Your Matches at FTDNA

 
Before you look at your matches, click the “User Preferences” link again
to choose how your matches will be shown.  These choices are shown as:
“Set preferences”
1.Choose to compare against the entire database or just the
surname project. (Begin with the entire database.)

 
2.Choose to show matches at 12, 25, 37, 67 markers
(Most genealogists do not choose to display 12-marker matches
unless those are the only ones, as there are so many, and 12 markers
is considered too few to confirm a common ancestor.)
  • How Is A Match Determined?

    • At 12 Markers

      • A 12-marker match is generally inadequate for genealogy purposes. 
      • Most researchers will not respond to a contact about a 12-marker match.
      • Many researchers don't even allow comparison of their 12-marker results.
  • At 25 Markers

    • A 25-marker match should be at least 23/25 (Genetic Distance 2)
    • Many researchers consider this match to be sufficient if you share a surname.
  • At 37 Markers

    • A 37-marker match should be at least 33/37.  (Genetic Distance 4)
    • We consider this to be the lowest matching level for those of different surnames (unless they have connecting paper trails.)
  • At 67 Markers

    • A 67-marker match should be at least 61/67.  (Genetic Distance 6)
    • FTDNA recommends this test when comparing to others with a different surname. 
    • This test is particularly useful in trying to better understand a large genetic family.

 

  • What Does a Match Mean?

    • For those who tested at 12 markers:

      • CAUTION: a 12/12 match - even with the same surname - can be a random match. If a solid paper trail supports the 12/12 match, you can be reasonably certain of shared ancestry, but without the connecting paper trail - you can only be sure by upgrading to at least 25 markers
      • Less than 9/12 – the two participants do not share a common ancestor* (The author is aware of only one case where a 8/12 become an accepted genetic match after upgrading sufficiently to have a valid comparison.   The paper trails confirm the match)
      • 9/12 - there is a tiny chance that the participants share a common ancestor. You'll need to test at 37 markers to find a true shared genetic match that starts with such a low match. (The author has not yet personally seen a 9/12 become an accepted genetic match - but has heard of an occurance)
      • 10/12 – there is a small chance that the participants share a common ancestor. Increase to 25 markers and re-evaluate
      • 11/12 and 12/12 – there is an improved chance that the participants share a common ancestor. Increase to 25 markers and re-evaluate
    • For those who tested at 25 markers:

      • Less than 21/25 – the two participants do not share a common ancestor*
      • 21/25 & 22/25 – there is a small chance that the participants share a common ancestor. Consider all of the traditional genealogy insights and try to obtain more participants to represent the affected families. Upgrade to 37 markers
      • 23/25, 24/25 & 25/25 – there is a high probability that participants who share a surname share a common ancestor. If there is no shared paper trail, a comparison at 37 or 67 markers can be useful
    • For those who tested at 37 markers:

      • Less than 31/37 – the two participants do not share a common ancestor*
      • 31/37 and 32/37 - the two participants have a small possibility that may share a common ancestor from the early days of surnames. This is an area with little clear insight. An upgrade to 67 markers is encouraged
      • 33/37 - some researchers consider this to be a match and some don't. If there is a shared common ancestor - it will be more than a few 100s of years ago. Upgrade to 67 markers for additional clarity.
      • 34/37, 35/37, 36/37 & 37/37 - the participants share a recent common ancestor
    • For those who tested at 67 markers:

      • Less than 60/67 – the two participants probably do not share a common ancestor*. This is still being studied - but unless your match is nearly 60/67 and you have some reason to believe there is a shared ancestor since the advent of surnames - you should consider your near miss as "no match"
      • 60/67 and 61/67 - the two participants may share a common ancestor from the early days of surnames. This is still being studied
      • 62/67 and better - researchers consider these to be a match - indicating a shared common ancestor.

Use this method to quickly evaluate which matches are worth pursuing:

  • Start with your largest marker comparisons, depending on the number of markers you had tested. (12, 25, 37, or 67)
  • Look first at your best match at the most markers you have been tested.  For example, if you were tested at 37 markers, scroll down the page to look under "37 Marker Matches"  to see if you have a 37/37 match ("Exact Matches"), 36/37 match ("Genetic Distance-1") or 35/37 match ("Genetic Distance-2")
  • You will also want to see if any of your close matches have (Y67) beside the name.  If so, this means that this person has been tested at 67 markers, so you may want to consider upgrading to 67 yourself to see if the match holds up.
  • Then go up to the "25 Marker Matches" category to see if you have close matches there.   Look at each name of the matches to see if they have a parenthesis after the name with Y37 or Y67 in it.  If they do, that means you have already found them as matches when you looked at the 37 marker matches, or the match did not hold up at higher resolution.
  • If the person you closely match at 25 markers does not have a parenthesis with Y37 or Y67 after his name, this means that he has only been tested to 25 markers, and you may want to encourage him to upgrade to 37 to see if your match holds up.
  • You can then look at the "12 Marker Matches" to see if there is a match there.  However, 12 markers are not considered enough by most genetic genealogists to indicate a common ancestor.
  • If you have no other matches, or if a 12 marker match is significant for some reason, a match who has not upgraded beyond 12 markers, should be  encouraged to upgrade to see if the match holds up at a higher resolution.

You can learn more about your results and your matches on the following pages:

 

mtDNA Matches

  • 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, and 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, and percentages above 4% are considered highly significant.
  • Mitosearch.org.

    • By uploading your results here, you will be able to compare mtDNA results with all those who have tested at any company and have chosen to upload mtDNA results here.