This page is about the haplogroups of members of the Taylor Family Genes Project, covering Y-chromosome and mt-genome haplogroups; there is no corresponding
system for autosomal DNA.
For many members, the nearest thing to a "match" that we have is their haplogroup
classification. When a STR match is found, it will be within the same
Therefore, we present the genealogically-relevant information for these
members by their haplogroups.
There are indications that haplogroups that haplogroups and SNPs will
soon be "where it's at". Testing technology and understanding of the results
is advancing rapidly. Here's a page
about ySNP testing.
As is shown by the above graphs, Taylor DNA has much variety. R1b
(R-M343) dominates in the yDNA haplogroups with almost 70% of Taylors;
nearly all of the R1b are also predicted or confirmed R1b1a2 (R-M269) . Within R1b1a2, the two
dominant subclades are R-P312 at ~46% of Taylors and R-U106 at ~23%.
Next most frequent is I1 (I-M253) at 10% of Taylors, then I2 (I-M223) at 5%.
A, E, G, J, N, O, Q and R1a are also seen in the project at lower frequencies.
The most frequent in mitochondrial (mt) haplogroups is H at 33%, followed by
U & T at about 12% each and then K at 10%. Data is insufficient to break
these down into subclade frequencies.
These distributions are roughly similar to those of Europe and specifically
the British Isles.
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.
R1b, not shown, is part of haplogroup R; R1b is the most frequent among Taylors.
The actual root of the tree is now considered to be A00, two before A.
A00 is thought to be 338,000 years old.
The progression to R is A00 > A0 > A > BT > CT > CF > F > IJK > K > MNOPS > P > R.
Mitochondrial (mt) haplogroups have a different tree and -- for complicated
reasons -- it is rooted at L. L3 is considered ancestral to all mt haplogroups outside Africa.
L trunk & main branches
L is thought to have originated 151,600 to 233,600 years ago in eastern Africa.
L3 also originated in east Africa burt\t more recently, 80,000 to 104,000 years ago.
Distribution by Country
http://www.scs.illinois.edu/~mcdonald/WorldHaplogroupsMaps.pdf, for a graphic depiction
of haplogroup distribution before 1500 AD -- i.e., before European
colonization of the New World. Scroll down for detail of Europe
and pre-Columbian Americas.
Haplogroups in the Project
The project contains nine of the major Y haplogroups at present. They include:
R1b (R-M343) is the most common haplogroup in the project (and the British Isles); about 70% of project
members are R1b, and, more specifically, R1b1a2a1a (R-M269). Next most common
is 11, about 10%.
H is the most frequent mt haplogroup in the project at 33%, followed by T & U
at ~12% each, then K at 10%.
A haplogroup is a broad category (family) of Y-DNA chromosomes (or mtDNA
genomes) characterized by certain mutations which, through scientific
research, have been identified and catalogued as relating to paternal
ancestries. (Systems for Y- paternal and mt maternal
groups are roughly analogous.)
A haplogroup includes many, many people; it does not
(with the present state of technology) typically define a specific paternal
or maternal lineage. A few "private" SNPs have been found which belong only to
Age of haplogroups
For ages of Y- & mtDNA haplogroups, see our
"Haplogroups Timeline" page.
Haplogroup naming patterns
Two systems are in common use for Y haplogroup names: phylogenetic naming and
shorthand naming. For mt haplogroups, phylogenetic naming
predominates, though some subclades are identified by SNPs. For yDNA,
shorthand naming is becoming the preferred system.
Phylogenetic haplogroup names follow a system of progressively finer classification.
Phylogenetic names indicate specific branches
(or "twigs") and their locations on the Y-chromosome (or mitochondrial
- The first letter, a capital, gives the broadest category in the human
- For Y, 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) defined 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 more
precisely-described and smaller group of people. Adding more letters
and/or numbers to the end of the name refines the description; it does not
change the previous part.
An advantage of phylogenetic naming is that the place on the Y-tree is
immediately apparent. A disadvantage is that defining SNPs are not immediately
Another disadvantage is that phylogenetic names are subject to change as
science provide new knowledge of human evolution. For example, what was once
"R1b1b" is now "R1b1a". These changes have been so frequent
that phylogenetic names tend to quickly become outdated.
There may also be disagreement between experts as to the correct place on the
tree and thus name. For example, the haplogroup that ISOGG calls "R1b1a2a1a2"
(R-P312) is known to FTDNA as "R1b1a2a1a1b".
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
ISOGG "R1b1a2a1a1" is
the same as
Sub-clades (sub-divisions) of the haplogroups are also designated by
the specific mutation
or SNP associated with that sub-clade, in order to shorten the name.
