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True ‘Roots’ – Update on Chris and Alex Haley’s Y-DNA

The 24-7 Family History Circle has an update on a story I wrote about few weeks ago (Chris and Alex Haley’s DNA). Chris Haley, the nephew of author Alex Haley, recently agreed to submit DNA for a Y-DNA test. Like his uncle, Haley is very interested in genealogy and his ancestry.

According to the article, which was written by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, the Haleys were already fairly certain of their ancestry: “to the best of the family’s knowledge, the progenitor of the Haley line was of European origin, not African.” Indeed, the results show that the Haley Y-DNA belongs to Haplogroup R1b, a traditionally European haplogroup. My favorite part of this article, and one that many of my readers might find interesting, are all the suggestions regarding future directions that Haley can take to learn more about his ‘roots’ (sorry, I had to). Interestingly, Haley already has an anonymous 46-marker match in the DNA Ancestry database.

One of Megan’s suggestions is to find other people with the surname that the Haleys believe they might be descended from (Baugh), and trade information. Indeed, there is already a Baugh DNA Project with posted results, which might be a great place to start! This is yet another great example of genetic genealogy’s ability to solve genealogical mysteries when combined with traditional research methods.

In case you missed it, the video from Roots Television of Chris Haley swabbing his cheeks for DNA is hilarious:

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Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

8 Comments

  1. my name is actually alex haydn haley am i a blood cousin of the famous author alex haley

  2. I’m the coordinator of the Baugh DNA Project (http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/baugh). Do you know where I can find the 46-markers associated with Chris Haley’s haplotype so that I can post it (anonymously) to the project and see if he matches any of the clusters? We do have a number of R1b’s in there already.

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