A Knipp Puzzle

Traditionally, genealogy is supposed to be fairly easy, right? You start with yourself, list your parents, their parents, etc. Then at some point, you hit a brick wall. This happened to me when I got to my great grandfather, David Brazille Plunk. I’ve written about him numerous times before so I won’t go into the whole story again, as far as his family knows, of how he became a Plunk.

Until I discovered the combination of DNA and genealogy, I thought his line would always be a dead end. But now, my dead end is a brick wall. Brick walls can be torn down.

I now have all these pieces of information to fit together. It is just like a puzzle trying to find where all the pieces fit. Unlike most people, I can’t travel up my family tree to find where the pieces go. Instead, I have to go up, down, and sideways. Very much like a cross word puzzle.

I’ve also written before about the fact that the descendants of three men, David Brazille Plunk, Thomas Lee Boatwright, and Edmund Knipp match on their Y line DNA exactly 47 markers out of 47 markers and why I think all of them belong to the Knipp family. I’ve explained too about my own autosomal DNA tests with genetic cousin matches to people that also descended from this family.

Before genetree closed, I had manually entered 42 markers of David’s Y line DNA, matched no one, and promptly forgot about it until I received an email notice that genetree was closing and I should download any match information before it was no longer available. I did so, and was pleasantly surprised to find this match:

Protected 41/42 97.62% KNEPP [United States]

What that means is that this tester chose to not make his name and email address available to matches, that he matched the Plunk YDNA 41 out of 42 markers, that the strength of the match is. 97.62% and he’s descended from Knepp. In a Court of law, a test to determine paternity comes back at 99.9%, you’ve proven the father of a child. To me, 97.62% is pretty close!

This man did provide somewhat of a family tree:
Daniel Knepp
Verner Knepp, Virginia

Not much to go on, but! Do you remember that I said from my own autosomal tests I have genetic cousin matches to the Knipp family? The most notable of this is a man than is matched to me as a relationship range of 3rd to 5th cousin, and suggested as my 4th cousin. His line to Knipp goes like this:

Lula Rebecca Bible – mother
Andrew Bible – grandfather
Leann Knipp great grandmother
Daniel Knipp 2nd great grandfather
Varner Knipp 3 great grandfather

Do you see it? The unknown tester at genetree is claiming descendency from Verner Knepp through his son Daniel Knepp. My genetic cousin match is claiming his descendency from Varner Knipp through his son Daniel Knipp.

If Mr. Reed is my 4th cousin, there is no way Verner Knipp, 1760 – 1839, is the father of David Brazille Plunk, 1879/80 – 1955. But, let’s look at the age of Mr. Reed. He was born 1914, Greene County, TN. Sadly, Mr. Reed has recently deceased, however, I was able to confirm with one of his relatives that the man born in 1914 was the man who took the test and the lineage I have for him is correct. What does that mean? I was born a whole lot later than 1914! Now we look to see if Mr. Reed and I could be 4th cousins.

If I go to my gedcom program and make David’s father unknown, his grandfather unknown, and Verner Kniptp as his great grandfather, along with Mr. Reed’s lineage, look what happens. Mr, Reed is your 4th cousin!

So, for me, a piece of the puzzle fits together and I get to remove a brick from that wall. I may not know the father of David Brazille Plunk, or even his grandfather, but it appears to me that Verner Knipp is David’s great grandfather.

What do you think? Did I just find the great grandfather of my great grandfather?

What’s mtDNA to do with me?

When I first began my genetic journey I wasn’t much interested in mtDNA. I knew my mother. I was even able to trace her mother’s lines back several hundred years. Honestly, I was quite content to gather some names, facts, a few stories, and some pictures.

I had taken the family finder (autosomal) test at familytreedna.com and adding the mtDNA HVR1 test was not too cost prohibitive. I figured, why not? I may wish I had some day. That particular “some day” is today in that I’m now glad I did it.

According to FTDNA (Family Tree DNA), I belong to Haplogroup W. I didn’t take the full sequence of mtDNA so I don’t know which subgroup of W I belong to, and at the moment, I’m not too interested in finding out, although that’s subject to change down the road at some point.

Utilizing an admixture tool at gedmatch.com for MDLP World – 22, I find that my DNA contains 1.45% Indo Iranian and 2.14% Near East. News to me! But what does it mean?

Apparently Haplogroup W is very rare. http://www.thecid.com/ says that “The first member of what is referred to as the W haplogroup, whom we refer to as Wilma, was born between 15,000 and 19,000 years ago, probably in what is now northwest India or northern Pakistan”. The author of the mentioned website also says “Haplogroup W occurs primarily in South Asia, the Near East, Central Asia, and Europe”.

There you go. Some 15,000 to 19,000 years later, this descendant is walking around with some of Wilma’s DNA. But, can I use this genealogically? I think so.

If using the admixture tools at gedmatch I can identify the segments of chromososomes that Wilma is located on, I think this will tell me which segments I inherited from my mother. If my matches share those with me, then, they must match her mother’s, mother, mother, mother, etc side of my tree, and they won’t be a match for her father’s side of my tree where the elusive biological parents of my great grandfather are hiding.

Nipp Knipp KIN DNA Project

I am so very thrilled to announce the birth of a new DNA project at Family Tree DNA.

My double cousin, Tamara Mitchell, has graciously consented to co-administer the project with me, and she has been working day and night for the last several days designing the accompanying website. She has been tireless in setting this up and making any changes I have requested of her.

It is our goal to utilize paper and genetics to discover the lineages of the surnames Nipp, Nipps, Nepp, Knipp. or any variation thereof.

If you are a male with one of those surnames and have not tested your Y DNA, please go to familytreedna.com and order your kit. When the results are in, come join us!

If you tested with another company, you can transfer your results to Family Tree DNA and join the project. Or, if you are a female and have a male relative from one of those lines, please order a Y DNA kit for him.

Come check us out, then order your kit, as we begin this journey of discovering the many different lines of this historical surname.