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R P312 and Subclades

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About us

Welcome to the R1b-P312, P312* and Subclades of DF19, DF99, L238 and ZZ37 project!

R1b-P312 is the branch of the human family tree marked by the mutation P312+. It is the most common Y chromosome clade of paternal lineages across much of Western Europe. There are several large subclades of R1b-P312 so there are several large subclade projects, one of which may be important to you. This project is intended for people who are SNP tested P312+ or one of its descendant SNPs, like DF19+, DF99+, L238, U152+, L21+, DF27+, ZZ37+, etc.

An important goal of this project is to discover the full deep ancestral family tree of paternal lineages for all R1b-P312 people. This will help us understand the origins of R1b-P312 as a whole, at the subclade levels and down to the genealogical family tree level. The primary method of marking branches in the tree are SNPs so this project is for people who are interested in SNP testing.  

The R1b-P312 project administrators will automatically add members to the appropriate R1b-P312 subclade project as test results dictate. This project is only for those P312 people who are willing to be added to the appropriate subclade projects. The largest subclades projects are for L21, U152, and DF27. More information on these subclades is available on the "Results" page. The research and focus of this project is on the P312* paragroup, the subclades of DF19, DF99, L238, ZZ37 and any new subclades that are discovered. 

Key steps for you to take

1. You must have a test result with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA.) To read more about DNA testing check the "DNA FAQ" item in the menu above. National Genographic Project testees can easily join, but first you must transfer your test results to FTDNA by following the instructions at your National Genographic web page.

2. To join this project select on “Join request” on the menu bar above and login with your FTDNA account ID and password.

3. Update your paternal origins information from the “MyAccount” menu after logged into your myFTDNA web page. Select “Most Distant Ancestors” and complete the information for your “Paternal Direct” most distant (oldest) ancestor. Please enter only information that is not speculative. Enter first and last names, birth year and as specific a birth and origin location as you can in the “Name” field. For example, “James Welch, b.c.1812, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland”. For the “Country of Origin” field, please be as specific as possible. For instance, rather than select “United Kingdom” please pick either Northern Ireland, Scotland, England or Wales if you know that information. Add the latitude and longitude information as well so that the automatic maps can be drawn properly.

4. Create a Ysearch record from your myFTDNA web page so potential relatives can contact you without exchanging email IDs or other personal information. From the “Y DNA” menu on select “Matches”. On that screen scroll down to find the “Take me to” button and follow the instructions there. To learn more, Ysearch is at
5. Join the Yahoo discussion group for this project. Several project administrators and advanced R1b hobbyists are available on this forum so you can get help. There are also links to scientific papers, research data, etc. on this group. You do not need to supply your actual name for this group. You can use a nickname. You can email to subscribe or visit 

6. If you have not yet tested to 67 Y STRs (Short Tandem Repeats) please upgrade. R1b is young so it is hard to discern between subgroups and potential relatives oftentimes without 67 STRs. 111 STR testing is preferable, but 67 is the minimum needed. To learn more, read

7. Move forward with an Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) testing plan so your subclade can be identified. SNPs can be ordered one at a time from FTDNA by logging into your myFTDNA account, selecting the blue UPGRADES button and then scrolling down to the ADVANCED TESTS buy now orange button.

7a. The preferred test is Big Y. It is a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) test that discovers new SNPs by scanning over 10 million locations on the Y chromosome. The tremendous benefit in this is you will discover SNPs for just your paternal lineage as well as identify ancient SNPs that you may share with many, many other people. Big Y has the ability to discover SNPs that are pertinent to the genealogical timeframe, the last couple of hundred years. The Big Y learning web site has more details.

7b. The R1b-P312 SNP Pack is an economical way to test the top layer of major P312 branches, L21, U152 and DF27; while reaching deeply in thorough testing of misc. P312 branchs, DF19, DF99 and L238.

A little more about SNPs

Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are critical for R1b people. R1b is both a very large group and relatively young. Most European R1b paternal lineages are related within the last several thousand years. That means that R1b STR based haplotypes often look alike. The most common pattern of Y STRs is the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (WAMH).

R1b-P312 itself, the main branch of our tree, is marked by the SNP P312. We all are P312+ since it was present in our common ancestor, a single prehistoric man. There are a large number of branches that are marked by SNPs. The number of branches discovered continues to grow.

Many of these branches have coincidentally matching Y STRs. In other words, their branches appear to cross. This gives us false matches.This is definitely a problem with limited haplotypes of 12 and 25 STR markers. Getting up to 37 helps, but 67 is really needed.

STRs are very useful for general guidance and for matching at the very recent family level, but they are not 100% reliable since some mutate relatively quickly and go both up and down and back to where they started from.

SNPs are much more reliable markers for our paternal lineages. Theoretically, they are permanent throughout eternity so they reliably show our branching of paternal lineages. The number of SNPs available for testing is growing as more and more advanced testing is developed. You will want to identify your terminal SNP, which is the youngest SNP mutation that you have, that is on a formal Y DNA tree. Your terminal SNP tells you where you fit from a deep ancestral perspective.

SNP testing can:

1) make you more efficient by avoiding false matches when checking for potential genealogical relationships,

2) help you identify deep ancestral family, clan or historical origins,"

3) show you what geographic locations might produce additional matches and pertinent genealogical or historical information and

4) benefit all R1b people in general, as well as science, because we'll have a better understanding of how and when this lineage of men spread across Europe as rapidly and as dominantly as it did.

For additional information on SNP testing please visit

This is a public project. The more of us who test and share our information, the more we will all know. When you join this project, you have granted permission to place your Y SNP and STR data into the public domain, from which it can never be retrieved. We do not publish your full given name or contact info.

Thank you for your consideration. For Q&A, help and project details please see the Results web page and join the R1b-P312 discussion group at