I’ve always made it a policy to reply to every e-mail or information request that I receive. The good news is that my blogs have become very popular. The bad news is that I now receive literally hundreds of e-mails and inquiries every day, many asking questions or for advice, and I just can’t keep up anymore. So, I’ve assembled this information which provides direction for most of the types of inquiries I receive.
First, let me tell you what I do and don’t do, and provide some guidance for you to find the resources you need.
I am not a DNA testing company and I don’t do DNA testing. There are no free DNA tests unless a private individual wishes to pay for your test for genealogical reasons. Consumers must pay the testing companies for the testing service.
I no longer accept personal clients.
I have written several articles to help you and you can find them right here!
This blog is free and fully searchable by key word and there are more than 1400 articles available. Just enter the word or words you might be looking for and you will receive a list of relevant articles.
The search box is in the upper right portion of the screen.
The Different Kinds of DNA Tests
There are different tests for genetic genealogy. I’ve explained the differences here: http://dna-explained.com/2012/10/01/4-kinds-of-dna-for-genetic-genealogy/
DNA Testing Companies
Some companies are more reputable than others and some are outright scams. http://dna-explained.com/2016/01/22/genealogy-and-ethnicity-dna-testing-3-legitimate-companies/
If you are considering ordering a DNA test from either Ancestry or 23andMe, be sure you understand that both of those companies sell your DNA – and you authorize them to do so when you sign to order your kit. Make sure you understand what you are authorizing. Read this: http://dna-explained.com/2016/02/10/ethnicity-testing-a-conundrum/
And this: https://dna-explained.com/2015/12/30/23andme-ancestry-and-selling-your-dna-information/
If you’re looking for a DNA testing company, I recommend Family Tree DNA at this link. They are the only DNA testing company that offers all of the different types of genetic genealogy tests and they do not sell or otherwise disclose your DNA.
Which Test is Best?
I’ve written two articles that compare the various tests and the vendors providing different types of test:
Which DNA Test is Best? here: https://dna-explained.com/which-dna-test-is-best/
Which Ethnicity Test is Best? here: https://dna-explained.com/2017/06/20/which-ethnicity-test-is-best/
Kelly Wheaton provides a great series for beginners at: https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/beginners-guide-to-genetic-genealogy
Adoptees and Parent Search
First, check the help link which includes adoptee and parent-search information.
I’ve answered the most common questions there.
All adoptees and people searching for a birth parent or missing grandparent should visit www.dnaadoption.com and utilize their methodologies.
Native American Heritage
If you are searching for your Native American heritage or your tribe, read these two articles:
This article provides a summary of many Native resources: https://dna-explained.com/2017/11/01/native-american-dna-resources/
My blog, Native Heritage Project is fully searchable. https://nativeheritageproject.com/
The Native American Ancestry Explorer group for Native American or minority DNA questions is at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514942452068475/
Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA webinar by Melvin Collier through Legacy Family Tree Webinars – available to watch anytime.
If you are looking for Melungeon information, read this paper: http://www.dnaexplain.com/Publications/PDFs/MelungeonsMulti-EthnicPeopleFinal.pdf
Ethnicity in General
If you are looking for your ethnicity, read this:
If you are trying to understand your ethnicity results, read this:
Assistance with Autosomal DNA
If you are trying to figure out what to do, and how, with autosomal DNA results, read these two articles:
If you are looking for someone to walk you through “what to do” with autosomal DNA, you can take a “how to” class.
If you are looking for someone to personally walk you through your DNA results, Diahan Southard provides that service online through her firm www.yourDNAguide.com and you can contact her at Guide@yourDNAguide.com.
If you are looking for someone to help you work through your autosomal DNA results and associated genealogy, Jennifer Zinck provides that type of combined service. You can contact her at email@example.com.
Both Diahan and Jennifer provide a “tutoring” service.
