New Discover Tool – Compare Haplogroups & More at FamilyTreeDNA

FamilyTreeDNA has introduced a great new Y-DNA tool – Compare – as part of Discover. I wrote about how to use Discover, here.

The new Compare feature compares two haplogroups, including where they fall on the haplotree in relationship to each other, time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA), TimeTree, and more.

It’s easy.

All you do is enter two haplogroups.

Click to enlarge any image

Here’s how.

Enter Haplogroups

You can enter the haplogroups to compare either through your account at FamilyTreeDNA or directly into Discover.

If you’ve signed in and taken any Y-DNA test, you can click through to Discover from your account, or, you can simply navigate to Discover. The Compare feature is publicly available and free, of course.

You can compare any Y-DNA haplogroup with any other haplogroup from your match list, from a project, or just at random.

Let’s say I was viewing the Estes surname project or the Estes project Group Time Tree, and found my ancestor’s lineage. Maybe I don’t know that haplogroup R-M269 is a very common mid-level predicted haplogroup, and I don’t know that R-ZS3700 is only discovered and confirmed via a Big Y-700 test.

I want to compare their haplogroups.

As an excited genealogist, I have questions.

  • How far apart are haplogroup R-ZS3700 and R-M269?
  • Have either or both of these men taken a Big Y test?
  • What commonalities do the two haplogroups have?
  • Does one descend from another?

In this case, I know these haplogroups are found in a specific ancestral cluster in a surname project, but I could compare any two haplogroups at random.


Let’s let Compare do its magic.

If you click through to Discover from your Y-DNA page, “you” are the orange profile. Otherwise, the orange profile is the first haplogroup entered.

Compare shows me LOTs of information.

To begin with, you can see which two haplogroups are being compared. This report tells us that R-ZS3700 is a direct descendant of R-M269. By looking at the dates in the little pedigree chart, you can see that R-ZS3700 originated in the year 1700, roughly, and R-M269 in about 4350 BCE, or approximately 6350 years ago.

This tells me, indirectly, that R-ZS3700 has taken a Big Y test, and the R-M269 man has not. The other clue is the message at bottom left encouraging an upgrade. One or both men have not taken the Big Y.

In the center-left, we have the path from ZS3700, the most refined haplogroup, to R-M269 on top, and beneath, the path from R-M269 to Y-Adam.

You can mouse over any of these haplogroups to view a brief description and their age.

There’s still more, though.

At the bottom right, you can see that both of these haplogroups connect to Collin Charvis, with the younger, more refined haplogroup more closely connected, of course.

Both haplogroups have connections to the Allen Ancient Genome Diversity Project out of the Reich lab. Now I’m getting really excited!

Check each haplogroup in Discover for additional information about these ancient and modern connections.

Scrolling down to the bottom of the page, we see the Discover Compare Timeline with the two compared haplogroups.

What About Completely Different Haplogroups?

When haplogroups are entirely different, Discover Compare searches for date and time information, then searches for commonalities.

In this example, the two haplogroups, J-FT1 and I-BY44445, are entirely different. The path to their common, joining haplogroup is shown in the tree at right.

At left, the ancestral path of each is shown, reaching back to their common haplogroup, then, at the bottom, the common haplogroup, IJ-P124 is tracked back to Y-Adam.

Even with these widely divergent haplogroups, both have an Entrepreneur connection, albeit in different haplogroups. The lucky haplogroup J-FT1 person connects with Bennett Greenspan, founder of FamilyTreeDNA.

Both have ancient connections found in Germany as well.

Let’s look at a few more examples.

The commonality between these haplogroup I and R samples is that both have an actor connection, and both have a connection in ancient DNA from a common study.

Of course, reviewing each haplogroup that you’ve compared shows you their individual information. In this case, you can view more about the Salme 2-Õ ancient individual.

You can also google the common study to discover what is known about the location, excavation, and the heritage of the people who lived there.

As I played with this new Compare tool, I found additional categories for Presidential connections, Author connections, Clan connections, and Location connections, such as the US State of Maryland in one case and the country of Hungary in another.

I’ve been asking for some time for a tool to compare haplogroups, so I’m very pleased! FamilyTreeDNA went the extra mile to include additional information.

Your family members who might not be particularly interested in DOING genealogy might be quite interested in this interesting information – and would be glad to let you test their Y-DNA and research genealogy on behalf of your family. Fingers crossed! That’s a win-win for everyone.

FamilyTreeDNA has included a share function in the upper right-hand corner of each page for exactly this reason. Let’s share and get our family members excited about genetic genealogy. The more cousins that test, the more you’ll know, and the more refined the Y-DNA haplotree becomes.

There is probably a lot more to discover, pardon the pun, in the new Compare feature. It was just released today, so I’m sure I haven’t found everything.

Check Compare out with your matches’ or ancestors’ haplogroups, and let me know what fun things you find.


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