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What are atDNA and mtDNA doing in my Surname project?

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  • What are atDNA and mtDNA doing in my Surname project?

    I have "inherited" the Raymond surname project as Admin. I expected all members to be males testing Y-DNA hopefully 37 markers or better, and with surnames similar to Raymond.
    But there are strange members:
    -10 females, testing atDNA and/or mtDNA
    -8 males testing only atDNA and mtDNA
    -12 males testing Y-DNA, but with surnames not even close to Raymond
    Plus many males testing more than Y-DNA

    This was an early DNA project, maybe from about 2007. Maybe all DNA types were encouraged. It is found under the Surname projects, and the brief Overview refers to surnames.

    Are the ladies and non-Y-DNA men and non-Raymond men all there by mistake? Should I politely invite them to leave?
    The GAP pages give the capacity to manage and sub-group the mtDNA members and display their mtDNA results. But am I responsible for this, and should I spend time learning how to do it?

    I'll just do my best to manage the Y-DNA men with reasonable surnames and ignore the rest. Unless I hear a good idea.

  • #2
    I've been an admin since 2002. I accept anyone into my projects. Even if they don't have Y-DNA results they might encourage a friend, brother, father or male cousin to join and order a Y-DNA test. I don't try to group members with mtDNA, but I group all Y-DNA results. For Y-DNA I group by Haplogroup or subgroups of Haplogroups. In your case I would have one 'Non Raymond Members' group. It would include all members not having a Raymond type surname and who didn't have Y-DNA matches with Raymond members. A Smith with a majority of Raymond matches would be grouped as though he had the Raymond surname.

    I would never do anything to discourage membership.


    • #3
      I allow a mix of different types of tests in what I started as a surname YDNA project for various reasons. FF and mTDNA members need have some known family tree (genetic, not by marriage) connection to the surname, so it might be worth emailing those in your project to check. I keep these in the project, if they are willing to allow me at least "limited" admin access (to see their matches lists) because many of my YDNA project members also have done this testing. I also have YDNA members with a different surname - I only keep these in the project if they have strong matches to the surname project (and no matches to their own surname) on the basis that these are probably NPEs to my study name. I do allow anyone to join the project, but if I see a new member who doesn't appear to fit, then I will contact them and ask why they joined. Just occasionally I get people who are clearly looking for clues for adoptions rather randomly joining projects (you can sometimes spot these by the number of other surname projects they have joined) without any kind of strong match to anyone with the surname, so after contacting them to check there isn't a good reason for them being part of the project, I will delete their membership. BUT it is up to you as project administrator - if you really do only want a YDNA project, there is no reason why you couldn't get rid of the rest. I'm just not ready to say no to some of those FF kits who may end up matching a male who also has a YDNA in the project, and in doing so adds more information to the family trees for both people.


      • #4
        There is no need to eject anybody, but women sharing their mtDNA in an ftDNA surname project are simply in the wrong place. I think it would be a kindness to ask if they really want to belong here.
        It can't hurt to contact the questionable members, ask them if they really intended to be in this surname project, make them feel welcome if they did, or help them find an appropriate project.

        I assume all agree there is nothing a surname project admin can do for mtDNA results, for male or female.


        • #5
          Originally posted by DougInAmbler View Post
          I assume all agree there is nothing a surname project admin can do for mtDNA results, for male or female.
          Of course there is something you can do. You can help them understand their mtDNA results/matches, their atDNA results/matches and encourage they to have their male relatives with the surname of the project join the project and order Y-DNA if they don't already have it.