It is always big news when BigY test results come in. The BigY is probably the most important test that can be taken for a surname project. That is because YDNA defines a specific male line going back from son to father to father and back to the beginning of all men. The BigY is the pinnacle of the definition of the YDNA results for a male line.
I had an email from Pete who is very active in the Whitson YDNA Project. He informed me of new BigY tests in his group and asked me to take a look. I last looked at Pete’s BigY results in May of this year.
Here is the small Whitson/Butler Project which I manage:
The group includes Butlers, Whitsons and Whetstones. The Whetstones are not believed to be related, but they didn’t have their own group, so wanted to join ours. Pete is in the last group which has a yellow heading. In the case of this project, it appears that those who have a green Haplogroup result have taken the BigY test. That means that there is a good percentage of members who have taken the test. Actually, in reviewing my previous Blog, I see that the first tester and last tester in the U106 Group only took the individual SNP tests previously. That single SNP test had them at the older R-S23139. The two new BigY tests brought the first and last testers under U106 up to Pete at BY97752.
The Newest Whitson Tests
Here is Norton’s completed date:
The first person in the group’s results were even more recent at July 2, 2021.
Note in the last group, that all three testers have the same result in green. They are all (for now) R-BY97752. Because the test is so new, FTDNA has not had a chance to do a manual review. That means that there may be more branching for this group.
Looking at the STRs
Here it looks like Pete has the oldest STRs and then Norton has newer STRs and the other Whitson has the newest STRs:
My guess is based on these results. The first row is the minimum, the second row maximum value and the third row is the mode. Peter is in the 5th row. His results are the same as the mode. All things being equal, the mode should be the oldest results. However STRs are somewhat unpredictable and may be misleading. The other Whitson in row 4 has two changes from the mode. Norton has only one change from the mode.
Whitson U106 Variants
Pete asked me if I could look at the variants. Previously, when I looked at Pete’s variants, he had 21 Private Variants. The thought was that the other two testers should share some of those variants. Here is what Pete’s Block Tree looks like now:
Pete is now down to 20 Private Variants. His two matches are Whitson and Norton. Here is Pete’s Match List:
To get a clear picture, we need to look at the Match List from the perspective of the other Whitson tester and the Norton tester.
Here is the other Whitson tester:
The last column is the number of Shared Variants. The middle column is more important. Of course the other Whitson tester to Pete is the same as the first row in the results above. In the first image above, we see that Pete has non-matching Variants BY44298 and BY55572 with the other Whitson and with Norton. That means that it could be that these are Pete’s Private Variants.
Let’s look at the Norton results next:
Here I just copied the first two rows. So far, I haven’t figured a lot out except that Pete probably has two private variants. The Block tree for each of the testers presently shows that they have 20 private variants each which is at odds with the Non-Mathcing Variants List as I understand it.
My next step is to look at each testers’ Private Variants. After a bit of cutting and pasting, I get these results:
We see that Norton has 22 Private Variants, Whitson has 21 and Pete has 23. We note that a lot of the Variants are the same and these will have to form a new Whitson YDNA Branch. Next, I sort the Variants:
This appears to show that, roughly, the three testers share 21 of their private variants. That means that one of the results of this testing is that it will move the Whitson about 2,100 years forward from their closest matchs who are R-BY97752. In my previous Blog, I had mentioned that the Whitsons were likely Saxons in Germany at this time in their history (before the time of Christ).
More Details on Non-Matching Variants
The next Variants that are interesting are the ones that don’t match:
Recall above, I had said that it appeared that Pete had two matching Variants. In one list they have a name. In the list above, they have a number. My assumption is that these are the same Private Variants. However, when I look up 3242552 at YBrowse, I see this:
I was thinking that Pete’s Private Variants were going to be BY44298 and BY55572. Did FTDNA change the numbers? Or is there another explanation?
Here is 6464378 at YBrowse:
These SNPs were apparently named in 2019 when Pete did his BigY test.
I can do a back search for Pete. Here is BY44298:
This shows as Position 26645003 which is not even on Pete’s Private Variant List. Here is Pete’s other apparent non-matching variant as seen at YBrowse:
This position is also not on Pete’s Private Variant List. So it is clear that FTDNA did not change the SNP names.
Norton’s Non-Matching Variant Has a Better Match with His Private Variant
In the comparison lists above, I have that Norton and Whitson had a non-matching variant at 5014418. From that, we can’t tell whether it was Norton or Whitson who had the non-matching Variant. However, from the Private Variant List, we can tell that belongs to Norton. At YBrowse, we see that position was named in 2020:
However, in the list of non-matching variants between Norton and Pete, this position does not show up. This could be due to this position not being covered by Pete’s BigY test or by inconclusive results.
Summary and Conclusions
- I looked at the STR results which suggested that Pete could have the oldest Whitson profile followed by Norton and the other Whitson tester. Once FTDNA’s manual review is complete, it may be possible to date these three matches more closely. Right now it appears that the other Whitson tester may have no private Variants, Norton may have one and Pete may have more than one. That would seem to be consistant with the STR results.
- The main takeaway is that the large block of 20 Private Variants now shown on the three Whtison Project BigY Block Trees will turn into a block of SNPs. One of those SNPs will be chosen as a new SNP name to define the branch consisting of the three Whitson testers.
- Normally for the formation of a new branch, a manual review will be performed by FTDNA. Once that manual review is performed, that will finalize any new branching based on the recent testing
- There seems to be some discrepancies between the non-matching variants and Private Variants lists. Some or all of these may be resolved by FTDNA’s manual review. One reason for discrepancies can be when one test covers an area of YDNA and the other test does not cover that area or gives poor reads.
- In my review, I didn’t look at all the specific testing data. That data shows if a position or variant was covered by the BigY test and what was the quality of the test of that position or variant.
The new branch will be analagous or parallel to R-BY62217:
There will be a new large blue Whitson block of SNPs on the right with about 2 average private variants shown below. It is also possible that there could be additional branching below the new branch. However, in order for that to happen, two of the three testers would have to match on a SNP and the third would have to have tested negative for that SNP.