Questions and Answers
Last updated: October 16, 2021 update to #7
- I am totally lost with DNA. Where do I start?
- What are the project's privacy policies?
- What information can the project administrators see about me?
- What information can my matches see about me?
Functioning With Your Autosomal Data
- How can Family Finder / autosomal testers participate in Cork research?
- How do I download my raw autosomal data for use in GEDMATCH?
- What happens if I transfer autosomal data into FTDNA from elsewhere?
- Can I transfer my data to Ancestry? Someone there wants to know if we are related.
- Can I transfer data from MyHeritage?
- How do I get matches to respond to emails?
Account Setup, Account and Project Navigation
- Why can't I find my kit number in the DNA results?
- How do I maintain my surname list?
- How do I upload a GEDCOM into my FTDNA account / edit a family tree ?
- How do I enter data for my Earliest Known Ancestor?
- How do I share my ancestry and DNA results?
- How do I share my Origins with my matches?
- How do I share my family tree?
Interpreting Autosomal DNA Results
- What information is there on my matches?
- Does FTDNA show any autosomal triangulation information?
- Why don't I match my second cousin once removed?
- I have a match who shares 125 centiMorgans with me. How is he related?
- John Doe and I match at Ancestry but we do not match here in FTDNA. Why?
- Is there a way to see who matches me in Family Finder AND also matches me in Y DNA / mt DNA?
- How do I interpret my Y DNA results?
- How do I interpret my mtFull results?
- How do I share out my Coding Region?
- How do I set up my FTDNA account for participation in the Cork mitochondrial DNA study?
1. I am totally lost with DNA. Where do I begin?
- a. FTDNA Help Center at FTDNA Help Center.
- b. FTDNA Webinars at FTDNA Webinars.
- c. Read the book "Genetic Genealogy in Practice" by Blaine Bettinger or a similar book.
- Part I of the DNA Tutorials here (not an FTDNA website) gives an overview of the basic DNA tests. There is also an optional quiz at the end.
- e. Lecture videos on Youtube. Search "autosomal DNA", "Y DNA", "mitochondrial DNA", etc.
If you are studying your direct paternal line and paternal ancestry AND you are a man, take the Y DNA test. It will teach you something about that ancestry. You may or may not get meaningful relative matches. If you are studying a specific paternal line in your ancestry and you are not a suitable representative, get a willing and suitable male relative to do the Y test if feasible. That suitable relative may not just passively wander into your social sphere. You may have to put boots to the ground and actively scour the ancestral geographic area for a suitable person.
If you are studying your direct maternal line and maternal ancestry, take the mtFull test. It will teach you something about that ancestry. You may or may not get meaningful relative matches. If you are studying a specific maternal line in your ancestry and you are not a suitable representative, get a willing and able suitable male or female relative to do the mtFull test if feasible. See prior comment about boots to the ground.
If you are studying ALL your lineages, do the Family Finder test. If you are interested in a specific ancestor and you've got a parent or grandparent descended from that ancestor willing and able to so, test that person. If the grandparent is not available, get any willing and able aunts and uncles descended from that ancestor tested. If they are not available, get as many known relatives of your generation - siblings, first cousins, etc - as possible descended from that same ancestor tested.
2. What are the project's privacy policies?
• The project does not publish member lists and does not publish any data showing personal member information. Administrators have to sign an agreement with FTDNA to make your privacy a priority.
• All Y and mtDNA results project pages are viewable only to project members. They are not made public. This is not like most FTDNA projects, in which results are public.
• Project administrators will not communicate private information about someone's kit to somebody who is not the tester unless the account easily shows the identity and email of a kit monitor.
• If you are not the tester but are monitoring a test account for someone else and you want help, edit the Contact Information and place your own name in the middle name field so project administrators can immediately see both the tester name and your name in the project member list, e.g.
James Patrick C/O Mary Walsh Mulvany
In addition, your own email should be in the primary email field. You can have multiple emails in the primary email field, separated by a comma, e.g.
By setting up the kit Contact Information this way, you've greatly helped reduce any risk that project administrators could commit a private data breach.
• Autosomal DNA testers who on their own initiative upload their raw data to third party websites such as GEDMATCH voluntarily undertake all concomitant risks in doing so - including scrutiny of your data in ways that you had not intended.
