Understanding Your Results

When your results come in, you will be notified by the FTDNA. You can log on to your account page at the FTDNA, or you can log on here to view your results, . We do not match participants who test less than 37 Markers. Your DNA test results will show your distance from others in the study by a number of DYS. Please read below to understand your relation to others. We use this scale for grouping participants.

37 Marker Test

  • Distance: 0 – Very Tightly Related

    37/37 Your perfect match means you share a common male ancestor with a person who shares your surname (or variant). Your relatedness is extremely close with the common ancestor predicted, 90% of the time, in 5 generations or less and over a 95% probability within 8 generations. Very few people achieve this close level of a match. All confidence levels are well within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 1 – Tightly Related

    36/37 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by only one ‘point’ at only one marker–a 36/37 match. It’s most likely that you matched 24/25 or 25/25 on a previous Y-DNA test and your mismatch will be found within DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb. Very few people achieve this close level of a match. Your mismatch is within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 2 – Related

    35/37 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by only two ‘points’ –a 35/37 match. It’s most likely that you matched 24/25 or 25/25 on previous Y-DNA tests and your mismatch will be found within DYS 439 or DYS 385 A, 385 B,389-1 and 389-2, from our first panel of 12 markers, or from within the second panel at DYS #’s 458, 459 a, 459b, 449, or within 464 a-d. If you matched exactly on previous tests you probably have a mismatch at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our newest panel of markers. Your mismatch is likely within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 3 – Related

    34/37 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by three ‘points’ –a 34/37 match. Because of the volatility within some of the markers this is slightly tighter then being 11/12 or 23/25 and it’s most likely that you matched 24/25 or 25/25 on previous Y-DNA tests. Your mismatch will most often be found within DYS 439 or DYS 385 A, 385 B,389-1 and 389-2 from our first panel of 12 markers, or within the second panel: DYS #’s 458, 459 a, 459b, 449, or within 464 a-d. If you matched exactly on previous tests you probably have a mismatch at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our newest panel of markers. Your mismatch is likely within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 4 – Probably Related

    33/37 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by four ‘points’ –a 33/37 match. Because of the volatility within some of the markers this is about the same as being 11/12 and it’s most likely that you matched 23/25 or 24/25 on previous Y-DNA tests. If you matched exactly on previous tests you probably have a mismatch at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our newest panel of markers. If several or many generations have passed it is likely that these two lines are related through other family members. That would require that each line had passed a mutation and one person would have experienced at least 2 mutations. The only way to confirm is to test additional family lines and find where the mutations took place. Only by testing additional family members can you find the person in between each of you…this ‘in betweener’ becomes essential for you to find, and without him the possibility of a match exists, but further evidence must be pursued. If you test additional individuals you will most likely find that their DNA falls in-between the persons who are 4 apart demonstrating relatedness within this family cluster or haplotype.

  • Distance: 5 – Only Possibly Related

    32/37 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by five ‘points’ –a 32/37 match. It is most likely that you did not 12/12 or 24/25 or 25/25 in previous Y-DNA tests. If several or many generations have passed it is possible that these two group members are related through other family members. That would require that each line had experienced separate mutations and one person would have experienced at least 2 mutations. The only way to confirm or deny is to test additional family lines and find where the mutation took place. Only by testing additional family members can you find the person in between each of you…this ‘in betweener’ becomes essential for you to find, and without him only the possibility of a match exists, further evidence should be pursued. If you test additional individuals you must find the person whose DNA results falls in-between the persons that are 5 apart demonstrating relatedness within this family cluster or haplotype.

  • Distance: 6 – Not Related

    31/37 is too far off to be considered related, unless you can find an “in-betweener’ as for determining ‘Only Possibly Related,’ above. It is important to determine what set of results most typifies the largest number members of the group you are ‘close’ to matching. You may be 31/37 with an individual, but 34/37 with the center of the group, and your potential relatedness to him is through the center of the group.

  • Distance: > 6 – Not Related

    You are not related and the odds greatly favor that you have not shared a common male ancestor with this person within thousands of years. You are probably even in different Haplogroups on the Phylogenetic tree of Homo Sapiens.

  • ** Note: When an STR marker comparison differs by more than one, the genetic distance rather than the number of mismatching markers is taken into consideration. This is because some STR markers have a low mutation rate making each step difference as meaningful as mismatches on additional markers.

