An Updated Z17911 Hartley STR Tree

In my last Blog on the subject, I wrote about a Hartley Z17911 STR Tree. Since that time, I created a broader Z17911 STR Tree. However, that broader tree was not the best idea. Soon after creating that tree, I found out that at least one person in that tree was actually in a new SNP group further downstream from Z17911. This was based on Big Y and SNP testing. Within not too long from creating my tree, the SNP tree as created by Jared Smith went from this:

to this:

The link to Jared’s Website is here.

So, while Goff appeared previously to be in my SNP group, in fact, he was not. He was as far as 4 SNPs away. That means that any closeness in STRs could have been coincidental. When comparing SNPs and STRs, the rule is that SNPs take precedence.

A STR Tree for Hartleys Only

At this point, it seems to make sense to create a Hartley only STR tree. There is still no guarantee that Hartleys that are related to me by STRs will have the same SNP results as me. However, I think that it is more likely than not that they will.

Since my previous Blog, there have been two new Hartley STR testers. I have the results for one of those that tested at 67 STRs and one I don’t have results for yet who tested at 111 STRs. Previously, there was one other Hartley testing at 111 STRs. I have had my STRs tested indirectly through the BigY test. YFull analyzed 500 of my STRs – although some of the results were inconclusive. That means that there are three Hartleys with about 111 STRs tested, but I only have the results for two. I should be able to create a very simple tree from that.

The First Ever Hartley 111 STR Tree

At least I think it is the first. Those in the group I’ll call West Yorkshire Hartley,  and me. My ancestors are from Lancashire, so I’ll be Lancashire Hartley. I think that this will be interesting as I feel that the Lancashire Hartleys predated the Hartleys for West Yorkshire. However, I get the impression that my Hartley YDNA administrator favors an earlier date for the West Yorkshire Hartleys. Here are the differences in 111 STRs between a West Yorkshire Hartley and a Lancashire Hartley:

There are a few interesting things from the numbers above:

  • The 16357 Mode is the SNP above Z17911, so it would be older.
  • STR 449 could be a back mutation. It goes from 32 to 31 and back to 32 for West Yorkshire Hartley.
  • The 455 STR has an orange number above it. That refers to the slowest STR mutation rate. As that is the slowest STR rate and my result is the same as the 455 modes, I infer that my STR test represents the older Hartley version. However, a sample of 2 is not much.
  • I am a GD of 14 from the West Yorkshire Hartley.
  • Both the West Yorkshire and the Lancashire Hartley are a GD of 7 from the Z17911 mode. That would have given us a tie for the oldest STR profile if we hadn’t considered the effect of mutation rates.
The simple 111 STR Hartley tree

This Tree is a bit on the conceptual side. However, it does point out some things:

  • These two Hartleys likely descend from a common Hartley. However, at this stage, we don’t have the 111 STR Mode for that common Hartley.
  • The STR mutations are therefor shown to Z17911 rather than to a common Hartley.
  • As mentioned above, I favor the theory that the West Yorkshire Hartley Line originated in Lancashire. This is partly based on something called the founder effect. That means that due to the large number of Hartleys in the Colne/Trawden area, it is possible that the area was a founding area for the Hartleys. However, the distance between the Lancashire and West Yorkshire Hartleys is not far.
  • I did not include all the STRs for simplicity. The slowest marker is shown in orange.
  • The three last slower moving STRs (540, 445 and 1B07) are in the 111 panel, so will not show up in the 67 STR analysis.
  • I have the year of 1075 (125 years per STR mutation) shown above. This is supposed to represent a difference of 7 GD. However, I don’t know if that date should represent the Hartley Mode or the Z179111 Mode. If the date were to represent the Hartley mode, then that would likely be at the beginning of when Surnames were beginning to come into use.
  • As the overall GD difference between the two Hartleys is 14, I don’t see how the difference to a common Hartley ancestor could be less than 7.
  • There is also the possibility that these two Hartleys had a common ancestor just before the implementation of surnames and that due to this relationship, common area of origin or by coincidence they both took on the Hartley surname

Back to 67 STRs

Let’s keep the above tree in mind as we get down to the six Hartleys with 67 STRs tested. Checking the tree I made in a previous Blog, I see that Lancashire Hartley (me) and West Yorkshire Hartley were at opposite sides of that Tree:

In the above tree, Hartley #2 is the same  as West Yorkshire Hartley.

The New 67 STR Hartley Tree

The Hartley we want to add is believed to have Quaker roots in Lancashire in the 1600’s. He also is taking a Big Y test which is exciting. The results for that exploratory YDNA test will likely show us the first Hartley family SNP. I currently have many private SNPs. However, once the Quaker Hartley tests, his SNPs that are in common with my now private SNPs should become the new Hartley family SNPs. Here are the new Hartley 67 STR results:

  • Due to the fact that there are now 6 Hartley results, this causes there to be a tie in some of the modes. In these cases, shown with a 3 in the bottom row, I used the older values. This ended up in also being the lower values.
  • I chose to make a split on STR 455. This STR has the lowest mutation rate of those in the table. I didn’t think it likely that these last three results would have mutated independently.
  • This split also separates the two Lancashire Hartleys from the two West Yorkshire Hartleys
  • Again, the Lancashire Hartleys tend to be the older group as they are closer to the Hartley mode by one GD (STR difference).
  • For these markers the Z17911 Mode is identical with the Hartley Mode. This suggests that Hartley is an old Surname.  This result agrees with the 111 STR analysis above.

