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How to identify gender of FF tester

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  • How to identify gender of FF tester

    Can someone submit DNA for the FF test and claim it is female when it is actually male? Do the posted FF results indicate the actual gender of the tester vs. the declared gender. Thanks!

  • #2
    I suppose sometimes there could be a programming error which would then show a female head icon in the place for the match's photo. And yes, someone could submit a DNA sample and claim it is from a female, but FTDNA could figure that out by seeing that there is a Y chromosome, so should put a male head.

    Otherwise, it could be that the match checked the wrong box for gender on the release form (still green colored, I think?) when he or she sent the sample back. Or - two people of opposite genders had done kits at the same time and place, and mixed them up when sending the kits back. These possibilities were discussed in an older thread, "Female listed as male," from 2017. The last two posts in that thread discuss how the head icon can be changed by FTDNA, if the kit owner requests it.

    If this is a match, and not a kit you manage: if it's an error, or otherwise somehow has slipped by and shows as female when it's a male, there is one way you might be able to figure it out yourself. If the match has done any Y-DNA testing, that would give it away. The tests a match has taken are shown with their name in your match list: click on the + (plus symbol) on the right hand side of the line with the match's name, which will expand the line to show which tests they've had done ("Tests Taken"). Also, if the match has a tree, that is another way to see if they've done Y-DNA testing or mtDNA testing; it will be shown with their name in their place on their tree.
    Last edited by KATM; 28 June 2020, 01:37 PM.


    • #3
      This question came up regarding a "female" match with an adoptee. No Y-DNA, no tree for match, no reply to requests for more information. Through other research avenues we were able to determine the identity of the female match and who her father was. The adoptee just received her Ancestry DNA results. The first match is for the man we identified as the father of the FTDNA match, with exactly the same cM count (about 2000) as for the "daughter" on FTDNA FF! Then there is an Ancestry match for the daughter, showing the expected lower cM count (about 980). We are pretty confident of the paper trail we've created but the DNA results have thrown us for a loop. Repeated attempts have been made to connect with these matches -- and believe me! we are treading very lightly here! -- but still no response. It's all very frustrating for an elderly woman trying to identify her birth mother.


      • #4
        Interesting that the FF match also tested at Ancestry. Just out of curiosity, can you tell if that was before or after testing at FTDNA? Perhaps she transferred to FTDNA from Ancestry. You can see the date joined at Ancestry by clicking on the match's name in the DNA Matches list, then clicking on their name again on the resulting page ("You and MatchName"). For FTDNA, you can see the Match Date in the column next to the match's name.

        It might be a case of this match and the father just testing to see admixture results (myOrigins, and DNA Origins at Ancestry), so they are not interested in people who want to contact them for genealogy (witness the absent family tree). I also wonder if the female match at FTDNA might be a case of the match managing the father's kit (his DNA), but put her name on it for some reason. That could explain the 2000 cM at FTDNA.

        Very odd that the cM count is 2000 cM at FTDNA if the match is a generation removed. Even allowing that FTDNA adds very small cM segments into the total amount, I doubt that would cause the total to be 1000 cM higher at FTDNA than the Ancestry total. You can try using the Chromosome Browser at FTDNA to compare to this match, and delete segments < 7 cM. Then add up what remains.

        Keep treading lightly. You seem to have contacted the FTDNA match by email, as that is the only way. At Ancestry, have you sent messages to the two matches? Many times people don't see messages there, or ignore them. Perhaps The DNA Detectives can help?


        • #5
          Thank for your thorough responses. Unfortunately, some of the avenues you've suggested are no longer available to me. Neither the atFTDNA nor the Ancestry DNA accounts are mine. But I was asked by the owner to investigate the results. The logon information was freely given to me and I never violated that trust. However, another family member has stepped in and taken over and denied me and another researcher access to both accounts by changing the password. Her reasoning is that the close relatives might find out we are researching them and remove their accounts. I assured her that no one would know we were investigating the matches unless we contacted them, which we have already promised not to do. She has also ordered tests for herself at both sites, just so she can really "prove" to the other family there is a relationship. I am tempted to use the word "ignorant" but will keep it to "extremely uninformed" about how DNA testing works. I seriously doubt that she has any ability to explore and interpret the results. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot! Meanwhile, before the accounts were closed to me (and we were given no previous warning this was coming), I downloaded the most recent FamilyFinder and ChromosomeBrowser files from atFTDNA, and the information from the matches pages from Ancestry DNA. So I can continue to work quietly off-line. I feel the project, helping the original woman find her biological mother, is very important.


          • #6
            Whew! Sorry to hear your ability to check the matches was withdrawn by the other family member. That is tough. But it sounds like you can do some work despite that, with the FF match list (I presume) and Chromosome Browser results. It sounds like the original woman already knows who her birth father is. Perhaps working with what you know of her paternal side, you can use methods such as Leeds Method, DNA Painter, clustering, and so on to figure out which matches may be on her maternal side, and narrow it down using records for places, etc. But you'd need access to the shared matches at each site to really figure it out. I sympathize with your sense of urgency to find the information for an elderly person.

            If you have any contact with the elderly woman, can the elderly woman contact you (or vice versa) to obtain information from you and the other researcher, if you find anything to share with her?

            I don't know in which state the elderly woman was born, but could she possibly get her original birth certificate? Some states have better policies about that than others. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has a .pdf showing laws for all U.S. States.