There are two Facebook groups where you can ask questions as well. The ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy) group for general DNA questions is at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/isogg/
DNA Newbie at https://www.facebook.com/groups/dnanewbie/
Professional Genetic Genealogical Services
I have made a referral arrangement with Legacy Tree, a company offering professional genealogical research services. Their staff includes an exceptional genetic genealogist, Paul Woodbury. Paul is both a certified genealogist as well as a genetic genealogist and he is excellent. Legacy Tree has offered a $50 introductory coupon if you mention my name (Roberta Estes), which assures that my genetic genealogy clients are directed to Paul. To take advantage of this offer or to receive a quote from Legacy Tree, click here.
For other genealogical assistance, please visit www.apgen.org.
Online and Social Media Resources
Facebook Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/geneticgenealogytipsandtechniques/
The original genetic genealogy list:
The DNA Newbie group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DNA-NEWBIE/info
FaceBook has an ISOGG group.
Other mailing lists:
Books and Education
- The Basics and Beyond by Emily Aulicino
- NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection by David Dowell
- Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne
- The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger
Kelly Wheaton provides 19 free lessons in her Beginners Guide to Genetic Genealogy at: https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/beginners-guide-to-genetic-genealogy
- Judy Russell’s blog is The Legal Genealogist
- Jim Bartlett’s www.segmentology.org
- Kitty Cooper’s blog
Last, if you are going purchase anything from the following entities, will you please do me the favor of clicking through the following affiliate links when you purchase. It doesn’t cost you any more, but I receive a small commission which helps fund free educational initiatives in the DNA community, such as this informational page and hundreds of free articles on the DNA-explained blog.
- DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- Family Tree DNA
- MyHeritage DNA only
- MyHeritage DNA plus Health
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload
- 23andMe Ancestry
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
- Legacy Tree Genealogists for genealogy research
Thank you so much and best of luck on your DNA journey. I hope you unlock the mystery of your ancestors!
I know I am not alone but my issue is not that common either. I tried finding articles pertaining to this but the closest I got was with mention of Undocumented Orphans. My father was an orphan so therefore I have no clue as to my grandfather’s surname.
I tried checking to see if there was some record and while my grandmother, who I take my Harris name from never married this is where the difficulty lies.
I did my Y-DNA via FTDNA and I am getting tons of Exact Matches at the 12 and at the 25 marker levels. Am I wasting my time and money even attempting to find this mystery grand-dad? I have a good idea this is where I am getting more of my Irish ancestry from since my mother has nowhere near the Irish in her, as I did her DNA via Ancestry. At any rate, one thing that I do not get is how can I come up with literally hundreds of exact matches although, of course, none at the 37 marker level. So at the 25 marker level they say that we go back 13 generations or 325 years. If the surname stays the same how can I have all of these different surnames. It’s bad enough I don’t know what surname I am looking for.
So this is really a two-part question in that how should I go about trying to solve this (would it be best to somehow concentrate on a possible adoption record) or is there a way with Y-DNA that I can fairly expect to find something – I have no name and most others do.
I am aware that FTDNA would not, even if they could, give me a surname on a plate but I am still trying to make sense of having oodles of Exact Matches when there are so many different surnames, albeit Irish.
I appreciate your weighing in on this when you get the chance.
Thank you so much,
I recommend that you contact dnaadoption.com. They teach search techniques for what you need. They also have volunteers to help.
Thank you for your time Roberta,
I will look into this.
Paul, early on in my DNA quest, I was curious about my male lineage, not because of any problems in my lineage, but a distant cousin had a theory that my GGGF descended from a different son of my 6GGF than was in my tree, and I was hoping to be able to prove him wrong. I had initially taken the original National Geographic DNA test and their actual test site was ftdna.com, and that’s how I first got to that site. My haplogroup was R-M269 and I originally had about 12 matches and 2 were “Exact Matches.” I tested at 25 markers about a year later and noted that my haplogroup was still the same. Every months or so I;d get som more matches and I started noticing—————es were upgrading, all the way to Y-111 and they were still at R-M269. I then observed that those who had upgraded to Big Y now had new haplogroups. I decided not to do any more upgrading until I could afford to do the Big Y.
