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How can I learn where my Y dna comes from?

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  • How can I learn where my Y dna comes from?

    Hello everyone,

    I've been tested Y-DNA 64 markers and I have matches only at 12 and 25 markers, some of them at zero genetic distance and different surnames and countries. I'm Italian and 90% of my matches are not from Italy.

    Is there a procedure I can use for determinating which part of Europe my "Y" ancestors were from? or how can I figure it out using FTDNA results?

    Thank you a LOT!

  • #2
    I don't know if you have checked your Ancestral Origins page to find where your matches are from. But, your matches, like you, have the option of entering a location for their Most Distant Known Ancestor (MDKA). This is done by entering the information while logged in, hovering over your name in the upper right, and choosing Account Settings. From there, choose the Genealogy tab, and Earliest Known Ancestors, and type in what you know for your earliest known ancestor.

    FTDNA has a page explaining the Y-DNA Ancestral Origins page in the Learning Center.

    It really depends on
    1. If your matches have done the above process, and entered a location
    2. If their information is correct
    3. And, if enough people have tested from the place where your ancestor came from (I believe Italy is not a country where many have done DNA testing)

    Your matches at 12 and 25 markers are related to you many generations in the past, and if they don't match you at 37 or 67 markers, are unlikely to be related in a genealogical timeframe. How far back has your own paper research taken you for your direct paternal line?

    You may want to read the Y-DNA - Matches page, and the Paternal Lineages page in the Learning Center.
    Last edited by KATM; 10 August 2018, 07:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by keyhook View Post
      Hello everyone,

      I've been tested Y-DNA 64 markers and I have matches only at 12 and 25 markers, some of them at zero genetic distance and different surnames and countries. I'm Italian and 90% of my matches are not from Italy.

      Is there a procedure I can use for determinating which part of Europe my "Y" ancestors were from? or how can I figure it out using FTDNA results?

      Thank you a LOT!
      Y-DNA predates ethnicity. Haplogroups can be found in certain areas and among certain ethnicities in certain quantities, let's use French as an example. We may find high levels of R-L21 in French populations, does that make R-L21 French? R-L21 is also found in high levels in Ireland and Britain. It's not that R-L21 is French, Irish or British, but that it is shared by those populations due to the dominance of that R haplogroup in Western Europe and their shared history of Celts and other earlier populations settling in these regions.


      Given you only have 12,25 marker matches at 67 markers it implies either any close paternal relatives have not tested to the 67 marker level or they haven't tested at all.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by keyhook View Post
        Hello everyone,

        I've been tested Y-DNA 64 markers and I have matches only at 12 and 25 markers, some of them at zero genetic distance and different surnames and countries. I'm Italian and 90% of my matches are not from Italy.

        Is there a procedure I can use for determinating which part of Europe my "Y" ancestors were from? or how can I figure it out using FTDNA results?

        Thank you a LOT!
        A lot of people like to discount the 12 and 25 results but for deep ancestry I think the Matches maps at that level can be very informative for you for the few matches you have , as long as the matches have entered their European ancestor's location instead of their most recent "american" ancestors , which is useless to those of us looking for deeply shared connections. Go to matches maps and look especially at your Ydna 25 map and see if there is a geographical distribution pattern on the 25-0 and 25-1 matches firstly and then on the 25-2 which , from my experience are spread out from the original area of the closer matches. You can still learn something depending on how generous with info your 12 and 25 matches have been to you.

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        • #5
          There are other reasons for a lack of relevant matches at higher marker levels. They can include:
          A) Your line resides on a rare or under-tested haplogroup branch. American, British Isle, and Scandinavian results dominate the system. All of continental Europe is under-represented and correspondingly untested. The Alpine Genetics focus group has just 1/3rd the number of members compared to the R-U106 haplogroup project.
          B) some lineages exhibit an excess number of 'recent' mutations which limit their STR matches. The trick here is to see if your results contain a STR motif which would potentially group your result with others. Realistically you will hope to dial in matches which share a shared ancestor within the last 2000 years.

          There are individuals who have waited 8-10 years before a STR match appeared in the system at 37 or 67 markers. This is a longer term process of waiting for matches to test into the system and then work off of their results to further expand the realm of potential matches. Be patient.

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