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Kinney, McKinney & Variations
Lenhart & Variations
DNA Project notes

Ancient Ancestry - Deep Ancestry - Anthrogenealogy

Revised 1 April 2008

IMPORTANT - Y-DNA and mtDNA Haplogroups Are Not the Same!

This is something that confuses many beginners . . . .

Alphabetical letters are used for both mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups BUT their associated locales and time frames are NOT identical. Here's an example using Haplogroup B:

"[mtDNA] Haplogroup B is found in eastern and southeastern Eurasia and throughout the Americas . . . . present in the populations that initially colonized the pre-Columbian Americas . . . . This haplogroup can also be found distributed in Polynesia." Source:
Family Tree DNA (from results section of personal page of mtDNA test customer)

"Y-DNA haplogroup B . . . is seen only in Africa and is scattered widely, but thinly across the continent. These haplogroups have higher frequencies among hunter-gather groups in Ethiopia and Sudan, and are also seen among click language-speaking populations. "

See also the Simplified Haplogroup Chart

Here are links to maps/charts that include both Y and mtDNA Haplogroups (in some cases the nomenclature may differ). - This new project (April 2005) may not use the term haplogroup much but that is what they are researching. There is a lot of information at this site.

Dr. J. Douglas McDonald - maps of Y and mtDNA haplogroups

Early Man Migration chart


Y Chromosome Haplogroups

Haplogroup (HG) classifications are based on different Y chromosome markers (SNPs) than those used in surname studies (STRs). SNP markers mutate much more slowly than STRs and are used by population geneticists to identify groups of people over thousands of years. In other words, haplogroups link one to a common paternal ancestor far back in time - to one's "deep ancestry."

Haplogroup classifications themselves are the subject of on going development in the research community. For example, see The Y Chromosome Consortium   A Nomenclature System for the Tree of Human Y-Chromosomal Binary Haplogroups

See also: International Society of Genetic Genealogy - Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree

Although testing of SNPs is required to determine one's haplogroup, methods have been proposed to determine an estimated haplogroup based on STR data. The use of STR information to estimate haplogroups is based solely on statistical associations. Such studies are highly sensitive to the database and statistical methodology used. Developments in this area may change as additional results become available to researchers.

Note to FTDNA participants: In most cases, FTDNA has estimated a haplogroup for you based on your STR data or has predicted a haplogroup "based on unambiguous results" on your personal page. FTDNA states that "for any predicted results we see no reason for ordering a SNP test to confirm the Haplogroup." In other cases they state if you want to know your haplogroup "with 100% confidence" you will have to order a SNP confirmation test. If you have a match with someone else, only one of you needs to take the SNP test.


OTHER LINKS, ETC. - page down to see short haplogroup summaries from FTDNA.

FTDNA - Understanding Your Genetic History: Haplogroups (this link jumps to the end of this page). Written for the layperson. - This new project (April 2005) may not use the term haplogroup much but that is what they are researching. There is a lot of information at this site. - Some Y-DNA Haplogroup Descriptions & Info Links (Kerchner)


Even if you don't understand this next article you may like the chart on page 4 (this is a pdf file).
The human Y chromosome: an evolutionary marker comes of age.
Jobling MA, Tyler-Smith C.
Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Aug;4(8):598-612



"The full text of Wilson's paper is available online. The pie charts are worth studying even if you skip all the technical part. They show how all geographic locations have a mixture of haplogroups, but in different frequencies." [Ann Turner at the DNA list]




Some pages have been removed but old url noted in [ ] because they may be cached.
For some info, see:

The below six DYS numbers are used to estimate haplogroups. They were the six to be studied extensively by Wilson (link above).
[ ]

Garvey's list of "the 30 most common Y haplotypes in the European database grouped according to [his] best guess as to their YCC haplogroup"
[ ]


Dr. J. Douglas McDonald - maps of Y and mtDNA haplogroups

DNAH Y haplogroup map:


Early Man Migration chart


See also mtDNA

Ron Scott

- - - - - - -

[Y Chromosome]
FTDNA - Understanding Your Genetic History: Haplogroups

From Facts & Genes from Family Tree DNA
February 27, 2003 Volume 2, Issue 2
[Printed with permission]


Understanding Your Genetic History: Haplogroups

There have [been] at least seven (7) systems in use in the scientific community for defining and naming Haplogroups. These various systems, which assigned different names to Haplogroups, often led to confusion. Depending on which system was utilized in the literature you read, Haplogroups had different names and definitions. To solve this problem, the Y Chromosome Consortium developed a new system to name Haplogroups and subgroups.

The new naming system developed by the Y Chromosome Consortium was designed to easily accommodate expansion, as new Haplogroups are discovered. This new system identifies and names the current known Y Haplogroups that have been discovered.

A Haplogroup is defined as all the male descendants of the single person who first showed a SNP mutation. A SNP mutation identifies a group who had a common ancestor far back in time, since SNP's rarely mutate. Each member of a Haplogroup would have the same SNP mutation as the common ancestor. These mutations are extremely rare, and identify a group of people over a period of tens of thousands of years.

