Owston DNA Studies: Another F2642 Y-DNA Mutation Reported



This week, it was reported that another individual in the National Geographic Genographic 2.0 project has tested positive for the F2642 Y-DNA mutation.  This is the second known participant in the I1 communities who has tested positive for F2642.  It is interesting to note that his genealogical origins are in France.   This certainly allows for the possibility that Owston forebears were Norman; however, until others test and produce the same results, it is impossible to know at the present where our ancestors originated.


As stated previously, it appears that center of development of I1 Y-DNA occurred 5,000 years in the past in the region that encompasses what is currently Northern Germany and Southern Denmark.  Individuals with the I1 haplogroup apparently moved in all directions from there.

Previously, it had been thought that the Owstons were of Viking stock; however, this was based on circumstantial evidence at best.  According to Mower (1924) and Smith (1962), the “Ows/Ous” prefix in Owston/Ouston is from the Old Norse word austr meaning “east”  and  “ton” is from the Old English “tun” for farmstead or dwelling.  Because of the etymology the name and the geography of our origins within the Danelaw, it was possible to speculate that our earlier patrilineal ancestors may have been Danish Vikings.

danelawThe Danelaw from Wikipedia

While the assumption appears to be logical, Owston and its variant Ouston are locative names and may have less to do with ancestry than they do with where the family originated.  Without any further data, however, it is equally possible that our patrilineal ancestors were Normans or for that matter Angles who had invaded England much earlier, but also settled in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

In addition to Danes and Norwegians, a high percentage of Germans share the M253 mutation that define the I1 haplogroup.  Redmonds, King, and Hey (2011) caution, “. . . a problem arises, when we try to identify Anglo-Saxon, Danish Viking, and Norman ancestry, because these historical groups were separated by just a few generations in the same part of Europe. It is frequently not possible to say definitely where a man’s Y-chromosomal cultural ancestry originates” (p. 199).

invadersGermanic Invaders from Wikipedia

Even if we fine tune our speculation with STRs (Short Tandem Repeats), we are no better off in determining the ultimate origins of our ancestors.  A comparison of the STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) of the Owston participant in Geno 2.0 and the other F2642 individual shows an 11 marker difference at 67 markers.  This indicates that, even though they share the same SNP mutation, they are not closely related.

Currently, the I1 project at Family Tree DNA has 91 participants that have consistent STR mutations that place them into a subclade called the 14/22 Greater Complex – the same subclade that most Owstons and Oustons fall.  It is also the same subclade in which the other F2642 Geno 2.0 participant is a member.

Of the 91 individuals in the 14/22 complex, the origins of the majority of these families are reported as being from the British Isles with the largest constituency being from England – including the Owstons/Oustons.  The numbers are as follows:

  • British Isles – 45 or 49.4%
    • England – 28 or 30.7%
    • United Kingdom (unspecified) – 6 or 6.5%
    • Scotland – 6 or 6.5%
    • Ireland – 5 or 5.5%
  • Germany – 11 or 12.1%
  • Denmark – 4 or 4.4%
  • France – 4 or 4.4%
  • Netherlands – 2 or 2.2%
  • Czech Republic – 1 or 1.1%
  • Poland – 1 or 1.1%
  • Switzerland – 1 or 1.1%
  • Ukraine – 1 or 1.1%
  • United States – 1 or 1.1%
  • Unknown – 20 or 22.0%

Haplogroup I1 expert Ken Nordtvedt (2013) has estimated that the 14/22 Greater Complex originated circa 600 BC. This is 1,000-1,100 years before the various Germanic tribes invaded England.  The 600 BC date also places the origin of the subclade 1,400 years prior to the Viking invasions and 1,666 years before the Norman Conquest.

While it is exciting that another individual tested positive for the F2642 mutation, it puts us no closer in knowing our specific origins beyond the 15th and 16th centuries.  One thing that appears to be certain, we have invader DNA.  Unfortunately, we do not at present know which invaders contributed our Y-DNA and it is likely we may never know for sure.


