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Big-Y - any compelling reason for it in my case?

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  • Wheal
    replied
    Another reason for Big Y

    I chose Big Y over SNP Backbone and 111 because my dad passed away a couple of weeks ago and I felt that I would rather have the most thorough test available at this time just in case his DNA would be used up. I also upgraded to mtFull.

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    Well, ordered Big-Y today since it went on sale. Also purchased the mtFull sequence for the same reason. The only thing left is the Y67-Y111 upgrade which isn't on sale and doesn't have a lot of appeal since my match pool is so small.

    My parents have FF results. My mother's maternal first cousin on her maternal side has been tested and now I'm trying to get a cousin on her paternal side tested.

    Looking forward to see what the Big-Y results might be.

    Leave a comment:


  • John McCoy
    replied
    Big Y and Family Finder tests give you different (and potentially useful) views of your ancestry.

    Big Y of course pertains only to your patrilineal line, but even if there are no close matches (my situation), at least it may be possible to RULE OUT a direct connection with anyone else having your surname who has taken the Big Y test. For my patrilineal McCoy family, that proved to be very useful. I can ignore all of the other McCoy families who have tested! Sometimes genetic tests can be extremely useful in ruling out possibilities, and that fact can help you focus your genealogical research.

    Making sense of Family Finder results can be very difficult, but it becomes much more productive if you can also test some close relatives on one or both sides of your family. The main drawback is that very few people take the trouble to post their pedigrees, which ideally should go back at least to the generation born before 1800. I find the tools on the free GEDmatch site to be far more useful (and usable) than those on the FTDNA site, so I have transferred all of the kits I managed to GEDmatch and work almost exclusively there. The ability to analyze matches in all combinations, thus enabling the construction of real triangulation groups, was decisive for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • DaveInGreece
    replied
    Originally posted by mlcarson View Post
    My Y-STR matches haven't taken a Big-Y test so I am not going to get Big-Y matches.
    Not necessarily true (depending on how you define a "match"). Your lack of Y-STR matches means you won't see anything very close which you can use for genealogy, but you might still get a relatively close Big-Y match which leads to interesting discoveries. My cousin who was used as the Big-Y guinea pig for my paternal line (it was politically easier to collect donations towards testing "Great Uncle Doug") has a sequence of 8 "novel variants" shared with another guy which has now defined a new branch in the haplotree.



    If I could give autosomal familyfinder tests to strategic people, I'd probably learn more relevant genealogy information than the more advanced testing.
    I definitely recommend this. If you're lucky, some of your other family members might get curious about DNA testing when they hear what's going on and will pay for their own tests.

    Who to test and who to prioritise depends a lot on how much living family you're in contact with. There's a general consensus to target the oldest generation of relatives first, both because they have twice the relevant DNA that their offspring have and because they might no longer be alive in a few years. But the younger generations are generally less wary of technology and easier to convince to take a DNA test. And once they've tested they sometimes get the "bug" and persuade their parents to test!

    As for cousins (either in your generation or your parents'), first cousins obviously share most DNA, but they can only narrow matches down to a pair of shared grandparents. Second cousins share less DNA, but they narrow matches down to a specific grandparent on your side. Third cousins will narrow shared matches down even further, but you start running the risk of sharing little or no DNA with 3rd cousins and beyond.

    If you have living uncles or aunts, all of their DNA matches will be relevant to you. About half will be the same as your parent's matches (you mentioned that they have been tested), but the other half will be different. That means that they will also have different matches to any 2nd or 3rd cousins you've tested.

    Testing a second aunt or uncle on the same side has a reduced benefit in terms of the percentage, but it's something you should rush to do if either of your parents has two living siblings. When three or more siblings have been tested you can use techniques called "visual phasing" and "chromosome mapping" to determine who inherited which segments of DNA from which of their four grandparents.

    It's incredibly useful. I did it for myself and two siblings (our parents are deceased) and it's great that almost every DNA match any one of us gets can be assigned to one of our grandparents. Our grandparents had ancestry from different regions of England, Wales and Ireland so it really increases the chances of find a common ancestor relatively easy.

    I love the technique so much that I was instrumental in getting some of my father's Canadian cousins (three siblings) to test. Their paternal grandfather, Harry, was my great-grandfather's brother. Anyone who matches Harry's DNA is my cousin, even if I don't share DNA with them. I only share between 50 and 120 cM with these Canadian cousins, but the chromosome map means that nearly 2000cM of their respective DNA is directly useful to my genealogy. That's a huge amount of value from some relatively cheap FF tests (which I didn't even need to pay for!).

