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Project Status & Progress

This page is about the Taylor Family Genes project's current status and performance. We publish it to inform our members and to maintain accountability to them.

Early History

The project began in late 2003, with just a handful of members. It has grown rapidly since 2004. Initially, it focused exclusively on Y-STR tests, but has since broadened to include mtDNA,
Y-SNP, Family Finder and other types of genetic genealogy tests. 

Project Characteristics

This first section is a general description of the project and the surname.


 project growth & total size  

Membership is growing and topped the 1,000 milestone in December 2016. We now have more than 1,000 members, of whom:

(Percentages add to > 100% because many members have more than one kind of test.)

The size of the project is sufficient to usually permit identification of one's genetic Taylor family.

Types of Tests

test types graph

Several types of DNA tests are available to project members, to look at various aspects of genetic heritage. Some members have multiple tests.

Note: The ySNP category counts members with Y-haplogroups confirmed by SNPs. It does not count the number of tests purchased.

For a broader view of their genetic ancestry, many members have more than one type of DNA test: ySTR, ySNP, mtDNA and Family Finder (autosomal).  Currently the average number of test types is more than 1,6 per member.



US members' residence by region

TFG members are spread throughout the world, but most live in the United States.

Region Percent   Region Percent
Northeast  8% Southwest 14%
Mid-Atlantic   3% Mountain West   3%
Southeast 28% Far West 10%
Midwest 13% Northwest   7%
Great Plains   2% Non-USA*  10%
As of 1 Mar 2015

United Kingdom

UK members

The United Kingdom (primarily, England and Scotland) represents the wellspring for the Taylor surname, its source. Our UK members are especially important to us. Fortunately, their number has grown.

We believe it will take many more UK members to attain the same matching prospects as for New World members.

Other Countries

We are an international project. Members residing in other countries are

Country     #   %   Country   # %
Argentina  1 0%   Australia 10 2%
Canada 21 4%   Denmark   1 0%
England 21 4%   Germany  2 0%
Ireland  3 0%   Israel   1 0%
Netherlands  1 0%   New Zealand  21 4%
Spain ` 0%   Sweden  1 0%
As of 1 Mar 2015

All Taylors

For comparison, here are the main countries where all Taylors live -- irrespective of project membership. A majority (60%) reside in the US, but sizable fractions live in other countries.

Unsurprisingly, most Taylors live in English-speaking countries: United Kingdom. Canada, Ireland, Australia,  New Zealand and the USA. Less than 1% live in other countries.


As is consistent with a surname of multiple origins, several Y-chromosomal & mitochondrial haplogroups are represented in the project. The data depicted below is collapsed into major haplogroups.


As of Jan.  2017

H-grp # Pct.
A 1 0.1%
E 39 5.1%
G 19 2.5%
I1 86 11.2%
I2 & I* 41 5.3%
J 19 2.5%
N 1 0.1%
O 1 0.1%
Q 4 0.5%
R1a 20 2.6%
R1b  538  70.0%

Note that the R1b (R-M343) macro-haplogroup, at 70%, is the most prevalent. However, there are significant fractions of I1 (I-M253), E (E-M35), and I2 (I-M223) in the project. The distribution appears roughly consistent with that of the British Isles' population.

All, or nearly all, the R1b men are also R-M269 (R1b1a2a1a) and we estimate they are comprised of about 1/3 R-U106 and 2/3 R-P312. Further estimation is that most of the R-P312 would be R-L21 if tested.

mt Haplogroups

Mitochondrial haplogroups also show wide diversity. The most common macro-haplogroup is H (about 37%) followed by U (~13%) & T (~11%). Fourth is K (~8%). Together, these comprise about about two-thirds of project members and approximate the distributions found in Europe.

  H-grp   #   Pct.     H-grp   #   Pct.
A 3 0.9% B 5 1.5%
C 3 0.9% D 1 0.3%
H 127   37.0% HV 9 2.6%
I 11 3.2% J 33 9.6%
K 26 7.6% L 13 3.8%
N 3 0.9% T 38   11.1%
U 44 12.8% V 10 2.9%
W 9 2.6% X 8 2.3%
As of 1 Jan 2017  


For a common surname, like Taylor, it is important that members test at a higher degree of resolution than (perhaps) for rarer surnames. We recommend the FTDNA panels of at least 37 ySTR markers as a minimum.

Y-STR Resolution

More than four-fifths of Taylor Family Genes Y-STR participants have tested at least 37 markers & more than one-half have tested 67 markers. (Some transfer members have tested additional markers beyond the standard FTDNA panels.)

Markers Tested
  1-12 1-25 1-37 1-67 1-111
Num 89 26 260 257 100
Pct 12%  4% 36% 35% 14%
FTDNA Database

For comparison, here are the statistics, as of 1 Mar 2017, for resolution across the entire FTDNA database:

Resolution Num Pct
12 markers   603,175 100%
25 markers 287,582 47.6%
37 markers 266,407 44.2%
67 markers 137,734 22.8%
111 markers ?  


We are also recommending -- in specific instances -- that ySTR testing be combined with ySNP testing. Testing advances have made this type of test genealogically relevant.

mtDNA Resolution

Benefits of higher resolution also apply to mitochondrial DNA. Three levels of testing have been available: HVR1 (discontinued), HVR1+HVR2 and Full Genome Sequence (HVR1+HVR2+Coding region). We recommend the latter.

Level Pct.
HVR1 only 19%
HVR1+HVR2 30%
Full Genome 51%

DNA Variety

Taylor is a surname of great genetic variety, due to its many origins. One way of measuring this is by the sheer number of haplogroups found in project members. The chart to the right shows the numbers for Y- haplogroups confirmed by SNP testing, Y- haplogroups predicted from STR values (these two overlap) and mitochondrial haplogroups.

These numbers mostly mirror -- rather than changes in variety -- increased scientific understanding, refinements in haplogroup definitions and testing improvements. Haplogroups (especially within R1b) have become more finely defined and better detected. In other words, we believe the variety was there before but now we see it more clearly.

On 1 January 2017, the project had


When we find matching DNA patterns within the project (see our definition) we place them in matched groups ("genetic families"). Members with matches in the FTDNA database (inside or outside the project) will also receive notices from FTDNA as the match is found.

We currently have found 97 genetic families, ranging in size from 2 to 18 members each. In addition. Total members in these 97 groups are 414 (>50% of all members with Y-DNA results).

Match rate adjustments

Bear in mind that there are two groups included in the cited match rates who, perhaps, should be excluded:

  1. Those who tested only 12 markers. Only when haplotypes show rare values are we confident in 12-marker matches.
  2. Those with non-Taylor paternity. More people with no expectation of Taylor paternity are joining the project for autosomal DNA and bringing Y-DNA results with them. Their direct paternal ancestors were not Taylors and they don't expect Y-DNA matches in the project.

The pie chart on the right shows how those adjustments would affect the match rate. Less than 20% of members who qualify for matching are not matched.

Matches within the project vs. outside the Project

Many members have matches with other than project members. A recent survey of this situation produced approximate statistics.

The breakdown is this:

match rate by category Category #  Pct
 In-project matches 354   55%
Out of project only:  200   31%
No matches:  34     5%
Insufficient markers:*  88    14%
Total Y-tests 649 100%
  As of 1 Aug 2015

Or put another way, those who do not have any matches -- either within the project or outside it -- are few.

Group Sizes

Most groups (paternal genetic families) are small, especially when fist discovered. They start with two members and grow as additional matches are found.

This graph shows the number of groups by size:

Extra-project Matches

We can not group non-project members; one cirteria for a Taylor project group is that it include at least one member with the Taylor surname. So, when a project member matches non-project members, we can only inform and advise the member, Out-of-project matches may be due to one or more of these factors:

  1. NPE
  2. Common haplotype or convergence
  3. Late surname adoption
  4. Scottish or Irish clan

Lineages & Haplotypes

The more ancestral lineages identified relative to those that exist today, the more likely that members will match one or more in the project. Multi-origin and occupational surnames usually have more yDNA lineages than surnames whose origins are more restricted. We do not know how many Taylor lines exist, but the number is estimated to range between 250 and 2,500; the higher number seems more probable.

As of 1 Jan 2017, we estimate the project includes about 250 separate Taylor paternal lineages.. This number is the number of matched groups (whose members share one line) plus the unmatched members, adjusted for estimated NPE and non-Taylor paternity. .

Unique Haplotypes

 The number of unique haplotypes reflects the variety of yDNA within the project.  "Unique haplotype" means any difference between haplotypes, even in a single marker. (Unique haplotypes may "match"; matches allow for some differences between haplotypes.)

Unique Haplotypes
#  Haplo-types Ratio to No. Tests    
12 markers 361 232 0.64
25 markers 272 234 0.86
37 markers 245 229 0.93
67 markers 139 135 0.97
  As of 8 Mar 2015

At the 12-marker level of comparison, there are slightly less than 2 unique haplotypes for each 3 persons tested, 2/3 per person. As we increase the level of comparison to 67 markers, almost every person tested represents a separate unique haplotype. The more markers we look at, the more individual the haplotypes appear.

Note: We do not rely on exact matches (identical haplotypes) to determine patrilnes. Some haplotype differences are usual and allowable. See our page on the subject.


Haplogroups are broad categories of Y-DNA. Men of different haplogroups can not share a common direct paternal ancestor within several thousand years.

Y Haplogroups in
Taylor Family Genes>
Haplogroup Members Percent
R1b * 458 69.8%
I1 66 10.1%
I2 & I* 38 5.8%
E 32 4.9%
G 19 2.9%
R1a 18 2.7%
J 18 2.7%
Q 4 0.6%
A 1 0.2%
N 1 0.2%
O 1 0.2%
Unknown 2 0.3%
As of 1 Aug 2015
y haplogroups in project
  * 98% of R1b members are predicted or confirmed R1b1a2 (R-M269)

The predominance of the R1b haplogroup is consistent with a British Isles origin for most Taylor ancestral lines. Haplogroups E, G, I, J & R1a are also consistent with British Isles origin, but less so for A, Q, N & O.

On 1 April 2016, FTDNA reported 105 confirmed (86 predicted) Y haplogroups and subclades within the project. The number is growing with more precise SNP testing.


The actual number of Taylor patrilines (Y-genetic families) is unknown but we do offer a couple of estimates, both subject to considerable error:

Note that the latter is about ten times the former, consistent with a small subset of the British Isles population emigrating.

mtDNA Haplogroups

There is, likewise, a variety of mitochondrial haplogroups within the project.

< tr> < tr> < tr> < tr> < tr>
Major mtDNA Haplogroups
Hapgrp # %     Hapgrp # %
H 108   37.1% T 31   10.6%
U 34 11.7% J 29 10.0%
K 24 8.2% L 13 4.5%
I 10 3.4% HV 8 2.8%
W 8 2.8% X 6 2.1%
V 5 2.1% A 3 1.0%
C 3 1.0% N 3 1.0%
B 2 0.7% D 1 0.3%
Total       236 100%  

More than two-third (69%) of members are in haplogroups H, U, T & J -- also indicative of European origin.

Performance Measurements

Taylor Family Genes administration has adopted five project performance indicators to assess how well it's doing in achieving objectives and relative to other comparable projects. The indicators and comparisons help the admin team focus on those aspects which need more attention.

We collect data "snapshots" monthly and analyze in terms of trends and comparisons. we present the latest data below. 

The indicators include:

  1. Size and Penetration

    The two measures of size and penetration are related
    1. Size:

      TFG total members
      Note that the total membership line is
      diverging from the Y-STR line.

      This is simply the raw total of members who have any, or a particular, type of DNA test. Other things being equal, bigger is better for project members because the chances of matching are increased.

      Size has grown consistently. It is approaching 850 total members and 680 with Y-STR. We have begun to see signs of the project attaining "critical mass", with new members matching old members who previously didn't have in-project matches.

      We expect the (total & Y-STR) size to continue growing.

      Size Standard
      No specific standard has been set for total membership. However, more than 400 total members and 300 with ySTR appears adequate for this surname.

      • Comparables: We try to compare our performance with that of other projects.
        membership compared to other projects
        Growth trends
          We've a achieved a growth rate exceeding that of the comparable projects.


    2. Penetration:

      project penetration vis-a-vis male population
      "World" means all Taylors world-wide.

      Measures how thoroughly the project samples the surname's population -- for the project and comparable projects. Ideally, the project would compare to the total number of Taylor lineages; however, that's an unknown number, so we compare to the US, UK & world populations of males with the surname and report the rate per 100,000.

      Note: Some projects measure penetration in terms of Y-STR tests vs. all with the surname (both genders). As females can not have a Y-DNA test, we think our method more realistic. To compare to other projects, take approximately half our cited rates.

      Not included are members in the Republic of Ireland.

