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Old 11th August 2017, 02:16 PM
KevinKillion KevinKillion is offline
FTDNA Customer
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Y-DNA Matches -- Why so many surnames?

When I look at my list on the "Y-DNA - Matches" page, I'm mystified why there are so many different surnames. In fact, there are few matches. I understand that down the male line names could change for various reasons. But it sure seems that you would see a lot of the same surnames, or at least a bunch of one and a bunch of another, etc.

So, why do I see one McGee, one O'Toole, one Grant, one Carnes, and not a whole bunch of each? On the Y male line, shoudn't there be a lot of the same names?
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:23 PM
MMaddi MMaddi is offline
yDNA: R-CTS2509; mtDNA: T2e
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,378
At what level of matching are you seeing these matches - 12, 25, 37, 67 or 111 markers? I'm guessing that the matches you're talking about are at the 12 and possibly 25 marker level.

If that's the case, most of the matches you're seeing probably share a common paternal line ancestor with you at least several hundred, if not over 1,000, years ago. That's before the common use in Europe of surnames, which is why there are so many surnames involved. Matches at the first two marker levels are not reliable for finding matches with recent common ancestry.

Also, how many markers have you tested yourself? If you've tested 37 or more markers, you should look at the matches at the higher level, which will share more recent common ancestry with you.
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