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    I think there's very little that Big-Y is going to do for me personally for genealogical research. I've got 4 matches at Y-12 rather than 4000. The Y-STR testing is working effectively. My Y-STR matches haven't taken a Big-Y test so I am not going to get Big-Y matches. I just need more people testing their DNA to really give me usable genealogy data.

    If I could give autosomal familyfinder tests to strategic people, I'd probably learn more relevant genealogy information than the more advanced testing. I've got test results for my parents coming in that I'm hoping will help with some of the unknown FF matches to test that theory.

    The Big-Y test will tell me where I specifically am on the Haplotree and might give me an additional SNP test to determine the age of the match. It's more about genetic anthropology than genealogy at this point. I'm curious and while I don't just like to throw away money, the dollars involved aren't that high to me. I might even authorize all of the tests htb indicated if I catch a sale.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMaddi
    replied
    Originally posted by Yde View Post
    I have 4000 matches in all. With Big Y there is at the moment three left.

    One 107/111, confirmed by paper trail going 300 years back.
    Two 11/12, with a common ancestor living "2000 years ago".

    What happened to the other 3997 men? Didn't they test Big Y, or is there something wrong?
    In the R1b-U106 Project, we've had about 900 members take the Big Y test. But that's only about 25% of the members. I suspect that's significantly above the average if you take the entirety of the FTDNA database of yDNA results.

    So, most of your matches probably haven't taken the Big Y test. It's impossible for FTDNA to compare your Big Y results to others who haven't taken the test.

    Also, even if all 4,000 of your matches had Big Y results, most of them wouldn't be in your Big Y match list. Most of the 12 marker matches aren't on the same branch as you and wouldn't be close to your subclade. In the case of the two 11/12 matches who show up on your Big Y match list, the Big Y results have proven that the common ancestor lived more recently than 2,000 years ago, although that could have been accomplished by those two 12 marker matches upgrading to 67 markers.

    Originally posted by Yde View Post
    Maybe of value for historians, but not for private genealogists?
    Read my first post in this thread. I presented the case for using Big Y results in genealogical research, looking for matches within the last 500 years.

    The original poster seemed to agree that I made the case, even though I conceded that it's an expensive way to do it. He also reported that he's chomping at the bit to order Big Y for his research purposes, along with helping build the tree for his haplogroup.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yde
    replied
    I have 4000 matches in all. With Big Y there is at the moment three left.

    One 107/111, confirmed by paper trail going 300 years back.
    Two 11/12, with a common ancestor living "2000 years ago".

    What happened to the other 3997 men? Didn't they test Big Y, or is there something wrong?

    Maybe of value for historians, but not for private genealogists?

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    I found my matches in the surname project groups which list all of the markers so was able to examine the 26-37 markers. It was just as you said. There were 3 marker differences.
    12 - 0 (total 0)
    25 - 2 (total 2)
    37 - 3 (total 5)
    67 - 2 (total 7)
    It seems like there should be a way of getting actual markers from the match screen but I haven't found it.

    Originally posted by lgmayka View Post
    A mistake is unlikely. Much more likely is that the greatest number of mismatches occur in the 26-37 marker panel. Please keep in mind the distance limits applied by FTDNA to marker matches:
    12 - 1 or less within project, otherwise 0
    25 - 2 or less
    37 - 4 or less
    67 - 7 or less
    Thus, it is easily possible for someone to match at 12 and 25 markers, not match at 37 markers (i.e., distance 5, 6, or 7), then match again at 67 markers.

    Occasionally, a match will appear at 67 markers (typically distance 7) who did not appear at any lower level.

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    There's no way I'm patient enough to wait until the end of the year for $50. I think DNA Day or Father's day would be my limit. Thanks for the info though.
    Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
    If you'd like to get the lowest price for Big Y, wait until the holiday sale, which goes from mid-November to Dec. 31. For the last three years, FTDNA has included Big Y in the sale. The regular price for Big Y is $575, but during the sale the price is $525.

    Also, during the holiday sale, each Monday every FTDNA customer receives a Holiday Rewards coupon, good for one week, for a specific test. Among the coupons given, some further reduce the price of a Big Y test by anywhere between $50 and $125. The coupons can be used by anyone and there are public spreadsheets that many genetic genealogists maintain to offer unused coupons for various tests. The administrators of your haplogroup project are probably aware of this and may have their own spreadsheet for trading unused coupons.

