R L21, Z290 and Subclades

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About us


The project DNA tests results by individual sorted into subgroups are on the DNA Results web page. These subgroups follow the order and sequence of FTDNA's haplotree.


R1b-L21 Frequency map

Map of frequencies in Europe during the modern era, based on current academic studies and charted by Eupedia.com.

R1b-L21 Frequency Map

R1b-L21 Descendant Tree

An overview of the early and major branches.

R1b-L21 Descendant Tree

Links to more detailed reports

This is a high level descendant type tree mapped against a world history timeline, charted by Dave Vance.

FTDNA's full haplotree with thousands of branches for L21 & Z290 is maintained in this PDF file.

There are thousands of additional SNPs that are phylogenetic equivalents to the lead SNPs marking the branches in the outline tree. The complete list of SNPs with the position number, allele change and synonym details is included in this PDF file.

The 67 and 111 STR length haplotypes from this project and some of the sub-projects are included in this spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can calculate Genetic Distances to anybody else in the spreadsheet from a single target individual. Various summaries, subtotals and statistical calculations are built in to the spreadsheet. If you want to be included in this spreadsheet, please join the project and upgrade to 67 or 111 STRs. 111 STRs is now the standard.

Ancient Ancestry and Prehistory

The deep ancestry of R1b-L21 people is linked to ancient people called Indo-Europeans that came into Western and Central Europe during the Bronze Age. By the time descendants of the early Indo-Europeans reached Western Europe they became a part of The Beaker Folks.  Archaeologically, they are associated with a bell shaped pottery, but there were many more items in the Bell Beaker package, including horse riding, archery, jewelry, specific burial patterns in mounds, bronze tools and weapons.

Bell Beaker Bowman

Wolfgang Haak study confirmed that a strong Pontic and Caspian Sea Steppes genetic influence spread across Europe from east to west during the Bronze Age: "By ~6,000–5,000 years ago, farmers throughout much of Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~75% of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe."  Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe by Haak, et al., 2015  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14317.html

The 2016 Cassidy identified Bronze Age men in Ireland as R1b-L21. His research says that Irish DNA was melded together during the Bronze Age: "Three Bronze Age individuals from Rathlin Island (2026–1534 cal BC), including one high coverage (10.5×) genome, showed substantial Steppe genetic heritage indicating that the European population upheavals of the third millennium manifested all of the way from southern Siberia to the western ocean. This turnover invites the possibility of accompanying introduction of Indo-European, perhaps early Celtic, language. Irish Bronze Age haplotypic similarity is strongest within modern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh populations, and several important genetic variants that today show maximal or very high frequencies in Ireland appear at this horizon. These include those coding for lactase persistence, blue eye color, Y chromosome R1b haplotypes, and the hemochromatosis C282Y allele; to our knowledge, the first detection of a known Mendelian disease variant in prehistory. These findings together suggest the establishment of central attributes of the Irish genome 4,000 y ago."  Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome by Cassidy, et al., 2016 

The 2017 Olalde paper breaks new ground, noting: "Beginning with the Beaker period, and continuing through the Bronze Age, all British individuals harboured high proportions of Steppe ancestry and were genetically closely related to Beaker-associated individuals from the Lower Rhine area. We use these observations to show that the spread of the Beaker Complex to Britain was mediated by migration from the continent that replaced >90% of Britain's Neolithic gene pool within a few hundred years, continuing the process that brought Steppe ancestry into central and northern Europe 400 years earlier."  The Beaker Phenomenon And The Genomic Transformation Of Northwest Europe by Olalde, et al., 2017  http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/05/09/135962

Celtic Tribes of the British Isles

The British Isles transitioned from the Bell Beaker cultures of the early Bronze Age to a network of trade and exchange called the Atlantic Bronze Age. During this period of time it is believed that groups of people formed that might be considered Celtic. By the end of the Bronze Age Celtic tribes were spread all over Western Europe. The Celtic tribe maps below are derived from the reports of the Greeks and the Romans during the Classical time period. Please see the Ancestral Journeys web site developed by "Blood of the Celts" author Jean Manco.


Overlay of later Celtic territories (dashed lines) on top of the earlier Bell Beaker territories.

Bell Beaker to Celtic cultures overlay


Celtic and Belgic Tribes Britain East

Celtic Tribes Britain North

Celtic Tribes Britain Central

Celtic Tribes Britain South


Celtic Tribes Scotland North

Celtic Tribes Scotland South


Celtic Tribes Wales


Celtic Tribes Ireland

Gaul and Continental Europe:

Celtic Tribes Europe