Ancient Origins – The Work of R1b-U106

The PSHG Y-DNA Haplogroup lineage downstream of Y-SNP U106 [1] is:

R1b-U106 > Z381 > Z156 > Z306 > Z304 > DF96 > FGC13326 > S22047 > FGC46344 > FGC13602 > FGC13595 > FGC13604 > FGC13609/FGC13605

FGC13609 and FGC13605 are SNPs which are (so far) shared only by the descendants of Peter Staple located in the United States.

According to ISOGG, “A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced snip) is a DNA sequence variation occurring when a single nucleotide adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), or guanine (G) in the genome (or other shared sequence) differs between members of a species or paired chromosomes in an individual.”[2]  Looking at a specific SNPs, for example the PSHG SNPs, some SNPs are upstream (“older”, meaning the mutation occurred before the PSHG SNP) and others are downstream (“younger”, meaning the mutation occurred after the SNP in question).  Analyzing both upstream and downstream SNPs can reveal a wealth of information about ourselves and from where we came.

SNPs that occur downstream of the PSHG SNPs can be found by taking FamilyTreeDNA’s Big-Y test.  The test may reveal “singletons” or locations on the Y-DNA which do not match any other haplotype.  These locations can be sent to YSEQ via their “Wish A SNP” product for analysis.  The result may be a Direct Paternal Lineage SNP which belongs to your line!  Fascinating for better understanding your personal DNA.

The main topic of this blog post is upstream of the PSHG SNPs – all the way up the R Haplotree to U106.  The R1b-U106 Project exists at and is administered by Charles Moore and co-administered by: Dan Draghici, Iain McDonald, Michael Maddi, Raymond Wing, and Wayne Kauffman.

Testing positive for FGC13609 and/or FGC13605 means that PSHG members also belong to the the R1b-U106 clade.  According to the Project’s Overview page, “This project is dedicated to clade formation, and age analysis of the clades, as well as helping move you into your subclade in order to see who your clademate families are, and where they lived, in order to help you better determine your further ancestry.“[3]  The group also has a very lively Yahoo Groups forum which discusses news, recent studies, and serves as a venue for questions & answers.  PSHG members who are interested in the objectives of the R1b-U106 project can request additional information through the PSHG Administrator or Co-Administrator, who are members of the R1b-U106 project.

Understanding that SNPs represent mutations across time & patrilineal generations means that experts can estimate the age of these haplogroups.  Dr. Iain McDonald’s analysis estimates U106 to have occurred in about 3100 BC [4].

Other clades of interest:

  • Z156 about 3000 BC
  • DF96 about 1947 BC
  • FGC13326 about 1627 BC
  • S22047 about 1423 BC
  • FGC13595 about 310 AD

The PSHG may be unique (and very fortunate!) in that if you start out searching for Staples ancestry in Maine, you’ll quickly come across Art B. Staples, Jr.’s site.  Thanks to Art’s (and the original study members’) work we already have PSHG SNPs.  What’s even more remarkable is that PSHG members range in relationship to each other from father/son and first and third cousin up to 7th – 9th cousins (and Genetic Distances at Y-111 from 3 to 11)!  This isn’t the case for all DNA testers.  Sometimes the furthest progress one can make is to drill down through the clades in Raymond Wing’s U106 Tree [1] and seek out those in your subclade for more information.

The R1b-U106 group contains many brilliant individuals who donate their own time and resources to further the understanding of our Ancient Origins.  Their work benefits not only the members, but the genetic genealogy community in general.

[1] U106 project haplotree by Raymond Wing –

Partner Profiles – FTDNA

This is the second of our dual blog posts regarding current DNA testing partners.  Please also check out our Partner Profile on YSEQ.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is a modern powerhouse for DNA testing – Autosomal (atDNA), mtDNA, and yDNA.  Its own website front page boasts, “We have the most comprehensive Y chromosome, autosomal, and mitochondrial ancestry DNA database for genetic genealogists!”[1]  FTDNA circa 2006 received major contributions from familiar folks when Thomas & Astrid Krahn (see Partner Profile on YSEQ) sold the assets of their company DNA-Fingerprint and opened the Genomics Research Center in Houston, TX.[2]  FamilyTreeDNA was founded by Bennett Greenspan (who today serves as President & CEO), Max Blankfeld and Jim Warren.[2]

The PSHG relies on FTDNA’s Y-111 STR test to place members into family groups and to confirm claims made by traditional genealogy.  By analyzing the Y-111 STR results, group administrators can help to verify from which of Peter’s three sons (Peter Jr., John, or James) a member descends.  The test also reveals mutations which can occur naturally through the family group generations.  Click to follow to the PSHG at FTNDA group results.