A New 67 STR Hartley Tree

Here is my interpretation of the above data in a tree form:

  • The Hartley Mode results are shown in 2 boxes at the top of the Tree. This is meant to represent a common Hartley signature or the signature of a common Hartley ancestor in the distant past.
  • I split the two branches at the top based on the slow moving STR 455. These two branches appear to represent a Lancashire Hartley Branch and West Yorkshire Hartley Branch
  • On the Lancashire side, Sanchez and Joel are together due to their STR similarities
  • Similarly, Hartley #3 and Bradford West Yorkshire Hartley are together as due to their similarities
  • It appears that the Quaker Hartley’s mutations happened between the Quaker Ancestor and our Hartley tester. However, these mutation would be spread out up to the common Hartley Lancashire ancestor. The same would be true for the Hartley tester with the West Yorkshire ancestor William Hartley. However, his mutations would be spread out up to a common West Yorkshire ancestor under the above scenario.
  • Based on the above point, the Quaker Anc. and Wm. Anc. boxes in the Tree above are not really needed.
  • An early split between these two branches could explain the parallel mutations. For example, Sanchez and W Yorkshire William both have double mutations at location 398b. However, they are shown in different branches and not grouped together. Under my scenario, these two double mutation would have happened independently over a long period of time.
  • Unique mutations are in bold italics.
  • Adding the mutations up the tree gives the GD to the Hartley mode. The double mutations must be counted as two.
  • A rough guess for dating the tree would have the Hartley mode at 1100. The split between Lancashire and West Yorkshire at 1300. The further divisions around 1500. These dates are give or take 100 years or so. The bottom line represents tested Hartleys living today.

Here is the streamlined version of the new Hartley Z17911 Tree with some rough guesses on timeframes:

Summary and Conclusions

  • There would be other ways to draw the 67 STR Hartley Tree. This one seemed most logical to me.
  • The addition of a new Hartley 67 STR tests helped to define a Hartley ancestral mode. It appears to have defined a Lancashire and West Yorkshire branch of Hartleys
  • A pending BigY test should result in one or more Hartley Family SNPs.
  • It is possible that there are unique SNPs for the two Hartley branches shown as coming from Lancashire or West Yorkshire. However, it may take a BigY test from a Hartley from the West Yorkshire Branch to confirm this.

A Z17911 STR Tree

Previously, I wrote a Blog on a STR Tree for Hartleys that were likely Z17911’s. In this Blog, I would like to look at others that have tested to be Z17911 or are likely Z17911 due to STR patterns. Since my last Blog, a lot has been going on in the little area of Z17911.

Z17911 in the L513 Tree

Z17911 is a small group under the L513 Group. L513 is a group under L21 which is a part of R1b. The L513 Tree is presently bursting at the seams:

One of the larger branches of L513 is S5668. That takes up about 2/3 of the lower left of the tree above. Here is a blowup of the Z16357 Branch of S5668.

At the time that I wrote the last blog, Merrick and Thomas were in the same location under an unnamed SNP. Now it has been named as BY11573. The placement of Merrick and Thomas below Z17911 was a result of my Big Y Test. Now Bennett has also taken a Big Y and found to be BY1157.

Enter Jared Smith on the Z17911 Scene

Jared Smith has been a large contributor on the Z17911 scene of late. He tested positive of Z17911 recently and has ordered a Big Y test. He is not to be confused with the Z16357 Smith above. Jared has developed an excellent web page called The R-Z16357 DNA Project. Jared has also created a discussion list for Z16357. Here is Jared’s updated version of the Z16357 Tree:

The part that I am most interested in is Z17911 and BY11573.

My First Attempt at a Z17911 STR Tree

First I took the 15 people listed as having STR results at the FTDNA L513 project. There are 6 that have tested positive for Z17911. There are an additional 9 that the administrator has put into a JM STR Cluster. The administrator figures that based on the STRs, they should also be Z17911’s. According to the administrator, Mike Walsh:

“You can see the “J” people 390=25,26 458=18,19 449=31 446=14. I would call this the “J” STR signature.”

I looked at the significant STRs for the 15 known or suspected Z17911’s and got this:

This was just for the first 37 tested STRs. I have the STR names at the top. I have the mode for L513, S5668 and Z17911. I tried to group the YDNA testers by patterns in their STR values. The GD is the Generational Distance. That means that the Phillips are closer to the Mode and Bullock and Bennett are furthest away. That would mean that Phillips should have the oldest pattern and Bennett the newest.

Here is the tree I built based on the above:

My intention was to have the oldest STR groups branching at the top and the newest branching nearer the bottom. I note that when I built my STR Tree for the Hartleys, I did it the opposite way.

The Problem with my first Z17911 STR tree

The tree was OK based on the way I did it. However, it did not account for one very important thing:

The STRs should account for the fact that the BY11573 SNP derives from Z17911. SNPs are the anchor and STRs may vary. Maurice Gleeson has promoted this type of analysis. In the old days, there were not as many SNPs. Now, due to Big Y type testing, there has been a tsunami of SNPs and it is now possible to incorporate them into STR analysis. When I added the SNPs to my STR chart, I noticed something interesting:

It took a while to see it, but I saw that all the BY11573 men had 13 or more for DYS439. All those who were Z17911 and not positive for BY11573 had a DYS439 of 12. Then I decided to sort my chart by DYS439:

Next I changed the DYS439 Mode for Z17911 from 13 to 12. This created a new oldest line of Gilroy. If DYS439 is the break between Z17911 and BY11573, then Phillips is now in the older, more signature BY11573. The results of a pending Phillips Big Y test will tell us for sure soon whether Phillips is BY11573 positive or not.

More SNP Structure

Jared Smith built a more  detailed SNP tree here based on recent testing information:

Here is the Z17911 part I’m interested in:

I would expect that the STR tree would follow the SNP tree. Here is a simple SNP/STR Tree with a few signature STRs that I have added in on the left top and bottom:

What if DYS439 = 12 is Z17911 and DYS329 = 13 is BY11573?

The Z17911’s I’m talking about are negative for the SNP below of BY11573. Until more testing comes in, that is the out on a tree limb assumption I’m making. Based on that and some other Hartleys that have had the YDNA tested, here is a spreadsheet for Z179111 positive and BY11573 negative people.

This Chart does not show DYS439 as these are all of the above have a value of 12. In the Chart above, I note a Gilroy/Goff/Smith signature of DYS391 = 11 and DYS576 = 16. That leaves the Hartley signature as DYS391 = 10 and DYS576 = 17, 18. I went back to the older S5668 Mode to get a feel for the overall direction of the STR mutations.

Z17911 STR Tree

Here is the tree I drew from the above STRs.