Distribution of European Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups by country (2010). Europedia.com. http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml

yDNA haplogroup I: Subclade I1 results. (2013). Family Tree DNA.  http://www.familytreedna.com/public/yDNA_I1/default.aspx?section=yresults

Mower, A. (1924). The chief elements used in English place names. Cambridge: The University Press.

Nordtvedt, K. (2012). I1xL22xZ58 tree. http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/Tree%20for%20I1xL22xZ58.pdf

Nordtvedt, K. (2013). I1 Z58+ tree. http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/Tree%20for%20I1%20Z58+.pdf

Nordtvedt, K. (2013). The I1 modalities.  http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/The%20I1modalities.xls

Owston, J.M. (2012).  His name is my name too: A Y-DNA study of the Owston surname and its variants.  http://www.owston.com/dna/Owston_Family_Y-DNA_Study.pdf

Owston, J.M. (2012). Owston DNA studies: A new Y-DNA mutation found in the Owston/Ouston family.  Owston/Ouston One Name Study.  https://owston.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/owston-dna-studies-a-new-y-dna-mutation-found-in-the-owstonouston-family/

Redmonds, G., King, T., & Hey, D. (2011). Surnames, DNA, and family history. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Smith, A. H. (1962). The place names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Cambridge: The University Press.

Y-DNA haplo I1 Z140+ [incl. downstream SNPs L338 and L592 [private]].  (2013). Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/352630428131255/


Comments RSS
  1. Michael Marsille

    Hi James I am the other F2642 you mention. My ancestors are actually Flemish but their city is now part of northern France. I previously thought my ancestors were viking but newer testing leads me to believe they never strayed far from the Belgic tribes area. I suspect either Frankish or Saxon ancestry which is why I have close matches to men from the UK.

    • jowston


      Thank you so much for the additional information about your roots. I too thought I was Viking. I guess it remains to be seen – but it is beginning to look like Saxon. There are three known F2642 people – one is an outlier in Haplogroup C. As far as I know we are the only I1 people with the mutation tested thus far.


      • marsille

        I also test positive for F2735 which they think is downstream of F2642. Hopefully others will test positive, too.

      • jowston

        I am negative for F2735 – so it appears to be downstream.


  2. Wim

    My brother in law (originates from Brabant, Netherlands) just got his Geno 2.0 results in, and appears to be F2642. No STR’s are determined. I calculated the tmrca from the 3 persons with F2642 (using ftdna information) and came to about 900 years ago. How was the 1000 BC calculated for F2642?

    • jowston

      Thanks for your response. That makes four of us with F2642 so far. The 1000 BC was not for F2642, but rather for some SNPs that I have have not tested as of yet – notably Z2535, which Ken Nordvedt places at about 2000 BC. He calculates F2642 at about 2000 years ago. See http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/Tree%20for%20I1%20Z58+.pdf. I really anticipate being negative for Z2535 and the others.

      Looking at the three who have STR data, the average differences at 67 markers is 14. At a 95% probability, I am coming up with 131 transmission events which calculates as 1,965 years in the past. In our project, we have four people who match at 100% over 43 markers. It is estimated via traditional genealogical data that the MCRA for all of us was no further back than 18 generations, and perhaps as close as 14 generations. We have 15 participants thus far and of the 10 which match, the greatest distance from what appears to be the family haplotype is 3 mismatches; however, six if you look at the two individuals who are the most dissimilar.

      All of these dates, however, are speculative at best and are based on what we only currently know. The TMCRA ancestor would fall somewhere between your number of 900 years before the present to 2000 years ago. Being that two of the subjects are English in ancestry, I would estimate that the common ancestor lived before one of the many post-Roman invasions of Britain. If Norman, then 900 years or greater. If Viking, then 1200 years or greater. If Germanic, then 1600 years or greater.

      As more results are returned, we should be able to fine tune the prediction.