- For example, "R1b1b2a1a1" (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 a 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 familiar with the the SNPs and
branches associated with a particular haplogroup,
the phylogenetic name and location on the tree are not immediately apparent.
Nor are relationships between sub-clades.
Much of this is due to how SNPs are named -- by research group and order discovered.
The discoveries were somewhat random with respect to the phylogeny and ages.
Shorthand (SNP) names are increasingly gaining currency as the accepted way to refer to --
especially, the finer -- haplogroups.
A "subclade" is a branch or part of a larger haplogroup. This term is
losing favor; many now just say "haplogroup".
"Upstream" means a haplogroup which includes the one compared to it; "upstream" formed earlier in time.
a part of a haplogroup which formed later in time than the one compared.
Other Haplogroup Facts
A common misperception 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 classification to a more precise one. R1b1a1a2a1a1c1a2a (R-L1/S26) still falls within the
larger R1b1 (R-L278) haplogroup.
Similarly, mtDNA H6a1a3 falls within the H macro-haplogroup.
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 R1b1a2a1a.
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.
2016 Update: A recent flood tide of SNP discoveries has led to
other trees which, in some respects, may be more current. These include:
The most current version of the mtDNA phylogenetic tree can be found
What is a Subclade?
A subclade is a subdivision of a haplogroup. Subclades refine the haplogroup into finer
and finer classifications. To this point, only a few subclades (as defined by their SNPs) have
been found to be "private" -- that is, only in specific patrilines.
This, however, may be changing in the future as SNP testing advances.
Predicting Subclades from STR Markers
Major Y haplogroups can usually be predicted from STR marker values
with a high degree of reliability; finer classification may require SNP
testing. Sometimes -- though not as reliably
-- it may be possible to make an informed guess as to your subclade without SNP
In May 2014, FTDNA refined its haplogroup predictions, especially
for R1b, to include finer subclade classifications. Due to some
prediction reliability issues, it scaled back again a few months later.
Haplogroups describe one's place on the human phylogenetic tree. From
what ancient "tribe" do we descend? How many millennia ago did your
tribe and mine diverge?
Unfortunately, most haplogroup designations don'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. A 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
genealogical time frame.
With few exceptions, haplogroup and subclade differences are exclusionary information. They
rule out a common direct paternal ancestor, within
genealogic time. 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.
It may identify false positive matches.
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.
Another possible explanation is an absence of divergent evolution.
the haplotypes failed to mutate away from a common form. Frankly, we
can't pick between the two possibilities.
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 a SNP
parallel to L21, or
- positive for U106, or
- positive any
SNP downstream of U106.
To employ this method usually requires SNP testing to a fairly high level of
resolution. (See "Backbone" below.)
Private, family SNPs
Some SNPs have been found which are unique to a particular genetic family.
Where these exist, they are superior to STR markers for identifying members
of that family. They have not, however, been found for every -- or even
a large number of -- families.
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
SNP testing is the definitive way to determine your haplogroup classification.
Prediction from STR marker values is usually reliable but limited. Many haplotypes
do not fall into clear prediction patterns.
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 places and cultures. SNP testing is the
best way to pin it down.
Identify ancestral homeland
Carried down to a sufficiently deep level, SNPs
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:
For a fuller and more current review see
- NGS Geno 2.0 ($199) -- Tests for ~300,000 SNPS. Most are on
autosomes, not on the Y chromosome, but some are Y-SNPs; results are
transferrable to FTDNA . (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 ($575) -- Tests 10 million Y-SNPs, for most of which you'll be negative
due to diversity of the Y chromosome.
(ISOGG rating: High)
- FGC Elite ($750/$850) covers 97% of 55,000 known SNPs,
23 million base pairs. (ISOGG rating: Highest available)
- 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. You may transfer your results to the FTDNA
database. (ISOGG: Unrated)
- FTDNA Deep Clade (not available) -- The former Deep Clade program (which bundled several
SNPs into one cost-effective package) has been discontinued; results became
less useful in light of new scientific knowledge. But, FTDNA
plans to bring it back in a different form -- to better reflect the current
phylogenetic tree. Stay tuned for details. (ISOGG: Unrated)
Update, Summer 2015
FTDNA is now rolling out the Deep Clade replacement products described above and calling them
" SNP Packs". The content varies by haplogroup; the 100± SNPs tested
are fit to the the haplogroup. We are most familiar with the
R1b Backbone now available;
it contains 142 SNPs, 56 presently unclassified as to the phylogenetic tree,
at a cost of $99 (~70¢ per SNP).
For a better list, click here.
They seem to us very
good bargains for detailed haplogroup determination; we recommend them. (ISOGG rating: Unrated)
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