I tried to learn how to make these trees using two different methods, so it gets a bit confusing. In this method, only two lines are allowed to come out of each box. I like that method, but it required me to put in a Hartley Ancestor box under the West Yorkshire Hartley Ancestor box. On the bottom line, Gilroy probably has the oldest Z17911 signature. The Hartleys on the right have the newest signatures. Actually Wm. Hartley going up has the most STR changes (7), so I suppose he would have the most recent STR signature. Jared Smith has noted that I am positive for the SNP A11130, so it will be interesting to see if this is a defining Hartley Family SNP or not. Above I made a guess on the West Yorkshire and Lancashire Hartley split based on the knowledge that one of the Hartleys has West Yorkshire ancestors and that I on the bottom right have Lancashire Hartley ancestors.

Some BY11573 Patterns

I’m not ready to build a BY11573 Tree yet. However, I did note some BY11573 patterns.

Interestingly, most of the places where I found patterns were on the BY11573 positive people shown in darker blue above. If I were to draw a 37 STR BY11573 Tree at this time, it would just include those above highlighted in blue. The actual list of names was taken from Jared’s website and includes other names.

Next Steps

Next we wait for pending tests to come in and others who may decide to test. We are also awaiting analysis of the Bennett Big Y test from Alex Williamson at the L513 Page of the Big Tree.

A Hartley Z17911 STR Tree

In my previous blogs on Hartley YDNA, I mentioned that my terminal SNP is Z17911. That is a part of the L513 Branch of the larger L21 Branch of R1b. Here is what the L513 Branch looks like. This Tree represents those who have taken the Big Y Test in the colored area above.


My Hartley Z17911 is difficult to see but it is slightly to the left of the middle and to the left of an orange area. The checkerboard pattern shows the part of England that my Hartleys are from. As far as I know I am the only Hartley that has had SNPs tested positive for Z17911, or for L513, for that matter.

STRs and Z17911

However, quite a few Hartleys have tested their YDNA. They have tested STRs. As a result, it is possible to do a comparison to others taking this test. STRs are not SNPs which are a more definitive designation of where you are on the Y Tree. However, they can suggest what SNP you should belong to. I belong to an L513 and the Administrator Mike is actively looking for others that might be in L513. As a result, Mike has put out lists of people that appear to be L513 based on their STR patterns. I have mentioned in past Blogs that some of those people are Hartleys.

Here is a recent list:


The first on the list above is me. Then follows three other Hartleys. Administrator Mike has grouped these other 3 Hartleys next to me. Based on their STRs, he has grouped them as Z17911. This is even though these 3 have not tested for Z17911, L513, or probably not even for L21 which is way up on the Y Tree. The row with the orange, green and yellow above the results has what is called STR Rates. These are the rates at which each individual STR mutates. Some are very slow and some mutate relatively quickly. The selected mode above is likely the mode of L513. This will come in handy later on in this Blog in a few ways.

Z17911 and Signature STRs

It turns out that STRs form themselves into groups. That means that for groups of people that are related by YDNA have combinations of STRs that are almost always unique to that group. Here I will make an assumption that the other 3 Hartleys are indeed Z17911, even though they haven’t tested their SNPs.

In the results section to the right of the Hartley names are the values for each STR marker. The colored values are the ones that vary from the L513 Mode. These values, especially the ones that are in the darker colors will result in a signature for these Z17811 Hartleys. The darker colors indicate more of a variance or distance from the mode. Another way to put it, is that the L513 mode is the older value and the Z17811 Hartley numbers are the newer values for the STRs that have mutated away from the L513 mode.

Up or Down?

These Z17811 STRs may mutate up or down. The blue shaded numbers are going down and the reds are going up. Why is this important? It is important as I’d like to build a tree from these 4 Hartleys. I will need to know who is descending from whom. Or at least, which of the 4 branches of Hartleys may be the oldest.

Here is an example:


These are some of the results of our 4 presumed positive Z17911 Hartleys. It is  difficult to create a mode of these results as the mode is the value which occurs the most. If there are 2 of each value, which value do you use? This happens the #449 Marker results. I am 31 at the top, but there are two 31’s and two 32’s. I have the L513 mode at the top of the image. The value for Marker #449 is 29. That means I have the older 31 value and the other 2 Hartleys have newer 32 values. They are moving away from 29.

Defining Hartley Z17911 STRs

Next, I looked at all the STRs where the 4 Hartley had different results. The other results are interesting but in comparing Hartley to Hartley they don’t matter if they are the same. Well, they might matter if there was a STR that mutated up and back down again, but the chance of that happening should be relatively rare.


Here I have compacted 67 STR results to 12. This is a good time to point out the STR rates. The rate for 447 is about 0.09. The rate for CDYb is 35. That means that CDYb will change over 350 times as fast as 447. Another point is that Hartley #4 seems to be a special case. He was categorized as a non-L513 person which was thought by the L513 Administrator Mike to be a mistake. I don’t know if that was ever resolved. I do note that some of his STRs are a bit different than the other 3 Hartleys, but not totally different. I also note that he has tested positive for R-L21, so perhaps this has been resolved.

But Wait, There’s More

I had forgotten, there is one more Hartley in the group. He doesn’t have a Hartley last name but believes that he is descended from the Hartley Line. Great news. I will call him Hartley #5.


Previously, I had missed Marker 481. Also when I copied things, my numbers didn’t get colors, but that’s alright. Now I have 13 markers and 5 Hartleys.

References for Trees

I’m aware of 3 references for creating STR trees.

  • Robert Laurence Baber – He has written quite a few articles on STR trees. I have not read them all yet. I downloaded a 5 part study he wrote but I don’t totally understand his method yet – though I understand some of the principles. He uses an upstream STR mode as I tried to do above.
  • Robb Hand Drawn Tree example – He compares a hand drawn tree to the Fluxus software. Although he likes the hand drawn version better, he learns some from using difficult to use the Fluxus software
  • Gleeson STR Tree – Maurice Gleeson gives a method and example of how to build a STR tree

More on Modes

I seem to be getting hung up on Modes:


Here I have the L513 Mode and various modes from downstream SNPs. The 458 mode went quickly from 17 for L513 to 19 for S5668 and then appeared to stay there for quite a while.As a result, I chose 19 for the mode. Had I just looked at the older L513 Mode, I may have come to a different conclusion as to which way this STR was mutating.

