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Liklihood of lab mistake?

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  • Liklihood of lab mistake?

    I got back a short list (7 matches) from my yDNA result, 37 markers, ranging from zero to four steps. All surnames are the same, but not mine.

    The TiP report for the closest match indicates an 84% chance within 4 generations, and a 97% chance within 8 generations. I've been in touch with this fellow, and the geography of our ancestors doesn't seem to coincide.

    I don't know of any adoptions in our line, and I've never come across the surname before.

    Are lab and data entry mistakes impossible, and do I just have to assume that no error was made?

    I'm aware that assumed parentage is not always actual parentage, but it would be nice to know what the options are before I possibly get other family members upset!

  • #2
    I wouldn't panic just yet. Yes, it's POSSIBLE you're dealing with an NPE, but more likely you're looking at a group of distant cousin matches. There's a good probability that if you and all of your matches were to test at Y67 or Y111, the closeness would fall off a bit.

    In my own experience, I have six Y37/GD0 matches, but at Y67 only one GD0, and our best guess is a common ancestor roughly 200 years ago.

    In short, no need to upset anyone based on this result.

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    • #3
      I was in this situation about two years ago, and in my case it did turn out to be an NPE. That destroyed 10 years of hard work, and it has left me with two brick walls.

      I was really disgusted for a couple of days after getting the results, because of all the hard work and money spent on the wrong line, but I got to thinking that circumstances regarding the placement of my 3rd-great-grandmother's orphans were very odd. I had always thought that to some extent, but I just thought there may have been health or other circumstances that prevented family members from taking the children in. After the test results came back, things looked a lot more suspicious to me, and that's where I started researching. I found out that a neighbor of my 3rd great-grandmother had the surname that my cousin matched.

      After a few months of posting on Rootsweb boards and waiting I found a 2nd great-grandson of the neighbor's brother to do the Family Finder test, and when the results came back he matched my mother at 3rd cousin level. There were only two brothers in the area where my 3rd great-grandmother lived, who belonged to the family with the surname in question, so she obviously had an affair with one of them. And I think it was known in the community at the time. They didn't have a newspaper in the area at that period. I wish they had. There might have been a gossip column!

      I would recommend that you (or, if possible, a grandparent, or great-grandparent in the line in question) do a Family Finder test and see what matches you get with that.

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      • #4
        I was in this situation about two years ago, and in my case it did turn out to be an NPE. That destroyed 10 years of hard work, and it has left me with two brick walls.

        I was really disgusted for a couple of days after getting the results, because of all the hard work and money spent on the wrong line, but I got to thinking that circumstances regarding the placement of my 3rd-great-grandmother's orphans were very odd. I had always thought that to some extent, but I just thought there may have been health or other circumstances that prevented family members from taking the children in. After the test results came back, things looked a lot more suspicious to me, and that's where I started researching. I found out that a neighbor of my 3rd great-grandmother had the surname that my cousin matched.

        After a few months of posting on Rootsweb boards and waiting I found a 2nd great-grandson of the neighbor's brother to do the Family Finder test, and when the results came back he matched my mother at 3rd cousin level. There were only two brothers in the area where my 3rd great-grandmother lived, who belonged to the family with the surname in question, so she obviously had an affair with one of them. And I think it was known in the community at the time. They didn't have a newspaper in the area at that period. I wish they had. There might have been a gossip column!

        I would recommend that you (or, if possible, a grandparent, or great-grandparent in the line in question) do a Family Finder test and see what matches you get with that.

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=Wills-Bedford-VA;352233]Are lab and data entry mistakes impossible, and do I just have to assume that no error was made?QUOTE]
          Of course errors do occur, but not very often.

          I suggest you order at least two additional kits while they are on sale, at least Y-DNA37s. Give one to a cousin with a paternal line connection to your grandfather and give one to a cousin with a paternal line connection to your great grandfather. The results should give you a clue.


          It is possible that no one from your paternal line has tested. It is possible that an ancestor just changed his surname for some reason.

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          • #6
            Unless you are the Last of the Mohicans.

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