FTNDA offers lesser marker Y-STR tests (12, 37, 67), but these do not provide enough marker information to be useful to the PSHG.  The Y-STR test will unlock Certified Y-STR Results, Matches, Ancestral & Haplogroup Origins, Haplotree & SNPs data, and Maps related to Matches, Migration, and SNPs.[1].  A similar set of tools can be unlocked by purchasing a Mitochondrial (mtDNA) test to trace one’s maternal lineage.  Family Finder is the Autosomal (atDNA) product comparable to AncestryDNA.  Tools available with this product are: Matches, Chromosome Browser, Linked Relationship, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins.  Returning to Y-DNA products, the Big Y test can provide a detailed SNP analysis and Matches.  When analyzed by a project group such as R1b-U106, one can identify Singleton SNPs which can be further tested and named.

Family Tree DNA’s tests may appear to be expensive to the novice; however, genetic genealogists and DNA hobby enthusiasts appreciate the testing options and relative (compared to historical capabilities and prices) low cost.  Keep an eye out for sales (Summer & Winter) and take advantage.


Partner Profiles – YSEQ

In this short blog series titled Partner Profiles, we’ll introduce you to the two companies with which the PSHG currently does business.  As DNA testing capabilities advance, we may profile new companies, or discuss companies which do Autosomal (atDNA) or mtDNA testing, but for now, we’ll focused on yDNA.

YSEQ DNA Origins was started by Thomas and Astrid Krahn in 2013.  A new PSHG applicant’s  introduction to yDNA testing is often through this German based lab’s SNP test kit.  Thomas and Astrid previously owned DNA-Fingerprint (whose assets were bought by Family Tree DNA in 2006). [1]  The buyout lead to Thomas and Astrid helping to open the Houston, TX based Genomics Research Center which, by September 2012, was restructured into Family Tree DNA, a division of Gene by Gene, Ltd.[2]

The PSHG is very fortunate in that we have identified two SNPs (FGC13609/FGC13605) which prove genetic descent from Peter Staple (c1642-1719).  Along with the upstream SNPs, this is referred to as the PSHG Y-DNA HAPLOGROUP lineage.  For many individuals, projects, and heritage groups, this is the Holy Grail of DNA test results.  YSEQ is such a valuable partner because they offer inexpensive, individual SNP testing which can be used as an initial test to affordably confirm claims made by traditional genealogy.

According to the ISOGG Wiki article on YSEQ, “YSEQ offers a potentially unlimited menu of single SNPs to order (Wish a SNP).”[3]  For members on the hunt for Direct Paternal Lineage SNPs, one could take the FamilyTreeDNA’s BigY test to identify Singleton SNPs and then use the Wish a SNP product to provide those locations for testing and naming.  In addition to Y-SNP tests, YSEQ offers Y-STR and Whole genome testing.[3]

YSEQ has recently created a Facebook Public Group which will be useful for easily keeping up with their announcements, sales, and developments.[4]

Join us for our next blog post introducing Family Tree DNA.


Ancient Origins – Staple Surname and the Menapii

The follow hypothetical story is a fun read for those interested in possible ancient origins of the Staple Surname.  A word of caution, this information is not intended to link Peter Staple (c1642-1719) or his ancestral home during the surname era to any of the locations mentioned below.  According to Art, “[studies] tie R1b-U106 and all PSHG members to this area thousands of years ago but we are currently way downstream from R1b-U106. According to the R1b-U106 project there are now 497 distinct confirmed haplogroups below R1b-U106 of which the PSHG FGC13609 is one.”

[Content posted by Brian Staples with permission from Art B. Staples, Jr.]

Here is some information on the surname Staple that I have found over the years. The information on the Belgic Tribe Menapii having it’s seat of government at the French town of Cassel which governed the village of Staple, Nord, France, located on an old Roman Road and the location of Staple, Kent, England about the same distance inland from the channel as Staple, France and also located by an old Roman Road, with the oldest known inhabitant with the original surname name of Omer (as in St. Omer, France) makes for an interesting hypothetical story.

c. 530 BC; the name STAPHYLUS is referred to in Greek mythology as the son of Ariane and Dionysus, the God of Wine.

79AD; the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii. Before the catastrophic event scratched on a house wall – scribbles trace a love’s uneasy course; “Here Romula and STAPHYLUS met” – and, alas, “Here STAPHYLUS met Quieta” – and, inevitably, “Do you think I’d mind if you dropped dead tomorrow?” The National Geographic Society, 1968, ‘Greece and Rome, Builders of Our World’, Volume ‘The Story of Man’, P16;

STAPOL: Old English for post. Barnstaple history indicates that its name derives from Old English in the 9th or 10th century “Bearda’s STAPOL” meaning ‘Trading Post of a man called Bearda’.

