could help determine which probabilities to use and which time frames to focus on for that common ancestor. Knowing how many generations individuals could not have shared a common ancestor will affect
the probabilities. It is always better to be cautiously optimistic with
the higher probabilities and push the time frame back if you do not have any records indicating a time frame for a common male ancestor. With no record I would look towards the 80-99% range of probabilities for a time frame, and then research that time frame and the areas where you think the ancestors lived and move to more recent times to determine if there were individuals who could have been the most distant ancestor. It is always better to be cautious and then discover something and be pleasantly surprised, than to believe something optimistically and discover something that disappoints or disproves that theory.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Catherine McDonald
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Epigenome, New view on DNA Reply with quote

By Brandon Keim | Also by this reporter

02:00 AM Aug. 16, 2005 PT

The more we learn about the human genome, the less DNA looks like destiny.

As scientists discover more about the "epigenome," a layer of biochemical reactions that turns genes on and off, they're finding that it plays a big part in health and heredity.

By mapping the epigenome and linking it with genomic and health information, scientists believe they can develop better ways to predict, diagnose and treat disease.

"A new world is opening up, one that is so much more complex than the genomic world," said Moshe Szyf, an epigeneticist at Canada's McGill University.

The epigenome can change according to an individual's environment, and is passed from generation to generation. It's part of the reason why "identical" twins can be so different, and it's also why not only the children but the grandchildren of women who suffered malnutrition during pregnancy are likely to weigh less at birth.

"Now we're even talking about how to see if socioeconomic status has an impact on the epigenome," Szyf said.

Researchers have already linked some human cancers with epigenetic changes. In a few years, scientists hope that doctors, by looking at an individual's epigenome, will be able to detect cancer early and determine what treatments to use.

The same might be done for other diseases -- and as the effect of the environment on epigenetic change is better understood, people will be able to address the environmental aspects of health.

The field, though still embryonic, won't be that way for long. "Epigenetics is one of the fastest-moving areas of science, period," said Melanie Ehrlich, a Tulane University epigeneticist whose lab linked human cancer to epigenomic changes in 1983.

Back then, Ehrlich's discipline was largely ignored. Walter Gilbert, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, famously said that since fruit flies had no epigenomes, people could hardly need them.

But in the past two decades -- and especially the last couple of years -- studies have linked the epigenome to disease and development, showing that it changes in response to the environment and can be passed from parents to children.

While predicted treatments run from diabetes and heart disease to substance abuse and schizophrenia, the most promising applications are in cancer. Research shows that some cancers follow from the deactivation of tumor-suppression genes. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first epigenetic drug, azacitidine, which treats a form of leukemia by reactivating those genes.

However, using drugs to target specific parts of the epigenome, which runs in tandem with our 6 billion base pairs of DNA, is extremely complicated.

Ehrlich believes epigenetic researchers are better off trying to predict and diagnose cancer and other diseases.

To do that, scientists need a large-scale map that shows how epigenetic patterns relate to disease, said Steve Baylin, an epigeneticist at Johns Hopkins.

"If we knew those patterns," Baylin said, "you could predict which individuals are more at risk -- change their diets, change their exposures, use prevention. We could detect disease early and predict how people respond to drugs."

Making that map won't be easy. Not only does the epigenome change over time, it also differs in every major cell type, of which there are a couple hundred. Epigeneticists say this will be time-consuming but possible.

In Europe, a consortium of public and private institutions is collaborating on the Human Epigenome Project, while mapping in the United States is scattered among a handful of companies and government-funded scientists.

"We don't have the funding to do a comprehensive, large-scale epigenetics project," said Elise Feingold, a director of the National Human Genome Research Institute's ENCODE Project.

The lack of investment is somewhat reminiscent of the Human Genome Project's early struggles, when James Watson fought for government money. But at least the epigenomic mapping effort seems to have learned something from the gene-patenting frenzy that loomed over the Human Genome Project.

"That was a lesson in how intellectual property should not be handled," said John Stamatoyannopoulos, founder of biopharmaceutical company Regulome. "Everybody patented everything left and right, the lawyers got rich, the patent office was flooded, and at the end of the day the patents just weren't valuable."

The absence of patent sniping might diminish some of the urgency, but the upside is that the epigenomic map is free and available to anyone -- although only a tiny fraction has thus far been made.

"We are well under 1 percent finished; 1 percent would be a massive overstatement," Stamatoyannopoulos said. "But, ultimately, this type of knowledge will revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat disease."
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: English Origin? Reply with quote

I take from the "Ethnic Origin" pages (copied below) a strong support for the so far theoretical hypothesis the Coveney clan came from England. I'd like to rtecruit Coveney's from England to further confirm the long supposed ancestry.

]25 Marker Y-DNA Matches

One Step Mutations

Country (Number of Entries)

Your Matches[/b]

Ireland (1679)-2

Two Step Mutations

Country (Number of Entries)

Your Matches

England (3913)-6

Germany (945)-1

Ireland (1679)-5

Prussia (34)-1

Scotland (1618)-2

United Kingdom (791)-3

Wales (242)-3

3 Step Mutations

Country (Number of Entries)

Your Matches

British Isles (163)-1

Chile (1)-1

England (3913)-24

France (229)-1

Germany (945)-2

Great Britain (196)-3

Ireland (1679)-15

Netherlands (105)-1

Prussia (34)-1

Russia (92)-1

Scotland (1618)-13

Slovakia (64)-1

Spain (138)-2

Switzerland (126) (etc.)
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