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.
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.
This first section is a general description of the project and the
Membership is growing and topped the 1,000 milestone in December 2016. We
now have more than 1,000 members, of whom:
- 77% (>780) have ySTR tests (for identifying common male
ancestors and Taylor paternal lineages);
- 32% have mtDNA tests (for tracking maternal lines);
- 22% have ySNP tests, including about 4% with the Big Y test
- 32% have Family Finder tests or autosomal DNA transfers (for identifying cousins); and
- 17% have other kinds of tests, not easily classified.
(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
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
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.
|As of 1 Mar 2015|
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
We believe it will take many more UK members to attain the same matching
prospects as for New World members.
We are an international project. Members residing in other countries are
|As of 1 Mar 2015
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
|I2 & I*
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.
- R-L21 is generally considered "Celtic", reflecting the majority
population of Britain before Roman occupation.
- R-U106 is generally considered "Germanic", reflecting Anglo-Saxon
migration to the Isles.
Mitochondrial haplogroups also show wide diversity. The most common
H (about 37%) followed by
U (~13%) &
K (~8%). Together, these comprise about about two-thirds of project
members and approximate the distributions found in Europe.
|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.
More than four-fifths of Taylor Family Genes Y-STR participants have tested at least
& more than one-half have tested 67 markers. (Some transfer members have tested
additional markers beyond the standard FTDNA panels.)
For comparison, here are the statistics, as of 1 Mar 2017, for resolution across the entire FTDNA database:
We are also recommending -- in specific instances -- that ySTR testing be
combined with ySNP testing. Testing advances have made this type of test
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.
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
On 1 January 2017, the project had
- Y- Haplogroups
- Confirmed -- 117, ~1 per 6.6 members with Y-DNA results;
- Predicted -- 97, ~1 per 8 members with Y-DNA results.
- mt Haplogroups -- 197, ~1 per 2 members with mtDNA results.
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
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:
- Those who tested only 12 markers. Only when haplotypes show rare values
are we confident in 12-marker matches.
- 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
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
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.
64% of members had at least one match within the project; 55% had
in-project matches deemed genealogically significant; with an average of 3.3 intra-project matches
per matching member.
Only 10% of members had matches exclusively within the project.
85% of members had at least one match outside the project; averaging 125
outside matches each. Only 31% of members
had no matches within the project, but only with non-members.
9% of members had no significant matches, either within or outside the
"Match" means a match reported as "close" by FTDNA to 37 markers or the member's testing level,
whichever is less. (This is a lower standard than the project uses for assignment
to a genetic family.)
The breakdown is this:
| In-project matches
|Out of project only:
| As of 1 Aug 2015
- The in-project matches meet our criteria for assigning members to genetic
- The out-of-project matches do not necessarily fit these criteria as closely;
they follow FTDNA criteria.
- Those with
"no matches" may have low-resolution matches which do not hold up at higher
- "Insufficient markers" includes those for whom it is impossible
to classify as matching or not. (Usually, 37 or more markers are required to
establish a genealogically-significant match.)
Or put another way, those who do not have any matches -- either
within the project or outside it -- are few.
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:
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:
- Common haplotype or
- Late surname adoption
- Scottish or Irish clan
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. .
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.)
||Ratio to No. Tests
| 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
Some haplotype differences are usual and allowable.
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
|Y Haplogroups in |
Taylor Family Genes>
|I2 & I*
|As of 1 Aug 2015
| * 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
The actual number of Taylor patrilines (Y-genetic families) is unknown but we do
couple of estimates, both subject to considerable error:
- We estimate the number of patrilines in the New World (the Americas,
Australia & New Zealand) to be about 250.
- We estimate the number of patrilines in the British Isles (the UK plus
Ireland) to be about 2,500.
Note that the latter is about ten times the former, consistent with a small subset of the
British Isles population emigrating.
There is, likewise, a variety of mitochondrial haplogroups within the
|Major mtDNA Haplogroups
More than two-third (69%) of members are in haplogroups H, U, T & J -- also indicative of
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.
Size and Penetration
The two measures of size and penetration are related
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
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
We expect the (total & Y-STR) size to continue growing.
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.
We've a achieved a growth rate exceeding that of the comparable
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
"World" means all Taylors world-wide.
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.
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,
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
- Percent naming and including dates & places for their earliest (most distant) known ancestors
on their personal My FTDNA pages;
- Percent submitting family lineage trees for publication on the project website; and
- Percent uploading a GEDCOM file to to their My FTDNA pages.
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.
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.
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 metrics are worsening. This trend potentially threatens the
quality of the project and its benefits to its members.
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
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.
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
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%.
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.
Grouped members, Genetic Families
We also measure:
- Percent of members with one or more matches within the project. These
are placed in matched groups (genetic families), reflecting same (or similar) haplotypes.
- Number of separate patrilines identified.
The number of patrilnes
found has been roughly proportional to the number of in-project matches.
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
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.
It has been attained.
- Tested at least 37 ySTR markers and
- Have a plausible belief of direct Taylor paternity.
Metrics suggest the project is performing relatively well at finding
matches for members and grouping them into Taylor genetic families.
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.
||Penetration per 100,000
||Penetration per 100,000 world males
||Submitted lineage tree
||Resolution (>12 mkrs)
We are still collecting additional data from the comparable projects.
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
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".
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
- Reviews all members' results within a few days of their posting to the FTDNA database.
- Sends reports to members with the findings of those reviews with the
- Haplogroup prediction or confirmation and genealogical meaning of
- Number of matches reported by FTDNA, both across the entire FTDNA database and within the project.
- Interpretations of match significance fro matches within project.
- Genetic family assignment if applicable.
- Review (when time permits) "match notices" from FTDNA for genealogic significance and
forward, with interpretation, those deemed significant.
- Periodically review previous findings with advanced tools and notify
members of changes.
Statistics, however, are not available for these activities, which for
recent months were adversely affected by technical problems with FTDNA servers.
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
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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