**STAPULA: Latin for a “marketplace”. In northern France, ~10km (~6 miles) east of St. Omer, is the village of STAPLE, NORD, FRANCE, its documented history shows that its name derived from the Latin word Stapulas, recorded in the Map Archives of Saint Bertain in 1026. It is at the crossroads of an old Roman road and was a marketplace with warehouses. The land Title of the Lordship of Staple, was part of the Court of Cassel. In 1328 Robert de STAPLE was Lord Rewart of Berques who received his title from Philip Duke of Burgundy. There street signs still carry the Coat-of-Arms of Robert de Staple (Found on my website Home page).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Godfrey of Saint-Omer (also known as Gaufred, Godefroi, or Godfrey de St Omer, Saint Omer) was a French Knight and one of the founding members of the Knights Templar in 1119. He is said to have come from the family of the Lords of Saint-Omer (in today’s northern France), possibly the son of William I, Lord of Saint Omer and Melisende de Piquigny. William and Melisende were known to have a son, Hugh, and both William and Hugh participated in the First Crusade as vassals of Robert II of Flanders. Hugh of Saint-Omer was also mentioned as one of the best knights in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

History of Ancient Names and Documented Sources of the Village Staple

1026 Stapulas Map archives of Saint-Bertain
1110 Stapla Map Archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg
1113 Stapeles Map Archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg
1119 Stapla Law of Pope Calixte II
1128 Staple Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg
1141 Stapulis Bishopree Samson, given by the Archbishop of Reims
1147 Stapula Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg
1183 Staplia Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg
1215 Staple Small map arcive in Saint-Bertain
1318 Staples Overlord, Robert de Cassel, Estate Share
1328 Staple Robert de STAPLE, Lord Rewart of Berques
1365 Staple Eloi de STAPLE, Bailiff of the Dame of Cassel

KENT, ENGLAND: Middle English for a marketplace as appointed by English and French Monarchy designating a place where principal goods were stored and traded between countries. Eventually the name STAPLE became to mean a place where principal commodities, such as wool, are bought and sold and was also used to describe the various commodities as staples. It is said that in 1234, Henry the III founded the Hospital of Ospringe located in the parish of Headcom and land in Twithan, STAPLE, Adisham, Wingham and Hammewolde’ in Kent. Among the Masters or Wardens of Ospringe, 1234 – 1515, are Alexander de STAPLE, appointed 1295, and Nicholas de STAPLE, appointed 1310, removed 1314. The village of STAPLE is located on an old Roman Road in Kent ~12 km (~7 miles) east of Canterbury. According to its history one of its earliest families carried the surname of Omer which changed to Homer. The city of St. Omer in northern France is about 6 miles from the town of Staple, see Stapula above.

* Here is my favorite old English Will with reference to the son’s of Water Stable whose sons reside at Staple.

Will of Water Stable of Orpington, Kent, England, 1503, taken (in part) from a transcribed copy.

Water Stable (or Staple) of Orpington, Kent was laid to rest at his requests in the churchyard of Orpington. His will was dated “xxiii day of the month of August in the year of O’ Lord God M+ V and three.

He names –
“To John my son —-. ” “To John of Staple at Scynt Mary Cray.” “To Johanne Stable the dowght of John my sonne —.”

“This is the last will of me Water Stable that John of Staple, Robert of Staple and Alexander Staple my sonnes have all my lands in Kent equally to bedivided.”

Named as Executers are “Robt. and Alexannder Staple my sones.”

The will is – “Proved 5 Sept., 1503, by Robert Paterson, cap and John a berry. Robert Stable and Alexander Staple, executors.”

Note – this will is especially interesting because it shows how surnames can be changed at a very early genealogical date within a family branch leaving descendants to figure out who is who. Hurray for Y-SNP DNA!

STAPLES: A variant of STAPLE; in England some families referred to themselves in the English plural form, while on the continent the surname remained in the singular form as STAPLE or STAPEL.

STAPEL: Middle Low German for a ‘Column’, ‘Signpost’, ‘Warehouse’ or ‘Market’. A Rhine-skipper called Godart STAPELL from Myllingen (Millingen) Netherlands during the period Oct 5, 1466 is mentioned on page 150 of the book “Bijdragen Van Het Instituut Voor Middleleuwse Geschiedenis Der Rijks-Universiteit Te Utrecht, O, Oppermann en D. Th. Enklaar, Chapter XXVI.

