Today I received the DNA test results from a member of the Perez clan in Guam to compare against the DNA of the great grandson of John Paris.  The Y DNA matched with only a one-step difference at the location of DYS385. As I understand it, this would signify a “tight” relationship between the two if they had the same or similar surnames (they do) and more alleles tested – say 37. We only tested the minimum – 12 loci for the individual from Guam. due to financial constraints. Unfortunately I don't think this is enough and to be  prudent we need to do more tests. This will delay the results but I am hoping that this will indeed confirm a close relationship.

The autosomal tests (Family Finder) revealed a connection between the Perez from Guam, the Paris family in Hawaii and the Guam Leon-Guerrero family. The results were confusing. I thought that we would get a Y-DNA match as well as an autosomal DNA match between all three families. Instead we got a Y-DNA match between the Guam Perez and the Hawaii Paris family and autosomal matches between all three families with differing genetic distance.

I posted a message on a DNA message board and got the following response:  "Island populations tend to be close in matching autosomal DNA because for centuries they have been limited to marriages within the original island gene pool and that the relationship might be more distant than suggested."

FTDNA suggests that my dad and the grandson of John Paris are 3rd cousins.  I understand that  if they were strictly 3rd cousins, that would mean that both men were the 2nd great grandchild of a common ancestor. That would mean that one of the parents of John Paris could be the common ancestor. If John were born about 1840 then the common ancestor would have been born about 1820. Dad’s great grandfather was born in 1823. Although we have no written documentation, oral history interviews conducted by Bernard Punzalan in 2008 with the sister of the Guam “Perez” indicate that Dad’s Grandfather and the wife of Pedro Perez, Rosa G. Leon Guerrero were 1st cousins.

Since John Paris and Rosa Leon-Guerrero were contemporaries, it is possible that Rosa was married to John’s brother. We have no records for the father or siblings of Pedro Perez (Rosa’s husband), so we cannot confirm this.  This would account for the one step Y-DNA connection between the Guam Perez and John Paris.n Would it also explain the autosomal relationship between the Leon-Guerrero and  Perez families? The common ancestor for the Perez/Paris family could be the father of John Paris\Guam Perez. The common ancestor for the Leon-Guerrero and Perez family could be the father of Rosa Leon-Guerrero. But how does the Paris and Leon-Guerrero families relate?  Hmmmm.... think I need some advice on this one?

~Jillette Leon-Guerrero



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