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Paternal Lineage Test



Paternal Lineage and the Y-Chromosome
A male providing his Y-chromosome sample also represents the DNA of his father, paternal grandfather, and so on up the paternal line. Y-chromosome results are generally identical throughout the paternal line. But because mutations do occur, it is possible for a son's results to be slightly different from his father's or his brother's.
Women, in spite of not carrying a Y-chromosome, can still trace their paternal lineage. Using a DNA sample provided by a brother, father, or another paternal relative (for example, a male cousin) a woman can treat these Y results as if they were her own.
Y-chromosome test
The Y-DNA test looks at specific regions of the Y-chromosome. These regions are known to contain a series of repeating sequences of DNA molecules (for more information see short tandem repeat). All men have these repeating segments; what differs between men is the number of times the specific sequence repeats. Counting these repeats is what constitutes the results of the Y-DNA test. Ancestry.com DNA offers two Y-chromosome tests: Y-DNA 33 or Y-DNA 46 markers (or locations on the Y-chromosome). Testing more markers allows for a more accurate estimate of the relationship between two individuals.
Common Ancestor
Similar to traditional genealogy, finding a common ancestor across pedigrees is the payoff that leads to expanding family trees. DNA testing provides an objective and accurate way to determine a) to what degree you are related and b) approximately how far in the past you may have shared a common ancestor.
The more Y-chromosome markers tested, the greater the precision of the test. For example, an 18 marker Y-chromosome test that matches another participant's test on all 18 markers, allows a common ancestor to be predicted within a range of 1 to 27 generations. Two participants matching on all 46 markers, on the other hand, can narrow their common ancestor to exist within 1 to 10 generations! For most, a Y-DNA test comparison with up to 2 or 3 mismatches will indicate that there is a genealogically relevant relation in past generations.
Paternal Ancient Ancestry
The Y-chromosome test also provides a look into your ancient paternal ancestry through a prediction of your ancient haplogroup, or deep ancestral grouping haplogroups were formed when ancient peoples migrated and branched out from Africa tens of thousands of years ago. As they spread throughout the world and adapted to their new environments, their DNA diversified, creating new groups and subgroups.

About Paternal Lineage Test Results



Your Paternal Lineage test result consists of two components: Y-DNA results and a paternal ancient ancestry prediction.
Y-DNA Results
Your Y-chromosome results will consist of a table of markers tested (numbering from 1 to 33 or from 1 to 46) and a corresponding value for each. Each marker is a specific location on the Y-chromosome and is referred to by its DNA Y-chromosome Segment number (DYS number).
The portions of the Y-chromosome tested are known to produce repeating patterns of nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA.) These Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) are counted at each marker and reported as your DNA result. The profile of repeats is inherited from your father and is what differentiates your specific paternal lineage from another's.
The extent to which your Y-DNA results match other participants will determine how closely related you might be by providing an estimate of how far in the past you shared a common ancestor.
Each of the names of the Y-chromosome locations available for testing are presented in the table. A dash, "-", shown in specific boxes in the table means that results were not produced for that particular location because of two possible factors. First, for markers DYS19b, DYS464e and DYS464f, a lack of result may be due to the fact that these allele results are very rare. Second, the dash may signify the presence of a marker value that cannot be obtained using the current testing methodology.
Paternal Ancient Ancestry
Your Paternal Ancient Ancestry (or Haplogroup) is predicted based on your Y-DNA results. You will receive the name of the haplogroup, a detailed description of the group, and a map showing how your ancient ancestors migrated out of Africa over 100,000 years ago and split off to populate the different regions of the world.
Because particular patterns are seen within particular haplogroups, on most occasions we can predict which haplogroup you are in. Along with the prediction, we also provide the history, background and mapped distribution of your haplogroup.
Please be aware that, while our comparative database uses up-to-date information, it may not be possible to make an accurate prediction on all occasions and sometimes no prediction can be made.

What do I do after I receive my Test Results?



Now that you have your results the next thing to do is to compare your results with other participants in the Ancestry.com DNA database. Click on the DNA Matches tab to see how closely other participants match your results.
Matching Map
The Map shows the approximate current location throughout the world of the most closely matching participants. Clicking on a figure in the map will display the name (if not anonymous), location, and an estimate of Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). The list of participant names is sorted by MRCA, with those most closely related to you at the top of the list.
You can directly compare your DNA results with other closely matching participants by clicking the checkbox by their names and pressing the "Compare" button.
Comparison Table
The table displays your selected participants' results in relation to how similar or different they are from your results. When your markers and repeat values match, you will see a checkmark. Where your markers differ, you will see the value highlighted. The greater the number of differences, the more distantly related you are.
Common Ancestor
If you have found a closely matching participant, you can further analyze how related you might be by clicking on the Participant's name. The Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) calculation is based on the number of markers tested and the number of matching values. The MRCA reports the range of generations in which you and another participant may have shared a common ancestor. The closer you match, the more narrow the range of generations will be.
Comparing Pedigrees
Armed with a range of generations in which you might share a common ancestor, you can now begin communicating with your genetic cousins using Ancestry.com Connection Service as the first step towards comparing the genealogies of your two families. If you're fortunate, the common ancestor analysis will narrow your search to a timeframe and you will find the ancestor that joins your two family trees.

Statistics for Calculating Most Recent Common Ancestor



MRCA is a term that is used often in discussions of genetic genealogy. MRCA stands for Most Recent Common Ancestor and it refers to a statistical calculation that determines the likely generation in which two individuals share a common ancestor. The MRCA is often reported with a 95% Confidence Interval. The MRCA number itself is the generation in which it is 50% likely that two individuals are related. The 95% Confidence Interval then gives you a range of generation values that encompass 95% of all possibilities. For example, there is a 95% likelihood that two individuals sharing 25 of 26 alleles will have an MRCA within 11.9 generations expanding between 1.7 and 39.5 generations.
Statistics Used in Genetic Genealogy
The MRCA calculation relies heavily on the mutation rate of the loci. Previously, the Y-chromosome mutation rates that have been used for genealogical purposes have ranged from 0.002-0.004, depending upon the testing laboratory. This value is known as the mutation constant and may be represented by the term (pronounced my). This value is the rate at which a change (mutation) is identified at a particular locus from a father to a son. Each marker tested on the Y-chromosome has its own mutation rate, these mutation rates are known for many of the Y-chromosome loci across several human populations (publication is in press). The mutation rate can be affected by several different factors such as population, haplogroup within a population, length of the allele, region on the Y-chromosome, and size of the repeat structure. For those loci where the mutation rate has not yet been determined, Ancestry.com DNA has chosen to use a rate of .0028. As more data on Y-chromosome mutation rates becomes available, we will re-evaluate our statistical calculation to reflect a more precise measurement for each locus.