Volume 7, Issue 4
August 15, 2008

The World's Only Newsletter Dedicated to Genetic Genealogy

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In This Issue

Editor's Corner

Welcome to this issue of Facts & Genes, the newsletter with information for everyone, from beginners to experienced project administrators.

If you haven't yet entered the longitude and latitude for your most distant ancestor, please take the time to do so. You can find the directions in the following prior edition of our newsletter in the article titled, “Genetic Genealogy: Oldest Known Ancestor for My Maps.”


If there was no Surname Project for your name when you originally tested, be sure to check periodically to see if one has started. Every day more Surname Projects are created. Use the link below to search the project listings. If you find a Surname Project now exists for your surname, you may join by logging in to your Personal Page, clicking the Join button, and following the instructions on that page.


Contact our customer support at any time if you have questions or need help. The link below lists our customer service contact options. Please use the link below instead of replying to this newsletter.


Family Tree DNA provides a wide variety of educational resources to help you apply Genetic Genealogy to your family history research, including email and telephone consultation with our customer service staff. To begin your education, past issues of the newsletter are available at our web site. To view past issues, click on the link below:


If you change your email address, be sure to update your address for your newsletter subscription.

Customers should follow these steps to update their email address: Log in to the personal page. Click “Modify Contact Information.” Update the email address in the contact information form. Confirm the checkbox to the left of Facts & Genes Subscription is checked. Click “Update.”

Subscribers who are not customers should send an email including the original and the new email addresses and a request to update the subscription to editor@FamilyTreeDNA.com

Send your comments, suggestions, tips, and feedback to:
Dexter Montgomery
We hope you enjoy this issue.

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If you know fellow genealogists, friends, family members, or participants in a Surname Project who you think would enjoy receiving our monthly newsletter, send them the link below to register for a free subscription:


Past Issues
If you missed any of the past issues, they can be found online at FamilyTreeDNA.com. Click on the link below for the past issues of Facts & Genes:



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In the News: Family Tree DNA Announcements

Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce milestones achieved and new features.

1. The following milestones have been achieved:

Family Tree DNA now has over 206,000 test result records in our database. We have over 132,000 records of Y-DNA results and over 4,900 Surname Projects, which include over 79,000 surnames. Our mtDNA database contains over 74,000 results.

2. 5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy
for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators
Houston, TX
November 8-9, 2008

This year's International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Group Administrators will be held in Houston, Texas, November 8-9, 2008.

The two day conference will feature leading experts in the field making presentations on a variety of topics related to the use of DNA testing for family history and deep ancestral origins.

The International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Group Administrators is open to genealogists from all over the world who currently manage Group Projects at Family Tree DNA and want to learn more about DNA testing for genealogy and anthropology.

Registration for this event is now closed. If you are a Group Administrator of a project at Family Tree DNA and wish to attend, please send an email including your name, email address, phone number, and project name to leahw@familytreedna.com with your request to be placed on the waitlist.

To view the syllabus:

To view the Press Release:

3. The Genographic Project is pleased to announce a new paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics:

The Dawn of Human Matrilineal Diversity
More than 600 complete mitochondrial DNA genomes from indigenous populations across the continent were analyzed by Genographic scientists and their collaborators. The data provided surprising insights into the early demographic history of human populations before they moved out of Africa. The extensive data analysis led by Dr. Doron Behar, Genographic Associate Researcher, based at Rambam Medical Center, Haifa; and Dr. Saharon Rosset of IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, NY and Tel Aviv University; revealed that early human populations were small and isolated from each other for many tens of thousands of years.

You can find the paper in the Family Tree DNA Library:

You can support the efforts of the Genographic Project. Please see the article below titled "Genetic Genealogy: Genographic Project".

4. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce the recent launch of three new Deep Clade tests

Family Tree DNA recently launched new Y-DNA Deep Clade tests for haplogroups H, N, and Q. These tests are offered to members of the Y-DNA haplogroups H, N, and Q in the Y-DNA Haplotree section of their Personal Pages. Each test is $79.

