By: Goran Runfeldt

The most important feature of the FamilyTreeDNA Big Y-700 test is the Y-DNA haplotree, which grows daily from new results.

The haplotree is a vast genetic family tree created by some 150,000 male testers from every corner of the world. It was created purely based on genetics. Without knowing your family history, FamilyTreeDNA can place you or any of your male relatives on your exact branch of this family tree and, in essence, tell you how you are patrilineally related to every other Big Y-tested man in the world, back hundreds of thousands of years or forward to genealogical times.

There are many different ways to view the Y-DNA haplotree, and every Y-DNA researcher can probably name their favorite layout. FamilyTreeDNA has produced many tree reports, such as:

All these layouts offer different perspectives on the same tree.

Some views are great for looking at branch relationships within the genealogical timeframe from a SNP or a calendar time perspective.

Others are better for getting an overview of the ancient clades that represent our shared ancestry from thousands of years ago.

Some are more aesthetically pleasing and suitable for framing and putting on your family research wall. Others are more functional and useful for day-to-day deep dives into family mysteries.

The Classic Haplotree: The newest tree from FamilyTreeDNA

The new Classic Tree report in Discover™ offers a layout that should be familiar to many seasoned genetic genealogists. It is simultaneously interactive and navigable, offering better summaries of SNPs and origin countries from Big Y testers. Other content, such as TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) estimates and Ancient Connections, is also integrated.

The Classic Tree is built from the ground up to be fast and work well on mobile devices. We have made it easy to customize the view by using the Display Options to toggle different types of content. By collapsing and expanding to focus on the branches of interest, we hope you can take the perfect screenshot that captures what you want to convey to fellow researchers.

Classic Haplotree features

The content displayed on the Classic Tree is:

  • Y-DNA Haplotree Branches (haplogroups) in a left-to-right hierarchical order
  • Downstream Branches show how many branches are below a collapsed branch
  • Integrated Ancestral Path for orientation and navigation
  • Age Estimates with associated badges that correlate with the main archaeological periods (Stone Age, Metal Ages, Imperial Age, Middle Ages, and Modern Age)
  • SNP lists with a single-click copy button
  • Ancient Connections with context information and age estimates
  • Self-reported Country Origin information for Big Y testers, with summaries for collapsed branches

Interactive features:

  • Navigate up the tree by using the Ancestral Path
  • Navigate to any downstream branch by clicking on the name
  • Collapse and Expand any branch by clicking the plus or minus sign
  • Collapse All and Expand All options
  • Display Options allows all types of content to be toggled on and off
  • Filter functionality allows you to filter the downstream branches based on Haplogroup names, Variants (SNP names), countries, and even Ancient Connection data (Name, Location, Country and Cultural Group)

Usability features:

  • Legend describes the colors and icons
  • Mouse-over hover information with explanations
  • Fast loading times even for parts of the tree with many branches
  • Mobile-friendly (although the desktop experience can display more information)

What’s next?

The Classic Tree will also be very useful for navigating the upcoming Mitotree for mtDNA.

Our next feature update for the Discover reports will focus on showing your Y-DNA matches on the tree.

We would also love to hear your ideas for future improvements! Please comment below.

We hope that you’ll find the Classic Tree fast, informative, aesthetic, and easy to navigate and that it will help you explore the ever growing haplotree further.

We’ve provided screenshots below to help you familiarize yourself with the Classic Tree.

classic tree in discover menu screenshot
The Classic Tree can be found at the bottom of the menu in the left-hand navigation of your Discover Haplogroup Reports.
classic haplotree header screenshot
Classic Haplotree header, legend and settings.
Classic tree display options screenshot
Virtually all visual elements on the Classic Tree can be toggled on and off.
classic tree view of Y-DNA haplotree backbone screenshot part 1
Classic Tree view of the Y-DNA Haplotree backbone, part 1.
classic tree view of Y-DNA haplotree backbone screenshot part 2
Classic Tree view of the Y-DNA Haplotree backbone, part 2.
Y-DNA haplogroup R1b backbone screenshot
The Y-DNA haplogroup R1b backbone.
classic tree view of Y-DNA haplogroup I-S2599 part 1
Classic Tree view of Y-DNA haplogroup I-S2599 (I2a1b2) with ancient samples from Neolithic Europe, including the famous Cheddar Man, and modern Big Y testers, part 1.
classic tree view of Y-DNA haplogroup I-S2599 part 2
Classic Tree view of Y-DNA haplogroup I-S2599 (I2a1b2) with ancient samples from Neolithic Europe, including the famous Cheddar Man, and modern Big Y testers, part 2.
Y-DNA haplogroup D2 screenshot
The (relatively) recently discovered Y-DNA haplogroup D2 (formerly “D0”).
cloud genealogical family group screenshot
Class Time tree view of the Cloud genealogical family group. William Cloud (born 1621) is represented by R-BY106858 (ca 1600 CE).
anzick child from clovis culture screenshot
The famous Anzick Child from the Clovis culture in Montana. His modern relatives are primarily found in Mexico and Central and South America.
rapa nui easter island subgroup screenshot
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) subgroup within a large Moana (“Polynesian”) clade.
japanese haplogroup D-M64 screenshot
Japanese haplogroup D-M64, together with their closest patrilineal relatives in the Andaman Islands. The Andaman Islands samples are from the Jarawa and Onge tribes (Mondal et al. 2016), neighbors of the uncontacted Sentinelese.

About the Author

Goran Runfeldt

Head of Research and Development

Goran is a genetic genealogist with a technology background. He is a driver behind many FamilyTreeDNA tools & features including the Block Tree and the Discover platform & Y-DNA reports. He is also a mitochondrialist in the Million Mito Project.