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  • Need a bit of advice for interpreting results

    Hello All,

    I recently received my Y-DNA test results back. I did testing to the 37 marker level. While I received numerous results for the 12 marker level with numerous different surnames my 25 marker and 37 marker level testing gave more percise results.

    I decided to have the DNA testing done as I had hit a brick wall on my paternal side with my great-granddad. He was born illegitimate as there was no father listed on both his birth certificate and baptism certificate. I even visited the records office in Bury St. Edmunds, England to see if I could find any additional information from "quarter sessions" where they usually heard cases for paternal support and could not find anything under his name nor his mother's name. He was given his mother's surname of Stone.

    The 25 marker test came back with 11 results with a genetic distance of 2 for all results. Of the 11 results, 9 of the results all had the surname of Hull, while one had a surname of Ferguson and the other of Mefford. I received only one result back at the 37 marker level with a genetic distance of 3 and that happened to be the surname of Ferguson which showed up in my 25 marker test. This somewhat surprised me as I would have thought that some of the matches with the Hull surname would have shown up at the 37 marker level.

    I tried to find men with the surname of Hull in the census records from the area where my great granddad was born around the time of his birth and found none.

    Given the results, my question would be which surname would seem to be more significant ? My father immigrated from England and I do not have any other relatives other than my parents and sister that live in the US (all other relatives are in England). The database does not seem that large for the UK and unfortunately there are only two matches which are not private. Could this be the reason that I do not have any matches closer than distance "2" on my 25 marker testing ? I had 112 "exact" matches on my 12 marker level testing that were grouped mainly in the UK, Ireland and the US although I had a few in places like the Czech Republic, Sicily and France. I understand that the 12 marker matches can go back as far as 40 generations or more. Additionally, none of the matches that were "exact" matches in the US showed up on my 25 marker or 37 marker tests nor did the names on the 25 marker or 37 marker tests show up on my 12 marker test.

    Given my results it doesn't seem like upgrading to the 67 or 111 marker test will provide any further information. Please tell me if I am wrong. I also uploaded the results on Ancestry.co.uk and had a completely different set of results with not that close of matches.

    Any advice / suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  • #2
    How close

    I would test at 67 or 111. That will tell if the Ferguson is close or just looks like it at 37.

    I have two 5th cousins who tested and at 37 one is o GD and the other is 3. At 67 those become 1 and 4.

    At 67 I also have a 10th and 11th cousin at GD 5. So it varies.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by plova25 View Post
      The 25 marker test came back with 11 results with a genetic distance of 2 for all results. Of the 11 results, 9 of the results all had the surname of Hull, while one had a surname of Ferguson and the other of Mefford. I received only one result back at the 37 marker level with a genetic distance of 3 and that happened to be the surname of Ferguson which showed up in my 25 marker test. This somewhat surprised me as I would have thought that some of the matches with the Hull surname would have shown up at the 37 marker level.

      I tried to find men with the surname of Hull in the census records from the area where my great granddad was born around the time of his birth and found none.
      A basic general principle is that matches at 37 markers are more reliable than matches at the 12 and 25 marker levels. And matches at 67 markers are more reliable than those at 37 markers.

      Regarding your specific case, there are a couple of basic points to consider.

      First, the fact that there are 9 Hull matches at the 25 marker level may not be as significant as you think. This may be the case since none are showing up in your 37 marker match list.

      For instance, it may be the case that 9 Hulls are showing up on your 25 marker match list because they're all closely related and happen to share some uncommon marker values you have in the first 25. In that case, they're probably not very closely related to you, since they don't appear in your 37 marker match list.

      You can see how many markers each of your matches have tested. Have any of the Hull matches tested to 37 or 67 markers or have all of them only tested 25 markers? If some of them have only tested 25 and upgrade to 37, they may appear on your 37 marker match list.

      So, if there are some of the Hull matches who've only tested 25 markers, you have to decide whether it's worth contacting them about upgrading to 37 markers - especially before the holiday sale ends next week. However, the fact that there are no Hulls found in the census in the area your ancestor was born indicates the Hull matches may be a red herring, as I discussed above.

      Originally posted by plova25 View Post
      Given the results, my question would be which surname would seem to be more significant ?
      As I indicated above, unless you have good reason to think otherwise, I would be more interested in investigating a connection to a Ferguson paternal line, since that's the surname of your 37 marker match. Did you try searching in the census for any Ferguson who lived in the area where your ancestor was born?

      Also, take a look at the results in the Ferguson surname project at http://www.familytreedna.com/public/...ction=yresults. See if you find any additional matches (including the same haplogroup) with English ancestry who don't appear in your match list. It's possible you may find matches who are private there. If so, write the project administrator and point out that your results are a good match to one of the project members. Perhaps the administrator, whose address is found on the project website home page at http://www.familytreedna.com/public/ferguson/, can forward an e-mail from you to that member asking for contact.

