L540 - A Small Y-DNA Haplogroup
21 July 2020
Edit 16 Aug 2018.
This web document is a summary of my information about a small haplogroup of Y-DNA based on an SNP mutation named L540. The subject is genetic genealogy.
The L540 Tree shows the samples that have been tested for the branches of L540. Prediction to the branches cannot be done with confidence by STRs, so L540 samples without tests for these specific SNPs need to do SNP testing to determine their branch.
The L540 haplogroup seems to be roughly 2,000 years old, with an origin perhaps in what is now Germany.
This web document is written for people reasonably familiar with the jargon of genetic genealogy. If you are new to genetic genealogy you might prefer to first read an Introduction that I wrote for another of my web documents.
My References and Sources are listed at the bottom.
11 Jul 2020 Vajanszky added
21 Mar 2020 minor edits to the Tree
13 Mar 2020 edit Y7026* & Y17710 branches; add Mrocek
28 Jan 2020 branch Y17710 added
6 Jan 2020 Henriksen added
L540* = A6295-, Y7026-
Hoff: Norway. 374375, BY-S3003; YF09864; 3203
Kovalev: Russia. 268215, BY5858; YF04818
Ponto: Poland. 557832, BY-S3003; YF08450
Henriksen: Norway. B4816, BY-S3003
Helgesson: Sweden. 682512, --
Belov: Russia. 321021, --
Simonsson: Sweden. 70482, --
Kusyi: Ukraine. 370518, --
A6295 1 phyloequivalent SNP
A6295* = A9034-
Nowak: Poland. 225596, BY5854; YF03833
Vajanszky: Hungary. IN30232
A9034 no phyloequivalent SNP known
Y153993 11 phyloequivalent SNPs including BY161037
(FTDNA uses phyloequivalent BY161037 for this branch)
Eliasson: Sweden. 458953, BY-A9034; YF15457
Rohss: Germany. 555020; BY-A9034; YF14486
A9035 about 2 phyloequivalent SNPs
Kargul: Poland. 199446, --; 4230
A9036 about 10 phyloequivalent SNPs
Gwozdz: Poland. N16800, BY5850; YF02909; 1433
Gush (Gwozdz): Poland. B182584, BY5850; YF13748
Y7026 about 4 phyloequivalent SNPs
Y7026*: Z29042-, A783-, Y17710-
Marschner: Czech. 480087, BY5890; YF05931
Stavbom: Sweden. B3807, BY5862; YF05186; 2100
Glasser: Germany. 171456, BY5930; YF04393
Mrocek: Czech. IN69642, BYY7026
Z29042-, A783-, Y17710?
Appell: Germany. 350864, --; 3187
Kline: Germany. 158091, --; 2360
Y17710 3 phyloequivalent SNPs
Blind: Germany. B2670, BY178938; --; 2891
Z29042 about 6 phyloequivalent SNPs
Gebert: Germany. 166692, BY5193; YF01811
Roider: Germany. 275510, BY5200; YF04216
Hartsfield: Prussia. 140927, BY5185; YF04834; 2397
Hartsfield2: Prussia. 80059, BY5185; YF13261
Weiand: Germany. 51282, BY-A783
Ratuszni: Hungary. 200924, BY-A1157
Stelz: Germany. 175213, BY5900; YF05757; 2028
Svercl: Czech. 155155, BY5860; YF02913
A779 about 10 phyloequivalent SNPs including BY5841
Hochreutter: Germany. N45041, BY5856; YF02161
Hochreutter: Germany. --; YF09477
Hochreutter: Germany. 131761 BY5853; YF06285
Hochreutter: Germany. --; YF09478
Format for each individual line data:
FTDNA code number, BY = Big Y;
Yfull code; Yseq code
References: FTDNA, Big Y, Yfull, Yseq
The BY SNP number is the SNP used for that sample in the tree at FTDNA. In many (not all) cases, that is a “private” SNP, unique to that individual in the Big Y database, meaning that mutation happened relatively recently in that male family line.
-- means no Big Y data; placed in the tree by testing individual SNPs, or very close STR match to another sample
New Topic 28 Jan 2020. Edited 30 Jan 2020.
This is a new branch, discovered Jan 2020 in the Big Y-700 of Blind. It is a branch of Y7026. Previously, Y7026 had two branches, Z29042 and A783. This new Y17710 includes the branch Z29042.
Previously, there were 6 samples in Y7026*, including Blind, who is now moved to Y17710, in a new small branch BY178938. Those other 5 samples are currently listed in my Tree as Y7026*: Z29042-, A783-, Y17710? because it is not yet known how many of them will test positive for Y17710. Three of those 5 have Big Y results from 2015 and early 2016, but Y17710 showed up in the expanded Big Y-700 in late 2016, so we don’t know their Y17710 status.
Y17710 is not available individually from FTDNA, but Yseq has it for $18:
Big Y-700 is pricey; FTDNA has not yet announced a reasonable price for upgrade from the original Big Y to the new Big Y-700.
There are 2 more known men with Big Y-700 in this new branch; one is Y17710* and one is with Blind in BY178938. I’m contacting them.
I’m putting a request into Yseq for an $18 test for BY178938.
L540 in Y-DNA Tree
New Topic 27 Dec 2015. Rewrite 16 Nov 2019.
There are many other V13 branches
V13 was discovered many years ago, so V13 is a traditional name for this major haplogroup (branch) division of haplogroup E, but L540 is a relatively small haplogroup of V13. Z5018 and Z5016 are traditional names for the largest branches of V13
Link to an up-to-date tree with more V13 & L540 detail:
http://www.yfull.com/tree/E-V13/. In this rough outline I used the SNP code names (like M78 and V13) from Yfull.
There are intermediate branches not shown in this rough outline of mine. These branches haves many phyloequivalent SNPs not shown in this rough outline. Different trees have different intermediate branches and different phyloequivalent SNPs, because they do not all have access to the same samples.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1D9WaPOZn_0l5GKtqXR0PbbxEir2o1t0e2HO-SJ2GboI/edit?pli=1#gid=2080530255 and discussion can be found at:
Those long ISOGG code names (like E1b1b1a1b1a5a1) change when new SNPs define new intermediate branches, which makes those long names confusing.
