World Families Forums - Big Y test - "Long Grey Trail" Harrison links to Pyle of Bishops Cannings

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Author Topic: Big Y test - "Long Grey Trail" Harrison links to Pyle of Bishops Cannings  (Read 536 times)
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« on: January 13, 2016, 08:34:53 PM »

Good evening, everyone -

My name is Joe Pyle, and I've administered the Pyle(s)/Pile(s) surname group at FTDNA since 2008.  When I did the Y-chromosome DNA test at FTDNA, one of the first things that I noticed was the close match in my results (or, more exactly,  the modal values for Pyle of Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire) to the modal for the "Long Grey Trail" Harrisons,  some of whom migrated out of Oyster Bay, Long Island to Virginia in the early- to mid-18th century.

In looking first at the Y-chromosome results of both the LGT Harrisons and the BC Pyle lines, they are a strong match - 62 of the first 67 markers match, and of the 5 mismatches, 3 are on rapid mutators (449, 570, and CDYb). Moreover, both families share the very rare DYS 576=12 marker. So, that's enough to say that the two families are probably fairly closely related. But how close? When did the common ancestor live. No doubt it was before the adoption of surnames...but how long before that?

Fast forward about 8 years from 2007 to 2015. I took the Big Y test at FTDNA, and one of the benefits of Big Y is that it gives age estimates for most recent common ancestors that approach the recentness of age estimates done by Y-STR comparison, due to the depth to which SNPs (rather than STRs) are identified on the Y-chromosome.

If you look at the Y-STR group in the I1-Haplogroup that the LGT Harrison family and the BC Pyle family are part of, it is the CTS6364 "AS1114" group. All the surnames in this group have fairly similar Y-STR values, notably high DYS449 values (>29). If you look at some of the names (Ingham, MacLeod, McAvoy, Kinkaid, Hutton), many of them have sort of a Scottish flavor, which suggests that the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) to this AS1114 group may have been of Scottish extraction.

What Big Y does, however, that the Y-chromosome STR test doesn't, is drill down deeply enough into the SNPs on the Y-chromosome to get a pretty accurate age estimate on the MRCA of any two men with a number of SNPs in common.

Before I got my Big Y test done, my Haplogroup at FTDNA was designated as


Not very deep. But the Big Y test, and the ensuing analysis at YFull gave me a Y-DNA haplogroup designation of


Which was a lot deeper than the previous FTDNA placement. Additionally, some of my closest matches had names like


which, as you can tell, have a much stronger Scandinavian flavor

My closest match was to a gentleman named Thomassen (who is Norwegian); we both sit at Y-haplogroup I-Y15947, and the SNP-based age for our most recent common ancestor is approximately 2000 years ago. He has 14 so-called "novel variants" (SNPs that no-one else has in the test database) unique to him, and I have 13 novel variants.

Which brings me to the point of this message. I am wondering if any Harrison male in the "Long Grey Trail" Harrsion group has considered, or would consider taking the Big Y test at FTDNA, and then submitting their results to for the SNP analysis. I ask because of the closeness of BC Pyle and LGT Harrison on the Y-STR results. I feel pretty sure that, of those 13 novel variants carried by me (or the BC Pyle group), at least a few must also be carried by males in the LGT Harrison group. If that were the case, and one of the Harrison males in the LGT Harrison group tested, then we could calculate an age (in years before present) of the MRCA of the BC Pyle and LGT Harrison groups --- and by extension, many of the other surnames in AS1114 that have a "Scottish" flavor. My guess is that the MRCA would be on the order of 1000 to 1500 years ago --- so probably when the forebears of both families were in Great Britain. Or, maybe the forbears of Pyle and Harrison were in Scandinavia at that time - such a strong Scandinavian influence (as suggested by my Big Y test results) implies that maybe the forbear of both families didn't come to Great Britain until the Viking invasions, which would have been no earlier than about 750 AD, and a good bit later than the Anglo-Saxon incursions into Great Britain, which started about 400-450 AD.

I have three figures, which show (#1) the I-DF29 Y-SNP tree (to which LGT Harrison and BC Pyle belong), as well as (#2) the I-Z2336 (or I-CTS6364) Y-SNP tree, to which BC Pyle belongs, as most likely does LGT Harrison. Page 3 shows the SNP sequence, and the types of surnames that fall into I-Y3866 at (mostly Scandinavian), and I-AS1114 at FTDNA (some Scandinavian, but many English/Scottish). I can email these to interested parties (I don't think I can attach them to this message), so if you'd like to take a look at them, you can let me know at

So, hopefully this little pitch might get one or two of the LGT Harrisons to think about doing the Big Y test with the workup. Big Y is somewhat costly, I'll be honest. But it certainly revealed a lot of interesting stuff in the region between surname genealogy and anthropology, and as far as I was concerned, that made the test more than worth the cost. How else are you going to find out about this stuff?

Thanks for reading, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to all you Harrisons.

Best wishes,

Joe Pyle
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 08:44:12 AM by jmpyleny17 » Logged
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