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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
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Examples for DNA Project Administrators and Members
As an administrator of nine DNA projects at FamilyTreeDNA, plus one family association DNA project, I occassionally need to make a point using an example from those projects.  I recently decided to stop trying to simply remember where the good examples were and, instead, compile a list of them.  I also decided to share the list, in case any of these would help other project admins or project members.  I still have many to re-find and include.   The examples will be listed as I find them, so they are in no particular order.

(Hg = Haplogroup; GD = Genetic Distance)

1.  FTDNA's Standard Panel 4 is the least variable, so why test it?

The 4th Panel of Standard FTDNA Markers (38-67) is generally perceived as the most stable of the four panels, leading some to believe it is not worth testing.  While this Hg J2a4b CARRICO family generally supports such a view, other families show important variability in the 4th panel, for example:  the Hg I1 BIDDLEs, the Hg I1-L592 STRAUBs, the Hg R1b-L176.2 LYON(S), and the Hg R1b1b2a1b GIBSONs, which I used as an example for my "signature markers" strategy. 

Until you test all five standard marker panels (111 markers), you simply don't know where the important mutations for a given family will appear (see next item). 

2.  Why test 111 markers?

Because you may not be able to confidently match your Hg R1b's at 67 markers.  Apparently good matches in R1b at 67 markers can fall apart at 111 matches;  and because you may find most of the family's signature markers in Panel 5 (Markers 68-111), for example, as in the Hg R1b-DF5 English LYON(S).

3.  Why does someone show up as a match at higher levels, but not low levels?

If the mis-match is in the first panel (Markers 1-12), it will suppress matching at that level and possibly 25 markers and 37 markers, as well, but then appear at 67 markers.

There's a good example in the KELLEY project where an individual has a GD from the family modal of only 3 at 67 markers, but where two of those differences are in Panel 1 (Markers 1-12), so he doesn't show up a match until you look at 25 or more markers.

The ROSA and NESBITT in Lineage Group VII on this page are another example.  They have an actual GD of 4 at 12 markers (because any mutation in DYS389i is reflected in DYS389ii), a GD that FTDNA will count as 5, yet they match perfectly on all their remaining markers.  If the differences were in Panel 4 (Markers 38-67), the match would appear at all levels.  Whether or not the two are related in genealogical time, which would require at least one of them to have an NPE, will require testing more ROSA and NESBITT individuals to determine.  I do doubt they belong in this lineage group with the HARRINGTONs.

4.  How great a GD (genetic distance) can occur between close kin?
  • There is a set of brothers and a father-son pair in my STRAUB Project who have a GD of 1.
  • There is an uncle-nephew pair in my CARRICO Project who have a GD of 2.
  • There is an uncle-nephew pair in my ELY Project who have a GD of 4.
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