The Big Y: What is it and why is it important?

Questions and comments about the McFadden Y-DNA surname project
Rob
Project Admin
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 3:17 pm
Y-DNA Haplogroup: R-A10526
MDKA: Owen McFadden b. abt 1780 near Creeslough, Co. Donegal, Ireland

The Big Y: What is it and why is it important?

Postby Rob » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:07 pm

The Big Y

I have updated the project "Wish List" and recommended that every member who is able to do so order the Big Y at FTDNA. This post is a brief explanation of what the Big Y is and why I've recommended it, as well as a place to ask any questions you might have.

What is it?

The Big Y is a DNA test that looks for a type of marker known as an SNP. The Big Y tests for thousands of known SNPs, as well as as-yet-undiscovered SNPs that may be unique to you or your lineage.

Why is it important?

Some SNPs are unique to one man and his descendants, which means they can be used to not only prove or disprove a relation between lineages, but also to assemble a family tree of sorts. The following image is a good example:

Image

Unlike a typical family tree, the relations shown here span centuries. You can see that the 28 participants listed at the bottom have a variety of surnames - McFarlin, McFarland, MacFarlane, Farlin, etc. - yet the SNPs these men share show they are all descended from the same medieval man. This man is represented at the top of the tree by markers BY674 and BY675. The ability to prove how different lineages and differently spelled surnames are connected is invaluable when researching the history of a clan or name, especially in the case of our particular project where the origins are vague and ambiguous.

As more men with Mac Pháidín surnames (McFadden, Macfadyen, etc.) take the Big Y, we will be able to assemble a similar tree (or trees) of our own. We will also eventually be able to see if the various Mac Pháidín lines are descended from or related to other clans or families. I'm pleased to announce that we have already had two project members place an order for the Big Y.

Anyone who has already taken a 37-marker STR test at FTDNA can order the Big Y. Simply sign into your account and click the blue Upgrade button at the top right of your screen.

MacFarlane SNP tree taken from Alex Williamson’s Big Tree web site: http://www.ytree.net/

jamiemcfadden
Big Y Pioneer
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:58 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Y-DNA Haplogroup: R-BY11728
MDKA: Patrick McFadden-Born 1832-Ireland-Son of John McFadden

Re: The Big Y: What is it and why is it important?

Postby jamiemcfadden » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:46 am

Looking forward to the results!
Sincerely,

James Patrick McFadden III
Ontario, Canada
FTDNA: 483194
YFull-BigY: YF06724
R-BY11728+

Rob
Project Admin
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 3:17 pm
Y-DNA Haplogroup: R-A10526
MDKA: Owen McFadden b. abt 1780 near Creeslough, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Re: The Big Y: What is it and why is it important?

Postby Rob » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:02 am

jamiemcfadden wrote:Looking forward to the results!

I thought a special rank was in order. Thank you to our "Big Y Pioneer."


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