Then the very fast CDYb seemed to move up in a regular way through the ages. Of course, in reality, it could have gone up and down over that period of time, but we wouldn’t know it if it did. I picked the lower 39 value for the CDYb STR at the Hartley mode level. To the right, I have the GD or generational distance from the Hartley Mode. This says that these Hartleys should be related at about the same level – around 4 or 5 GDs or STR mutations.

A 5 Hartley Likely Z17911 STR Tree

Here is the tree I came up with. It is along the line of and in the form of the Gleeson STR Tree example mentioned above:


  • The Hartley common ancestor’s signature STR values are listed at the top. The mutations from that are shown down the branches to the individual Hartleys.
  • I also added some dates assuming that on average, a STR will mutate every 170 years given a test of 67 STRs. The lower horizontal lines above happen at the 2 or 3 STR mutation rate (which is the same as the GD). The top horizontal line happens at a GD of 4 or 5. The Hartley #5 horizontal line is up higher as the 358b mutation is a double one from 16 to 18.
  • In the above scenario, Hartley #5 is by himself. Another scenario would have Hartley #4 and Hartley #5 together as they share a mutation at 389b. Instead, I chose the above tree due to Hartley #1, 4, 3, and 2 each sharing 2 STRs.

This image shows some of my rationale for the tree:


I chose the double combo of 25-32 that Hartley #2 and #3 shared. I also chose the double combo of 17-40 (in yellow) that Hartley #1 and #4 shared. Other possible single combos that I didn’t choose to group were the two step 16>18 mutation for Hartley #4 and 5, the 11 mutation for Hartley #1 and 5 and the 16 mutation for Hartley #1 and 3. The principle used is to try to get the tree as simple as possible. This is what Gleeson calls the parsimony principle. My assumption is that my groupings achieve that goal.

How Do the Hartleys Compare to the Z17911 Mode?

In comparing Hartleys to the Z17911 Mode,  I go from the age of surnames to before the age of surnames. There are 4 that have tested positive for Z17911. They are Hartley (me), Goff, Thomas and Merrick. In that group, the level of GD’s and the variance in surnames indicate a pre-surname common ancestor.

So the GD’s will be further back also.


Here I am assuming no back mutations. Under the previous tree I assumed that Hartley #5 had a back mutation at CDYb. Due to the volatility of this marker, it is sometimes ignored in these analyses. Notice that now the range of GDs is from 3 to 8. Again, I group Hartley #1 and #4 together and Hartley #2 and #3 together.


Hartley #4 has the GD of 8. This is due to 2 double mutations. That pushes back his connection to Z17911 to around the year 600. This seems to be pushing back to a possible age of Z17911. Z17911 positive Thomas has submitted his Big Y results to YFull, so I am hoping to get a date from YFull for Z17911. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. The structure of the tree is the same as the previous Hartley Tree. I just adjusted the relative heights of the horizontal arms.

Summary and Conclusion

  • STRs from 5 Hartleys who have tested their YDNA seem to indicate a relatively close relationship – at least in YDNA terms
  • I have had my SNPs tested and the administrator of the R1b-L513 project has grouped the other STR-testing Hartleys in the same Z17911 group as me based on similar STR patterns. That is quite a way down the SNP tree.
  • If any of these Hartley were to test for for the L513 SNP or further down for Z17911, it could confirm what the STRs seem to be saying. Then I wouldn’t be the lone SNP tested Z17911 Hartley
  • SNPs create a solid reliable marker for relationships. It is best to have the SNP relationship established through testing before doing this type of STR analysis. However, even without SNP testing, STR trees can be informative
  • Back mutations and the different mutation rates leading to unpredictable STR mutations are the 2 major variables that make STR testing less accurate than SNP testing
  • The weakness of the SNP testing is that many have not done it. The other issue is SNP testing may only take you up to a certain date. After that date, STR analysis is  more useful
  • STR testing is best used in conjunction with SNP testing
  • Making a STR tree takes some practice and knowledge of STRs and mutations.
  • This YDNA research and resulting connections could shed light on the history of this branch of the Hartley family over the past 400-1400 years or so.


My Hartley Big Y Results: Part One

Back before I got my Big Y results, I wrote an article called My Hartley YDNA. This covered issues relating to Hartley SNPs and STRs. As many know, the Big Y is the ultimate Family Tree DNA product for testing the YDNA that is passed down from father to son since the beginning of such passing down of YDNA. While other YDNA tests identify existing STR and SNP markers, it is the purpose of the Big Y to look at one’s DNA and discover new SNPs.

Hartley Big Y Testees

As far as I know there are a total of 3 Hartley Big Y testees – including me. I am correctly but awkwardly saying testees as the testers are those in the lab testing the DNA. I may slip back to the more comfortable ‘tester’ at some point.

William on the I Line

The first Hartley to have the Big Y is William who is the Hartley DNA administrator. He is in the I Haplogroup. In the old nomenclature, he would be along the line of I1a2a1a2. I1 and I2 are the main I branches and are extremely distantly related to other known Hartleys – at least by YDNA. Other Hartleys so far tested have been R1b.  I agree with what William says about his connection to other Hartleys:

My last common [I1] ancestor was about 1,800 years ago and also likely an Angle [Anglo-Swedish Angle]. So that commonality may be why we both later adopted the Hartley surname and both our ancestries are found around Yorkshire and Lancashire.

I added the I1 in brackets for clarification.

