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researching the wrong family??

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  • researching the wrong family??

    Hi, this is my first visit to this forum. I am happy to find it actually. We have been upset, confused, and generally frustrated. My husband did the dna testing for the Wyatt group. we did get the results months ago with no surname matches so we did what we thought would solve this confusion and upgraded to a 37 marker test. Still, no matches with his surname of Wyatt. The frustrating part of all of this dna and genealogy study is the problem with "ok then who are we and which name do we research?" Any suggestions on this will be appreciated.

  • #2
    researching the wrong family?

    You are not the first to be surprised (shocked) by their results. ;o) If I were in you're position I would try Ysearch at; when you visit, follow the directions to sign up and enter your test results. ( If you were tested by FTDNA, then it's a piece of cake) When you search their database, you may find some close matches; if so, most will have an e-mail address for contact.
    Next I would try Sorensen; same song, visit, sign up, enter data, search their data base. If you find matches you won't likely find an e-mail, but some will have a Family Search reference number. Chase that number down at the Family Search website and often you'll find contact information for individuals researching that name.

    Good luck,


    • #3
      Do you have a paper trail you can test against?

      If you have a line of Wyatts documented try to convince a living descendant you think you are related to and get them tested.

      In our project we close to one third of the members who are unique, and I think this is fairly common. Just in the UK in 2002 there were 15000 Wyatts, probably double that number in the US. Of these thousands of Wyatts there can be many genetically distinct families.

      I currently have only one match, but that match is documented and goes back 200 years in England. This in a project with nearly 90 members.

      Your family is out there, they just need to be found. I don't believe you can say you are researching the wrong family. I would stick with Wyatt untill somebody comes along with a strong match, say 35 on 37 and whose family lived in the same area as yours. Then you should work the paper trail.


      • #4
        Make sure that you are setup to match people of any surname. I don't know if Family Tree DNA still does this, but it use to be that the default was to only show matches to people with the surname. Be sure to uncheck this box.

        Another point. If you didn't match anyone at mid resolution (25 markers), you shouldn't expect to match anyone at high resolution (37 markers).

        At 12 markers, you are likely to match a lot of people, many with different surnames. The common ancestor you share with these matches may have lived 1500 years ago, long before the advent of surnames. By upgrading to 25, you eliminate most people with other surnames. The set of people you match at 25 markers is a tiny subset of those you matched at 12 markers. If you still match someone at 25, upgrade to 37 & see if the match still holds. The set of people you match at 37 markers is a tiny subset of those you matched at 25 markers.

        This test can discover surname switches in the past. Don't be alarmed. A lot of surnames were modified or changed when people immigrated to America.

        Timothy Peterman


        • #5
          DNA tests vs. paper work

          I think it cannot be stressed enough that a DNA test cannot replace ordinary genealogical paper work. Surname projects are meant as an aid to supplement and confirm this paper work, they should never be used as a starting point. I fear that many people have set up incorrect family trees based on the information that was most convenient to obtain.

          In the case of your Wyatt research, I would recommend looking for genetic matches outside any surname projects. Not every relevant Wyatt line is part of the surname project anyway. Have you checked for matches in Ysearch, disregarding surnames?



          • #6
            TE is right.

            Surnames are not overrated but paper pedigrees can be and DNA is just simply better at confirming related people.

            Adoption is not a recent thing, it was also being done back then and of course there was always a degree of infidelity.

            However, from what my results have gave me I am very confident that FTDNA is a very reliable source for your ancestry even if you find your dna includes those of different surnames than who you thought were your ancestors. It is not uncommon at all.

            A example is that a oral tradition in my family is that they changed there name to another because there cousins were outlaws.

            Good luck and keep looking and you'll find the answers.