Hartley BigY 700 Update: Part 3

I tend to write Blogs to figure out what is going on with my DNA results.

Private Variants

The main purpose of the BigY tests are to find and identify SNPs. SNPs are excellent markers to place you in the YDNA tree and hopefully identify family surname groups like Hartley. The Private Variants are those SNPs that don’t (yet) match other testers, so would not be included in the YDNA tree.

In my first Blog posted on January 28th, there were 12 an average of “private variants” shown between me and the other two A11132 testers:

However, these were not really private variants as FTDNA was still matching these SNPs with other testers. While I was writing my first Blog, the number of private variants went down to 10.

In my second Blog posted on February 17th, I noted that my number of private variants for the three A11132 testers had gone from 10 to 6. I wish that I had posted a screen shot of the average number of private variants. However, I did show that these were my own list of private variants:

Presently, I still have these 6 private variants. In order for there to be an average of 4 private variants between me and the other two testers, the other two testers must have a total of 6 private variants between them.

The A11132 Block

The three Hartley BigY testers are all in the A11132 Block. Here is what it looks like presently:

In the first image at the top of the Blog, this A11132 Block had 7 SNPs. Now it has 9. Here are the two new SNPs:

In order for these two SNPs to be added to the A11132 Block, they must be shared by all three testers.

A16716 and FT226983

In a previous Blog, I had noted that I shared this with the new BigY 700 Hartley tester and that the position number was 13658297.

However, I don’t see FT226983 on the list. This must be a newly named SNP. When I search at YBrowse for this SNP, I get this:

It does show as a new SNP from this year:

This is a little confusing, because in a previous Blog, I had that the new BigY tester had a private variant at position 14981376 but that I didn’t. Also here is what I get when I search for this SNP under my named variants:

So what that tells me is that FTDNA’s manual review is still in process or that something is not right. I dove in a little deeper and downloaded my BigY csv file. That showed this:

I assume that from this they couldn’t tell if I was FT226983 or not. This was probably a new position that was tested as it is listed in YBrowse under 2020. That means that the other Hartley tester who had the older BigY test wouldn’t have been tested for this.

My Private Haplotree

Bob Tipton from the FTDNA – BigY Facebook group had some more tips for me. He showed me how to get to my reads.

This shows only one read for FT226983. Usually, they want many reads for me to be positive (around 10?).

Here is another Bob Tipton tip. If you click on your confirmed Haplogroup badge you get to your private haplotree:

According to Bob:

The one for FT226983 should be yellow for Presumed Positive, but currently is probably gray for Presumed Negative. This is a bug in their system that has been reported, but not yet fixed.

The system highlights the line, so it is difficult to tell the color of the dots, but they appear to be gray. Another surprise is that BY16416 is also in gray. This SNP has been around since there were only two Hartley BigY testers.


I have had this since before the new Hartley tester. Bob Tipton from the BigY Facebook Group points out that this is actually an indel. Bob explains that an indel is an insertion or deletion rather than a mutation. In the case of BY16417 it was the insertion of an A in the DNA.

Has the Manual Review Been Completed?

After the BigY results come out FTDNA does a manual review. One of the frustrating parts of this review is that FTDNA does not tell you if the review is in progress or if it has been completed. I have tried to figure this out by posting at the FTDNA – BigY Face Group, but have gotten mixed opinions. I wrote an e-mail to Dave Vance who is a co-administrator to my Haplogroup and he said that I could check with FTDNA to see if my manual review had been completed. He also gave some suggestions on how to do my own manual review. This involves checking on the Private Variants for the other Big Y testers and comparing them.

I wrote to FTDNA and they said that my kit has been reviewed and there are no further changes to be made. That means that none of the men below A11132 have any private variants in common. Based on this, I get the impression that there was no manual review. Manual reviews are for when there FTDNA believes that a new branch should be formed.

The Implications of No Change of Haplogroup for the Three Hartley BigY Testers

Assuming that FTDNA came to the right conclusions and we are still A11132, there are implications. The obvious implication is that the three of us have a Hartley ancestor within a certain period of time. That period of time has been quoted as 144 years. However, with the newer BigY testing, that period of time could be as low as 87 years. Previously I had an average of two private variants between myself and the other Hartley Big Y tester. That should have meant a common ancestor about 288 years ago. I was born in 1956, so that would be going back to the year 1688. This date was off because the person I matched with had an ancestor named Samuel and/or  Edward Hartley born in 1666. He married in 1693 and moved to Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s. Assuming he brought his children with him, that means that the latest common ancestor probably would have been that Hartley’s father presumably born around 1640.

Now with the addition of an additional tester there are an average of 4 private variants between the 3 of us. If we use 144 years per variant, that is up to 576 years. That would bring us back to the year 1380. I think that date is too far back. That seems to support using a lower number of years per variant.

Non-Matching Variants

I thought that I would take another look at my Non-Matching Variants to see if they revealed anything. Here are my non-matching variants with the new tester and the previous tester:

This stuff gets tricky. With the newer tester, I have highlighted all my present 6 private variants. However, notice that only 4 of the 6 are non-matches with the older tester. The ones that are missing from the older tester are at positions 4317527 and 26539382. Now the tricky part. Just because I am not a non-match to the older tester does not mean I match him. He may not have been tested either way for those two positions. According to YBrowse 4317527 was named in 2019 and 26539382 in 2020.

Checking the New BigY Tester’s Private Variants

I asked the new tester to see his private variants now that the review has been done and got this:

FGC6800 and A11130

These are two more SNPs that I have that the other two BigY Hartley testers don’t have. FGC6800 is a strange one as it is listed under I2 and I am R1b. I think there is a name for this phenomenon, but I don’t know what it is. I guess that this SNP got ignored by FTDNA due to the weird result.

The next SNP is A11130. This was named by the Hartley YDNA administrator in 2016. As no one else has claimed this, I will say it belongs to me under A11132. I plan to have my brother tested for the BigY, so that should confirm it.

What Is Left?

For the other two testers, there are 7 non-named private variants. It is my understanding that FTDNA uses these unnamed variants when they do their averaging. I have 6 private variants and the other two testers have a total of 7 for a grand total of 13 private variants. Divide these by 4 to get the 12 average private variants under A11132.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The BIgY is simple in theory but complicated in application
  • I had thought that, based on looking at the somewhat unreliable STRs and more reliable SNPs, that the new tester and I would form a newer YDNA branch.
  • It is likely that I was anticipating that the two new SNPs in the A11132 Block could have formed a new branch between the new tester and myself. However, I don’t have enough information to evaluate how it was determined that the previous Hartley BigY tested had A16716 and FT226983.
  • David Vance has a program to compare BigY csv files. However, I would have to get the BigY csv files from the two other testers to do this.
  • When a sale comes up, I would like to get a BigY test for my brother. This would probably force a manual review from FTDNA.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *