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How can you locate your matches in a project you have joined?
Assuming you and others have tested 'Family Finder' (or transferred your autosomal results to FTDNA), please go to your personal FTDNA Home page and then to Family Finder.
Now look at "Advanced Matches" and designate the XYZ??? Project and designate FF and then hit Run Report.This will bring up your cousins who have joined that specific project.To make contact with them, move out of those pages and go to your "Family Finder Matches".
This will bring up ALL your cousins in the Data base, but here you can find the people whom you found in the first report.
Click on their name to get their profile and their email address...
Realise that not everyone tests "Family Finder" and even if they have, they may not necessarily have joined the Project in which you are looking.

Throughout most of my years as an FTDNA Admin, the matter of match notices keeps cropping up with an accompanying complaint that the person being notified cannot locate the "match", so I shall add this post to the FAQs.

WHAT to do when you get such a notice and you have no idea who is supposed to be matching you.

1.  Log into your FTDNA personal Home page with your kit number and your password.
2.  Note the message indicates the level that has been located.  In this example it is Y25, so go to your Y-DNA matches and click on "Matches"
3.  When the page has finished loading, go to the box labelled "Markers" and alter it to 25 from the default value.
4.  A new set of results will appear.  Go over to the far right hand side and top of a column labelled "Match Date" and click on that column label.
5.  This will alter the dates - you may have to click more than once to get the dates in descending order.
6.  Now you will see the matches in the most recent month - note their names and details including the wee icons below the person's name.
7.  If you click on the name itself, you will get that person's profile.  You will also see the level that he has tested to and whether he has placed his family tree in the data base.  (FF means Family Finder).
8.  If any names look interesting note what level he has tested to and consider upgrading yourself to at least Y111 - this is a far more certain genealogical test than Y37 or below (as examples).
9.  In due course, the admins understand that the Big Y icon will also begin to be displayed - a bonus for those of us who have tested thus.
10.  Finally, you can turn these notices off, but I do not advise this - merely delete in your emails.

For those curious about the kit numbers and the alpha letter sometimes at the beginning of the numerals, here is what they mean
The letters at the beginning of customers’ kit numbers indicate where they originally purchased their kits. The following are examples only - I have many more.
A – Those who test with African DNA
B – Those who transfer Y-DNA or autosomal results through a lab transfer program
E – Those who test with iGenea, our European associate
H – Those who tested with DNA Heritage and transferred their results
M – Those who test with DNA Ancestry & Family Origin, our Middle Eastern associate
N – Those who test with and transfer from the National Geographic Genographic Project
U – Those who test at DNA World Wide, our UK associate


For those of you who are interested and do not have a copy of the Eric Sykes Book called 'Seven daughters of Eve', you may like to have this as a reminder of your mitochondrial Haplogroup.
It comes from the website


Various message boards for R1b Haplogroup testers  (yes, there are numerous Facebook groups as well, but you will need to search specifically for yourself).
For those on DNA-Rootsweb message board looking for a place to keep up, we have many options now.

Project administrators:  (this forum)
Newbies and general DNA:
R1b interested parties:
R1b-P312 specific:
R1b-L21 specific:
R1b-DF27 specific:
R1b-U152 specific:
R1b-U106 specific:

There also many very specific yahoo groups, such as:
R1b-M222 / NW Irish:
R1b-Z255 / Irish Sea:
R1b-L513 / 11-13 Combo:
R1b-CTS4466 / South Irish:
There are others, but these are ones I'm familiar with.

Frequently "muddled names".
GEDmatch is an abbreviation for an autosomal (atDNA) test comparison site    It is NOT for comparing any other test - just Ancestry, 23andMe and FTDNA 'Family Finder offer these tests.

  GEDCOM stands for Genealogical Data Communication. Think of it as a universal file format for sharing genealogy files between genealogy software programs.  So when you are asked to "upload" your gedcom, your software needs to be able to "export" that file to wherever you are intending to "upload".

Uploading and downloading:  These two descriptions seem to give an inordinate amount of trouble to those reading instructions or trying to follow same.
  To "upload" something means that the file is sitting somewhere on your computer and that you are needing to place it into an internet program (some place on the internet). 
Think of the internet as being in space (maybe the 'Cloud') and that your computer is 'earthbound' but that you wish to place a particular file in 'space'
  To "download" something means that you are already on the internet and you wish to get it to your personal computer.
Think of your computer being 'earthbound' and the internet as being 'in space' etc and you wish to get that particular file into your own computer.

Sometimes I am asked " Why should I test more than myself for "cousin matching" (also known as an autosomal test - or atDNA - and FTDNA markets this as 'Family Finder')".
The answer is because we have no way of predicting how chromosomes will recombine in any one person at conception.  As a consequence, one sibling may have 1,000 matches yet another may have only 800.  FTDNA gives these probabilities.

