I fairly often get a query from someone who has a number of matches - but their matches are with other surnames instead of matching their own surname.  This posting isn't going to delve into the "why this happened" - but addresses the "how to deal with it".  (of course, the eventual goal is to understand how, why and when this happened) 

I just provided a recommendation to a man in this situation.  Please keep in mind that there will be differences in every situation and yours may not be identical.  Read this as a possible framework for your own actions.  Some suggestions may apply, while others may not.  This can be helpful to you even if you do have matches with your own surname - as the matches with (an)other surname(s) can be an important part of your ancestral family's story. 


Sorry, but you have no matches in the B___ project at this time.  You do have an intriguing set of 37 marker matches: two each P___, G_____, & R____ – plus other names.  Here are suggestions:

  1. Add a location to your “Most Distant Ancestor” field in your uncle’s FTDNA kit page
  2. Join P____, G____, & R_____ projects, contact your matches in each project, share what you know of your B____ paper trail (names, dates and places – with dates and places being most important – as you are looking for places where paper trails cross) and ask them to help you understand why your B____ paternal line shares a yDNA profile with their family.  Also, ask them if they have a number of matches with different surnames, like you do
  3. Invite all 9 of your 37 marker matches to join B____ project – so I can look at everyone’s result side by side and advise you all as a group on how to dig deeper into this puzzle – and so I can see if there are any logical subgroupings (branches of the genetic family) who more closely match each other than they match the whole group  Note - if I am going to do this analysis for you - the blog reader - make sure that you pick a project where I am administrator, so that I can prepare the results table - as that makes it so much easier for me to help)
  4. Upload your uncle’s gedcom at his FTDNA kit page
  5. Look at the gedcoms provided by 4 of the men among your matches to see if any of them has something of interest to your search for understanding (click the dark blue “tree” in the 4th symbol after the match’s name)
  6. Locate and test the most distant B____ cousin you can identify – to verify that he also carries the same yDNA profile as your uncle.  This confirms that the most recent common ancestor of the two matching men also carried that yDNA profile
  7. Upgrade your test to 67 markers – especially if you can get a P____ and R_____ match to also upgrade (as the G____ men have already done) – as this may clarify which, if any, of these 3 families are of most interest to you

Hope this will help you break free of a frustrating situation that you haven't seen how to handle.  (almost all of us are going to have some variation of this challenge somewhere in our ancestral lines)