YDNA. Acceptance Criteria

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This is one of a series of articles on Genealogical Methods, prepared in association with The Tapestry. See Index for a list of related articles.
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Source

FTDNA FAQ:919 Link dead as of 18 April 2014; FAQ's may have been taken down.

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FTDNA

The following table is based on FTDNA's FAQ:919.


Characterization Y-DNA12 Y-DNA25 Y-DNA37 Y-DNA67 Y-DNA111 FTDNA's Suggested InterpretationNotes/Issues
Very Tightly Related N/A N/A 0 0 0 Your exact match means your relatedness is extremely close. Few people achieve this close level of a match. All confidence levels are well within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe.How should this be intrpreted? What does "All Confidence Levels" mean? Why is it specific to "Western Europe"? Presumably this means that if two kits match this closely they have a common ancestor who lived after the time surname were adopted. But some European nations adopted surnames by 1400, and others not until after 1800.
Tightly Related N/A N/A 1 1-2 1-2 Few people achieve this close level of a match. All confidence levels are well within the time frame that surnames were adopted in Western Europe.
Related 0 0-1 2-3 3-4 3-5 Your degree of matching is within the range of most well-established surname lineages in Western Europe. If you have tested with the Y-DNA12 or Y-DNA25 test, you should consider upgrading to additional STR markers. Doing so will improve your time to common ancestor calculations.Presumably this means that there is a good probability that the kit owners share a common ancestor within a meaningful genealogical timeframe. Ie, their common ancestor lived in a time frame where it documentation to show their mutual line of descent may have survived.
Probably Related 1 2 4 5-6 6-7 Without additional evidence, it is unlikely that you share a common ancestor in recent genealogical times (1 to 6 generations). You may have a connection in more distant genealogical times (less than 15 generations). If you have traditional genealogy records that indicate a relationship, then by testing additional individuals you will either prove or disprove the connection.The criteria label "Probably Related" seems to contradict the explanation: "It is unlikely...." for generations 1-6, and "You may" for less than 15 generations. At best saying "you may be related" is quite a bit different from saying "You are probably related", and certainly not consistent with saying "It is unlikely you are related".
Only Possibly Related 2 3 5 7 8-10 It is unlikely that you share a common ancestor in genealogical times (1 to 15 generations). Should you have traditional genealogy records that indicate a relationship, then by testing additional individuals you will either prove or disprove the connection. A careful review of your genealogical records is also recommended.
Not Related 3 4 6 >7 >10 You are not related on your Y-chromosome lineage within recent or distant genealogical times (1 to 15 generations).A very emphatic statement, and certainly the least caveated of the critieria. Perhaps this should read "Highly unlikely".