Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Is Your Earliest Known Ancestor listed correctly in your FTDNA account?

Over the past 5 months, I've spent time working with my family's YDNA and mtDNA results at FamilyTreeDNA(FTDNA).  When I initially registered my account at FTDNA I was doing so in order to transfer a copy of my autosomal results from AncestryDNA.  Admittedly, I did not fill out all of the information other than what was required until after my results processed.  The Earliest Known Ancestors tab was a bit confusing to me.  I did finally realize that they were wanting my most distant patrilineal line and my most distant matrilineal lines.  I believe since that time(3+ yrs ago) they have changed the wording but it is still a bit unclear to some folks.

In the example below I am using the pedigree of my maternal Great Grandmother.  If she had an FTDNA account(oh how I wish) and need to fill out that information the path she would follow on her pedigree to get that info is marked by the arrows.

Blue arrows mark her patrilineal line.
Red arrows mark her matrilineal line.

I have used the LARGE arrows to indicate the ancestors that should be listed on her Earliest Known Ancestors tab.  Of course, this is from my perspective and she may have known those lines further back than that.   If so, she would have included the most distant one from each of those paths.

FTDNA asks for this info because if you are a male, the patrilineal line will be that associated with your YDNA test.  Females do not have a Y and cannot take that test but fathers, full brothers, and paternal uncles etc. can take those test so they should list their father-line as well.  The matrilineal line shows the path of your mtDNA or your mother-line.  Males AND females can both take mtDNA tests but only females pass on their mtDNA to their children.

Below is a snippet showing my Earliest Known Ancestor Tab. If my Great Grandmother shown in the pedigree above were entering the information she would use John N. Hale(blue arrow) for the Direct Paternal and Nancy Combs for the Direct Maternal(red arrow)

If you have an account(or accounts) with FamilyTreeDNA, PLEASE take the time to check and make sure you have this information entered correctly.  While you are doing that, it would also be a good time to make sure you have designated a Beneficiary for your account.  Hope this helps!

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