The Big Y Block Tree is a vertical-block diagram of the Y-DNA Haplotree showing the relationships between you and other Big Y testers. This tool helps you visualize how the paternal lineages of you and your matches are related to each other. You will also be able to see your matches’ branches and discover which autosomal origins and Paternal Countries of Origin have been reported for your branch and others.

Please note that Big Y test is an exploratory test that is constantly discovering previously unknown SNPs. As new SNPs are discovered and added to the Y-DNA haplotree, this will alter the structure of the branches, and potentially move your branch further downstream. In addition, as more people test, it can help to refine SNPs currently thought to be equivalent to build an ever increasingly accurate SNP lineage.

Block Tree Basics

Your Branch

Your branch is located in a white block. Also, you will see Your branch displayed under the Branch Information card for your specific branch.

Click image for a closer look.

Branch Blocks

On the Big Y Block Tree, each branch is represented as a block. For example, the below image represents the I-A9747 branch.

Click image for a closer look.

In the block, the first line (e.g., I-A9747) is the primary SNP in the branch. The rest of the SNPs displayed in the block are Public Variants that are equivalent to the primary SNP.

Upstream Branch Blocks

Upstream branch blocks are the blocks that are located above a branch block.

Sibling Branch Blocks

Sibling branch blocks are the blocks located parallel or rather horizontally to the left and/or right of a branch block.

Downstream Branch Blocks

Downstream branch blocks are the blocks that are located below a branch block.

Private Variants

On the Big Y Block Tree, you will see blocks labeled Private Variants. Private Variants are one of the following;

  • mutations that are not named nor are shared between any branch members.
  • mutations that have not yet been validated and placed on the Haplotree.

It is important to note that Private Variants are filtered to only include SNP calls from regions of the Y chromosome that can be reliably mapped with NGS technology. For this reason, the block tree number might be lower than what you see in your personal Big Y Private Variants list.

Click image for a closer look.

You can hover your cursor over a Private Variants block to see the average of Private Variants and the number of Big Y testers in that branch.

Public Variants

Public Variants are:

  • mutations that are named and are shared between branch members.
  • mutations that have been validated and placed on the Haplotree.
Branch Information

At the bottom of the page, below each branch, you will see the Branch Information card.

Click image for a closer look.

The Branch Information card displays the following information for the corresponding branch:

  • Origins – This section displays the average autosomal myOrigins results for the participants on a branch.
  • Countries – This section displays the number of Paternal Countries of Origin reported by participants on a branch and a flag icon for each country.
  • DNA Matches – This section displays the number of your matches that are on that branch and your matches names.

For a more in-depth look and description of the information contained in the Branch Information card, see the below Branch Information Card topic.

Branch Information Card

A Branch Information card is displayed below each branch. This card contains the following sections: Origins, Countries, and DNA Matches.

Origins

The Origins section is displayed at the top of the information card. This section displays the number of autosomal origins (myOrigins) related to that branch.

Click image for a closer look.

You can hover your cursor over the chart in this section to show an average percentage breakdown of the myOrigins associated with the testers* on this branch.

Note that the circle graph and the percentage breakdown only display myOrigins that are 5% or greater. myOrigins that are less than 5% fall in the Other category. For more information, see the below Detailed View – Origins topic.

*It is important to note that this information comes from autosomal myOrigins results of Y-12 through Big Y testers who also have Family Finder results.

Detailed View - Origins

To navigate to the detailed Origins view: 

  1. Click on the Branch Information card. The Detailed View window opens to the detailed Origins view.

The detailed Origins view displays the following columns:

  • Autosomal Origin – Displays the autosomal origins associated with the branch.For a complete list of possible origins, see the Population Clusters in myOrigins Learning Center topic.
  • Average Percentage – Displays the average percentage of testers* who are associated with that origin on the corresponding branch.

Note that the Detailed View displays myOrigins that are 2% or greater. myOrigins that are less than 2% fall in the Other category.

*It is important to note that this information comes from autosomal myOrigins results of Y-12 through Big Y testers who also have Family Finder results.

Countries

The Countries section is located in the middle of the information card. It displays the number of countries and a flag icon for the top four Paternal Countries of Origin reported by the testers on that branch.* For more information on Paternal Countries of Origin, see the Account Settings – Genealogy Learning Center topic.

You can hover your cursor over a flag icon to see the country associated with that flag.

For more information, see the below Detailed View – Countries topic.

*It is important to note the following:

  • This is self-reported information from Y-12 through Big Y testers.
  • Since this is self-reported information it may not reflect accurate branch/haplogroup origins.
  • Unknown Origins are not included in the calculated distributions.
Detailed View - Countries

To navigate to the detailed Countries view: 

  1. Click on the Branch Information card. The Detailed View window is displayed.
  2. At the top of the Detailed View window, click Countries. The detailed Countries view is displayed.

