donderdag 30 november 2017

Big Y test

Deze zomer waren er aanbiedingen bij FTDNA. Ik heb toen de Big Y test ondergaan. Dit is op het moment de meest gekochte deep ancestry test voor het Y-chromosoom, de rechte patrilineaire lijn (alleen de Y-Elite test van FGC geeft nog gedetailleerdere informatie, maar is dan ook een stuk duurder). Na wat perikelen, o.a. vanwege de orkaan (het hoofdkwartier staat in Houston), zijn de resultaten er dan toch. Omdat ik hiermee tot de internationale stamboom van de mens behoor, zal ik ten behoeve van eventuele internationale verwanten verdergaan in het Engels.

My Results

The human patrilinear tree is divided into haplogroups A to T, which are the large “tribes” of humanity. Every haplogroup is defined by specific genetic mutations; in most cases, these mutations are found because of SNPs. It was already known that I belong to haplogroup R1b, the most common West-European one. In particular, I belong to the sub-haplogroup R1b-U152, which, as can be seen on this map, is generally found in western continental Europe. In the Netherlands, it is around 5% depending on where in the country one looks.  It is more prolific in the south than in the north.

Spread of haplogroup U152 (Eupedia)

My Big Y result can be summarized as R1b-U152 > Z56 > Z145 (BY1823).
I was assigned BY1823. This is an SNP which, together with some other SNPs, like Z71, define the sub-haplogroup Z145. Generally, most people of this haplogroup, and as far as I can see that includes me, test positive for all these mutations, so the haplogroup can be called Z145 or Z71 or BY1823. When someone pops up testing negative for one of these, he will split the branch in two. I will proceed calling it Z145.

The Big Y results show a list of tested SNPs, divided into named variants (those which are generally known, and have been given names, like Z145), and unnamed variants (these may be mutations in one’s personal line; at the moment I have 27 unnamed variants). If unnamed variants are shared by more than one person, it may very well receive it’s own name and define a new branch. To the right, one may see a list of matches. To define who is a match, FTDNA decided to take everyone who has less than 40 mutational differences. As can be seen from the image, I do not have any matches at the moment, which means that no one who is a “recent” (say AD 500 and closer) patrilinear relative has tested so far.

no matches for me yet..


The question that we all would like to answer is: Where do I come from? In this particular case: What is my fatherline’s (pre-)history? In order to find an answer one has to look not just to one’s own data, but to the whole tree. In my view, I have to combine many things; I have to see the structure itself of the tree. Then I have to see how old the branches are. When that has been done, I can look at the people forming the branches. Where do they say their furthest known ancestor comes from? In this way, we may obtain geographical patterns within certain subgroups. On top of this, I may use my knowledge of linguistics and pre-history, in order to think of plausible ways to connect the genetics with. Finally, I hope to be able to connect my own line within the whole story. Side note: when I discover new samples, I may review the story if that is necessary.

First, let’s have a look at the structure and age of R1b-U152. An extensive tree, built up from individuals having taken the Big Y or Y Elite test, is Alex Williamson's Big Tree. For ages, we may take Iain McDonald’s P312 tree. According to him, U152 did originate slightly before 2700 BC. The oldest U152-sample known today, a man from the Eastern Bell Beaker Culture, excavated in Bavaria, is dated to about 2550 BC. This man was an immigrant, since he was genetically close to Ukrainians. Other early U152 is found in the general Bell Beaker population, as is its sister branch L21. It is generally assumed that U152, like its sister branches, spread from the western Eurasian steppe along with the spread of Indo-European in Europe. It is indeed interesting that some of the earliest U152 branches that have split off, are found along the eastern Carpathian mountains. How exactly it then spread to Central Europe, is not entirely known, but it did so fairly quickly. Once there, it seemingly ended up in the various archaeological cultures following Bell Beaker, such as Unetice, Tumulus, Hallstatt, Villanova and La Tène. For migration maps of these cultures, I like this site because of the beautiful maps (with his linguistic stuff I do not fully agree).

