Monday, March 23, 2009

My Y-DNA Results - Post 9: Looking for Matches on Ysearch

My daughters gifted me a 20-marker Y-DNA test from The DNA Ancestry Project ( for Christmas. I sent it in via mail in mid-January and checked into it last week and found that my results were available on Genebase.

Here are the earlier posts in this series:

* Post 1: Getting Started on the Genebase web site.
* Post 2: Reading the Markers - seeing my 20 Y-DNA markers for the first time.
* Post 3: GeneBase Family Tree - uploading my family tree to Genebase and showed the results.
* Post 4: GeneBase Possible Matches - looking for other people who might match my Y-DNA markers in the Genebase database.
* Post 5: FamilyTreeDNA Possible Matches - comparing my Y-DNA markers to information in the FamilyTreeDNA site.
* Post 6: Uploading to DNA Ancestry - manually add my markers to DNA Ancestry, and correct them.
* Post 7: DNA Ancestry Possible Matches - checking to see if anybody matches my Y-DNA markers on DNA Ancestry.
* Post 8: Uploading Data to Ysearch - manually added my markers to, a free service of FamilyTreeDNA.

In this post, I'm going to look for possible matches in the Y-DNA database at This web site is a free public service of FamilyTreeDNA. At the end of my last post, I had added my 20 Y-DNA markers to and was about to check for matches in the YSearch database. I chose a minimum of 10 common markers with others in the database, and a genetic distance of 1 (meaning one mutation from my markers). I chose these based on my own knowledge (which is not extensive) and I probably could have done a better job of it. I didn't want hundreds of matches, but I didn't want zero or only one match (which might have resulted if I had chosen, say, 20 and 0).

I scrolled down the previous "Enter Search Parameters" page and clicked on the Search button:

The "Search Results" above gave me 16 entries that matched my search criteria. The list provides the user ID, if a pedigree chart is available, the Last Name of the most distant known ancestor, the Origin, the Haplogroup, the test company, the number of markers compared, and the genetic distance from my markers. My test results are the first one on the list.

From the above, we can see that there is nobody in the database that exactly matches 10 or more of my Y-DNA markers.

What to do next? I can compare my Y-DNA markers with any of the persons on this list by clicking on the check box beside the user IDs, or I could use the "Check All" link at the top of the list. I clicked the "Check All" link, and then the "Compare" link as seen below:

The "Research Tools" page came up, with the list of the User IDs to compare in the box already filled in. There's another of those blasted "Captcha" boxes to fill in too (I dislike them...).

The choice above is to create a "Comparative Y-DNA results" or a "Genetic Distance Report." I chose the "Comparative Y-DNA results" and got:

The Y-DNA markers for all 16 match candidates is shown, with the marker numbers across the top. My marker set is the first row. With this information, I can compare my markers with those of others. YSearch does not highlight the differences (which would be an ice touch).

Based on the comparisons, it appears that there is not one particular marker that I differ from the other candidates - the differences occur on many of the 20 Y-markers that I tested, but only one per candidate. I have no idea what that means, other than I don't have any exact matches.

I was curious if there were other persons with Seaver (and variations Sever and Sevier) in the YSearch database. YSearch has a tab on their top menu for "Search by Last Name." I clicked on that tab and this page appeared:

I entered the surnames in the "Search for these last names" box, filled in the blasted Captcha and clicked on the "Search" button:

The "Search by Last Name" page came up with a box showing:

* 1 person with a "Sever" surname in the Y-DNA database but none with "Sever" in the submitted Pedigree charts.
* 0 persons with a "Sevier" surname in the Y-DNA database, but with 10 "Sevier" names in the submitted Pedigree charts
* 1 person with a "Seaver" surname in the Y-DNA database, but with 11 "Seaver" names in the submitted Pedigree charts.

I chose the "11" "Seaver names in the Pedigree charts, and this chart showed up:

These are Pedigree charts with at least one "Seaver" person in their database. I was curious to see somebody else's chart, so I chose the 7th one down the list, clicked that "Show" link, and a pedigree chart for that person appeared:

I had to scroll off to the right to find the Seaver person - Sarah Seaver, daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah (Coolidge) Seaver, is in the 7th generation back from the Y-DNA submitter. YSearch highlights the selected surname in Red, but you may have to search several lines off to the right of the chart (using the "=>" link)to find it.

I went back to the "Research Tools" page and clicked on the "Genetic distance Report" and the lowest Genetic Distance in the YSearch Y-DNA database was GD = 5 for 20 markers, and the lowest for 15 markers was GD = 8. I think it's safe for me to conclude that my Y-DNA profile is fairly unique at this point in time.

The database is very easy to use (except for having to use the blasted Captcha's to go from one page to another many times). Site navigation is almost intuitive, and there are enough leading hints that I didn't get lost. I haven't explored all of the tabs on the top menu yet.

This is as far as I've gotten with this Y-DNA marker study. I will write one more post in order to summarize my results found to date.

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