Those members of haplogroup Q who ordered the Deep SNP Q test in the past can check their Y-DNA Haplotree page to see whether new SNPs are now available for which they can test. If new SNPs are available which would be informative for these Q members, their Personal Page will offer the appropriate upgrade option.

With the launch of these new Deep Clade tests, Family Tree DNA now offers Deep Clade testing for the following haplogroups:

E1b1b, G, H, I, J, N, Q, R

To order a Deep Clade test, log in to your Personal Page and click on the section titled Y-DNA Haplotree. If a Deep Clade test is available for you, you will see the text “You Are Eligible For An Upgrade!” Click the button labeled “Continue for more information” to order.

5. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce the new interactive Y-DNA haplogroup map.

Family Tree DNA has added an interactive Y-DNA haplogroup map to the Y-DNA Haplotree section of the Personal Page. To visit this map, customers with Y-DNA results should log in to their Personal Page, click “Y-DNA Haplotree,” click “View Haplogroup Info…” and select “Haplogroup Migration.”

The map displays the migration paths of the major Y-DNA haplogroups. Click on the haplogroups at the bottom of the page to view each haplogroup’s journey. Click on the nodes on the world map to view a brief story about the haplogroup’s journey.

Starting a Surname Project

If you are thinking about starting a Surname Project, now is a great time to get started. Our educational resources and email and telephone consultation help you each step of the way. Feeling confused or overwhelmed will quickly pass, and be replaced with the excitement of new discoveries.

Anyone with some experience with family history research can start a Surname Project. We supply the tools and guidance to help you make your Surname Project successful.

There are just two steps to take to become a Group Administrator of a Surname Project:

1. Find out if a Surname Project exists for your surname. Click on the link below to search our database of Surname Projects:


2. If a Surname Project has not been established for your surname, then use the email contact below to establish or ask questions about establishing a Surname Project:
ashley@familytreeDNA.com for Ashley Coursey

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Educational Resources: Events & Publications

August 17-22, 2008
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
(IAJGS) International Conference 2008
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Chicago, IL
Visit Family Tree DNA at our display.
Presentation: The DNA of Ashkenazi Jewry by Genetic Groups
Date: August 20, 2008
Speaker: Bennett Greenspan, CEO Family Tree DNA

September 3-6, 2008
Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Visit Family Tree DNA at our display.

September 6, 2008
Mayflower Society Conference
Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor
Plymouth, MA USA
Speaker: Darren Marin, Family Tree DNA

September 12-14, 2008
Pate Genealogical Convocation
Colonial Williamsburg, VA, USA
Presentation: Using DNA Testing to Link Pate Families
September 13, 2008
Speaker: Eileen Krause, Family Tree DNA

November 8-9, 2008
5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy
for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators
Houston, TX

Educational Articles
Family Tree DNA and Genetic Genealogy
Je Me Souviens
Journal of the American-French Genealogical Society
Spring 2008, Volume 31 Issue 1
Available from the Society

DNA and Your Family Tree
Discovering Family History Magazine
July/August 2008 Issue
Available at news stands

Adding DNA to Your One-Name Study
Journal of One-Name Studies
Guild of One-Name Studies
London, England
July-September 2008 Issue
Available from the Society

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Genetic Genealogy: Genographic Project

The Genographic Project celebrated its third anniversary on April 13, 2008, and over 285,000 people have joined the Genographic Project to date.

Since the start of the Genographic Project in April 2005, Dr. Spencer Wells, the Genographic Project Director and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, has traveled to more than three dozen countries. These include Chad, Tajikistan, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, and French Polynesia, where he has worked with the global research team, met with indigenous and traditional community leaders, and expanded Genographic's scientific database.

On your Personal Page, you have an opportunity to participate in the Genographic Project, a real-time scientific study. Click Genographic Project on your Personal Page to participate.