• If you want to participate in the mitochondrial DNA study, or otherwise wish for help with your account or want project administrators for some reason to look at your data, you'll need to at least grant LIMITED access on your account to the project administrators. (Any editing help will require ADVANCED access.)
To grant LIMITED Access, click myProjects at the top of your dashboard screen, then click Manage My Projects. Find the Cork Ireland project among your projects and follow the prompts to grant access to the administrators.
• FTDNA customers may opt out of Law Enforcement matching if they so choose. Check your PRIVACY Settings in your account. OPT OUT is the DEFAULT setting for new kits of customers in the EU. However, with a valid search warrant or subpoena, law enforcement can search FTDNA data beyond what is ordinarily available. See our Code of Conduct page for an explanation.
3. What information can the administrators see about me and my data?
Assuming LIMITED access is granted to the administrators, and WITHOUT HAVING TO DRILL DOWN INTO YOUR ACCOUNT, the administrators can easily see the KIT NUMBER, NAME and your PRIMARY EMAIL on your account through the project administrative interface.
They can also see your PATERNAL ORIGIN and MATERNAL ORIGIN data if that information has been completed - Country of Origin, Location including GPS Coordinates, ancestor's name.
They can also easily see your Y DNA haplogroup and MT DNA haplogroup if you've done those types of tests.
So PLEASE use these fields for which they are intended. Use the NAME FIELDS for names. Do not leave them blank and do not put in strange characters and weird data. Use the ORIGIN FIELDS for the names, dates, and locations of your earliest known paternal line and maternal line ancestors. Please do NOT use these fields to stuff in data about your matches or your haplogroups. Please do NOT try to stuff a line of descent into an origin field. ** Create a family tree to show the line of descent. **
Administrators can also tell the access level you've granted them, whether you are publicly sharing DNA results, and whether or not you are sharing out your Coding Region (mt DNA).
The administrators cannot see additional data without some work involved.
DRILLING DOWN INTO YOUR ACCOUNT, the administrators can see your FAMILY TREE, your PERSONAL STORY, and your MATCHES to the match participation level that you've specified in your Privacy & Sharing Settings. If there are special badges on your dashboard, e.g., Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (WAMH) or Niall of the Nine Hostages, the administrators will be able to see them.
With some difficulty, the administrators are also able to see your other account settings.
4. What information can my matches see about me and my data?
5. How can Family Finder/autosomal testers participate in Cork research?
First, enroll your autosomal kit into this project by clicking JOIN. Currently, the FTDNA administrative interface does not have the means at a project-wide level to analyze member autosomal DNA to the extent of other analytical venues. Should that change in the future, your kit will be in place.
To assist your matches, upload a family tree into your FTDNA account and fill in your surname list with locations.
Next, upload your raw autosomal data to the third party site GEDMATCH. See the next question for downloading your autosomal data out of FTDNA and see GEDMATCH for instructions on uploading it there. You can change the graphic picture in your FTDNA profile to that of your GEDMATCH kit number or provide additional information in your kit profile to let your matches know you are on GEDMATCH. Upload a GEDCOM into your GEDMATCH account or link in a family tree from WikiTree. The basic GEDMATCH service is free. For a small donation, you get access to additional utilities.
If you did not do Family Finder but transferred your autosomal data from elsewhere, upload to GEDMATCH the raw data from the source lab that analyzed your swab. Transferred data to FTDNA might have ended up filtered.
Next, Join the DNA Corcaigh Project on Facebook. The other group you should join is the Cork Ireland City and County Matchmaker Tool. These two groups are run by the same people. You will need to provide your GEDMATCH ID to get further help.
To get more benefit out of GEDMATCH, you can also join a GEDMATCH group called Cork Matchmaker Tool DNA Group. Look for it at GEDMATCH. So if you don't want to join the Facebook group you have the GEDMATCH group as an option.
Another Facebook group of interest is Cork Genealogical Society / IGP Web Cork.
FOLLOW THE RULES when posting in the CGS / IGP Web Facebook group, otherwise it is at risk of getting deleted by Facebook. That is ten+ years of work / 6000 members lost.
1. As a volunteer group, we don't accept promotion of goods and services.
2. Please ONLY post queries and information about people who have died. Or follow the 100 year rule. This is to comply with GPDR data rules. Photos of living people only with their consent. Be sure that any other content, information and images are copyright free. Post links to a document or image which is from a website.
