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How do I determine what relationship I have with this match

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  • How do I determine what relationship I have with this match

    According to FamilyTreeDNA Learning Center
    A “Relevant Match” as stated in the Family Tree DNA release form is one of the following: Relevant Matches

    Y-DNA 12 Exact Matches and (within a project) a genetic distance of 1
    Y-DNA 25 Genetic distances of 0 through 2
    Y-DNA 37 Genetic distances of 0 through 4
    Y-DNA 67 Genetic distances of 0 through 7
    Y-DNA 111 Genetic distances of 0 through 10
    mtDNAPlus (HVR1 & HVR2) Exact Matches excluding positions 309 and 315
    mtFull Sequence (HVR1, HVR2 & Coding Region) 0 through 3, including heteroplasmy, but excluding positions 309 and 315
    Family Finder Persons sharing a certain amount of centimorgans, and listed under Family Finder matches
    ** Note: When a Y-Chromosome STR marker comparison differs by more than one, the matching program takes genetic distance rather than the number of mismatching markers into consideration. This is because for most STR markers, each step difference is as meaningful as mismatches on additional markers.

    So, what is my relationship with a Y-DNA listed match that has the following:

    No match at 12 Markers,
    Genetic Distance of 2 at 25 Markers,
    No match at 37 Markers, and
    Genetic Distance of 5 at 67 Markers?

  • #2
    Its not really possible to determine what relationship you have with a Y match, other than a crude acceptance that stronger matches are probably closer. But even perfect matches can be distant Y cousins. Your results at 12,25, and 37 suggest no match, while at 67 there is a potential match. But a GD of 5 implies its not close. I have a few 64 to 66 matches at 67 and they are my confirmed 5th cousins, to give an example. But your family line might have a faster or slower mutation, so that's just what happened in my case.

    You could double check the haplogroups. They should be the same, although if your match has done any advanced SNP testing, his results will be much refined than yours. You could do a look- up on FTDNA's public Y tree. If your match has a totally different haplogroup or is on a different branch, then you know that the Y match at 67 markers was just a mathematical coincidence.

    If they do match, or are on the same pathway, then MAYBE the match is legitimate.

    You could also look for a Family Finder match, which might lead to something useful.

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    • #3
      Have you also taken FamilyFinder? If so, recommend regularly doing Advanced Matching to see those who match you on both Y-DNA AND FamilyFinder - and how closely on each.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by migoblu View Post
        So, what is my relationship with a Y-DNA listed match that has the following:

        No match at 12 Markers,
        Genetic Distance of 2 at 25 Markers,
        No match at 37 Markers, and
        Genetic Distance of 5 at 67 Markers?
        Have you tried working with the match to research the paternal lines for the two of you? DNA can make suggested connections but we still have to do research and build our own trees. Doing research does not mean copying undocumented trees. Documentation does not include another undocumented tree.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by migoblu View Post
          No match at 12 Markers,
          He has at least one mutation that is different than yours on the Y12 panel, and might have 2. Is the person in any projects you're also a member of? If so, then you're at GD2 on Y12, and will not match. Otherwise he could be at GD1 and because you're not in a common project, you cannot see his results. In one of the projects I'm in, most of the project members are at GD1 or GD2 of me on Y12. So it isn't that unusual.

          Genetic Distance of 2 at 25 Markers,
          Well, we know at least one of the mutated markers came from Y12, depending on whether or not you're both in a common project, it's possible he has an additional mutation in the Y25 panel. There certainly are polymorphic markers in Y-25 which are well known for mutating more than most. But as you're likely looking at a single mutation(or no mutations) on the Y25 panel, it may not be those markers in play.

          No match at 37 Markers, and
          Y37 will only show you matches up to GD4. If he is at GD5@Y37, you will not see him. So it appears he picked up 3 additional mutations(relative to you) in the Y37 panel, because you see him @GD5 on Y67.

          Genetic Distance of 5 at 67 Markers?
          No mutations present in the panel going from Y37 to Y67, which allowed him to fall within FTDNA's matching criteria again.

          As he matches at Y67, he should be "somewhere close" to your haplotype. Although the MRCA could still be way back in time(centuries or millennia). Are either you tested to Y111? Are both of you? What does a TiP report have to say at the highest level you're capable of running? What about SNP tests between the two of you?

          People with test results that cause them to "play peek-a-boo" with you due to FTDNA's filtering criteria is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to test to Y67 or higher when possible. If you'd only tested Y37, you would have noticed him at Y25, and probably shrugged off his absence at Y12. But since he turns up as a Y67 match, that might be some useful information to have going forward, he could be a 3rd cousin(I'd expect an atDNA match from that though). Or it could be he's a very distant relation that isn't going connect to your tree anytime in the foreseeable future. STRs are fickle things.

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