Update 13 Feb 2020.
This haplogroup was predicted as cluster C based on STR correlations in 2008. When I originated this web page in early 2010, I coined the name V13C, renaming it L540 on 30 Apr 2011. Cluster C, also called C type, is the STR equivalent of L540.
Update of statistics on 27 Dec 2015: There are 25 samples that have tested L540+. In addition, there are 18 C type samples that have not taken the SNP test; I predict about 15 of them would test L540+. Finally, there are several marginal samples (STRs close to the C type cutoff); I suppose another 5 or so of those would test L540+. That’s roughly 45 known members of L540.
Update of statistics Feb 2020: My L540 Tree has 32 samples. I know of about a dozen men who tested L540+, but they are not listed in my tree because they have not tested for the 2 known branches of L540. I know of about a dozen men who seem to be cluster C based on their STR results, but they have not tested for L540. I do not include relatives closer than 4th cousin in my tree; those with the same family name are distant cousins.
Judging from the size of L540 at Yfull, as a small fraction of the Yfull tree, my wild guess for the size of L540 worldwide is more than 10,000 men but less than 100,000.
If you are in my tree, I encourage you to contact your closest matches at FTDNA; if they have not already tested for their Y-DNA branch encourage them to test for L540 and to contact me for questions and for inclusion in my L540 Tree.
3 Aug 2018: changed
the rules for DNA data, requiring that DNA data must be removed from all files
whenever a person changes their privacy settings to restrict web posting. This web page has links to my 6 STR analysis “xls” files. It would be too much trouble for me to change
all 6 files every time a person changes settings, so I removed these files from
the web. Some of the links to these
files are still here, but the links do not work. As I update and rewrite this page I remove links
to my STR analysis files. This does not
matter very much because these days SNPs
are much more important than STRs, and SNPs do not require the statistical
The few individuals named in this web page requested to be mentioned; they may request to be removed at any time.
Rewrite 31 Oct 2015. Edit 16 Nov 2019.
For detailed V13 trees, see:
V13, in the E haplogroup, is a major branch of the human Y-DNA tree. The L540 branch is a relatively small branch of V13.
There are about 80 known SNP equivalents to V13. V13 was the first to be discovered and the one used in most discussions about this haplogroup. All but a very few V13 samples belong to L142 and CTS5856, so technically L540 is the main branch of the S3003 haplogroup, which is one of many branches of the CTS5856 haplogroup, which is the main branch of the L142 haplogroup, which is the main branch of V13. For simplicity the L540 Tree above minimizes these details. I usually just say in this web page that L540 is a branch of V13. I say that V13 is the father of L540, when technically S3003 is the father and V13 is the great-great grandfather, and even that may change if additional side branches are discovered with very few samples. I’m ignoring the known branches that have few samples, for simplicity.
L542 is one of those 80 equivalents. V13 is sometimes called L542. L542 was found in my WTY.
New Topic 10 Feb 2015.
PGP89 is a sample from the Personal Genome Project (search Google for details). PGP89 is S3003+ but L540-, so this sample represents an older node in the branch leading to L540. So far there are no such S3003+ L540- results in the E-M35 Project.
New Topic 14 Jan 2015. Edit 27 Dec 2015.
This SNP was discovered by Steve Fix on 10 Jan 2015, from the Big Y data of Roider, compared to Gebert. These two samples have this SNP, but Hochreiter does not, so Z29042 defined a new Haplogroup, the first branch to be found for L540. Steve assigned the Z series code number. Actually, there are 6 new SNP locations common to Roider and Gebert, but only Z29042 was assigned a code; some of those others may be needed in the future.
I’m a bit surprised. I expected Roider to fall into a branch with Hochreiter, because they are closest in s. Also, I have been predicting an older node for Gebert, based on his DYS389 value, and his STR values that differ from other L540 samples, more than L540 samples differ from each other. STR predictions are statistical, because STRs mutate relatively rapidly. So this is a surprise, but such surprises are expected from time to time when making predictions based on STRs.
Update 10 Feb 2015.
This SNPs was noticed by Steve Fix and me in Hochreiter’s Big Y data, our first L540 Big Y. Actually, there were 10 new SNPs; I tested myself for them but came out negative. Yseq assigned A series code numbers to them. None of the 10 showed up in the Big Y data for Roider or Gebert. In Feb 2015 I noticed this one in the Big Y data for Svercl, so it defined a new haplogroup branch for L540, with Hochreiter and Svercl, not me, not Roider, not Gebert.
New topic 12 Jul 2016.
This SNP was newly posted by Yfull in July 2016, as a new branch of A783.
New topic 12 Jul 2016. Edit 31 Jul 2016. Edit 17 Aug 2016. Edit 29 Aug 2016.
Steve Fix suggested the SNP A779 to me on 12 Jul 2016, to distinguish Svercl from two Hochreiter Big Ys. The two Hochreiter’s are 7th cousins, with a common ancestor about 300 years ago, so the A779 mutation is at least 300 years old. The 2nd Hochreiter Big Y provided a split into two branches, defined by A782 and BY5909, although those two will not be listed in Yfull’s tree until a 2nd sample shows up in the same branches.
New Topic 8 Feb 2015. Update 17 Mar 2016.
This SNP represents the major division of L540, with 11 of the 16 samples in the L540 tree so far. The Yfull tree estimates Y7026 to be about 2,000 years old, although this is a very rough estimate due to the caveats associated with DNA age estimates. See the next topic discussion about the “bushy” nature of Y7026.
New Topic 17 Mar 2016.
All 5 have been confirmed with SNP results Y7026+, and Z29042-, A783-, so they do not belong to those two known haplogroup branches of Y7026. Two of the 5 have Big Y results, and they do not have a common novel SNP, which means they will end up in two different new branches of Y7026, as soon as a future sample in their branch gets a Big Y result with a common novel SNP to define that future haplogroup branch.
In other words, we know Y7026 has a least 4 branches. The node associated with Y7026 is the major “bushy” node of the L540 tree.
The other three samples have not purchased Big Y; their results are from SNP testing only. These three may belong to those two future branches. Or, perhaps one or more of those three may end up in yet another branch of Y7026.