The detailed Countries view contains the following columns:

  • Paternal Origin – Reported country of paternal origin.
  • Branch Participants (specific branch)  – Number of testers who are assigned to that specific branch who have reported the country as their paternal origin.
  • Downstream Participants – Number of testers who are assigned to the specific branch and testers who are downstream of the specific branch (excluding other haplogroups) who have reported the country as their paternal origin.
  • All Downstream Participants  – Number of testers who are assigned to the specific branch and testers who are downstream of the specific branch (including other haplogroups) who have reported the country as their paternal origin.
  • Distribution – Percentage distribution of testers assigned to the branch and all downstream branches who have reported the country as their paternal origin.

It is important to note the following:

  • This is self-reported information from Y-12 through Big Y testers.
  • Since this is self-reported information it may not reflect accurate branch/haplogroup origins.
  • Unknown Origins are not included in the calculated distributions.
DNA Matches

The DNA Matches section is located at the bottom of the information card. This section displays the number of Big Y matches you have on the branch and their names.

Only the top three matches who have the least amount of non-matching variants are displayed. For more information, see the below Detailed View – DNA Matches topic.

Detailed View - DNA Matches

The detailed DNA Matches view displays information about your Big Y matches.

To navigate to the detailed DNA Matches view: 

  1. Click on the Branch Information card. The Detailed View window is displayed.
  2. At the top of the Detailed View window, click DNA Matches. The detailed DNA Matches view is displayed.

The detailed DNA Matches view contains the following columns:

  • Match Name - Displays the name of the Big Y match. You can click on a match’s name to see their information card.
    • Country flag icon – Displays the icon of the flag for the self-reported Paternal Country of Origin.
    • Envelope icon – If you have Outlook, you can click this icon to email the match.
    • Callout icon – You can click on this icon to add a note about your match.
  • Non-Matching Variants – Displays the non-matching variants between you and that match. Non-matching variants are SNPs that either you are positive for and your match is negative or vice versa.
  • Earliest Known Paternal Ancestors - If reported, displays the match’s Earliest Known Paternal Ancestor. For more information on Earliest Known Paternal Ancestors, see the Account Settings – Genealogy Learning Center topic.
  • Match Date – Displays the date you were matched with the match.

Navigating the Block Tree

Scrolling to the Left or Right

On the Block Tree, if the branches spread off to the left and/or right of your screen, you will see an arrow pointing toward the left and/or right. You can click these arrows to scroll to the left or right of the Block Tree.

Navigating Upstream

There are two ways that you can navigate upstream on the Block Tree.

By SNPs 

At the top of the Block Tree, there is a SNPs navigation bar. This bar displays the immediate parent branches for the highest level branch that is displayed on the Block Tree.

Click on any of the SNPs in this navigation bar to navigate upstream to that branch.

Arrow Up

At the top of the Block Tree (under the SNPs navigation bar) there is an upward arrow. You can click on this arrow to navigate to the branches upstream.

Navigating by Branch

You can navigate to a branch by clicking directly on that branch in the Block Tree.

Navigate to a Specific Branch

To navigate to a specific branch:

  1.  In the upper- right corner of the Block Tree, in the Go to Branch Name field, enter the specific branch to which you want to navigate. Make sure to enter the complete branch including the haplogroup.
  2. Press Enter on your keyboard. You are directed to that branch.
Navigating to Your Big Y Matches' Branches

The Block Tree allows you to navigate directly to your Big Y matches’ branches.

To navigate to a match’s branch:

  1. In the upper-left corner of the Block Tree, click on the Matches link. On the left side of the tree, your Big Y matches are displayed.
  2. Hover your cursor over the match for which you want to see their branch, you will see a block icon to the right of the match’s name.

    Click image for a closer look.

  3. Click on the block icon. You are directed to that match’s branch.
Resetting Your View

You can reset the Block Tree to your original view by clicking Reset in the upper-left corner of the Block Tree.

Expanding/Collapsing Your View

In the upper-right corner of the Block Tree, you will see a square icon . Click on this icon to expand and collapse your view.

Display Options

In the upper-right corner of the Block Tree, you can click Display Options to select what information you want to display on the tree.

The following options are available:

Branch Info 

  • Show Origins – If selected, displays the Origins section of the Branch Information card.
  • Show Countries – If selected, displays the Countries section of the Branch Information card.
  • Show DNA Matches - If selected, displays the DNA Matches section of the Branch Information card.

Variants 

  • Show Aggregated Downstream Variants – If selected, displays the downstream Aggregated Public and Private Variants blocks. This option is only available if you have navigated to an upstream branch and the branches below are collapsed and/or aggregated.
  • Show Private Variants – If selected, displays the Private Variants blocks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Aggregated Variants?

Aggregated blocks are shown when several branches have been collapsed (usually when you navigate upstream). These aggregated blocks are shown with an average count representing all available downstream variants below the collapsed branch.

You might see two different types of aggregated blocks:

Aggregated Private Variants – These are blocks of Private Variants that have been aggregated.

Aggregated Public Variants – These are blocks of SNPs (branches) that have been aggregated.

Once I've navigated upstream, how do I expand a branch block if it's collapsed?

To expand a branch block that is collapsed, click anywhere in that block.

What is the ruler/counter on the left of the Block Tree?

The ruler/counter on the left of the Block Tree allows you to judge how many SNPs are in a block.