The Genographic Project is a real time effort to map how humankind populated the earth. It is a five-year research partnership between National Geographic and IBM with support from the Waitt Family Foundation, and public participation through Family Tree DNA.

As a Family Tree DNA customer, you can join the Genographic Project without having to order a new kit and perform a new test. You will be asked to agree to the Project's consent terms, and contribute a nominal fee of $15 USD. Proceeds from this fee will be directed to the Legacy Project which will support local education and cultural preservation efforts to benefit the participating indigenous populations.

When you join the Genographic Project, your 12 marker Y-DNA or your mtDNA result will be uploaded to the Genographic Project. A Genographic Personal Page will be created for you where you can find educational material and keep track of the progress of this fascinating project.

You can also submit your Genographic results to be part of the ongoing scientific research project. Once you access your results on the Genographic website, you can choose to submit your results to be part of the Genographic database by clicking "Contribute Your Results." Your results will still remain anonymous and personal to you, but you will be asked some basic questions about your lineage. You can update the results questionnaire at any time, but you must fill it out in full each time for the information to be captured.

The Genographic Project is an ongoing experience, and we encourage you to visit the Genographic website on a regular basis to learn of developments related to the overall project and possible refinements to your own specific haplogroup story.

Sign up for the email newsletter from the Genographic Project. You will be kept informed about the latest news on field research, Genographic stories and highlights from the Genographic Project Web site. To subscribe to this newsletter, click on the link below, and page down until you see the Genographic Project.


To learn more about the Genographic Project, click on the link below:

If you have already joined the Genographic Project and want to complete the survey and submit your results to be part of the research project, log into your Personal Page at the Genographic Project using the following link:


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Genetic Genealogy: Vendor Selection

Selecting a vendor for your DNA test or Surname Project is a very important step. Often, the vendor selected will determine the success of your project. If you are a participant, the vendor selected may determine whether you find matches and whether you maximize your investment in DNA testing, depending on the size of the vendor's database.

In the past four articles in our series about vendor selection, we have examined the following important issues:

- The vendor you select will determine the success of your project
- The size of the vendor's database impacts your ability to find a match
- Select a vendor where DNA testing for genealogy is their only business, not an add on product to generate additional revenue
- The importance of a proprietary database, including data integrity, as compared to no database or a mixed database
- The importance and value of match notification emails
- The benefits of controlling your search criteria for matching
- The benefits of controlling your match criteria
- The value of 25 years of sample storage

In this article, we will look at the value of the Genographic Project. Family Tree DNA is the only vendor providing an option to join the Genographic Project. This option provides you with an opportunity for additional discoveries from your investment in DNA testing. You can make discoveries about your distance ancestry, enjoy the educational material at your Personal Page at the Genographic Project, and have the option to participate in a real-time scientific project.

No other vendor provides these opportunities!

For more information on the Genographic Project, please see the article in this newsletter titled: "Genetic Genealogy: The Genographic Project".

If you have taken both a Y-DNA and mtDNA test, you can upload both to the Genographic Project.

Taking a DNA test for genealogy is an investment in discovering information not available in the paper records, in finding information about the surname, and in learning information about your distant ancestry.

The discoveries scientists have made so far are only the beginning. Their future discoveries will often lead to new tests, such as when we introduced the 25 marker test, then the 37 marker test, and later the 67 marker test.

Since 2000, Family Tree DNA has been providing DNA tests for genealogists. This is our only business. We have constantly expanded our products and services to bring the latest science and tools to our valued customers. Our track record shows innovation and a commitment to our customers.