      We have reached more than 100 per 100,000 (1/10 of one percent) of the ~470,000 Taylor males in the United States, comparing favorably with other common-surname projects. But, we have few members in the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and low penetration rates, although the numbers are growing.

      Penetration Standard
      Experience suggests a penetration of 80 per 105 Taylor males is adequate to attain an acceptable match rate. This has been attained in the US and world-wide, but not in other countries, especially England.

  2. Member participation:

    Genetic genealogy is a participative and cooperative endeavor, rather than an individual undertaking. A DNA project's quality is indicated by the extent to which its members share information and cooperate with each other. We measure project participation in three ways
    1. Percent naming and including dates & places for their earliest (most distant) known ancestors on their personal My FTDNA pages;
    2. Percent submitting family lineage trees for publication on the project website; and
    3. Percent uploading a GEDCOM file to to their My FTDNA pages.

    participation rates


    The percent of members providing information on their earliest (most distant) known ancestors remains high (77%) but dropped suddenly from September to October 2014 and fewer new members are supplying this information.

    The project continues to believe this informaiton is an important first step in genetic genealogy and encourages all members to enter it.
    EKA Standard
    As this is almost the minimum degree of participation, a standard should be no less than 90% of project members entering EKA information. It has not been attained.


    The number of uploaded GEDCOM files dropped significantly in January 2013 when FTDNA deleted those which previously uploaded but has now recovered almost to prior levels. Members now need to upload a combined GEDCOM. Creating and uploading a GEDCOM file seems to be a challenge for many members; our help page on this is here.

    A disturbing trend is that new members are less likely to submit GEDCOMs than previously.

    GEDCOM Standard
    Technical difficulties make it hard for members to make and submit GEDCOM files. A tentative standard is 25% of members; it has not been attained.


    This looks at members' lineage trees submitted for publication on the project website. 37% of all members have submitted a tree; 61% of those in Taylor genetic families have submitted a tree.


    New members have also been less likely to submit trees.

    70% of members submitting trees. It has not been attained.

    Participation Summary

    Participation metrics are worsening. This trend potentially threatens the quality of the project and its benefits to its members.

  3. Resolution:

    percent >12 marks & avg. # mkrs.

    Percent of members tested at 37+ markers is another measure of project quality. (We regard 37 as a minimum.) Our project's resolution statistics outdo most projects and continue to improve.
    Resolution Standard
    ySTR: 80% of members testing to 37 or more markers and 50% of members testing to 67 or more. It has been attained. More than 80% of members with Y-tests have tested at least 37 markers; ~50% have tested 67 and 15% have tested more than 67. The average number of markers tested is >65.

    Resolution Summary:

    Excellent and improving.


  4. Matches, Genetic families & Lineages:

    Whether matches or match rate should be considered a measure of project performance is an open question. Clearly, members can not change either their DNA or ancestry; and ability to test other family members is limited. Project administration performance consists of interpreting what the DNA says, doing so quickly and accurately.

    1. Match rate

      The graph on the right shows that (to some extent) the number of in-project matches is related to the the project's size, the number available to match. An exception is July-December 2012, when an extensive review by means of the FTDNA TiP tool found previously hidden matches.

      Note: The present 54% match rate is lowered by ~12% not having or claiming Taylor paternity plus 14% who've tested only 12 markers which is inadequate to determine matches. Adjusting for these factors raises the effective match rate to ~70%.

    2. Match rate by surname

      A member's surname affects his chances of matching; 83% of Taylors have at least one match in the project and are assigned to a paternal genetic lineage. However, only 36% of those with other surnames match within the project. 
    3. Grouped members, Genetic Families

      # matches & groups

      We also measure:

      1. Percent of members with one or more matches within the project. These are placed in matched groups (genetic families), reflecting same (or similar) haplotypes.
      2. Number of separate patrilines identified.
        The number of patrilnes found has been roughly proportional to the number of in-project matches.  

    4. Survey & Discovery


      One of the project's goals is to study Taylor DNA in order to discover information for reference use. Among other things, we try to estimate the number of extant Taylor patrilines.
      Match rate has leveled off at about 55% since January 2013.
      And, the number of hypothesized Taylor paternal lineages now appears to be about 250. For description of how we estimate the number of patrilines, see this page.
      Matching Performance Standard
      More than 50% of qualifying members matching at least one other project member. "Qualifying" means
      1. Tested at least 37 ySTR markers and
      2. Have a plausible belief of direct Taylor paternity.
      It has been attained.

