Identify yMatches

One of the frustrations of using the FTDNA system is in trying to identify your matches - as you see them in the Project Results Table - so that you can be sure that you know which ones you have contacted and which ones not.   

On your myFTDNA kit page yDNA Matches, you are told

  • man's name
  • email address
  • earliest ancestor
  • haplogroup
  • genetic distance at a specific marker level
  • Whether this is an "In the Project" or "FTDNA Database" comparison
  • But - not the kit number.

On the proejct results pages at FTDNA Public Pagesand at WorldFamilies, you see

  • kit number
  • earliest ancestor
  • haplogroup
  • But no contact info
  • You can manually calculate the genetic distance

It's a pain, but if you work systematically, you can usually figure out which match in your FTDNA Matches list is which kit number in the Results Table

Here's a sequence of steps that I follow:

  1. Are there any differences in myFTDNA yDNA Match listing in your project vs in the entire database?

    1. Note these
    2. If you are a member of multiple projects, check each project to see if the ones not in "your" project are in that project
  2. Start with Matches within "your" Project,

    1. Working in the Matches in "your" Project display

      1. compare the highest level match listing with the Results Table

        1. Earliest Ancestor info - for each Earliest Ancestor listed in the match list

          1. if there is only one matching Earliest Ancestor, those two go together
          2. If more than one kit has an identical Earliest Ancestor, check for differences in

            1. Haplogroup shorthand
            2. Testing level
            3. Genetic Distance level
            4. Hopefully, this will allow you to put a kit number with each man you match
      2. Compare at each of the other matching levels, using the same logic
      3. Go through this same logic with each project where you have membership
    2. Are there still results in your Match List or Lineage (genetic group) who are not identified?

      1. Compare notes with the men who are on your FTDNA Match list to see if they can identify them
      2. Join "their" project to see if you can identify them that way - using above logic
      3. Keep a list of the ones you can't identify - you may eventually identify them
  3. Use the third symbol to the right of your yDNA Match's name ("Click to Add a Note") to list

    1. his kit number
    2. have you attempted contact
    3. what you have learned about him

Note:  This process is easiest when the Results Table is at WorldFamilies - as we group by genetic family - which we call Lineages.This process is also easy at FTDNA Public Pages when the administrator has grouped by genetic matches.

Hopefully, FTDNA will provide the kit number with their yDNA match list at some stage.  Until then, we'll do the best we can, using techniques like this one



What is no earliest ancestor is provided?

Thanks, Terry. This is helpful.
On another note - There are several people in our project that have not posted their earliest ancestor. I understand that they may not want to post that data, but is there a way that we can contact that person via email?

Privacy protection


As a project administrator, I have been very careful to protect identities as stressed by both FTDNA and WFN. I have not published the surname of the member next to the Y-Results on our WFN results page, only the earliest known ancestor with kit number. Yet I see that FTDNA publishes the surnames on the project's public page right next to the kit number and Y-results. There seems to be a conflict here. Additionally, the list of of one's personal matches gives the full name and the Email address. Therefore, there is nothing secret about the identity and the corresponding Y-results. To top it off, your discussion actually facilitates identifying the persons. Understandably, I am confused on this issue.

Judith Gleason Claassen
Gleason Project Co-Admin

Correlation alogrithm

Thank you Terry for the clear, concise algorithm. I sent bulk email to our Stevenson project members to alert them to it.

Addressing Comments

Asking folks for their Earliest Known Ancestor info to be posted: If you are the Project Administrator or if this is one of your matches, FTDNA provides for you to access the kit owner's email address so that you can contact them

Protecting Identities as the Administrator:  Judy - there is a setting in GAP for what info is displayed in the FTDNA "Public Pages".  You have the choice of displaying - or not displaying - the surname of the kit, along with the Earliest Ancestor info (FTDNA calls it "Most Distant Ancestor")

FTDNA provides contact info to a participant only for the kits who are a match - based on FTDNA's assessment of "match" - an assessment that I agree with - though the WorldFamilies approach will include some folks as matches that FTDNA doesn't recognise - as we compare against the apparent Lineage Modal and FTDNA only compares one-to-one.


its been awhile


my heritage

Hi Terry ,
I'm trying to make a family tree on the myheritage .com website.
Do you know anything about their website?

add to pedigree chart

My father is deceased but I sent the pedigree info to the e-amil on the site.However, I do not see it included in the pedigree for the Crandall project.
Is there another way to get it there?

