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

 

On the Big Y Block Tree, each branch is represented as a block. For example, the below image represents the I-A19399 branch.

In the block, the first line (e.g., I-A19399) 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 are the blocks that are located above a branch block.

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

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

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.

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 are:

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

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

The Branch Information card displays the following information for the corresponding 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: Countries and DNA Matches.

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.

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.

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.

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

To navigate to the detailed 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 Matches. The detailed Matches view is displayed.

The detailed 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 for which you are positive and your match is negative or vice versa.
  • Y37 – When you and your match have both taken the Y-37 test:
    • If an X is displayed, it means that your match has their sharing setting turned off for this level of testing OR that your match is not within the matching thresholds at this level.
    • If a number is displayed, the number is the genetic distance between you and your match.  For more information, see What is a Relevant Match?
  • Y67 – When you and your match have both taken the Y-67 test:
    • If an X is displayed, it means that your match has their sharing setting turned off for this level of testing OR that your match is not within the matching thresholds at this level.
    • If a number is displayed, the number is the genetic distance between you and your match.  For more information, see What is a Relevant Match?
  • Y111 – When you and your match have both taken the Y-111 test:
    • If an X is displayed, it means that your match has their sharing setting turned off for this level of testing OR that your match is not within the matching thresholds at this level.
    • If a number is displayed, the number is the genetic distance between you and your match.  For more information, see What is a Relevant Match?
  • Big Y – Displays the number of mismatches between you and your match out of the total number of STR values being compared.  For example, if 11 of 582 is displayed in this column, it means that there are 11 mismatches out of 582 STR values.
  • 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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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 Countries – Select to display the Countries section on the Branch Information card.
  • Show DNA Matches – Select to display the Matches section on the Branch Information card.
  • Show Y-STR Matches – Select to display only your Y-STR matches in the Matches section on 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

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.

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

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