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Thread: Martin Luther King, hg.I1?

  1. #1
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    Martin Luther King, hg.I1?

    Martin Luther King, haplogroup I1?

    What is Northern European Y-dna? I1 or some specific subclade of R1a/b?

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The DNA Ancestry Of Dr. King & Marcus Garvey

    Yesterday I highlighted a news release from the Sierra Leonean media, which highlighted DNA tests done on the sons of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Marcus Garvey showing that their ancestry descends from modern-day Sierra Leone. I jumped the gun a tad: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nor Marcus Garvey themselves are of known Sierra Leonean ancestry. It was Dr. King's wife Coretta Scott King who was of Mende ancestry, as Martin Luther King III's mitochondrial DNA (which he inherited from his mother Mrs. King) had a match there. It was also Marcus Garvey's son's mother who had the Mende ancestry.

    African Ancestry, which did the DNA tests on the sons of these famous men, has put out a news release. The researchers couldn't get more specific about the European ancestry because European groups have intermingled so much over the centuries (meanwhile, 93% of all human genetic diversity is found in Africa, which is why there is more specificity there). However, African Ancestry may have solved one mystery surrounding Dr. King's ancestry:

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

    MtDNA: unknown (because Dr. King is deceased, this info would require testing his living sister Christine King Farris or any of her daughters and their daughters)

    Y-Chromosome: Northern European

    Dr. King's son's (and thus Dr. King's) Y-chromosome turning up Northern European is not unusual. This occurs in 1 out of every 3 African American men, because of the number of white slaveowners who fathered children with enslaved black women.

    Mystery solved? Readers may recall that in late August, I profiled Dr. King's ancestry. I wrote: "There is confusion about where Nathan Brannum/Branham/King, cited as Dr. King's paternal great-grandfather, was born. In the 1910 U.S. Census, Dr. King's grandfather's (Jim King) father is listed as having been born in Ireland. However, in the 1880 and 1900 censuses, Nathan Brannum/Branham/King states that he was born in Georgia. Since it is assumed that Nathan King would know more where he was born than his child and because he is listed as black, genealogists generally go with Georgia as the birthplace. However, it apparently can't be confirmed whether Nathan King and Jim King had a blood relationship or a stepfather/stepson one. The National Archives doesn't list Jim King's parents at all in the family tree."

    The lineage above is a patrilineal one, and the Y-chromosome test done on Dr. King's son Martin III shows it originated in Northern Europe. Nathan King was possibly born in Ireland....although it doesn't explain why he was marked as black in multiple U.S.Censuses (as were his parents....although could these have been adopted parents, which was common in the day?), and having been born in Georgia. Nathan Branham-turned-Nathan King remains a mystery.

    Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

    MtDNA: unknown (because Mr. Garvey is deceased, this info would require testing any daughters of his deceased sister Indiana Garvey Peart, or their daughters)

    Y-Chromosome: Southern European (Iberian Peninsula)

    The results of the DNA test on Marcus Garvey's son show his (and thus Marcus Garvey's) Y-chromosome to originate in the Iberian Peninsula. FYI, before the British ruled Jamaica (Marcus Garvey's homeland) starting in 1655, it was under Spanish control.

    Sent from my NEM-L21 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    That Dr. King could have carried y DNA I1 would not be surprising, as you pointed out.

    However, no white Irishman could have been adopted by black parents in that place and time, or vice versa for that matter. This was the era of the "Jim Crow" laws.

    Dr. King's male ancestor may not have been surnamed "King". A genealogist might start with trying to get y line information on Nathan King's brother's descendants, if he had any, for example, and see if it is different. Then maybe try to trace Jim King's mother? Which family owned her ancestors? Slave owners' records are available in the archives. What was their surname and yline if available? Given that a good number of southerners have extensive family trees and have tested the y line, someone who wanted to do a lot of digging could probably find the link.

    Al Sharpton, for example, found out which family owned most of his ancestors.

    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    I have an I1 King in the tree :P Nathaniel who was down the Z140 branch. I know of two distantly related living Kings that have tested this and there's the King family project on FTDNA with a nice cluster.

    And Brannams.
    Administrator of the Young Family Project
    Genetic genealogy enthusiast

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