The reason you have those exact matches is because so few markers are being compared and they’re the most common markers. As other people have tested, and I’ve upgraded to Big Y-700 (which includes STR testing through Y-111) my number of matches has increased. I now have 367 matches at 12 markers. Of those, I have 94 Exact matches. At 25 markers, I have 655 matches, of which 6 are Exact matches. So you can see the Exact matches fall off as the number of markers being compared falls off.
I would really recommend you get your RAW DNA data at these other sites, hold off on doing any specific Y testing until you can afford to do a Big Y-700 test, and in the meantime, use the references Roberta has provided here and concentrate on working with those who specialize in working with researching adoptions.
To whom it may concern,how can I find information about my ancestry… I am from Sioux Indian heritage,and I am distant relative from Chief Sitting Bull. How do I get the proper kit to test my bloodline….also how do I connect with getting the results from back pay,going back to school and other things that I can get from the Goverment once the test is completed. Thank You!
Every tribe has their own rules. You need to contact the tribe. DNA likely won’t help you.
sent my dna in 6 weeks ago. no reply. i spent hours putting in my access numbers. no success. i did this before for my husband. no problem. annmarie . please reply. please
You need to call the vendor you bought the kit from. I can’t help you.
Hi, thanks for all the info. It’s very interesting. I was trying to do the quick consult but the link appears to be broken. I’m trying to determine full or half siblings from this DNA comparison from My Heritage.
Is this definitely full sibling?
DNA Match quality?
36.1% (2,556.7 cM)
How much do you charge for quick consult?
Hi Eric. I’m concerned about the broken link. Where did you find the broken link? I went to the store and this one seems to be working. https://dna-explained.com/store/
Help! Your site is spamming the he$$ out of my mailbox! I’m all of a sudden getting notification after notification of new mail from your site. In the past 10 minutes Ive probably received 50 or so emails from you site…..and some of these are posts that are 4 years old! Something is wrong, please fix and stop the insanity!
I moved those from the deleted folder not realizing they would be resent. I apologize.
It wasn’t intentional. I moved them from the deleted folder and WordPress resent them. I’m sorry.
Dear Roberta, I’m receiving several emails per minute from you, starting at 9.12 pm PDT. Many of the emails are past episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? Has your site been infected and having emails sent without your doing so?
I had deleted those and have just restored them. I didn’t realize they would be sent and I apologize.
I’ve also received over 45 of these emails this evening.
I would like to buy a quick consultation regarding my Y-DNA and the Estes surname project. From your store information I do not see how I can order the quick consult and enter the information that I need to send you. Thanks for your help.
I’m notified through the store when a purchase is made. I will e-mail you asking how I can help you.
Hello… I have three queries I hope DNA will help me to uncover:
my maternal 3rd grade grandmother’s mother, who is she?
then I hope to find out re: my native ancestry thru this my maternal line,
thru my paternal line, which test should a brother take, to find show of our native lines there.
Lastly, I very much want to find a half sister, one borne from my father and mother unknown. Before he married my Mama.
Which tests do you suggest? I am ready..
Thank you.. and a very well presented paper..
The best thing you can do is to test at or transfer to each vendor to be sure to fish in every pond. Then learn how to work with your DNA matches to confirm your ancestors. This article addresses testing and transfers: https://dna-explained.com/2019/04/09/dna-testing-and-transfers-whats-your-strategy/
I have a huge problem in my tree in that my gg grandfather simply showed up at his wedding in 1805 and managed to leave exactly no documentation of his past. Even professional researchers have not been able to find anything. The last researchers are the people who do the research for the TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are?
Thus, I have turned to Lazarus.
To start off, and see what I might end up with, I used my kit, my siblings kits and the kit of my paternal 1st cousin. Got a new kit as a result. It is marked as “research” and is not supposed to be visible to the public.
So, using that new kit of my grandfather I ran a one against many search and surprise…none of the kits that I used to generate it came up as a match. But then, when I ran 1 to 1 matches, matches they all came up with extensive runs of matching DNA. The colored line below the SNPs on each chromosome was there showing significant matching.
When I started looking at the matches for that franken grandfathers kit in the one against many things got a bit interesting.
