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New to YDNA - trying to trace paternal line connections

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  • New to YDNA - trying to trace paternal line connections

    My great grandfather William was a red haired scotsman, with thick accent. My nana knew him personally and spoke of him. From research however I can only trace his parents to England and from records it seems he was English yet I know this is incorrect. I have traced his mother Emma (my great great grandmother) to England (Warwickshire) but only reaching dead ends with his father James (my great great grandfather). It has been suggested James changed his name and was a refugee of the clearances - going to England for work, and then Wales, before they came here to New Zealand. So after my mothers family finder test brought up no clear results (or anyone with same surname), my uncle (with direct paternal line) did a YDNA test (Y-37). As expected there were no matches that had a similar surname. And only one match at Y-37, again with different surname. I am new to this and not sure where to go next. Does anyone have any suggestions? How accurate is the Y-37? Are there any other steps or tests we can take that might help? The Haplogroup is R-M269. Thanks.

  • #2
    So your Uncle (paternal side) and mother would be 2 generations down from William, and would share roughly 1766 centimorgans of DNA with their Grandfather (William), and then roughly with each successive generation (as per loose 50% of that dna.
    So with this chart in mind, do any of your matches (regardless of surname) fall in the 1-4 cousin range and have family trees your can peruse to see if can find any link?
    Going to a further Y-testing level (eg up to 67 or 111) will only be of benefit if someone who is paternally related does a test in the future or is already in the system (at that level), and if/when they do appear it will be an obvious match at that level. I didn't have any matches at any level until had another done the test months later and then could see they were an obvious match. (had Genetic distance of 0 at 67 and genetic distance of 1 at 111)

    For the match at Y-37, what genetic distance was that and up to what level of testing had they done?
    If they have done up to 67 or 111 and were genetic distance of 0 or 1 they might be related, and could confirm via higher y-dna testing level?
    As you say you might not be able to rely on the surname.
    (as per

    You might have alot of matches at Y-37 but a high genetic distance? as Uncle is in R-M269 - the most common European haplogroup. So that doesn't give you very specifc ancestral origins unless you have deeper haplogroup analysis done (ie SNPs). I went from R-M269 to R-Z1121_1 after further test, this is only worth doing if you have a match that you wish to compare further, if they match at the further SNP level that would be further confirmation of a link or similar ancestor.

    Not everyone inherits the same DNA from ancestors, has Uncle also done FFinder test to see if they have matches autosomally, this I think is only good for the last 5 generations, because of loss of DNA through successive generations.
    Well thats my 2c worth....hope it helps.