Understand Your Results and Matches - At FTDNA

 Your Personal DNA Results at Family Tree DNA
 
When you receive the email that your results are ready, you will want to go to MyFTDNA Page to see them.  Family Tree DNA provides this page for each test kit to allow the participant to post information about his ancestry, choose how the results will be displayed, make privacy choices, and see all the information about his individual test results. 
 
To see your results, log in at www.familytreedna.com using your kit number and the password they sent you.  (Forgotten either of these? Contact FTDNA: (713) 868-1438 or helpdesk@familytreedna.com )
 
Click on the test you took (Y-DNA, Family Finder, or mtDNA) to see the links with information about your results.  
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Understand Your yDNA Results at FTDNA
  • Y-DNA:  If you want to go directly to your results, click "Standard Y-STR Values" under Y-DNA. You will see a string of numbers that won’t mean much if you only look at your own numbers. You will need more information to understand what you are seeing. 
    • First, understand the labels on the results table.
  • Panels.  Your yDNA test results will be shown in groupings in which the markers were tested in the lab.  Panel 1 is the first 12 markers, etc.
  • Locus--the sequence of markers that FTDNA uses to report the markers.  Each locus refers to a specific spot on the genome.
  • DYS# - the address or "name" of a particular spot on the strand of the DNA. Think of the part of the DNA strand that the lab tests as a street.    At each address there is a specific pattern that repeats over and over.  The lab looks at a specific part of the DNA strand and counts how many times a pattern repeats at each address (DYS#) on that strand.
  • Allele.  The number of times the pattern repeats is called an "Allele".  People usually just say the number of alleles they got at a particular DYS#, as in “I got a 10 at 391”.
  • To see your matches, click "Matches" under "Y-DNA" in the dark blue bar across the top of the page. 
  • To understand how to evaluate and contact your matches, click here.
You can learn more about your yDNA results and your matches on the following pages:

mtDNA Test Results  
Your mtDNA results are shown relative to the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS).  If you see "CRS" in the results, it means your sequence matches the CRS for the entire region.  Mutations are shown in red when your results have a different letter than the CRS and mutations in green show that your sequence has extra letters that the CRS does not, called insertions.  Mutations where you do not have a letter are shown with a dash, and are called deletions. 
  • For better understanding of your mtDNA results, click on "Understanding your Results" on your myFTDNA mtDNA Matches page. 
mtDNA Matches
  • You will see the name and email address of each reported match.  You can contact your matches by clicking on the email address.
  • Matches are reported as low-resolution matches and high-resolution matches.
  • Low resolution matches may indicate a shared common ancestor which may be recent or may date to several thousand years ago.
  • High resolution matches will indicate a more recent common ancestry, but may still predate known paper trails.
Ancestral Origins
  • Shows you the countries of origins reported by those whose mtDNA test results match yours. 
  • If you have not reported your own paternal or maternal country of origin, and you are confident of this information, click on "Plot Ancestral Locations" and provide this information.
  • It's important to note both the number of matches you have for a country and how many people in the database have reported that country of origin.  (For example, if you have 6 matches from England and 3 from France, you may want to focus more on France, as the number of people from France who have been tested is so much smaller - this means that the proportion from France who match you is much higher.) 
    • This information is given to you in the Percentage column on the right. 
      • Percentages above 2% are considered significant
      • Percentages above 4% are considered highly significant.
Haplogroup Origins
  • Tells you the range of places in which relatives of your ancestors may have lived. 
  • If you have not reported your own paternal or maternal country of origin, and you are confident of this information, click on "Plot Ancestral Locations" and provide this information.
  • It's important to note both the number of matches you have for a country and how many people in the database have reported that country of origin.  (For example, if you have 6 matches from England and 3 from France, you may want to focus more on France, as the number of people from France who have been tested is so much smaller - this means that the proportion from France who match you is much higher.)  This information is given to you in the Percentage column on the right. 
    • Percentages above 2% are considered significant
    • Percentages above 4% are considered highly significant.
  • For more information:  Understanding mtDNA
  • FTDNA has some good information on how they present your mtDNA results and how to evaluate your matches:

Family Finder Results
The Family Finder test works by comparing your autosomal DNA to that of other people in our database who have taken the test. The program calculates your relationship with a match based on sharing linked segments of DNA. Any two people from the same population may share some DNA. However, as matching segments of DNA become longer and as you share more segments, it is unlikely to be a chance match. The sharing is due to a recent common ancestor.