R DF21 and Subclades

  • 1404 members

About us

For more information on the R-DF21 haplotree structure, please see the tree below, or visit:

  • Thomas Krahn's Draft Tree (may contain new SNPs placed only approximately

To join the R-DF21 project, most project members will meet one of these criteria:

  • A positive (derived) result for DF21 or any of the SNPs located under R-DF21
  • A close Y67 or Y111 match with a result that is positive for one or more of the DF21 SNPs
  • A close paternal relative that meets one of the above two criteria
  • Planning to order tests and wants assistance with determining what to order
The SNPs that were the initial focus of this project were found in 2010-2011 via analysis of whole genome sequences available from the 1000 Genomes Project ("DF" and "Z" SNPs), new "L" SNPs found via Thomas Krahn's Walk Through the Y (WTY) tests offered by Family Tree DNA, and new "S" SNPs found by Dr Jim Wilson (found in a whole genome sequence of his own DNA). The precise structure of these SNPs can be seen below. More information on the "S" SNPs can also be found on the "news" tab of the project pages.

Note that DF21 and L21 are two different SNPs that have the unfortunate coincidence of having of the same numerical suffix. DF21 was originally directly under L21, but with the discovery of DF13, DF13 now lies between DF21 and L21. Some people refer to DF21 as being a "son" of DF13, and a "grandson" of L21.

TMRCA estimates by MikeW using Ken Nordtvedt's Generations5 spreadsheet suggest that R-DF21 is comparatively quite old, with a TMRCA of 3112 YBP versus 4135 YBP for all of R-L21.

All the SNPs with "DF", "L", and "Z" names shown on the haplotree below can be ordered à la carte from FTDNA; select "Order Advanced Tests" after clicking on "Order Tests and Upgrades" in the left-sidebar. Do not select "Order Advanced SNP Test."  SNPs with "S" names can be ordered from ScotlandsDNA.com.

There are a variety of forums, boards, lists, groups, etc. where R1b in general, and sometimes DF21 specifically, are discussed. The three that I specifically monitor and contribute to are:


YSTR values are a valuable aid in both determining which SNP markers to order, as well as in determining how to cluster results. Unfortunately, the very low resolution Y12 and Y25 tests provide no assistance for either use, and the low resolution Y37 test is only of minimal use. There are STR clusters in this project that are only discernible if Y111 has been purchased.

Project members are requested to have results for the medium resolution Y67 test, and whenever possible, the full resolution Y111 test.

As of 2017, there are over 1,000 DF21+ project members with Y-STR results. 

FTDNA Projects of interest

·    R-L21 – Umbrella project for all varieties of L21+, including all DF21+ clades

·    Clan Colla – DF21+ Z246- L720- P314.2-
YSTR Motif: DYS425=NULL (100%),  DYS505=9 (100%),  DYS511=9 (99%), DYS413a=22 (95%),  DYS385b=15 (92%), DYS481=22 (88%)
GD=11 (or less) from Ysearch modal entry

·    Ely Carroll – DF21+ Z246- L720- P314.2-
YSTR Motif: DYS492=11
GD=12 (or less) from Ysearch modal entry

·    Little Scots Cluster – DF21+ Z246- L641- L642- L720- P314.2-
YSTR Motif: DYS391=10,  DYS458=18,  DYS449=30, DYS464=13-15-17-X,  GATA-H4=10,  DYS590=9, DYS413=22-23
GD=12 (or less) from Ysearch modal entry KXNRA


What Should You Order?

If you have questions about joining the project, or which SNP(s) to order, please contact one of the project administrators for assistance.

If you are S971+/Z3017+, the biggest sub-group is S905+/Z16267+. 

If you are CTS8704+/S6375+ and/or FGC3903+/S5201+, the biggest sub-group is Z246+/S280+.

If you are FGC3213+, you have a choice of P314.2 or S3058 if you have the Little Scottish Cluster signature.

If you are
P314.2+, you may choose to order:
  • L362  All results to date that are P314.2+ L362+ belong to the 21-1113-P12-A variety

If you are DF21+, you may choose to order:
  • S971/Z3017  especially if you have a null value at DYS425 signatures like the biggest S971+ sub-group, the Airghialla.

  • CTS8704/ S6375 or FGC3903/S5201 As the largest sub-clade of DF21, there is no specific Y-STR signature.
  • FGC3213  which includes but is not resticted to the Little Scottish Cluster.
  • L641  Likely private, and may sit downstream of FGC3903.
  • L642  Likely private, and may sit downstream of FGC3903.
If you have not tested any of the above SNPs, start by ordering DF21. Please check the haplotree and cluster lists below to see if you fall into a clade or cluster that has a known DF21 status.

DF21 Status for Deep Ancestral Varieties
See the "Haplotype Data for R1b-L21" file in R1b-L21 Yahoo Group Links for deep ancestral variety assignments and definitions. This is also known as "Mike W's spreadsheet" and contains ~10000 haplotypes gathered from a variety of FTDNA projects; currently ~8% of these are believed to be some variety of R-DF21.

Note that DF21 predictions may not be valid for short haplotypes or for haplotypes that are on the fringe of their cluster. Predictions may be based on a limited number of samples; you are encouraged to check the representative haplotypes in the spreadsheet.

The DF21 project uses member subgroup labels beginning with a letter, followed by definitive SNPs for that subgroup.  See our Results page.

Last Revision: 24 May 2013

General Fund Donations

Donations made to the General Fund that do not specify a specific use will be used to fund additional testing for kits that would help refine the phylogenetic tree, or provide additional information about the origins or migration paths of the DF21 clades.