Simply put, Q-PF3805 is a new male lineage branch of the tree under Q-Z780. Such brevity though masks the story of how we came to know it, and much of its value is in the story.
I was once asked by a project member to explain the point in Y-DNA testing. He suggested that it cannot tell us the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors. Nor does it tell us how they lived. Phylogeny (how the paternal tree branches), he thought, did nothing to expand knowledge of the human condition.
I conceded most of their points as justified. I countered though the futility of attempting to understand who our ancestors were and how they lived through Y-DNA and DNA testing in general. It may not hold all of the secrets, but it is the map to our ancestors’ graves. If we cannot find our way to their resting places, how can we honor them? And if we cannot honor them, who are we?
It is with this in my mind that I looked at the ancestry of the two men in the Y-DNA Q project who Q-PF3805 brought together.
The Story of Juan Estevan TRUJILLO
Lenny Trujilo‘s story began in Orange County, California and traces back to his ancestor Juan Estevan Trujillo. Who were Lenny’s ancestors?
The answer is not simple. Lenny traces his line to Juan Estevan Trujillo who was born 1739 and died 1816. The mission books of the Church of Santo Thomas de Abuquiu, NM (Marriages 1756-1826), that state that “Juan Estevan Trujillo, Indian of this pueblo married Juliana Martin, Coyota and resident. His paternal line may then be Pueblo. However, Lenny has a family tradition that Juan was a Comanche child, captured by the Pueblo. Assuredly though, Pueblo or Comanche, his paternal ancestry is native and from the North American Southwest.
Lenny’s DNA testing interest spiked at the beginning of many exciting changes in Y-DNA testing. Four years ago citizen science for Y-chromosome DNA took a leap forward with both more extensive marker discover tests and testing of more Y-DNA markers through ‘chip’ technology.
It was Lenny’s willingness to be an early Walk Through the Y (WTY) tester that lead to the discovery of his L400 and L401 markers. Though he remains the only known Q-L400 male, his testing was a testament of what could be discovered.
His testing also showed that he was positive for many of the 23andMe V2 chip markers that were being explored by the Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison project led by Adriano Squecco. When the thrilling Q-Z780 markers were found, Lenny tested and came back positive. This placed him firmly on what was shaping-up to be a Native American line. Then, when he was again asked to take part in new DNA marker discovery with FamilyTreeDNA’s BIG Y test late last year, he again kindly agreed.
The Story of Charles William MARTIN
Nor is the answer simple for the other of the Q-PF3805 men. Gordon Martin was born in England to English parents, yet his direct paternal line is far from English. You see, Gordon is the descendant of Charles William MARTIN who was born about 1784. Charles William MARTIN was born in Magdeburg, Prussia (now Germany) about 1784 and became a gentleman’s servant in France before joining the British Navy as an Ordinary Seaman c1800. Charles settled in Frome, County Somerset, England and married an English woman. That alone was perhaps not so puzzling. The puzzle to Gordon’s genealogy research came from a family tradition that Charles was a Black African.
This was the strange story Gordon brought to me as a project administrator many years ago. With the story, he showed me a picture of Charles William MARTIN’s son James Charles MARTIN. James was unmistakably the child of at least one African parent. I recall telling Gordon that I had seen Y-DNA haplogroup Q in the far reaches of Northeastern Africa while thinking of the Q-M323 line that traces to a Yemeni Jewish sample. I was more puzzled though when I examined Gordon’s markers against the rest of the project.
Though distant, Gordon’s closest matches were from Native American lines. I wrote to Gordon and asked if he had any record that even hinted that Charles William MARTIN could be from the Americas or even have traveled to the Americas. He replied that there is one “British Navy ship’s muster that recorded him on one occasion being from Charleston.”
Yes, my mind immediately shot to Charleston, North Carolina. How though did a man of African ancestry with a Native American seeming paternal lineage from Charleston come to be a ship’s captain in the service of Prussia? A stream of Y-DNA marker orders for both better resolution of recent ancestry and for deep ancestry quickly followed. These markers again included many of those that were being discovered by the Y-Chromosome Genome Comparison project led by Adriano Squecco.
The results resolved some issues. Gordon and his uncle matched each other. His extended deep ancestry marker profile did not rule out Native Ancestry, but it did not yet affirm it. With the discovery of Z780, Gordon gained positive status. I could now tell him with near certainty that his line was Native American. Perhaps it would be better to say that the odds that he was Q-Z780 and not Native American were strikingly low.
BIG Y testing provided the opportunity to remove very nearly all doubt. The Y-DNA Q Project’s first push was for testing of the Q-Z780 lineages. The project ensured that Gordon was among those tested.
BIG Y is a powerful test, but to be truly useful multiple sets of results must be compared to each other. Alessandro and I are still analyzing results, but we are sure of the find for Q-PF3805. Of the first Q-Z780 BIG Y tested lines we have:
|B1733||Torres De La Rosa||+||+||+||?||+||+||+||?||–||–||–||–||?||–||?||+||–||–||–||–||–||?|
Further, there are, per Alessandro, six new SNPs that are shared between Lenny and Gordon.
- Q-L400 (Trujillo)
That does, in the eternal way of genealogy, open the door to just as many questions as it answers. I think though that we have moved a step closer in understanding Juan Estevan TRUJILLO’s and Charles William MARTIN’s paternal ancestors. Thank you Juan and Charles, thank you Lenny and Gordon, and thank you to the Q-PF3805 ancestors for the journey to remembrance.
NOTE: Both Lenny Trujillo and Gordon Martin agreed to share their identities in this post.