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Big Y - Was it worth it?

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  • Big Y - Was it worth it?

    Genetic Genealogy is my hobby, I am debating getting the Big Y...
    Is there anyone who regrets purchasing it?
    Is finding your terminal SNP worth it?
    Will there be any other benefits to me?
    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Genetic Genealogy is my hobby, too

    I have just ordered first Big Ys not to learn the terminal SNPs, but to try building a tree.

    A tree cannot be built with STRs. With SNPs I can at least try .

    W.

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    • #3
      y-str data is good at estimating the extent to which two people are or are not related in their patriline. But to really establish it, you have to use SNPs. The novel variants have proven to be a gold mine to ascertain how closely two estimated people really are related... in essence, to build a tree.

      y-str counts can fluctuate up or down across the generations, causing apparent convergence in some patrilines.

      Timothy Peterman

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      • #4
        It has been worth it for me; I am using it together with BigY and STR tests from others in my surname project to explore deep relationships in our family.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Neves View Post
          Is there anyone who regrets purchasing it?
          Is finding your terminal SNP worth it?
          Will there be any other benefits to me?
          1) I have seen posts from people who, upon first seeing FTDNA's presentation of results, are profoundly dismayed. They quickly learn that professional analysis of the results is required--at least from haplogroup administrators, and ideally from YFull or FullGenomes.

          2) Since the Big Y finds roughly one SNP per 150 years of patrilineage, you will find your true terminal SNP only when someone rather closely related to you also orders the Big Y. But once you have your Big Y results, you are essentially done with your own Y chromosome testing--you "merely" have to convince others to order the test too. As they do, your SNPs will fall into historical place, eventually down to modern times if enough related men order the test (or an equivalent).

          3) Professional analysis of your Big Y results can also measure about 400 Y-STRs (markers) and determine your mtDNA subhaplogroup.

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          • #6
            mtDNA subhaplogroup?

            Originally posted by lgmayka View Post
            3) Professional analysis of your Big Y results can also measure about 400 Y-STRs (markers) and determine your mtDNA subhaplogroup.
            The Family Tree DNA Learning Center says, "The BIG Y product is a direct paternal lineage test." How will this tell you your mtDNA subhaplogroup?

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            • #7
              The experience I have seen so far is that most Big Y participants will get about 90 novel variants, in addition to a reading for every known SNP (at $39 a piece, if someone is R1b L21+ & wants to know deeper subclades, the Big Y may be cheaper than ordering individual SNP tests).

              Of the 90 or so novel variants, about half will be shared with every match AND most everyone else who isn't a match. That is because these are located a lot further upstream (ie, dating from farther back in time). They might date as far back as 20,000 years or more.

              You will see maybe 10 or 15 novel variants that are shared with a handful of other people. Making sense of these can be tricky. One novel SNP might be shared with one match. Another novel SNP might be shared with another match. Which is really closest? I suspect that this anomaly might be cause by frequent no-calls on these SNPs. Don't really know.

              Things get a bit more interesting when you look at the 10 or 20 or 30 novel variants that you share with no one. Let's say you have 20 of these. At 135 years per novel variant on average, that suggests that you have to go back about 2700 years before your patriline joins that of any of the other participants. (Note: At 150 years, this would be 3,000 years).

              I agree that this should be done in coordination with a haplogroup project. The administrators seem to have a better handle on sorting out anomalies & identifying new subclades within the novel variants. Your data will never become available for analysis & placement if you don't take the Big Y test.

              Timothy Peterman

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
                The Family Tree DNA Learning Center says, "The BIG Y product is a direct paternal lineage test." How will this tell you your mtDNA subhaplogroup?
                Though the test targets the Y chromosome, it can't help but pick up MtDNA as well. It isn't perfect, I have a handful of no call and single reading positions, but the overall median depth coverage for my results is 28x.

                Note that you will only get these results through secondary analysis of the raw data, not from FTDNA.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KSDA View Post
                  Though the test targets the Y chromosome, it can't help but pick up MtDNA as well. .
                  In my case it picked up enough mtDNA is give me an independent haplogroup, which confirmed my result from Geno 2.0. Thus, if you do BigY, you don't have to do Geno 2.0 to get a general mtDNA haplogroup assignment.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
                    The Family Tree DNA Learning Center says, "The BIG Y product is a direct paternal lineage test." How will this tell you your mtDNA subhaplogroup?
                    When you submit your BigY results for professional analysis (with a company such as YFull), they also provide an analysis of your mtdna. As for the Big Y test, I have found it to be invaluable. As someone whose only information about his paternal lineage (beyond my father) has been from genetic dna testing, the BigY has helped place the origin of my paternal lineage. I, fortunately, had another person who had done a deep paternal ancestry test. This helped to place my terminal SNP (to date; let's hope there are further results as more test) to a particular area around 500 CE. This may not sound promising to some, but for one who had no knowledge of his paternal grandfather, at least I have some identity for him, and myself.

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                    • #11
                      For me it was worth it. Before BigY I had done the old deep clad test and ordered some individual SNPs.

                      After all that I was stuck at R-U152>L2>Z49>Z142 for over a year.

                      When I got my BigY results I able to immediately identify that I was one level below Z142 at Z150, but it took the assistance of FTDNA U152 project admin, Yfull, and FGC analysis of my results to realize the full benefit of BigY.

                      Since my results first came out, I've had 12 more named SNPs below Z150.

                      Also, while FTDNA identified over 100 novel SNPs, most of these were not truly novel.

                      Again with the help of the U152 admin, Yfull, and FGC analysis of my BigY results, I was able to identify about 23 actual novel SNPs.

                      In summary: Before BigY my terminal SNP was ~4300 year before present. Currently my new terminal SNP is ~2700 ybp. As more tests come in I will have new matches that will reduce this even further; and in the process identify additional new Ytree branches.
                      Last edited by MitchellSince1893; 30 December 2014, 09:40 PM.

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                      • #12
                        As a member of Haplogroup H, would it prove to be of much use? So far I can't find any information on what ethnic or demographic groups there are that share common SNPs.

                        So far genetic testing has merely told me that I am from a 40,000 year old haplogroup concentrated in a subcontinent of 1 billion people. Would Big Y do more?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rdbox26hs View Post
                          So far I can't find any information on what ethnic or demographic groups there are that share common SNPs.
                          Big Y would place you precisely on YFull's H haplotree, creating a new branch as necessary.

                          Research samples (labeled with HG) have a location code. Customer submissions (labeled with YF) have a location code only if the customer chooses to provide one.

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                          • #14
                            If there is a Haplogroup H project, I suggest that you join it & then confer with the administrators. By identifying the novel variants in your y-DNA, participation in the Big Y could help countless people in the H haplogroup (including yourself).

                            Timothy Peterman

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Neves View Post
                              Genetic Genealogy is my hobby, I am debating getting the Big Y...
                              Is there anyone who regrets purchasing it?
                              Is finding your terminal SNP worth it?
                              Will there be any other benefits to me?
                              Thanks in advance
                              I have bought 6 BIG Y tests for different relatives, now I am waiting for the result of the 7th. It was worth every penny. The analysis is as important as the test. The project admins, the external analysis providers are very important. After getting the results the comparative analysis is crucial.

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