Michael Cooley's Genetic Genealogy Blog
4 July 2020

Cooley CF02 and CF09 Haplogroup Tree

FTDNA gathers data and forms their analysis only from their customer database. Therefore, they have no idea that kits #899687 and #32365 now constitute the subclade R1b-FT122534 (circled in the middle of the tree below). And, therefore, they're unable to make sense of the FT133163 haplogroup, indicated by the box. Granted, we need at least one of the testers from the Benjamin Cooley descendants (lower left) to know whether some or all of the FT122534 SNPs should be moved upstream. For now, however, the current data informs us of the following. (A horizontal scroll bar is at the bottom of the image.)


COOLEY DESCENT FROM R1b-Y15926


(I'm not confident that the scroll bar is browser-safe. If you have problems, please email me and provide system/browser information.)


Cooley DNA groups CF02 and CF09 are genetically related (going back at least three thousand years), but it's fair to say that they're not related genealogically. Still, it's instructive to compare and contrast the groups.

There are no definitions or explanatory lessons in this brief article, just suggestions. I will say at the onset that three test types are represented in the graphic. FTDNA's Y-500 product (now obsolete) looked at about ten million positions on the Y chromosome. The current Y-700 looks at about 50% more sample and, therefore, finds more markers.

The third test looks at a single position, one "genetic letter," on the Y chromosome. These tests are an inexpensive means of verifying the results of the more expensive broad sampling and are commonly known as single SNP tests. Testing for the right SNP can often confirm a lineage. Each marker listed above is a SNP.

Although not so initially, I now recommend upgrading from the Y-500 to Y-700 (presently $209 at FTDNA). Although new SNPs are not always found, the upgrade often provides significant results, as appears to be the case with the FT133163 subclade (again, in the box). In fact, greater detail provides the possibility that specific SNPs can be identified with the births of specific men. At present, there are two such cases in the Strother DNA Project: R1b-Y133702 emerged at the birth of Jeremiah Strother in about 1655, and R1b-A20343 was born with Francis Strother in about 1700. I call these anchor SNPs.1

I rarely see anchor SNPs, but the Strothers have done their genealogical homework especially well and have been willing to test out most hypotheses. Still, with a sufficient number of testers in the future, anchor SNPs could become commonplace, which would help all of us break though genealogical brick walls. As it now stands, Cooley group CF02 references the SNPs A12022 and A12024 as the Benjamin SNPs. It's still unknown, however, when they emerged -- certainly by Benjamin's birth (all his patrilineal descendants will have them). We do not know, however, whether his brothers, nephews, and uncles were also born with the same markers. Nevertheless, being positive for Benjamin SNPs puts the tester directly into the Benjamin clan, no matter how related -- and disproves descent from his "cousin" Samuell Coley. There is a similar case in CF09: James Cooley was born with the markers A21494 and A21961, but, again, we don't yet know when they came into his lineage. (The descendants of Washington Coley, for example, will not have them.)

The FT133163 haplogroup is beginning to look like a true genealogical tree, the other subclades being sparse in comparison. This follows from the degree of testing done for the group. There's no reason that the whole tree cannot be similarly developed. But SNPs aren't going to fill in all the blanks. They provide signposts. And the more signposts on the grid, the better the opportunity for reaching our genealogical destination.

So, my specific recommendations are:

YSEQ.net will add to their catalog any SNP that can be sequenced by the Sanger method. They're $18 each with a one-time $6 fee for shipment of the kit (waived if the order is over $100). Y-SNPs are $39 at FTDNA.com but they are no longer taking new requests for listing among their products.

A reminder: Please join the Worldwide Cooley Y-DNA Project on Facebook.

I'm always open for questions.


1 We know this because descendants of their brothers are negative for the SNPs. The current Strother SNP tree is here.