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Groups, Genetic Families

This page is an index to information about groups of close-matching Y-DNA results in the Taylor Family Genes Project. These groups are also known as "clusters" or "genetic families".

 As new results are received, our dedicated volunteers investigate to see if these results match others in our project database. When we find matches, we place them in groups numbered in the order found.

We have, so far, identified  more than 90 separate matching Y-DNA groups with from 2 to 19 members each and three super-groups for certain common haplotypes. We have a page for each group which eases correlating YDNA values with documented tree information.

Genetic Families by Group Number

Click links (group number) to visit genetic family page.

Links to Genetic Families

I1-001 R1b-002 R1b-003 R1b-004 R1b-005 R1b-006 R1b-007 R1b-008
R1b-009 J2-010 R1b-011 R1b-012 R1b-013   I2-014 R1b-015 R1b-016
I1-017 R1b-018 R1b-019 R1b-020 E1b-021 R1b-022 I1-023 R1b-024
R1b-025 R1b-026 R1b-027 R1b-028 I1-029 R1b-030 R1b-031 R1a-032
R1b-033 R1b-034 R1b-035 R1b-036  R1b-037  R1b-038 R1b-039 I1-040
I1-041 G2-042 R1b-043 G-044 R1b-045 R1b-046 R1b-047 R1b-048
R1b-049 I2b-050 R1b-051 R1b-052 R1b-053 R1b-054 G-055 R1b-056
I2-057 R1b-058 I1-059 R1a-060 R1b-061 J1-062 R1b-063 R1b-064
I1-065 R1b-066 R1b-067 R1b-068 R1b-069 R1b-070 R1b-071 R1b-072
R1b-073 R1b-074 R1b-075 (x 15a) I2-076 R1b-077 I2-078 R1a-079
R1b-080 R1b-081 R1b-082 I*-083 I2-084 R1b-085 R1b-086 R1b-087
R1b-087 R1b-088 I1-089 I1-090 R1b-091 R1b-092 R1b-093 R1b-094
R1b-095 E1b-096 R1b-097 R1b-098 R1b-099      



Genetic Families by Haplogroups

While matching a haplogroup is not sufficient to identify a common male ancestor, a difference in haplogroups is sufficient to exclude a common male ancestor; it can not rule in but it can rule out. So, it's a convenient way to exclude results which may be less relevant to you. (See Haplogroups page.)

Remember that letters and numbers added on to the haplogroup designation merely refine it and identify it with more specificity; they do not remove it from the larger, more general category. To use an analogy, Idaho is a more specific term than "United States", but Idaho is within the US. "R1b1a2a1b5" is simply a more precise designation than R1b of which it is a part.

Click links to visit group.

Unmatched, by Haplogroup

Haplogroups E, G, I, J, R1a

Click links to visit group.

E G I J R1a

Haplogroup R1b

R1b has the most participants in the Project (>250) and the largest number unmatched (>100). We are still working on a good way of making the information easily accessible. We may divide them up by kit number, or by specific haplogroup within R1b. In the meantime, a page listing some unmatched R1b members and information about the haplogroup is here.

Contents of Group Pages

Contents of Group pages include:

  1. Member Chart: All the kit owners/donors in the genetic family, their Most Distant (earliest) Known Ancestor, and a link to each tree.
  2. Facts about the Group: This section contains information about the paternal lineage of the group. When feasible it is by group members who describe some historical facts about their ancestors. To submit for this section, e-mail the webmaster and include the group number.
  3. Y-DNA Results: A chart of all markers is displayed showing the mode (most frequent value) for that group and the number who've had that marker tested. this is a group summary; we do not publish individual members' Y-DNA results.
  4. TiP Scores: A summary of the "relatedness index" of the genetic family. The index number is the probability of a common ancestor within the past 24 generations as measuured at 37 markers with no paper-trail adjustment.
  5. Fluxus Network Diagram: If a genetic family has three or more members, a diagram shows pictorially how the members are genetically related by mutations from the modal haplotype. The diagram can be helpful in determining branches of the family.
  6. SNP Testing: This newly-added section reviews the status and meanings of SNP tests by members of the group. 

What is a genetic family?

A genetic family (sometimes called a "cluster" or "matched group" ) is composed of two or more project members who we've found to have Y-DNA matching to degrees indicating they have a high probability of sharing a common paternal ancestor within genealogic time. These indicate a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame.  If your results match other members', we will place you in the appropriate group and remove your information from the "ungrouped" category. 

Group standard

Effective February 2010, our standard for forming or adding to groups is that Y-DNA indicates a high probability for sharing a common male ancestor within genealogic time. In other words, if we have declared a match and placed you in a group, it should usually be possible through research to identify the group's shared common male ancestor (CMA).

In terms of Y-DNA matches, this usually translates to: 

Paper Trails

Your reported genealogy will not, by itself, place you in a genetic family. A well-documented paper trail may sway an ambiguous situation toward inclusion, but the major consideration will be the genetic findings.

What is Genetic Distance?

FTDNA reports matches in terms of "genetic distance" (abbreviated GD). This is, roughly, the sum of the absolute differences in allele values on all markers compared. With absolute values a +2 and a -1 add to 3, not +1. For most markers FTDNA uses this "stepwise model" for calculating genetic distances. But for a few, highly volatile markers, FTDNA uses the "infinite alleles model" and calculates any allele difference as +1.

We express such matches as genetic distance, followed by a colon, followed by the number of markers compared. For example, a genetic distance of 2 across 37 markers is expressed as "2:37".


The TiP calculation engine, available on the FTDNA website, is -- according to some -- the most sophisticated and precise TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) calculator currently available. Its claimed advantages include:

These claims are difficult to evaluate. The TiP engine relies on proprietary FTDNA information, which is undisclosed. The author has observed that -- for matches of quality  high enough to meet FTDNA reporting thresholds -- TiP tends to yield probabilities higher than other TMRCA calculators. This difference isn't apparently explainable by the methodological differences.

There have been some reports that the TiP algorithm estimates relationships somewhat closer than is shown by paper trails. The user is advised to place more reliance on documented relationships than probabilistic estimates.

However -- in the absence of good paper trials, we use a TiP standard of at least 80% probability of sharing a common ancestor within 24 generations.

Group Size

The minimum size for a group is two members. The largest size for an identified group is (so far) 17 members; average group size is about 3.5 members.

Out-of-Project Matches

Many project members have matches (sometimes of high quality) with non-members, but no qualifying matches with other project members. Often, too, a non-member will have an otherwise qualifying match with an existing matched group. We can not form matched groups between project members and non-members, nor include non-members in the groups. Project administration is not permitted access to non-members' DNA information.

Non-members with qualifying matches are invited to join the project, at which point their matches will be evaluated for inclusion in matched groups.

Implications of Extra-project matches

In general, there are at least two explanations for Y-DNA matches outside the project and outside the surname:

  1. NPE -- The Y-chromosome was at one time carried by a man with a different surname than the present participant; this is often signaled by the predominance of a particular surname on the match lists
  2. Convergence -- Some very common haplotypes show a tendency to converge toward similar marker/allele patterns, though from very different origins. This is often signaled by a wide variety of surnames on the match lists, with no particular name dominating.

Errors and Exceptions

The process of determining -- on the basis of ySTR patterns -- that two or more men share a common paternal ancestor within genealogic time is imnot perfect. There are some exceptions to the principles employed and human errors can be made in applying the principles.

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Revised: 24 Sep 2016