How does Family Tree DNA compare:
- DNA testing for genealogy is our only business
- Founded in 2000, we are the first vendor to bring tests to the genetic genealogy community
- The largest database of results
- The only vendor to disclose the size of the database
- Our database has participants from 190 countries
- The largest number of Surname Projects
- The only vendor to disclose the number of Surname Projects
- Full transparency in our search of surnames tested. We don't require 3 characters or more to search. The 3 letter search approach is used by others to hide the small size of the surnames tested. At Family Tree DNA, you can search just a letter of the alphabet to see all our Surname Projects.
- The only vendor with a proprietary database of lab results. We don't support a mixed database of user results combined with lab results, resulting in lack of data integrity. Instead, we also provide Ysearch and Mitosearch, to which customers can easily add their data with a click of a button. Some vendors do not provide a proprietary database or even a mixed database.
- Match emails sent as soon as a new result is added to our proprietary database that matches or is a close match to your result.
- The ability to customize your search criteria.
- The ability to customize your match criteria
- 25 years secure frozen sample storage included for 3 vials
- The only vendor to provide an option to join the Genographic Project.
- Family Tree DNA has constantly expanded our products and services to bring the latest science and tools to our valued customers. Our track record shows innovation and a commitment to our customers.
- Other vendors have come and gone, while we continue to innovate and grow.

Family Tree DNA understands that it is often difficult to differentiate vendors when you are getting started. Issues like a proprietary database, no proprietary database, or a mixed database aren't clearly evident. Other features, such as match notification emails, or the lack of match notification emails, are even more difficult to determine.

Every day, people and Surname Projects switch to Family Tree DNA. We understand that there is an additional cost to be re-tested, which is required to maintain our database integrity. A discount is provided to those who have tested elsewhere to make it easier for them to join Family Tree DNA, the leading vendor in Genetic Genealogy.

Click on the link below to order if you have tested at another vendor.


Would you trust your project to a vendor when Genetic Genealogy is not their primary

For additional information, please see prior articles in our Vendor Selection Series.





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Understanding Your Results: Y-DNA Matches

Receiving results from a DNA test is quite exciting. What will your DNA say about your ancestors? Will you have any matches?

The email you receive notifying you that your test results are posted at your Personal Page at FamilyTreeDNA.com has a link at the bottom of the email. Click on the link to go directly to your Personal Page. As soon as your Personal Page comes up on the screen, bookmark it or set it to Favorites so that you will be able to easily access it in the future.

On your Personal Page, you will see various sections for Y-DNA.

If you ordered other tests which are not back from the lab, or if all your Y-DNA results are not yet back from the lab, you will also see the section called Pending Lab Results.

If you have received results for other tests, such as mtDNA, sections will appear on your Personal Page for those tests.

For Y-DNA, you would have ordered one of the following tests:
12 Marker
25 Marker
37 Marker
67 Marker

If the Y-DNA test ordered was 25 marker, 37 marker, or 67 marker, you results may be posted in stages. The lab runs the tests in the following stages:
Markers 1 - 12
Markers 13 - 25
Markers 26 - 37
Markers 38 - 67

If you received results for only the first 12 markers but you ordered a 25, 37, or 67 marker test, then your additional markers are still at the lab. To see the status of your additional markers, click on the Pending Lab Results section on your Personal Page.

At Family Tree DNA, accuracy is our top priority. If results aren’t clear, we rerun the sample rather than risk posting an incorrect result. This commitment to excellence can cause delays as samples are rerun until a high quality result is obtained.

Once you receive your results, the first section you will likely visit is Y-DNA Matches. This section shows the names and email addresses of other people you match who have signed their release form.

If you are not in a project, you will see the names and email addresses of your matches throughout the database as long as the matches have signed their release form and, if they belong in a project, set their search criteria to search the entire database.

If you are in a project, you can set your matches search to display matches only within the same project as you or throughout the database. If you match someone who belongs to a different project, you will only see one another as a match if you both have set your search criteria to search the entire database. The default setting is to search within the Surname Project.

You can change these preferences by going to the “User Preferences” section of your Personal page and selecting your preference under the heading “Please choose your preference for matching purposes.” You can change your preference at any time. To submit the change, click “Update” at the bottom of the page. If you have a large number of matches, you may wish to set your preference to search within your Surname Project in order to view the matches most likely to be related.

