As some of you know, we have been conducting a DNA project among various members of the Fallin family. I know that the subject can be confusing, so here's a little explanation. Our work has been based on the simplest kind of DNA analysis for genealogical purposes, called a "yDNA" test. yDNA passes, virtually unchanged, from father to son, on the "Y chromosome." That means that males with the same last name can use a yDNA comparison to determine if they are related or not. It also matters how many "markers" are tested and all of the tests we've done so far have been of the highest recommended, 67, marker variety.
I decided to have my yDNA tested because the "paper" record put together by the late Bill Porter (tracing the family of his wife Mary (Fallin) Porter - my 2nd Cousin) and myself has no gaps back to Charles (I) Fallon/Fallin who is recorded as purchasing land in Northumberland County, Virginia in 1671. At the same time, I know there are a number of Fallins out there who have gaps in their paper record that they have not been able to close. It was my thought that they could use my yDNA results as a test to determine whether or not they were ultimately related to the "Charles (I)," Virginia, family. It could also serve as way to close the "gap" almost all of us share between "my" Virginia family and all those descended from a Redmond Fallin, who settled in Dorchester County, MD around 1690. A comparison between my results and a male with a good paper record back to Redmond Fallin should finally settle the question whether the two families are closely related.
So, what are the results so far?
First, as most of us have long suspected. At least the VA Fallin family is Irish. However, it's not closely linked to the "Fallons," but to another group that includes the names: Phelan, Whelan and O'Faolain.
Second, the test is a robust way to check relationship to the VA Fallin family. Although my paper trail is unusually complete, it could always be confounded by something like an adoption, etc. However, the only other Fallin whose DNA was tested prior to mine, a Charles Blenn Fallin, was closely matched to me, lending weight to the test. Finally, because we couldn't locate Charles Blenn Fallin, I prevailed on a known member of the "southern branch" of the VA Fallins (descended from Charles (IV) Fallin and moving into Georgia and Alabama, Ken Fallin, to have his yDNA tested. The results have just come in and, thankfully, his test is a close match for mine.
Third, the comparison can also point in other directions. As he has reported to the board, one of our most diligent researchers, Lance Fallin has a paper gap that's blocked his research for years. His brother had his yDNA tested and it was not a match for mine. That allows Lance to look in other directions, either towards the MD family or to yet another start point.
The thing we are obviously missing is a yDNA test for a male with a good paper trail back to the Redmond Fallin, Dorchester County, MD family. If someone like that can take the yDNA test we may finally be able to resolve the issue whether the two families are related.
If anyone would like further details as to how to go about the DNA analysis, feel free to contact me directly at "firstname.lastname@example.org."