Y-DNA (near) match (contributor unknown)

+3 votes
I am a member of a Sheffield's NC/VA group on FTDNA. The collective member's Y-DNA results are posted and show a close match from my Y-DNA (R-M269) to Sheffield-2318 (and several others). Contributor is not a member of WT nor is his ID known.

The test kit# and marker results are available on FTDNA. Can an admin input known Y-DNA results and override the normal method in such cases?
WikiTree profile: William Sheffield
asked in Genealogy Help by Michael Sheffield G2G1 (1.1k points)

3 Answers

+7 votes
You need permission from the owner of the DNA to publish their test information on Wikitree. It would be a violation of their privacy for someone to override and publish it without their consent.
answered by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (619k points)
+2 votes

Hi, Michael. I have some unfortunate news. I looked at the Sheffields of VA/NC DNA project results, and the project administrator seems to be organizing the groups solely by yDNA haplogroup, not by haplotype. In other words, it's organized at the level of the anthropological "10,000 year view," not at the genealogical family-relatives view level. I'm sorry to say that your kit 420484 has no yDNA matches in that project; you are related to none of them in the genealogical timeframe.

When evaluating the STR results, the thing to look for are differences in the numeric values shown (the number of allele repeats) for each marker. The case of multi-copy markers (the ones you see with more than one numeric value for a given marker) are handled a little bit differently, but for the others every difference by a value of 1 equates to a genetic distance (GD) of 1. None of the men in this DNA project will show up as matches when you view your personal information at FTDNA.

I've taken the liberty of reorganizing that Sheffield project's results by haplotype, and I believe it presents a very different view of the data: https://casestone.com/threlkeld/temp/Sheffield/. Mind you, this is only by the rough numbers; a DNA project admin would also normally consider the mutation rates of certain individual markers, as well as the provided GEDCOMs to see if there might be justification to overlook a GD on a volatile marker, on CDY for instance. The view on that page is also customized for you. Others who have a marker value equal to yours is shaded in green; non-matches have no shading; your marker values that match no one in the project are shaded in orange.

I think you'll quickly see that you have six markers at your tested 37-marker level that no one else in the project has. Your closest match in the project is a genetic distance of 16 at 37 markers. Here is FTDNA's broad interpretation of STR genetic distance at 37 markers. You'll note that at a genetic distance greater than 6 FTDNA states flatly, "The two men are totally unrelated within the genealogical timeframe on their direct paternal line."

I love all my fellow FTDNA project administrators. But DNA ain't always exactly easy, and the way a project presents its results has a huge impact on the legibility to--and assumptions made by--the project members. You might want to contact the project admin and ask about the arrangement of the groupings in the project. Just my opinion, but I think the way it's currently grouped makes it very difficult on project members to interpret results.

Best of luck! 

answered by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (177k points)
+3 votes

It is my understanding that the other DNA tester does not have to be in WikiTree for you to cite how you match them and mark your parent / child relationships as confirmed with DNA.  I believe iit is okay for the Y-STR haplotype and the direct paternal line of the matching Y-DNA tester to be at another public Web site (e.g. WorldFamilies.net).   Lets say John Doe (YSearch ID XYZ12) is a direct paternal line descendant of Adam Doe (b. 1700) and is a 36 out of 37 marker match with another male Doe (kit number 123456) in the public Doe surname DNA project.  The public table of Doe 12, 25, 37 and 67 marker haplotypes can be seen on the public Web page of the Doe Surname DNA Project and it lists Adam Doe as the earliest known direct paternal line ancestor of kit 123456.  Therefore each father/son relationship from John Doe to Adam Doe can be marked as "Confirmed with DNA" if there is the appropriate citation (which includes a url link to the table showing the 37 marker haplotype of kit 123456).

answered by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (447k points)

Hi, Peter. I know there have been some G2G discussions the past couple of months that even Chris Whitten weighed in on about modifying the requirement that all parties in a "confirmed with DNA" chain have profiles on WikiTree, but I don't know if there if there have been any subsequent conversations or movement about changing the WikiTree policies/guidelines. I agree that we should somehow figure out a way to enable a form of that--particularly for privacy concerns of living individuals who don't want a profile on WT--but I'm not completely certain how that would work in the yDNA scenario you described.

I'm most familiar with the results space FTDNA creates for the DNA projects housed there, and there is no requirement for a project member to provide any substantiation for the lineage they describe as earliest known paternal ancestor...or even to provide a name for that ancestor. In fact, they can't offer any real detail because that information is entered on their personal FTDNA bio, not under control of the project, and a maximum of only 51 characters is allowed. Also, the name of the kit owner is never displayed on the project page, and neither is a link to the owner's GEDCOM, or whether they've even uploaded a GEDCOM.

Since there is no publicly available genealogical information about members of an FTDNA project (assuming the project admin keeps the project results at FTDNA, which the vast majority do), wouldn't we at least expect the WikiTreer to be able to describe the basics of the anonymous tester's ancestry as well as link to the public results page that shows the kit number? Here I'm thinking inclusion (along with DNA matching specifics) of something along the lines of:

John Doe has been in communication with the owner of FTDNA kit #123456 and has seen the documentation of his ancestry through his great-grandfather, Byron Doe (b. 1894 Lexington, Kentucky; d. 1978 Omaha, Nebraska); through his 2g-grandfather, Charles Doe (b. 1870 Atlanta, Georgia; d. 1948 Omaha, Nebraska)...etc. through to the MRCA paternal ancestor Adam Doe, b. 1700.

Strikes me we'd need something similar so that, while protecting the identity of the anonymous tester and living or recently living ancestors, we'd still have adequate information to be of genealogical use to other WikiTreers. Even if there are no profiles on WT for the anonymous tester's line (it would be nice if John Doe would create those for persons born over a certain number of years ago), at least there would be rudimentary information so that others could tell if their own branches might intersect. I know we could simply say that anyone interested should contact John Doe for information, but as a family tree site first and foremost, that would seem like pushing genealogy to the background...much like the the 80% of our AncestryDNA cousins who have no public tree and who never answer contact requests.  ;-)

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