My Big Y 700 Community

In my last post, I left off at the ZP124 block that currently defines three families of English colonists who arrived in a few different locations in North America within maybe 100 years of each other.

The ZP124 block gets us back to roughly 800AD covering about 1000 years for these three families. Right now, it would appear that it covers 1000 years in England and North America, but the entire picture is not known. With 1000 years to play with and rolling up on 5 years of Big Y testing, it seems like we should be seeing more families, and possibly more diversity of origins, in ZP124.

The next block back in time is interesting. It appears that it existed in March 2019. I can find it in my variants and in one of my Elmer cousin’s tests, both as low-quality SNPs. I don’t see it in Alex Williamson’s big tree, but apparently it is a direct connector to our brother branch. This block is BY41998. It represents at least one generation, but probably more. Currently, it is our cross over SNP that gives us matches in both England and Continental Europe:

This is also where my Big Y matches really begin to affect my personal display of the block tree. That is a shame because the block tree is hiding information based on my matches. My only display options are “show matches” or not and my matches currently seem to be a bit willy nilly (pre-human review).

Luckily I’ve been in contact with my ZP125 brethren so I have some idea who they are, but it would be easy to lose contact with them as testing progresses and more people are added. I don’t know if this is an answer to the GDPR (European privacy rules) or if it is just a quirk of “show matches” being additive rather than the default.

Personally, show surnames would be great because I could go to my Y STR match lists to contact people directly, look at available family trees…etc.

BY41998 is a connector to ZP125. BY41998 probably represents a few generations so roughly 600AD or 700AD for a common ancestor.

Looking at ZP125 will help define the transition. In that group we have the Wright family from England branching right off the ZP125 block. ZP125 contains at least 4 generations of men, but probably more.

Although I’ve heard that both FTDNA and Alex Williamson are working to include age estimates into their block trees, the best age estimates for these groups to date comes from the U106 group. Their analysis only takes into account people who were part of the U106 project, so the Wright family is not represented there. I can only guesstimate at ages surrounding those produced by the high-level math that went into age analysis a few years ago.

The four generations in the ZP125 block would make the split between Wright and the other men in the group, roughly equivalent to the Elmer family split with the Knowltons. 1200AD going by the U106 group age estimates for the Elmer/Knowltons.

That means the Wrights from England have a shared ancestor with men from Belgium, Netherlands and Poland around 1200AD while the Lunsfords, Knowltons, and Elmers share a common ancestor with the same group farther back in the 600 – 700AD range.

In this period between 1200AD and 600AD, our surnames have become mostly useless. They were probably assigned hundreds of years later. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about various migration routes and I feel like I could still make good arguments for all of them based on the evidence we have gathered since 2010. The truth is that it is all speculation. Nobody knows and we have no ancient remains to give us a guide-post.

In 2012, I posted that I was looking at where the leaves landed and trying to guess the wind. In that posting, I listed a germanic migration from west to east (the Ostsiedlung) that I am going to use as an example again when talking about the next block down, ZP150.

ZP150 contains matches from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland. The age estimate is roughly 1300AD for this group. In discussions going back a decade, our cousin in Poland was seen as a possible oldest root tester based on an east to west migration plan and a number of STR differences from other DF95 men. With better testing and direct communication comes more information though and it turns out the best fit is a west to east migration, the Ostsiedlung, connecting men from Belgium and the Netherlands to settlements in Poland. Talking with our distant cousin, his own genealogical work pointed to a similar conclusion. His family is a fairly recent addition to Poland with roots in the west.

No one was wrong for speculating that he could have been on an early branch of our tree in the East. It fit the model and the information at the time, but it is a good example that we have a lot left to learn because much of the evidence remains hidden.

The next block down is ZP187 and the age estimate for that block, which contains testers from Belgium and the Netherlands is about 1400AD. The families have different surnames again, I think, highlighting how recently surnames have been applied.

What I think we can say is that this is the current world of origin points of BY41998 and the central feature of that world is water:

At this point, we’re still fairly close to that thousand years of history mark, give or take a few hundred, BY41998 man has descendants on the continent and in Britain on both sides of the Southern North Sea Basin and some of those migrated as far away as Poland and North America in those thousand years.

One Comment

  1. Very recently, after these posts, The U106 group gave out a rough way to estimate ages between two testers. Which calls into question my rough estimates here, especially for the ZP125 group which didn’t have a full set of age estimates to look at.

    Since I don’t know the specifics of each man in ZP187 I am going to use the information on the block tree at FTDNA which is averaged. I can only treat them as a single person. They have an average of 4 SNPs to themselves and it takes them 6 more SNPs to get back to ZP125 where Wright splits from them. So they have 10 SNPs. The U106 group is using 125 years as an average for years between SNPs in Big Y 500 tests. So the ZP187 men have 1025 years back (from 1950) to ZP125. In the block tree, Wright has 14 private variants back to ZP125 so 1750 years.

    In their equation, we add the two sets of years together and then divide by 2 (the number of people since I can only count ZP187 men as an averaged person). So that would put a common ancestor for you and the ZP187 men at 1388 years or roughly 1400 years before 1950. So (10*125) + (14*125)/2 or 1025 + 1750 / 2 = 1388. 1950 – 1388 is 562 so Around 500 or 600AD for a common ancestor.

    Which is about 600 years older than my guesstimate based on number of SNPs between blocks.

    This aging equation is similar to one I’ve seen recently from my own test at Yfull. YFull limits the amount of the Y they look at (so they limit the number of SNPs they get). They use an equation that adds 144 years per SNP and then adds 60 to each year set and divides the total of all of that by the number of testers. So Yfull might give an estimate like (1025+60) + (1750+60) / 2 = 503 so about the same range for common Y ancestors.

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