1. There are, at least so far, no colored lines below the SNPs part of the chromosome matching results. It is the black, no significant match color.
2. But, when you look at the upper part of the display of each chromosome there are runs of lavender. That shows matches in the SNPs due to phasing.
So, can you (or have you) publish something explaining how to use and what to do with the results of Lazarus and phasing? Might be a big help, at least for me.
I have not because I have found Lazarus to be unreliable.
question not sure where to ask.
My father in law passed away 5 days ago the hospital swabbed him for dna testing three ways the day he passed. i was told to store in veg bin in frig in their sealed containers. can you process those still if at all?
Call Family Tree DNA ASAP. If any lab can, they can. I would freeze it, not just seal it. You did not say with what you swabbed him, etc. Also knos that you can overnight a kit and the funeral director can do the same, or you can purchase an Identigene kit at the drug store which also uses a swab. You can then send that to FTDNA with pre-authorization. https://dna-explained.com/2013/04/14/swabbing-the-recently-deceased/
When FTDNA upgraded its family tree feature in November, for some weeks I was unable to access any tree other than my own. I’d click on a match’s tree, and the screen would bring up my own tree. That problem was remedied after some weeks.
Two problems persist.
I cannot get the search feature to work on any of my matches’ family trees. I first reported this problem in December and it remains ongoing. I have tried the feature on a number of different accounts I manage, on a number of different IT systems, on a number of different browsers. The university IT wizards were pretty sure that the university filters were not blocking anything. When I open a family tree, put in a search term from the tree in the search box and click, it opens a grey box with a blue circle; when the circle stops the box turns white, empty of any search results.
In the new chromosome browser configuration, the star at the upper-left-hand corner is supposed to open a match list, so that one can add names to those already chosen. Clicking it for me simply refreshes the page already there. The tech team at FTDNA said they cannot replicate this problem. It too persists regardless of computer system, browser, or account.
I’m writing to see whether other people are experiencing these glitches, or whether it’s only me. The tech replies have suggested that the star glitch is indeed mine. They cannot replicate it. Yet they have been silent about the search glitch.
Are you able to search your matches family trees? Or use the star feature inside the chromosome browser?
Many thanks for your help, and best wishes to you.
I cannot search the trees. However, on the chromosome browser, I don’t see a star. I have an orange button that says “Update selected matches” if I click on matches, and then push one through to the chromosome browser. If I just click on the chromosome browser from the menu page, I’m showing on the left, and my matches are all showing on the right. I can select from a dropdown to limit them to match types. No star anyplace. I’m on a PC, not a MAC. I would suggest taking screen shots so they can see what you are doing. And I presume you’ve already done the clear the browser cache and cookies, both, right?
Thanks, Roberta. I really appreciate your help.
Yesterday, after asking at intervals for two months why the feature was not working, and just after writing you, I was told that the new search feature is case sensitive. The old one was not, and I was not searching in a case sensitive way. When I did use the search feature with case sensitivity, it took a long time but the search feature on the family trees did work. As to the star, my memory served me ill. It was the arrow (not the star) at the upper left hand corner. Neither the arrow nor the orange button bring up the match list. Either simply refreshes the current page. If I have selected a match, find out whom they match, click on six of those matches, I then have to reset, find the first individual again, click, and then access the chromosome browser.
Great article!! “Optimizing Your Tree at Ancestry for More Hints & DNA ThruLines”. I love the detail you outline and learning other strategies. My primary trees are Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker (that are synced); but I also have MyHeritage and other Tree/DNA accounts that I only have time to upload family tree .ged files to. Duplicating the time I spend on Ancestry/FTM (pics, docs, etc..) with say a MyHeritage tree would be impossible. Have you by chance written anything about managing desktop and on-line tree strategies, syncing, DNA technology, etc.. Just tying it all together… Thanks for all your quality Blogs, Steve
I have not because I’m terrified to try syncing. My cousin had a horrible mess and never recovered.
That’s why you back up, especially when the software asks you if you did already.
