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About us

Welcome to the world of DNA testing of Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). Family Tree DNA.  Family Tree DNA was started by two family genealogists, Bennett Greenspan and Max Blankfeld.  You can read the history of how it all began here.

Family Tree provides helpful research tools for participants that allow projects to be created by volunteers for different categories of research.  There are Y Surname projects, geographic projects and special interest projects of certain cultures, haplogroups or other specific interests.  This is a Y DNA Surname project.  The goal of the project is to provide the tools for researchers of Graham family lines who have common ancestry and to identify the Individual Family DNA Signatures of the individual families.

Family Tree DNA provides websites of Y DNA results for the volunteers who manage the project by updating the matches of groupings and helping participants through the testing process.

This is a Family Tree DNA Y testing Surname Project begun by a volunteer in 2003 for the Graham Family Y DNA Surname.  It has grown largely since that time and includes results from Grahams who live around the globe.  

There are currently three types of genetic testing used for Ancestry or family research.

1. Y-DNA testing
2. Mitochondrial DNA testing
3. Autosomal DNA testing.

This project uses Y-DNA testing
There are two types of Y DNA testing,
1. STR testing 
2. SNP testing

Y DNA STR and SNP testing provides results that pertain to the father's, father's, father's (all the way back) branch of the tree.  When you look at a family tree, the left outer line, or outer staircase, is the line of the father. 

STR testing results comes back in a string of numbers known as alleles or markers.  The first three numbers might be written like this 24 14 10.  The quantity of sets of numbers depends on what size of test you purchased.  Most people start with the set of 37 or higher.  You need enough sets to differentiate your family's DNA signature from the families you are not related to.  Some families will achieve this at 37 markers, others will need more.  The more you test, the more your results reveal about your family.  To help you make a selection of how many markers to test, take a look at the results page of the surname and see how many markers are needed to differentiate the groups.  Some surnames require a small amount, others will need more.  The project manager should be able to provide some guidance for this question if you are in doubt.

SNP testing will come back as a list of individual SNPs that the participant tested for as positive.

Whether you choose SNP or STR testing, the results will be compared to ALL of the results that are in the FTDNA database.  This is the largest database in the world for Y testing.  FTDNA will set up a web page for your results and on it, they will put a list of your matches and their email addresses, provided that the test taker signed a form to allow them to do so.  You will then be able to contact your matches and compare what documentation you have of your family trees to determine where your common ancestor is on the tree.  Y testing will not tell you which generation that your common ancestor resides.

Autosomal Testers participation. 
If you have joined the project as an Autosomal DNA tester, you should know that it is not possible to compare a Y DNA test to an Autosomal test.  If you find that you share the same, known, common male  Graham ancestor with a Y DNA tester, then you have found the Y DNA signature of your Graham line.

It is possible to upload autosomal results from other companies.

FTNDA provides tutorials that may be helpful in navigating the web site with your results.  

Project Managers can be reached through email.

Mitochondrial DNA Testing
MTDNA testing provides results that, similar to Y testing, follow only one branch of the family tree, the maternal side.  Another similarity to Y testing is that the generation of a common ancestor is largely unknown.  As maternal trees, in general, do not follow surnames,  this type of testing is more difficult to track as the surname will change in every generation.