My Big Y 700 City

As we move along it will help to know that my age ranges and estimates are based on the work of the U106 group based on big Y 500 results and so are very much estimates.

My previous two posts pretty well covered something on the order of 800 to 1200 years of shared history, with most of the diversity of origins coming in closer to the 1000 plus year end of that range and the small number of matching families being plotted to the shores of southern north sea basin.

Looking at those results, with at least one English family more recently related to cousins in the Netherlands and Belgium than they were to other English families, that we’re witnessing multiple waves of migration.

The easy answer would be that one group of families arrived in England around 700 or 800AD while the other family arrived in Britain around 1100 or 1200AD. If we accept a general east to west migration, but it is possible that the families in the Netherlands and Belgium are the result of a back migration around 1200. It’s also possible that there are currently hidden continental cousins whose results are missing when examining the Knowltons, Elmers and Lunsfords in ZP124.

What is clear is that that in that in a 600 to 800 AD range, BY41998 gives rise to two new lines, with one group favoring England while the other favors the low countries.

by41998 map with seven families pinned to netherlands, belgium and england

The map above is a point in time guesstimate of ZP124 in blue and ZP125 in orange around 1000 to 1300AD. One of the orange markers in the low countries will end up in Poland and all of the markers in England will eventually end up in the U.S.

The next block back in time is a fairly big leap. Originally defined by 4 or 5 SNPs, the ZP121 block now shows 12 SNPs with at least 6 family origins. The matches are diverse enough that I’ll need to display the block in two images. On the left-hand side of this image you can see two new siblings for BY41998 leading to testers with plenty of novel variants to themselves. These novel variant blocks represent possibilities for undiscovered branches in the ZP121 family tree. One quirk in my ZP121 block matches is that Edwards from Wales shows as a DNA match where the more closely related match from Belgium does not. I would expect that to get cleaned up in the human review. The two sibling SNPs for BY41198, R-A19371 with descendants in England and Germany and BY101189 with Edwards from Wales, would I suspect have branched out in roughly the same time period.

The right-hand side also has new matches at the ZP121 level directly. Likely no potential sibling for BY41998 has been identified in those matches. They will probably eventually have some shared SNPs under the ZP121 block when more results come in. Here we have Germany, England, Ireland and Poland and the Polish match in this group is no closer or farther away than any other match. It would be harder to say if they were part of the Ostsiedlung migrating east or if they represent an older branch of ZP121 that migrated west.

My suspicion with both the left hand and right-hand groups without further evidence is that we’re seeing the Germanic migrations. The current best age estimate for ZP121 is around 300AD. With 12 SNPs, ZP121 represents another survivor story. He’s one man with a minimum of 12 generations behind him, but again likely many more. His descendants end up

All of these haplogroups are under the parent group of R-Z18 which is age estimated to have originated in a man born around 2500 BC and is a descendant of R-U106 which is estimated to be a man born around 3000 BC. Although several groups in R-U106 contain Scandinavians, R-Z18 has a high proportion of Scandinavians. Where R-U106 is generalized as a Germanic haplogroup by many, R-Z18 is generalized as a Scandinavian sub-group.

These are cultural labels that don’t reflect on the actual culture of Mr. U106 or Mr. Z18 at all. Those guys were probably walking around with stone axes speaking some language that would be alien to their later descendants. The labeling reflects more on the distribution of the descendants of those men. The observation of this distribution has been made based on current testers and has generally been backed up by ancient DNA.

The Germanic migrations, to me, are a spaghetti mess of movement in Europe that sends a few generations of men far and wide as settlers in new locations and founders of new cultures and groups in those locations.

The U106 group has been doing a good job of tracking ancient U106 related DNA in a spreadsheet:

There you can find R-Z18 related men in 4th century Nordland, Norway and R-Z18 men in 6th century Somogy, Hungary. The man in Norway is not necessarily surprising, but the man in Hungary, part of an eventual Lombard culture, was born in Scandinavia based on isotope analysis (one of two Scandinavians I believe) living among unrelated Germans and various locals.