I do, daily, but the problem is when you discover much later that something was happening that you weren’t aware of and you’ve made many changes since then.
I am an adopted child. Through Ancestry DNA test I identified my birth mother and half siblings on the maternal side. Through lots of secondary evidence (adoption records, etc.), I have identified the man who is in all likelihood my biological father, although my mother died with naming him. However, the two women who should be my half sisters only appear as 1-2nd cousins. I have been in touch with one of them. Every bit of information we shared points to us having a common father. So is the DNA test inaccurate or is there a missing link somewhere? Thanks for your help.
There’s no way I can answer this question without doing an actual consult and working with results.
Hello, I have done two DNA tests, one was from,the National Geographic Helix Project and my maternal Haplock group came back U5A1A1 which from what I,researched, originated from the Canary Islands and comes from the Bloodline of Ursula, one of the 7 Daughters of EVE. The one I did on Ancestry shows up the Estes Coat of Arms. My great grandparents include Mary Campbel, Mary and Samuel Asenith Hand, The Home Family, Mary Magdalene, the Tucker Family, the Wacher from Gibraltar in 1945, Agnes Sheppard-Full Blooded Creek Indian, Archibald Carmichael, etc, I’ve been told my real name is Olivia Wilde Cleverl and that a lady named Abigail was my real mother with my uncle being Oliver and my a grandmother named Althea. I,am searching for the truth in,regards to my real history, and any information you can help me with will be greatly appreciated. .
I recommend DNAadoption. Contact them.
I am very grateful to find the article “Y DNA: Part 2 – The Dictionary of DNA”. This is the first article I’ve found that gives an analysis of core concepts.
The article is found at .
I would like to ask some detailed questions on the article. What is a good address to send these questions to?
I do provide a Quick Consulting service. You can purchase a quick consult which provides you with up to an hour of my time in the store on the web page.
Hi, I tried to get into DNA.land and it won’t accept my password and won’t send me a reset link.
They discontinued some times ago. I believe they are building a new database.
Hello. I asked you because you are named as the project administrator of B Haplogroup mtDNA, which I am participating in.
I was tested for Y chromosome type and mitochondrial DNA by Geno 2.0. However, the STR does not seem to be analyzed, and the tree on which other DNA types are carried is not displayed. I was told that I could just talk to the person in charge of the Y chromosome project and leave it as it is, but if I have the opportunity to go back as far as I can to get more information about my ancestors, I am thinking of including the purchase of mtfull of FTDNA. What should I do best?
I’m not sure what you mean by the tree on which other DNA types are carried. What I can tell you is that the mitochondrial full sequence test is the most comprehensive mtDNA test possible. Additionally, you’ll match others. There is a public Y and mtDNA tree both available.
Thank you for your reply. I understand that mtfull is the most comprehensive.
By the way, is it applicable as a means to confirm whether mitochondrial DNA is common to distant relatives such as the URL below?
Some of my 6-10 generations old female ancestors couldn’t tell whether they were one of their ancestors’mothers or stepmothers, or even looking at administrative materials, looking for the descendants of one of their ancestors’ sisters I want to make sure. Is mtfull useful in such cases?
I did exactly that to determine which one of my ancestor’s wives was the mother of my ancestor. You have to test descendants of both known lines though.
Thank you for your comment. You were doing exactly what I was thinking. If mtfull can find out the most ancestors, I would like to do a DNA test with it. It will take some time to find that distant relative because the surname has changed from generation to generation, but if the other person is interested, I will talk about it.
Please show me where I can sign in..
Not sure what you’re wanting to sign in to, but there is no need to sign in to this site.
Roberta, you just tried to answer my question on Legacy Family Tree Webinars (about why MyHeritage would show my possible Native American ethnicity in 1700s Virginia as 1% Andean and Mesoamerican) but Marian read it as “Indian.” Would this be because MyHeritage has a reference population for South American Native American but not North American Native American? Thanks very much for your help.
Hi Kathryn. I really don’t know why. They have access to some public reference populations, but they probably don’t have as many in their own database. Every vendor creates their own algorithms too.
