Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Big Y for a German ancestry family: updated I-S2703 tree

Click here to download our February 19, 2018 tree for I-S2703

I-L161 was nicknamed "Isles" because it's very typical of the British Isles (Great Britain and Ireland) click here for I-L161 tree. But the major I-Y11338 branch is strictly continental European (and found as far as Iraq) and this branch probably never had a presence in the British Isles. Click here to download our latest I-L161 tree

The other major branch is called I-S2639 and almost all of its members have British/Irish ancestry. But there are some I-S2639 men with continental European ancestry. Did the common ancestor of I-S2639 live in Britain/Ireland, and did some lines migrate back to the continent? Or did the common ancestor of I-S2639 live on continental Europe, and did several I-S2639 lineages migrate to Britain thousands of years ago?

We are starting to determine more specific haplogroups for many of the continental European I-S2639 men. It's already known that many of these men belong to the I-S2742 haplogroup. This updated I-S2703 tree shows a new branch represented by a large German family, it is part of the more specific I-Y14339 haplogroup. It seems that many I-L161 men with ancestry from places like Poland, Germany and Sweden may belong to I-Y14339.

(Quick reference: P37>M423>L161>S2639>L1498>S2703>S2742>Y14339)

I think ancient DNA studies might find some I-S2639 men in continental Europe, maybe some have already been found.

Click here to find our previous tree for I-S2703

Another British branch of I-M26: updated I-L160 tree

Click here to download our February 19, 2018 draft tree for I-L160

I-M26 represents less than 1% of men in Great Britain and Ireland. Some of the British/Irish I-M26 men have paternal lines which must have arrived in Britain/Ireland in the last 2000 years. For example, some British men belong to I-Z113 which is strongly Spanish and which had a common ancestor who lived 1750 years ago according to YFull's calculation.

But several other branches of I-M26 are strictly British/Irish and had a common ancestor who lived 4,000 or more years ago, likely in Britain or Ireland.

Our updated I-L160 tree shows an updated I-A19487 branch with a newly defined I-A19490 subbranch. There are three Big Ys for I-A19487, but they represent a large cluster of related families, all are from Scotland or England. This branch has no known Irish representatives, except for families which arrived in Ireland in the last 500 years from England or Scotland.

Click here to find our previous tree for I-L160

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A rare branch of I-M26 with YCAII=21-21: Updated I-Y11222 tree

Click here to download our February 20, 2018 draft tree for I-Y11222
Click here to download our February 19, 2018 draft tree for I-Y11222

I-M26 is a well known haplogroup because almost 40% of men in Sardinia belong to I-M26.

See this simple tree that shows the fundamental branches of I-M26:
    |       /I-Y11222

(According to the 1000 Genomes project and Francalacci's study of Sardinian Y chromosomes, there may be some additional very rare branches of I-M26 that don't fit into the scheme above).

More than 12 years ago, when people starting doing 37 marker Y-DNA tests for genealogy, we quickly noticed that almost all I-M26 men share the very distinctive marker value YCAII=11-21 or similar . Almost all other men in the world have much higher values: 17-17, 18-21, 19-23 etc.

But there were a few individual I-M26 men who had YCAII=18-20, 21-21 etc. For some of them it was clear that this was a recent mutation, because they had distant male-line relatives with 11-21. But there are some clusters/branches in I-M26 in which all members have 18-20, 21-21 etc.

Thanks to Big Y testing, we now know that the I-L1274 branch diverged from the main I-M26 branch  before the mutation to 11-21. All of I-L1274 has YCA=18-20, 21-21 or similar, and some other distinctive marker values. And almost all of I-Y3992 has YCA=11-21 or similar

But there are some additional branches with YCA=21-21 that don't belong to I-L1274. Recently we received Big Y results for a man with paternal ancestry from Guatemala, he has distant Y-DNA matches to other men from Nicaragua, Mexico etc. They all share YCAII=21-21 and some other distinctive values.

The new Big Y belongs to I-Y11222, and he is additionally Y14718+ Y15473+ and Y14720-. This confirms that the mutation back to YCAII=21-21 was a relatively recent event in his haplogroup branch (within the last 5,000 years): all the other known branches of I-Y11222, I-Y14718, I-Y5473 and I-Y14720 all have the YCAII=11-21.

There is an anonymous sample HG01167 from Puerto Rico who is also M26+ Y3992+ Y11222+ Y14718+ Y15473+ and Y14720 according to the 1000 Genomes project. We will submit this Big Y result to YFull who will compare him to HG01167. There is another Big Y in progress which very likely belongs to this branch.

[February 20 update: we were able to compare the Big Y results to HG01167 and they share 12 variants as shown on our February 20 draft tree which is linked above. We have asked YSeq to add some of these variants to their SNP test catalog]

I-Y11222 is much smaller than I-L160 but it is found in approximately the same places. I-Y11222 doesn't have many branches with large expansions in the last 2,000 years, except for the "M26-France" branches described in our previous post in I-Y11222.

Click here to find our previous tree for I-Y11222 and a post discussing this M26-France group.

