Lehman, Layman, Lemon Genealogy,

DNA Enhanced

About DNA Testing


A researcher of a Lehman family quickly learns, that one of his major problems is that the name is spelled so many different ways. Inconsistencies in spelling were rampant in Europe before the first Lehman, by any spelling, ever set his foot upon the shores of the New World. Additionally, as Seabrook points out at p. 68, in Fourteenth Century England, thirty-four percent of all males were named John. In German-speaking Europe, John was Johannes/Johan/Hannes/Hans. Up to that point in time, John was the only name that the individual had, because there were no surnames. It must have been a mess.  
          Howard Lehman Spessard, in A Brief History of the Lehman Family and Genealogical Register of the Descendants of Peter Lehman of Lancaster County, PA, published in 1961, noted at p. 8, that there are eighteen different spellings of the name "Lehman" on the social security death index. Actually, research now reveals considerably more than eighteen and additional spellings are still surfacing. Y our compiler quit counting at about 50.Some of those encountered in researching the families’ histories are shown on the left of this page under the Coat of Arms. At least a dozen different spellings are found indiscriminately in both  family, A.1, and family, A.2. There is no correlation between a particular origin of the surname, or a present-day family, and the surname spelling. Incredibly, in the recorded copy of Peter Leman’s will, his name is spelled three different ways. It is impossible, until well into the Nineteenth Century, to distinguish a particular family by its spelling. Consequently, the same person’s name may be spelled differently at different locations in a particular document. While little signifance can be attached to spelling, complete confidence can be placed inY-Chromosome testing if a sufficient number of markers are scored.  
          Laboratory work for the first sixty-one tests was done by Oxford Ancestors of London, England (hereinafter sometimes Oxford), which reports a score at ten markers. Probably due in some part to the current weakness of the U. S. dollar against the English pound on world financial markets, the charge by Oxford by 2004 had risen to $236.00. That price for a ten-marker test became unacceptable. Arrangements were made to have tests preformed by Family Tree DNA of Houston, TX (hereinafter sometimes FTDNA). 
        Ten and 12-marker tests are useful, albeit sometimes unreliable, to determine whether two people are related.  They are of little worth in aiding in the determination of how closely two people are related. A test of 37 markers may be had for $169.00 and a very comprehensive 67-marker test is $268.00. We now have a 111-marker test for $359. As of the latest revision of this page, we  now report a total of 175 test results on this website. Numerous other results are not reported, usually at the choice of the participant or his sponsor. Included are tests of descendants of most of the pre-1760 arrivers as well as several Nineteenth Century immigrants. We have tested several residents of Switzerland and most are related to an early emigrant. Contact me at elayman814@aol.com for assistance in  arranging a test, to report any errors or omissions in this document or just to discuss Lehman, by any spelling, genealogy. Anyone who would like to be notified of test results when they are reported and not be required to wait until they are posted on this web site need only notify the compiler to be added to that list, which now includes over 320 Lehman by any spelling researchers.

How Y-Chromosome DNA Testing Works and what it has Revealed  
          DNA testing as it relates to genealogy had its origin with the publication of an article entitled “The Tree of Me” which appeared in the the New Yorker; 26 March 2001 at p. 58. The author was John Seabrook who had used his expertise in DNA to trace his roots. The test analyzes the y-chromosome.   
          Let it first be made abundantly clear that your compiler is no expert in the field of DNA testing and what knowledge he possesses is limited to Y-Chromosome tests. That having been said for the benefit of those who are interested in tracing their family roots but don't know where or how to start, permit me to state a couple of basics.
         Chromosomes may be described as units of genetic material within the body, or packets of DNA. Only males have a Y-chromosome, which they inherit from their fathers. Thus it is elementary that a female cannot donate a  sample for a Y-Chromosome test. Additionally the participant must be a direct descendant through the male line. The female researcher must conscript a brother, father, male cousin, nephew or uncle with the Lehman, by any spelling, name. The male researcher of a surname other than his own must do something similar. With minor exceptions the participant must have the surname of the line that is being researched. Those exceptions all involve the presence in the male line of an individual who, for some reason, was known by other than that of his natural fathers surname.             
       The good news is that the  Y-chromosome traces an unbroken paternal genealogy back into the past. If two men trace their paternal lines back to a common male ancestor then they must both have inherited his Y-chromosome. So two men, or a group of men, perhaps with the same or similar surnames, might suspect they are related through their paternal lines. By comparing their Y-chromosomes this relationship can be proven or disproved. It is a reliable indicator of blood kinship between men who are distantly related but for whom no documentary evidence of a relationship exists.                 On this web site, we will be comparing Y-chromosome lines of various Lehman males. This might be a good time to examine a Y-chromosome line to see what it consists of. Your compiler claims no expertise in this field and I have no illusions that there are are not a lot of you all out there that know infinitely more about this than I do. This is for the benefit of the Dummies like myself. Accordingly, in the interest of keeping it simple, we will use a 12-marker result for this illustration. Complete results are on the Appendix page. This one is the genetic signature of a descendant of Peter Leman of family A.1.