      Originally posted by plova25 View Post
      My father immigrated from England and I do not have any other relatives other than my parents and sister that live in the US (all other relatives are in England). The database does not seem that large for the UK and unfortunately there are only two matches which are not private.
      Relatively speaking, the genetic genealogy databases are rich for UK ancestry, at least compared to southern or eastern European ancestry. Of course, it's relative since there's less than a million men in all the yDNA databases combined. Even though your father was a recent immigrant to the U.S., remember that a large percentage of Americans have British ancestry, including in the paternal line. So, even though you don't have any close paternal line cousins among Americans in FTDNA's yDNA database, you may have paternal line cousins whose ancestors came from the UK to the U.S. in the last 200-400 years. Any surname match that's significant may result from this type of mid-range common ancestry. And that match may give you the surname you want to know.

      Originally posted by plova25 View Post
      Given my results it doesn't seem like upgrading to the 67 or 111 marker test will provide any further information. Please tell me if I am wrong. I also uploaded the results on Ancestry.co.uk and had a completely different set of results with not that close of matches.
      It would be helpful for you to upload your results to ysearch, if you haven't already. You can do that by logging into your FTDNA account and going to your Matches page. Click on the orange "Upload to Ysearch.org" button. You may find matches there that you're not seeing now. Also, we can help advise you better if we know your ysearch ID and can look at your results.

      Based on your results, it may or may not be worthwhile to upgrade to 67 markers. A lot depends on how much you want to spend and how important this is to you. Even if you only have one match now at 37 markers (by the way, has he tested to 67 markers?), at least if you have 67 markers to match, significant matches may show up in the future. From that point of view, it would be worthwhile to upgrade while it's on sale.
      Last edited by MMaddi; 24 December 2013, 04:19 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        A big "thank you" for your advice

        Hello John and Maddi,

        Thanks much for your informative replies. It has given me more insight on the matching of markers and how this corresponds to relations to me.

        I will search for the Ferguson name to see if it appears in the area where my great-grandad was born. If one appear this might be a match as the Ferguson name would not be very common in Suffolk, England as it is a Scottish name.

        At the 25 marker level I was only able to see information on how far 3 of the names tested. One "Hull" match tested to 37 while the other tested to 67 and neither showed up on my 37 marker test. The person with the Ferguson surname tested to 37 and showed up on my 37 marker test with a distance of 3. This person happens to live in the US so it may make sense that the distance is 3 at this level as his ancestor may have immigrated at a much earlier time as was indicated in one of the answers.

        I will look to see if they have a sale for upgrading to the 67 and 111 markers as this might be of some value.

        Again, thanks for all the insight.

        Best,

        Jeff

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by plova25 View Post
          The database does not seem that large for the UK and unfortunately there are only two matches which are not private.
          Thanks,

          Jeff
          The first thing I would do is join the surname project(s) for the name(s) you match. Many people elect to only see matches within their project. This could be why you see them as "private".

          If the admin wants to know why you want to join provide the basic information about not knowing your surname and the facts about your matches with that surname.

          When you are looking at your matches be sure to notice how many marker they have. This will show up as the test name such as Y-DNA67. This will not show up on private kits.

          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
            The first thing I would do is join the surname project(s) for the name(s) you match. Many people elect to only see matches within their project. This could be why you see them as "private".

            !
            Good advice! My maternal surname project has only two of my cousins and one other person who match my first cousin. We found the other 4th cousin through the project. And we found another match at ancestry, looking at trees. Beyond that, we match a different surname, so we joined that project. And one guy in Australia with a third surname matched so we have joined that one two. That way we can perhaps find matches to our matches.

            Comment


            • #7
              This might not lead to anything for you, but do not completely dismiss your nine 23/25 matches with the Hull family, and let me tell you about my own experience. I found not just a few but twenty-three matches at 23/25 and 24/25 markers, a surprisingly large number. None of those matches appear on my 37 marker test, but today I am listed on that family's project with my being a GD of only 1 outside of that family's modal range, or in other words I almost am one of that family, and that is at 37 markers. Their surname is completely different than my own, but it turned out that we share identical SNP haplogroup AND there are known historical links between our families going back hundreds upon hundreds of years.

              Again, that coincidence might not go anywhere for you, but when you find a larger number of fairly close matches all having the same surname, even at lower testing levels, it is worth your while to investigate. Even if they are not your relatives, the fact that there are a larger number of them could indicate something of where you should be looking.

              Good luck to you in your search!
              Last edited by Tourist; 26 December 2013, 08:14 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Another Thank you

                Thank you John, Jim & Tourist for the additional information. Since the last posting I have joined the Fergus(s)on project (very informative) and was able to search the census in the Suffolk & Norfolk areas for men with the name of Fergusson.

                I found that there were very few families with the Fergusson name in Suffolk and Norfolk census of 1871 & 1881 (only 2) which make sense as the name originates from Scotland / Ireland to which there is some interpretation about the origin! One family was in Suffolk and the other in Norfolk. I did find one young man living in Bury St. Edmunds with the Fergusson from Norfolk but in a boarding school that was the same age as my 2nd great-grandmother. I was able to find this person on a few trees on ancestry.co.uk with interesting results.

                I have now ordered the upgrade to the DNA-67 marker test and Family Finder test on the advice of a person at the Fergus(s)on project and hopefully this will provide some more insight.

                Thanks again,

                Jeff

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