What happens when somebody in my paternal (yDNA) line has a different yDNA haplogroup?

+23 votes

What happens when somebody in my paternal (yDNA) line has a different yDNA haplogroup?  Mark Hollenbeck (Hollenbeck-475) just got his yDNA results back yesterday.  One of us cannot belong to that paternal line and we don't yet know which one of us it is.  I strongly suspect I am the one who is off because I have had a hard time connecting past a certain point and I am R-S18372 and most of the other Hollenbecks I have seen are all I-M223.  He is not even "R" and I am not even "I" There is no way we both have a common paternal ancestor.

What happens when he plugs in his yDNA?  There will be a conflict.  One of us will have to disconnect from the tree at the point of conflict.  What should I do next?


WikiTree profile: Mark Hollenbeck-Marshall
in Genealogy Help by Richard Hollenbeck G2G6 (9.7k points)
retagged by Darlene Athey-Hill
As carriers of the selfish gene, we believe that somehow we live on through our offspring and our ancestors live on through us. As evidenced by the proliferation of the likes of Magna Carta Society and Jamestowne Society (both of which I could join should I share the belief).

But we don't live on, and we are not our ancestors, nor do we roll in the glory or infamy of our ancestors. My 3rd ggrandfather and his parents and grandparents owned slaves. Slavery, and bigotry are disgusting and horrible, but the sins of the father do not ....

Besides biological DNA, there is cultural DNA, and cultural DNA is what determines who we are, how we act, how we behave, how we use or misuse that which we inherited from our parents.

Cultural DNA is a mish mash, it is constantly evolving, picking up bits and pieces from each parent. It is actually more important than biological DNA.

Consider biological DNA a tool kit. How we use or misuse, or even if we use a toolkit is determined by cultural DNA.

A hammer can build a deck or it can tear down a deck (I've done both with a hammer)

Biological DNA may give a person the potential to be a genius, but biological DNA will determine how that person uses the potential...

There are lots of poor or middling geniii, and lots of wealthy persons of below average intelligence.

I would say that you are culturally a Hollenbeck, so what if you aren't a biological Hollenbeck, you or your biological ancestor was enculturated as a Hollenbeck..ergo you carry on that particular sub culture.

William Farrar, if I could upvote a comment I certainly would upvote yours!  Well written.  Wise.

(I believe there's a missing 'not' in the late paragraph beginning 'Biological ...'.)

Very well said Jennifer.  Something for all of us to remember.
I did the Genographic Y test way back when, and my Y haplogroup is I-M253.  I just found a 7th cousin who shares my surname. Virtually all Rughs in the US trace back to a common ancestor who started the name back in the 1740s.  So my cousin took the 23andMe autosomal test, and his Y haplogroup is I-Z58.  I would expect them to be the same.  I've seen results from a few third and fourth cousins, and they are all I-M253 like me.  Does this mean my new found 7th cousin had a disconnect from the Rugh line at some point?  Or do tests from different companies not necessarily match up?  Still learning this stuff, sorry for the newbie question.
I-M253 is Haplogroup I1 - They are the same just different naming system. I-Z58 is a main branch of I1.

The testing results from the different companies GENO 2.0 and 23&me only test out to a specific point.

If your cousin and you are both getting results from the same line I1 that is good evidence that you probably would share the same terminal haplogroup whenever you test for that.

You might find this helpful: https://www.yfull.com/tree/I-Z58/
Thank you for the explanation, Mike.  The Geno test I took was back in 2006 and at that time sequencing 12 markers was the best technology available, so maybe they could not get any more detailed than I-M253.  Technology has improved so much since then that it's worth taking another Y test now.  I see from your yfull link that I-Z58 has many sub-branches, some of which diverged by at least one SNP as recently as 200 years ago.  I would love to narrow the Ruch/Rugh haplogroup down even further than I-Z58 if possible.  Is there a test I can take that will do that without breaking the bank?  I know I could do BigY with FTDNA because they already have my sample, but it would cost me over $500 and I don't have that kind of change.  I was hoping to keep it under $100.
FTDNA has the Y-37 on sale for $99 and the Y-64 for $199 currently but that would probably not get you much further as far as a haplogroup placement. It would be helpful for use on MitoYDNA in doing comparisons. You could then over time keep upgrading to higher test levels.

To get a exact placement would require a full Y-700 and that is on sale for $399. You would need to pay extra for the BAM file now as they changed things up last month.