A bushy node is evidence that the immediate descendants of the corresponding MRCA participated in a significant population expansion.
On the other hand, bushy nodes may be just random, not evidence of population expansion, due to the luck of SNP discovery statistics, particularly for the case of Y7026, with only 11 total samples so far. Big Y does not cover the entire Y chromosome, and Big Y does occasionally randomly miss SNPs, so future testing may show Y7026 to be not so bushy after all, if future novel SNPs combine the Y7026 branches into fewer larger branches.
New Topic 22 Jul 2015. Update 17 Mar 2016.
This SNP and haplogroup was defined 22 Jul 2015, being present in Nowak’s Big Y, and also present in my earlier Gwozdz Big Y. Kargul tested positive for A6295, making 3 samples so far. My Gwozdz cousin would no doubt also test positive, but I leave him out of the L540 tree since together we represent one ancestral line. Actually, I recruited both Kargul and Nowak, based on close STR matches to me, so statistically, the A6295 branch should be considered to be much smaller than the Y7026 branch with 11 independent samples. Note that the three A6295 samples are the only Poland origin samples in the L540 tree; I did not recruit on the basis of Poland origin, so we can speculate that A6295 might represent a small Polish branch of L540, although three samples is far too few for any confidence in this regard.
New Topic 21 Jan 2016.
This SNP has just been defined 21 Jan 2016. It is negative in one A6295 sample (Nowak) and positive in the other two (Gwozdz and Kargul), so it represents a haplogroup - a small twig in the Y-DNA tree. Kargul does not have Big Y data; Kargul’s FTDNA sample is A6295+; Kargul’s Yseq sample is A9035+. I (Gwozdz) ordered SNP tests at Yseq for 4 of my “private” SNPs, A9032, A9033, A9035, and A9036; Kargul is negative for those other 3, implying that our MRCA node for A9035 is roughly 3/4 as old as our node with Nowak for A6295, although this is a very rough estimate with only 4 SNPs tested. At the Yfull SNP browser, using the locations for those 4 SNPs from my (Gwozdz) Big Y data, I verified my positive standing for all 4 of these SNPs; Nowak and all other V13 samples in the V13 Project at Yfull are negative for all 4.
New Topic 22 Nov 2015.
This SNP has just been defined 22 Nov 2015. It is present in Hartsfield’s recent Big Y, and is also present in Roider’s Big Y from earlier this year. So Z39377 defines a new haplogroup, with only those two samples so far.
Update Feb 2015.
This SNP is in the L540 branch, but older. PGP89 is a sample from the Personal Genome Project (search Google for details). PGP89 is S3003+ but L540-, so this sample represents an older node in the branch leading to L540. So far there are no such S3003+ L540- results in the E-M35 Project. Technically, S3003 defines a haplogroup with branches PGP89 and also L540, but for simplicity I just say in this web page that L540 is a branch of V13.
Rewrite 13 Mar 2020.
I recommend Big Y, next paragraph, if cost is not an issue for you, and if you are enthusiastic about discovering new haplogroups. Otherwise, consider the less expensive tests per the following paragraphs, to determine your current haplogroup.
Big Y: The newest version is Big Y-700: Discovering new haplogroups is part of my genetic genealogy hobby. I have been recruiting L540 members to purchase Big Y in order to discover new SNPs, which provide new SNP haplogroups - terminal twigs on the Y tree, to further subdivide L540. Big Y-700 is not cheap. $449. Anyone interested in joining me in this L540 project can order Big Y-700; please contact me so I can keep track of the status. With Big Y-700, there is no need for individual SNP testing. In fact, with Big Y, most men immediately discover new “private” SNPs of the Y unique to their sample (unique so far in the Big Y database). Many men have an immediate match at a new SNP, thereby defining a new twig in the Y tree, combining their sample with a previous Big Y sample. It is almost certain that future Big Y tests will match one of the new SNPs in your Big Y data, thereby defining new small twigs, eventually combining quite a few samples. An exception would be if cousins of yours are already in the Big Y database, in which case your Big Y places you in that twig.
I encourage testing at FTDNA, and joining the E-M35 Project, because I like the convenience of finding all the data in one place. The administrators of the E-M35 Project will classify your sample into a category, where they give the recommendation for which SNPs you should test. You may have to wait a few weeks after joining the project for a recommendation. If you think you might be L540, please feel free to email me for advice on which SNP branches to test.
If you are new to Y-DNA testing and do not know your haplogroup, I recommend Y-37 as an inexpensive first test. The FTDNA computer will use that data to predict your haplogroup. The computer is very conservative. If you are really L540, the computer will not predict L540 just based on Y-37, but it can confidently predict E-M35 or E-V13. (L540 is a branch V13, which is a branch of E-M35.) If you are not predicted E-M35 consider joining a different Project, for your haplogroup. The FTDNA computer makes a recommendation for further testing; from your home page, click on “Haplotree & SNPs”. The administrators of the E-M35 project may make a better recommendation, using that information, plus your close Y-DAN matches, plus other data analysis for which SNP, or which SNP panel, you should test next. See individual SNPs or panels of SNPs, a separate topic below.
For example: If you purchase Y-111, look at your Y-DNA matches, using all 111 of your STRs. These matches are quite close, so you are probably in the same haplogroup branch as your closest matches. If you have a close Y-111 match who has determined his haplogroup to be one of the L540 branches, you can purchase the test for the SNP for that branch, then continue up and down the L540 tree, inexpensively testing individual SNPs to determine your terminal position.
If you previously purchased Y-67, no longer offered, then you still might be in the same branch as your closest Y-67 matches, although with less confidence than with Y-111.
If you previously determined your “terminal twig”, you can just watch this web page L540 Tree (or other web sites, other trees). When a new SNP twig shows up extending your twig, you can order just that one SNP to see if you belong, or not.
How about STRs? In the past, I encouraged upgrading to 111 Markers, the largest set available at FTDNA. Now that there are plenty of SNPs available with low cost tests, SNPs are better than STRs for finding your closest Y matches. However, there are plenty of samples without the latest SNP tests, so if you are anxious to find out which of these best match your Y, 111 STR markers are much better than the smaller standard sets.
