Bakers Blaze a Trail and Light the Path for Others

Back in 2016, I wrote about a hidden test, marking a hidden branch in the Cumberland tree, for a kit listed as “Baker” that had testing but was unresponsive to contacts. In the years that followed another Baker tested along with Schmidt and their results for this DYS458 normal branch came to light and defined a new haplogroup in the Cumberland cluster. Below is the Family Tree DNA block tree for the Cumberland cluster and its large number of shared SNPs. To the left is the branch I’m on in ZP85 which seems to coincide with a DYS458 micro-allele. To the right are our brother branches including the branch for Baker and Schmidt (and likely others) R-BY38913.

cts12023 or DF95 with our ZP85 branch and the Baker/Schmidt BY38913 branch.

The image below is the R-BY38913 group (from my perspective in the FTDNA block tree):

The Bakers themselves are on BY61595 on the left, related to James Baker born circa 1700 AD in Virginia. The fact that they have so many public SNPs and a small average of private SNPs usually means that two of the kits have different surnames. For instance, FTDNA lists several of the Elmer private SNPs after 1600 as public and I believe that is because one of our kit holders has the ancestral surname Aylmer assigned to his kit rather than the Elmer the rest of us have. So it could be a Baker with some other spelling or it could be another man in the Baker’s circle of DNA matches like the Hill family which may be closely related.

The test on the right, I believe is Schmidt who had ordered an SNP pack for comparison in 2016. Although I haven’t had a chance to communicate with Schmidt, I’ve got to thank them for their continued progress in testing and shining lights in the dark.

Here there be Dragons

Recently, I’ve struggled with age estimates that don’t come from a service like YFull or from the U106 group’s work with Big Y 500, but there are a couple of equations we can use (lovingly borrowed from the U106 group and YFull) for rough aging to hold us over until FTDNA releases their own age analysis tools.

The numbers we need to consider are an estimated number of years per SNP. For YFull that number seems to be 144 years because of the regions of the Y they monitor. For FTDNA big Y 500 that number is 125 years per SNP. For Big Y 700 and FGC Y Elite it’s 83 years.

Then you consider the number of testers and the number of SNPs separating the two tests.

For Big Y, You multiply each tester by the appropriate number of years for their test. Then add all those sums together and divide by the number of testers.

Taking a swing at it here, since the Baker branch in the block tree is averaged I can only count it as one test. It has 25 SNPs and I believe it’s a composite of Y700 tests so 25*83 = 2075 years back to the common ancestor with Schmidt. Schmidt has 11 and I believe their test is a Big Y 500 so 11*125 = 1375 years. Then we add the two together and divide by the two tests we have (since one seems to be a baker average) 3450/2 = 1725 years back to a common ancestor.

Back from where? Well most people have counted from 1950 as a the average birth year of testers, but if you knew the testers you could ask them and then get the average of their birth years to use. For now, I’ll go with 1950 – 1725 years which would be about 225AD.

Now if Schmidt is a Y700 then his number would change to 913 and the end result would be about 456AD.

When the Baker kits were Big Y 500 they had 16 variants to Schmidt’s 11 which calculating it out with 125 years apples to apples would be 262 AD for a common ancestor with Schmidt. The Bakers have a lot of SNPs which makes me think they may have more mutations in the testable range than the average bear. That could serve to skew their rough estimates older than if we were comparing others or had more testers on more branches in their group to work with.

Unfortunately, Baker stands alone at YFull and they’re not giving away the number of SNPs for the Baker kit there (that I can see) so if I use the Big Y 500 standard for them and Schmidt, but the YFull scheme I’ve seen used for my own kit, it would be (16 * 144)+60 for Baker and (11*144)+60 for Schmidt then divide by 2. So they might estimate about 54AD for a common ancestor.

That puts the Schmidt/Baker common ancestor within spitting range (give or take several hundred years) of the common ancestor of Y15995/ZP121 in Iain McDonald’s calculations.

These are pre-migration period people who would have lived while the Roman Empire was the major power in the world.

The Bakers have been kind enough to include me on some of their conversations and research over the past year and it is good to follow up and conclude a 2016 mystery with a happy return. I can’t say “ending” because we seem to keep learning and growing and I doubt this is the end for the R-BY38913 group.

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