Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Updated Method to get YDNA haplogroup from AncestryDNA results

Back in 2016 I posted an article explaining how to get YDNA information from AncestryDNA results. While this turned out to be a popular subject with the genetic genealogy community, it was by no means an easy method to follow. Since then a few developments have made the process much simpler. AncestryDNA has updated their testing chip to v5, which more specifically targets SNPs that are used in ethnicity profiles, and more importantly Chris Morley of has updated his YDNA predictor tool to work directly with AncestryDNA test files.  As you'll see below, the method is now much easier to use. 

Note: If you have trouble accessing the website, there are a few alternatives you can try. In my prior article on this subject, I talked about using health reports to get haplogroup information.  Another alternative worth trying is, a Chinese genomics company that offers free autosomal transfers.  However, only provides Y haplogroup information for AncestryDNA tests taken since 2017.

Getting a YDNA Haplogroup from AncestryDNA Results

AncestryDNA has a lot of hidden data within their tests. For men, this includes Y-DNA results, which are partially tested on the AncestryDNA chip, but not used by Ancestry in their current DNA analysis.  However, there is often enough data to make a rough prediction as to a male's Y-DNA haplogroup. This guide explains how to use an online tool to quickly estimate the Y-DNA haplogroup using AncestryDNA results.  (Note: This also works for 23andMe and MyHeritage results).

 Step One: Download your raw data.

 In order to view and use the YDNA data within your AncestryDNA results, you'll first need to download the raw data. Instructions on how to do so can be found in this AncestryDNA Support page. Note the email with the download link described in step 6 can take up to 24 hours to arrive, so be patient. If you don't receive the email within 24 hours, try checking your spam filter, requesting it again, and if that fails, contact Ancestry Support.

The end result will be a zip file downloaded to your computer with a name like "" (or whatever date you downloaded the file).

Step Two: Upload the data to MorleyDNA

Go to and click the "Choose File" button and select the file you downloaded in Step One. There is no need to unzip the compressed zip file.  The page will run a script to parse the YDNA data within the file. This may take a few minutes depending on your computer speed.  Because this is process is performed on your computer, I would not suggest trying this on a mobile device.

Step Three: Confirm the Upload & Submit the Data

You'll next be presented with a summary of the data extracted from the file.  Confirm that it says "no errors to report" in the last box.  If it says something else, you might want to redownload your zip file as it may be corrupted.  Click Submit.  You'll be taken to one more confirmation page. Click "Feed this Data into the Y-SNP Subclade Predictor"

You'll then be presented with another screen of data.  On this screen click the "I'm not a robot" captcha and click Predict. You then will be taken to your results.

Step Four: Interpreting your results. 

You should now see a page that looks something like this:

On the left is a list of potential haplogroups.  On the right are the specific SNPs tested.  Green are SNPs you matched that indicate you may belong on a particular branch.  Red are SNPs that were tested but you did not match the desired mutation.  Essentially you want to look for the deepest branch with the most green and least red.  In the example above, the testee is clearly on the E branch, but not on E1a, as he has a Red negative result there.  Scrolling down I was able to see his correct terminal branch was likely E1b as predicted on the left side of the page.  But in some cases you may have to select the second or third choice to find your correct haplogroup.  It will be the one with the most green in it.  If its a group with only one or two green or a mix of green and multiple red, this is likely not the correct haplogroup.  Also, you should IGNORE root ancestral groups such as BT or F, as these are not present in modern populations.  If BT or F is your most likely group, proceed to the next one on the list with the most green. 

This method is still not perfect.  You are not likely to get a prediction of your ultimate subgroup, as this typically requires testing many more SNPs not covered by the AncestryDNA test. However, for certain haplogroups, this can provide insight into which branch of the Y-DNA tree contains your terminal subgroup.  If your surname is one with a Project at FTDNA, try searching the results for tests with a similar haplogroup and common ancestors to yours.  An FTDNA project adminstrator may be able to help you with additional information, if you can provide them with these results and your paternal ancestry line. And feel free to ask questions in the comments below.


  1. Does this work for women as well as men?

    1. It didn't work for me. It told me that my predicted yDNA haplogroup was E-PF1796, but I already know that my paternal yDNA is R1b (R-M343). Luckily, one of my brother's had our paternal line tested.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I;m all woman, but somehow it predicted my exact known Y haplogroup from my dad's side.

  2. I can't imagine this works for women as we don't have the Y chromosome.

  3. I think you meant v2 for AncestryDNA; 23andMe is on v5 now (since some time in August).

    One thing that makes me wonder about the reliability of AncestryDNA markers is that females get some derived results. Those could be picking up XY SNPs.

    1. I got My Ancestry DNA results in August and Promethease said I was Male! I freaked out! Seriously thought I had some serious medical issue. I re-downloaded My Raw DNA Data and seen it shows the V2 now and had been regenerated September 2nd. I had fixed the original to V2 just to get it to upload to FTDNA. Ancestry has poor Quality Control. But at least they finally caught it.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm replying to my own comment with the fix. The file must be compressed (*.zip) format for the tool to recognize it. Fix came from the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) Facebook group.

    2. I had to extract the .zip to get it to work for me.

  5. This sounds terrific if I could get it to work for a male member. But it's extremely frustrating that there are do many little things that don't work. And I agree that Ancestry could be more helpful. The biggest these top three get the more competition to deal with.

  6. Replies
    1. I added a note about other sites you can try while MorleyDNA is down. Try or Both provide some YDNA haplogroup info from autosomal tests, though they are not as easy to use as Morley's site.

  7. what happened to the site? it not there anynore