Frequently Asked Questions

FamilyTreeDNA FAQ pages: Types of Tests, Paternal Y-DNA, Y-Results, Group Projects, Markers, SNPs, OLD: After I test, Markers, SNP, SNPs/Deepclade, Y-Tree. ISOGG pages: Y-DNA Project Help

Looking at the Y-DNA Classic or Colorized Chart I can’t find my result?

To view all results, please set Page Size to 5000 or click trough the pages at the bottom. Use Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on MacOS to find your kit ID.

I do not find my kits results listed on the Classic or Colorized Chart pages. The kit is listed on the SNP page. What is the reason?

Only kits with Y-DNA STR markers tested at Family Tree DNA are listed (Y-DNA111, Y-DNA67, Y-DNA37, Y-DNA25, Y-DNA12) in the Chart pages with groupings. Kits with SNP results only (Geno 2.0, SNP Pack) are not.

Group name says: Grouping pending until Privacy Setting “Who can view my DNA results in group projects?” is changed to “Anyone” for public comparison. 

Please see indications in the ISOGG Wiki to change this. We use public comparison tools (Y-STR Haplotype comparison, Y-SNP clade predictors, geographical origins maps) and believe in the public sharing of Y-DNA and Y-ancestor data to allow and facilitate findings for example together with geographical, ethnic and clan projects. See additional reasons in the ISOGG Wiki. There is no need to change this Privacy Setting, please let us know and we will move you to a “prefer Privacy Settings restricted to Members” group. You will have the advantage to find GD 1/12 matches in the project as well as access to the Activity Feed.

I’m a very private person and wonder what personal data who will have access to.

DNA-Matches as well as Project Admins can see the name and email saved for the kit. If personal privacy is important we suggest to use a pseudonym and an email address without personal name in it. As soon as the kit is at FTDNA usually there is no need anymore to save the full name and address with the kit. Just a functional email is important. The genetic data (Y-DNA) and MDKO (oldest known paternal line ancestor information) can be seen by project members and given the privacy setting listed above is changed to “All” are available to all accessing the project (public). The Y-DNA and Y-ancestor data is very important for the success of genetic genealogy and should not be hidden or omitted; if the ancestral surname is preferred to remain private at least give a time and region of origin and save the coordinates to allow geographical comparisons.

I do have only Y-DNA12 matches even if I did Y-DNA37 or higher. Which of the matches is relevant?

Y-DNA12 matches are only informative if the Most Distant Ancestor of both kits can be traced back to the same surname or location. If the Y-DNA12 match did test also Y-DNA37 or higher and does not match anymore it is unlikely that there is a connection in genealogical time (last 500-700 years). Upgrading STR-Markers only in a few cases reveals new matches but is useful to reveal more distant matches (historical time) by comparison in a project like J2-M172.

I do have no matches (above Y-DNA12). Is this uncommon?

There are quite some J2 kits with no matches in the last 500-2000 years. The reason might be that the FTDNA database is good for certain European ancestry (British, Irish, Ashkenazi, Rhine area) but has much less samples from typical J2 areas like Italy, the Balkans, France, Fertile Crescent, etc. because not much men from this area do Y-DNA testing and there was no strong migration to the USA and New World from this areas (those use DNA-testing in a much greater extent). You can try to search in Y-STR databases (see next answer).

Can you find surnames associated with my Y-STR haplotype? Can you search for matches of my Y-STR haplotype?

If you have a FamilyTreeDNA Y-DNA kit join J2-M172@FTDNA and we will group you with kits that are nearest to you (usually Y-STR37 or 67 needed).
Our focus is haplogroup research which can help to connect to the Y-history in the last 1,000 years. We are volunteers and cannot carry out research on relations in individual family lineages (genealogical time, private haplogroups) in this large project which includes the entire J2 haplogroup and over 4,000 members. You can try to ask for Y-STR haplotype help in the J2 Facebook group.
If you have no FamilyTreeDNA Y-DNA kit or no matches with your FTDNA kit you may research yourself in the Y-STR databases with your haplotype to find associated surnames and origins: ysearch.org, yhrd.org, (smgf.org unfortunately shot down by Ancestry.com)

How can I find my oldest “surname” and origins (clan, tribe)?

If you have many matches at Y-DNA37 with deep genealogy (old Most Distant Ancestor) try to upgrade you and the matches to Y-DNA67 or better Y-DNA111 to see which match is the nearest. If the nearest match has good genealogy and is interested to do further testing (maybe funded by you) consider doing a NextGenSequencing for you and your match/es which calls SNPs from over 12 mbp of the Y-chromosome (callable loci). Get time estimates for Y-DNA111 and SNP differences (YFull Interpretation suggested). Work with your match/es on genealogical and historical research.

My (old) results showed me as J2a4 [example]. Why is my haplogroup name not used here and in the project group name?

Haplogroup names are very volatile as the tree gets refined constantly. Always use the terminal SNP you have been tested for, in the example here the historical name at FTDNA completely would be J2a4-L26. You can find name versions for the following test providers: FTDNA, Genographic Project, 23andMe

I have 12 (or 25) STR-markers. My kit was not grouped and I do not have matches. Why?

Only a rough grouping may be possible without detailed Haplogroup/SNP test. STR-Marker upgrade and/or Deep SNP testing (FGC Y-Elite, FTDNA BigY, FTDNA J2 SNP Packs, YSEQ J2 SNP Panels, chip tests like Geno 2.0 or Chromo 2.0) is suggested to find distant matches.
J2 is a very old, diverse and widespread haplogroup: for example the most common subgroup J2a-L26 is still 16200 years old compared to the common European R1b-L11,P311 with 4800 years of age.

I have 37 (or 67) STR-markers. What can you tell me?

Depending on your haplotype and SNP tests a basic to good clustering may be possible. Advanced SNP test is suggested.

Why do you often suggest to do (advanced) Tests like BigY or SNP tests?

BigY or advanced SNP Tests are needed to refine (or certify) deep clades and to confirm matches not clearly in one haplogroup (overlapping haplotypes).