The matches in the Y-DNA Matches section are displayed at each of the four levels of testing we offer. The levels of matches that appear depend upon which test you took:
12 marker matches
25 marker matches
37 marker matches
67 marker matches

If you took a 12 marker test, you will see only the section for 12 marker matches. If you tested 25 markers, you will see matches for both 12 and 25 markers, and so on.

If the person you match has tested more markers, you will see the number of markers they have tested in parentheses after their name. For example,

Joe Surname (Y67)

If you took a 12 marker test, and have a match to Joe, the (Y67) next to his name means Joe took a 67 marker test. You might want to upgrade to see if the match still holds.

At each level of matches, exact matches are listed first. As you progress up, at each level, 25, 37 and 67, the genetic distance we allow in order for someone to be a match to you grows. This is because as more markers are tested, we can allow for more differences between the results.

Genetic distance counts how different your results are. For example, a genetic distance of 2 out of 37 markers could mean you have two markers that are different and each marker differs by one, or it could mean that you have only one marker that is different but it differs by two.

Family Tree DNA provides charts to assist you in interpreting genetic distance. See the following links:


You may have a 12 marker match with another person where you have tested 25 markers, but the person does not match at the 25 marker level. There are two explanations for this situation:

1. The person you match only took a 12 marker test. You will know this if (Y25), (Y37), or (Y67) does not appear next to his name.
2. The person did take a 25 marker test, but there are more differences between your results at 25 markers than we allow for a genealogical relationship; they are too distant to match at 25 markers. If you would like to view the comparison yourself and your match belongs to the same Surname Project, you can consult the Surname Project website to see if the results are displayed.

The same holds true if you have a 25 marker match who is not listed as a 37 marker match or if you have a 37 marker match who is not listed as a 67 marker match.

The first few times you visit your Y-DNA Matches section, take an extra moment to review the headings for each level of matches. Taking this step will help to answer many early questions about matches. Your Surname Project’s website, if available, is typically an excellent resource for understanding how your result fits in with others of your surname.

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Recruiting Participants: Tips and Techniques

As a Group Administrator, your recruiting efforts are a very significant contribution to the Surname Project. Consistent recruiting efforts can provide a steady flow of participants, maximizing the discoveries for everyone in the project. A participant discovering someone isn't a match can be as valuable as finding a match, as it can prevent them from devoting research efforts in the wrong direction.

Consistent recruiting efforts are important for success, even if you only have very small blocks of time. Perhaps you can set aside an hour a week, or a few hours a week, to consistently do recruiting tasks.

Participants can also help. First, you can find a distant male in your tree to participate to validate your family tree. Then, through your activities, you may encounter others with the surname(s) of interest. This could be at work, social activities, or during genealogy activities. Telling these contacts about DNA testing for genealogy provides them with an opportunity to make discoveries about their origins.

In your recruiting time as a Group Administrator, you will have a variety of activities.

On at least an annual basis, be sure to review, update, and improve your Project Profile and Project Website sections on your Group Administration Page. These two items are very important to communicate information and generate enthusiasm in a potential participant. Limit your use of scientific terms and focus on discovery and the benefits of testing. Fancy graphics aren't needed. Clear, concise and an easy to understand presentation will have more success than fancy graphics.

If you use the free website and hosting provided by Family Tree DNA, be sure to click the option on your website setup page to display the donation link and to provide a few sentences in your website text to encourage donations.

It can be helpful to repost announcements to various mailing lists on a quarterly basis. These mailing lists could include lists for the surnames of interest or lists for geographic areas where the surname is found. Be sure your post contains genealogy information as well as information about your Surname Project, and especially about any new discoveries. It is a good idea to check with the List Administrator before posting to ensure that your post will be acceptable.

