The BIG Y product is a direct paternal lineage test. We have designed it to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. It tests both thousands of known branch markers and millions of places where there may be new branch markers. We intend it for expert users with an interest in advancing science.

It may also be of great interest to genealogy researchers of a specific lineage. It is not however a test for matching you to one or more men with the same surname in the way of our Y-DNA37 and other tests.

Who may order the BIG Y?

Any male Family Tree DNA customer may order the BIG Y product. However, we do ask that you consider carefully before ordering.

  • A high quality sample is needed for BIG Y. Therefore, the person tested should be willing and able to provide a new DNA sample if needed.
  • All customers are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance of a Y-DNA haplogroup project administrator before ordering.
  • Most results interpretation for BIG Y will come from volunteer project administrators including Y-DNA haplogroup administrators.
  • BIG Y is in BETA development, those who order now should expect to be part of the new product development process.
How do I order the BIG Y product?

Any male Family Tree DNA customer may order the BIG Y product through their myFTDNA account. To do so:

  1. Login to your myFTDNA account. (
  2. On the top, right of the homepage, look for the orange Order an Upgrade button.
  3. Click the button to access the Upgrade page.
  4. Look for the Standard Orders section, and click the Order a Standard Test button.
  5. On the Select A Product page, look for the product dropdown menu. Use it to select Big Y.
  6. Click the Next button at the bottom of the page to continue to the checkout wizard and complete your order.
What are the technical details of the BIG Y product?
The BIG Y product uses next-generation sequencing to reveal genetic variations across the Y-Chromosome:

  • Targeted Non-recombining Y-DNA sequencing
  • Illumina HiSeq 2000
  • 55X to 80X average coverage
  • Around 11.5 to 12.5 million base-pairs of reliably mapped positions of non-recombining Y-Chromosome
  • Analyzed using Arpeggi genome analysis technology for improved variant calls

All samples are processed in-house using our custom laboratory methods and informatics. Your sample never leaves our company and is never shared with outside vendors.

How soon will I have my BIG Y results?
We’ll release the first set of BIG Y results by Feb 28th. We are processing samples in first come first serve order. If a sample doesn’t pass quality control, we will place it in the next set of results to be processed as long as we have enough DNA sample. If we require an additional sample, we will send a new test kit and place the new sample in the first set to be processed when it is returned. We expect that all samples ordered in December will be delivered by March 28th. Thereafter we expect a 8 to 10 week turn around time from date of sample receipt.
Do I need to submit a new sample? How much DNA sample is used?
In many cases, we can use your existing stored DNA sample. If there is not enough sample available, we will send you a new collection kit to the address listed for the kit in myFTDNA. For those who wish to order a test for an individual who cannot provide another sample, please contact customer service for options.
Who will analyze my results for new SNPs?
Sequencing is performed at our state-of-the-art genomics lab and the data is analyzed by our genome informatics team.
Can you tell me if the BIG Y product will cover a specific SNP?
No, we cannot. Results vary from sample to sample. Single specific SNPs are better ordered as such.
Will my positive and negative SNP results from BIG Y be part of my Haplotree page?
Your positive results and relevant negative from the BIG Y test will be included on your Haplotree page as of your haplogroup determination. They will also be shown as a results table on a BIG Y page that may be downloaded to any spreadsheet program.
What distinguishes BIG Y from other Y-DNA SNP testing like Geno 2.0?
Both BIG Y and Geno 2.0 test for thousands of paternal lineage branch markers (SNPs). Unlike Geno 2.0 and related technologies though, BIG Y is able to detect new branch markers that are unique to your paternal lineage, surname, or even you.

Geno 2.0 is microarray chip based and programmed for specific SNPs. BIG Y is a next-generation sequence-based test.

How are BIG Y raw results formatted?
The VCF and BED files will be available for download on your results page. For our users’ convenience, we will format raw results in .BAM format. You may request your file by contacting
Will there be results pages to explain my results?
Yes, in addition to a list of variants, we will illustrate how your results relate to your branch on the human paternal tree.
Will you report Y-STR results from BIG Y testing?
No, we will not. You are welcome though to request the .BAM file of your results though and use 3rd party tools to get Y-STR results.