67 Marker Test

  • Distance: 0 – Very Tightly Related

    67/67 Your perfect match means you share a common male ancestor with a person who shares your surname (or variant). Your relatedness is extremely close with the common ancestor predicted, 50% of the time, in 3 generations or less and with a 90% probability within 5 generations. Very few people achieve this close level of a match. All confidence levels are well within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 1-2 – Tightly Related

    65-66/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by only one or two ‘points’ at only one marker. It’s most likely that you matched 36/37 or 37/37 on a previous Y-DNA test. Very few people achieve this close level of a match. All confidence levels are well within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 3-4 – Related

    63-64/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by only three or four ‘points’. It’s most likely that you matched 24/25, 36/37 or 37/37 on previous Y-DNA tests and your mismatch will be found within the second panel at DYS #’s 458, 459 a, 459b, 449, or within 464 a-d, or at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our third panel of markers. Your common ancestor is probably not extremely recent, but your mismatch is likely within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 5-6 – Related

    61-62/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by five or six ‘points’. Because of the volatility within some of the markers this is slightly tighter than being 11/12, 23/25, or 33/37, and it’s most likely that you matched closely on previous Y-DNA tests. It’s most likely that you matched 24/25, 36/37 or 37/37 on previous Y-DNA tests and your mismatch will be found within the second panel at DYS #’s 458, 459 a, 459b, 449, or within 464 a-d, or at DYS 576, 570, CDYa or CDYb in our third panel of markers. Your common ancestor is not very recent, but your mismatch is likely within the range of most well established surname lineages in Western Europe.

  • Distance: 7 – Probably Related

    60/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by seven ‘points’. Because of the volatility within some of the markers this is about the same as being 11/12 and it’s most likely that you matched 23/25 or 24/25 or 33-34/37 on previous Y-DNA tests. If several or many generations have passed it is likely that these two lines are related through other family members. The only way to confirm is to test additional family lines and find where the mutations took place. Only by testing additional family members can you find the person in between each of you…this ‘in betweener’ becomes essential for you to find, and without him the possibility of a match exists, but further evidence must be pursued. If you test additional individuals you will most likely find that their DNA falls in-between the persons who are 7 apart demonstrating relatedness within this family cluster or haplotype.

  • Distance: 8-9 – Only Possibly Related

    58-59/67 You share the same surname (or a variant) with another male and you mismatch by eight or nine ‘points’. It is most likely that you did not match 24-25/25 or 35-37/37 in previous Y-DNA tests. If several or many generations have passed it is possible that you are related through other family members. The only way to confirm or deny is to test additional family lines and find where the mutation took place. Only by testing additional family members can you find the person in between each of you…this ‘in betweener’ becomes essential for you to find, and without him only the possibility of a match exists, but further evidence should be pursued. If you test additional individuals you must find the person whose DNA results falls in-between the persons that are 8 or 9 apart demonstrating relatedness within this family cluster or haplotype.

  • Distance: 10-11 – Not Related

    56-57/67 is too far off to be considered related, unless you can find an “in-betweener’ as for determining ‘Only Possibly Related,’ above. It is important to determine what set of results most typifies the largest number members of the group you are ‘close’ to matching. You may be 57/67 with an individual, but 61/67 with the center of the group, and your potential relatedness to him is through the center of the group.

  • Distance: > 11 – Not Related

    You are not related and the odds greatly favor that you have not shared a common male ancestor with this person within thousands of years.

  • ** Note: When an STR marker comparison differs by more than one, the genetic distance rather than the number of mismatching markers is taken into consideration. This is because some STR markers have a low mutation rate making each step difference as meaningful as mismatches on additional markers.

The FTDNA results are based on the mutation rate study presented during the 1st International Conference on Genetic Genealogy, on Oct. 30. 2004. The above probabilities take into consideration the mutation rates for each individual marker being compared. Since each marker has a different mutation rate, identical Genetic Distances will not necessarily yield the same probabilities. For instance, even though one participant may have a Genetic Distance of 1 from the other, someone else with the same Genetic Distance may have different probabilities, because the distance of 1 was prompted by mutations in different markers, with different mutation rates.