      • marsille

        I can tell you that my surname dates back at least to the 1400s for my line.  I believe I have also seen it in Flanders as far back as the 1200s which is very early.

        Michael P Marsille, Esq.


        NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments to it may be privileged, confidential or contain trade secret information. If this e-mail was sent to you in error, please notify me immediately by either reply e-mail or by phone, and please do not use, disseminate, retain, print or copy the e-mail or its attachment.  The use of the Internet for communications with the firm will not establish an attorney-client relationship and messages containing confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent.

      • jowston

        Thanks Michael for that information. Surnames appear to have developed on the continent before they did in England. The Norman invasion brought the practice to British Isles.

      • Wim

        Since we have 3 people with STR-values, the STR-values of the common ancestor is fairly well known. The average number of mutations from a common ancestor to each of you is 7. With an average mutationrate of 0,0037 for 67 markers, the expected timescale is 26.5 generations, The 14 mutations means 7 mutations for each person on average. Which average mutation rate did you use?

      • jowston

        I see then how you computed the differences then. I looked at the number of differences between pairs of individuals and came up with 13, 14, 15, which averages out to 14. I used the mutation rate of 0.0028 for 67 markers. I also used the calculator at http://dna-project.clan-donald-usa.org/tmrca.htm With a 7 marker difference and a mutation rate of 0.0028, a 95% probability is in the range of 1100 years. The 0.0033 mutation rate puts it at 960 years ago.

    • bohemiancousins

      There are currently 2 participants in the Hyatt/Hyett surname DNA project who have tested as I-F2642:


      We are not sure where this particular line originated, but family lore claims our Hyatt line were “Pennsylvania Dutch.” This is my grandfather’s maternal line but we have a male relative testing for YDNA (results should be back in a couple of weeks) and we anticipate based on paper genealogy to match the other I-M253/I-F2642 individuals from this line.


  3. Wim

    Hello Michael and Jim,

    I saw today on ftdna an extra person without descent with your SNP and 11 STR’s (139862). His STR’s are close to Thomas Wallbank (only three mutations in the list of 67 markers). I would guess he is also from England.


    • jowston


      He is in the Wallback project as well, and your assumptions are probably correct that England is his ancestral home. Unfortunately, he had an adoption in his lineage and does not know his paternal origins. I would encourage you to join the Z140 community as well on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/352630428131255/


    • marsille

      Do you know what kit number?  My ancestors are from Flanders, so I’m guessing that perhaps the England matches are actually invading tribes (Saxon or Frankish) from northwest Europe.

      Michael P Marsille, Esq.


      NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments to it may be privileged, confidential or contain trade secret information. If this e-mail was sent to you in error, please notify me immediately by either reply e-mail or by phone, and please do not use, disseminate, retain, print or copy the e-mail or its attachment.  The use of the Internet for communications with the firm will not establish an attorney-client relationship and messages containing confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent.

      • jowston

        It is #139862. With your kit from Flanders and the other from the Netherlands, it certainly is looking like that – perhaps Frisian. The subjects from England are to the north which fits with the Angles and the Danes. Because I1 tends to be throughout the region from Jutland then south and south-west, it will be the location of the continental kits that will tell the story.

    • Michael Marsille

      Wim, have you tested for F2735? I am positive for it and they think it is downstream from 2642. It would be interesting to find someone else who tests for it.

  4. Sara

    My husband just got his kit back and came up I-F2642. His father’s line definitely comes from Frisia (Groningen).

    • Michael Marsille

      Sara, has he tested for F2735? I am positive for it and it is supposed to be downstream from F2642. It would be great to find someone else who tests positive.

  5. Sara

    He did Geno 2.0 – I don’t think that tests further? But his brother is doing 23&me and may get more data…
    I sent him the link to Facebook.

