The Human Diaspora: Illustrated through a Single Y SNP

At Family Tree DNA many of the Haplogroup projects are for very large Haplogroups (quite old) including thousands of members such as Haplogroup Q or R1b. The project I started is based on a single Y SNP that occurred in a man about 4,000 years ago who is FGC22501+, a descendant of the huge Haplogroup R1b. At the time of its founding in 2015 we started with 10 men who were FGC22501+ and have grown to nearly 170 FGC22501+. We have been very lucky to have identified ancient remains that are FGC22501+ stretching back about 4,000 years. We can watch as the descendants of the first FGC22501+ spread across Europe. The major parent SNPS (Clades) are U152 > L2. U152 is estimated to have occurred about 2700 BCE and L2 is one of at least 14 subclades of U152. L2 is estimated to have occured about 2500 BCE. Not long after that the L2 SNP occurred (maybe a couple of generations) the FGC22501 SNP occurred.

What this means is we have the unique opportunity to study how this mans YDNA spread throughout Europe and beyond. This is a screenshot of the map I maintain of earliest known FGC22501+ individual’s Most Distant Paternal Ancestor. I have annotated it with approximate birth or death dates of FGC22501 Most Distant Ancestors. I have circled the earliest three which is likely in the cradle area of the earliest FGC22501+ individuals.

Annotated Google Map of FGC22501+

In the first 1700 hundred years the spread of FGC22501 ranges from 22 to about 175 miles. So not really all that far. But then it starts spreading 700-1000 miles or more. As mentioned in previous posts the earliest FGC22501+ individual was probably part of the early bronze age, Únětice Culture. Based on the geographic areas they lived in they were most likely later part of the celtic Boii tribe, but descendants may have been associated with any number of Celtic Tribes.

When they project was started we had no idea where it would lead or that so many men would share this SNP. But it does lead to many a history lesson as my previous blog post showed. Here’s an abbreviated time line.

TIMELINE within R1b

  • M173 SNP c. 20,000 BCE
  • M343 c. 17,000 BCE
  • U152 2600 BCE
  • L2 2500 BCE
  • FGC22501 2450 BCE
  • FGC22538 AND Y37744 both below FGC22501 and formed about 2250 BCE

With the DNA testing of more and more ancient human remains we will hopeful get even finer granularity into the history of this SNP and where it traveled.

Kelly Wheaton ©2022 – All Rights Reserved

8 Comments on “The Human Diaspora: Illustrated through a Single Y SNP”

  1. Well this is right up my street because my maternal grandfather is U152 Z36. We are not on the map though, at Y700 the SNP is R-BY39608. On FtDNA discovery my cousin is matched to 4 men from Switzerland, one from Germany but not far away from the Swiss but one is in Sweden and we are Lancastrian, so North Western England not far inland. The common ancestor is at an estimated 400 a.d but there are several hundred years either side which is kind of Late Iron Age on. I have an autosomal match of the same surname in the same small rural area in the 1750’s and he too is U152 Z36 but only tested up to Y67 so he isn’t on the Discovery page.

    Also DNAGenics has me linked autosomal DNA to about half a dozen L2 skeletons around Dubrovnik and FtDNA has my cousin linked to skeletons in the Lech Valley which is in Southern Germany I think. Obviously at autosomal level we will both be linked to all of them it’s just that I don’t have the Y DNA and he hasn’t done autosomal so we both show for one group each.

    I did wonder about the Swedish match because we did have Vikings kicked out of Ireland settle just South of here. However, our closest match of all is Swiss. Also apparently a lot of Belgic weavers moved to Sweden in the 1700’s and U152 Z36 was quite common in Belgae. Somehow our man got to England and the options are limited. Saxons weren’t in this area but that doesn’t exclude the odd blow-in especially as they appear to have been quite powerful people at one time…but then wouldn’t the Normans bump them off????? Menapi are another one, called the Fir Bolg by the Irish, they got rid of some of them too…Belgae linked I believe. Normals, they were no means exclusive to France, William the Conquorers wife was Flemish and many Flemish knights joined him including Erskine, Graham and Bruce (yes Robert the Bruce ancestor). The Romans themselves, quite possible he ended up with the Spanish Legion because they were stationed in Southern Germany before coming to our local Roman fort at Ribchester.

    Keep going, there are so many options. I am off to look on a map to double check where the Lech Valley was in relation to the Spanish Roman Legion and see if it explains my link to ten Roman era skeletons found in Iberia. As always, more matches would be useful.

    • Lindy, so many YDNA lunes tiok so many different routes and end up in the same place. Still don’t know for sure when the WHEATON came to England and I suspect they canme with The Normans to Dunster Castle and was spelled WHEDDON and variations…the search continues.

      • Well some Parkinson ancestors apparently claim Norman ancestry via the Featherstonehoughs. I am not sure of the link. Either way, much of the farmland in our area is either owned by the Queen, the Duke of Westminster or Parkinsons…not all but pretty considerably so.

        It was news to us about any well to do origins but it seems Parkinson does weave in and out of my tree besides that direct maternal patriarchal link. A book has been written about the family.

        Even our autosomal match had a goldsmith for an Ancestor which seems pretty far up the line from an Ostler which was my Parkinson Ancestor at the time. His sister was married to the Landlord but even so. I am amused to think they were still messing with gold, horses and alcohol all these centuries later though. I approve.

  2. My Big Y shows 24 private variants to my terminal SNP FGC51125 (or 2100-3500 yrs ago), so the Page00073 skeleton in Hungary (300 BCE or roughly 2500 years ago) is very interesting to me. In looking at the map of ancient testing results, a couple things strike me: 1) there are virtually no 22501s in France, except in the far north…does this suggest a migration pathway of 22501s or lack of dateable skeletons and 2) most of the yellow tagged locations in England (and proximal) are dated to the middle ages or more recent…what are these dates based on…testing or other? Any insights would be appreciated…Thanks

    • Dan, the issue is DNA testing in France is very limited. I would suspect there would be plenty if we had more testing there. All these different Haplogroups may take similar paths. In any of the ancient grave sites you will find U106 and L2 and others.

    • Dan have you looked at the Discovery Tool? My cousin is U152 and Y700 has allocated him R-BY39608. A man believed to have been born in A.D 400 but there is quite a generous variation either side. It gives several options for ‘what happened next’ but most matches are Swiss so it’s not obvious.
      Having read about the suggestion made on this site for the Boli, I can see that Boli is the most likely for my grandfather’s line.

      • Yes, I have looked at the migration maps, both in the Discovery tool and under the Ydna Results. My ancestor skeleton I8837 (Page00073) from Hungary is shown on the Discover migration map, as well as the above map. Hopefully, I can get my brother or first cousin to test for the Big Y and see if our terminal SNP changes into the ones currently known or a new one.

  3. Thanks, as to my second question, what are the dates associated with the yellow tagged graves derived from? Is it grave goods or carbon 14 testing or other? The other thing I noticed is the large time gap between the ancient skeletons to the East versus the more modern dates in the west

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