Thanks so much, Roberta. I checked today, and MyHeritage does show a North American Native American ethnicity as distinct from Andean and Meso-American, but I still am puzzling over how I could have 1% Andean/Meso-American with absolutely no knowledge of it. My tree is pretty solid on most lines back into the 1700s and some back into the 1600s.
I did see that 23andMe is adding new Native American sub-groups (though not any Eastern tribes are included). Since they hadn’t already given me any broad Native American (only 1% Turkish and Near Eastern instead!), I wouldn’t be included even if they had added any Eastern tribes.
Thanks again so much for replying here, even though I realize you really can’t spend all your time now doing this for all of us. You are really a dear!
I recently received 5 DNA kits I ordered from FTDNA. One I paid for Y-DNA and the others are for Family Finder. The sequence numbers are all in order. I contacted them through the system asking which one is for the Y-DNA, but never have heard from them. Do you know how I can find out?
I don’t know if you sign in if you can tell what was ordered before the swans are returned. When you placed the order, you should have received an email confirmation and the purchase price would have been different.
First I would like to thank you for all of your valuable information that you so generously share. I just received your e-mail about getting ready for the Roots Tech Seminar in March and my question is. I tested mitochondrial with Family Search and autosomal with Ancestry. Do I need to transfer the Ancestry Autosomal to Family Search even though I tested mitochondrial with Family Search?
Thank you, Sharon
My name is Ron Velarde and I am the co-chair for the North San Diego County Genealogical Society. I just viewed your 2021 Root’s Tech presentation “Reviewing Your Mother’s Ancestors and Where They Came From”. We are in the process of scheduling speakers for our monthly DNA Interest Group (DIG) meetings which are held the third Saturday of the month at 1:00pm. Currently the talks are virtual on Go To Meeting for about an hour with additional time for questions. As Mother’s Day is May 8, would you be interested and available for the May 18 DIG meeting at 1:00pm for a presentation like listed above? If May does not work for you, would you be available for later in the year?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Ron and thanks for the invite. Right now, I’m not accepting any additional speaking invitations for 2022.
Oops! The date actually is May 21 for the DIG meeting presentation.
I dont know what to do or where to go for help. My 50 year old daughter did dna test and said her father different than her siblings and my husband her father who raised her since birth.My husband was my only sexual partner when i was about 3-6 weeks pregnant i was raped by a man at the beach police called etc. nothing came of it. My husband was a wonderful man and father and of course it never entered our minds our first child was not his.How is it possible that if i was already pregnant i could be impregnated by another man.?My daughter has disowned me said im a liar and slut and now disowns her siblings. She has destroyed our family, my husband passed away years ago and Im being banned from contact with my grandchildren from this daughter. Im 74 years old and my heart is broken . I must find a way to prove I never cheated on my husband or had an affair with the man she now says is her father. Apparently someone contacted her online that their dna matched and they were
1/2 siblings she has flown out of state to meet her “real sister and family”. I just cant believe it..and why would person who contacted her and she says her “real” sister be more of a a sibling then her brothers and sisters i gave birth to and she was loved and raised with?? This is killing me and I need to find some kind of explanation.She has contacted friends and family making bizzare accusations against me and everyone has told her that my husband was her father loved and adored her from birth.Please, please if you have any idea how the mismatched dna could occur please let me know.Is there anyone that can help me explain this situation?
Carol, I know this is extremely painful for you, and I’m sorry. I’m not a physician. My only thought for you is that you were apparently not already pregnant when you were raped, even though you thought you were. Perhaps you can get a copy of the police report that you made back then. If not, then maybe a sibling or friend or family members who was living then and knew about the rape. The DNA being mismatched is not the issue. I would also suggest reaching out to a counselor for your own mental health and help copying with this situation. I know that this is no comfort to you, but around 10% of parents are estranged from children, and generally it’s the child that initiates the estrangement. All I can say is that I hope she softens with time and you’re able to find peace.