The second Hartley Testee: James Hartley ancestor – R1b-S1051

The second Hartley testee was more closely related than the I1 Haplogroup. We are both in the R1b group.  Further, we are both in the L21 group. This group has sometimes been associated with the Celts. L21 is also associated with the older peoples that lived in the British Isles prior to the arrival of Vikings, Anglo Saxons and Normans. However, our common ancestor was likely 1,000’s of years ago.  The second Hartley testee is in a tiny branch called S1051 which I have pointed out with a red arrow. I am in the gold regions of L513 a few steps up from S1051

L21 Tree S1051

This chart is from July 2015. I believe that it is no longer updated as it has gotten so crowded due to Big Y testing. There are 151 people in the R-S1051 Project. According to the R-S1051 Project web page:

Recently many new SNP’s have been discovered for this unique haplogroup which is located below DF13. 

The majority of this family group have 5 main Patriarch SNP’s (S1051, FGC9655, FGC9661, FGC9658 and FGC9657). The current age estimate for these Patriarch SNP’s is approximately 3,200 to 4,500 years old and likely originated within what is known as the Bell Beaker culture. When examining other haplogroups of a similar age the S1051 people are very few by comparison.

Evidence suggests that the geographic origin of this family group could have been from what is now modern Scotland.

Our fellow Hartley Big Y testee #2 is on the FGC9655 Line. Here is my attempt to spray paint out the IDs below on the Alex Williamson Big Tree:

Alex S1051 tree

It looks like our Hartley has the most Big Y company in the R-S1051 Group. The belief is also that the Hartleys came from the North of England originally. This theory that this S1051 group was from Scotland originally would tend to support the Northern UK origins of the Hartleys. Brewer in the reddish color has not been analyzed yet, so things are still developing in the FGC9655 SNP Group.

That is a good segue into my results. I called this blog Part One because, like Mr. Brewer, my results have not been analyzed yet either. Due to all the Big Y testing recently, there has been a bit of a backlog in analyzing the results.

The Third Testee (Me) – R-L513

I already knew where I was on the L513 Chart. Now, due to the fact that I have taken the Big Y test, I am listed on the top part of the tree. This is like being elevated to YDNA Heaven.

L513 Tree June 2016

Here is a closer up shot:

L513 Blowup

I am hoping that other Hartleys will test and find to be positive for Z17911. Like Hartley Big Y Tester #2, I am in the Big Tree. Unlike Tester #2, my data has not been analyzed by Alex Williamson, so I am still shown in a reddish color. This time I’ll erase the kit numbers for privacy:

Hartley on Big Tree

Way at the top, there is Smith. He is positive for a SNP named Z16357. All the other names share the Z16357 SNP with Smith. Smith does not share Z16343 and the block of other SNPs listed below with Hay(e)s, Pillsbury, Merrick, Thomas and Hartley. The tree portion above shows that Hay(e)s is down from the Pillsbury Line. Merrick, Thomas and Hartley have only 2 named SNPs: Z17911 and Z17912. A few other observations:

  • If one is positive for Z16343, then they are likely positive for most or all of the other SNPs listed in the Z16343 block
  • There is no one currently that is positive for Z16343 that isn’t also either Z17911 or Z16855
  • If we maintain the 150 years per SNP, then the block of about 25 SNPs in the Z16343 block could represent 3,750 years. There are some detailed reasons why that number of years could be less. However, it is still a long amount of time.

Public SNPs, Private SNPs, Terminal SNPs

But wait, there’s more. There are different categories of SNPs with different names. The terminology can get confusing. A terminal SNP means the last SNP on your line that you could be based on current knowledge. For me, that is Z17911. However, what was terminal in the past, what is terminal now and what may be a terminal SNP in the future are different things.

Public SNPs are those SNPs with listed names such as Z17911 or those in the block under Z16343. These are also a moving target. At one time, these SNPs were just position numbers.

Private SNPs are those that are not yet public SNPs or may be family SNPs. Family SNPs are those that just belong to a single family name – probably within a genealogical time frame. So, if your genealogy goes back 350 years, there could be on average 3 SNPs during that time. Those would be considered family SNPs.

Novel Variants and unique SNPs

FTDNA reports Novel Variants. In my Big Y test, I have 30 Novel Variants listed. Those that are not shared by anyone else would be considered my unique or private SNPs. Note that this definition of Private SNPs bumps up against the Private SNP definition that I had above which was a family SNP. This means that either I have it wrong or there are 2 different ways of looking at Private SNPs.

Here is a screen shot from an excellent video called,

Building a Family Tree with SNPs, STRs, & Named People (Maurice Gleeson)

Maurice SNP Types

Hopefully the above diagram simplifies my complicated explanation.

The Mike Walsh L513 Discovery Spreadsheet

I am fortunate to be in the R-L513 Haplogroup with Mike Walsh as an administrator. He is very active in that group looking for new people to further test and for people who aren’t in the group already but perhaps should be due to the signature of their STR tests. He has developed a Discovery spreadsheet based on the Big Y results – specifically from the VCF files. VCF stands for Variant Call Format. Here is part of his file for my little piece of the YDNA world which includes Hay(e)s, Pillsbury, Thomas, Merrick and Hartley.

Walsh Discovery

Here we have the SNP position number. The H is the YDNA group based on STRs. The status looks to be Public consistent, public semi-consistent, multi-family surname or single family surname. These statuses are analogous to the public and private SNPs that I was mentioning above. Grade is how good the SNP is. Frequency is how many times it occurs – in this case out of the 6 people in the test group. Then the results are colored according to the grade and other factors for Hayes, Pillsbury, Hartley, Merrick and Thomas. Note that the SNPs with poor grades were never named. They are just position numbers.


Here is the second page of the Discovery Spreadsheet:

Discovery p2

The blanks are no-reads. These would be inconclusive. Red means that there was a read, but the SNP was not present. This shows that for the Z17911 and Z17912 SNPs, Hayes and Pillsbury were negative and Hartley, Merrick and Thomas were positive. That is how these two groups separated ways and are on different branches of the L513 SNP Tree.

Does the Spreadsheet tell us anything new?

When Mike first added me to his spreadsheet, he noted the following:

This isn’t on the Big Tree but Merrick and Thomas have this which you do not have:

Here is the unnamed SNP Mike mentioned that I don’t have:

Discovery part3

Note that Hayes, Pillsbury and Hartley are negative for 19581481 and Thomas and Merrick are positive for it. This was a little different than the Z17911 above. It appears that 1951481 at the bottom of my screen capture may become a named SNP for Merrick and Thomas and put  them in a branch below me. So perhaps my Big Y has helped someone else after all. Perhaps the next Big Y tester will in this region will help me out.

