This page is about the haplogroups of members of the Taylor Family Genes Project.
For many members, the nearest thing to a "match" that we have is their haplogroup
classification. When a STR match is found, it will certainly be within the same
Therefore, we present the genealogically-relevant information for these
members by the haplogroup
Y Haplogroup Tree
This schematic diagram shows the currently-accepted relationship of
macro-haplogroups to each other. A is the foundation human Y chromosome
haplogroup; all others spring from it.
Some of the haplogroups displayed have disappeared and are not found in the present
human population. Their past existence has been deduced by genetic research.
Distribution by Country
Haplogroups in the Project
The project contains several haplogroups, nine of the major haplogroups at present. They include
R1b is the most common haplogroup in the project (and the British Isles); about 70% of project
members are R1b, and, more specifically, R1b1a2 (R-M269). Next most common
is !1, about 10%.
A haplogroup is a broad category of Y-DNA chromosomes, characterized by
certain mutations which have been identified and catalogued through
scientific research. A haplogroup includes many, many people; it does not
(with the present state of technology) typically define a specific paternal
lineage. A few "private" SNPs have been found which belong only to
Haplogroup naming patterns
Two systems are in common use for haplogroup names: phylogenetic naming and
Haplogroup names follow a system of progressively finer classification.
known as "phylogenetic names" because they indicate specific branches
and their locations on the
- The first letter, a capital, gives the broadest category in the human
- There are 20 of these haplogroups presently identified, represented by
the letters A
- That's typically followed by a number, which refines the classification;
- Only four of the 20 major haplogroups (N, P, Q, & S) have less than two sub-categories
(sub-clades) and none has more than six.
- Examples: R1, J2
- A lower-case letter adds more refinement to the classification;
- Another number refines the designation still further.
- More alternating letters and numbers continue adding precision to the
classification, making the haplogroup smaller and smaller.
As the haplogroup name gets longer, it refers to a smaller and more precisely-described
group of people.
An advantage of phylogenetic naming is that the place on the Y-tree is
immediately apparent. A disadvantage is that the defining SNP is not immediately
Shorthand naming (by SNP):
In the shorthand system, haplogroup names are composed of the letter for the major group, a dash
and the name of the defining
SNP, pronounced "snip" -- for example, "R1b1a2" is also "R-M269"and "R1b1a2a1a" is also "R-U106".
Sub-clades (sub-divisions) of the haplogroups may also be designated by
the specific mutation associated with that
sub-clade, in order to shorten the name. These mutations are known as
SNPs for single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
- For example, "R1b1b2a1a" (a sub-clade of R1b) is shortened to
"R-U106" because it is characterized by the presence of the U106 mutation.
(The SNPs S21 & M405 are also present, but "upstream" of U106.). This
is the "shorthand name". for the sub-clade.
For more on SNPs, see this
Advantages of this system are
(1) that the name for a subclade on far downstream branch is much shorter and
(2) that the presence of the subclade-defining
SNP is immediately apparent.
A disadvantage is that, unless one is thoroughly familiar with the the SNPs associated with a particular haplogroup,
the phylogenetic name and the location on the tree are not immediately apparent.
Other Haplogroup Facts
A common misconception is that adding designators to the end of the
phylogenetic haplogroup name changes the first part of the designation. It does not; it simply
refines the definition to a more precise one. R1b1b2a1b5 still falls within the
Haplogroup designations can and do change because of advances in the science.
Greater understanding leads to correcting old mistakes. For example, the R1b haplogroup
recently underwent a major re-organization of its sub-clades, due to new discoveries
of mutations. What was once R1b1b1 is now R1b1a2.
The most up-to-date version of the Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree is
maintained by ISOGG
and revised annually;
version is here. The most authoritative version is maintained by the
Y-Chromosome Consortium (YCC); the most current YCC version is for 2010 and
be found here.
What is a Subclade?
A subclade is a subdivision of a haplogroup. Subclades refine the haplogroup into finer
and finer classifications. Only a few subclades (as defined by their SNPs) have
been found to be "private" -- that is, to relate to specific paternal lineages.
Predicting Subclades from STR Markers
Major haplogroups can usually be predicted from STR marker values
with a high degree of reliability; finer classification usually requires SNP
testing. Sometimes -- though not as reliably
-- it may be possible to make an informed guess as to your subclade without SNP
Genealogical Meaning of Haplogroups
Unfortunately, a haplogroup designation doesn't say much about our more
recent ancestors -- those of less than 1,000 years ago. Nor, for that
matter, do most subclade determinations They are more telling
about our deep ancestry and ancient origins. An excellent map showing
haplogroup locations in ancient times is at
However, a difference in haplogroups does mean that two men can not have
shared a direct paternal ancestor within the period for which it's usually
possible to identify ancestors by names, dates and places.
Haplogroup and subclade differences are exclusionary information. They
rule out a common direct paternal ancestor.
A similarity of haplogroups
does not rule in a common ancestor, nor do all but a very few subclades.
This "rule-out" property can be used to distinguish between STR matches
and prioritize some over others.
Some men (typically, R-M269) have very common haplotypes and therefore many matches -- too many
to be practical for follow-up. This isn't necessarily because they all share
a common recent ancestor; it may be due to a phenomenon known as "convergent
evolution"; the haplotypes have independently mutated from different origins
into a common form.
Say, for example, a man with 90 close matches at 67 markers tests SNPs to
find that he falls within the L21 subclade of P312. He can then eliminate from
consideration anyone who has tested negative for L21 or positive for U106 or any
SNP downstream of U106.
Taylor Family Genes recommends SNP testing under certain conditions:
Too many matches, "false positives"
About 5% of Taylor men have such common STR haplotypes that they have many
"close matches" even at 67 markers. Some of these are coincidental matches,
perhaps as a result of convergent evolution.
SNP subclade tests may help to eliminate some of the false positives
Learn about deep ancestry
Sharing even a young SNP with another doesn't mean you are necessarily
related within genealogic time. But it does mean your prehistoric
ancestors probably shared similar cultural heritages. SNP testing is the
best way to pin it down.
How to Test Y-SNPs
SNP testing is presently undergoing a resurgence and dramatic change.
For the most current information,
visit the ISOGG page on this subject.
A quick review of the several avenues available:
- NGS Geno 2.0 ($199) -- Tests for ~300,000 SNPS. Most are on
autosomes, not on the Y chromosome, but some are Y-SNPs. You may
transfer your results to the FTDNA database. (ISOGG rating: Medium).
- FTDNA Individual SNPs ($49 per SNP) -- You may order individual SNP tests
from FTDNA, allowing you to customize your testing. (ISOGG rating: Unrated).
- FTDNA The Big Y ($695) -- Tests 10 million Y-SNPs, for most of which you'll be negative
due to diversity of the Y chromosome.
(ISOGG rating: High?)
- 23andMe ($99) -- Primary focus is on autosomal SNPs but some
Y-SNPs are included. You may transfer your results to the FTDNA database. (ISOGG rating: Basic)
- Ancestry DNA ($99) -- Primary focus is on autosomal SNPs
but some Y-SNPs are included. (ISOGG: Unrated)
- FTDNA Deep Clade (Price not available) -- The former Deep Clade program (which bundled several
SNPs into one cost-effective package) has been discontinued. But, FTDNA
plans to bring it back in a different form -- to better reflect the current
phylogenetic tree. Stay tuned for details. (ISOGG: Unrated)
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