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Matching Y-Chromosome DNA Results
Why Molecular Genealogy?
Understanding DNA
Y-Chromosome DNA
Results Matching
Mitochondrial DNA
What is Genealogy?
Putting it All Together
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Comparing Y-DNA results is similar to comparing telephone numbers.

For instance, if we look at the following two North American business telephone numbers:


... we immediately notice that 12 out of 13 numbers are identical, and would conclude that the two numbers are likely from the same business.

Likewise, if we look at two Y-DNA haplotypes (two sets of marker results), such as:

11 14 12 13 29 24 10 13 13 14 12 15 12 12 13 12 12 12 14 25 19 30
11 14 12 13 29 24 10 13 13 14 12 15 12 12 13 12 12 12 14 25 19 31

... we also notice that all the values are identical except for one, and would conclude the two participants might be related.

In general, the higher the percentage of matching markers, the closer two participants are likely to be related.

Matches of 34/36, 35/36, and 36/36 -- and a common surname -- generally indicate a common ancestor in the time that public records have been in existence.

Family trees often date back this far, and individuals with matches of 34/36 and higher may have intersecting ancestries.

Matches of 34/36 and higher -- but a different surname -- may indicate a surname change in one line or may be coincidence.

Matches of 32/36 or less generally indicate a connection before the widespread use of public records or even the advent of hereditary surnames in most countries.

Matches of 33/36 can be ambiguous and should generally be interpreted in the context of individual family history.

Molecular genealogy is based on probabilities, and like forecasting the weather, is not an exact science. It can provide important clues for family history research but traditional genealogy methods continue to be an important part of molecular genealogy.
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