3. Please keep DNA queries to our DNA groups. Please do NOT post your matches information ANYWHERE. If you think you're connected use the PRIVATE messages in the DNA CORCAIGH Cork Project and Cork Matchmaker / Gedmatch Group.
4. Please send the share link to friends - the invite and add button aren't used in this group.
5. When in doubt, don't post - you can message me (Ann Marie Coghlan) for advice. Data Regulations are much tighter since 2018. Thank you.
6. How to download your raw autosomal data for GEDMATCH
From the myDNA Menu at the top of your screen, select Family Finder | Download Raw Data. Follow the instructions at GEDMATCH and download to your computer hard drive the concatenated data of the recommended build. Currently that is Build 37.
7. What happens if I transfer in my data from elsewhere
- You will not have access to some of the autosomal DNA tools. If you want to use them you will have to pay a fee ($19 USD last time checked).
Prior to July of 2021, transferred autosomal data did not undergo statistical imputation (missing data substitution by estimates). The outcome was that transferred data had significantly fewer matches than if the tester had done a swab at FTDNA and taken the Family Finder test, thus having two sets of autosomal results. The transfer account often had as much as 80% fewer matches than the swab account.
This is no longer the case. Autosomal transfer accounts should now show roughly the same number of matches as the swab account equivalents, if the tester has chosen to do both and has those two accounts. The transfer accounts have undergone statistical imputation.
8. Can I transfer my data to Ancestry?
NO. If you want to compare your data with an acquaintance at Ancestry, that person will need to test at FTDNA - OR - you'll both need to upload your autosomal data to GEDMATCH (see above).
It is possible for Ancestry testers to transfer their data to FTDNA, but matches might get filtered. In some cases, transfer accounts of testers have only about 1/8 the matches that their full-blown Family Finder accounts have. So to get the full spectrum of matches, the Family Finder test is recommended.
9. Transfer from MyHeritage
You may transfer data from MyHeritage WITHIN SIX MONTHS of your DNA data being created at MyHeritage. So if you want to transfer it act immediately.
10. How do I get matches to respond to my emails?
Not all your matches will be as interested in genealogy research as you are or know as much as you do. So they may not respond to you no matter what. However, some courtesy and consideration can go a long way. Use a neutral, detached tone in your correspondence. Keep your first email short. Emotions should not dictate your words. Do not express impatience, frustration, desperation, or even hope. Do not send attachments to your match in your first correspondence. You might end up filling somebody's inbox and incapacitating their email, and that person will not be happy with you! Wait until you've heard back and established communication and ask before you send anything. Before resuming correspondence with someone after time has elapsed, review your prior emails with that person first. Keep all of your correspondence cordial, polite, as brief as possible, and focused on the topic on hand. Pretend you are writing a business letter.
- -- Read all the information in the matching kit, including the kit profile (About Me), the surnames, and the family tree.
- -- Know who you are writing to, if possible. Is your correspondent the actual tester or is the person monitoring someone else's test?
- -- Begin your email by greeting the match by name if possible or at least saying "Hello".
- -- Identify exactly the kit you are inquiring about. The person might manage several kits. Don't make that person have to guess which kit you are talking about.
- -- Identify exactly your own matching kit.
- -- If applicable, thank the match for the family history data they've published.
- -- Demonstrate that you've studied the family data the match has published.
- -- Ask your question.
- -- Thank the person for their time, and sign off.
Sample introductory email:
I am inquiring about the FTDNA kit of Mary Smith. It matches my kit, John Jones.
Your family tree is helpful. Would you happen to have any more information on the James Jones in your tree, born 1875 in Cork City? I am researching the origins of my great-grandfather, who was James Jones from Cork.
Thank you for your time, and best wishes.
11. Why can't I find my kit number in the listed DNA Results in this project?
The project does not list members who have taken an autosomal DNA test.
The FTDNA administrative interface provides us some tools to analyze and group together members with Y DNA and mtDNA results. Those results are visible when you log in and are probably the lists you are seeing.
A list of members who have done autosomal testing is meaningless without the context of matches and the means by which to analyze them. The FTDNA administrative interface does not provide the means on a project-wide level to analyze autosomally related members. However there are other analytical venues. See: Participating in Cork research.
