A Y-DNA test looks at male inherited Y-Chromosome DNA. As the Y-Chromosome is passed on from a father to his sons, it is only found in males. Y-DNA testing can then be used to trace clearly a direct paternal line.

Y-Chromosome DNA Inheritance
1 2 3
Father’s Father
Father
Father’s Mother
You
Mother’s Father
Mother
Mother’s Mother

When testing the Y-Chromosome, there are two types of tests, short tandem repeat (STR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). STR tests are best for recent ancestry while SNP tests tell about more ancient ancestry. Our standard Y-DNA panels use STRs and are useful in verifying common ancestry between two males and finding genetic cousins on the paternal line.

However, each of our Y-DNA STR tests comes with a haplogroup prediction that is backed by our SNP Assurance policy. Our Y-DNA STR tests can also then be used for determining geographic origins of the direct paternal line as well as the deep ancestral origins.

Family Tree DNA offers five levels of standard Y-DNA STR testing.

Y-DNA12: (Available Through Projects) The Y-DNA12 test includes a balanced panel of twelve Y-DNA STR markers. It is best used to disprove a suspected genealogical connection on the direct paternal line.

Y-DNA25: (Available Through Projects) The Y-DNA25 test includes a balanced panel of twenty-five Y-DNA STR markers, those from the Y-DNA12 plus thirteen more. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related. It is used to affirm or confidently disprove a genealogical connection on the direct paternal line.

Y-DNA37: The Y-DNA37 test includes a balanced panel of thirty-seven Y-DNA STR markers, those from the Y-DNA25 test and plus twelve more. This is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogical purposes. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at thirty-seven markers indicates the two individuals share common ancestry in recent times.

Y-DNA67: The Y-DNA67 test includes a balanced panel of sixty-seven Y-DNA STR markers, those from the Y-DNA37 plus thirty more. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at sixty-seven markers indicates a common ancestor in recent generations. This is the ideal test for matching if a break in the paper trail, such as an adoption, is known or suspected.

Y-DNA111: The Y-DNA111 test includes a balanced panel of sixty-seven Y-DNA STR markers, those from the Y-DNA67 plus forty-four more. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related. They completely eliminate unrelated matches. A close match at 111 markers indicates a common ancestor in recent generations, and an exact match indicates a close or immediate relationship.

Y-Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) Test Options
Y-DNA12 Y-DNA25 Y-DNA37 Y-DNA67 Y-DNA111
  1. In order to provide our customers with the highest level of haplogroup confidence, Family Tree DNA provides (beginning with batch 173) the SNP Assurance program.
Panel 1-12 X X X X X
Panel 13-25 X X X X
Panel 26-37 X X X
Panel 36-67 X X
Panel 68-111 X
SNP Assurance1 X X X X X
Genetic Genealogy Level In most cases, rule out (disprove) genealogical connections. If the haplotype is rare then it will suggest a family group match between two or more men. In most cases, rule out (disprove) genealogical connections and suggest a family group between two or more men. It will affirm a family group match between two or more men. Confidently, rule out (disprove) genealogical connections. Confidently, affirm a family group match between two or more men, and rule out (disprove) genealogical connections. Confidently, affirm a family group match between two or more men, and rule out (disprove) genealogical connections. Distinguish with the highest certainty possible the difference between recent and distant genealogical matches.
Anthrogenealogy Level Provides basic information on ancient ancestry based on haplogroup determination. Provides basic information on ancient ancestry based on haplogroup determination. Provides basic information on ancient ancestry based on haplogroup determination. Provides basic information on ancient ancestry based on haplogroup determination. Provides basic information on ancient ancestry based on haplogroup determination.

See also: The Y-DNA Short Tandem Repeat (STR) FAQ