Y=37 is a test for 37 STRs, from which the FTDNA computer can predict your main branch haplogroup with high confidence. Then, from your home page at FTDNA, click on “Haplotree & SNPs”. That will show your position in the Y-DNA tree.
Rewrite 31 Oct 2015.
Friedman proposed cluster C in 2008, based on STR correlations, when the data was less than what is available today. Cluster C now seems equivalent to L540. The cluster C data is still available at the haplozone site but may not be up to date.
Rewrite 31 Oct 2015. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
I defined C type in Jan 2010 as my version of Cluster C.
I use the word type for an STR cluster with statistical validity as established by my Mountain Method. “Type” is my own term. I chose the word “type” because it is not generally used in genetic genealogy and I wish to distinguish my types from haplogroups and from other clusters. By “type” I mean the cluster data, the hypothetical clade, the modal haplotype, and the set of all possible haplotypes, at any number of markers. Accordingly, by “C type” I mean any or all of these 4 things. I sometimes use just “C” as short for “C type”. I also have a previous C type identified in R1a; unrelated; please don’t get confused. I published my methods in the Fall 2009 issue of JoGG.
My analysis files define C type. Sorry, it can be a bit confusing because I have multiple STR definitions for C type, for various marker sets. The number of markers in my definitions change slightly when new samples show up with unusual STR values. I hope the meanings are clear from the context of my discussions in this web document.
Rewrite 31 Oct 2015,
I coined the name V13C in 2010 to represent C type, cluster C, the hypothetical haplogroup, and the samples (men) in the hypothetical haplogroup.
This web document used to be named V13C.html.
Now that C type seems equivalent to L540 I edited away most of my mentions of the name “V13C”, but I’ll continue to use “C type” for the predicted clade based on STRs.
Rewrite 27 Sep 2017.
I proposed L type on this web page in mid 2011, based on only 2 samples, which means not very high statistical confidence. L type (also called L540 type) was a type that included C type plus those 2 samples that did not fit C type at that time.
I no longer consider the distinction between C type and L type useful. Those two samples, Gebert and Fredeen, both tested positive for L540. So they are just statistical STR outliers. Since then, more outliers have shown up; recently, with lots of 111 marker (next topic) data, I was able to come up with an STR definition of C type to capture all L540+ STR outliers, and not capture any L540- samples. My C type definitions using less than 111 markers are not quite perfect at predicting L540 based on STRs, but they are satisfactory.
I edited this web page to remove mentions of L type (except this topic).
Rewrite 6 Oct 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
FTDNA provides STR markers in various sets. The largest, a set of 111, was introduced in 2011. Upgrades can be purchased for samples with fewer markers. Obviously, matches and predictions are more accurate using more markers. Until 2014, I had been recommending the 111 set to L540 members, hoping to discover STR correlations good enough to divide the L540 haplogroup into clusters with high confidence. Today, s are more important than STRs. This is because the cost of discovering new SNPs has come down a lot. SNPs define haplogroup divisions; STRs only provide statistical predictions for haplogroups.
Some clusters are still defined by STRs, as predictions for new haplogroups, which need confirmation by discovery of a corresponding SNP. However, STR analysis is yielding diminishing returns for this effort. SNP discovery is now accelerating instead.
Still, the majority of on-line samples have STR data without adequate SNP data. So Y-STRs still provide you with your best list of on-line close male line matches.
At your FTDNA home page click on the Y-DNA “Matches” button to see your closest matches using the various STR marker sets. Many men at FTDNA do not join the various projects; if someone in L540 does not join the E-M35 Project, I do not get to see his data. If you you are L540 and have a very close STR match, please send him an email message about this L540 web page and about the E-M35 Project. I still occasionally find new L540 members this way.
Haplozone is another on-line STR database.
As a specific example of the value of STRs, I discovered DYS445 = 11 as an unusual mutation in my own Y, shared by my 3rd cousin, and also shared by Kargul, adding evidence that we form a twig in the L540 tree, perhaps restricted to south Poland, perhaps only a few centuries old. DYS445 is not available at less than 111 markers in FTDNA standard sets. The rest of L540 samples have the value DYS445 = 10. The value 11 does show up very rarely elsewhere in V13, as an independent mutation, so although DYS445 is very slowly mutating it is not as slow as a typical SNP, so not as statistically reliable as an SNP. Later, I discovered A9035 (tested at Yseq), an SNP for only the 3 of us. A9035 is a twig in the A6295 branch (see the Tree). In other words, DYS445 = 11 seems to A9035 today, although exceptions may well show up in the future.
Summary: 111 STR markers are valuable if you are very interested in genetic genealogy, and if cost is not a big issue for you. If cost is an issue, and if you are merely curious about your Y-DNA, as a first test I recommend the 37 marker STR set (topic after next).
Rewrite 5 Dec 2015. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
FTDNA provides a 67 marker standard set of STR markers. I have been using this 67 set for analysis for more than 8 years. Although the 111 set is more accurate, this 67 set is valuable for analysis because there are a lot more samples on-line at 67, and all samples with 111 are included.
Rewrite 5 Dec 2015. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
FTDNA no longer offers the 25 and 12 STR marker standard sets. The 37 marker set is sufficient as a first test if you are curious to see in which Y-DNA main branch haplogroup you belong. With 37 markers, FTDNA will automatically place you in one of the main large haplogroup branches of the Y-DNA tree. For the smaller branches of the tree, there are SNP tests. For L540 candidates, I have a separate discussion topic about this: Dividing L540.
Most of the more rapidly mutating STRs are in the 37 marker set, so the 37 marker set is good to search for your best matches to other men with a male line common ancestor in the last millennium or so. FTDNA provides you with matches to other men with similar STR haplotypes. All samples with 67 or 111 are included because they have these 37 plus more. For more discussion see Value of STRs.
Rewrite 11 Oct 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
FTDNA provides the older STR sets, using 12 and 25, as special orders by project administrators, but for the price difference the 37 set makes more sense.
There are still lots of data on-line with only 12 markers - not so many with only 25. Those samples can still be checked for candidates for L540, but not with very high confidence.