    • jowston

      If his terminal haplogroup was listed as I-F2642, then he tested negative for F2735. 23andMe has a great service, but it will not provide you the depth on the Y chromosome that Geno 2.0 does. He will be listed as I1* over there (AKA I-M253) which is quite a bit upstream from F2642.

  6. richard radcliffe

    I just tested positive for f2642 kit 93777 at ftdna

    • jowston

      Congratulations Richard and welcome to the club.

  7. Michael Marsille

    does ken know there are more of us now?

    • jowston

      I am not certain, but if folks join the I1 Project at FTDNA, he would know.

  8. Walter Berk

    I received my Geno 2.0 results back and they show my father’s haplogroup to be I F2642. He is waiting for his own 2.0 results, hopefully they will be the same. His family are Germans from the Rhine River Valley and Prussia. We can provide more information if you are interested.

    • jowston

      Thanks for the information Walter. The Rhine Valley is consistent with others who have tested with I-F2642.


    • Wim

      Hello Walter,

      A lot is known about F2642. See http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Z140/ . We know a lot about the large amount of Brittish persons and tree. The knowledge about the mainland ydna tree of F2642 is not yet well known. A few people are known. Please join the ftdna group and Facebook group. I tried to find the STR markers of your father, but did not find them. Are they measured? Can i find them somewhere?

      Grüsse from the Netherlands,


  9. Joerg

    Just been informed by the Genographic 2.0 project that I’ve also been tested positive for the I-F2642 mutation on my paternal line. Similar to Walter, my father was born in the Rhine Valley, in his case north of Cologne. My father grew up with a stepfather. His biological father is reported to have origin from Northern France.

    • marsille

      Joerg my ancestors are from Northern France in French flanders. I tested positive also for f2735 which is downstream from f2642. You can order the single test from ftdna.

  10. Wim

    Joerg, Walter,

    the F2642+ is an interesting group with respect to migration to Britain and possible back-migration. While the largest amount of people in this group seems to come from Britain, we have quite a few from mainland Europe. Using STR-measurements, we were able to make genetic genealogical descendant lines., see bit.ly/I1-F2642. It is not yet certain when people went to Britain or when they had a back-migration. Since you are German and F2642, this is one of the interesting subjects in this group. A few steps are common:
    * upload your Geno 2.0 results from National Geographic to familytreedna. If you want to persue for more information, you might order STR-measurements.
    * join the facebook group that Jim mentioned.

    Joerg, we have one F2642+ person who is from Northern France: Marsille; he measured F2642+, but also an additional marker in Geno 2.0. So far, he is the only person with this additional marker.


  11. Mik Reiffel

    I tested Positive for F-2642+… But was a “I-L573*” NatGeo2.0 then a “FTDNA”: “I-CTS9352*”! I’m supposedly a “Ostpruessen”!

    • jowston

      I-F2642 appears to have a wide area of origin along the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas.


      • Mik Reiffel

        Yes, and Thanks for the Reply… The rest of my “Data” Indicate that’s my “Y” forebears area of “Origin”! BY the Way… “Hi Fellow Alum”; I graduated from WVU 1980, and got my “MS” from: AAAARGH! Penn State! Great Site & Links! Mik PPS: Jeeze… “FTDNA”( ON My Haplogroup Certificate) just changed me to a: “I-CTS1679*”, They have to be “NUTZY”, none of my “STR’s”, even come Close

      • jowston

        Mik: The good folks at the Z-140 group believe that the F2642 identifier for you was a false positive. It’s good to know there is another I1 Mountaineer out there.

