Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Origins of R1b-GF2 (Part 3) - our nearest neighbours

(Please note: for added security, project members are described by their initials and the last 4 digits of their kit numbers)

We have previously examined the DNA profiles of several new members of group R1b-GF2 and seen how this has resulted in a reassessment of those in the Ungrouped section. This re-evaluation resulted in 15 potential R1b-GF2 candidates being identified among Ungrouped members, 4 of whom succeeded in "passing the test" and are now nestled comfortably in the warm embrace of R1b-GF2. In this article, we look beyond R1b-GF2 to see who are our nearest neighbours and does this tell us anything about the origins of our group.

Our (current) position on the Human Evolutionary Tree

We saw in Part 1 of of this series of articles, that the likely terminal SNP* for all members of R1b-GF2 is FGC20561 - a SNP downstream of Z253, one of the major R1b sub-clades. The SNP progression for R1b-GF2 would be as follows:
  • R- ... M269 ... > L21 > DF13 > ZZ10 > Z253 > S847 > S844 > S856 > S845 > S846 > Z17685 > FGC20561
Where this places us on Alex Williamson's Big Tree, the YFULL version of the haplotree, the FTDNA & ISOGG versions of the haplotree is illustrated in the diagrams below. As we are at the cutting edge of science when it comes to using SNP data to explore our roots, FGC20561 is so new that it does not even appear on Alex's tree (yet). The more upstream SNPs do (i.e. Z17685 and above). Similarly, the YFULL haplotree only includes S845 but nothing further downstream. Both FTDNA & ISOGG versions do include FGC20561, but none of the trees include any SNPs further downstream of FGC20561. In other words, for now it is the terminal SNP of the group ... until further SNP testing (such as the Big Y) reveals a new terminal SNP.

There are some minor differences between the trees because we are still at the experimental stage of putting together the Tree of Mankind - for example, YFULL has the SNPs S844 and S856 as being equivalent SNPs (i.e. more or less at the same position on the haplotree) whereas FTDNA and ISOGG have S856 as a SNP further downstream of S844.

But bit by bit, we will continue to move further downstream along the Human Evolutionary Tree until we identify the SNPs specific to the Farrell's of R1b-GF2, and maybe even SNPs specific to sub-branches within this particular group, or specific to individual R1b-GF2 Farrell's.

R1b-GF2 on Alex Williamson's Big Tree

The YFULL haplotree stops at S845 (formed 1900 years ago)

FTDNA's haplotree - some minor differences in branching structure

FGC20561 and adjacent SNPs on ISOGG's haplotree

Insights from a Haplogroup Project Administrator 

Ray Murta is one of the Admins of the Z253 project. Ray kindly contacted me earlier in the year to share some of his project's findings in relation to the Farrell surname. Ray noticed that there was a close genetic connection between the Farrell's of R1b-GF2 and people with the surnames Kelley and Harrell. 

In brief, Ray put together a family tree for a subgroup of members of his Z253 project based on the SNP results of their recent Z253 SNP Pack tests.  This subgroup is known as the Z253-1716-11 sub-group and consists of over 300 people who have contributed their SNP & STR results* to help the further analysis of the branching structure in the Z253 subclade. Within this Z253-1716-11 sub-group is a further sub-group of about 50 people, which Ray refers to as the Farrell-Harrell-Kelley Cluster.  So we have the Z253 sub-clade (583 members), and below this the Z253-1716-11 subgroup (300 members), and below this the Farrell-Harrell-Kelley Cluster (50 members), and below this our own Farrell group R1b-GF2 (20 members).

Two people within this cluster have taken SNP tests and are positive for FGC20561. One of these people is our very own project member JMR-8902 who is the subject of an earlier blog post describing how Harrell DNA became associated with the Ramey surname.

Below is Ray's version of our portion of the haplotree, showing the line of descent from S856 to FGC20561 (in green) and it's adjacent branch FGC20562. The Big Y testers are in yellow (these are the same people as in Alex Williamson's tree above, namely Yorke & Roderick) but there are additional people included who have not tested on the Big Y - two other Yorke's, Cain, Ramey, Finch, Farrell, Harrell, & Kelly. Because several different surnames share the SNP FGC20561, this suggests that it is not specific to the Farrell surname of R1b-GF2. Currently, the three members of R1b-GF2 who have undertaken SNP testing have done either a single SNP test (1 person) or the Z253 SNP Pack (2 people). We would need two or more people to undertake the Big Y test in order to determine downstream SNPs that may be specific for the Farrell surname of R1b-GF2.

