DNA Testing in the Grantner Family


Background Information for Understanding DNA


Background Information for Y-DNA Testing

Background Information for mtDNA Testing


Background Information for Family Finder Testing

Microchondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing can be done by both males and females, but the usefulness of this test for determining likely relationships is quite limited. Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) testing, on the other hand, may have real benefit in determining if two individuals share a MRCA in recent times. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has recently developed a Family Finder DNA test that is applicable to both males and females.

We all inherit, in some manner, DNA from both our parents, who each inherited from both their parents, and so forth back into time. Hence, within our genetic makeup we have information on all of our ancestors. The hard part is pulling that information out.

I admit that I don’t understand how the Family Finder program works, and I am sure it is proprietary, but I suspect it is as much analysis as it is testing. In any case, the test will find relationships that span 5 generations on both the paternal and maternal sides of the individual being tested. You can discover connections to descendants of all sixteen of your great-great-grandparents!

The Mechanics of Testing and the Grantner Family Project at FTDNA

The actual process of doing the test is quite simple. The participant is sent a kit containing a small brush. This brush is used to collect a sample from inside the cheek. It is then stored in preservative and sent back to the company for lab analysis.

Here are the actual directions for collecting the sample in English and in German.

A Grantner Family Project has been established at Family Tree DNA. If you want to do DNA analysis, there are two good reasons to go through the Grantner Family project: 1) It allows an easy path to comparisons and record keeping and 2) the participants are given a discount over the regular prices.


DNA Testing Within the Family

Y-Chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA) Tests

Primary Grantner Tree - Kit # 137613 (Richard G. Grantner)

The Short Version
I, the author of this website, had my Y-DNA tested in 2008 through Family Tree DNA. The haplotype (Y-DNA Sequence) is shown with my record on the Detailed Grantner Family Tree. it can also be found on the I2b2 Project at FTDNA Group administered by TimothyWeakly and Stephen Ralls. The Haplogroup is I2b2-14 (aka l38-14). This particular haplogroup is quite rare and is related to that found in the bronze age (3000 years ago) remains at Lichtenstein Cave in central Germany. For more informationon the haplogroup, see the drop down menu at the end of this Richard G. Grantner section.

Being an engineer, I can not resist including a longer version of this initial DNA testing in the Grantner Family. So ...
The Longer Version
I had my Y-DNA tested in October 2008. I first did just the 12-marker test and then extended it to 37 markers. After doing that, the next step was to arrange for similar testing of a cousin. The test of my cousin resulted in a 37 out of 37 markers match with me. This was a worthwhile exercise since it proved that both my cousin and I are descendants of the same grandfather. It is our understanding that our grandfather was the 4th born of 8 children of our great grandfather, István.

My (our) Haplogroup was determined to be I2b2. A characteristic of this subclade of Haplogroup I is the positive finding for SNP L38. As a result of this SNP, the subclade is also called I-L38 or simply L38. It is a relatively rare subclade and is most interesting in that it was found in some bronze skeletons.

We are Lichtensteiners! Some very old skeletens were discovered in 1986 in Lichtenstein Cave, a Bronze Age archaeological site situated west of the small town Osterode, Germany (south of Hannover at Latitude: 51° 43 Min. 28 Sec., Longitude: 10 ° 10 Min. 27 Sec.), associated with artifacts of the Urnfield culture. Of the 19 males represented in the cave, 15 yielded the full 12 tested STR values, with thirteen showing I2b2, one R1b, and two R1a. Of the 21 females in the cave, the majority were mtDNA H, with mtDNA U5b the runner-up. No radio-carbon dating was discussed and no metrics were assigned based on the adult remains, which are thought to be about 3000 years old. As you will see below, we are certainly not descendants of these males, but we share a common ancestor with them.

I got a message from Dr. Stephen A. Ralls soon after my 37-marker test. Dr. Ralls is doing research on a rare Y-DNA haplogroup designated I2b2-14. My 37-marker results indicated that I may be in that haplogroup. I ended up extending my Y-DNA test to 67 markers as well as testing certain other DYSs.

It turns out that Dr. Ralls was correct in his initial suspicion. I am indeed part of the I2b2-14 (L38-14) haplogroup. Since Y-DNA is passed from father to son, all of the male descendants of István Grantner have the same haplotype/haplogroup. Research of the L38-14 haplogroup has so far identified 18 surnames around the world. Of the 18 bona fide surnames, about 50% are clearly from the Upper Rhine region. This percentage goes up to about 70% if the area is expanded slightly to include the nearby areas of Switzerland, far northern Italy, etc. The currently known roots of the Grantner family are in Slovakia, so we are clearly an outlier.

Tibor Grandtner, who did extensive research on the Grandtner Family Branch, was convinced that the Grantner and Grandtner surnames shared a common ancestry. Interestingly, Tibor has shown that the roots of the Grandtner branch go to the Alsace region of France/Germany. This region fits perfectly with Dr. Ralls model that emphasizes the Upper Rhine region as the source.

