FamilyTreeDNA to Surpass 60,000 Y DNA Haplogroups and Introduces New Time Tree

The public Y DNA tree at FamilyTreeDNA is on the brink of crossing the 60,000 branch threshold.

When do you think it will sprout enough leaves to get there? I’m betting on tomorrow, or maybe the next day?

You can check here to see when it happens!

Discover Tool Grows Too

The new Discover tool launched almost exactly three months ago, and people are purchasing or upgrading to the Big Y test to learn about their matches and discover their place in the history of mankind. Of course, every test boosts genealogy and helps the tree of mankind grow. You can read about how to use the Discover tool, here.

The Discover Tool continues to add features for Y DNA testers too.

Introducing the Time Tree

A couple of weeks ago, FamilyTreeDNA introduced the time tree.

The time tree shows your haplogroup age and placement on the tree, plus age estimates for nearby haplogroups too. You can click up and down the tree by haplogroup.

My Estes haplogroups are shown above with incredible accuracy based on my proven genealogy. I’m still amazed that science, alone, without the benefit of genealogy, can get within half a century many times.

Looking at another example, you can see that haplogroup Q-FTC17883 has two testers and a notable connection, Kevin Segura.

The genetically calculated age estimate of this branch is about 1950.

Using the back arrow to click back one haplogroup shows the current testers, the Lovelock4 ancient sample, and additional haplogroups.

Note that while the Lovelock sample is shown to be the same haplogroup as today’s testers, recovery of ancient DNA is not always complete. In other words, that sample might have SNPs that the contemporary testers don’t have, or the sample may be incomplete, or no-calls may not be reported. Sample ages may not be included either, so FamilyTreeDNA has to work with what’s available.

What I’m saying is that Lovelock 4 is “at least,” reliably, haplogroup Q-FTC17883 and shares that SNP with present-day testers.

But Wait, There’s More

This past week, FamilyTreeDNA made another big update.

Included are the ancient samples published in the recent paper about the Southern Arc, the bridge between western Asia and Europe and samples from western Europe and England that help tell the story of Anglo-Saxon migration.

These ancient peoples helped form the gene pool in Europe, then pushed on into the British Isles.

Additionally, this past week’s updates include:

  • 345 new haplogroup reports (Haplotree changes up until September 23rd)
  • In total, almost 2,600 ancient DNA samples, including all the samples from the Southern Arc and Anglo-Saxon migration papers, two large new studies with a total of 590 samples!
  • In total, over 4,300 academic modern DNA samples from different parts of the world, including 1,200 new from Sardinia
  • New flags added: Druze, Italy (Sardinia), Western Sahara (Sahrawi)


I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to find my ancestral lines in appropriate surname and regional projects, upgrading cousins, and finding new people to test.

I enter their Y DNA haplogroup into Discover and share my new-found information with my cousins who agreed to test. Everyone loves Discover because it’s so relatable.

For example, you can enter haplogroup:

  • I-A1843 to view Wild Bill Hickok
  • Q-M3 for Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket
  • R-FT62777 to learn about Johnny Cash

By entering your own, or your ancestor’s Y DNA haplogroups, you can discover where they came from, which lines they share with notable people, and identify their ancient cousins. The more refined your haplogroup, the more relevant the information will be, which is why I recommend the Big Y test. My Estes line estimated haplogroup from STR testing is R-M269

There are 23 haplogroups between R-M269 and my ancestor, Moses Estes’s haplogroup, R-ZS3700 in 1711. R-M269 is interesting, but R-ZS3700 is VERY relevant.

Even if you can’t “jump the pond” with genealogy records, you certainly can with Y DNA and mitochondrial DNA testing.

Can you find the Y DNA haplogroups of your male ancestors? Check surname projects and your autosomal matches for cousins who may have or would be willing to Y DNA test. I wish I had just tested all those earlier cousins at the Big Y level, because several have gone on to meet their ancestors and I can’t upgrade their sample now.

Test yourself and your cousins to reveal information about your common ancestors, and have fun with your new discoveries!!


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15 thoughts on “FamilyTreeDNA to Surpass 60,000 Y DNA Haplogroups and Introduces New Time Tree

  1. This is wonderful and good work. I wish I had some male relatives but my dad’s direct line may be gone unless I can find someone spilt off from a branch in the early 1700’s in Europe.

    I wish MtDNA for women was not so much more expensive than the men’s Y. If that were the case, I would retest.

  2. Hi Roberta,

    The number 60.000 is for haplogroup A alone.
    Haplogroup E has 4.5K, F 54K, I 9K, J 8K, K 34K, N, 2K, P 29K, R 28K with the others having around 1K or less.

    Summing them all up, you already have 237,447 Y-DNA haplogroups

  3. Roberta,

    Great blog. I like the new “Time Tree” graphic and presentation to display your personal timeline and your matches. I find it better and easier to understand than the “Scientific Details” tab and complements the “Haplogroup Story.”

    Paul Baltzer

  4. This is unrelated to Y-DNA, but I feel like you would be able to help me with this. I am trying to figure out which segments I inherited from my maternal grandmother’s mom vs her dad. The closest DNA match I have that is a descendant of both of my great grandparents is my mom’s first cousin.

    I have noticed a general trend that many segments corresponds to a single great grandparent. For example, we match on Chromosome 2 from position 134,934,400 to 171,476,133, and this can be mapped to my great grandmother. Another example is that we match on Chromosome 13 from position 46,626,461 to 67,302,371, and all of this can be mapped to my great grandfather. I have noticed similar trends with other segments.

    I am wondering if this applies to all segments. For instance, my 1C1R and I match at Chromosome 1 from position 88,448,150 to 117,255,079, and I know for a fact that position 110,000,0000 (roughly) to 117,255,079 all comes from my great grandfather, proven by triangulation. Using the logic above, can I assume that position 88,448,150 to 110,000,0000 *also* comes from my great grandfather? Or is it possible that we both inherited a mixed single segment on Chromosome 1, where positions 88,448,150 to 110,000,0000 came from my great grandmother, and 110,000,0000 to 117,255,079 came from my great grandpa?

    I tried using 23andme’s chromosome painter, but the painting is not 100% accurate. For instance, a known large Irish segment (like almost all of Chromosome 12) was painted as Italian (my maternal grandma was half Irish and half Italian, and my dad has neither of those ancestries). I would appreciate some help with figuring out how to deduce inheritance based on matching segments.

    Thank you for all that you have done!

    • I suggest that you read my articles about using DNAPainter. Those explain how to track your segments back in time. That’s what you are doing.

  5. Pingback: Sneak Preview: Introducing the FamilyTreeDNA Group Time Tree | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  6. I finally figured out how to see this on an individual Y test. That’s really neat 🙂 I am also a project admin for several projects. Is it available to project admins? If so, how do I find it when I am in my project page?

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