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Family Finder puzzles

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  • Family Finder puzzles

    I have just got back my brother's Family Finder results. He has previously been tested for YDNA 111. Firstly, we had a Russian grandfather and the rest Anglo-Celt. My brother's ethnicity came back as 99% British Isles and less than 1% Eastern Europe (0% for everywhere else). Is this possible given that he is supposedly 25% Russian?
    Secondly, with the YDNA tests 2 people came up as matching at 67 markers with a genetic distance of 5 and 6. Their names are nowhere in the Family Finder results. Is this possible? Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi Colleen , I previously advised you on the other thread you started. First step would be to see what haplogroup has been assigned to his other closer Ydna 67 matches. Then go to & ftdna haplotree and have a look at what countries are represented. Generally if he is R1B haplo he has a very good chance of being a local Welsh/Irish who display upwards of 80 to 90% of this haplogroup (only 3% approx of Russians). If he is R1a (& not the norse type) he has a better chance of being East/Central European in origin.
    The FF results for me point to your GF being British not Russian. Sorry. Check out his family finder matches and sort by cm and longest block.It shouldn't take too long to find Russians especially if he searches backwards from the smallest segments first which would indicate earlier ancestry (up to 5 generations backwards).
    Hope this helps


    • #3
      Colleen, I also posted to your earlier thread in the Paternal Lineage (Y-DNA STR) Basics forum. Gwallo gave you good advice, so check out what he suggested.

      As Gwallo wrote, see if there are any Russian matches in your brother's Family Finder match list. You should see some, since you're sure your grandfather was Russian. Your matches should reflect your ancestry better than an ethnicity estimate. So in your brother's case, based on what you wrote in the other thread, you should see matches who have Irish, Russian, and possibly Welsh ancestry. I don't know what ancestral roots you and your brother's mother has, but add hers in, too.

      As I mentioned in your other thread, see if your brother's myOrigins estimate shows any amount of these population clusters: Ashkenazi, East Europe, Finland, or Siberia. The descriptions for those clusters all mention Russia, to one degree or another. If you don't see matches with Russian roots, and there are no hints of the population clusters I mentioned, it may be that your grandfather was not Russian. Perhaps he had been brought up in Russia, or lived there for a time, but his father was not Russian. There are various scenarios for such things.

      For your brother's Y-DNA results, he will get more matches over time, so patience is the key there. It took several years for a kit I manage to get a match at Y-111, but so far even at Y-111 we haven't found the common ancestor (it's just out of reach, I think). It is interesting that the two matches that your brother had at Y-67 had the same surname, and you mentioned in the other thread that one was from Ireland. But, with those two matches showing a genetic distance of 5 and 6 at Y-67, and then NOT going on to match him at Y-111, it seems unlikely that you will find a common ancestor in a genealogical timeframe. This is why the two matches don't show up in your brother's Family Finder match list; any relationship may be too far in the past, so not enough autosomal DNA was inherited to show a match.

      Depending upon what you find after following Gwallo's suggestions for Y-DNA, at some point you may want to do further Y-DNA testing. You should consider, with your brother's permission, joining his kit to a haplogroup project, where the project administrators could advise you. Which project to join depends on the predicted haplogroup he's been assigned by FTDNA.
      Last edited by KATM; 15 September 2020, 08:02 AM.


      • #4
        Thank you so much Gwallo and KATM for your advice which I will follow (I've written it all down). KATM, I did see a number of Russian matches in amongst an overwhelming number of Irish, English etc. My mother was all English, Scottish, and a touch of Irish, and my Dad was half-Irish so that does not surprise me. I will do what you suggest with the Russian matches Gwallo.
        As to the ethnicity estimates - 99% British Isles, less than 1% Eastern European. We uploaded his results to MyHeritage. The ethnicity estimate was 90.5% English, Irish and Scottish combined, and 9.5% Scandinavian ??? It really is confusing to a novice with an unscientific brain. Thanks again.


        • #5
          Colleen, note down the terminal haplogroups from your brother's ydna 67 and 37 matches and then visit . Search for where the branches come from. If he is paternally British you should know fairly quickly. Good luck