          The top line simply numbers the markers, up to 111. The second line is the scientific description of the marker, technically with the letters dys preceding the number. The third line is the value of DNA allele for each of the twelve markers, sometimes called the score. Altogether, the score at each of the markers, or allele, are used to constitute an individual’s Y-chromosome signature. It is also referred to as the genetic signature. It is these numbers that are compared with others to prove or disprove a relationship. 
          In the early years of DNA testing, we committed two fundamental errors that contributed to sometimes inaccurate conclusions. The first was that we took the average times for a mutation too literally. The average times were not seriously in error, but the wide divergence from average, which could and did occur in specific instances, was not fully understood or appreciated. As an example, it was believed that one change in ten markers was indicative of a reasonably close relationship. This might be true in an individual case, however, it might not be true and no reliance can be placed thereon. By the same token, we thought that two changes in ten markers, coupled with a shared surname, at least suggested a distant relationship. This notion had even less merit.  
          A  related misconception during the earlier years of DNA testing was that ten and twelve-marker tests could be relied on. While a perfect match at ten or twelve markers, coupled with a common surname, usually indicates a common ancestor more recent than the advent of the surname system, we have found examples of even that being misleading. This problem is virtually eliminated by the present frequent use of 37 and 67-marker tests. These tests are not only infinitely more accurate in telling us who is related to whom, but also are an aid in establishing how far in the past the common ancestor lived and, as a result, on occasion, in determining what the specific kinship is. This is even more true now we are able to compare 111 markers.  
A significant advance that has come about is FTDNA’s “Tip Analysis.” It is available on FTDNA’s web site to each participant to estimate his genetic distance from any other participant on FTDNA's database. It is based on Dr. Walsh’s formula and takes into consideration that some markers mutate faster than others. It represents the best available method to estimate time to a common ancestor. Even so, it should be remembered that, notwithstanding its great worth, determining how closely two males are related based on comparing results of DNA tests is still an inexact science. Furthermore, the closest DNA match is not necessarily the closest relative.
         Some adjusting of values is required when comparing Oxford and FTDNA scores. Both use markers 389i and 389ii. They use a different method of scoring them, but the two methods bear a constant relationship. The conversion may be compared to converting Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice-versa to compare the temperatures in a European and an American city. The temperatures can't be compared till you convert one or the other. FTDNA's score at 389i is Oxford's score plus 3. At 389ii it is Oxford's 389ii + FTDNA’s 389i. If we are converting from FTDNA to Oxford, we subtract 3 from FTDNA’s dys 389i. to match Oxford’s dys 389i. We subtract FTDNA’s dys 389i from FTDNA dys 389ii to arrive at Oxford’s dys 389ii. Obviously, as time passes and more tests of 37, 67 and 111 markers are done, the ten-marker Oxford tests shrink in significance.
        The following is taken from Seabrook’s article at page 62.
           “Perhaps the most dramatic example so far of the potential of Y-chromosome based family history was demonstrated last spring by Bryan Sykes, obtained DNA from forty-eight male Sykeses, who were not, as far as the respondents knew, related either to Dr. Sykes or to each other. By studying the men's Y chromosomes, Svkes discovered, to his astonishment, that there was a distinctive Sykes-family signature on the Y chromosomes of twenty-one of the forty-eight men tested. Four other Sykeses were only one mutation away from those twenty-one.  
        Sykes reasoned that since the DNA of the remaining Sykeses was not at all similar, there was probably one original founder of the surviving Sykes line, and that the unrelated Sykeses must be the results of a steady accumulation of non-paternity events or adoptions.” 

Application of the Sykes reasoning to our Lehman, Layman study results in some remarkable similarities.  Of the 176 included  tests as of the latest revision of this website, 53 are descended from or closely related to one of the three early Family A.1 immigrant, Peter, Rudolph or Hans of Manheim. and thus to the Radolfingen Family 1, originating in the Parish of Vechigen in the Swiss Emmental. That is proven by Test 68 and amounts to approximately 30% of those included in the study. if the comparison is limited to descendants of pre-1760 immigrants, the Family A.1 portion rises to over one third. There are other families including Family A. 2, traced to Leuzigen in the Parish of Arch and Family D traced to Signau. Family P is linked to Steffisburg. Clearly, there were multiple origins of Lehman families and, sadly, there is absolutely no correlation between the location of origin and the surname spelling today. For Swiss ancestors of these and other families, see Lehman Ancestors in the Swiss Emmental before Emigration.
      Undoubtedly, some of the results represent  relatively recent false paternities, adoptions, name changes etc. For further discussion of this subject, see Ch. 3 of Lehman, Layman Genealogy Handbook.  
        We also have a problem that Sykes did not have in that there are literally dozens of way to spell our surname with no discernable pattern.
        Any number of descendants of a common ancestor can contribute to the cost of testing of one male descendant of that line. E-mail to the compiler at elayman814@aol.com, will get things started. There is no point in known close relatives having their own individual test preformed. If the price of the test is a deterrent to you, by all means contact me. I can help.
        Let us now consider the results of individual tests. Test results are numbered for identification purposes only. The test number has no significance. The identity of the living participant and any living ancestor is not included out of an abundance of precaution not to infringe upon the privacy of persons still living.  


Home | About DNA Testing | Category A | Families B thru G | Families H thru Z. 5 | How to Participate| Appendix to Test Results| Swiss Emmental Families|

 Information was compiled and edited by Earl R. Layman, elayman814@aol.com, 2525 Lakefront Dr., Knoxville, TN 37922, revised 21 Dec 2015.