YDNA SNP Naming convention

+6 votes
FamilyTreeDNA has a naming convention for YDNA SNPs.

However, there is another convention in use.

For example, R1a1a1b1a3a.

Family Tree on the other hand might use: R-FT40329

Does anybody know of an App, table or handy source document that can be used to translate from one convention to the other?

Also, is there a name for the other convention?

in Genealogy Help by Andrew Ross G2G6 Mach 3 (31.6k points)
recategorized by Andrew Ross

2 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer

Hey, Andrew. It was the YCC (Y Chromosome Consortium) that developed the first haplogroup naming convention...the capital letter of the top-level haplogroup followed by a slew of numerals and letters. That's typically referred to as "YCC longhand nomenclature." As you noted, "YCC shorthand nomenclature" uses that same first capital letter, but then follows it with a defining terminal SNP for a particular subclade.

With the speed of growth of the yDNA haplotree thanks to the Big Y and other full sequence testing, the YCC longhand format was becoming simply too unwieldy to keep up with, much less to write out fully in papers or communications. I'm unaware of any simple way to programmatically associate longhand and shorthand names. The haplotree that the ISOGG maintains still uses the longhand form as the primary hierarchy, and shows--at least some of--the known defining SNPs for each branch: https://isogg.org/tree/.

At issue is that there is no governing entity that actually controls which SNPs are the subclade-defining ones, or even, for that matter, which SNP names are used. That's one reason the ISOGG tree is almost always well behind what you'll find at FTDNA or Yfull...and it's worth mentioning that those latter two are quite frequently in disagreement about establishing defining SNPs, particularly for the more recent branches of the haplotree.

by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (366k points)
selected by Andrew Ross


Thank you for the explanation and link to the ISOGG tree.  

I asked a similar question within the FTDNA forum and was pointed towards an excellent article that Roberta Estes wrote back in 2013 explaining the problem with the old convention.

Here is a link in case anybody needs further help: New Y DNA Naming Convention

+8 votes

Another useful browser is the ISOGG YBrowse which can be found at ybrowse.org Although it doesn't convert Long/Short nomenclature, it does allow you to compare SNPs and STRs   

The interface looks (and is) complicated, but if you just select the 'Browser' tab and enter a SNP or STR in the Search 'Landmark or Region:' box. If there is a match it is displayed in the 'Details' section.

I'm J2-L26, so if I enter L26 I see it's also called S57, Page55, PF5110 and PAGES00055, but no STRs. If I enter the example STR of DYS437 it displays the region and SNPs contained in that range. Very useful.

by Steve Jones G2G2 (2.7k points)

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