    You can probably easily find a Holiday Rewards coupon which will reduce the price to $400-450. So, start saving now for a Big Y test at the end of the year.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMaddi
    replied
    Originally posted by mlcarson View Post
    You've made a case for doing the Big-Y which I appreciate and is probably what I'll end up doing. I may end up waiting until 4/25 to see if there's a discount. I'll have to see what my balk threshold is because it'll be a wait for an even longer wait. It takes me a long time to choose to do something but then I just want it done. The money then becomes less important than the time.
    If you'd like to get the lowest price for Big Y, wait until the holiday sale, which goes from mid-November to Dec. 31. For the last three years, FTDNA has included Big Y in the sale. The regular price for Big Y is $575, but during the sale the price is $525.

    Also, during the holiday sale, each Monday every FTDNA customer receives a Holiday Rewards coupon, good for one week, for a specific test. Among the coupons given, some further reduce the price of a Big Y test by anywhere between $50 and $125. The coupons can be used by anyone and there are public spreadsheets that many genetic genealogists maintain to offer unused coupons for various tests. The administrators of your haplogroup project are probably aware of this and may have their own spreadsheet for trading unused coupons.

    You can probably easily find a Holiday Rewards coupon which will reduce the price to $400-450. So, start saving now for a Big Y test at the end of the year.

    Leave a comment:


  • lgmayka
    replied
    Originally posted by mlcarson View Post
    The weird thing is that the 67-match didn't show as a match at 37 but did at 12,25,67 -- assuming this is a mistake and contacted support but no answer yet.
    A mistake is unlikely. Much more likely is that the greatest number of mismatches occur in the 26-37 marker panel. Please keep in mind the distance limits applied by FTDNA to marker matches:
    12 - 1 or less within project, otherwise 0
    25 - 2 or less
    37 - 4 or less
    67 - 7 or less
    Thus, it is easily possible for someone to match at 12 and 25 markers, not match at 37 markers (i.e., distance 5, 6, or 7), then match again at 67 markers.

    Occasionally, a match will appear at 67 markers (typically distance 7) who did not appear at any lower level.

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    The administrator of the I-M223 project has also indicated that the I2-M223 SNP pack is getting older and doesn't test for all of the newly found SNP's and also brought up the case again for discovering new ones.

    You've made a case for doing the Big-Y which I appreciate and is probably what I'll end up doing. I may end up waiting until 4/25 to see if there's a discount. I'll have to see what my balk threshold is because it'll be a wait for an even longer wait. It takes me a long time to choose to do something but then I just want it done. The money then becomes less important than the time.
    Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
    ..
    As you noted in your last paragraph, the SNP panel will only cover SNPs in the known haplogroup tree. Based on my experience as an administrator of the R1b-U106 project, a SNP panel will only get you down to a SNP that's in the range of 1,500-2,000 years old, with some exceptions that will give younger SNPs. You'd have to check with the I-M223 project administrators if that holds true for their experience with SNP pack results for their subclade.

    So, if you're only interested in genealogical time frame results from SNP testing, I don't think that the SNP pack will meet your needs. However, Big Y (again in my experience with R1b-U106 reults) will give you "terminal" SNPs, some previously unknown, in the general range of 500-1,000 years. (I write "terminal" because the only true terminal SNP is one that you have and your father or perhaps your grandfather doesn't, which would mean testing both of you through Big Y or another NGS or a WGS test.) That gets you in the time frame of genealogical research that you seem to be interested in. Plus, it potentially helps create new subclades on the I-M223 tree, which also seems to be a secondary interest you have.

    Now here's where a SNP pack can't be compared with Big Y. With Big Y results, you'll also get novel variants which are private to the last several generations of your specific paternal line. That's within the last 500 years, which potentially can help you a great deal in your genealogical research. You can have those novel variants made testable at YSEQ, another testing company, and create a panel that's basically your recent paternal line ancestry. Then you can have those who you think are related to your paternal line in the last several generations send a DNA sample to YSEQ and cheaply test that panel of SNPs to see how recently they're related to you, based on how many of your novel variants they share.

    That's an expensive way to use DNA results to aid your paternal line genealogical research, but it's more certain than using even 111 STRs, given the faster mutation rate of STRs compared to SNPs. Also, as you point out, WGS may be the way you want to go, for the most bang for the buck. But I think I've presented a case for using Big Y as a tool for your genealogical research.

    Leave a comment:


  • mlcarson
    replied
    I've already contacted that match. Correct assumption in that this person hasn't upgraded to 67-markers. The weird thing is that the 67-match didn't show as a match at 37 but did at 12,25,67 -- assuming this is a mistake and contacted support but no answer yet.