Haplogroup I is about 16% to 18% of European males but Dr. Ralls estimates that only .04% or .05% of European are in the L38-14 subclade. For the record, the main determiner of the L38-14 subclade is the count of 14 at DYS388 (which gives the name to the subclade). My tests show I am positive for SNPs L38, L39, L40 M170 and P217. I am negative for M223.

The Lichtenstein Cave test results fall into the I2b2-B subclade, so we do not descend from males found in the cave. However, we share a common ancestor. The I2b2-14 (L38-14) subclade is estimated to have split from the I2b2 clade about 4000 years ago. This is the forefather of all of those in the L38-14 subclade. The I2b2-14 subclade is identified by a DYS388 count of 14. DYS388 was not tested by the Lichtenstein Cave research, so we don't know if they were in the cave.

The haplotype (Y-DNA Sequence) is shown with my record in the Detailed Grantner Family Tree.


For those interested in more information about the Haplogroup I2b2-14 (L38-14), the following links are provided.


Primary Grantner Tree - Kit # 143868

This 2009 test was primarily to validate the process. My father was the first born child of my grandfather and, perhaps more significant, my grandparents were not married until my father was 1 year old. Hence my cousin's test also validated that both he and I had the same biological grandfather. Not surprisingly, my cousin's 37-marker test result was a perfect match to mine.

Janos Grantner Branch - Kit # 173884

A member of the Janos Grantner Branch had a 37-marker test performed in April 2010 at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). FTDNA confirmed his haplogroup as I. FTDNA does not confirm membership in I2b2 (aka L38) without additional testing above 37 markers. However, I2b2 can be typified as belonging to the I group but having DYS455 = 10, DYS454 = 12, and 19-19 at YCA as modal values. The haplotype of this test matches all 4 of those criteria so I am certain that he, like me, is I2b2 (L38).

The 37-marker haplotype was a match to mine except that his value for FTDNA Locus 34, DYS CDYa, was off by one point. Based on the 36 of 37 match, FTDNA makes the following calculations:

FTDNA also says this regarding a 36 of 37 match:

Distance: 1 - Tightly Related
36/37 match: You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by only one 'point' at only one marker--a 36/37 match. It's most likely that you matched 24/25 or 25/25 on a previous Y-DNA test and your mismatch will be found within DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb. Very few people achieve this close level of a match. Your mismatch is within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

The mismatch between Richard and the Janos Grantner Branch is in the DYS CDY. This DYS is known to be very fast mutating. Ken Nordtvedt is the recognized expert on Y-DNA Haplogroup I. He has determined Haplogroup I Modal (normative) haplotypes that he calls the "Founders' Haplotypes" (a download of an Excel spreadsheet). It is interesting to note that his modal haplotypes do not even include DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb, the four markers mentioned in the above FTDNA quote, presumably due to their volatility.

The results apply to all male descendants of Matyas (Mathias) Grantner. The haplotype is shown in the Detailed Family Tree and in the Janos Grantner Branch. See the record for Matyas.

Bottom Line: DNA testing has shown, with a high probability, that 1) The Janos Grantner Branch members and Richard Grantner (Matyas Grantner and István Grantner) share an MRCA in the relatively recent history; 2) The members of the Janos Grantner Branch are of the haplogroup I2b2 (Lichtensteiners), and most likely I2b2-14.

Anita Grantner Branch - Kit # 163076 (shown to be unrelated to the primary Grantner tree base on the test results)

A member of the Anita Grantner Branch had a 25-marker test performed in November 2009 at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). FTDNA confirmed his haplogroup as R1b1b2. There is no correlation between this haplotype and that of Richard or the Janos Grantner Branch. Assuming that there is a direct male descendancy from Johann Grantner (born about 1900), this haplotype applies to all the descendants of Johann Grantner. The haplotype is shown in the Detailed Family Tree and in the Anita Grantner Branch. See the record for Johann Grantner.

This branch is located in Germany. It would be very interesting to get Y-DNA test results from other German Grantner families.

Haplogroup R is one of the two branches of the mega-haplogroup P. R originated approximately 30,000 years ago in Central Asia. It has two main branches, R1 and R2. R1 spread from Central Asia into Europe. Meanwhile, R2 spread east into the Indian subcontinent. Population movements have brought small numbers of both southward into the Eastern African Levant. The R1b1b2 group reached prominence on the Iberian peninsula (Portugal and Spain) about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago and remains the most prevalent subclade for R1b Europeans of today.


Future Y-Chromosomal DNA (Y-DNA) Tests

DNA analysis for genealogy is a relatively new but rapidly growing field. I would like to see testing done in all of the "un-linked" branches to determine which haplogroup they are in. The rare haplogroup of the main Grantner tree coupled with the relative uniqueness of the Grantner surname implies that all Grantner's of haplogroup I2b2 likely have a MRCA in the relatively recent past.

