It has been a while since I posted anything because I've been pretty busy. The project I'm working on right now is how to contact all the Harps in England. According to one site that gives information on surname distributions, there are 231 Harps in England. I am assuming about half of them are males. There is no way I will ever get all of them to answer me, much less get them to agree to testing, but I'm still going to try. I've been doing searches on phone book listings in England and have found the primary areas where groups of Harps live there. My next step is to try to reach them through local advertising and tell them about the Harp Project. I'm hoping we can get enough to test so that we can get a sampling of the Y DNA Harp clades that came to America from England. I will be paying for all of these tests that I can get them to take. It shouldn't be a big cost since they will be small tests.
I've also been searching through haplogroup projects to find people with the Harp surname that don't belong to this project. If I find them I ask that project administrator to let them know about our group here.
One more thing that I've done is to order the FGC Whole Genome Long Read Pilot test. This is a new next generation test (I guess you could call it a next next generation test) that has a 10M base pair read length as opposed to current tests that have a 100 - 250 base pair read length. This test is still experimental and I wouldn't recommend it for everyone yet. The hope is to greatly increase the amount of the Y chromosome covered which will find SNPs, Indels, and STRs that have previously been missed do to the massively shorter read lengths currently in use. Also, this test may greatly increase the reliability of the results returned. It may take a few years for these tests to have the full effect of their potential, but someone has to go first in new research or we never progress.
STRs have been of great help to genetic genealogy, but their function is changing. Current next generation testing (such as the Big Y and YElite 2.1) gives definitive results to the areas of the Y chromosome that they can cover. STRs will become most effective at looking for establishing shorter distance relationships such as are very compatible with paper trails. Once SNPs define the relationship, STRs will be able to give shorter estimations of MRCA until all SNPs can be classified as known individual branches. So, your STRs tests will still be useful for a long time to come.
I would recommend that as we progress that 1 person from each subclade here take a next generation test such as the Big Y. This will greatly flesh out your portion of the tree and bring you much closer to the present. That is something STRs can not do on their own. If others in that subclade want to share the cost with the person being tested. It will eventually save you money on which SNPs you need to test to finalize your own search. However, if you intend to eventually take the Big Y anyway, don't spend the money on individual SNPs. That would only increase your cost by having them tested twice.
Best wishes to all