ARMSTRONG Y-Chromosome DNA Project - News

5 March 2011 - Haplogroup assignments updated by FTDNA, effectively changing R1b1b2 to R1b1a2. Where the Haplogroup is shown in Green, it indicates that FTDNA has SNP Tested the participant.   Administrators have attempted to group all participants with similar STR results with members who have both the same STR's and  have a known haplogroup as shown by recent SNP testing.  For those groups which are only "R1b1a2", or for individuals who are not yet assigned to a group, it would be most helpful if members ordered Deep Clade or Universal Deep Clade SNP testing from FTDNA.   Such additional information may assist the administrators in making appropriate matches.

For further information concerning Haplogroup assignments, see the ISSOG website, and particularly the "Notice" posted at:

September 2009 - The project has 119 participants.

October 2008 - the project logged 101 participants.

September 2008 - Terry Walker joined the project as a co-admin

08 November 2007 - Robert Armstrong of Bournemouth, England joined the project as a Co-Admin

05 June 2005 the project was expanded to include the TRAYNOR surname (and all variations)

05 Jan 2005 _ John D. Armstrong became Project Administrator.

21 Dec 2004 - the ARMSTRONG project was annouced at GenForum.

12 Dec 2004 - the first member joined the separate Armstrong Surname Project.

10 Aug 2004 - the separate ARMSTRONG Surname Project was opened.

April 2004 - The Border Reivers DNA Project was commenced, including Armstrong members.

7 April 2003 - The first Armstrongs joined the Strong FTDNA surname project.

circa 2002 - The first Armstrong DNA testing was performed.

23-29 March 2012: The following excerpts from discussion on

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.” Lawrence 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+.
( 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 Armstrong DNA 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:

or, a similar results page for other projects, 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.