How to Read & Understand the DNA Results Chart



This report is a detailed explanation of how DNA testing is used for genealogical purposes. It allows the reader to actually comprehend how the process works, and gives examples of test results to prove or disprove relations between two individuals with or without the same surname. When Family Tree DNA does the processing to get the results, they look at certain areas of the DNA cell structure called "markers." These markers (or certain parts of the DNA structure) are labeled with a name, usually beginning with the prefix 'DYS-'., but most of the time, they are just known by 'Marker-'. For example: DYS-19 aka. Marker 19 or DYS-390 aka Marker 390. These numbers are found at the top of the results chart. This just sets the standard for every testee to give their numerical value for that marker. To put it extremely simple, it helps to ask the question for every testee: What did you get for marker 19? I got a 9 and you got a 9 too. Well what did you get for marker 390? I got a 12 and you got a 12 too. And so on and so on.... Note: The markers labeled in red mutate at a faster rate than the markers in white. Mutations will be fully discussed later in this report. On the left of the chart, there is a flag which gives the known and proven nationality of that testee's ancestor. Of course the Abraham and Joshua Stapp descendants all have the English flag since Abe and Josh immigrated from England. Also if you click on the kit number, it gives that testee's lineages with names of their direct Stepp-Stapp ancestral line.

Example A

Next are the results for that individual. All that you have to do to understand the chart is see which numbers match. The numbers match...thus these two testees ARE related.

Example B

These numbers do not match...and these two testees ARE NOT related. Of course some numbers are the same for both testees, but to establish any relation, you need to match up on at least 11/12. As you can see from the examples above, if the numbers match up for two (or more) testees, they are outlined in the same color. As in example A, the numbers match up, so they are both outlined in blue. If the numbers don't match up, as in Example B, then they are outlined in different colors. (Testee #1 is in blue, and Testee #2 is in Yellow.)


Now you are probably wondering: What if I match up with another Stepp-Stapp perfectly on the first 12 numbers, but when I compare the rest of my 25 numbers, I only match up 24 out of 25? The answer to this question is simple: the more numbers that you have to compare, the more chances you have to NOT match up on one of them. I will describe this below: Example A: You and another testee match up perfectly 25 out of 25 the numbers. Example B: You and another testee match up 24 out of the 25 numbers. Using the examples above, the testees in Example A would be more closely related than Example B, because they have more numbers that match. So by upgrading your test from a 12 to a 25 marker test will give you a better idea of how "closely" related you and that testee are. That is why some testees in the Abraham line have upgraded to the 25 marker test. More numbers will give us a better idea of which lines are more closely related, because we already know that there is a definite relation. As you can see from this section of the DNA results chart. The results for descendants of Abraham and Joshua match the results for a descendant of Thomas Stapp of Market-Rasen, Lincolnshire, England. This only means one thing: Abe and Josh are definitely related to the Lincolnshire, England Stapp family! Of course we don't know exactly how they are all related, or what degree of cousins Abe and Josh might have been to Thomas, but we do know that they come from the same Stepp-Stapp family, and therefore the same part of England: Lincolnshire. Testee #29684 is Malcolm Stapp of Hudderfield, Yorkshire, England. Thomas Stapp of Market-Rasen is Malcolm's 5th Great Grandfather. As of now, Thomas's father is unknown, but hopefully future research will establish the connection between Abe, Josh, and Thomas. That is why paper research is still essential in researching- the DNA results will tell you whether or not a person is related, but paperwork will tell you how they are related!


We will look for certain patterns in the results that have a Mutation. In the results chart below, Thomas and Joshua's descendants have a results of 18 for marker 385b, but Abraham's descendants have a result of 17 (outlined in gray.) This is known as a "one-step" mutation, because your number took a step either up or down from the established majority result of 18. Mutations will help tell us which line a testee comes from. Since all of Abraham's descendants have a result of 17, then we can expect future testees to have that same result. Mutations are expected! They occur over a period of time, and can even be found in a father and son relationship. Some research has even claimed that natural land features or the age of the father at the time of conception aid the progress of mutations!


Now in regards to Haplogroups: The easiest way to understand a haplogroup is to understand the history of DNA testing. Back in the early 1950's when this science became available, scientists took samples from people all over the world. They began to notice that certain countries or groups of people had common numbers (results). The used these unique numbers and compared them to history: "Well these people originated in Southern Africa, and have been there for 10,000 years and look at their result pattern; we will label them as "haplogroup Q12." or “These people (Indians) have a similar result pattern, and we know that they crossed the Bering Strait into North America, so we will label them as "haplogroup F5." For each testee's results in the chart, there is a link to the far right which lists their haplogroup. Simply click on one, and it will show you a detailed description and history of that haplgroup. As you see, all of the Abraham-Joshua-Thomas testees are in the E3b haplogroup. The origins of this haplogroup can be traced back to the North African coastline (present day Tunisia) about 10,000 years ago. The E3b haplogroup is not that common in the British Isles, and we have no way of telling how it got there for sure, but we can speculate a few causes: Maybe a Tunisian mercenary under the Roman Empire came to the Britain with Julius Caesar? or Maybe an Arab Christian who fought in the Holy Crusades came to England to escape persecution? These exact situational questions can only be answered through paper documentation and/or historical information. DNA results will help to lead you in the right direction!