What's this site about ?
This site is about a DNA mutation called R-Z18. Don't worry, there's no reason to be afraid. Having this mutation, does not mean that you'll be getting some sort of scary decease. It doesn't even mean, you're going to grow big ears or something. This mutation can be seen as a sort of harmless birth mark that's inherited by males from their father without it ever being noticed. But this genetic birth mark can be used to trace back all who carry it, to a man who lived some 3,000 years ago presumably somewhere along the North Sea coast in Europe.
The group of all men that carry R-Z18 can be seen is a huge super family in which the genealogical families known today form the branches, so that R-Z18 might be helpful as well to those who are trying to connect families with unknown relationships on paper.
This site brings together all information available today on R-Z18. The information will be presented it in a number of ways using the latest web technology (see image on the right):
- clear directions for people and who consider testing R-Z18;
- suggestions for using R-Z18 in family projects;
- lists of marker-wise test results (both positive and negative);
- textual explanations of those results;
- map of geographic origins;
- a tree of the R-Z18 family;
- and above all: the history of R-Z18.
As such, this site is a strictly non-commercial information service for all who have tested R-Z18 (but open to all for the time being).
Second objective of this site is to help finding new members of the R-Z18 family. If lots of people are found positive for R-Z18 and tell us the story and origin of their family (as far as this is all known of course), no doubt we will be able to assemble a history of the complete family by combining all information. It is not absolutely necessary to know a lot about your family's history to be welcome as member of R-Z18. Even if you know nothing about your background, knowing your profile to be positive, will help discovering the structure of the "family".
Sure, we are fully aware of the remarks from people who don't believe that the origin of people and families living today have something significant to say about the world a few thousand years ago. We tend to be inspired by the story of the language border in present-day Belgium. Here we have a demographic structure that is clearly visible today (the dividing line between northern Dutch-speaking Flanders and southern French-speaking Wallonia) that is a direct result of a demographic structure of more than 1,500 years ago (the northern border and defense line of the roman empire after about 300 AD). If such a structure survives more than 1,500 years of history, then why would we not be able to find the origin of a SNP using the earliest known origin of a group of people carrying that SNP ?
This site is still very much a work in progress. It has been put online without being completely finished, so as to get feedback from people about its usefulness and to start finding new members of the R-Z18 family. In particular the issue of browser independence requires attention. You may not be aware of this, but there are many browsers and many versions of the main browsers and these all have their peculiarities. This is the one of the most labor-intensive (and annoying) aspects of web site construction. So if this site looks a little strange in your brand new "stand of the art" branded browser, please be patient. It would be appreciated if you send a mail describing the problem (with a screen dump as a .png ??).