      Matches Summary

      Metrics suggest the project is performing relatively well at finding matches for members and grouping them into Taylor genetic families.  

  5. Comparable Projects

    Projects used in comparison are for multi-origin English surnames of large projct size (>200), including: Brown, Cooper, Long, Johnson, Thompson, Miller, Davis, Phillips,. Thomas, Moore, Martin,& White. We do not publicize their individual statistics, but compare to a composite index.

    It is difficult to obtain the comaparable data. Many projects do not provide access to their statistics.

    Performance Data:

    # Indicator Taylor
    Index re:
    1. Size 1008 893 113%
    1a. Y-STR 773 815 81%
    2. Penetration per 100,000
    US males
    108.1 70.1 154%
    2a Penetration per 100,000 world males 102.1 N/A N/A
    3a. Named EKA 85% N/A N/A
    3b. Submitted lineage tree 38% N/A N/A
    3c Submitted GEDCOM 16% N/A N/A
    4. Resolution (>12 mkrs) 88% 73% 120%
    5a. Match rate 53% N/A N/A
    5b. Patrilines 284 N/A N/A
      Data collected 1/2/2017 1/3/2017 N/A

    We are still collecting additional data from the comparable projects.

Non-measured Performance

There are aspects of project performance for which we have not developed metrics.


Each day brings several e-mail messages from prospective or existing members. We respond to all promptly, courteously and (hopefully) informatively to their individual problems or situations. If we do not have an immediate answer, we research it. If we are not the correct resource, we refer them to the right one.

We also maintain and continuously improve this publicly-available website. Keeping it accurate and current in this rapidly-changing field is an accomplishment.


Members look to their project admin team for advice. With the experience of hundreds of individual situations and continual learning, we are usually able to provide it.

Among our activities is sending reports of preliminary findings as new Y-DNA results are posted. (We track results in process by target dates.) Our reports interpret (often arcane) data into plain language -- in military lingo, "actionable intel".

Matching Process

Clear indicators of project administration performance are timeliness and thoroughness in reviewing members' results to see who they match and what that means. Taylor Family Genes

  1. Reviews all members' results within a few days of their posting to the FTDNA database.
  2. Sends reports to members with the findings of those reviews with the following information
    1. Haplogroup prediction or confirmation and genealogical meaning of haplogroup
    2. Number of matches reported by FTDNA, both across the entire FTDNA database and within the project.
    3. Interpretations of match significance fro matches within project.
    4. Genetic family assignment if applicable.
  3. Review (when time permits) "match notices" from FTDNA for genealogic significance and forward, with interpretation, those deemed significant.
  4. Periodically review previous findings with advanced tools and notify members of changes.

Statistics, however, are not available for these activities, which for several recent months were adversely affected by technical problems with FTDNA servers.

Other Accomplishments

We gather, analyze & publish the data on this page and update it periodically. That's unusual among DNA projects but we see it as a means of maintaining accountability to our members.

We've researched, collected, analyzed and published information to help members understand individual situations in general  context. See our "Special Features" section. It covers a wide gamut of genetic genealogy topics.

We've sponsored tests for Taylors in Ireland and the United Kingdom to promote membership there. Donations to the general find's will help to continue the Overseas Program; go to https://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Taylor.

We investigated (Spring 2015) Y-haplotype commonness vs. rarity. We found this aspect of DNA can be measured and that the measurements cover a spectrum. The findings have implications for interpreting matches and grouping into genetic families. We have written an article for publication in an appropriate journal.

We are currently working with colleagues (admins of other projects) to improve the Fluxus network diagrams we use to depict relationships within genetic family groups.

Summary & Trends

Project size and penetration are good in the USA and most of the world. However, we lag in the United Kingdom and Ireland. We continue to work with colleagues abroad to expand British Isles membership.

Resolution, for both ySTR and mtDNA, is good and improving.

Project members' participation is cause for concern; metrics seem to be declining and participation is not at a sufficient level for genetic genealogy.

Our match rate -- >80% of those with the project surname --  seems excellent. Comparable data for other projects is hard to obtain so this is largely a guess.

We continue to grow and develop Taylor Family Genes into the best possible DNA surname project.

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Revised: 2 Aug 2016