The YFull Analysis

While I am waiting for Alex Williamson’s analysis, I am also waiting for a YFull analysis. This is a company in Russia that will look at the BAM file from the Big Y test. They will add my results to their YFull tree. They also give estimated dates to my SNPs. Finally, they will, as a lesser priority, find STRs that they can extract from the Big Y test. The only downside is a small fee and that I will only be compared to others that are in the YFull system.



My Hartley YDNA

After writing over 50 Blogs on genetic genealogy, I realized that I hadn’t written a blog on my Hartley YDNA. I have written on Frazer YDNA and my wife’s family YDNA (Butler), but not one just on Hartley YDNA. This will not be on all Hartley YDNA as I know the most about mine. There are other Hartley Lines that aren’t closely related to mine.

Many reading this blog will know already that the YDNA is used often in Surname studies. This is because YDNA is passed mostly unchanged from father to son. I say mostly because there are slow changes that occur. These slow changes are what make the differences in the different STRs and SNPs.  STRs and SNPs are the 2 major types of YDNA of importance in genetic genealogy. In this Blog, I’ll write about my own STRs and SNPs and how they relate to each other. I’ll also look at a few ways of analyzing YDNA results. There is a lot to cover here.

SNPs – Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

SNPs are formed due to genetic mutations and are very specific and unambiguous. They can be used to trace one’s line back to a genetic Adam and place one into a specific group of people. Here is the broad difference between SNPs. They are listed between the letters A and T below.

All SNPs

My Hartley Line is broadly R1b. My Frazer line is R1a. They split off at some point and appear to have taken a more northerly route through Europe. R1b is the most common YDNA in Western Europe. Further, there are 2 branches that are common within R1b. These 2 types are listed by their test names. They are R-U106 and R-P312. In England, the R-U106 represents the Anglo Saxons. They came from the areas around Germany.  It turns out that I am R-P312 and further L21. See the bottom left of the tree below.

Tree to L21

L21 is known for the Irish and Scots. But there are also English L21. Actually, I would like to think of myself as British. The British represents the older stock in England whereas the Anglo (hence English) Saxon are the late comers. More of the U106 are found in the Southeast England where the Anglo Saxons entered. The L21’s are found more in the North and West of England and in Ireland.

L21 Map

For some reason, I was relieved to find out that I was R-L21. I guess I liked the idea of being associated with the old timers vs. the invaders. Also, even though the Celts are not a genetic group per se, they have been associated with R-L21. Here is a map of England in 600 A.D showing the British/Anglo Saxon split.

Briton 600

More on L21

It took me quite a while testing my YDNA to find out that I was L21. There are many levels of subdivisions below L21. Here is an L21 Tree that is almost 2 years out of date. On it, I tried to place some of the Hartleys that had tested up to that point. Some that I wasn’t sure of I put in the upper left of the chart.

L21 2014 Map

At that time, I had put my ancestor, Robert Hartley in the L513  Group (dark yellow) and one step under that at S5668. Due to in a large part, people doing a Big Y test, many new SNPs have been discovered and placed  in the tree. Now R-L513 has it’s own Tree.

L513 map

Finally, I have tested positive for Z17911 and Z17912. These are equivalent SNPs.  The people listed on the main tree are ones that have taken the Big Y or equivalent tests. Once I get my results, my name will show above with Merrick and Thomas – or perhaps in my own group.

L513 Tree Section

As far as I know, Z17911 is the end of the line or what has been referred to as a terminal SNP. However, Big Y testing may reveal more. There are also SNPs which are called private or family SNPs. One or more of these may be found in my BigY results for the Hartley family.

STRs – Short Tandem Repeats

The STR was the first type of YDNA to be used for genetic genealogy. I think of these as a stutter in the DNA. These are extra copies that happen in specific areas of the YDNA that are noted and used for comparison purposes. Standard tests range from 12 STRs to 111 STRs or more. The more you test, the more you pay. Each of these STR locations have their own rates of change. There are the fast changing STRs and the slower ones.

My Hartley STRs

Here are some of my Hartley STRs. First I’ll explain the headings below. Dark blue is the first panel of 12 SNPs. Maroon represents the faster changing STRs. The next set of lighter blue is up to 25 STRs. The next lighter blue is up to the 37 level. The  lightest blue on the right is STR 38 to 67. I didn’t include all my 67 in the image below.

STR Locations JoelJoel's Z Strs

This image is small, and it is taken from the Z17911 group. These people have tested positive for Z17911 and are listed in the FTDNA R1b-L513 Project. The rows of numbers are the STR values (or numbers of repeats). The rows are:

  • Minimum value (in this case of those that have tested positive for Z17911)
  • Maximum value
  • Mode – this has also been used to approximate an ancestral value for the group
  • Hartley (me)
  • Thomas
  • Goff
  • Merrick
Genetic distance (GD)

There are a few ways STRs are used. One is GD or Genetic Distance. When I compare my STR test to another Hartley, for example, it counts the number of differences between the two tests. Some of the numbers in the rows above are highlighted in either purple or pink. The purple values for the 4th line (Hartley) are less than the mode. The pink values are more than the mode. So in the first 37 STRs for my results there are 6 highlighted values. That would be a GD of either 5 or 6. There are 2 ways of counting. For the 5th maroon named marker there are 4 values. There is a method called Infinite Alleles Model which would only count any changes within that named maroon region as one.

Note that of these 6 differences or GD’s in my results, 4 are in the slower moving areas and 2 are in the faster moving areas. I note that at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) I am not shown as related to any within my Z17911 Group. However, that is OK. For 37 STRs my highest GD is 4. I don’t think FTDNA shows higher than that. For 67 STRs, FTDNA’s highest GD is 7.  This is because, when more STRs are compared, more GDs are allowed to make a match.  I further note that at 37 STRs, I match 3 Hartleys, one believed to be descended from a Hartley and 2 non-Hartleys. At the 67 YDNA match level at FTDNA, I have the same person believed to be descended from a Hartley and 3 other with the Hartley surname. So it seems like the FTDNA system is working. However, to get the matches that are further away, one must look at a SNP project or surname project.

where is the common ancestor for STR matches?