12. How to maintain your surname list
Filling out your surname list makes it a lot easier for your matches to find you.
From your account dashboard, click Account Settings, then the Genealogy tab, then Surnames. From there you can add and delete your surname list.
If your surname has multiple spellings, you can either make the different spelling separate entries, or put them together in one entry, e.g., Sweeney Sweeny.
Add place names with as much detail as you can (down to the city, town, village, or townland) if you have that information.
Each time you upload or reupload a family tree GEDCOM to myFamilyTree (see next question), you should recheck your surname list. The upload automatically adds pedigree surnames to your surname list so you will see double entries. To keep your list tidy and easy for your matches to read, delete the duplicates - they won't have locations.
13. How to upload a family tree GEDCOM file
You can use the built-in editor to create a family tree if you want. However, it is more efficient to produce a GEDCOM file externally and upload it into your FTDNA account.
To export a GEDCOM file out of Ancestry.com:
- Log in to your Ancestry account.
- Under Family Trees, click the tree to export.
- Under Tree Settings, view Manage your tree.
- Click where it says Export Tree.
- Save the GEDCOM file on your computer.
To create a GEDCOM file from scratch, try one of the following programs:
To upload your GEDCOM, in your FTDNA account, click myFamilyTree. Click the Upload GEDCOM icon then choose the GEDCOM file on your computer to upload it.
To adjust the privacy settings on your family tree, click the Cog wheel where it says Settings. The project recommends sharing your tree with your MATCHES.
See: How to - Family Tree
14. Set up earliest ancestor
Set up your earliest earliest ancestor set up with as much detail as possible, including Country of Origin and GPS coordinates. If you've done Big Y testing, your paternal ancestry data will provide origin data to the Y DNA haplotree, and if you've done mtFull your maternal ancestor setup will provide origin data to the mt DNA haplotree.
Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.
Abbreviation Tips: Under Name and Birth/Death Date enter an abbreviated description of your earliest known Cork ancestor, including location where she was born or lived if possible. e.g. Jhna Coughlan m. Jhn Murray 1834 Dunmy Cork IE. ("Johanna Coughlan married John Murray 1834 Dunmanway Cork Ireland"). Ideally, enter approximate year of birth, and townland or town. To save space, use abbreviations like b. for born or baptized or bc. for born circa; eliminate commas and just use spaces, e.g., Cannaway Cork IE; abbreviate names, such as Jhna for "Johanna" ; Cath for "Catherine"; Chs for "Charles"; Cor for "Cornelius"; Dl for "Daniel", etc.
The example below is for paternal ancestor but the same steps apply for maternal ancestor.
- Click save (bottom left; not shown).
- Click Update Location (on the right).
- Now underneath the map, on the left side for Paternal, click edit location.
Under Direct Paternal Ancestor, enter the earliest known ancestor name; a birth, marriage, or death year; and a location.
- Enter a Country of Origin.
- Under Step 1 - Choose Ancestor Type, click update paternal location (lower left; not shown).
- If you already entered your ancestor's name, date, and abbreviated location, click next to skip this step.
- If you didn't enter it before, under Step 2 - Update Paternal Information, enter the ancestor name, an approximate birth or death date, and a location. See the left graphic for one example.
Here is another example:
Martin Smith b.c. 1800 l. Hamilton Co, OH, USA
- Click next to save your information or skip Step 2.
- Under Step 3 - Find a Location on the Map, enter a known location for your paternal ancestor - where he might have been born, resided or died. You can use the location search tool built into FTDNA, or you can customize your own latitude and longitude by using a tool such as getLatLong to zoom to and get the coordinates of your own location. If your ancestor came from a townland with a frequently used name (e.g., Scart) please customize it.
- Whichever way you enter the location, click search.
- Click select on the map.
Under Step 4, enter the display format of the location that you want to use on the map, e.g., Gortnascreeny, Caheragh, Co Cork, Ireland. Click next. Under Step 5, review all the information you entered for accuracy, and click save & exit.
15. Opt in to share your anonymized results
Access Account Settings | Project Preferences | Project Sharing | Group Project Profile, then check the box Opt in to Sharing.
This will make public your anonymized Y DNA and mt DNA results and ancestor information for your Y and mt DNA projects. The Cork Ireland project keeps those results pages private, but your results will be public in your other projects if those projects make anonymized results publicly available.