With the discovery that the Anita Grantner branch is of haplotype R1b1b2, it will be interesting to see how many Grantner branches fall into that group.

The test I am most interested in is a Y-DNA test within the Tibor Grandtner branch. Tibor was quite certain that the Grantner and Grandtner trees shared a common ancestor. Y-DNA testing can readily prove or disprove that suspicion.

I strongly encourage participants to utilize the Grantner Family Project at Family Tree DNA. This will greatly facilitate comparisons and record keeping. The Project also provides discounts for the tests.



Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Tests

Richard G. Grantner
I, the author of this website, had my mtDNA tested in December 2008 through Family Tree DNA. This test was upgraded to a full sequence mtDNA test in June 2010. The mtDNA Haplogroup is determined by FTDNA to be U5a (The defining mutations for U5a are 14793G and 16256T).

Haplogroup U is subdivided into Haplogroups U1-U8. Haplogroup K is a subclade of U8
U5 is among the oldest mtDNA haplogroups found in European remains of Homo sapiens. The age of U5 is estimated at 50,000 years but could be as old as 60,500 years. Approximately 11% of total Europeans and 10% of European-Americans are in haplogroup U5. The presence of haplogroup U5 in Europe pre-dates the expansion of agriculture in Europe.

Bryan Sykes' popular book The Seven Daughters of Eve calculated that it arose 45,000-50,000 years ago in Delphi, Greece and named the originator of haplogroup U5 Ursula. However the details related to location and age are speculative. Barbujani and Bertorelle estimate the age of haplogroup U5 as about 52,000 years ago, being the oldest subclade of haplogroup U.

In 1996,Bryan Sykes of Oxford University first sequenced the mitrochondrial DNA of Cheddar Man (found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gourge in Somerset, England), with DNA extracted from one of Cheddar Man's molars. Cheddar Man was determined to have belonged to Haplogroup U5a, a branch of mitochondrial haplogroup U. U5a, the specific haplogroup of Cheddar Man, is known to be the oldest truly modern human (not Neanderthal) mtDNA haplogroup in Europe.

The mtDNA haplotype, along with more information on the haplogroup, is shown with my record in the Detailed Grantner Family Tree. Since mtDNA is passed from mothers to their children, all the direct female descendants of Ludmila Nedela (born about 1825) have this same mtDNA. The mtDNA is also passed from mothers to their male children but males cannot pass it on to their descendants.

Here is an article on The Peopling of Europe from the Mitochondrial Haplogroup U5 Perspective.

Descendants of Aleksandra Unknown-Nyczporuk

A female descendant of the wife of Roman Nyczporuk (Aleksandra Unknown) had her mtDNA tested through The Genographic Project of National Geographic. The lab that actually processes DNA samples for this Project is Family Tree DNA where we have an established Grantner Family Project. The mtDNA Haplogroup was determined by FTDNA to be H.

Haplogroup H is a descendant of haplogroup HV. The Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS), the human mitochondrial sequence to which all other sequences are compared, belongs to haplogroup H. Several independent studies conclude that haplogroup H probably evolved in West Asia 30,000 years ago having arrived in Europe 20-25,000 years ago, spreading rapidly to the southwest of the continent. This would make its arrival roughly contemporary with Gravettian culture. They are also coincident in that the spread of subclades H1, H3 and the sister haplogroup V reflect a second intra-European expansion from the Franco-Cantabrian region after the last glacial maximum, 13,000 years ago. Haplogroup H is the most common mtDNA haplogroup in Europe. About one half of Europeans are of mtDNA haplogroup H. The haplogroup is also common in North Africa and the Middle Easy. The majority of the European populations have an overall haplogroup H frequency of 40%–50%.

Bryan Sykes named this haplogroup Helena.

The mtDNA haplotype, along with more information on the haplogroup, is shown in the Detailed Grantner Family Tree. Since mtDNA is passed from mothers to their children, all the direct female descendants of Aleksandra Unknown (wife of Roman Nyczporuk) have this same mtDNA. See the record for Aleksandra.


More mtDNA Tests

mtDNA testing can be done through the Grantner Family Project at Family Tree DNA. The Project provides discounts for this test. I will include the results in our family tree if they are provided to me.


Family Finder DNA Tests

Richard G. Grantner
I had the Family Finder DNA test performed by Family Tree DNA in April 2010. As of June 2010, no close matches have been identified, only 14 "speculative" relatives (5th cousin to distant cousin). I have not found a surname match to any of these. I did find one "close" surname match ("Nedelcu" from Romania versus my great great grandmother "Nedula" of Slovakia).

Again, Family Finder DNA tests can be arranged through the Grantner Family Project at Family Tree DNA.




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