In later centuries R-Z18 men appear in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and burials in the Danelaw in England. In a broad generalization, R-Z18 men seem to be found in Scandinavia and then places where Scandinavians ended up in the era of the Germanic migrations and the Viking age.

It would be great to have enough testing, of both modern and ancient DNA to be able to place and track DF95 men in this same journey, but our haplogroup is so small and so recently defined that I’m not sure our SNPs have been tested for when it comes to ancient DNA. Any of the men simply marked Z18 in the spreadsheet could be DF95 men, but the size of our group makes it less likely that we’ll be identified in ancient remains.

It is no surprise though, given the evidence we have from ancient DNA and historical accounts of the migration period, that we would find R-Z18 men in R-ZP121 in a variety of locations in Europe.

One block farther back I find FGC78525, new since March 2019, which connects ZP121 men to men under BY39935 and BY66573. Again, like ZP121, I would expect that these are migration era sibling groups. Each of them has a long string of SNPs just like Mr ZP121, 12 to 15 generations all in a straight line. These two groups are currently dominated by matches from the Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland) while Mr. ZP121 has children from both the Isles and the continent. Just like ZP121 we could be looking at a lot of hidden branches that will be defined with further testing for these groups or we could be looking at the string of SNPs in the descendants of three survivors with everyone else who would have branched off along the way going extinct.

FGC78525 contains men in ZP121 as well as two new groups under BY39935 and BY66573. All three groups have long runs of 12 to 15 unshared SNPs

One more block back and we get to ZP85 which seems to be correlated with the DYS458.2 micro-allele. ZP85 is the parent of FGC78525 above and another group defined by 14 SNPs in a long string leading to a tester from Norway and two Testers of unknown origin. My guess would be that the people in this R-PH1934 group split up at around the same number of SNPs as the split for ZP124 and ZP125 from BY41998, its age estimate is roughly 550 AD. My personal suspicion is that the subgroups of PH1934 represent splits in the Y line during and after the viking age and that there are more testers out there who could help define its branches.

My bet is that our mutual parent R-ZP85 has its roots in Scandinavia. ZP85 has an age estimate around 500BC which is in the vicinity of the end of the Nordic Bronze Age. I talk a bit about the end of the Nordic Bronze Age and references to climate change in a few of my posts in 2015 and 2016. This period is also sometimes called the “findless” age because of a population decline in Scandinavia and a lack of archeological finds.

There are enough blocks under ZP85 that I’m doing split screens left and right to capture them (hopefully in some meaningful way).

R-zp85, father of R-ph1934 and R-FGC78525
right hand side of ZP85 block tree

Mr R-ZP85 seems to be the originator of my ancestor’s DYS458.2 micro-allele, the tiny .2 number that vexed me so much in the early days of my search became important for sorting and then almost immediately was overshadowed by SNP discoveries. I think he also represents (barring new evidence) a diaspora of Scandinavians who would stop being Scandinavians and become Germans, Polish, Dutch, Belgians, English, Irish, Scots and Welsh.


    • Hi Mark, it looks like you gained a new layer above you since I made this post. R-FTB88227, which I’m guessing was solidified by Nieminen from Estonia. They believe their last known male ancestor is Johan Michael Hillebrandt b.1686. I think Hillebrandt is a German surname. That match is going in the wrong direction for genealogy though. I personally feel that German testers are under-represented. I have a few STR mutations that seem to keep German matches high in my list even at Y67, but my track record for recruiting German testers is not as good as I’d like. Some of that may be a language barrier. I do expect to see results from a new test matching Ammerman from a Schmidt tester but it looks to me like they are going to form their own branch under ZP121. My best advice would be to contact your Y-STR matches at various levels and see if you can recruit them to test at a higher level. I think We’re still in that space where every test offers something to learn and there’s still plenty of room for surprises.

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