16. How to share your origins with matches
Once you have filled out your Earliest Known Ancestor - paternal and maternal - take this additional step so that you appear as a pin on the myOrigins map to your matches.
See also Learning Center Privacy & Sharing.
17. How to share your family tree
Access Account Settings | Privacy and Sharing and scroll down to Family Tree Sharing. Share your family tree with ONLY MATCHES.
We do not know the effects of setting Family Tree Sharing to All FamilyTreeDNA Users. At one time, the FTDNA website had a site wide family tree search feature. That feature has since been removed but presumably it could be reimplemented. If you do not wish the visibility of your family tree to go beyond your matches, we recommend the ONLY MATCHES setting.
18. What basic information is there about my matches?
The first illustration shows a hypothetical match in the Table View of matches. The name is obvious.
(A) Labels a match that has triangulated into your paternal side, maternal side, or both sides.
(B) Labels the Ancestral Surnames your match has entered. Click for further details.
(C) labels a relationship range estimate that FTDNA has assigned. Clicking Assign Relationship will take you to your family tree into which you can build that match in if you know the relationship. If you've already built a relationship into your family tree, the relationship will appear here.
(D) Labels total shared DNA in centiMorgans.
(E) Labels the longest block of DNA in centiMorgans. Generally, when you compare matches sharing about the same total amount of DNA, those with larger longest blocks will likely be closer relatives than those with smaller largest blocks.
(F) Shows the shared DNA centiMorgan total along X chromosomes.
(G) Shows the predicted or tested Y DNA haplogroup of your male match.
(H) Shows the mtDNA haplogroup of your match.
(I) Click the icon to see who you have this match In Common With.
(J) If the match has an empty family tree, the icon will look hollow. If the match has entered anything, the icon will look dark gray.
(K) Use the Notes utility to maintain notes on the match.
When you click on the match's name, you'll get a popup.
- (1) is the match's name.
- (2) is contact email.
- (3) is what the match filled in for earliest known direct paternal line ancestor.
- (4) is what the match filled in for earliest known direct maternal line ancestor.
- (5) is the match's predicted or confirmed haplogroup if the match is a man and has done a Y DNA test.
- (6) is the match's predicted or confirmed haplogroup if the match has done a mtDNA test.
- (7) is what the match filled in under surnames.
See: Matches page.
19. Does FTDNA show any triangulation information?
Yes, but you'll have to put in some effort to see who matches you on your paternal side, who matches you on your maternal side, or both. Triangulation, which is the matching of three (or more) people on the same segment of DNA, is powerful evidence that the persons involved share common ancestry, so - if you can afford the expense of testing lots of relatives - it is well worth the effort.
To see FTDNA calculate triangulations in your account, you'll need to test LOTS of known relatives. Then, for you and each tested known relative:
- 1. -- Build out the family tree under myFamilyTree to include all that tester's known relatives who are DNA matches. It would probably be best to use an external editor, then upload the GEDCOM into the account - ESPECIALLY if the tester is related to the relative in more than one way. In the external editor you'll be able to build in the multiple relationships.
- 2. -- Using the linking tools inside myFamilyTree, link in the known relatives who are DNA matches in to the tree.
See: Linking and Unlinking Matches.
- 3. -- By linking in matching relatives, you have created a triangulation engine. When you next view that kit's Family Finder matches, FTDNA will calculate triangulations and sort them into one of the match tabs - MATERNAL, PATERNAL, or BOTH. (These categories may be called BUCKETS by others.) All matches are in the tab labeled ALL.
- 4. -- If you want to keep notes, you may want to PAUSE this process after linking in ONE relative, exit myFamilyTree then go back to the Family Finder matches and see who that one linked relative triangulated in. You can use the Notes field next to the name of each match to record which linked relative triangulated that person in and the common ancestry shared with the linked relative.
- 5. -- Repeat this process for each relative kit you manage. Yes, it takes work!
The tabs at the top of your Family Finder matches will look like this after you've linked in several known relatives.
The Linked Relationship filter in the Filter Box above your matches table will show the people you've linked in.
Not all people you link in may necessarily triangulate. The tester, the linked known tested relative, and a common match must all magically share a matching segment of sufficient size. When that occurs, it is nothing short of miraculous, so it doesn't happen very often. However, the account is now set up so a future match might come along and trigger a triangulation from the linked relative that did not triangulate anybody.