Best STR Markers
Edited 27 Sep 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
STR markers that mutate relatively slowly are statistical indicators for clades in which they are recently mutated, but they are not perfect because of subsequent independent mutations. When a clade has a few such good STR markers those provide a signature set of STR markers. A signature is statistically expected to be a more probable indicator of a clade than just one marker. Indeed cluster C is characterized by the Friedman Signature. My definitions of C type (and thereby L540) use other helpful markers, not just the signature.
My analysis files automatically rank markers, as useful for a particular definition, using a method that I published. The exact ranking of markers varies slightly from month to month due to the random nature of mutation values in new samples, and due to the somewhat arbitrary cutoff that I use to restrict the database to the L540 neighborhood. (Using too many samples provides a ranking of the father clade instead of the clade of interest.) For example, a sample that ranks 6th one month might come out 4th or 5th or 7th or 8th the next month.
An SNP that defines a haplogroup is very unlikely to have happened exactly at the time of the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of a haplogroup. Most likely the SNP is somewhat older, because usually there are many generations between nodes. By definition an SNP cannot be younger than the TMRCA. Similarly, we can consider a hypothetical clade defined by a particular STR mutation, which is likely somewhat older than the TMRCA of that clade. However, for clusters defined by signatures, and for types defined by definitions, one rare STR mutation that contributes to the signature might have happened before or after the TMRCA of that cluster or type.
Very slow mutators should make the best markers. However, the slowest are rarely mutated, so those with intermediate mutation rate show up more often as signature markers. My Type.xls master file has the Chandler STR mutations rates, in the ASD sheet, row 5. The ASD sheet is not usually included in my analysis files.
Best Dozen STR Markers: Using my latest (Sep 2017) analysis at 111 markers, here are my rankings of the best STRs for C type and thereby for L540 (DYS numbers): 1&2 (two way tie) - 594=12 & 636=12; 3 - 390=25; 4 - Δ389=19; 5 - 561=17; 6 - 444=13; 7 - 406=11; 8 - 504=14; 9 - 517=24; 10 - CDYa=29; 11 - 447=25; 12 - CDYb=33.
Original Marker for Cluster C
Rewrite 27 Dec 2015. Edited 27 Sep 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
[Technical detail: DYS389 is a compound marker, where 389I is the first STR chain and (389II minus 389I) is the second STR chain. For cluster C the first chain is 389-1 = 389I = 13. The second chain is 389-2 = 19. 389II = 13 + 19 = 32. The marker of interest here is really 389-2 = 19 (389II minus 389I = 19). However, 389I mutates more slowly and has the value 13 for all but one L540 sample so far and for almost all samples in the L540 neighborhood. At Haplozone, both 389 markers need to be used together; if one is omitted both are ignored. I use both 389 values, or neither, in my definitions to be compatible with other web sites.] My xls files can be easily modified to use Δ389 without 389-1.
All STR standard marker sets by all DNA companies include the 389 pair. (I have not noticed any exceptions.)
Only two L540+ samples, Fredeen and Gebert, have the ancestral value 13, 30. Butman, the closest STR match with L540-, also has 13, 30. Only a few samples in the branches of L540 have the value 13, 31, which is not common in the neighborhood. On this basis, it seems likely that the mutations to from 13, 30 to 31 to 32 happened before the TMRCA for L540, and later mutations back from 13, 32 to 31 to 30 happened in very few L540 male lines. (We cannot rule out a rare double size mutation incident, from 30 to 32, or a double mutation back to 30.)
DYS389II (actually the difference value 389-2) ranks 43rd in Chandler mutation rates. Near the middle. So exceptions are expected, due to recent mutations. DYS389-2 is ranked as the 4th best marker in my analysis of 111 markers.
Rewrite 27 Dec 2015. Edited 27 Sep 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
In my analysis, DYS594 = 12 is the best marker for L540 (and C type) using the 67 marker set. 594 is not in the 37 marker set.
All L540+ samples with 67 or more markers have the 594 = 12 value. Butman, the closest STR match not predicted L540, indeed tested L540-, and has the ancestral 11.
All C type samples (predicted L540), except one marginal sample not yet tested for L540, have the 12 value.
A few samples in the L540 neighborhood have 594 = 12 but are L540-. These are not a random sample; I recruited two of them for the L540 test to find out if all 594 = 12 in the neighborhood are L540; no, not all.
The 594 = 12 value is more common in the L540 neighborhood than in the rest of the V13 data. So I was wondering if 594 = 12 is an old mutation in the S3003 branch. So I tested one of those two L540- samples with 594 = 12; it came out S3003-, so it seems to be an independent mutation. Also, considering the L241 haplogroup, some of those samples are in the neighborhood, but they have 594 = 11 except one sample that has the value 12, so that is also independent.
DYS594 ranks 12th from the slowest in the 67 Chandler mutation rates. Quite slow, so independent recent mutations should be rare.
Excellent Signature Markers for L540
Available in the 111 Set
Rewrite 27 Sep 2017.
These 4 are not in the FTDNA 67 STR maker set, but are available in the 111 STR marker set. 636 is just as good as 594 [previous topic]; they are tied as the best two STR markers. Those other 3 are among the dozen best. That’s why C74(111), my 111 marker definition for C type, works very well.
Rewrite 29 Dec 2015. Edit 27 Sep 2017. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
The signature is (390, 389-2, 447) = (25, 32, 25).
Friedman had been calling this the “characteristic marker values” for cluster C at the Haplozone site before I started working on this, back in 2008, when there were only 9 samples available in cluster C, including mine.
This original Friedman signature works surprisingly well by itself for samples with only 25 of the standard markers, but not with high confidence.
In early 2011 Friedman added 594 = 12 to the “characteristic marker values”, for 67 marker samples.
DYS389 is a compound marker, discussed above.
Friedman used a more complicated analysis than just this simple signature in her C type assignments. I do not know her method exactly, but most definitions (not all) that I tried, selecting well ranked markers, extracted the same samples that she did.
16 Aug 2018: Neighborhood Table removed, due to the new FTDNA rules for on-line data.
I still use the word Neighborhood
to mean samples that seem close to L540 based on STRs but are not predicted
L540 with high confidence based on STRs.