I am looking to see if there is a way to find a brother/full sibling (born in 1947) that was put up for adoption in early 1948 before I was born in December 1948. I have done DNA with Ancestry.com and 23andme. Also posted on Adoption.com several years ago. Any advice.
I just wrote an entire article about this very topic. Take a look. Make sure you are at all 4 sites.
Gene, I just read your note here on Roberta’s site and am sorry to hear of your dilemma re. your brother. The thought hit me that he was just the right age to possibly have wound up in Vietnam. Be sure to upload your raw DNA to MyHeritge.com, ftdna.com, and GEDmatch.com. I have some matches that are only on one of these sites
Hello, I know you receive a lot of messages, so forgive me for adding to that list but I truly need help in my situation that I can’t seem to figure out. For almost 3 years now I’ve been in search of my ancestors, I am from middle eastern descent and I have had reasons to research specifically if I am descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. On FTDNA there are SNPs that belong to the family of Prophet Muhammad, so I took the Y-37 test to see if I belong to any of these haplogroups. After receiving my results I seen that I do belong to the J haplogroup, the same one his descendants are in, I was given predicted J-M267. I then did specific SNP tests for two haplogroups that are downstream of J-M267 but they came back negative. This for one didn’t make sense to me because of a couple reasons, I have numerous Y-DNA matches with those who are descendants of the Prophet, more so than any other group and I also have matches with them in my autosomal DNA, so to me it made me believe that I have to belong within this same group, yet some results are negative. I reached out to FTDNA to help me with this but each time I do they just try to push a sale on me to purchase the big Y which I’d rather not have to do due to the price of it, so they don’t really help. Another issue I’m having is that I have no matches with people that share my surname, I do know that my surname is not my “actual” surname which is common amongst middle eastern people, I knew my last name before my current one and I know that one isn’t the actual one either and I don’t have any matches with that one as well. In the Y-DNA matches I have, the most common surname I see is one that are known amongst the descendants of Prophet Muhammad (The surname is Hussaini).
I apologize for the lengthy comment, but I have two questions:
1 – is it possible that my DNA may have mutated to the point where I belong to this group but the results come back negative because it’s unrecognizable to the STRs for the haplogroup (perhaps the reason why I’m a predicted J-M267)
2 – Should I test elsewhere that does Y-DNA testing to have another source and if so do you have any recommendations?
I appreciate any and all feedback, something just isn’t adding up to me in this whole situation and I really just feel stuck at this point. Please feel free to contact my email or whatever it may be to reach out to me
Thank you so much!
There isn’t another company that does the Big Y-700 test which is the deep ancestry. That’s what you need to place you definitively on the tree. You can upgrade on your personal page there.
I need help!!! My Y DNA is Haplogroup A, M-31 with subclade further defined as AFTB40408, as derived through Big Y-700 testing. My family is from Northeastern, NC. I match using atDNA with Nickens, Collins, Bunch, Archer, and other associated Melungeon names. My family obviously “became White.” It is interesting that I match in Y DNA mostly with Basses. There is a line of Basses that is Haplogroup A with whom I match closely when looking at the markers. I know there must be an npe phenomenon somewhere in my lineage with a change from Bass to Cale. I often feel like I am batting the air in my quest. I lose the trail of accurate family tree after 7-8 generations and am not even sure of those members of the tree that I once thought certain. It seems that a lot of people are reticent to share information because of the lingering stigma of those who became White and had to hide their heritage. My own heritage is confused and conflated by stories of “Indians.” Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks so much.
William F. Cale, MD retired. “Dr. Billy”
That’s actually fascinating. I’m sure you know that Cale is a Native name too. Take a look at this article. https://nativeheritageproject.com/2012/09/01/the-legend-of-cucklemaker-an-indian-chief/
This story of Native American heritage was told to me as a rite of passage by my Great Uncle John T. Cale and my father, uncles and aunts, all unfortunately from secondary sources. (We could indeed by justifiably accused of being Pretendians.) The primary source material tells quite a different story. I have spent the last 19 years trying to find out the truth. I can send you the carefully sourced material if you wish. The court records, tax records, bastardy bonds, census records, land documents all tell quite a different story. For that truthful and carefully documented information, some have fiercely attacked those who are about DNA and archival work. I don’t think this is the platform for introducing that information.
