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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 haplogroup. Therefore, we present the genealogically-relevant information for these members by their haplogroups.

2015 Update

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.

Taylor Haplogroups

Taylor haplogroup distribution
  Taylor mt haplogroup distribution

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.

Haplogroup Tree

Tree of Haplogroups
Y- Tree

Y Haplogroups

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.

mt Haplogroups

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.

mt haplogroup tree 1
L trunk & main branches
mt haplogroup L3 tree
L3 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

See 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

Y Haplogroups

The project contains nine of the major Y haplogroups at present. They include:

General Genetic Families

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%.

Mitochondrial Haplogroups

H is the most frequent mt haplogroup in the project at 33%, followed by T & U at ~12% each, then K at 10%.

What is a haplogroup?

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  particular lineages.

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 naming

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 genome) tree:

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 apparent.

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 "R-U106".

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 more on SNPs, see this page.

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.

Subclades, etc.


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. "Downstream" means 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; the 2014 version is here. The most authoritative version is maintained by the Y-Chromosome Consortium (YCC); the most current YCC version is for 2010 and can 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 here.

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 testing.

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.

Genealogical Meaning of Haplogroups

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 Eupedia.

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.

Prioritizing matches

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:

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.

Y-SNP Testing

Taylor Family Genes recommends SNP testing under certain conditions:

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 http://isogg.org/wiki/Y-DNA_SNP_testing_chart.

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Revised: 28 Jun 2016