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Y-DNA Migration Maps Guide

The Y-DNA Migration Maps help you visualize your direct paternal ancestors’ historical and anthropological migrations. It shows general migration paths for the major haplogroups. Please note that the lines and arrows on this map are not specific to any exact locations; rather, they are meant to provide a general migration direction.

Accessing Y-DNA Migration Maps

You can access Y-DNA Migration Map from your dashboard or from your navigation bar.

To access from your dashboard:

  1. Sign in to your kit.
  2. On your dashboard, locate the Y-DNA Results & Tools widget.
  3. On the Y-DNA Results & Tools widget, click the Migration Maps button.

To access from your navigation bar:

  1. Sign in to your kit.
  2. On the navigation bar at the top of the page, go to Results & Tools > Y-DNA > Migration Maps.

Quick Overview


For the Y-DNA Migration Maps, there are two main map features:

  • Your Migration Map - Displays the general migration route of your haplogroup. 
  • All Migrations Map - Displays the general migration routes of all the major Y-DNA haplogroups.

Y-DNA Your Migration Map

The Y-DNA Your Migration Map helps you to visualize your direct paternal ancestors’ historic and anthropological migrations. This stretches all the way back to “Y-chromosome Adam” in Africa into historic times. “Y chromosomal Adam” is a reconstruction of the earliest Y-DNA for Homo sapiens.

At the bottom of Your Migration Map, you can read a brief description of your haplogroup.

Y-DNA All Migrations Maps

The Y-DNA All Migrations Map displays all of the migration routes out of Africa from the descendants of Y-chromosome Adam. Many of these routes will not be the ones taken by your own direct paternal ancestors.

Viewing All Y-DNA Haplogroup Migrations

To view haplogroup descriptions and migration paths of all major Y-DNA haplogroups:

  1. In the upper-left corner of the Y-DNA Migrations map, click on the All Migration Maps tab.
  2. Click through the haplogroup alphabet located at the bottom of the map to see a brief description of that haplogroup and to view that haplogroup’s route on the map.

At the bottom of All Migration Maps, you can click on any of the major haplogroups to read brief descriptions of them.

Please note that the lines and arrows on the All Migrations Map show the general direction of migration paths for the major Y-DNA haplogroups and are not specific to any exact locations.

Do all direct paternal (Y-DNA) lineages trace to Africa?

Yes so far, all direct paternal (Y-DNA) lineages of humans alive today trace back to a common ancestor who lived in Africa 200,000 to 240,000 years ago. Further back, the Y-DNA lines of Homo sapiens connect with other hominin groups, such as Neanderthals. These early groups left Africa long ago. We have not found their Y-DNA in modern populations, but we know their Y-DNA lineages from gravesite remains.

About 60,000 years ago, some groups of Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, while others remained. Our direct paternal lineages trace these migrations.

The path that our ancestors took tells a story about human history. Testing one’s own and relatives’ DNA can help you understand both the diversity and commonalities of your part of the human story.

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