You may have accumulated a list of contacts from your genealogy research efforts or of potential participants who have not yet tested. You can periodically send an email update to these contacts that covers the benefits of participating and mentions the option of making a donation to the project. Writing periodically to these contacts is a valuable recruiting tool. Even if you have written them in the past and they have still not participated, periodic contacts are still valuable. Over time, they may become more comfortable with the idea of testing their DNA for genealogy.

When you describe the option to make a donation to the project, explain why donations are so important, what they would be used for, how easy it is to make a donation online, and that the funds are held at Family Tree DNA. Any currency conversion is handled by the credit card company. Many people will be able to make multiple small donations, which quickly add up.

Finding participants in the ancestral country is always very important. Raising donations in one country and funding test kits in other countries is a strategy that has been very successful. The Group Administrator can be in any country and still use this strategy. Even small contributions can quickly add up to cover a test kit. Recruiting is easier when cost isn't an issue, especially if you are recruiting someone on a fixed income or someone who lives in a country where there is very little or no discretionary income after basic necessities.

An important component of your recruiting efforts is knowing where your surname is found today. This information will enable you to target the mailing lists that covers these places. There are many sources you can use to determine where your project surnames are found today. A good place to start is with online phonebooks. Online databases of genealogy data are also useful. Using indexes on these sites, you can often determine where the surname is located today. Building a chart by country is a valuable tool.

If you want to focus your recruiting in the ancestral country, how do you find participants? Determine where the surname is concentrated, such as with telephone books, censuses, and electoral rolls, and look for a genealogy society that covers the area. Many of the genealogy societies post members’ interests online, so you can search these postings to find others with the surname or others researching the surname who might have contacts with those with the surname today. Often a time frame is shown for their interest, so if they are interested in the surname in the 1800s, they probably can't help you find someone with the surname today. By naming this time period they indicate the surname is in their family tree, but quite a while ago.

Often, sending postal mail to the addresses you find in telephone directories and electronic rolls to people with the surname who live in the ancestral country will help you find participants, especially if you can provide a paid test kit. The quality of your letter is important. Many recipients will respond by email. You can easily print, fold, stuff, and mail 10 letters a week for a very small investment.

If you have Skype or a low cost international call supplier, and you are more comfortable talking than writing, try calling folks. Be sure to check the time difference so you don't wake up people at 3 a.m. You may be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the conversations are and at the new contacts you make, especially in the ancestral country.

The key to successful recruiting is an ongoing and consistent approach. Reach out to people in the way most comfortable to you; if you are more comfortable writing, send letters and email, or if you are more comfortably speaking, contact potential participants by telephone.

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Understanding Your Results: New Y-DNA Haplogroup Predictor

Once initial Y-DNA test results are complete, we predict your Y-DNA haplogroup assignment. Haplogroups are the branches of the family tree of mankind and they indicate your deep ancestral origins. To predict your haplogroup, we compare your results with others in our database and, based on the haplogroups of your nearest matches, display the haplogroup to which your sample most likely belongs. Customers who have ordered additional testing to either confirm their haplogroup assignment or determine what subclade of their haplogroup they belong to see their confirmed haplogroup assignment.

In the next few weeks, Family Tree DNA will update its haplogroup prediction software. This new predictor will increase the confidence level of our haplogroup predictions and make haplogroup predictions consistent throughout our site. The same predictor will be used for Personal Pages, projects’ public websites hosted at Family Tree DNA, and Group Administration Pages.

If a person’s haplogroup cannot be confidently predicted, the haplogroup will display as a “-”. Customers with a “-” for their haplogroup qualify for the SNP Assurance Program, which offers a free backbone test to confirm their basic haplogroup assignment. More information about the SNP Assurance Program can be found in the site linked below:


Since new results without a haplogroup prediction are automatically qualified for the SNP Assurance Program, there is no need for new customers to actively opt into the SNP Assurance Program.

Many customers will see no change in haplogroup assignment. Some may see their haplogroup prediction extended to a deeper subclade.