Bear in mind that FTDNA "cuts-off" matches unless they have a total of at least 20 cMs across all 22 chromosomes AND the smallest is at least 7.7 cMs.  (Check out your 'Resources' in your personal FTDNA Home page for much more information).


Helpful Tips for dealing with the many items confronting you in your personal FTDNA Home page (often called myFTDNA)

Please take some time to review and update the information in your kit at Family Tree DNA.
Go to
Click the LOGIN TAB on the top of the screen and enter your kit number and password to open your MyFTDNA page.

Input your current mailing address. This is used in case FTDNA needs to send you a new test kit to upgrade your kit. It is also useful if a DNA ProjectA dministrator wants to contact you and your email is not working. 

Input multiple email addresses if you can. This is helpful if your emailaddress stops working for any reason. If you have a beneficiary or relative who you might want to take over your kit someday, input their email address too. If you want, input the email address of your DNA Project Administrators. Any email that you input here could someday takeover management of the kit if you are no longer able to do so. 

If the contact person is not the person who gave the DNA sample, then please input the name of the DNA donor and put the contact person as c/o (Care Of) in the address line. For example, John James Smith, c/o Donna Smith Jones.


Earliest Known Ancestors

Please enter the known origin of your most distant researched paternal ancestor (your father’s father’s father’s father etc) and his name, year and geographical area.  Do the same with your most distant researched maternal ancestor (your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother etc).


Please enter as many surnames as you have in your family tree and their location.  (There is no sense in enteringa name like ‘Smith’ if you do not state the area in which that Smith lived).

Select “All Levels” for the Family Finder matching

Select “All Levels” for the mtDNA matching

Select “All Levels” for the Y-DNA matching

Opt in to Sharing for ‘Origin Sharing’

Opt into sharing for your ‘Project Profile’

Opt into sharing your ‘Coding Region Sharing’

Click on Save

If you have already joined a project, please click on “Edit” and either give the administrator Advanced access or limited access.  If you require “Minimum access”, then there is no sense in joining a project.  Currently,the default is “Limited access”.

Here you can select whether you want FTDNA to notify you regarding new matches and you can specify thelevels for which you wish to be notified. Until you experience these notices, turn them all on.

Please now return to your main Home page (use your browser back buttonor click on “myFTDNA” on top left and click on “My Dashboard”).  In the middle towards the top of your screen,you will see a box  myFamilyTree.  Click on it and start looking at the “ToolNavigation” that is displayed.

It is strongly suggested you load your familytree – whether manually or via a gedcom file exported from your home computer’s genealogy software.  At the very least please load your direct paternal line and your direct maternal line. If one of your known relations has also tested with FTDNA, please add their name to the tree (use the same name that the relative has tested under).

HINT: females should test under their maiden name.

If you need help creating a gedcom or extracting your tree from Ancestry, go to 
If you don't have a gedcom file, and can't make one, then you can manually create a tree by clicking on yourself in the centre of the screen and “add relationship”. If you have a tree on or elsewhere then you can get a gedcom. 

Whilst you arewaiting for your results to arrive, look at the “Resources” in your toptoolbar.

Considerjoining various forums – these are mainly on Yahoo and in Facebook orRootsweb.  A good one to consider is

Helpful links and info...
(as at 21 September 2015)
Family Tree DNA phone number:713-868-1438 (M - TH 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST, F 9:00 a.m. - noon)
Family Tree DNA Facebook Page:
Family Tree DNA Forums Link (login required for posting):
Link for current results wait times:

Also, please see the LINKS  page to the left of the Activity Feed

From time to time, the question arises "why should I upgrade"?
Apart from stating that
Y-12 usually only allows 1 mismatch with another male; 
Y-25 allows 2 mismatches...;
Y-37 allows 4 mismatches...;
Y-67 allows 7 mismatches...;
Y-111 allows 10 mismatches.

I now supply this analogy that comes from one of my esteemed colleagues - who runs a number of the R1b1 projects.
Mike has written this analogy for those of you who frequently wonder just how upgrading your Y-DNA testing level might aid you and why your admins sometimes appear to be pushing these upgrades - and no - NONE of us are paid employees;  we are all volunteers and so not receive any pecuniary advantage from doing same. 
But Mike takes it a step further by suggesting you consider the Big Y test and states why.  
I've tried to come up with an analogy for Big Y testing - the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Lewis and Clark's primary objectives included "explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent." They left St. Louis in 1804 and arrived at the Pacific Ocean late in 1805.

In this analogy, we can think of the Pacific Coast as our genetic genealogy homeland, the place or status where our genealogically known family connects specifically to the Y DNA tree of mankind. The Pacific Coast is not the same for all of us, as each of our families has a distinctive location. Lewis and Clark founded what would be Fort Clastrop on the edge of Astoria, Oregon. From Astoria Column, a tower, you can see the Pacific Ocean, the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River.

