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    Hi. My cousin, [dad's brother's son] had his y-67 markers tested and it's all very new to us. He has only four matches, none of which share the spelling of our name. I had my x tested as well as Family Finder and expected that my cousin would show as a match to me but he didn't. Can someone explain this please?

    Also - although he has only 4 matches, another very happy match with the same name as us has been in touch. That is so excellent but I'm a tad confused. Cheers.
    Last edited by mo8; 21st April 2017, 10:25 PM. Reason: to clarify

  • #2
    Originally posted by mo8 View Post
    Hi. My cousin, [dad's brother's son] had his y-67 markers tested and it's all very new to us. He has only four matches, none of which share the spelling of our name.
    Four matches is quite high. I would have zero matches if two known cousins hadn't tested at about the same time as me. It's a matter of circumstances (the size of families and the number of male children) and luck (someone happened to decide to take a DNA test).

    You say that your matches don't share the spelling of your name, which makes it sound like they are at least very similar names. That's quite normal. Standard spellings are a fairly recent phenomenon. As recently as the 1800s it was common for a person's name to be slightly different in every record about them. Eventually one spelling got fixed as record-keeping became more centralised, and what spelling was chosen is a matter of chance.

    Turn the "markers" down to 37. You might see more matches there. If they have the same name (regardless of spelling) and the kits are shown to be "Y-DNA37" you could contact them to see if they'll upgrade to Y67.


    I had my x tested as well as Family Finder and expected that my cousin would show as a match to me but he didn't. Can someone explain this please?
    You only mentioned that he took a Y67 test. If he hasn't taken Family Finder then he can't match to you because his autosomal DNA hasn't been tested. I'd recommend upgrading him to Family Finder (it's only $59 in the sale which ends on 27 April). It's much more useful for genealogy.

    You say that "I had my x tested". The X-chromosome is tested as part of Family Finder. Even if your cousin upgrades to the Family Finder test he will not match you on the X because, as a male, his solitary X was inherited from his mother, not from his father.

    But you probably mean that you took the mtDNA "maternal line" test. Even if he took the same test, he would not match you: both of you got your mtDNA from your mothers, so it would be different (unless your mothers happen to be related on their direct matrilineal lines).

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    • #3
      There are many odd wrinkles in the history of surnames. You might think that Scottish names have been settled for several centuries, but as late as the early 1900's, some families with "Mc" names in the US suddenly changed the spelling to "Mac" on the theory that the "Mac" spelling was more Scottish (and, I suppose, that the "Mc" spelling had unwanted Irish overtones?), in spite of the fact that their very Scottish ancestors who had come to the US in 1765 had always used the "Mc" spelling, or sometimes "M'" in the American records. The result is that some branches of these families are today "Mac" while others are "Mc", all descendants of the original group of settlers of the Argyle Patent in Washington County, New York.

      Dave is correct, it is not unusual to find surnames with multiple spellings even in a single document before about 1800. The idea that there is a single correct spelling of anything, including names, doesn't seem to have occurred to our ancestors on in many places until at least the beginning of the 19th Century.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John McCoy View Post
        There are many odd wrinkles in the history of surnames. You might think that Scottish names have been settled for several centuries, but as late as the early 1900's, some families with "Mc" names in the US suddenly changed the spelling to "Mac" on the theory that the "Mac" spelling was more Scottish (and, I suppose, that the "Mc" spelling had unwanted Irish overtones?), in spite of the fact that their very Scottish ancestors who had come to the US in 1765 had always used the "Mc" spelling, or sometimes "M'" in the American records. The result is that some branches of these families are today "Mac" while others are "Mc", all descendants of the original group of settlers of the Argyle Patent in Washington County, New York.

        Dave is correct, it is not unusual to find surnames with multiple spellings even in a single document before about 1800. The idea that there is a single correct spelling of anything, including names, doesn't seem to have occurred to our ancestors on in many places until at least the beginning of the 19th Century.
        The problem is even worse if the original surname is not from the UK

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        • #5
          Very true! The more experience you have in genealogy, the less you make decisions based on matching an exact spelling.

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          • #6
            In 1876 my great-great-grandmother's surname was spelled 3 different ways in one very short, two page document written by one person, probably a court clerk. One mistake new genealogists make is to put too much emphasis on the spelling of a name. Spelling was usually phonetic.

            In fact, you have to be extremely creative when doing searches on genealogy websites if you want to find your ancestors. Quisenberry was often written Cushionberry, and that appears to have been the usual pronunciation.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DaveInGreece View Post
              Four matches is quite high. I would have zero matches if two known cousins hadn't tested at about the same time as me. It's a matter of circumstances (the size of families and the number of male children) and luck (someone happened to decide to take a DNA test).

              You say that your matches don't share the spelling of your name, which makes it sound like they are at least very similar names. That's quite normal. Standard spellings are a fairly recent phenomenon. As recently as the 1800s it was common for a person's name to be slightly different in every record about them. Eventually one spelling got fixed as record-keeping became more centralised, and what spelling was chosen is a matter of chance.

              Turn the "markers" down to 37. You might see more matches there. If they have the same name (regardless of spelling) and the kits are shown to be "Y-DNA37" you could contact them to see if they'll upgrade to Y67.




              You only mentioned that he took a Y67 test. If he hasn't taken Family Finder then he can't match to you because his autosomal DNA hasn't been tested. I'd recommend upgrading him to Family Finder (it's only $59 in the sale which ends on 27 April). It's much more useful for genealogy.

              You say that "I had my x tested". The X-chromosome is tested as part of Family Finder. Even if your cousin upgrades to the Family Finder test he will not match you on the X because, as a male, his solitary X was inherited from his mother, not from his father.

              But you probably mean that you took the mtDNA "maternal line" test. Even if he took the same test, he would not match you: both of you got your mtDNA from your mothers, so it would be different (unless your mothers happen to be related on their direct matrilineal lines).
              Thanks for that So - just to confirm ... if my cousin bought Family Finder, are you saying that he will still not show as a match for me? I hadn't clicked that it was only related to my x. I thought that Family Finder could show matches from both sides of the family; does that mean from both my mother's parents or am I way off on a wayward tangent somewhere? Thanks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mo8 View Post
                Thanks for that So - just to confirm ... if my cousin bought Family Finder, are you saying that he will still not show as a match for me? I hadn't clicked that it was only related to my x. I thought that Family Finder could show matches from both sides of the family; does that mean from both my mother's parents or am I way off on a wayward tangent somewhere? Thanks.
                Family Finder does show all sides of the family, so your cousin will show as a match to you (it's only at the level of third cousins and beyond that there's a possibility that you won't show as a match). But your cousin will match you on some of the "normal" chromosomes 1-22. He won't match you on the X chromosome.

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                • #9
                  Thanks again. I was trying to keep results from just the one parent but FF sounds like a bit of a no brainer. I appreciate your help.

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