Was John C. Fawkner really a Faulconer? If so, his male straight-line descendants should have Y-DNA closely matching male straight-line Faulconer descendants. Act I featured MN-Fawkner and KY-Faulconer in a 46-marker Y-DNA duel. They matched on 42 of 43 reported markers, suggesting that they well may have descended from the same male ancestor.
A "denser" 67-marker test might be more definitive. If MN-Fawkner and KY-Faulconer fall out of match on several of the additional markers, the hypothesis that John C. Fawkner was a Faulconer might be negated. But, if the two men are still close matches, it would still hold water.
The spotlight is now on a 67-marker test from Family Tree DNA. The results: MN-Fawkner and KY-Faulconer matched on 63 of 67 markers; they had the same number of repeats on 63 of the 67 markers. They had a genetic distance of four -- that is, four mutation events would explain their differences.
Family Tree DNA offers a "TIP" report that gives probabilities that the two men have a common ancestor with certain numbers of generations. The MN-Fawkner v. KY-Faulconer TIP report gave a 35 percent probability that they had a common ancestor within five generations. At six generations, the odds improved to 47 percent. The statistics suggest that the common ancestor is most likely seven or more generations back, but five or six generations is not out of the question.
More markers might help. For a modest amount more money, Family Tree DNA offers a 111-marker test. If MN-Fawkner and KY-Faulconer match on the additional markers, the case for a common ancestor at five or six generations would improve.
The results were disappointing. They matched on only 39 of the next 44 markers, and the genetic distance between them soared to 11 because MN-Fawkner and KY-Faulconer were more than two repeats apart on a couple of markers. Family Tree DNA no longer included KY-Faulconer on MN-Fawkner's match list -- and vice versa. The case for John C. Fawkner being a Faulconer -- at least one closely related to the Fayette County, Kentucky, Faulconers -- seemed to have collapsed.
But, it just didn't seem right. Traditional research placed John C. Fawkner in close relationship to the Fayette County Faulconers. There is a surprise just around the corner. Stay tuned.