Neighborhood samples may have results for the L540 SNP test; those are used to calibrate my predictions
based on STRs. I also use the word Neighbor
to refer to samples that are close STR matches.
My sample is kit N16800. N81304 is my 3rd cousin Gwozdz.
Edit 17 Dec 2015.
Kit 199446, Aloysius Kargol is my closest STR match available on the web (other than my 3rd cousin). In May 2010, his daughter noticed, on ancestry.com, that he and I are perfect matches at 12 STR markers. I studied the LDS microfilms and located his 1820’s Kargul ancestor living in a village in Poland only 20 miles away from the village of my Gwozdz ancestor. I paid for his FTDNA sample. His L540 test came out positive, placing him in that new haplogroup. We are 5 steps apart at 67 STR markers; 9 at 111.
For estimating the size of L540 or C type, my cousin and Kargul should not be included, because I recruited them, paying for their tests. Family sets such as these distort size estimates, when comparing the number of samples per haplogroup or per STR type or cluster.
New topic 13 May 2011. Rewrite 22 Dec 2015. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
Butman’s L540 SNP test came out negative in 2011. That means he is not a member of the L540 haplogroup. Kit N91348.
At 67 markers, this sample actually falls within C type; check the numbers in that table, at the columns for the 67 and 37 marker modal haplotypes. That’s because the 111 marker set has quite a few good signature markers for C type. Before 2011, at this web page, I listed this sample as at the edge of C type, or predicted L540 with low confidence. Using only the 37 marker set, Butman’s 5 closest neighbors are C type (Dec 2015).
This sample recently came out negative for S3003, which is the “father” of L540. The MRCA node for S3003 is older than the MRCA for L540. This sample tested V13+ but has not yet been tested for all the recently discovered SNP branches of V13. Using all 111 STR markers, Butman has no close neighbors; his closest are Bartlett at step 21, Hohnloser at step 22, and Hochreiter (L540+) at step 23 along with another Bartlett sample and two other samples that are not in the Table above (Dec 2015).
In the Y-DNA tree, Butman’s node where he branches apart from L540 is surely older than 1,000 years and might even be older than 4,000 years, according to the estimated age of L540.
What does this mean? The simplest explanation is that Butman is alone in the E-M35 database, in a very small haplogroup that branches off the branch leading to S3003 and L540 perhaps 2 or 3 millennia ago. Another possibility: he may belong to the recently discovered Z17264 haplogroup, since Bartlett belongs to that one (Table above). Z17264 is a twig in the main branch Z5018 so Butman might have an MRCA older than Z17264, perhaps. (The test results might come out Z5018+ Z17264-.) This paragraph is statistical speculation; Butman might end up in a new branch of V13, negative for all known branches, for all we know. This paragraph is a good example of the uncertainty of STR based predictions for outliers. Big Y or SNP tests are needed here.
Rewrite 27 Dec 2015.
Kit 162917, Fredeen, has been listed at this web page since Mar 2010. L540+ result May 2011.
This sample is an STR outlier. Even with all 111 markers, this Fredeen sample differs a lot from all the other L540 (C type) samples. The closest neighbor is at step 24; most L540 samples have closest neighbor at step 14 to 18. (Samples with the same family name are even closer, of course.)
The original best L540 signature marker is DYS389 = 13,32; Fredeen has 13,30, which is the ancestral value (for most Neighborhood samples outside L540). Fredeen also differs at two other L540 signature markers.
The simplest explanation is that Fredeen belongs to a branch with a node in the L540 tree that is older than the other nodes. Perhaps those 3 signature markers mutated to the L540 values after the node leading to Fredeen.
However, there is an alternate possibility: Fredeen may belong to one of the currently known branches; perhaps those 3 signature markers experienced back mutations; perhaps the Fredeen line has more mutations than normal, due to the luck of mutations. Read the following topic, Gebert, also an outlier.
SNP testing is required to determine the branch for this sample.
Rewrite 27 Dec 2015.
I noticed Gebert’s sample on-line and encouraged him to join the E-M35 project, which he did in 2011, kit 166692 in the table. I helped pay for the orders for the L540 test and for the 111 extension. He purchased Big Y in 2014.
Gebert is also an outlier; read the previous topic, Fredeen, for a brief explanation. Gebert is not quite as extreme an outlier as Fredeen, with closest neighbor at step 20. Gebert also has the ancestral DYS389 = 13,30, and also differs at two other signature markers (not the same two as Fredeen).
In this case, because Gebert purchased Big Y, we know that this sample falls in the Z29042 branch of the L540 tree. So it is clear that the Gebert line has more than the expected number of STR mutations; it is just luck that those 3 signature markers mutated back to the ancestral values, because L540 samples both in Z29042 and outside Z29042 have the signature values. This sample is an example of the limitation of predicting haplogroup based on STR values.
Rewrite 22 Dec 2015.
Hohnloser (kit N39989) is another outlier outside L540. To understand this, please see the topic above for Butman. Hohnloser is not quite as close to C type as Butman, but otherwise the Butman discussion mostly applies also to Hohnloser.
Hohnloser has been mentioned here at this web page since 2010.
Hohnloser also does not belong to the L540 haplogroup because his SNP test came out negative. He has not been tested for S3003.
Hohnloser’s nearest neighbors at 111 markers, step 22, are Butman and two other samples not in the Table above. Hohnloser’s nearest neighbors with haplogroup identification are at the next step, 23, 3 samples, 2 of which are L241+. However, Hohnloser tested L241-. L241 is a branch of Z5018, so maybe Hohnloser might fall in one of the other Z5018 branches.
Jorg Hohnloser has extensive family tree research results. He administers a Hohnloser project at FTDNA. He exchanged helpful email discussions with me.
New topic 12 Dec 2014. Edit 17 Dec 2015.
Kit N45041, Administered by Andrew Hochreiter, who runs the Hochreiter Project.
Due to the European Union DNA privacy law in 2018, Ysearch.org was closed down, so that STR data now unavailable.
Update 27 Dec 2015. Edit 16 Aug 2018.
