Will a Y-DNA test identify my Ancestry cousins?

+4 votes
I am trying to identify my paternal line cousins on Ancestry. However, Ancestry does not provide a Y-DNA test and although I have done my DNA test wit FTDNA too, it has been impossible for me to identify any cousin on FTDNA while it was easy on Ancestry. If I do a Y-DNA test with FTDNA, is it possible to use Gedmatch to easily identify all cousins on my paternal side even if those cousins have not made a Y-DNA test? Thanks.
in Genealogy Help by Harry Angus G2G3 (3.1k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I'm unclear on exactly what you're asking.

First of all, by "paternal line cousins", do you mean all the descendants of your ancestors on your paternal line, or do you just mean the descendants along the male line? In other words, are you just looking for blood relatives named "Angus", or are you looking for ALL your Angus 1st, 2nd, 3rd cousins, etc.?

When you say you did your "DNA" with FTDNA, I guess you mean auDNA. Are you saying you did the auDNA test on Ancestry.com, too? When you say it was "easy" to identify cousins on Ancestry, do you mean DNA matches to these "paternal line cousins"?

Sometimes you don't get matches on one side of your family simply because it's a small family where nobody has tested (like I have on my maternal grandmother's father's side), but it sounds like you might also want to watch out for something that we euphemistically call a "NPE" - which refers to when biological daddy isn't who he's supposed to be, somewhere up the line.

I'm working with a guy right now who I determined has to be a second cousin of my wife's. He doesn't know anything about his paternal grandfather, because he left when the dad was small. The only thing that makes the various DNA results make sense, is if his biological grandfather was really my wife's great-uncle, who lived in the right place at the right time, instead. It was a bad family situation. This guy had no idea that might be going on - that his YDNA would, according to my calculations, match him with men with a completely unexpected surname.

You can only match one YDNA test taker with another, but those test takers have relatives, so maybe that's what you mean when you're looking to find cousins who haven't taken that test through YDNA?

First of all, by "paternal line cousins", do you mean all the descendants of your ancestors on your paternal line? Answer: I am looking for all 1st, 2nd , 3rd cousins on the father’s side. Not only Angus. Anything from the father’s side.

When you say you did your "DNA" with FTDNA, I guess you mean auDNA.  Answer: YES.

Are you saying you did the auDNA test on Ancestry.com, too? Answer: YES.

As for the auDNA made with FTDNA, none of the cousins listed there have last names I can identify at all.

When you say it was "easy" to identify cousins on Ancestry, do you mean DNA matches to these "paternal line cousins"? Answer. I meant that most of the cousins have last names related to my mother’s side or were born on the same geographical place as my mother. I can see they are maternal cousins. I could not identify any from my father’s side. In fact, I know a lot of cousins from my father's side who took the test on Ancestry but did not show as my cousins' list, although they show as my niece’s cousin.

So, I hope you start to see the problem I am trying to solve. The reason I took a second auDNA with FTDNA was to confirm the Ancestry test was not faulty. There is a possibility of a father not be the biological father and I am trying to see if taking a Y-DNA test can help me solve the problem. Based on the answers I see so far, apparently it will not help much.


3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Unless they have taken the Y-DNA test, you won't have the data to find them. Gedmatch would also need them to have uploaded there. I have only found 1 cousin with Y-DNA but found more with autosomal but determining which side will depend on whether they have put up a GEDCOM file. Also, it depends on whether they have taken a DNA test or not. In any case, you won't find anyone with Y-DNA unless they have taken that specific test.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (462k points)
selected by James Moon
+9 votes
Hi Harry - a Y-DNA test will not help you at all in analyzing your autosomal test results. In fact, it is pretty unlikely that you will have any Y-DNA matches in the genealogical timeframe unless you recruit potential matches yourself.

That said, I did recruit a 7th cousin on my paternal line test and we were close matches, which confirms my paper trail and that was nice. And I do have another random Simpson match that I suspect is about 10 or 12 generations back, although I can't place him on my tree - he's simply too far back.

Three more cousins of mine which I had test had no matches with the same surname and whose common ancestors probably lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. But one recently completed the test and had two surname matches, although the common ancestor may be 10 or 12 generations back.

So it's hit and miss with no impact on autosomal research. If you do take a test, take the cheapest one and see if there is anything there you want to pursue further... and keep expectations in check.
by Davis Simpson G2G6 Mach 2 (23.3k points)
+7 votes
There are 57 men on Family Tree DNA with the surname Angus who have taken a yDNA test: https://www.familytreedna.com/surname-search-results.aspx?sType=eq&Searchname2=angus

You might want to take a FTDNA yDNA 37 marker test to see if you match any of them. FTDNA is currently having a sale and the cost is $129.

GEDmatch is for auDNA tests, not yDNA tests, so you can't use GEDmatch with yDNA test information. You can only compare your own yDNA test results with the yDNA of other men who have been tested.
by Kay Wilson G2G6 Pilot (202k points)
Thanks. I don't think a Y-DNA test will help then.

On Gedmatch, there's a column named Haplogroup Y and I find many people with information (letters and numbers) in that column. Are those eople who have made the Y-Dna test?
For each auDNA test entered on GEDmatch, the person entering the information for the test has the option of manually adding the MT Haplo or the Y Haplo, if known. If you see an entry for the Y Haplo that may mean that the person took a yDNA test. But no other information from that yDNA test has been added to GEDmatch.

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