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Getting confused!

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Winksetter, May 7, 2020.

  1. Winksetter

    Winksetter LostCousins Member

    This sort of topic has no been covered by others, but..frankly I am getting lost and confused. Lockdown??
    I have an Ancestry DNA test at Ancestry which I have loaded also to Myheritage, Gedmatch, DNA.land and FTDNA. I find very different matches at each of those sites.
    The info about likely origins of my ancestors varies quite a bit, Ancestry misses a complete area involving southern europe which all the others identify. I know that there are lots of doubts about using DNA for finding out about this sort of thing, it does not really surprise me therefore.
    But..I have a very interesting match originating from an Ftdna Y-37 test which is mirrored at Gedmatch. It appears to be one which MAY have southern European roots. I have been trying to sort this out for ages but I cannot pin it down. Its also one of many where the originator is uncommunicative!
    So...the question....as my target match took a Y-37 test does it mean that I must match to someone in his direct paternal line, i.e his father, fathers father etc etc or can it come from a side branch of his family?
    This may be a totally stupid question, frankly thats where I am at the moment!
    Can anyone help me out of my confusion?
  2. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Two things here. Firstly the random numbers that are ethnicity percentages are guesses they are nowhere near accurate enough yet to be of any practical use and should really be treated as a bit of fun to look at once and ignore ever after. So don't worry about these sorts of differences between the companies those numbers are not your results it's just variable because they have different ways of guessing where your ancestors came from.

    Secondly the matches at different sites. Basically that's down to where people have tested. If someone has tested with Ancestry you need to have tested with ancestry to match. Same goes with 23 & me. If you test with a different company you aren't on their database so you cannot match. On the other hand the sites that allow you to upload test results from elsewhere again you will only match if the other person has also uploaded their results there. So whilst you have uploaded your results to as many places as possible others may not have done so.

    Bottom line is you cannot match someone who isn't in that companies database.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I read Winksetter’s post yesterday, but with garden chores scheduled, decided to respond today. I see Alexander has beaten me to it and has done a better (and more knowledgeable) job than ever I could.

    He echoes what has been aired on the Forum many times that ‘Ethnicity’ results are little more than ‘best guesses’ based on the way testing companies apply their individual search programs and the size of their data base pools. Of course, having one’s ethnicity confirmed is fun, but it is clutching at straws to keep comparing until you find one which best accords with your own thinking. All will evolve anyway as their data base pool grows, and I think Ancestry is on its second or third ethnicity update since I first tested.

    As for an answer to the person who took the Y-37 test, and given as Alexander sets out – you have your Tree in the same data base pool - it likely means you relate to their paternal male bloodline (grandfather -father-son (s)), but can relate ‘any which way’ in your own Tree, unless a matching surname come to your aid.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The fact that the other person has taken a Y-DNA test is completely irrelevant as far as your autosomal match is concerned. The information is there in case it is relevant, eg if you, or a relative with the same surname as your match, have taken a Y-DNA test or are thinking of doing so.

    My advice is to ignore all other sites except Ancestry until you have made full use of your Ancestry matches - which will probably never happen. My DNA is at just about every site that allows uploads as well as 23andMe (which doesn't) but I hardly ever bother using any of those other sites because Ancestry integrates DNA and family trees so much more effectively that I consider them a waste of my time.

    Finding more matches by uploading your DNA to other sites was a good idea in the old days when you only had a few hundreds matches, but now we all have over 20,000 matches at Ancestry it's really not necessary. I have knocked down countless 'brick walls' as a result of DNA matches at Ancestry - I don't think I've knocked down a single wall as a result of autosomal testing at any of the other sites, even though I spent years and hundreds of hours trying to get useful information out of FTDNA and GEDmatch. The best that can be said is that many of the matches I corresponded with were amazingly helpful and friendly, so we keep in touch even though we're still in the dark as to how (and even if) we're related.

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