New to you

Hello. I'm new to Family Tree DNA and your group, but have done family research for 30 years. I've successfully taken almost all my lines to Europe except for HOOKER. My Gr Gr grandfather was George Washington Hooker, 1821?-1854) who married Esther Preston Brooks in Rock Island County, IL, 1847, was struck by lightning and died 1854 in Winnebago County, IL. The Y DNA suggests he was part of the Gen. Joe Hooker group that descends from Joseph Hooker, England, 1671. Suggestions?

Brindley finds A match with Brindle

I am having trouble finding any Brindley"s that match my late husbands name BRINDLEY, but I did find 1 BRINDLE that matched exactly. He matched with a STANLEY also as did my husband. I am having trouble comparing anyone, and getting nowhere. Am 88 & do not have much more time to finish this for my children.! H Brindley

Uriah Holden

I am trying to find the parents of Uriah Holden b. 1795 SC died in 1866 Fannin CO GA.

How do I contact a person that has a close YDNA match?

I have a close match to the submitter of kit #75682, Thomas Conrad Walter.
12 marker match 92%
25 marker match 84%
37 marker match 75.7%

How do I contact him to compare our WALTER family histories?

Ken Walter

I have lost my way

I have completely lost my way on this website since joining. I am not sure how to find my kit number and get started.

Edward L. Pollock

PRUETT Genealogy

My father was Arden Leon PRUETT, Jr. b. 1910 in MS Co. MO. His parents were Arden Leon PRUETT, Sr. m. Osa Blanche Howlett in MS Co MO. Arden Sr.'s parents were Robt. M. PRUETT b. 1833 in Humphreys Co. TN m. 1865 Nancy Caroline Rowe in Carroll Co. TN. A.L.'s Robert Meadows Pruett's parents were Elisha m. Bathsheba, Balshaba, Barhaba depending on Census LNU. Elisha's father, David PRUETT m. Lucy Edwards moved to Humphreys Co. TN from Union Dist. SC and purchased land in 1819. He is the presumed father of Elisha, James & John PRUETT. David PRUETT 1853-1788 died in Humphreys Co. TN. He was possibly the son of Shadrach PRUETT of Surry Co. NC and Union Dist. SC. Robt. M. Pruett m. Nancy Caroline Rowe had 10 children but all but 4 died in infancy. Arden Sr. died of consumption at age 28 and his younger sister Pearl died several years earlier. Only son, George Lester PRUETT m. Hazel Nutt in Greene AR and Claudia PRUETT m. Mr. Cudd survived to raise families. Robt. PRUETT's brother, Ferrel m. Nancy Rowe's sister Mary S. and his sister, Catherine m. Jasper N. Cole.

most distant ancestor

I would like to include my earliest know ancestor name and date. How do I do that?


My direct paternal lineage runs to John Wilcox, born, 10/1/1595, St Edmund's, Suffolk, England. death, 1651, Hartford, CT., My FT kit #B40889

Family Finder

Hi Terry
My father is the Trumble line. I have completed Family Finder and my Mtdna. Can this link me to my fathers side?


my oldest ancestor that i have would be George Fitzgerald my 5th great grandfather born 1754 in virginia, usa and died 1835 tennessee, usa my kit for ftdna is B25763 and on gedmatch its A640520. I dont know how to compare kit #s on ftdna but i do on gedmatch
thanks Anna


My great great grandfather was William H Butler of Maryland, he was married to Marg Sanders also of Maryland. They moved to to Pa about 1880's in Scott township (Carnegie)
His son Paul Butler was my g grandad. Paul was Shot and killed by his brother Frank Butler in 1901.

This blog is not for questions

If you have questions or want to post about your genealogy and/or dna testing