Language switching

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vitus, new Krchak introduced into the world!

Hello everyone and sorry for the prolonged hiatus. Did I ever mention that maintaining a bilingual blog is twice the work of maintaining a single language blog?
Also, did I ever mention that taking care of three kids is almost the same like taking care of two, but it still means you will have even less time for your hobbies as a result?

Well, let's get to work then. You aren't here to hear me complain!

So Vitus. Vitus Krchak. Third in this generation (~2010 generation) of Czech Krchaks. We are on the verge of extinction.

So who are we? Male Krchaks? Coming from Hornacko region, in south east Moravia? I started glimpsing into the paternal linage by taking the 23andMe autosomal V4 test, that included several thousand Y chromosome SNPs.

I was denoted I2b* branch, but some small research against the ISOGG Y tree revealed I am actually I-M423, I2a1b branch.
23andMe offers some haplogroup history write-up on their own, but the best source is probably eupedia. There, I learned about the basic I-M423 history.

I clearly saw that SNPs are so much more powerful for Y research than STRs and chose the next step as a I-M423 panel at This is a great price performance ratio, and the team goes out of their way to always keep their panels updated with latest developments. Big kudos to Thomas Krahn and team.
This offered me my terminal SNP of I-Y16473 and 4 closest matches - Narog, Telencio, Rohaly and Girya. Poland, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine. Most recent ancestor 200AD. Slavic expansion!
To be able to identify the I-S17250 and it's nearest subclades so clearly with the Slavic expansion in early centuries of AD was a great feeling and justification of the testing effort.

The next step in my Krchak lineage research was a small STR test. This was done for free thanks to a great Czech project "Genealogy and surnames", which tries to map various surnames to haplogroups - (Czech only).
So what did I learn there? How could a small STR test add something to state-of-the-art SNP test? Easily. There SO MANY genealogists, that have only done STR testing, that while SNP testing is superior, to provide better timeline and paternal tree, you should not omit STRs.
In my case, this meant some close Slovak matches, that have not done SNP testing, that hint at correctness of the family lore, that Krchaks came to Hornacko region from Slovakia.
(This is further strengthened but quite close Slovak autosomal matches on my paternal grandfather "quarter" of my DNA.)
Macak. Orava. I hope I will get them to test some SNPs one day.
The ID on is AH7EK. Which is also linked to my WikiTree account.

As I always say, there are two approaches, you can take with your Y reseach. Active or passive.
Passive means waiting, for your matches to test, for them to pave you the SNP way. It is the cheaper road. Yet, it may never get you anywhere.
Active means acting. Testing that NGS Y chromosome test. Finding your novel SNPs. Working with the testing companies to get some of them on their panels and their single SNP tests. Working with your matches to try to verify if they have any of these SNPs common with you. Trying to motivate your distant cousins to do a NGS Y chromosome test too. This will be (much) more expensive but will lead to results so much more likely so much faster.

Of course I choose the active path, so here I was, buying a Big Y test from FTDNA. Or was I?

FTDNA requires you to purchase a STR test, before buying a BigY test. This is probably fair, because you don't want to spend 400$ on your cousin to find he was a NPE.
You can order a 12STR test through a project, to save most money, but I wanted to tackle FTDNA STR database and went for 37STR markers. This added roughly 15 on top of what I had from GAP.

Was it worth it? Not much. Would I do it again? Yes.
The FTDNA limit for matches on 37STR level on FTDNA is very strict to motivate you to purchase 67 or 111 panel. I consider this an ugly money-poaching tactic, but it is, what it is.
FTDNA earns their living off of STR testing after all.

Nothing tangible I got from the 37STR test, but there is always a chance to persuade some of my matches to test BigY. Study modal STR values on various SNP levels, etc.

With the STR test out of my way, the BigY was finally in sight. Except it was further than it seemed, taking over 3 months... Eventually, the test happened, and boy did it deliver.

New terminal SNP with my match Larry Telencio. I-FGC40352. Super awesome. Super exciting. Y-tree in the making.
On top of that I got 8 unnamed variants (that actually included two named SNPs, but nevermind).
Potential for further research closer to present. Give it to me!

Was I done? Not yet. The NGS test are notoriously hard to analyze. And FTDNA does not do a very good job. That is why everyone who takes Y research seriously goes one step further and orders detailed analysis of his BAM file for 49$ on
There are three milestones:

  1. SNP results - this is the foundation of the analysis, finding any new terminal SNPs
  2. STR results - this offers a more profound look at the STR landscape
  3. new Tree being published - this finally offers the age estimate of your new terminal SNP

All in all, I am fairly advanced in terms of my Y research, that my son will carry.
Still, more things remain.

Persuading close matches to test BigY or my novel SNPs. I hope I will succeed with some of them (you).
Buying BigY for known distant cousins so that we can better define the older novel SNPs and the most recent one, as well as get the branch on various trees (YFull, ISOGG, FTDNA).

Another year, another step forward. I am looking forward to learning more in 2018.


  1. If you join a surname project at FTDNA, you can still order the Y-12 for $59. My current test strategy is to test Simpkins or Simkins with Y-12. The first 12 STRs will give me a pretty good idea of whether they match me or not or otherwise whether I am interested in further testing. When I decide to upgrade (during a sale of course) FTDNA already has the sample ready and I don't have to wait for the sampling.
    If you don't have a Krchak project, you can probably start your own. Write to
    Have you joined the FTDNA Big Y Facebook group? Bill Wood, the moderator, is very helpful.
    Also, check out SAPP, an online program to crunch through the Y DNA STR and SNP data and draft up a Y Family Tree.
    Well, maybe you know all this by now. I hope something here is helpful.

    1. Greg,
      Thank you for the very first comment on my blog! Much much appreciated.

      Anything you write can always be helpful for other readers as well, so it is not only me :)

      I do not know the SAPP tool, so I’ll check it out, thanks!