On the other hand, the real story is riveting. It appears that the Cales of my ilk are genetically Basses by Y DNA. The Big Y 700 concludes that the Bass of the M-31 Clade (subclade) came from West Africa and went to NC when things got too hot in Virginia for mixed race folks. My Cale line is identical in most of the Y genetic material to these Basses. These folks likely include the Basses of Granville County as well as the Basses from Nash, Northampton and Bertie County, NC. Some Basses also settled East around the Dismal Swamp and east of the Dismal Swamp.
The story is more interesting because it is true and not a legend. The Basses and my cousin Paul Cale and I are from the M-31 grouping which came out of Senegal along the Gambia River (as quoted from ISOGG work done, I think around 2008.) The Sermon Book of John Bass gives clues via Elizabeth the Nansemond. An African that remains unidentified was in the household and it would appear many of these mixed race Basses went to NC. In Y 111 a couple of years ago, I closely matched 16 of 23 Basses conclusively in the same rare M-31 subclade. These indeed are my cousins. There is no getting around it. Indeed some Basses are from the European Haplogroups, but there is my particular line (and a Bass line), which is distinctly African.
Recently I received information that I was 0.5% NA. That is now hard to find as reference groups change all the time. If you use DNA painter that puts my relationship back to the time of the Bass intermarriage with NAs, mainly Algonquins (Nansemond and Chowanoc). That is probably not a very defensible conclusion yet, but suggestive and needs more work to support that abductive interpretation from the facts we do have.
In truth, I match to many, many of the Winton Triangle folks, who trace to AA, NA and EA. My atDNA matches with Nickens, Archers, Collins, Bunches, and many others, including Basses, who have Mulatto background. I think my family escaped the stigma and the outright persecution of these folks by “becoming White.” That truly is the interesting and defensible story. I match with people in Tennessee in that same grouping of folks through atDNA, notably Archer, Bunches and Collins, but many others, described in some of the work done by ISOG and identified as Melungeon. DNA as you know does not lie and has been a big help. Interpretation of it is another story and I feel, must be done with care.
I have no pretentions about being a geneticist or genealogist, but I will be happy to send you more about these findings. I have written several chapters on a book about it and plan to complete it in the coming year, barring the uncertainties of being 75 years old.
The project is interrupted by moving. We are shortly moving to a retirement community which is very disruptive with the move itself and the difficult task of downsizing. Others who have researched the subject include Gerald Thomas, my cousin through Duncan Cale, son of Charney Cale, K. Paul Johnson, author of several books, most notably Pell Mellers, Race and Memory in a Carolina Pocosin, and Michael Baker, also a cousin and active in our DNA work. We have been working to a lesser degree with Marvin Jones of the Chowan Discovery Group, and Arvin Smallwood, professor at NC Central University. I have also been in touch with Paul Heinegg, who recalled the name Cale as being of Mulatto origin (personal communication).
I hope to connect with you to find more information particularly the Bass connection which is clearly proven by DNA, Y DNA, but the archival information is difficult to connect and is surely the case with a likely NPE at some point. I remain committed to finding the truth through my connections to folks who have greater skills in areas where I need help. I am all about trying to uncover the truth, which, as you know can be stranger and more riveting than fiction.
Bill (Dr. Billy) Cale, MD retired
A while ago you had a blog about using the early census age groups to determine the ages/names? of children using the age groups for each census, 1790-1840. I can’t find that now. Can you point me to it please?
I can’t remember exactly which one it was. It would have been a 52 ancestors article. Unfortunately most of them have the word census in them. Maybe try the McKee ones. I’m sure I used that technique there a couple months ago. In essence what I do is to use the census brackets to narrow the birth year of the child or children.
Roberta, I love your posts. I recommend everyone that is looking for good resources to follow your blog. I am revamping my Chumley/Chumbley group blog and I wanted you do know I have your blog link listed in my favorites. Keep up the good work. You are so very much appreciated