Alternatively, some customers who were predicted for a haplogroup subclade may see their prediction reduced. This is because not all of these customers’ matches have been confirmed for this subclade, so the predictor defaults to the more basic haplogroup assignment in order to maintain the highest degree of confidence. For example, individuals previously predicted as J2a2 may see their prediction update to J2, or individuals previously predicted as R1b1b2g may see their prediction update to R1b1b2.

Customers who tested to confirm their haplogroup will see no change in their displayed haplogroup results. Some customers who have tested to confirm their haplogroup in the past will find that their matches are predicted or confirmed to have a more extended haplogroup assignment than they do. For example, Customer X has tested and confirmed his haplogroup as Z. His nearest matches, however, show their haplogroup as predicted and confirmed to be Z4b. These matches may still be related; the difference in haplogroup assignment is solely due to how extensive a haplogroup test Customer X has had. This field is constantly growing with new advancements and discovers, as are our tests. Customers with older test results may find the newer test options helpful to confirm their extended haplogroup assignment.

You can view your predicted or confirmed position on the Y-DNA haplogroup tree in the Y-DNA Haplotree section of your personal page. We also continue to display the haplogroups of your near matches in the Y-DNA Haplotree section if you are curious what haplogroups other people belong to who have similar 12 marker results. Customers interested in testing to confirm their haplogroup or extending their haplogroup test may check their Y-DNA Haplotree section for available haplogroup tests.

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Genetic Genealogy: Advanced Tests

This month's featured Advanced Test is the Y-STR DNA-FP Panel 5 (Palindromic Pack).

This Advanced Test allows you to get a deeper insight into the structure of the palindromic regions of the Y chromosome. Palindromic regions are where multi-copy markers, like DYS385, DYS459, and DYS464, occur. This test is helpful in resolving apparent mismatches at multi-copy markers in closely related individuals. The set of markers in this testing panel allow a closer look at asymmetrical features and recognition of intra-chromosomal recombination events. Results from this test may disclose medical health predispositions. DNA-FP panels are set up to continue the compatibility for former DNA-Fingerprint lab clients.

To order this Advanced Test, on your Personal Page, click "Order Tests and Upgrades" and then click "Advanced Orders." Go down the page until you find the Y-STR DNA-FP Panel 5.

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Case Studies in Genetic Genealogy

In each issue of the Newsletter, we present a situation which you may encounter as you utilize Genetic Genealogy testing for your family history research, followed by our recommendation.

Case Study

My Y-DNA 12-marker test revealed my Y-DNA haplogroup is R1b; however, it showed no matches with anyone in the Family Tree DNA database. I took the test hoping to find out more about my genetic roots, since no information is known about my father's father. Can you please help me understand what this means?


You don't have any exact matches in your Surname Project, or any matches at a genetic distance of 1. You surname is a high frequency surname, with many origins. Your Surname Project so far shows 7 distinct groups of results, and I expect that over time, there will be many more groups, due to the many different origins of the surname. In your case, patience is key as your Surname Project grows and more people test.

In the meantime, you can validate your family tree by having a distant direct line male relative test, which should provide a match.

I would also consider upgrading to 37 markers. Though it is rare, sometimes a person has no 12 marker matches because they have 2 mutations in the first 12 markers. Because we can allow for more differences between the results when more markers are compared, upgrading to 37 markers could still produce a match. In addition, some customers set their Preferences to not look for 12 marker matches because they are most interested in matches at a higher level of markers. In that case, you wouldn't see that they match you unless you upgrade.

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Next Issue

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Facts & Genes. Please feel free to contact the editor with your comments, feedback, questions to be addressed, or suggestions for future articles. If you are a Group Administrator and can help others with tips or suggestions, please contact:
editorFG@FamilyTreeDNA.com for Dexter

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If you change your email address, be sure to update your address for your newsletter subscription.

Customers should follow these steps to update their email address: Log in to the personal page. Click “Modify Contact Information.” Update the email address in the contact information form. Confirm the checkbox to the left of Facts & Genes Subscription is checked. Click “Update.”

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