Single SNP testing is like flying a two seater from St. Louis and hoping to land in Astoria without knowing where Astoria is. The plane is low priced and reliable but has bad gas mileage. More importantly, Astoria may not even have coordinates on the map yet or a landing strip. This kind of approach is most applicable when someone who is highly probable to be on the edge of your genealogically known family has already done a Big Y test and has built a very tall tower or lighthouse to go with a new landing strip. That tower in Astoria could be thought as a super version of Astoria Column and it is built with 111 Y STRs.

Fixed SNP panel/pack testing is like flying the two seater from St. Louis hopscotching across the country, landing at a handful of small airports and getting out and taking a good set of photos at each location and then deciding the next location to fly to.  Fixed SNP packs/panels are a good, low entry price way to go, but suffer the same problem any fixed SNP test suffers. What if your Astoria hasn't been discovered? Perhaps, even your State of Oregon has not been discovered. You also might have troubles if your eyesight or navigation system isn't so good. For good navigation you'd want to have at least 67 Y STRs although 111 is a better long term investment.

Big Y Discovery testing is like having a super high speed, fuel efficient jet traversing back and forth on multiple paths high across the sky on mostly clear days taking special photos of the countryside between St. Louis and the Pacific Coast. It is scanning over 11 million locations. If your Astoria turns out to be San Diego, Long Beach or Tacoma, that's okay. Big Y is accomplishing what Lewis and Clark were doing, mapping the route for settlers to follow in the form of lower entry price tests. Unfortunately, your family of genealogical record might not even be on the maps for the mass migration of settlers to come, that is without Big Y discovery testing. It's just a fact of the Y chromosome just as it is of the geography. The settlers won't go to a place when they don't know where it is or even know it exists.

Only a member of your genealogical family can discover your Astoria and erect the Astoria Column of 111 STRs for the settlers.

I'm asking you to start thinking about Big Y if you haven't already. There are now at least a couple of thousand R1b Big Y results now in. It works. Big Y results can come in as quickly as 4 weeks (FTDNA uses an 8-10 week estimate). Pooling of resources at the project/family/surname levels can help share the cost, but be looking at Father's Day as usually there is sale pricing.

FTDNA Test Process

All kits go through the same basic process once FTDNA has received your sample in their lab.  Here are some of the most common questions about your test status and what is done with your sample.

1.  How long does it take to test my sample once it gets back to the lab?
As of April 29, 2015, current test times are estimated to be: 

Family Finder – 5 to 6 weeks

mtDNA – 10 to 11 weeks

Y-DNA – 10 to 13 weeks

Big Y – 8 to 9 weeks

SNPs – 8 to 9 weeks

Most of the tests typically take 6 to 8 weeks to complete from the time your sample actually arrives in the lab, except Family Finder, which is usually 4 to 5 weeks.  Note that pending dates are an estimate only and subject to lab volume and quality control.

After FTDNA notifies you that your sample has been received, you may login to your myFTDNA account to check your expected results date.  Please note this is only an estimate and not a guaranteed results day, as a number of factors may cause your sample to be completed sooner or to be delayed.

2.  I have ordered a test. How soon will my account show the tests's pending status?

The pending status and an estimated results date will be shown after your order is added to a weekly batch. Weekly batches are usually done on Wednesdays. Therefore, if you check your myFTDNA account on the Thursday after you order, the myFTDNA – Pending Results page should show the test you ordered.

Note: Batches may close earlier to accommodate lab staffing during sales and United States holidays.

3.   Why is FTDNA rerunning my results? Does this mean I need to submit a new DNA sample?

FTDNA will run your sample again if the first test does not provide clear and unambiguous results. This can happen for a number of reasons such as a poor scrape or unclear results on one or more markers.

In most cases, FTDNA will not need to request additional samples. This is only necessary if the lab has exhausted the samples that you have already provided. You will be contacted and additional samples requested if necessary.

4.   Will I get results through the mail?

No, results from Family Tree DNA’s tests are available online. You may access them through your myFTDNA account.

FTDNA offers printable certificates for three types of tests: mtDNA, standard Y-DNA STR, and Y-DNA SNP (haplogroup). However, rather than mail you a one-time certificate, we enable you to print certificates from your myFTDNA account for FREE. As you order additional tests and upgrades, the system will automatically update the results certificate(s) available to you.

5.   Is FTDNA re-running my results?

If it is more than a week past the target date without you seeing your results, it most often means that we did not get a quality result during the initial sequencing process.

From our lab’s experience, this happens 5 – 10% of the time. When it does, we rerun the first extracted swab. The results should be available in 1 or 2 weeks. 

6.   When I order an upgrade, do you need a new sample? How will I know if you are sending a new kit? Most of the time, the DNA extracted from your original test kit is enough for any upgrade you order. When you have paid in full for the upgrade and the weekly batch has closed, your order is added to the cue for lab processing. Should the lab discover that a new sample is needed, you will be sent a new kit.
NOTE: From GAIL 6 June 2015 - The lab will NOT process anything whatsoever until the kit is paid for.