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14 November 2015:   It has been noticed that the DNA results for certain kits are not visible to all.  It seems the default option for relatively new kits  and/or results at FTDNA is to have DNA results visible only to project members. The member or anyone else has to be logged into his private page at FTDNA before the results are visible.    This makes it impossible to effectively compare results with other kits in the project when viewing the project results on the FTDNA Project Public Page.  Quite obviously, this also makes it impossible to compare results with other kits which are not members of the project.   The solution is  for each member to login to their private page,  hover over their kit number and check “privacy settings”, and change “DNA results” to “Anyone”. 

4 January 2015:  During 2014, FTDNA posted ESTIMATED Haplogroupings [using a red font] for virtually all participants who had not previously engaged inSNP testing.  These FTDNA estimates are NOT CONFIRMED by SNP testing, and are subject to change or correction upon proper SNP testing.  The FTDNA postings did, however, lead to a major effort to assign the various participants to their proper Haplogroup and subclade.   The reason for this is that while there may be an apparent match of two or more kits based on their respective STR results, if the kits have different haplogroups there is no way they can have a common ancestor in a genealogically significant timeframe.   In other words, a participant with a “R” SNP cannot have a common ancestor with a participant with an E, I, J, etc., SNP result; their haplogroups are different and while they are both human, their common ancestry dates far back in pre-history. Further, differing subclades within a particular Haplogroup can effectively rule out a close Common Ancestor.  Quite obviously, SNP testing provides a very useful cross-reference in comparing matches of STR results.   It is desirable to avoid mis-matches which might otherwise result from apparent STR matches of kits which are from different Haplogroups and/or subclades. 

At the end of December 2014, FTDNA further undertook a major Haplotree update, which at the present is still underway.  According to FTDNA, “There were major refinements and additions in Haplogroups  R, N, I, and O with numerous smaller changes elsewhere.”   Each FTDNA Participant can access FTDNA’s version of the Haplotree using the link provided  on their respective Kit pages.    There remain differences between FTDNA’s Haplotree and the Haplotree developed by ISSOG, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.  Additionally, Ray Banks is in the process of developing an “Experimental Composite Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree”.  This latter tree has various sources, but largely mirrors the ISSOG Haplotree.

In the present project, FTDNA assigns each kit a Haplogroup designation on the “SNP Results” page using the FTDNA version of the Haplotree.  Participants will notice that the project administrators have grouped the various kits into subclades using the ISSOG Haplotree.   This is not to say that the ISSOG Haplotree is necessarily  better than the FTDNA Haplotree; however, using the ISSOG Haplotree for the grouping  does provide “food for thought” and gives participants some idea of the direction new research is proceeding.   Additionally, reference to  the specific ISSOG Haplogroup page for respective haplogroup assignments  provides some very interesting and useful  links to  research sources and data.   One can click on the link to, for example, the “R” page found at the ISSOG Haplotree  Main Page and  proceed to explore present information concerning the Tree and SNPs underlying the various assignments. Additionally, there are links to various webpages and other FTDNA projects actively engaged in researching and collecting data relative to the various sub-haplogroups or subclades.

Much additional information can be developed.  For Example, Chris Morley, info’at’MorleyOfHalifax.com  has identified a Northwest England Y-DNA cluster within the SNP:  L448 subclade of haplogroup R1a. The cluster is characterized by the uncommon STR marker values YCAII = 21-21, DYS464 = 12-15-15-17 and DYS534 = 12. See http://www.morleyofhalifax.com/NWEnglandCluster  for further information, including a map of cluster members' supposed ancestral origins, a spreadsheet of haplotypes and a diagram of cluster subdivisions.

The Ray Banks “Experimental Composite Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree” provides an interesting additional component for researchers.  The known predominant composition of terminal branches is shown on the right side of each Haplogroup subclade. See for example the “E1a & E2”tree at: https://sites.google.com/site/compositeytree/e1a.  One can estimate whether the kit participant has “Mandenka” or “Yoruba” ancestry,etc. , thus providing an additional clue as to further avenues of research.  And so on. Many, but not all, of the Banks Haplogroup subclades appear to have ancestral estimates where known.   Further developments, including addition of  an “R” page,  will be interesting to all concerned.

