Sullivan County Group
The designation "Sullivan County Group" is used only because lineage data for some of the first kits in this group that were examined, came from individuals whose ancestors were then believed to have passed through Sullivan County TN. Other members of the group are known from South Carolina, Connecticut, Ulster, Australia, England the Isle of Mann, and Scotland.
All members of the group fall into the R1b1a2 haplogroup, and share a relatively similar YDNA signature with at least one other member of the group, but this is partially driven by numerous low marker tests (12 and 25 markers). While members of the group are generally more similar to each other than any other group, it is likely that some (perhaps many) of these "matches" would break down at higher level testing. Some kits within this group have made use of extensive SNP testing. The results of this testing have not been used to refine the relationships within this group. Eventually, consideration of existing SNP results may better show the relationship (or lack thereof) between members of this largely artificial group.
Currently, three subgroups are recognized:
Sullivan County subgroup A is probably an "organic" subgroup with a relatively recent, potentially identifiable, common ancestor, though we can not currently identify that ancestor.
Sullivan County Subgroup B is probably composed of several discrete organic subgroups lumped together because of matches with 12 and 25 marker kits that "Bridge" between, and obscure the identity of the subgroups. Considerable further work is needed to understand the relationships between members of this subgroup.
Kits in the Sullivan County Bridge subgroup are mostly limited to 12 and 25 marker tests. When subgroups are closely related, such kits tend to match more than one group. A number of these kits did in fact test at 37+ markers. They are nonetheless placed in the Bridge subgroup because those are the only kits with which they matched. It is likely that the Bridge subgroup, including both 12 and 25 marker tests, as well as 37+ marker tests included with them, represent multiple independent lineages. Some may ultimately prove to be related to Subgroups A or B, but it is possible that further testing might show them to be altogether independent of any of the other kits in the Sullivan County Group.
The following matrix shows the YDNA dissimilarities between subgroups A, B and Bridge, using a 14.5% dissimilarity as the acceptance criteria. Also shown are portions of the Seven Brothers Group, and the Old Cumnock Group, with which some Sullivan County kits show a somewhat distant similarity.
Image quality in this display is very poorThe current image is sufficient to show the overall relationships between Sullivan County Kits. One third of the Sullivan County kits are at the 12 or 25 marker test level. Testing at this level does not permit accurate definition of relationships between kits. Increasing markers tested will most likely remove some of these matches and give a cleaner depiction of the relationships between kits.
Sullivan A & B
The above diagram looks reasonably "clean" with the two Sullivan County subgroups clearly differentiated. However, this clarity is achieved at the price of excluding the 12 and 25 marker kits. When those are included, the picture is much less clear. Taking this into consideration, Sullivan County Group A can probably be described as an organic subgroup with a relatively recent common ancestor. Sub group B is much more chaotic. Note that even in the cleaned up display shown above for Group B, most of the "matches" are very distant, and frequently above the usual acceptance criteria. Reducing the acceptance criteria to a more typical 13.5% seriously reduces the cohesivness of subgroup B. It is likely that this subgroup is in reality composed of multiple independent lineages, each with their own common ancestor, and probably not closely related to any other subgroup. Indeed, more detailed haplogroup testing has been applied to some of these kits. some of these kits have taken more detailed haplogroup testing. In a few cases this testing has proceeded to a level where it is clear that certain kits in the Bridge group are unrelated to each other. Haplogroup testing of most kits is not sufficient to permit us to conclude that they are unrelated to other members of the group that have not tested so extensively.
The kits in the Sullivan Bridge kit are primarily 12 and 25 marker kits. They are included in the Sullivan Group because they show YDNA signatures similar to that of Sullivan A or B, and tend to form a "Bridge" between these two subgroups. The small number of markers tested makes these kits vulnerable to both false positive and false negative matches. That is, they may match some kits fairly well in terms of YDNA similarity, but if the marker numbers were expanded, those matches might disappear (i.e., at their current testing level they give a "false positive" match. ON the other hand, its possible that an expansion in the markers tested would lead to matches with kits not currently seen as close matches (i.e., at their current testing level they give a "false negative match".) In gereneral, these test results are not a reliable basis for inferring a relatively recent common ancestor. Such a common ancestor might indeed be present, but that conclusion is probably not warranted at the current levels.
Some of the kits in this group did indeed test at 37 or more markers, and should give reliable results when compared to similar higher level marker tests for other kits. Currently they show matches only with the 12 and 25 marker kits. As a result, no firm conclusions can be drawn from their results, other than to say that they do not match either Sullivan A or B, or any other group in the Cowan YDNA project. They probably represent independent lineages in the Cowan YDNA project, unrelated to any of the existing groups, including the Sullivan A and B.
Based on publicly available data supplied by the participant. Additional data has been added ("localization") from other public sources, when possible.