FTDNA uses a TIP Report to guess how closely related I am to my YDNA matches. My closest match at the 67 STR level is at a GD of 4. That isn’t very close. However, close is relative.

The first one on my YDNA match list is Sanchez – believed to be of Hartley descent. The TIP Report tells me this:

Sanchez TIP

The second on my 67 STR YDNA match list has a Hartley surname. We also have a GD of 4 and the TIP Report looks like this:

Hartley TIP

Notice that the TIP Report shows a better likelihood that I’m related to Hartley than Sanchez. This is because the TIP Report considers the speed of change of the markers. The markers that are different between Hartley and myself are faster moving ones than the ones that are different between Sanchez and myself. As there are only averages of how often these markers change, this is not an exact science. The tables just show likelihood of when we may have had a common ancestor.

strs used to predict the r-L513 SNP

Here I should mention the difference between a haplogroup and a haplotype. I mention it partially, because I forget which is which. A haplogroup has to do with a SNP. Examples of a haplogroup are R1b, L21, etc. Sometimes the smaller groups are called subclades or subgroups. According to Wikipedia, “Subclades are defined by a terminal SNP…”. So my Z17911 would be a subclade.

Apparently there is more than one definition of haplotype. The one I am thinking of refers to a specific grouping of STRs that stands out. One such grouping of STRs (haplotype) defines the R-L513 Haplogroup. Before the L513 SNP was discovered, people analyzed the STRs and noticed certain patterns. Based on those patterns, the STR results were put into different groups. One such pattern was (and is) DYS406s1>=11 and DYS617=13. When people testing their STRs found these 2 values, they were almost always L513 as confirmed by their SNP testing. So for the longest time, the group was called the 11-13 Combo group rather than the L513 group. Let’s look at the top of the L513 YDNA results page to see if this pattern is true:

406S1 617

Notice that there are a few here that are different, but these may represent rare mutations.  In my Z17911, we all meet the criteria.

Strs predicting Z17911 SNPs

I noticed in the L513 Yahoo Mail Group that I belong to, there were some predictions based on STRs that there could be more Z17911’s. Here is part of a post from March 2016 on the Yahoo L513 Group from the administrator,

“Below is a list of the people I’ve added in the last three weeks, the project I found them in and their predicted variety. This is sorted by variety label.
293533 William Hartley b. 1745 d. after 1807 Hartley 513-5668-16357-16343-17911-JM
372104 Sanchez, b. Spain L513 513-5668-16357-16343-17911-JM”

Sanchez believes he has a Hartley ancestor. So it is interesting that I will likely have more company at the Z17911 SNP. Here is another interesting post from the administrator of the L513 Yahoo Mail Group in October 2015 to Jared who felt he was mis-grouped:

Hi Jared, I mis-grouped you. I will fix. I intended to put you in the “J” STR variety/cluster.  I’m not positive you are in “J” and could be in “H” or a little different yet. It’s hard to make judgements on this, particularly at only 37 STRs.

Here are all the people that I’m aware that off modal values for STRs 390=25 389i=14 458>=18 449>=31 464c=16 and high CDY numbers. You might actually fit in better with the Phillips and Vaughan side of “J” than the Merrick or Thomas.

We think this group is all Z17911+ but I’m not sure. I would say you are Z16343+ at he very least. Z16343 also marks the “H” variety people (Hayes/Pillsbury). No guarantees.

f307773    Smith    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
fN56253    Gilroy    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
fN114296    Gilroy    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
f275990    Hartley    R1b-L21>DF13>L513>S5668>Z16343>Z17911
f280251    Hartley    zzL21suspect
f117349    Hartley    zzL21suspect
f200669    Head    zzL21suspect
f160646    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f271571    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f158089    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f160637    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f113390    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f306961    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f116935    Vaughan    zzL21suspect
f160729    Vaughan    zzL21suspect
f271772    Vaughn    zzL21suspect
f105064    zzzUnk(Phillips)    zzL21suspect

I am the first Hartley mentioned above. Then there are 2 others that may be Z17911. So that means that rather than me being all alone at Z17911, there may be 4 other Hartleys joining me. That is progress. Based on the L513 Administrator’s (Mike’s) STR analysis those 4 would be Z17911. Here are my STR values highlighted in blue with Mike’s Z17911 signature STRs.

Z17911 STRs

I meet all the Z17911 signature STRs which makes sense as I have tested positive for Z17911. These predictions can save a lot of money for people testing SNPs. Rather than testing a series of 4 or 5 SNPs to see where they are on the SNP Tree, they can just test for Z17911 to see if they are positive for that.

Using STRs to Create New SNPs

ISOGG is the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. They have a guidelines for naming new SNPs:

The objective of the ISOGG Tree at this time is to include all SNPs that arose prior to about the year 1500 C.E. This guideline may be measured through STR diversity or alternative evidence.

Where a new terminal subgroup is being added, STR marker results or other evidence described below for two men with the new SNP are needed.

STR Diversity
To be accepted the SNP must be observed in at least two individuals and must meet the STR diversity requirement. A SNP that does not meet this requirement will be classified as a Private SNP (see definition above).

The STR diversity requirement is met if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. If the SNP is a Non-Terminal Branch SNP, no further proof of diversity is required.
  2. Genetic distance is calculated using the Infinite Alleles Model (IAM). A marker for which there is a null value in one sample must be discarded from the calculations. Otherwise, most laboratories use the IAM.
  3. All markers tested by both individuals must be compared.
  4. If 74 markers (or fewer) are compared, the minimum genetic distance to meet the diversity requirement is 5.
  5. If 75 (or more) markers are compared, the diversity requirement is a minimum of 7%, computed by dividing the genetic distance by the number of markers compared, and rounding to the nearest integer value.