STAPLETON: A variant of STAPOL or STAPLE, of English origin with a good number of families migrating to Ireland, derived from the Old English Stapol ‘Post’ or Staple ‘marketplace’ plus tun ‘enclosure or settlement’ [Stapoltun/Stapletun]. In Ireland some branches adopted a Gaelic patronymic, viz., Mac an Gaule which in due time was anglicized Gall, Gale and Gaule. Some leading STAPLETON’S backed the Jacobite cause in Ireland and were forced into exile after its defeat, settling at Nantes, France, where an Irish Colony was established. The French department archives contain records of naturalizations of Irish-born Stapleton’s during the first half of the eighteenth century.

2) INFORMATION on the TRIBE MENAPII of the BELGAE including the TOWN of CASELL:
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English channel and the west bank of the Rhine, from at least the 3rd century BC. They were later found also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland. The Belgae gave their name to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, and very much later, to the modern country of Belgium.

The Menapii were a Belgic tribe of northern Gaul in pre-Roman and Roman times. Their territory according to Strabo, Caesar and Ptolemy stretched from the mouth of the Rhine in the north, and southwards along the west of the Schelde. Their civitas under the Roman Empire was Cassel (northern France), near Thérouanne. (The positions of such Roman tribal capitals did not always correspond to pre-Roman political geography.[1]) In later geographical terms their territory corresponds roughly to the modern coast of Flanders, extended into neighboring France and possibly the Netherlands.

The town of Cassel is situated at the top of Mont Cassel, a prominent hill located in the local Woodland region about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the sea. The hill rises to a height of 176 metres (577 ft) above sea level. The hill of Cassel was occupied during the late Iron Age by the Menapii, a Belgic tribe, who made it the capital of a large territory extending from modern Calais to as far as the Rhine. The hilltop was probably used as a hill fort.

The Menapii fought against Julius Caesar but were forced to submit to Rome in 53 BC. They rebelled along with their neighbors’, the Morini, in 30 or 29 BC. The Roman governor of Gaul, Carrinas, successfully quelled the rebellion and the territory of the Menapii was subsequently absorbed into the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. Cassel was redeveloped as Castellum Menapiorum, the urban centre or civitas of the Menapii; the modern town takes its name from the Roman settlement.


Mutating DNA

DNA Mutates.

The fact that it does mutate, slowly over time (generations) allows genetic genealogists to determine Genetic Distance between samples and also estimate change over the ages.

The International Society of Genetic Genealogists defines Genetic Distance as, “the term used to describe the number of differences or mutations between two sets of Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA test results. A genetic distance of zero means that there are no differences in the two results and there is an exact match.”

Measuring a member’s Y-STR111 results against the PSHG Modal Haplotype provides clues for how DNA has mutated among the different member branches.  This basic analysis depends on the property mentioned above, slowly occurring mutations.  But what happens when DNA is changed by external forces like scientific advancements in gene replacement, or from prolonged time in outer space?  What’s the effect on the results of autosomal or Y-DNA tests that we are familiar with today?

These articles don’t address the questions from a genetic genealogy perspective; but, I couldn’t help wonder – and think about the future.

Time’s The CRISPR Pioneers –

And, as reported from many news sources, long term space travel changes DNA –

Study Origins

Where did we come from?  How did we get here?

Admittedly, not a simple topic to address in a blog post.  The folks at the FTNDA R1b-U106 Group  (an upstream haplogroup to the PSHG) are adding more and more insights every day through their work. The work they do is an impressive example of the combination of many different areas of study.  And this is just one study group, within one Y-DNA haplogroup, among many.

The origins of the PSHG Study are equally interesting.  The chronicle, from genealogy to genetic data, can be read at Art B. Staples, Jr.’s STAPLE & STAPLES MY FAMILY BRANCH (S&SMFB) Website:

For members, the work described here is a great reminder of where we come from.  For  non-members, it’s a step by step guide to what’s possible.  And for everyone, it servers as an enduring reference in the study of genetic genealogy.

Thank you Art.

PSHG Website Launches

My name is Brian Merrill Staples.  Traditional genealogy and genetic genealogy through the testing of YDNA, indicates that Peter Staple (c 1642-1719) of Kittery, Yorke, Maine was my 9th great-grandfather.

I’m not the only one.  A small group of Peter Staple descendants are on a quest to find two things: 1) proof of the ancestral home of Peter Staple – believed to be somewhere in England, south of the Humber River, and 2) living cousins who are interested in participating in the study.

This website and blog is brand new for the group and will continue to be developed.  If you’re currently a PSHG Member and are interested in Blogging, please contact me!  Non-Members – Please help the cause by sharing via social media and social networks!  You never know who may know who.  DNA tells us that we’re all connected, all related – we just need to find each other.