20. Why doesn't my known relative match me in Family Finder?
Your chance of matching close relatives all the way through the degree of first cousins (1C) is virtually certain. If they are second cousins (2C), the likelihood of a match is still better than 99%. At relationship degrees beyond 2C, the likelihood of a match to a known relative starts to drop more steeply.
At third cousins (3C), the likelihood of a match is greater than 90%. If you were to test ten known third cousins, and they were not related to you in other ways, there is a good chance that one of them will not match.
At fourth cousins (4C), the likelihood of a match is greater than 50%. If you were to test ten known fourth cousins, and they were not related to you in other ways, there is a good chance that five of them will not match.
At fifth cousins (5C), the likelihood of a match is greater than 10%. If you were to test ten known fifth cousins, and they were not related to you in other ways, there is a good chance that only one of those ten will match and the remaining nine will not.
There is more on the probability that you and your known relative share enough DNA to match from FTDNA here.
21. Interpreting Relationship Degree from Autosomal Matches
The randomness of what you inherit from your common ancestors will determine how strongly you and your relatives match. For example, two testers who are 2C1R could have 0 cMs in common (no match) or over 300 cMs in common.
ISOGG publishes a table from the Shared cM Project, which collects statistics on the range of possibilities of shared cMs between two people at various relationship degrees. To use the table, you take the number of matching cMs and search for the relationship degrees that include that number.
For 125 cMs, the table published in 2020 (version 4.0) includes 1C1R, 1C2R, 1C3R, 2C, 2C1R, 2C2R, 2C3R, 3C, 3C1R, 3C2R, 4C, and 4C1R as well as a number of half relationships.
DNA Painter goes a step further and publishes a calculator that takes the number of shared cMs as input and tells you the likelihood of certain relationship degrees. For example, if you enter 125 cMs, DNA Painter v4 using Shared cMs 3.0 will place at somewhat over 3% the likelihood that the relationship degree is 3C2R, 4C, or half 3C1R.
We cannot expect shared cMs to always give us precise relationship predictions. There is an excellent article about the limits of autosomal DNA testing at the DNA Geek.
Notice that these tools only look at the total number of centiMorgans and do NOT consider the fragmentation of your DNA segments and the longest blocks shared with those matches. Given two matches with the same total number of shared centiMorgans, the match with fewer small fragments and more longer blocks is probably the more promising match.
22. Why doesn't my match at Ancestry match me at FTDNA?
It depends on matching algorithms used by different laboratories, minimum centiMorgan threshold, longest blocks, and how fragmented your DNA segments are among your total shared centiMorgans.
Family Tree DNA: 9 cM minimal size block, or longest block of 7.69 cMs with a shared total of minimum 20 cMs.
Ancestry.com: 8 cMs shared minimum (formerly 6cMs; revised August 2020).
23AndMe: 7 cMs minimal size block.
MyHeritage: 8 cMs shared minimum (formerly 12 cMs; revised January 2018).
See by Roberta Estes: Family Tree DNA introduces phased Family Finder matches (2016)
23. Advanced Matching
There is an easy way inside your FTDNA account to find mtDNA matches who also match you on Family Finder. Follow the same procedure for matches in Y DNA and Family Finder.
Select Advanced Matching from Additional Tests and Tools on your dashboard and look at the red outlined boxes in the screen below:
If they are also Family Finder matches, you will have to rule out that those matches are not related to you in MORE THAN ONE WAY. This can happen often (more than one relationship to a match), for example, if you both have rural ancestry from the same geographic region over several generations.
You should also contact your mtDNA match and ask him if he knows of other relatives in the FTDNA database who may have not tested mtDNA but have done Family Finder and are also descended from his maternal ancestor. You should be prepared to supply your match the same information - a list of your Family Finder tested relatives descended from your maternal ancestor that he can check for in his Family Finder matches.
Follow a similar procedure with Y DNA + FF matches.
Provided you can rule out multiple relationships to your match, advanced matching might be able to help you date the time back to a common ancestor with your Y DNA or mt DNA match.
24. How do I interpret my Y results?
Interpretation depends on many factors - How many men who would match you have Y tested at FTDNA (i.e., distant relatives who might share a common paternal ancestor with you say within the last few hundred years); how much testing you have done; the behavior of your STR markers in your particular branch of Y, in a branch of your family, etc. These factors are not necessarily easy to assess.