The surnames associated with the adjacent FGC20562 branch are Christie, McKenna, & Hazleton (Big Y testers) as well as McReynolds, Reynolds, Bankstown, Robbins & Gilchrist. There is a third branch, currently defined by FGC20560 (aka Z17685) with surnames Finlay & Robbins.

Interestingly, Ray dates FGC20561 & FGC20562 to about 1100 AD, and the slightly upstream SNP FGC20560 to 1000 AD.

Ray Murta's version of the haplotree showing the FGC20561 branch (in green)
(click to enlarge)

Ray’s analysis has linked several surname projects together, including ours. The other Surname Projects include the Harrell Project and the Kelley DNA Project. The particular Harrell group is Harrell Line 2 with roots in Augusta county, Virginia, US (Roberta Estes, renowned blogger, is one of the Admins and the project results can be viewed here). And the particular Kelley group is their group 19A (results here), again with roots in the US.

Farrell & Harrell

You will immediately be struck by the similarity of the surnames Farrell and Harrell. And this similarity begs the question: is there a possible connection between these two surnames? And the answer is a resounding yes.

In a previous blog post, I described the different variants of the Farrell surname and one of these is Harrell. You can see how this evolved by looking at the Gaelic version of the surnames: Farrell was derived from Ó FEARGHAIL which - owing to the aspiration of the initial f - mutated into Ó hEARGHAIL from which was derived Harrell. This reasonably explains how the similarly sounding surnames were derived from the same root.

STR data in the Farrell-Harrell-Kelley group

Ray has entered the 50 odd members of the Farrell-Harrell-Kelley Cluster into a spreadsheet and analysed their STR data. This exercise produced some interesting results:
  • The cluster includes 4 members of the Kelley Surname Project, one of whom tested negative for FGC20561. This suggests that some Kelley's branched away from the rest of the FGC20561 group around about 900 AD.
  • Excluding the 4 Kelley members, the common ancestor for everyone else in the group is estimated to be about 600 years ago (i.e. 1400 AD).
  • There are smaller clusters within the group with STR profiles suggesting a much more recent common ancestor. For example, the Harrell's are estimated to have a common ancestor who lived within the last several hundred years. 
  • The DNA evidence suggests that the Harrell group branched off from the Farrell group. Based on STR data, this branching roughly occurred about 9 generations back, or about 1680 AD (90% range 1380-1860). A more accurate assessment of the TMRCA will hopefully be available in the not too distant future. The one Lakey member is a suspected NPE who probably descends from a Harrell male.
  • Certain STR profiles appear to be solidly associated with the group. Here is what Ray writes in a recent email:
One aspect that I'm pleased with is that the analysis on FGC20561 and it's brother FGC20562 has highlighted a STR profile that appears to uniquely identify prediction of belonging to one or other of the Haplogroups. It involves just two Markers, namely DYS464, and DYS422. I had never previously considered DYS464 to be a reliable indicator, but in this case it appears to have been pretty stable for the past 1000 years, and DYS442 is a bit of a flip-flop marker in the Z253-1716-11 Cluster.
The unique marker values first appeared in FGC20560/Z17685 which lies immediately above FGC20561 and FGC20562 with a mutation in DYS464 from (14-15-16-17) to (14-14-16-17) combined with a value for DYS442=13. There was a subsequent mutation that occurred under FGC20561 of DYS442=13>14. I have used Mike Walsh's R-L21 Haplotype spreadsheet to check the prominence of these values, and every single one out of more than 14000 results occurs in a member of the Z253-1716-11 Cluster, with an overall STR profile that matches FGC20560, or FGC20561 or FGC20562.
Based on this information, I have located some additional FGC20561 suspects who also match the Farrell/Harrell/Kelley profile and have added them to the Spreadsheet which is attached. they include a Fagan group, a Pickett, May, Rock, Grace and Devine. Incidentally, Farrell Kit # xx9133, currently in the ungrouped section of the Farrell Project, belongs in the GF2 group.
In the previous post, member xx9133 was identified as an additional member from the Ungrouped section who belonged in R1b-GF2. The fact that he matches the "unique STR profile" (which is akin to rare marker values) provides additional internal consistency and lends further support to his inclusion in R1b-GF2.

