Sunday, January 14, 2018

You can now submit your Big Y results to YFull!

The Big Y from Family Tree DNA is a fantastic Y-DNA test for finding out more about your direct paternal line. If you want to know what's so great about the Big Y, please see the following posts:

The Big Y test from Family Tree DNA can knock your socks off!


The Big Y could be the best DNA test ever!

Although the Big Y test has new and improved tools, many people also submit their results to a service called YFull for further interpretation, a great matching database, the ability to view the results on a giant family tree to see how you're related to everyone else, and much more.  I love this service, and highly recommend it.

For more about YFull, see

What are the benefits of YFull?


Great updates to YFull

Two files are used for evaluating Big Y results

There are two types of files that are commonly used for evaluating Big Y results: the VCF file and the BAM file.  We don't need to understand anything about these files to submit them for evaluation.

Recently, many people have been prevented from submitting their results to YFull because YFull needs the BAM file to analyze your results, and the BAM files have not been available from Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA has recently been converting all Big Y results, and the BAM files will not be released until the conversion is complete. 

Although the BAM file is not available, the VCF file is available from Family Tree DNA.

News from YFull 

So here's the great news! YFull will now analyze your VCF file, and when the more complete BAM file is available you will be able to get a free upgrade.

Here's the announcement from the YFull Facebook page:

So let's download the VCF file and submit it to YFull.

Download your VCF file from Family Tree DNA

Log into your FTDNA account.  Go to the Big Y section of your page. Click Big Y Results.

Big Y results

On the next page, click Download Raw Data. 

download Rig Y raw data

You will be taken to the following screen. Notice that there are three green links at the bottom: Download VCF, Download BAM, and Share BAM. 

download Big Y results

Although the links for Download BAM and Share BAM are shown, the BAM files are not yet available.  I will update this page when the BAM files are released.  

In the meantime, click Download VCF. This is the file you will submit to YFull. This file is very large, so you won't be able to email it. Right click on Download VCF, and copy the link location.  If that does not work, download the file and save it to an online data storage service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. Then go to the website for your online service, and log in. Get a link to the file so you can share it. Here is an example from OneDrive:

One Drive sharing link

Submitting to YFull

Go to YFull at

Click the red "Order Now!" You do not have to pay now; you will receive an invoice when your analysis is complete.

YFull order

On the next page enter your email and name. Then click VCF, FTDNA Big Y, and Link to a sharing file.  Paste your online file link.

register at YFull

That's it! Now get ready to see what new information you will find. The YFull analysis is being returned very quickly.



Family Sleuther said...

Thank you for flagging, Linda. My particular interest is in YFull's haplogroup/SNP dating/age estimates. Do you know whether that feature is available based on just the VCF file or will I need to wait for the BAM file?

Family Sleuther said...

I think I've answered my own question. In reviewing YFull's website I see they have a red X under VCF for the age estimation feature.