Ancestry.com no longer provides a comprehensive Y-DNA database. They now concentrate on autosomal DNA (all chromosomes, not just Y).
I last checked for matches 16 May 2011, when the Y-DNA database was still active. There were 9 matches of Y-DNA to Kargul & me, but these were not very close matches.
Rewrite 22 Dec 2015. Update 26 Jan 2020.
About 2,000 years old.
https://www.yfull.com/tree/E-L540/. Click on the “info” box for links to details of the Yfull age estimation methodology.
L540 has 28 phyloequivalent SNPs listed by Yfull. On that basis, Yfull estimates the L540 branch segment to be 2,000 to 4,600 years before present (ybp). In other words, L540 and 27 other SNPs are distributed along a (4,600 - 2,000) = 2,600 year segment of the Y-DNA tree between two nodes. The 4,600 ybp is the node where L540 along with several other branches split out from the CTS1273 branch of V13. The 2,000 ybp is the node where the known branches of L540 split out - the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for all the L540 samples.
The L540 haplogroup seems to be roughly 2,000 years old - the TMRCA for the L540 samples at Yfull.
That 2,000 year age for L540 haplogroup may likely increase in the future if samples show up with branch nodes older than the currently known branching node of L540. 2,000 years will remain a good estimate for the TMRCA for the two currently known branches, A6295 & Y7026.
The Fix tree also has additional data not included in the Yfull analysis. These produce an adjustment in the V13 segment, but there is no effect on the L540 segment.
The Fix tree also includes S3003, listed by Yfull as one of the L540 phyloequivalents, because the Yfull database does not include that one sample PGP89 that is S3003+ L540-. This may be confusing, but phyloequivalents are different at Yfull vs Fix because the data is different. In the Fix tree, S3003 is phyloequivalent to S2999 and S3015; all three are included in that Yfull list of 27.
The actual L540 mutation is probably older than the 1,950 year old TMRCA, because we do not know where the L540 mutation sits along that 2,600 year segment (between 4,600 years ago and 2,000 years ago).
In old versions of this L540 web page I used STR mutations to estimate age, but SNPs are preferred now that we have lots of SNP data.
In my 11 Jul 2011 version, I excluded the two STR outliers Gebert and Fredeen, getting 1,000 years for my STR based estimate for C type without the outliers. I guessed double that for L540, with high uncertainty because of only two known outliers. That’s was roughly 2000 years for TMCA previously with STRs, about the same result as today (Jan 2020) using SNPs.
Such age estimates are statistically uncertain because of the small sample size.
Net confidence is even more uncertain because of the caveats associated with DNA age calculations. There is no way to calculate the effects of such caveats. I personally think that 1500 to 2500 ybp range is a 75% confidence range.
Update 27 Dec 2015: Edit 16 Aug 2018.
I know of 25 samples with “+” indicating confirmed L540 with an SNP test (Dec 2015). 9 of these indicate “Germany” as the origin of their most distant known ancestor. That’s 36% Germany. Actually, that needs adjustment for recruitment: 3 of the 4 “Poland” were recruited by me, where I paid for the L540 test; 1 of the 4 “Sweden” is a repeat family name; both “Russia” were recruited. All 9 “Germany” samples are independent as far as I know. So adjusting the statistics for recruitment, that means 9 out of 19 independent samples come from Germany, which is 47% Germany.
In addition, there are 12 samples predicted C type at 67 markers (< step 8 in the C54(67) column); most of these would probably be L540+ if tested. 6 of them indicate “Germany” and 6 are “Unknown” so more than half are probably German.
That is very good (although not 100% certain) evidence that the MRCA of L540 lived in what is now Germany.
It is also possible that most of his descendants migrated to Germany from somewhere else.
If not Germany, it seems very likely the origin is somewhere in central or eastern or northern Europe. Even this is not 100% certain, because there is some bias in on-line DNA data toward Europe. Many parts of the world are not represented well in the database. I suppose there is a slight chance that someday L540 samples will show up as common elsewhere - for example a group of villages somewhere in the mountains of Russia, or somewhere in the Balkans. or somewhere on the Eurasian Steppe. Discussing an origin on the basis of so few samples is a bit speculative. We’ll see how it comes out as more data accumulates.
How about those 25 SNPs (previous topic) that are phyloequivalent to L540 (22 in the Fix tree)? Those represent a smooth branch of the tree, with no branches (or none yet discovered). The smooth branch length in time seems to be about 1,900 years. The default explanation is statistical; most Y-DNA branches become extinct; our L540 MRCA is the lucky individual who won the ancestry lottery. If it seems to you counter intuitive that most branches die out, check my discussion on extinction.
It is possible there was a population bottleneck to accelerate the pruning of branches. There may have been a severe reduction of population in the region of the L540 origin, followed by a population expansion at the time of the ancestor - TMRCA - or soon after.
New topic 29 Dec 2015. Rewrite 12 Apr 2020.
I estimate there are 100,000 L540 males living in the world. This is my very rough educated guess. This estimate is almost surely not wrong by a factor of 10; in other words, my 99% confidence range is more than 10,000, less than 1 million. My 90% confidence range is a factor of 3; in other words the actual number is very likely between 33,000 and 300,000.
That’s a wide confidence range. I worked out that estimate in 2015, based on a statistical analysis of STR data. I expected to narrow the confidence range as more STR data accumulated.
A more precise estimate should be possible in a few years based on SNP data, but there is not enough SNP data publically available yet for L540, as of spring 2010.
My 2015 version of this topic had a detailed explanation of my estimate, but the STR basis data of my estimate was no longer available on-line in 2018, so I removed the detailed explanation.
Edit 27 Dec 2015.
Quite frankly, I was originally surprised by cluster C. Friedman did a good job finding this one. I admit I dismissed it when I first saw cluster C in 2007 because it was so small that statistical significance did not seem possible to me. I postponed analysis until Jan 2010, independently verifying cluster C as C type.
By “valid” I mean a cluster whereby most of the samples belong to a single clade, and whereby very few other samples in the database belong to that clade. In other words, a valid cluster should eventually have a corresponding SNP discovered. Throughout 2010 I confidently predicted such an SNP here in this topic, although I doubted it would be discovered soon. L540 turned up in my WTY (next topic) in 2011. C type is the STR equivalent of L540.
