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    Would appreciate some thoughts on my query. A participant in our Project has no known father for a birth in the mid to late 1800s. His Y-DNA results indicate a match of 37/36 with another surname, the +1 step being on a fast moving marker in the third panel.

    I've read that this may be due to a match before surnames came into being and to ignore but should I? How do people research their ancestry if they are adopted (familyfinder test)!! Could it be that he is actually descended from someone with this surname!!

    Any help gratefully received.


  • #2
    Does the participant have any matches with his surname? Does he have other close matches with any surname?


    • #3
      The participant doesn't match any others with the same surname which I expected being unable to find the father of a child (illegitimate!!) in the 1860's. This is the first match in the FTDNA database and is for a different surname.

      Thanks for responding.


      • #4
        1) You could ask both to upgrade to 67 or 111 to see if the match holds. There is supposed to be a Fathers' Day sale on Y upgrades. There may be a single a-la-carte Y STR to test that would make-or-break ... but I don't know which.

        2) Is there any match-up on geographies, ethnicities, and timelines between the two?

        I agree that it would be wrong to jump to a conclusion based on the very limited data presently available.
        Last edited by tomcat; 3 June 2013, 08:37 AM.


        • #5
          Take heart re: matching a different surname

          My y-dna did not match with my surname (y-dna Burk/ genealogical surname Townsend). I increased my y-dna testing to 111. The match was clear and the genetic distance showed that about 6 generations ago I and a distant Burk cousin had a 50% chance of a common ancestor. It also definitively showed that I am not genetically related to the Townsends that my genealogy says were my first ancestors in America (the Oyster Bay Townsends).

          Upon researching with my Burk cousin I found that our families intersected about 6 generations ago and that I had an ancestor back then with the other surname as his middle name (Solomon Burk Townsend).

          This happened in the midst of a good deal of infidelity on Solomon Burk Townsend's genealogical father's part and I suspect that his biological mother may have taken comfort with a neighbor. Of course, an alternative is that they may have adopted an orphan from the neighboring family. (The two families were quite close for 3 generations.) But with the unsettled nature of their marriage, I think this a lesser possibility.

          In any event, neither of these possible genetic links can be definitively proven or disproven. However, with my 111 y-dna I was able to prove a connection to my genetic surname (Burk) back to Burk men whose ancestors never left Ireland.

          So, take heart. There may be an interesting story to be discovered from his genetics not matching his surname.