U198 Y-DNA Project

Sub-structure within R-U198 Group

It may be possible to see sub-structure within our haplogroup using clustering based on “motifs” of Y-STR marker values. As of April 2009 the group is sub-divided into four as follows:

“14 14 group”

Cluster motif:

DYS393 = 14
DYS464 series contains a “14” and an “18”
DYS576 is less than 18

Major families:


“Type r”

Cluster motif:

No strong defining motif. This group was originally described as “regular” U198 (as opposed to “type g”) but has gradually been whittled away as more clusters have been identified and separated.

Major families:



Cluster motif:

DYS389 = 14/30 (or greater)
DYS448 = 18
DYS449 is greater than 29
DYS464 series contains a “16”
DYS576 is greater than 17
DYS578 = 10
DYS594 = 11

Major families:


“Type g”

Cluster motif:

DYS385 = 11/15
DYS437 = 14
DYS576 is less than 18


In March 2009 one of our project members discovered, through testing with “23andMe”, that he had a “derived” value for a previously-unrecognised SNP.

Hayward (ysearch: QVU68) has a change from “C” to “G” at “rs1583501”

As of May 2010, it appears that this is a “private” SNP which may have relevance to close family of Mr Hayward but is unlikely to be significant in terms of classification. The Hayward results have therefore been put back into the regular “type r” sub-group.

A GLIMPSE OF “Pre R-U198” ?

A very small group of men bear all the hallmarks of R-U198 yet have subsequently tested negative. They are however positive for the “parent” haplogroup R-U106.

It is now suggested this group may descend directly from the distant ancestor of R-U198 who lived before the U198 mutation took place.

To use a crude analogy, this group may represent the “trunk of the R-U106 tree” just where the “U198 branch” comes off.

Possible members of this putative “pre-U198” group include the following:

Briggs (ysearch: M7P2C and others)
Buck (ysearch: E6RAF)
Downie (ysearch: N9SQE)
Eden (ysearch: W3WUH)
Morrison (ysearch: 9CZR2 and others)

Downie is the key to this story. His initial SNP testing at “Family Tree DNA” was confirmed by “23andMe” so we can be confident that he is indeed U106+ / U198-

In the time between his testing at the two different laboratories, the “L48” SNP was discovered. This is another “branch” of R-U106 and a very major one. It is now known that almost all R-U106 men who have DYS390 = 23 will test positive for either L48 or U198. Downie has tested negative for both.

John Sloan has therefore proposed (March 2009) that Downie and the others may represent a putative “pre-U198”) having Y-STR markers incorporating the U198 “motif”, including DYS390 = 23, and being U198 negative and L48 negative.*

*this L48- status is known for Downie but not for the others

Data on this group are scarce so we have no way of yet knowing if this hypothesis is correct. Time will tell. We need to identify more members of this group and we need to know their L48 status.

© J.F. Sloan 15th April 2009

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