This is what happened when my Terminal SNP was accepted. Usually, one would be looking for a low GD for a match, say. Here, for the addition of new SNPs a higher GD is needed to show that the SNP is not a private SNP. Here is another message written June 2015 by a fellow Z17911 from the Yahoo L513 Mail Group that I’m in:

Hi Mike,

I tried to figure the Infinite allele GD for the three current SNP-tested members of Z17911 (if I understood DYS464 and CDY correctly):

Hartley/Merrick = GD 14
Hartley/Thomas = GD 12
Merrick/Thomas = GD 10

I hope this is helpful.
Charles Thomas 8633 

Mike followed up with:

Yes, Charles. It looks like Z17911 and Z16855 are clearly public making upstream Z16343 public too.

And the rest is history – at least for my little branch of the YDNA tree.

Analysis of STRs Using the RCC Method

The RCC method may be somewhat obscure to some, but I find it very interesting. This method uses STRs to create trees of descent, like the SNP trees I showed above. As it uses STRs and not SNPs, it is helpful as a check to the validity of the SNP trees. The RCC method was developed by Bill Howard. In November 2014, Bill came up with the tree below based on 67 STR results. I was at the top of the list in that study of a relatively small group of people.

RCC 67

Note how this method mirrors today’s SNP tree:

L513 Tree Section

The RCC method show that Z16855 branched from Z17911 out of Z16343 at over 60 RCCs. For this 67-marker analysis, 1 RCC = 38.05 yrs. So that would be over 2300 years ago. The present year is considered as 1945-1950. Hartley shows as splitting from Merrick and Thomas at about 30 RCCs. That is over 1140 years from 1945 or around the year 800 A.D. As there were no surnames at that point, this would explain why Hartley, Thomas and Merrick could be in the same grouping. The closest RCC to Hartley at the time of this study was Gilroy. An RCC of 18 translates to 685 years. This brings us up to about the year 1265 A.D. Surnames in England were being sorted out around the 1400’s.

Here is my interpretation of the RCC 67 STR Tree with SNPs and dates added:

RCC 67

Assuming that the vertical line at RCC 30 represents Z17911, it appears that there is room for at least one other SNP on the Hartley Branch that includes Gilroy, Phillips, Vaugh[a]n and Griffin.

Comparing two Rcc studies (67 Vs. 111 Strs)

More recently, at the end of March 2016, Bill Howard ran the data for 555 L513 testees that had 111 STR markers or more. I have only tested for 67 markers, so I was not included, but there was one Hartley in that group. He does not show up on my match list as I count that I have a GD of 10 with him at the 67 STR level. This is beyond the match limit of 7 for FTDNA.

Here is the small section of the 555 that included the Hartley I mentioned above.

RCC 111

Now the vertical dashed lines happen every 20 RCCs. For this study, the RCC = 44.8 years. Mike Walsh, the Administrator of the L513 Project looked at this and felt that, based on his experience with SNPs, that the 44.8 may be a bit high and mentioned a factor of 34.65 years that he thought may work better.

Here is my interpretation of the 111 STR RCC Tree with dates and SNPs. One RCC = 44.8 years.

RCC 111

First, because there are fewer results at 111 STRs, this spreads out the branching. I don’t know who Pitt is. In the previous study Z17911 and Z16855 branched at about 490 B.C. Here, it appears to be in a similar location, I guess about 440 B.C. In the 111 Tree ZS849 branches off in the 1400’s Vs. the 1600’s in the 67 STR Tree. I would assume that the previous study could be slightly more accurate due more available results at the 67 STR level. However, the results are quite close to each other.

Historical 37 STR RCC Tree from September 2014

All these RCC Studies reminded me of a study done in the old days – back in 2014. At the time, I was amazed at how close Bill Howard got to the SNP tree with just using 37 STRs. At the time, I had recommended that the results of 21 L21’s be included in the study, but Charles was too quick in sending 14 L513 results to Bill Howard and Bill gave us this tree:

37 STR RCC Tree

Charles said that 1 RCC should equal 43 years. I’ll put what we know now onto the 2014 RCC tree.

37 STR RCC Tree

The main difference in the older study is that the Z17911/Z16855 branching is shown at a later date (A.D. Vs. the newer studies’ B.C. dates). Also there is an Evans in my group here. I’m not sure who he is.

So Which is Better, SNPs or STRs?

Most people tend to like SNPs over STRs. SNPs may be considered UEPs or Unique Event Polymorphisms. It is the unique part that makes them better. I like the way my L513 Administrator, Mike Walsh says it,

Some people say have used the words that SNPs trump STRs. That’s probably the correct general perspective. Assuming the specific SNPs considered are actually very stable Unique Event Polymorphisms (EUP), any SNPs that differentiate are most important and therefore provide fencing for which do additional evaluation using surnames, genealogy, geographies, etc. AND STRs.

STRs may back mutate, which is a hidden weakness in a way. Say that you have a perfect match with someone based on STRs. One of those STRs may have mutated and back mutated. This would mean that you are not a perfect match, but a GD of 2. There is not an easy way to know if that has happened or not. So that introduces some uncertainty. However, that is not to say that STRs are not important. I feel as they are underrated by many and should still be considered for the reasons I mention in this Blog and in the section below.

Summary, Conclusions and Comments

  • I’m looking forward to my BigY results to see what they may include
  • I am currently classified as Z17911 – a relatively recently discovered terminal SNP
  • By STR signatures, there appear to be 4 other Hartleys who would test positive for Z17911. These Hartleys should be encouraged to take the Z17911 SNP test.
  • I have used a similar method to analyze STRs and predict my own SNPs before I tested positive for them.
  • STRs are useful for determining relatedness to other STR matches using GD and FTDNA’s TIP Report
  • The TIP Report also gives an estimate to the Most Recent Common Ancestor for YDNA matches.
  • STRs are also useful in determining whether a new SNP is private or public using ISOGG guidelines
  • The RCC analysis is useful in creating STR trees and for confirming SNP trees
  • The RCC analysis can also give a time period for the branching of different SNPs and families.
  • STRs and SNPs complement each other