My previous post followed the big Y block tree back to about 500 BC. In comparison to the older Big Y 500 results and even previous FTDNA block tree iterations, I’m seeing a finer-grained map with new SNPs not necessarily at the family level, but up in the tree defining and connecting branches that may have seemed wholly separate.
I’m writing about all of this in one massive series because I have a moment now around the holidays, before my classes start again (back to school as a working adult), to take a longer look. It means that my information may change quite a bit down the line when my results go through a human review.
This is my catch up mechanic, work and school have pulled me away from genetic genealogy, so my own big Y results are helping me figure out what has changed in the last couple of years.
I’ve chosen a geographical metaphor for my big Y results as a way to get a handle on the scope of what I’m seeing and thinking about my place in that scope. Big Y, effectively drops you off at your front door and allows you to see testers who live down the street, around the block, in your town etc.
Although I’m using geographical metaphors and locations, it’s important to know that each of these people is related through a single male line going back thousands of years. Where we choose to stop is just where we choose to stop, the line goes back to the beginning.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the line of men has no culture and at the same time many cultures. Culture is not decided by genetics, culture is a social construct in time and usually surrounding a location that our Y lines move through. I’m going to say that ZP124 is English (right now) and ZP85 is Scandinavian but all of these lines are also Steppe people as we move backwards through different times and locations and ultimately all of us end up being African.
In my previous post, R-ZP85 is a turning point for me because of the importance of the acquisition of a micro-allele at DYS458 in my quest to research my own family. It is a dividing line marking one brother slightly different than other brothers in the same family. It is a freak of nature, like all mutations, and in the end, another waypoint to guide us.
That brings me to, I think, the heart of the matter and the parent group R-CTS12023 also referred to here often as R-DF95. What the block tree makes clear is that everyone in R-DF95 is the offspring of a single man who is basically alone after 24 SNPs, a minimum of 24 generations of men do not appear to define their branches. CTS12023 has an age estimate of just 600 to 700 BC, not too far from the root person for R-ZP85. Those 24 SNPs mark more than 24 generations. The next block up is shared by all men who are related to R-Z18 so CTS12023 represents about 1700 years of men and entire branches of the family who seem to have disappeared.
In this group you will find people from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland. All of us seem to be the product of an expansion at end of the Nordic Bronze Age. So it looks like we got squeezed down to one man and have been recovering ever since.
Being extremely old connected in a direct line back to Z18, but also extremely young as a group with no side branches until 700 BC explains why our STR results are very similar to each other and very different from others in R-Z18. There is no one along the way from point A to point B to show incremental change. Spreading out from an inhospitable Scandinavia and taking part in the Germanic migrations helps explain why we are so similar to each other and so dispersed around Northern Europe.
The FTDNA block tree for CTS12023 also shows where there is work to be done (at least from the perspective of FTDNA). Those blocks of private variants below CTS12023, so high in the tree, may point to a lack of branches, but probably point to a lack of testers. Although many men have tested, not everyone is tested to this level, probably for financial reasons. It’s expensive. What we see here is not all the information, but all the information that the market within FTDNA has provided.
The FTDNA block tree only represents people who have tested at FTDNA, not those who may have walked the path down at YSEQ or FGC. The SNPs in the tree that are marked as FGC#### or A#### were named and or discovered by FGC and YSEQ. The people who have followed those paths may have identified branches beneath CTS12023 that will not appear in the FTDNA block tree necessarily.
As a matter of perspective, it is good then to know that FTDNA is the major player in this space, especially in the U.S., but is not the only player. We’re seeing the data presented as they have access to it, but not necessarily as it exists in the world.
There is no unified repository or analysis of these results.
The parent of CTS12023 is the block of 9 or so SNPs that define R-Z18 a group that eventually leads to R-U106. In the FTDNA block tree, CTS12023 is a direct descendant of R-Z18 without any closer siblings.
If you’ve seen my previous posts from 2016 though you will know that Alex Williamson’s own block tree shows something a bit different. Alex connects CTS12023 with a brother group, now under R-S19726 which in the FTDNA block tree contains testers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany.
It is a difference of perspective on the available big Y and FGC data at the time, but Alex Williamson’s tree offers some possible insights. According to the notes the SNP connecting CTS12023 to S19726, labeled A19290, is ugly and the connection is hard to see in Big Y results alone. I’m not sure how to describe ZZ61 and ZZ62.
I don’t know if that means we’ll never see that connection in FTDNA’s version of the block tree or if it is just a series of more granular tests away.
In my big Y 700 results A19290 is there with a low-quality reading:
chrY 9739413 . A C 29.6785 QUAL=29.678453
Along with ZZ61 represented by a mutation Alex marks as ZZ61_1 (one of two possible mutations):
chrY 22205354 . G T 10.4682
…and ZZ62 showing as one of two possible mutations:
chrY 20149083 . A G 10.4682
Here is a link to Alex’s description of this block which he has positioned just beneath R-Z18: https://www.ytree.net/BlockInfo.php?blockID=1698
Swinging back to CTS12023
Dropping back to CTS12023 for a moment here at the end, I’d like to highlight a point of interest that I alluded to above when talking about our ultimate origins in Africa.
All of the origin points for these families are also destination points for these families. My family under R-A2284 begins here in the North American colonies it is a native SNP to this continent as are any of my singletons that survive human review.
As we look at CTS12023 there are men whose families are as English as all get out, but who are more closely related to someone from Norway 1500 years ago than a CTS12023 person in the next county in England. My family is more closely related to men in Belgium than to people from the next county over in England. For some of these testers you have to go all the way back up to the tree to our root “one lucky DF95 guy who survived in 600 BC” and all the way back down another side to find men who lived a few kilometers from each other in Britain..or a few towns away in North America.
Where we’ve ended up is not necessarily part of any one concerted effort. Although I suspect that Mr. DF95 survived something awful in Scandinavia, the move from Scandinavia to any other origin for the majority of CTS12023 men was probably not a straight line. Each of our stories is part of a group movement, but they are also individual stories that are ironically illuminated by others whose ancestors picked a slightly different path or moved at a different time.
If your family is Swiss (and I know there is at least one Swiss CTS12023 family) I’m not saying your family isn’t Swiss. If your family is from England then…your family is from England. What I am saying is that it is highly unlikely that they popped out of the ground or spontaneously spawned out of the rocks there.