Would this be a good test to do?  It seems to be specifically for I1-M253 and it lists Z58 as one of the 4 key SNPs they focus on.  I don't know anything about the company but the price is right.


That would be the type of test you need.

Another option is that the standard LivingDNA test includes some Y and mitochondrial SNPs.

I had already done the big-Y, and the livingDNA results confirmed a good distance down the R tree. I was surprised how far they went.

I am not sure how you would determine which is better value for money. You could perhaps ask livingDNA which Y-snps they test for.
The YSEQ I1 Superclade Panel would probably be the way to go.The LivingDNA test would probably give you a similar result as a 23&me test.

5 Answers

+23 votes
Best answer
Hi Richard,  Sorry about the yDNA conflict.  If all the other Hollenbeck tests back to your common ancestor are I haplogroup and your haplogroup is an R, the disconnect is on your branch somewhere.  It could be an early unrecorded adoption as happened in one line I know of.

Mark will be able to add his test to his profile with no trouble.  On the profile of your common yDNA forefather, both tests will show and it will be pretty obvious that they are not the same haplogroup.  As Rosemary said, you should both add notations to your own profile biographies and probably a notation on the common forefather where the conflict will first appear.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (660k points)
selected by Richard Hollenbeck
That is perfect!  Everybody had excellent comments, but this was actually the answer I needed. Thank you Kitty.

+8 votes
By testing direct paternal line cousins of various degrees you can narrow down in what generation the NPE occurred.  You can likely get by with just using Y-DNA12 tests.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (727k points)
edited by Peter Roberts
Thanks Peter.  This is a great idea about doing 12 marker tests.  I can probably dig up some coins under the mattresses in the couches to pay for those.  Then the relative can pay for the rest of their own tests once they get hooked--just like a drug pusher who's "first fix is on the house."  :-)
You can search various genetic genealogies using your yDNA results. There's some utilities for extracting a yDNA representation specifically from new 23andMe kits or similar.
+9 votes

Question: What happens when he plugs in his yDNA?  There will be a conflict.  One of us will have to disconnect from the tree at the point of conflict.  What should I do next?

The Wikitree will allow for a conflicting yDNA haplogroup to be entered, I know because it allowed me to enter such a conflict.  

In my case, upon further research, I disconnected from the tree portion where the conflict was introduced as I believe it was incorrect based on further sources I found.

However, you should leave the conflict along until you find sources to go another way.  I do note that if you find a NPE or adoption, the Wikitree allows you to list a parent as non-biological, so you should leave the father that is not biological as part of the record, but just mark it as such, to aid future researchers.  Please explain any such entries in the biography.

by William Foster G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
+7 votes
Wikitree has the option to maintain the tree but mark a "father" as non-biological. That requires a lot of research to work out who is on the genetic line and who is not, specifically, exactly where the NPE occurred.

It doesn't hurt to add a note to each profile on the way to explain the issue and the steps being taken to address it with perhaps a call for volunteers who are prepared to be part of the testing regime. Wikitree, being collaborative, is the ideal platform to run a research project of this type.
by John Hunter G2G3 (3.6k points)
+7 votes
I wanted to chime in that where the haplogroups are closer together on the tree, you can still be a match. My brother was assigned R-M269 and our fourth cousin R-DF13, but we still match 63 of 67 markers and Bennett Greenspan told me with our shared surname and paper tree we can be highly confident that we match. Just not on the marker that splits those two group assignments. :)
by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (198k points)
M269 sounds like a Haplotype (STR) predicted Haplogroup and not necessarily accurate. But in this case, DF13 is a child down the path from it. So there is no conflict unless you both did BigY and you meant termonal R-M269* (rare but possible).  Easiest way to visualize this is by looking at the public yfull DF13 page: https://yfull.com/tree/R-DF13/ The path down to DF13 is in the ordered tabs at the top. You will see M269 listed there.
What Randy said.  R-DF13 *is* R-M269, just more precise, farther down the tree than the brother has tested.  If you test the brother further, you should find that he too is R-DF13.  You may be able to find a SNP that separates the two, but it would require the Big Y test, and be much more recent than DF13.
What both Randy & Rob said. Most of Western Europe are R-M269, because it’s so old. It arose in the Caucasus during the last Ice Age, like 15,000 years ago, so means little more than “Caucasian”. DF13 is about 10 millennia later so getting a bit more meaningful.

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