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Are autosomal matches relevant at 25 markers?

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  • Are autosomal matches relevant at 25 markers?

    Hi everyone,

    I recently joined a one-name study for my mom's maiden name (Featherstone) which seeks to connect the different strands of the name. Our oldest known relative (1637) had yet to have a descendant test. So I had my mom's brother test and when his results came back, he did not match anyone else in the project. I did a 37 test for him and he has no matches in the entire database at 37 markers. He has 2 matches at 25 with a genetic distance of 2. Neither of those matches have his surname. So I started researching the surnames and one intersects with our surname in a co-location; there were Featherstones living in Westmeath, Ireland in the late 1600's and early 1700's. Also, I searched my mother's autosomal matches for the surname in question (Dooley) in their trees. She had dozens of results, so many I spent most of the day going through their trees and still did not get to them all. Reoccurring in these trees was one specific family, from northern Ireland, that settled in Bedford, VA. My mother's family was in Henrico at that time. These are some distance from one another, but it's not unreasonable that new-comers would pass through Henrico to get further west. In any case, at a genetic distance of 2 at 25 markers, is this Dooley family matching my mother (did not recognize other surnames in their trees that could explain a match) coincidental or meaningful? I am thinking it is too far back to show up in autosomal. If the swapped paternity occurred, it would have been mid-1660's I estimate. Otherwise, wouldn't the matches be closer? Or, does the distance go back to the shared ancestor, meaning say "Danny Dooley" had 2 sons in Ireland and one immigrated to America and started this family in Bedford, and another stayed in Ireland and fathered a Featherstone son, who then also immigrated. That would show a distant match, but it would be too far back for autosomal, no? I'm very lost at this point. Thanks in advance for anyone who can help!
    Last edited by SpitFire; 28 June 2020, 08:27 PM.

  • #2
    Have you added the kit to the Featherstone project at FTDNA?

    A genetic distance of 2 at 25 markers match isn't a strong match. Have these matches tested beyond 25 markers? If they have I suggest you disregard them.

    Autosomal test will start missing relatives at 4 to 5 generations.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
      Have you added the kit to the Featherstone project at FTDNA?
      I did. He's not a match to any of them.