More individuals will become apparent over time, and each addition to the group brings us a step closer to figuring out where they came from.

Links to Ancient Genealogies

Ray points out that the Lordships (territories) of the O'Farrell and O'Kelly clans were side by side, with the O'Farrell's in Longford and the O'Kelly's in neighbouring Roscommon and Galway. This could very well point to Central Ireland as the ancestral origins for the members of the Farrell-Kelley cluster.

But there are other clues that might help us pinpoint the ancestral origins of R1b-GF2. If we take a closer look at the Farrell-Kelley Cluster and the surnames associated with it, we may get a better idea of the likely ancestral origins for this group. This Surname Distribution Exercise is a big undertaking and will be described in a separate article.

Lessons Learned

There are several important lessons to learn from this new information:
  • Haplogroup Project Administrators have a much broader view of DNA results than Surname Project Administrators and have valuable contributions to make to surname projects by linking them with their closest neighbours.
  • This underscores the importance of all project members joining their relevant Haplogroup Project, which for R1b-GF2 include the following major projects (there may be others as well):
  • The current terminal SNP for R1b-GF2 is FGC20561 and this is dated to about 1100 AD.
  • The R1b-GF2 Farrell group appears to be at least 600 years old (1400 AD).
  • The Farrell - Harrell branching point is about 1680 AD.
  • FGC20561 is not shared uniquely by the Farrells of R1b-GF2 - other surnames sharing this SNP include Yorke, Cain, Ramey, Finch, & Kelly ... and all appear to be Irish surnames.
Next Steps
  • Several members in R1b-GF2 should undertake the single SNP test for FGC20561 (or preferably the Z253 SNP pack) in order to confirm that they are positive for this SNP. This applies in particular to the 4 members who were recently moved from the Ungrouped section (i.e. kit numbers ending 7344, 9133, 8478, & 0126).
  • Several members should also consider doing the Big Y test in order to discover additional SNPs downstream of FGC20561, one (or several) of which will eventually be definitive for the Farrell's of R1b-GF2.  Two members would be optimal in the first instance, as far apart genetically as possible (i.e. a Genetic Distance of 10/37).
  • Upgrading to 67 or 111 markers will help facilitate the construction of a Mutation History Tree and define the branching structure within R1b-GF2, and indeed the whole Farrell-Harrell-Kelley Cluster. This in turn will help date the various branching points in the tree and identify which R1b-GF2 Farrell's are most closely related to each other.

* Remember: there are two types of DNA marker (SNP markers and STR markers) and therefore two kinds of DNA data (SNP data and STR data)
Maurice Gleeson
June 2016

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Origins of R1b-GF2 (Part 2) - expanding the group

While doing the Genetic Distance (GD) analysis on the three new members for group R1b-GF2, it became apparent that some of the project members who are currently in the Ungrouped section appear as distant matches to these new members. This sparked a re-examination of Ungrouped members to see if any of them could be moved out of the Ungrouped section and into R1b-GF2, particularly in view of the fact that we have identified the terminal SNP FGC20561 among several of the members of the group. For reference, the Predicted SNP Progression for this genetic family is as follows:
R … > M269 > L150 > L23 > L51 > L151 > P311 > P312 > L21 > DF13 > ZZ10 > Z253 > S847 > S844 > S856 > S845 > S846 > Z17685 > FGC20561

First I repeated the GD analysis for each of the 16 current members of R1b-GF2 who have 37 marker results, and identified the Ungrouped members who turned up interspersed among their fellow R1b-GF2 matches.

Then I looked at each of these Ungrouped members in turn, assessing the terminal SNPs of their own matches to see if there was any hint of their terminal SNP being FGC20561 or somewhere near it.

Here is what I found.

Genetic Distance Analysis of existing R1b-GF2 members

No Ungrouped members appeared in the GD analyses performed at the 111 and 67 marker levels. But at the 37 marker level, GD analysis suggested that the following Ungrouped members might belong in R1b-GF2. 

