Kissin’ Cousins ~ Finding Family y-DNA


I Don’t Know My Fathers y-DNA ~ all the men are dead.

The search for Kissin’ Cousins

Of course only a girl has to say this because if there was a son then they would carry the father’s y-DNA. But many girls would like not only their father’s y-DNA but also their mother’s father’s y-DNA.

Well, I might first suggest loading the trunk of the car with garden tools, go to the cemetery, dig ‘em up, pull a tooth and take your chances. But I don’t think it would be easy to get the DNA extracted and sequenced, at least not in the USA and not cheaply.

I have also said to friends and family, when you get the call, that I have held someone down, held their mouth open and swabbed their cheek with a DNA stick, and have gotten into a spot of bother, although I cannot imagine why. Could folks know to come and get me?

[Please read the short explanation of the three main DNA for genealogy tests on the blog post – The Trinity Of DNA Testing. And I will assume you have learned what test answers what questions.]

The search for your father’s or another’s y-DNA can reach quite far back into one’s ancestry. My father, Sam, was dead, as far as I know he had no sons or brothers. My paternal Grandfather, Harry, was deceased with no brothers.



Copy of cherie ancestry for blog find ydna

Work back through your ancestry on any line, then research forward to living male descendants. Many if not most will not have living descendants that can be identified easily, so move to the next brother or uncle. Once you have your cousin you can see your own relationship with the autosomal test and then their y-DNA can hopefully identify more about that family line


His father was James ‘Jim’ Knight, he died almost a century ago, but from family history researchers, Jim had, at least, a couple of half brothers by his father’s 2nd wife, after Jim’s mother died. We did not know of any full sibling males – at the time.

Paternal third-great ½ Uncle Walter Knight stayed behind in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee. My branch of the family left for steel country in central Alabama; Great Grandpa was a mine foreman, but visits to home near Dayton continued until my grand father wasn’t making long drives any more.


Copy of don ancestry for blog find ydna

Donny’s great grandfather is my 2nd great grandfather. Our primary documentation by traditional research shows us as 1/2 2nd cousins once removed. Genetically, he shares 204 cMs (centiMorgans) (amounts of shared genes) with the longest block 39 cMs with my father’s sister, 2nd cousins. For me, the added distance of once removed and the luck of the draw, we share very little DNA, but in the averaged range of amounts for relatives to share (see charts), only 45 cMs with the longest block of sequential DNA of 13 cMs. Google for “shared cMs charts”, there are several very good ones, that help to evaluate how any two people are related based on amounts of shared genes.

So, it wasn’t that I didn’t know about these cousins, when I went looking for DNA, I just had not seen any of them since I was a young teenage girl that blushed at everything. My father did not have any son – I was called Charlie for many years, until he married a child from West Virginia, when I was about 10, and then he began to call her Charlie – but that’s another blog.

Men talk about there not being any male off spring, and the end of a family line stories are impressed on childhood memories, particularly when they are sprinkled with stories of kissin’ cousins while driving up with Daddy Paw, Harry, and Mamma Pearl to see Aunt Lucy, and her son, Paw’s cousin, Luther, and his son Donny.


Donald Allison Donny Knight with his Mom Nelta Ruth Meadows Knight and I am on the right

If you want a kissin’ cousin they did not come any cuter than Donny Knight, handsome, and make a girl child blush on sight. But enough of that story – it did not come about, we had a wonderful trip, everyone always treated family like visiting royalty, and took care of our every comfort.

So going through genealogy records to make sure my memory had not failed, searching Public Records, City Directories and then just the good old American local phone book – I dialed – and he answered hello. 50 years at least – since we had talked.

Me on the left with my later sister Charlie 3, Robin Ann Knight Glover and on the right Donny Knight


It would be wonderful to report that he remembered me, had thought I was cute too, even though I had been a young kid hardly noticeable. But he did not remember, and had not been well in recent years. And he said himself he had survived Leukemia and a stroke and he was fortunate to be alive. When he heard about DNA testing, he was keen – it was exciting to think we might finally figure out the colonial ancestor of the Knight family of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

For these genealogy questions you want two tests – the autosomal test confirms the kinship between Donny and me, and then his y-DNA test will give us, hopefully, if not family ancestry answers, at least ancestral y-DNA haplogroup information of family origins and migration.

With much love for my Kissin’ Cousin Donny Knight

knight don christmas

Donald Allison Donny Knight ~ 1947 – 2015

01a Copy of cherie known dna haplogroups

I am such a slacker – too many empty slots here!

3 thoughts on “Kissin’ Cousins ~ Finding Family y-DNA

  1. Pingback: July The II, 3rd and 4th | Cherie Lynn's Herstory

  2. Pingback: y-DNA ~ Begin with 12 STR Markers? | Cherie Lynn's Herstory

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