    The Y-37 match is of a family of Carson's that migrated about 100 years earlier than my clan to the USA. Interesting but neither of us has any paperwork to a common ancestor in Ireland but there appears to be one.
    Originally posted by lgmayka View Post
    I bolded your most important match. I suspect/assume that the match with your surname has not yet upgraded to 67 markers--otherwise, he would appear in your 67-marker match list, and probably closer to you than the match with a different surname.

    My own opinion is that you and your surname match are an ideal pair for the Big Y. If both of you order the Big Y--perhaps the next time a discount or coupon is available--you will define a new subclade specific to your clan, get your TMRCA, and also determine exactly how your clan fits into the larger historical picture.

    If your other-surname 67-marker match also orders the Big Y, you and he will learn how long ago your respective patrilineages diverged (presumably prior to the adoption of surnames).

    Leave a comment:


  • lgmayka
    replied
    Originally posted by mlcarson View Post
    Y-67: 1 match with a genetic distance of 7 and wrong last name.
    Y-37: 1 match with a genetic distance of 3 but correct last name.
    Y-25: 3 matches with a genetic distance of 2 - 2 wrong last name and 1 correct name.
    Y-12: 4 matches with a genetic distance of 0 - 2 wrong last name and 2 correct name.
    I bolded your most important match. I suspect/assume that the match with your surname has not yet upgraded to 67 markers--otherwise, he would appear in your 67-marker match list, and probably closer to you than the match with a different surname.

    My own opinion is that you and your surname match are an ideal pair for the Big Y. If both of you order the Big Y--perhaps the next time a discount or coupon is available--you will define a new subclade specific to your clan, get your TMRCA, and also determine exactly how your clan fits into the larger historical picture.

    If your other-surname 67-marker match also orders the Big Y, you and he will learn how long ago your respective patrilineages diverged (presumably prior to the adoption of surnames).

    Leave a comment:


  • MMaddi
    replied
    Originally posted by mlcarson View Post

    There's a single I-M223 SNP pack that can confirm SNP's on the current haplotree for $119....

    With respect to genealogy, is the Big-Y worthwhile in my case? Maybe I help discover a new terminal SNP in the best case scenario but if you have few real matches as is, I don't see a more restrictive filter adding a lot of value....

    If I get more curious about my DNA, it seems that future WGS testing would be the way to go. The BIG-Y is starting to show its age compared to other testing. It's also frustrating in that it's value has diminished over time with the scrubbing of the MtDNA results.

    So, for my situation where there's very few Y-DNA matches and an SNP panel which will cover the known Haplogroup tree -- what's the case for doing the Big-Y?
    I've bolded a section of your initial post. It seems to indicate that you're not strictly interested in using Big Y results for genealogy purposes. Maybe I've misinterpreted, but your reference to finding a new terminal SNP indicates to me that you're open to the idea of testing Big Y to build the tree for your subclade.

    As you noted in your last paragraph, the SNP panel will only cover SNPs in the known haplogroup tree. Based on my experience as an administrator of the R1b-U106 project, a SNP panel will only get you down to a SNP that's in the range of 1,500-2,000 years old, with some exceptions that will give younger SNPs. You'd have to check with the I-M223 project administrators if that holds true for their experience with SNP pack results for their subclade.

    So, if you're only interested in genealogical time frame results from SNP testing, I don't think that the SNP pack will meet your needs. However, Big Y (again in my experience with R1b-U106 reults) will give you "terminal" SNPs, some previously unknown, in the general range of 500-1,000 years. (I write "terminal" because the only true terminal SNP is one that you have and your father or perhaps your grandfather doesn't, which would mean testing both of you through Big Y or another NGS or a WGS test.) That gets you in the time frame of genealogical research that you seem to be interested in. Plus, it potentially helps create new subclades on the I-M223 tree, which also seems to be a secondary interest you have.

    Now here's where a SNP pack can't be compared with Big Y. With Big Y results, you'll also get novel variants which are private to the last several generations of your specific paternal line. That's within the last 500 years, which potentially can help you a great deal in your genealogical research. You can have those novel variants made testable at YSEQ, another testing company, and create a panel that's basically your recent paternal line ancestry. Then you can have those who you think are related to your paternal line in the last several generations send a DNA sample to YSEQ and cheaply test that panel of SNPs to see how recently they're related to you, based on how many of your novel variants they share.

    That's an expensive way to use DNA results to aid your paternal line genealogical research, but it's more certain than using even 111 STRs, given the faster mutation rate of STRs compared to SNPs. Also, as you point out, WGS may be the way you want to go, for the most bang for the buck. But I think I've presented a case for using Big Y as a tool for your genealogical research.

    Leave a comment:

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