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  • Not Making Any sense!

    I took a yDNA 37 marker test about a year ago along with a distant relative (8th cousin) who has the same surname as I have (the "paper trail" we both researched indicated that we were 8th cousins). We had a -2 genetic distance on 37 markers which we felt was ok for such distant cousins. (Only the "fast" mutating markers were involved). Recently we decided to go for the extra 30 markers (67 markers total). His additional markers came in a few weeks ago, mine came in today (almost 4 weeks "late"). The results are hard to believe...we now have a genetic distance of about -21 (on the total 67 markers) Only about 15 of the latest markers out of the 30 are a match.
    Another surprise...on the earlier 37 marker test results, we both had a close match (-1 genetic distance) with an "outsider" (different surname). My "cousin" still has a close match (-2) with him, but again, I'm now about a -21 genetic distance from him (yes.. the "outsider" took the 37 to 67 marker upgrade too).
    Something is not making any sense. Even the statistics seem to indicate something is not right
    Thanks...
    Bill

  • #2
    Originally posted by wcole67
    I took a yDNA 37 marker test about a year ago along with a distant relative (8th cousin) who has the same surname as I have (the "paper trail" we both researched indicated that we were 8th cousins). We had a -2 genetic distance on 37 markers which we felt was ok for such distant cousins. (Only the "fast" mutating markers were involved). Recently we decided to go for the extra 30 markers (67 markers total). His additional markers came in a few weeks ago, mine came in today (almost 4 weeks "late"). The results are hard to believe...we now have a genetic distance of about -21 (on the total 67 markers) Only about 15 of the latest markers out of the 30 are a match.
    Another surprise...on the earlier 37 marker test results, we both had a close match (-1 genetic distance) with an "outsider" (different surname). My "cousin" still has a close match (-2) with him, but again, I'm now about a -21 genetic distance from him (yes.. the "outsider" took the 37 to 67 marker upgrade too).
    Something is not making any sense. Even the statistics seem to indicate something is not right
    Thanks...
    Bill
    have you asked bennett this?

    look as time passes sons can change markkers from dads. markers dont change gradually they change. my guess is the distance of your cousin would be shown in the changes

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    • #3
      I would definitely email FTDNA and ask them to check on this, since the GD definitely shouldn't be that drastically different when upgrading from 37 to 67 markers, most especially when there's a known genealogical connection. It's possible the wrong sample was pulled and tested or somehow another person's results were uploaded for you. This type of mistake certainly doesn't happen often, but I've seen one or two similar situations reported.

      Can you tell if there's a particular section of markers where the differences are? The upgrade is done in 3 panels: 38-47, 48-60, 61-67. You may find that the majority of your differences are in one panel vs another.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by efgen
        I would definitely email FTDNA and ask them to check on this, since the GD definitely shouldn't be that drastically different when upgrading from 37 to 67 markers, most especially when there's a known genealogical connection. It's possible the wrong sample was pulled and tested or somehow another person's results were uploaded for you. This type of mistake certainly doesn't happen often, but I've seen one or two similar situations reported.
        I agree. Based on what has been said, I suspect some sort of clerical error.

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        • #5
          Thanks

          Thanks to all of you who have replied to my 37 to 67 marker upgrade that doesn't make any sense
          The more I think about it...it's got to be a FTDNA error, because it it isn't an error, small genetic distances between individuals with the same surname at 37 markers would be meaningless and untrustworthy until a 67 marker upgrade proved or disproved the 37 marker results. This could go on "ad infinitum"
          I will contact FTDNA about this. They must have made an error in my results.
          Thanks..
          Bill

          Comment


          • #6
            Contacted FTDNA

            Just an update on my 38 to 67 marker update test.

            I called FTDNA. The young lady who answered asked me to explain my problem...which I did. She said that she was competent to answer why I got a huge genetic distance (with my 8th cousin) in my upgrade to 67 markers even though we were a close match with my first 37 markers. She basically said (but wasn't too clear about it) that everything was just fine and the 21 genetic distance was nothing to get excited about. I said something seems wrong..She said everything is normal. I said I want to talk with someone else. Another young lady got on the phone and looked over my results, my cousins results and the "outsider's" results. She said there "might be" a problem ("something doesn't look right") and we will redo the test. Check back in 6 to 8 weeks.

            I'm getting a little nervous about FTDNA and their staff.

            Thanks
            Bill...

            Comment


            • #7
              Answer to efgen

              To efgen...

              I split my markers into the three groups that you suggested.

              Here are the results:

              1st group: 6 of the 10 markers had mismatches for a genetic distance of 6
              2nd group: 6 of the 13 markers had mismatches for a genetic distance of 11
              3rd group: 3 of the 7 markers had mismatches for a genetic distance of 3
              Total genetic distance with my 8th cousin: 20
              (at 37 markers we were a GD of 2, both fast mutating markers)

              Total genetic difference with the "outsider" (different surname):19
              (genetic distance of 10 in the 2nd group, other groups the same as above)
              (at 37 markers we were a GD of 1, a fast mutating marker)

              My 8th cousin and the "outsider" have a genetic distance of 2 at 67 markers and like me, a GD of 1 at 37 markers.

              We believe the "outsider" really should have our surname but his ancestor was adopted in the 1700's in Plainfield, Connecticut by a Baptist minister and his wife, and he took the ministers surname. This is not proven, but it's pretty likely.

              Bill

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the update.

                I'm glad you were persistent. It is not inconceivable that the results are correct, but I think that any result so extreme should be checked again with the lab.

                In fairness to the staff, they undoubtedly get a lot of calls from people questioning the results when, in fact, the results are accurate. It is impossible to look at results and conclude there was a mistake, and it would cost them a fortune to conduct every test multiple times. I'm involved in several FTDNA projects, and I can say from experience that their error rate is very, very low. But it isn't zero.

                Comment


                • #9
                  They do make mistakes. I had a kit sent in for a friend and the initial FF results said she had no relatives in FF. I knew that wasn't right because I had uploaded her DNA from 23andme to Gedmatch and she wasmatching several people who had taken the test with FTDNA. I had to supply them with the kit numbers to get them to redo the test. Once they did, the relatives showed up.

                  I have been by their office several times and have interacted with several people. I've enjoyed talking with them. I do suspect there there may be some quality control issues. I'm not quite convinced that that the staff is working as efficiently as it could. This may be due to over work/understaff/trying to train new people/trying to get up to speed on equipment or whatever. Since I'm seeing complaints on this forum regarding processing times and results and complaints about their website, I get the feeling that a strong organizational manager needs to come in and reveiw all processes withing the company - lab, IT, customer relations, etc. to see where improvements can be made. I will admit that my view is limited and they may be working very well so I don't want to unfairly judge them.

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                  • #10
                    This thread is many years old

                    Frankly, you probably should not have posted in this many-years-old thread. Although mistakes are still possible, they are less likely due to double-checks put in place a few years ago. For example, the first marker panel (1-12) actually includes two hidden extra markers, one from the 13-25 panel and one from the 26-37 panel. This helps prevent switched panels.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow, you're right. I didn't even notice the date. The post should have gone into a more recent thread.

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