  12. Reiffel, Mik

    I grew-up in “MoTown”; and went to WVU on My “GI BILL”, After “NAM”… went Full and Part Time 72-81 and accumulated enough Hrs. for 4 Bachelors… I was accumulating Upper level Cr. Hrs. towards a “PhD” in Archeology w/o being in the Program, But…”BilI” & Money Ran Out… So Heavy&Highway Paid the Bills! Anyway… As I am “Learning”… my Printout says + F2642 YGG and I noticed other comments about F2735, which I am also + YGG! I was able to contact a “Magnuson” who was “L573” then CTS9352 and I miss him by 4 markers,(@111) on 3 by 1 and on 444 by 2,,, I keyed on his Negative List of 23 – SNP Markers and I was + on 20! I guess I’m a “ODDBall”! Must Be, “NatGeo2.0″ says: I’m 6.7% Archaic” Too! (GRIN)! Yepper on the MTNeer and the I-1 TOO “FEW” in any case…Any Comments Appreciated, when YOU get Time! MR

    • jowston

      Interesting results. I have not followed all of the downstream markers, so I’ll leave this up to someone else to do an interpretation.

  13. Bonny Cook

    My husband, Alan Lincoln Cook #102847 also tested positive for F2642 on GENO 2.0. He us also in the Wallbank’s branch.

    • jowston

      The Wallbank is close to our branch, but we have some distinct differences.

  14. Reiffel, M

    hmmmm…. I better Stick to Business! “FALSE POSITIVE”? I Don’t Think so… MY List says: F2642+ “YGG” as well as… F2735+ “YGG”! My 1st. 12 STR’s are “Different Enough” to give me my own “Branch or Twig”, and single Line on the H-I “FTDNA” page Starting@ Z60

    • jowston

      You might be so distinct that you have your own branch off of the F2642 family.

    • Michael Marsille

      Hi you said you are F2735+ William Hartley of the I1/Z140 group on facebook recom,emds testing for A5478 thru A5487 next. I am F2735+ and I did the Big Y and tested positive for those.

  15. Reiffel, M

    PS: 10-4 on the ‘eer and my Kit on “FTDNA” is: D126586 if You’d care to check out my “Claims”!

  16. marsille

    Jim, they finally fixed my profile on FTDNA and now have me listed as I-F2642. They have also added all of my other Geno 2.0 results, which includes the F2735+

    • jowston

      Glad to hear this Michael. It is about time.

  17. Reiffel, M

    Jim… I’ve Called “FTDNA” on them showing me as a “I-CTS1679*”… (Their Newest Weirdness)but they tend to “OBfuscate, about getting Mistakes corrected! If “FTDNA” had 2 Different DYS Numbers in 12 making me More Unusual than my Ancestry “Y” read of 67 I ordered the 111 “Y” Can’t Wait to see the Results! I can’t find any Matches for “Y”, closer than 14 Generations @67(3-5 DYS mismatches) I’ll Bet It Gets “WORSE” at 111!!! Thanks for the Comments! PS: Is WVU out of it’s “Collective Mind”, trying to Play in the “BIG BOY League”!?

    • jowston

      Good luck with FTDNA. I don’t follow sports, but I agree WVU is out of their league.

      • Mik Reiffel

        Jim…As an “ASIDE” I got someone at “NG2.0” to say the Download “I” got from them, was all + Reads! I am still waiting for 60 “STR’s” at “FTDNA” ! As it stands “NOW” on one of my “I” Study Groups I have my “Own Branch” and on A Z58/Z63 Group of 7 Kits (Z60-L573) I Miss my “LitterMates” on up to 7 “STR’s”! On 4 “DYS” Numbers I have results that No One Matches! “FTDNA” tells me that I could be a “CTS1679 or a CTS9352”! Actually I could have about 6-7 different “Terminals” according to: “NG2.0” Data! Regrets I haven’t ck’d in! My Computer Hung Up and all my Files were unrecoverable! Regards, MR WVU 80′

  18. Magnus Liedholm

    Hello! Not exactly sure what the fuzz about F2642 means, but I also belong to that group. I know for sure that my paternal ancesters have been in Sweden at least for the last 300 years.

    • jowston

      At the time this was originally written, only a handful of F2642 had been tested. Now it is quite a large group. It is good to know that it extends to Sweden.


      • Magnus Liedholm

        I assume that some of us “Vikings” migrated towards Flanderns, Northern France and Britain. Interesting stuff.

