Don't Count Mutations

I regularly run into researchers who are looking for more precision from yDNA matching than is possible.  I often share my own personal experience - which is a bit unusual to dramatically show how misleading it can be to simply count mutations to determine who is more closely related.

Sorenson Labs test

- My Uncle Bob and I are 41/43.

- My Uncle Bob and Richard are 43/43.

- Richard and I are also 41/43

- My Uncle Bob and I are separated by 3 birth events and have 2 mutations of difference (one known to be started by my Father and one started by me)

- Uncle Bob and Richard are separated by at least 24 birth events (we don't know where our paper trails connect) and are a perfect match - no mutations.

Paper trails and mutation count can give very different answers about who is more closely related

FTDNA test

- Uncle Bob and I are 36/37

- Uncle Bob and Richard are 36/37

- Richard and I are 35/37

Different marker set - different mutation difference count! Bottom line - use all the info you can gather to assess how men are related and don't assume more than you should.  You can use yDNA matching to confirm recent shared ancestry and to get an indication of who is more closely related - but you can't draw firm conclusions on who is more closely related by counting mutations.


Mutations are Important

I do use mutations in larger genetic families - as a shared mutation can indicate a more recent connection.


I am not sure if this is the right area or not but I have joined this site. Unfortunately the end of our direct Blount blood line, my brother was killed 14 years ago. However I have parchment papers which look like etched in carbon dating back to approx 900 with William the conqueror. My line runs down through William Blount the governor of Tennessee (who by the way was never actually impeached) he would have been my great grandpa 5 times over, and he was one of only 38 signers of the constitution of america. My problem though is I am female so how else can I prove my pedigree without my brother?
Thank you so much for reading and I understand if you are unable to help.

Reply to posts on this topic

Hi talanamarie  Try to locate a living paternal line descendant of your grandfather, great grandfather or gg-grandfather.  They can also represent your family.