As indicated in the opening paragraph, SNP testing provides a very useful cross-reference in comparing matches of STR results.  Experience shows that the best STR matches are found where the tested SNPs indicate the kits belong to the same subclade.  All participants are urged to try to identify the “terminal SNP”  for the haplogroup  subclade to which they are tentatively assigned.  Please note that many of the “green font” SNP results shown for those who tested in the past [particularly in the “R” Tree including P25 and M269] are functionally out of date and need to be updated with more realistic terminal SNPs. Presently, FTDNA offers SNP testing of individual SNPs for $39.00 each, a relatively inexpensive cost compared to the potential usefulness of updated results.



23-29 March 2012: The following excerpts from discussion on http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2012-03

may be of interest and provide some guidance to researchers interested in SNP testing:

“Administrators of Haplogroup Projects have now received notice from FTDNA that the price of the Deep Clade test has risen substantially, effective immediately. [The new price for Deep Clade tests is about 56.178% more than it was last week.] In return, however, FTDNA's CEO Bennett Greenspan specifically mentions "so many sub-branches of the tree (and more coming in 6-8 weeks)." This is the most concrete public statement … seen that FTDNA is about to update its official haplotree and corresponding Deep Clade test within a specific, short time frame.” Mayka

“A simple bit of programming to analyse STR results would certainly be useful in suggesting what SNP's a person should test rather than persisting with this "shotgun" approach FTDNA seems to be using. In the two main R1a projects the admins suggest specific SNP tests based upon STR's. For instance in R1a DYS388 = 10 means that the person should do a L664 test.” Andrew Mceachern

“The shotgun approach is more reliable, and more scientific. If you only test R1a people who are DYS388=10 for L664, then you will only find L664 in people who are DYS388=10.

In the case of L617+, there is no haplotype similarity at all between Clusters 1 and 2 who are L617+.
(http://www.kin.marshdna.com/DNAresultsL617.htm) They don't share a single distinctive off R1b P312 modal marker. In the Cluster 1 of L617, there is a very distinctive set of off-modal STR markers which can predict membership of Cluster 1, which may be about 500 to 900 years old. But if testing was restricted to only those with the Cluster 1 distinctive markers, then Cluster 2, and possibly other clusters would never be discovered for L617+.

You are right to the extent that in many cases (perhaps 9 times out of 10?) SNPs can be predicted from STR haplotype. But sometimes it is the 1 in 10 exception to the rule which can teach us a lot about the origin of the SNP.

The younger the SNP, the more reliable predicting based on haplotype is likely to be. It is possible to prove a SNP is less than 1,000 years old, and for those cases haplotypes are useful predictors. But if a SNP is more than 3,000 years old, as is implied for L617+, then haplotypes are less reliable predictors.

I am less critical of the deep clade testing concept than you are, but there will obviously be cases where an individual is better advised based on haplotype to order a single SNP test.” Alistair Marsh

Comment: There are several instances where members of the  Project have old Deep Clade results shown in Green Font on the results page. It may well be a good idea to compare STR and SNP results with other participants in respective surname projects with the aim of determining which specific SNP test might be ordered [at lower cost than a new comprehensive Deep Clade test]. In turn, updated results could be used to more accurately place participants in this project in the correct haplogrouping for comparison purposes.

By extension, the same process might be used by individuals who have not previously been SNP tested. For example, if a member with a predicted R1b1a2 Haplogroup ordered SNP tests for U106 and P312, and awaited results, he could possibly eliminate one or both of subclades R1b1a2a1a1a and R1b1a2a1a1b, and be in position to decide what additional testing might confirm his specific SNP and Haplogroup. Alternatively, given a good STR match with another individual who has previously been SNP tested, one could pick the defining SNP as reported at: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/strong-strange-lestrange/default.aspx?section=ysnp

or, a similar results page for another Y-DNA project, and test just that one.   Again, the ensuing results could be used to more accurately place participants in this project in the correct sub-haplogrouping for comparison purposes.

To order the SNP's you select at (usually $29 each), follow these steps:

Go to your individual kit main page; scroll down to the
section where there are three columns, the middle one entitled “Y-
DNA”. Look for “Haplotree”, and click on it; This will bring up two
pages, showing the R1b group of subclades, and the defining SNP’s.
Explore the pages just to see what is there, if you have not previously done
so. Then, on the first page, click on “Order SNP’s Now” under
the section called “Choose your Own SNP’s”. Scroll down until you see the
orange colored SNP, listed for example like “
P312 !”. Click on the one you want, adding it to your order basket, and
follow the order menu.