The most important branches of U152 are L2, Z36, Z56 and Z193. L2 is the most prolific; in the Benelux, about threequarters of U152 is L2. It seems to have spread already early, since Bell Beaker skeletons have been discovered positive for L2. Z36 is generally found in the Alps (Helvetii) and surrounding areas, including the “Belgae” territory; its spread seems connected to the La Tène culture. Z56 is found in the same Urnfield, Hallstatt, La Tène areas, but is also quite present in Italy.

McDonald does not provide a specific age of Z56, but he does so for its immediate descendant Z43, to which most Z56 members belong, except for a Southern French, a few Italians; it is dated ca. 2450 BC. 

Celtic/Gallic tribes arising from the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures (wikimedia commons).

A descendant branch of Z56 is Z145. McDonald dates it to ca. 1400 BC. Some would say this is an Italic branch, though I am not certain about that. Z145 consists of two main branches, PF6577, Z72, and some loose branches.
The first main branch PF6577 dates to around 1100 BC. This branch can be split too again; first, we have an Alsatian and an Italian family that split off. The remainder consists of a German, a Sardinian, and several English people; there is one notable English cluster dating to around 200 BC. It may have come with Gaulish tribes like the Belgae or Iceni. The presence in Italy is interesting, but could also have been the result of the Cisalpine Gauls. Note that some Gaulish tribes such as the Boii migrated a lot.
The second main branch, Z72, dates to about 250 BC, and can be characterized as almost completely Italian. This branch is likely to have spread with help of the Romans, which it did; it is also present in Marseille, and in England. The question is, can we call this an Italic branch? Besides some Central Italian families, it is also present along the Ligurian coast, Bologna and Lombardy. It must have come to Italy between 1400 BC and 250 BC, and afterwards spread during the Roman period. It may fit the spread of Italic people from Central Europe to Italy around 1200 BC (as is the main hypothesis), though it can’t have been the only Italic lineage. It seems likely to me that Italic tribes also possessed Z36, L2, Z193, and some branches outside of U152. The Z72 lineage remained small for a long time and only expanded during the Roman period. A second idea is that it is not Italic, but a Romanized Gallic lineage, introduced by the Gauls when they settled in North Italy (Gallia Cisalpina). In either way, it ended up being a Roman lineage.

The remaining "lonely" Z145 (BY1823) lineages;
interestingly all in Western Europe.
Besides the main branches, there is an Ashkenazi cluster, dating to the middle ages, and spread over eastern Europe. It is yet unclear if this cluster belongs to one of the main branches. Then there are the remaining “loose” branches, which testers got the haplogroup BY1823; they are shown in the map. One branch, dating to ca. maybe 1300 BC until 500 BC consists of an Englishman, American and a Frenchman. Maybe this ended up in the North Western area of the continental Gauls.
[Note 10 december 2017]: I have found that I share the two unnamed SNPs associated with this branch, which means that I belong to this branch dating to somewhere between 1300 BC and 500 BC.

Another loose branch from South-West England, may also have been spread by the Gauls. Then there is a Belgian individual, probably from Walloon Brabant, which I am very keen to know about. It is not known if these loose branches may somehow belong together, I think this is very well possible after more research.

My lineage

version 10 december 2017.

In my unnamed SNP variants I discovered that I share the two SNPs associated with the branch to which also a few English families and a French one belong; it must have originated between 1300 BC and 500 BC. I will later look more closely to this. It was not immediately clear to me, because in the new version of the Y-chromosome used, the numbers of the SNP are different.

The connection with a few English lines and a Western French line does give some clues; it may have arrived from Central Europe in NW Europe (Northern France or Belgium, I think) between 1200 BC and the first centuries BC. The spread in England may have been due to emigration of tribes like the Belgae around the first centuries BC. This could mean that my own lineage could be a Belgae one that stayed within the Low Countries.