See question 1. The aforementioned book, webinars and videos are good for further exploration as well as your surname project and Y haplogroup project.
Here is a set of tutorials on DNA testing, including navigating and understanding basic Y DNA results at FTDNA - DNA Q&A.
- Part I: Brief overview of the types of genetic tests for genealogy
- Part II: Doing a yDNA test, describes FTDNA's Y DNA products
- Part III: Understanding and Navigating Basic Y STR results
- Part IV: Understanding and Navigating Y SNP results
- Part V: Sharing your Y SNP results with other projects
See also: Advanced Matching.
25. How do I interpret my mtFull results?
FTDNA has some webinars on mtDNA. They are a few years old. The account interface you see in the webinar may have since changed in the FTDNA customer site. Skip the first few minutes of each to get to the heart of each talk: Family Tree DNA Results Explained: mtDNA Matching & Genealogy - AND - Family Tree DNA Results Explained: mtDNA Haplogroups & Deep Ancestry. You will dive into concepts such as haplogroup, hypervariable regions 1 and 2 (HVR1 and HVR1), Coding Region, Genetic Distance, and heteroplasmy.
FTDNA now offers for new testers only a mitochondrial test that covers all three regions - HVR1, HVR2, and Coding Region. Earlier test takers may not have completed testing of all three regions and should upgrade.
Mitochondrial DNA can be 100% stable for many centuries. It can also suddenly develop multiple mutations between mothers and children. Every mt DNA tester should read: The Myth of the GD0.
The mitochondrial DNA test is not the ideal DNA test to use if you want to find close relatives who share a recent common direct maternal ancestor. mtDNA does NOT have a surname correlation that men have with yDNA so researching female lines can be considerably more difficult.
mtDNA is a GREAT tool to use if you and another researcher believe you share a direct maternal ancestor and you want to validate your research.
Once you get the basics from the webinars, you may want to try the Learning Center for more details.
The FTDNA Learning Center has a link on measures of relatedness. This is probably too little to go on in terms of determining how closely you match someone else.
But you may want to check Advanced Matching for instructions on determining if a mtDNA match also matches you through autosomal DNA.
In your account, fill in your maternal line family tree as far back as you can and fill in your Earliest Known Maternal Ancestor.
Check the Links for other mtDNA projects appropriate for you or ask on the Activity Feed if you're not sure. The vast majority are haplogroup projects though some are regional.
Unlock your mtDNA Coding Region and join your relevant mtDNA projects. Your mtDNA project administrators are the people who *may* be in a position to better understand your results - provided that you supply them with the Coding Region data they need.
26. How do I share my Coding Region with my mt DNA projects?
Under Account Settings | Project Preferences scroll down to Project Sharing then Coding Region Sharing and check the box Opt in to Sharing so your maternal haplogroup project administrators can see your Coding Region mutations. Your Coding Region is never publicly displayed.
Your mtDNA haplogroup project administrators need access to your Coding Region to better analyze your data.
27. How do I set up my FTDNA account for participation in the Cork mitochondrial DNA study?
The Cork Ireland project has an ongoing mapping study of the mitochondrial DNA of Cork. If you are set up to participate, we will ultimately be able to add your haplogroup and origin data to maps of Cork, and in the process determine if there are recognizable clusters or distributions of certain maternal line haplogroups and subclades within County Cork.
For your ANONYMIZED results to be included in the Cork groupings of the direct maternal line study and eventually mapped, you'll need to do the following:
- ✔ You've granted your project admins LIMITED access to your data.
- ✔ You've tested mtFull.
- ✔ You've filled in your Earliest Known Maternal Ancestor, including Country of Origin, Name and Location data.
- ✔ You've created a family tree showing your maternal line with names, dates, places.
- ✔ You've joined the Ireland mtDNA project.
- ✔ You've joined your relevant mtDNA haplogroup projects. See the sidebar LINKS for some mitochondrial haplogroup projects.
- ✔ Your Coding Region is shared.
- ✔ You've opted in to share out your maternal ancestor and mtDNA results.
To be included in the mtDNA study, DNA data needs to be fully enabled for matching with other FTDNA testers on all three regions: HVR1, HVR2, and Coding Region.