The list below includes the kit number of each individual currently in R1b-GF2 (a & B) followed by the kit numbers of those Ungrouped members who are close to or among each individual's R1b-GF2 matches (in the order of closeness). Each Ungrouped member's kit number appears in bold the first time it occurs. Please note that for added security only the last 4 numbers of their kit numbers are shown.

members   ... Ungrouped members that appear among / near their other R1b-GF2 matches
  • 9744 ... 7344 9133 0126 1164 8478 8451 
  • 2693 ... 9133 7344 0126 1160  
  • 7250 ... 7344 9133 0126 8478 8451 1491 3273  
  • 8902 ... 7344 9133 0126 1055 8478  
  • 4990 ... 0126 7344 9133 2356 3459  
  • 6145 ... 7344 9133 0126 1160 8451 2356 3459  
  • 7657 ... 7344 9133 8478 0126  
  • 5650 ... 9133 7344 0126 8478  
  • 6772 ... 7344 0126 9133  
  • 3181 ... 9133 7344 0126 8478  
  • 1867 ... 7344 9133 0126 3273 1491 8451 8478 9094 0754 0861  
  • 5271 ... 7344 9133 0126 3273 8478 8451 1491  
  • 7960 ... 7344 9133 0126 3273 8478 8451 1491  
  • 3189 ... 7344 9133 0126  
  • 1784 ... 7344 0126 8478 9133 8451 (see diagram below as an example of this exercise)  
  • 7099 ... 7344 9133 0126  

This GD analysis identified 15 potential candidates (in bold) for membership of R1b-GF2. 

Example: GD analysis (at 37 markers) for member PSF-1784 ... this reveals that
5 Ungrouped members (orange dots) turn up among his R1b-GF2 matches

How often do we see them?

Some of the potential candidates appeared in the R1b-GF2 match lists on multiple occasions, some only once. It is perhaps more likely that those who appeared many times are more likely to be real candidates for R1b-GF2 membership. Here is a list of the 15 candidates and the frequency with which they appeared in the R1b-GF2 match lists. (Note: again, only the last 4 digits of their kit numbers are shown).

7344   x16
9133   x16
0126   x16
1164   x1
8478   x10
8451   x7
1160   x2
1491   x4
3273   x4
1055   x1
2356   x2
3459   x2
9094   x1
0754   x1
0861   x1

The next step was to see if there was any evidence that the terminal SNP of each of these 15 candidates was at or near FGC20561. Those candidates that "passed the  test" are indicated in green; those that did not are in red.

Assessment of each potential candidate for evidence of FGC20561

7344, Farrell
Matches 16 members of R1b-GF2, including the other 3 Ungrouped members (red arrows) who are now considered probable/possible members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 4-10/37

Example: GD analysis (at 37 markers) of Ungrouped member 7344 - his closest matches are consistently in GF2
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, the following SNPs appear among his matches: Z253 x2, S846 x1
At 25 markers, Z253 x13, S856 x1, S846 x2, FGC20561 x4, FGC20562 x1, FGC20563 x1 ... plus some less frequent convergent subclade SNPs (Z29706, Z225, U152, S7015, FGC5494, DF23, DF13, DF103, BY3495)

So there is a strong indication that his SNP progression is similar to that of other members of R1b-GF2. And so he is now included in R1b-GF2.

9133, Farrell
Matches 16 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 4-11/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, Z253 x1
At 25 markers, Z253 x14, S845 x2, S846 x2, S856 x2, Z17685, FGC20561 x4, FGC20562 x2, FGC20563 x7, plus some other single SNPs (A306, A600, DF103, L1308, L193, U152, Z145, Z198)

So again, the strong signal of a terminal SNP somewhere at or near FGC20561 warrants inclusion of this individual in R1b-GF2.

0126, Farrell
Matches 16 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 6-11/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, no matches
At 25 markers, S11601 x1 ... this is a very distant SNP so currently there is insufficient evidence to move this individual into R1b-GF2. However, single SNP testing of FGC20561 may confirm that he belongs in R1b-GF2, which I would suspect that he does, given that he appears as a match (albeit distantly) to ALL 16 members of R1b-GF2. For those who appear as matches to R1b-GF2 members less frequently, a more general SNP Pack might be more advisable (such as the M343 Backbone Panel).

1164, Farrell
Matches 1 member of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 12-19/37
SNP analysis
At 67 markers, no matches.
At 37 markers, no matches.
At 25 markers, no matches. So there is insufficient evidence to move him into R1b-GF2. Testing with the M343 Backbone Panel would provide some further direction.