    • jowston

      They did hit a lot of places in Europe.

  19. marsille

    Jim, I see today when I logged in to FTDNA they have a new SNP listed below F2642 which is L592 and a test is available for me. Is this a test worth taking?

    • jowston

      Michael: L592 has been around awhile (3 years or so) and it has been a private SNP for the Strauß surname which has branched into Strauss and Straub spellings. According to William Hartley’s chart, your F2735 is parallel to and not upstream from L592. I wouldn’t test for it.

      • marsille

        thanks! I won’t bother. Is there somewhere to search for other people with F2735 matches?

  20. jowston

    Outside of the Z140 group, I don’t know of any other place.

  21. James Patrick

    Hello, I have recently received my test results and tested positive for F2642. I have not had much luck using ftdna and am hoping to possibly connect with others that may be close matches. Unfortunately, my test results were different than I expected. Most in my area with my surname is part of the R1B1 group and I am I1, M253. Due to rsults, I’ve revised my known line back too 1810 (possibly 1759) in KY. I joined I1 group, kit 472321. Hope to meet potential cousins soon.
    James Patrick

    • jowston


      You will also want to join the I-Z140 group and Facebook page as well. William Hartley and others have set up various subclades for those testing positive for Z140 which is upstream from F2642. You may want to do the BigY as well and get the analysis from YFull.


    • marsille

      James, do you know if you are positive or negative for F2735? It is downstream from F2642 and I keep hoping there will be others who test positive for it.


      • jowston

        Michael: I am negative for it. I have a mutation on parallel SNP.

      • marsille

        sorry, i meant James Patrick.

      • jowston

        Sorry to misread that.

    • M. Reiffel

      NatGeo2.0 Listed me as + for that SNP… I am I-L573* But I can’t get them to confirm it… All they say is: the Raw Data they sent me, was all + Reads plus a few No Reads… There are NO + or – ‘sindicated w/SNP List

  22. Carl owston

    Hi like the page am a owston on my dad’s side Denmark have got roots l can Trace back to the Faroe Islands how do you get a genetic DNA test done what is the population percentage of the second name Owston in the world

    • jowston


      We recommend using FamilyTreeDNA.com for tests. Right now they are having a sale on autosomal tests for $69 US. There are about 600 people who are named Owston or Ouston.


      • marsille

        Jim, could you post something in the group to encourage I-F2642 men to test for F-2735? I know there is a growing number of positives, but it would be great if we could help to increase that. Thanks!


      • jowston

        Michael: I’ll try and get a page together that looks at the various clades under F2642 and do this. This page gets a fair number of hits, so people are aware of it.

  23. Charles Brunner

    I’m new to all this, but I’ve tested I-F2642 at natgeo genographic project. Paternal ancestors are from Switzerland and Scotland.

    • jowston

      Glad to have another F2642 out there. We have a Z140 Facebook group as well. Have you done STR testing?

  24. Andrea Passini

    Hi!! Nice to meet you. My name is Andrea and I’m Italian. I have the haplogroup I1-S2169 / F2642 and I would like to find my real origins.

    • jowston

      Andrea: It appears that F2642 is found from Normandy through Jutland. With many bearing the haplogroup being from England, the invasions from the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Danish Vikings, and Normans may also indicate that the haplogroup developed along the southern coast of the North Sea.

      • Andrea Passini

        Thank you very much! So, to begin my search, can I start with the map that you put in this article?
        With LivingDNA test, in-fact, I have autosomal ancestry in Sub-Regions similar of those indicated into your map.
        Is it possible to compare our dna?

      • jowston

        I am assuming that you want to compare autosomal DNA. This may not provide much helpful data as autosomal DNA shows all of your lines and not just the surname lineage that is found in Y-DNA. Autosomal DNA is typically good for four or five generations of comparison.

      • Andrea Passini

        Ah, ok…and, is it possible to compare Y dna? I’m still waiting the YSEQ str file.

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