Those of you who have done an STR test at FTDNA will have received a very good offer to upgrade to Y111, even if you have already done BigY. This seems to run counter to my new strategy, but in fact I think it is just another step beyond it, designed to give greater granularity in the most recent period. SNPs only occur every 130 years on average, so it may be necessary to differentiate people who match closely on SNPs.
However the situation is confusing. Somebody has just asked the following on the U106 forum:
I have received an offer from FtDNA to upgrade my father’s kit to Y-111 and I was wondering if it is worth doing?
There were two strong responses:
STR data isn’t just about who Family Tree DNA matches you with. STRs form a parallel tree to SNPs. When combined with BigY and other sequencing tests, they can be used to identify relationships with people who are outside the matching criteria, but who may still be interesting to you.
Y-37 will typically match you to 97.5% of the people you’re related to in the last 270 years, and 2.5% of the people you’re related to in the last 1290 years (NB: that’s an average!). So there are a lot of people who you might match in the 500+ year period who may be historically relevant to your ancestry, but who do not show up as matches to you.
So I would jump on this one while you can.
“FTDNA will be generating STR data for a minimum of 300 or so STRs and possibly as many as 500 or so STRs for all people who buy the BigY. They will generate this data for everyone who has previously done the BigY. Exactly when this data will appear on our BigY results page at FTDNA is uncertain, but it will probably be sometime next year. The STR results will be given to everyone who has done the BigY, no matter when they ordered the test. FTDNA has hired Dr. Caleb Davis, who has a PhD in bioinformatics, to head up the research into which STRs can be reliably called and which cannot.”