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Y-DNA Ancestral Origins Frequently Asked Questions

Why are so many different countries listed?

The countries that are listed are reported by your matches based on their own genealogical research or family history. Historically, many groups of people throughout Europe and other parts of the world have migrated to new regions. Countries and ethnic affiliations often change as well due to political boundary changes even though the geographic location stays the same.

For your more distant matches, the common ancestor you share may have lived many hundreds of years ago, with their descendants migrating to different countries and locations. Typically, you will see fewer and fewer countries listed at more refined matching levels. With these matches, your common ancestor likely lived more recently, and less time has elapsed where migrations may have occurred.

Why do some of my matches show “United States” in the Country column?

The Y-DNA Ancestral Origins page lists the country of origin reported to us by the people that you match. This country of origin is meant to be the country from which your paternal ancestors came before recent migrations to the Americas. We have recently added a United States (Native American) choice to help users tell the difference between a true Native American ancestry and a colonial American ancestry. You should treat the United States entries as “Unknown Origin” unless the Y-DNA test results indicate Native American ancestry on your paternal line.

Why isn’t my ancestor’s country of origin listed?

Your information is not included in the table on the Y-DNA – Ancestral Origins page for your own account. The table on this page is a comparison of your results against others in the database. It lets you see what others with similar results to you entered for their country of origin. If you do not see your ancestor’s country of origin listed, then you are the only person with your DNA signature from that country in our database. Depending on the level of uniqueness of your results you may see more or less information hinting about your paternal or maternal country or origin. As the database grows, there are increasing chances of giving better hints about the ancestral country of origin.

Why is more than one haplogroup listed?

The Y-DNA Haplogroup Origins page displays the haplogroup and origins for your exact and near matches. Due to evolutionary convergence, you may see multiple haplogroups that are near matches.

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