8478, Farley
Matches 10 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 9-15/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, no matches.
At 25 markers, 3 matches (all R1b-GF2).  But no SNP suggestions.
At 12 markers (I only went down to this level because of the low number of matches at the previous level), only 21 matches but 15 of them are in the Farrell project. And there are suggestive SNPs ...  Z253 x1, FGC20561 x3 ... but FGC11134 x1 and FGC34047.

The balance of the evidence suggests that this member belongs in R1b-GF2 but a single SNP test for FGC20561 would be helpful to confirm it.

8451, Farley
Matches 7 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 10-16/37
SNP analysis
At 111, 67, & 37 markers, no matches.
At 25 markers, 70 matches, but no evidence of SNPs close to FGC20561, not even Z253.

Therefore this individual should not be moved into R1b-GF2 and a M343 Backbone Panel might be the best next step.

1160, Farrell
Matches 2 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 11-17/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, 1 match.
At 25 markers, 24 matches, but no evidence of SNPs close to FGC20561. Therefore this individual also remains Ungrouped and a M343 Backbone Panel might be the best next step.

1491, Carroll
Matches 4 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 10-18/37
SNP analysis - this individual has done the Big Y test & his terminal SNP is Z16277. This is on a completely different part of the haplotree (i.e. below L21 > DF13 > DF21 > Z3000) and therefore this individual is not closely related to those in R1b-GF2.

3273, Largent
Matches 4 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 10-17/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, 12 matches. No evidence of FGC20561.
At 25 markers, 17 matches. Again no evidence. So he remains ungrouped.

1055, Farr
Matches 1 member of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 11-15/37
SNP analysis
At 37 markers, 17 matches with no evidence of FGC20561.
At 25 markers, 349 matches but again no evidence. He remains ungrouped.

2356, Farrell
Matches 2 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 10-15/37
SNP analysis: this member is M222 positive - a completely different branch. He remains Ungrouped.

3459, Farrar
Matches 2 members of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 12-19/37
SNP analysis: this member has a terminal SNP of S7370 which is on a completely different branch (DF21). He remains Ungrouped.

9094, O Fearghall
Matches 1 member of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 13-19/37
SNP analysis: his terminal SNP is likely to lie below DF21 (a different branch). He remains ungrouped.

0754, Farrall 
Matches 1 member of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 11-18/37
SNP analysis: his terminal SNP is L48 (a different branch). He remains ungrouped.

0861, Farrell
Matches 1 member of R1b-GF2.
GD to R1b-GF2 members = 12-16/37
SNP analysis: no evidence of being close to FGC20561. He remains ungrouped.


Reviewing the evidence

So at the end of that analysis, we can be reasonably confident to add 3 new members to R1b-GF2 (namely 7344, 9133, 8478) and I have provisionally added the fourth member also (0126) even though it would be better to have confirmation that he does indeed test positive for FGC20561. In fact, it would be useful if all these four new members did the single SNP test to confirm they are positive for FGC20561 as predicted.

All the evidence points to their inclusion but how much of it can be considered to be independent pieces of evidence and how much of it may be influenced by circular arguments? There are three main pieces of evidence:
  1. Genetic Distance - does the individual fall within the recommended thresholds for declaring a match? The closest GD of the four new members is 4/37, 4/37, 6/37 and 9/37. Traditionally the first two would be declared matches, the third one would be considered a possibility, and the last one would be dismissed as likely to be unrelated within a genealogical timeframe.
  2. Number of times a specific Ungrouped member appears "close to" R1b-GF2 members in the GD analyses: it is striking how often the new members appear among the closest matches of the 16 members of R1b-GF2 - three of the new members appear all 16 times, the fourth appears 10 times.
  3. Analysis of terminal SNPs among an individual's matches: although both of the first two measures rely on GD as their basis, this third measure is much more independent of the two so the risk of a "circular argument" is reduced. There is reasonably strong evidence of the terminal SNP being at or near FGC20561 in 3 of the 4 new members. The fourth one would have to do the single SNP test to confirm this.  
There are two other pieces of evidence we could examine to see if there is internal consistency in the evidence to support the inclusion of these 4 new members in R1b-GF2, and these are: the TiP24 Score and rare marker values. These concepts are discussed in a previous post here - Criteria for allocating members to specific Genetic Families.