Monday, February 19, 2018

A new Big Y for the rare I-L1294 "France" group: a simple tree for I-L1294

Click here for a simple tree showing the five completed Big Ys for I-L1294:  (February 19, 2018)

I-L1294 is a rare and relatively widespread branch of I-P37. YFull calls this branch I-Y21979, and estimates that its common ancestor lived 4100 years ago. Recently a Big Y was completed for the French-Canadian ancestry man shown above: he shares a slightly more ancient common ancestor with the other men.

I-L1294 is easily identified by its STR marker pattern, even with short haplotypes: it is characterized by the very distinctive marker value DYS388=9. Haplogroup I expert Ken Nordtvedt nicknamed this branch I-P37.2*-"France" because he found several examples with French ancestry.

At FTDNA, I know of fewer than 50 surnames belonging to I-L1294 and most of them have English/Scottish surnames. A few have French surnames, and a few have German surnames. I know of only one I-L1294 man with a Spanish name, he lives in Spain and he is not in our project.

But I-L1294 has been found elsewhere in Europe: the Solé-Morata (2015) study of Catalan surnames (click here) found 22 men out of 2500 who very likely belonged to I-L1294, these 22 men belonged to 4 separate genetic lineages. And Battaglia (2009) found one very likely I-L1294 sample in Albania, out of 1206 samples in the study from all over southeastern Europe (click here)

I think this is a good example of how the FTDNA customer database doesn't give a good sample of genetic diversity even in a place like Spain.  Probably Spain has better representation at FTDNA than France. Probably we will continue to find members of these rare haplogroups, and completely new haplogroup branches, in less studied parts of Europe.

I-L1294 is part of the I-S21825 branch of I-P37, along with I-L233 "Western" and the "Alpine" and "Northern France" branches. Click here to see a outdated I-S21825 tree which shows these relationships.

Corrected I-S2703 haplotree

Click here to download our February 17, 2018 draft tree for I-S2703

There were some errors in our most recent trees for I-S2703. We have now examined the VCF file for a Big Y for a Swedish-American man and he is A1514- Y14340- Y14608-. In addition he is derived (positive) for two additional variants that are unsuitable for testing. These corrections are shown in red on our February 17 draft tree.

In addition, the tree has an update in a different branch: two variants have been named A20827 and A20828, and these SNPs are available for testing at

Our draft trees are preliminary and always subject to revision. If you notice any errors, please contact

Click here to see our January 10 post about the Swedish-American man's results.

Click here to see our previous I-S2703 tree (dated February 7, 2018)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Isles-C3 shares a SNP with Isles-C2: updated I-Y3723 tree

Click here to download our most recent draft tree for I-Y3723

I-Y3723 is the biggest branch of I-L161 "Isles", and I-Y3723 contains two large branches that are especially typical of central-western Ireland:
I-Y5455 (Isles-C and all of its branches: Isles-C1, C2, C3)
I-Y4665 (Isles-D2)

According to YFull's calculation, I-Y5455 had a common ancestor who lived approximately 2100 years ago. I-Y5455 contains some fairly large subbranches with a more recent common ancestor: Isles-C2 (which again is especially typical of central-western Ireland), and then some individual families who have no close relatives, these families are found in mostly in central-western Ireland and with a few from elsewhere in Ireland and Scotland.

A few years ago we named a new branch called Isles-C3. Why did we name this particular branch? Because some of our members in the I-P37 project wanted a name for their branch. Unfortunately there was no known SNP name for their branch, because they didn't do Big Ys. So we defined the Isles-C groups as follows:
Isles-C1: Y5455+ A7729+ (3 Big Ys)
Isles-C2: Y5455+ Y5451+ (6 Big Ys). Isles-C2 can be easily identified by the distinctive marker values DYS392=12 (in addition to all of the other markers that are typical of Isles-C)
Isles-C3: Y5455+ A7729- Y5451-

Now we have the first Big Y for Isles-C3. He is Y5455+ and A7729- Y5451- as expected. But he shares one SNP with the I-Y5451 (Isles-C2) branch. This SNP is called Y5452 and it's shown in red on the updated haplotree.  The person who did Big Y has paternal ancestry from County Longford, Ireland.

The Y5452 test is available at and one Isles-C3 man with Scottish paternal ancestry ordered the Y5452 test last week, and he received Y5452+ results yesterday. Of course, maybe some Y5455+ A7729- Y5451- people will be Y5452-.

In my opinion, this Big Y is consistent with a rapid expansion of the I-Y5455 (Isles-C) branch as a whole, approximately 2100 years ago, and probably in central-western Ireland. This Big Y shows that the Isles-C3 branch and the Scottish members of Isles-C3 have close ties to the rest of Isles-C.

Click here to find our previous tree for I-Y3723

Thursday, February 8, 2018

the importance of DYS561, a new branch in Dinaric-South, several new Big Ys: Updated I-S17250 tree

Click here to download our February 7, 2018 draft tree for I-S17250

It seems that the STR marker DYS561 splits the Dinaric-South (I-PH908) group:
Most I-PH908 men have DYS561=16, including I-A13912 and most I-S17250* members.
A smaller group has DYS561=15, including all I-Z16983, I-A5913 and I-PH3310.

Click here to find our previous tree for I-S17250