Edit 27 Dec 2015.
My WTY test read about 200,000 base pairs of the Y chromosome in Feb 2011. WTY is no longer available, having been replaced by Big Y.
I announced 8 new SNPs here on 29 Mar 2011. The count on 30 Mar was 13 new SNPs in my WTY. L614 was added in June. L618 was added in August. That was a lot more than I expected. I now realize that’s because FTDNA expanded the number of DNA bases included in WTY just before my test. Also, I seem to have been the first WTY from E-M78 in quite some time.
Rewrite 13 Mar 2020.
The Topic Dividing L540 has tips for which SNPs to order.
FTDNA: SNP tests cost $39 each if your sample is already there from previous testing. The V13 SNP Pack or the V68 SNP pack cost $119. From your FTDNA home page, top right, click on “ADD ONS & UPGRADES”. Look for either “Y-DNA SNPs” or “Y-DNA SNP Packs” and click on the “EXPLORE” box to the right. Then type the SNP or Pack into the “Find” box to search.
FTDNA has an “E-V68 SNP Pack, with more than 100 SNPs downstream of V68, to determine which SNPs are yours. L540 is a branch of V13, which is a branch of V68. This pack has SNPs for many of the branches of L540.
FTDNA update 13 Mar 2020: The following L540 SNPs are included in the V68 Pack and also individually: S3003, L540, Y7026, A783, Z29042, A6295. If you are sure you are V13, the V13 pack includes: S3003, Y7026, A783, Y12393, Z29042, A6295.
Yseq: SNPs are $18 each. They ship a cheek swab kit with your first order; the swab is good for several orders. At the Yseq home page, the “Quick Find” box is on the left, near the center. If you Quick Find L540, the result is a long list of SNPs that are in L540, as well as the E1b-V13 Panel.
Yseq update 13 Mar 2020: If you are sure you are V13, the Yseq E1b-V13 Panel includes: S3003, L540, Y7026, A783, Y12393, A779, A782, Z29042, Z39377, A6295. It costs $88.
Please let me know if you are L540 and order SNPs from Yseq, so I can keep track of results.
If you open this html document with Word, all the link targets (bookmarks) can be viewed alphabetically or by location.
Update Nov 2019. Update 30 Jan 2020
Big Y-700: https://www.familytreedna.com/products/y-dna#/compare. A commercial product at FTDNA for reading about 12 million base pairs of the DNA of the Y chromosome, which has about 60 million base pairs total. New SNPs are being discovered in the Big Y-700 data provided by customers. Big Y-700 replaces the original Big Y, which was used to discover most of the SNP branches in the L540 Tree. There was also another version, Big Y-500, for a while. The newer versions provide more SNPs.
Y-37 and Y-111: https://www.familytreedna.com/products/y-dna#/compare. These tests are less expensive than Big Y, using 37 or 111 STRs to predict your SNP branch.
E-M35, a project at FTDNA, is my main source of data. Previously called E3b. Link: https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/e-3b/about/background. The official name today would be E1b1b1. ISOGG changes the name when new defining SNPs are discovered, so the name may change again in the future. M35.1 is the name of the SNP that defines E1b1b1 within haplogroup E. I am not planning a separate L540 project, because it is more convenient to run this web page using the E-M35 project.
Haplozone is a web site for analysis of data from the E-M35 project. This site has not been fully updated since September 2013, but it is still useful. Link: http://www.haplozone.net/e3b/project. Data from E-M35, plus some data added from sources other than FTDNA, so this database is larger than the E-M35. Page with a listing of proposed clusters: http://www.haplozone.net/e3b/project/cluster/. Page with L540 / C cluster samples: http://www.haplozone.net/e3b/project/cluster/42. Discussion forum: http://community.haplozone.net/
Yseq: www.Yseq.net. A company that provides Y- SNP tests at competitive price and fast turnaround.
SNP Tracker is a web page added to the E-M35 project in late 2011, to keep track of all the new SNP branches in M35. http://tinyurl.com/e-m35-snps. Not up to date.
The V13 data: http://www.haplozone.net/e3b/project/cluster/10. V13 is the defining SNP for E1b1b1a1b1a, a major branch haplogroup in E, and “father” of L540. That page of data does not have the data for samples that have been assigned to clusters as subdivisions of V13, just the data that does not fit any downstream proposed STR cluster. The number code for other clusters can be typed over that “10” to quickly get to other cluster data.
Cluster C Data: http://www.haplozone.net/e3b/project/cluster/42.
ISOGG link: http://isogg.org/tree/ Y-DNA tree SNPs and corresponding alphanumeric codes for the haplogroups. ISOGG names change as new SNP divisions are discovered. ISOGG names are getting quite long due to the flood of new SNPs in the past few years. Click on the link for the E branch, and download it (as xlsx, for example) to search for L540 to see their version of the L540 tree. For V13, it’s easier to search for PF2211, which is an alternate name.
Steve Fix uses Big Y data to maintain an up to date Y tree for V13.
Andrew Lancaster was an administrator for the E-M35 (E3b) Project. Andrew had been particularly patient with me with long helpful email discussions. Villarreal and Friedman had also been very helpful.
2010 Jan 14 original draft version
2010 13 updates
2011 28 updates
2012 - 2013 13 updates
2014 15 updates
2015 Jan - Jun 15 updates
2015 Jul - Nov 24 updates
2016 12 updates
2017 16 updates
2018 Jan 10 another sample added to Tree
2018 10 updates
2019 2 updates
2020 Jan 28 New branch Y17710
2020 Jan 30 More details on Y17710
2020 Feb 6 Henriksen added to Tree
2020 Feb 13 update L540 discussion topic
2020 Mar 3 edit the T17710 topic
2020 Mar 13 rewrites: Dividing L540 & SNP Test Orders & L540 Tree Update
2020 Mar 20 minor edits to Tree
2020 Mar 21 minor edit to Tree
2020 Apr 12 rewrite Size of L540
2020 Jul 21 delete the topic about the 700 Year Old Skeleton
2020 Jul 21 delete discussions about Ysearch.org, no longer on-line