The Y Chromosome Consortium has defined 18 major Haplogroups, called A through R, using capital letters. Each of these major Haplogroups, which are also called clades, can have subgroups, which are called subclades. The 18 major groups at the top level, A through R, represent the major divisions of human diversity based on SNPs on the Y chromosome.

Subgroups have a numeric name, which follows the Haplogroup name. For example, Haplogroup E has 3 subgroups, called E1, E2, and E3. There is also a subgroup E*, which are those that belong to Haplogroup E, but do not belong to one of the 3 defined subgroups, E1, E2, or E3.

If a subgroup has subgroups, they would be labeled with a lower case alphabetic character, such as E3a or E3b.

The new Haplogroup database at utilizes this new naming system developed by the Y Chromosome Consortium. On your search results page for Haplogroup, you will see the Haplogroup of those who match or are a close match to your Y chromosome test result. Depending on your Haplogroup search results, you will see Haplogroups such as I, J2, I1b, R1b. All Family Tree DNA explanations and terminology will utilize the emerging standard defined in the Y Chromosome Consortium paper.

The Y Chromosome Consortium scientific paper, which describes the Haplogroup naming system, can be found at the link below:

For a single page graphic representation of the Y Chromosome Haplogroup tree, please see:
[ Or see Figure 1: ]


Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a new database called Haplogroup. The Haplogroup database will assist you in exploring your deep ancestral roots.

It provides information about your deep ancestral paternal lineage, based on the Y chromosome. An individual's Y chromosome signature is compared to an extensive database from many studies conducted by Dr. Michael Hammer and his colleagues. Your Haplogroup is estimated based on the Haplogroup of the matches found.

To access the Haplogroup database, a new selection called Haplogroup appears on your Personal Page. Your Personal Page at is where you view your results, and search the databases available from Family Tree DNA. To access your Personal Page, you log into with your kit number and password.

The Haplogroup selection on your Personal Page will show the Haplogroup and the country of those whom you most closely match. A close match for this purpose can be from 1-4 mutations. The country represents the ethnic origin information supplied by Dr. Hammer's research. Note that this is different information than what you'll find in the REO database, which is supplied by Family Tree DNA's customers and Dr. Hammer's dataset.

Dr. Hammer's independent study contains results for either 12 or 25 Marker Y chromosome tests for each participant, and their test results from a SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) test on the Y chromosome. The SNP test determines the participant's Haplogroup. The Y chromosome test is based on testing Short Tandem Repeats, or STR Markers.

[Note: FTDNA's policy has changed since this paragraph was written; see indented remarks.] Family Tree DNA can perform a test for Haplogroup determination utilizing specific SNP Markers. The Y-DNA SNP test will determine if the estimated Haplogroup is your Haplogroup. As an example, if your estimated Haplogroup is R1b, a test could be ordered to confirm if you are indeed an R1b or not, but in case you are not, you would have to perform additional test(s) to find your Haplogroup. That is why we only recommend the test to those who really want (we mean... very badly) want to know his haplogroup.

[In early 2004 FTDNA began providing group administrators with additional information about haplogroups. One report states: "Haplogroups in green have been confirmed by SNP testing. Haplogroups in red have been predicted by Family Tree DNA based on unambiguous results in the individual's personal page. . . . Please note that for any predicted results we see no reason for ordering a SNP test to confirm the Haplogroup. If a is in the HAPLO field then we feel that the comparative results are not clear and unambiguous and if the kit holder wants to know their SNP with 100% confidence they may consider ordering a SNP confirmation test." FTDNA has also had an informal policy in which they have not required payment for additional SNP testing if the estimated haplogroup is not confirmed on the first (purchased) test. Before assuming this is still in effect, contact FTDNA (or your group administrator) before ordering a SNP test.]

In conjunction with the new Haplogroup database, Family Tree DNA will be utilizing the standard terminology for Haplogroups presented by the Y Chromosome Consortium. This new standard terminology is defined in detail in the article [above] in this newsletter called:

Understanding Your Genetic History: Haplogroups [above]

Identification of your Y-chromosome Haplogroup can provide an interesting glimpse into the deep ancestry of your paternal line. With this new Haplogroup database and the possibility of the Y-DNA SNP test, Family Tree DNA continues set the standard in genealogical and anthropological genetic testing. 


These definitions are from Trace Your Roots With DNA - by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann P. Turner. 2004, paperback. Order at and elsewhere. See also:

Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) - (pronounced "snip"), a small genetic change or variation that occurs within a DNA sequence when a single nucleotide, such as an A, replaces one of the other three nucleotide letters: C, G, or T; occur so infrequently that they are used to define haplogroups

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) - a short pattern (often two to five bases in length) repeated a number of times in a row (in tandem); for instance, GATAGATAGATA, three repeats of the GATA sequence; the differences in the STRs at selected markers on the Y chromosome provide a basis for comparison among individuals and populations and are used extensively for most Y-DNA genetealogical testing; also called a microsatellite

Kinney, McKinney & Variations
Lenhart & Variations
DNA Project notes