There are no rare marker values among the R1b-GF2 group (see previous post) and so this particular "Marker of Potential Relatedness" is of no use in this instance. Here are the TiP24 Scores (at 37 markers) for each of the 4 new members (compared to their closest R1b-GF2 match):
  • 7344 (Farrell) ... 95.30%
  • 9133 (Farrell) ... 94.65%
  • 8478 (Farley) ... 70.57%
  • 0126 (Farrell) ... 80.65%

Thus, two members show a strong signal (>90%) and two show a weaker signal. And depending on where you draw the threshold for inclusion, these members are either out or in. If it is 60%, then they are all in. If it is 80% then only 3 of them are in.

However, it is always best if you compare other potential members to the member whose haplotype is closest to the modal haplotype for the group. Here are the TiP24 Scores (at 37 markers) for each of the 4 new members compared to member BRF-7960 whose genetic signature is closest to the modal haplotype for R1b-GF2a (GD=1):
  • 7344 (Farrell) ... 79.73%
  • 9133 (Farrell) ... 76.13%
  • 8478 (Farley) ... 55.90%
  • 0126 (Farrell) ... 52.64%

These TiP24 Scores are much less convincing than the previous ones and only 2 of the 4 would qualify for inclusion, and only at the lower threshold value of 60%.

A further major caveat is that the TiP24 Score relies heavily on Genetic Distance (albeit accounting for variable mutation rates) and therefore it could be argued that there is a degree of circularity in using this measure and it is therefore not truly independent. Nevertheless, the TiP24 Score adds some further credibility to including at least 2 of these 4 members.

Ancestral Origins

Let's turn now to a different question. Does the addition of these new members add anything to our exploration of the origins of this group? Here is the MDKA information for each of these new members:
  • 7344 (Farrell) ... William Farrell Tipperary Ire 1844
  • 9133 (Farrell) ... Bernard Farrell 1828 - ? arrived in US in 1850
  • 8478 (Farley) ... none given
  • 0126 (Farrell) ... James Farrell b.3/20/1842 Restigouche Co NB Canada
Only one of the new additions points to Ireland as the country of origin, and specifically County Tipperary. Thus, within R1b-GF2, there are two members who cite Ireland and specifically Tipperary as the ancestral origin of their MDKA. All other members (who have included MDKA information) cite US origins for their MDKA. This again highlights the need for all members to include accurate MDKA information in order to facilitate this analysis, especially birth location (even if it is an educated guess).

So (currently) Tipperary is the leading candidate for the ancestral homeland of R1b-GF2 but this is only based on information from two members and so has to be taken with a large grain of salt ... for now. In the next article we will be looking at other evidence.


Because each of the analyses of the terminal SNPs of the matches of the individual members points to the terminal SNP for this group being FGC20561, there is no longer any major justification for the group being split into the "core group" R1b-GF2a and the more "peripheral group" R1b-GF2b. This concept was a useful exercise in the early days of the project when we wanted to separate out people whom we were very confident to group together from people who we were less confident about grouping together.

As a result of the new analyses, the two sub-groups will be amalgamated into just one larger group, R1b-GF2. This is further justified by the fact that the modal haplotypes for each of the sub-groups are virtually identical. The only differences between the Modal Haplotypes (up to 67 markers) for R1b-GF2a and R1b-GF2b are as follows:
  • dys456: 17 in 2a, 18 in 2b
  • CDYa: 38 in 2a, 39 in 2b

What's Next?

Further evidence to justify this amalgamation of the two groups could be obtained by everybody within the group testing for the terminal SNP FGC20561. This could be done via a single SNP test ($39) or via the Z253 SNP Pack ($119) or via the Big Y test ($575).

It would be good if several people from the group did the Big Y test as this would not only confirm if FGC20561 was the terminal SNP for the group, but could also possibly identify further downstream SNPs which are specific to the Farrell surname. To this end I am asking for volunteers to do the Big Y test when the next sale at FTDNA is announced. The current price is $575 but in the last sale this came down to $460 so I would propose to wait until then to buy this test. If anyone is interested please leave a comment below. It may be that several members would like to group together to raise the money for a test.

The old look of R1b-GF2a & 2b

The new look of R1b-GF2

Maurice Gleeson
May 2016