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  #1  
Old 4th December 2017, 03:25 PM
Woody1 Woody1 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
How does FTDNA determine surnames?

Sorry if this has been discussed before. When I look at FamilyFinder Matches, I see that many matches have a list of surnames, but do not show a family tree. I'm wondering how FTDNA determines surnames for people who don't post a family tree? Does that mean that the surnames were actually entered by the person who owns that kit, or is there some other algorithm that FTDNA uses to produce the surname list? Or do those people have a hidden family tree that contains those surnames?
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  #2  
Old 4th December 2017, 04:36 PM
abuelita abuelita is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 113
from dashboard "managing personal information"
....genealogy tab
........surnames

These are entered one by one and, in the best cases, also include locations. Thank you to all the thoughtful people who include locations !!! It is really helpful.

But if you upload a gedcom file it wipes out this carefully edited surname list and replaces it with a lot of - just stuff. Most people don't bother to then go in and hand edit.

This is why a number of us don't upload gedcom files here.
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  #3  
Old 4th December 2017, 04:36 PM
MoberlyDrake MoberlyDrake is offline
mtDNA: T2b5 | Y-DNA: J-M172
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,356
Yes, you can enter surnames manually. You can add place data, if you like. You can find the place to add them under My Profile > Genealogy > Surnames.

Some people prefer this to trees for a number of reasons.
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  #4  
Old 4th December 2017, 10:30 PM
Carpathian Carpathian is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody1 View Post
Sorry if this has been discussed before. When I look at FamilyFinder Matches, I see that many matches have a list of surnames, but do not show a family tree. I'm wondering how FTDNA determines surnames for people who don't post a family tree? Does that mean that the surnames were actually entered by the person who owns that kit, or is there some other algorithm that FTDNA uses to produce the surname list? Or do those people have a hidden family tree that contains those surnames?
I'm confused by this commentary. I don't think FTDNA can or ever could determine surnames. Nor do I think there are any "hidden" family trees here.

IMO, the problem is that of those who are here but have never entered anything at all. Approximately half of those here have entered nothing.
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  #5  
Old 5th December 2017, 11:15 AM
Cliff43J Cliff43J is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Lump Methodology

If the names and variants are close they get "lumped" together, or at least this is what I have gathered over the years from my research on FTDNA sites ;-)

Hey, FTDNA had to start somewhere. With all of the surnames out there no company can afford to identify each and every single surname before starting a genealogy business online. As it is the Surname Forums appear to be an acknowledgement of our more specific surname-identification needs. I have just submitted a request to start a "Johnstons of Annandale" forum. We are tired of being lumped in with over 3,000 others who are not connected to us even remotely.

Good hunting,

Cliff.

Last edited by Cliff43J; 5th December 2017 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Additional information
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  #6  
Old 5th December 2017, 01:51 PM
ltd-jean-pull ltd-jean-pull is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 392
I have just PMed you Cliff as we have Johnstons in our tree.
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  #7  
Old 5th December 2017, 06:59 PM
Woody1 Woody1 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
Yes, you can enter surnames manually. You can add place data, if you like. You can find the place to add them under My Profile > Genealogy > Surnames.

Some people prefer this to trees for a number of reasons.
People may have good reasons for not including a tree, but I would much prefer a well-documented tree to a list of surnames. A list of surnames without a tree makes it pretty hard to get anything useful from a match. I would not choose not to publish my tree just to get a better list of surnames.
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  #8  
Old 6th December 2017, 01:01 AM
ltd-jean-pull ltd-jean-pull is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 392
For the first kit I managed here it was the list of surnames AND location that found the first match. The relative's kit was being managed by a relative who isn't related to me. I recognised the name of the village where my gtgt-grandmother was born, and I knew three of her siblings married into the Taylor family. Taylor on its own wouldn't have caught my eye as easily.
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  #9  
Old 6th December 2017, 04:24 PM
Bob Hesse Bob Hesse is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Locations

While it can be helpful that locations have been added in the surname list (especially when no tree has been uploaded), it can also be a detriment. Among my surnames are KENT and ENGLAND. ftDNA finds a match to KENT for anyone who lists a location of "Kentucky", and of course I match anyone who lists a location of "England". This makes identifying matches on those surnames quite tedious.
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  #10  
Old 6th December 2017, 10:50 PM
ychrom77 ychrom77 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 7
Surnames

I found my surname list from MyHeritage. If you have a family tree loaded there when you review your DNA match with someone else who has a family tree loaded, it shows you the surnames for each of you.

the other thing I try and do if I find a good match is try and get that person to upload their gedcom file to Gedmatch.com
They have a tool to look at both files and show you the common matches.
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