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Using Ysearch

This page describes how to use Ysearch, a powerful tool for finding matches regardless of what company you used to test your Y-DNA.

Ysearch is a free public database which is secured by means of assigned usernames and passwords. Both are needed to log onto to the site and view DNA results.

Tested with FTDNA

FTDNA sponsors & hosts Ysearch. It has simplified the process of uploading results, to encourage use by FTDNA customers.

 “(a) Family Tree DNA customers have the option of automatically uploading their results from their personal page at FTDNA. If you are a Family Tree DNA customer, please go to your personal page at FTDNA, and in the "Y-DNA Matches" section you will find a link to upload your data to Ysearch. If you need to upload upgrades to your test, you will also find a link from that personal page at FTDNA.

Caution: We can not give you exact links in all these steps. Many of the links will be customized for your individual use.

To use this option and skip steps 1-5 below:

  1. Log on to your page at FTDNA (www.familytreedna.com). Enter your kit # and the password they sent you. This will take you to a page with a URL like https://www.familytreedna.com/my-ftdna/.
  2. On the left-hand navigation menu are a series of links. Under the heading "Y-DNA", the first link is "Matches". Click on it to go to a page titled "Y-DNA Matches".
  3. On the "Y-DNA Matches" page, scroll down to the paragraph leading with "Additional possibilities for searching matches:" and ending with the link, "Click here to upload to Ysearch.org.".  Follow the directions as they present themselves.

Tested with another company

This method is also useful for FTDNA customers who are having difficulty accessing their FTDNA pages, perhaps because  lost their kit numbers or passwords.

Let’s take it one step at a time:

  1. Get a copy of your results so you have it in front of you. (You will need it for step # 4.)
  2. Go to http://www.ysearch.org/.
  3. Look for the box titled “What next?” and click on “Create a new user”.
  4. Scroll down to the place where it says Genetic Markers: There you’ll see a bunch of input boxes with the marker s names (e.g., “DYS 393”) above them. Each of these boxes has a drop-down menu for selecting the allele value which matches your results.
  5. If you tested with FTDNA, you’re done with the results entry. If you tested with Oxford, Ancestry (Relative Genetics) or another company, click on the conversion page link to see how you need to tweak the numbers you previously entered.
  6. Enter the surname to list the results under (probably, Taylor). Use the dropdown menu below the “last name” box to select the haplogroup. I think you can ignore the “Variant spellings” boxes.
  7. Then go to the “most distant paternal ancestor” portion; this is the earliest known ancestor in your Taylor line. Put in his name and years of birth & death. Put in country of origin if you know it. Hint: USA & its states are near the bottom of the list. You can probably skip the latitude & longitude parts, although they do allow exactly finding a place anywhere in the world. The emigration & immigration information is also optional.
  8. Go down to your e-mail address; you’ll have to enter it twice.
  9. Below that is a place for typing additional information.
  10. Select a password to make your information secure & private; type it twice too.
  11. The almost final step is what’s called a “captcha”; it guarantees that the from is completed by a human and not a computer. It will display scrambled words or series of letters & numbers. Type what you see in the box provided.
  12. Finally, click the “Save Information” button to finish setting up your account.

New program

FTDNA has instituted a "Third Party Transfer" program for those whose results were analyzed by Sorenson Molecular Genomics Foundation (includes Ancestry DNA customers). For a small fee, you may upload your results to the FTDNA database.

Taylor Family Genes recommends the enhanced version of the program; for a larger fee, you will receive  additional testing so your results may be directly compared to FTDNA panels and the ability to search the database for matches. More information is provided by FTDNA.

Searching for Matches

Soon, you’ll get an e-mail from Ysearch with a user name like “XMAGP”. Save that and your password where you can find them. With those, you can click on the “Search for Genetic Matches” tab at the top of each page. That will also bring up a form with input boxes.

  1. The first input box one selects how many markers to compare. I recommend no fewer than 16.
  2. “Allow:” gives two options. I recommend staying with “maximum genetic distance” and selecting a small number, proportionate to the number above. Zero (0) will eliminate all but exact matches. Play with this to see what works best for you.
  3. “Limit search by last name;” gives three choices – surname exact, surname variants, or no name limit. Because of non-parental events, someone with an exact match could have submitted results under another surname.
  4. Next is another captcha to screen out computerized searches. These will crop up from time to time throughout the Ysearch site.
  5. Then “Limit search by haplogroup”: I recommend using it and selecting your haplogroup. You can’t share a common ancestor with someone of a different haplogroup for thousands of years. However, use the broadest category, e.g., R1b rather than R1b1b2a.
  6. “Limit search by region”: I don’t recommend using this limit; most of those in the database are in North America. You can get more selective if you want.

  7. Click the “Search” button and look at the results. A list in this table format should  appear:
Top of Form

Pedigree Last
Origin Haplo
XMAGP Show Taylor County, State, Country  R1b*  Family Tree DNA  72 0
  1. (continued) The first person on the list is probably yourself; you should match yourself. The list should be ordered by decreasing number of markers compared and increasing genetic distance (GD).
  2. Using the list:
  3. The final step is to play with the list and see what you can learn from it. 

Have fun exploring the world of Y-DNA!

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Revised: 3/21/10