Jordan Surname DNA Project
Y-STR Database Search by Larry E. Jordan

The Y-STR Database has over 11,000 European DNA results stored that you can search for matches with your own results. The stored results are anonymous so you cannot link to specific individuals. The search that you do will tell you how many European men match your DNA exactly at specific marker locations. It will also tell you where those men are located by country.

To use the database, click on the blue button below then select Start Search from the left navigation on the Y-STR webpage. Be sure you enter your results from Family Tree DNA in the correct data-entry blocks before you start the search. The Y-STR order of DYS data blocks is shown below along with the marker number used by Family Tree DNA for the DYS. Be sure you use the pull-down menus to insert the FTDNA results numbers and select the results numbers for both 385A and 385B in the DYS 385 data block.Ignore the popup messages about protocol changes; select OK when they appear and keep going.

If you have the patience (the Y-STR server can be slow), you can leave out one of your markers at a time -- relaxing your criteria for matches. This is what the Family Tree DNA "one step mutation" and "two step mutation" database lookup does for you automatically; their REO report shows these one-off and two-off results.

You can probably pinpoint which of your markers is most distinctive using this technique. If you find matches using a smaller number of markers, the geographical locations only tell you the current countries of residence of the men who match your DNA. It does not mean that YOUR ancestors ever lived there. A high number of matches does indicate that your ancestors probably had a close association with the people from that country or those countries.

A good example of this is the results you get when you enter the data for our test participant J4274. The Y-STR database has 39 perfect matches with this DNA sample. Of those 39, only three were not in a Scandanavian country (Norway, Finland, Sweden). This is a strong indication that J4274's ancestors were Nordic -- probably Viking. The results in the FTDNA REO report for J4274 showed a strong connection with the Nordic coutries as well, but did not show any exact matches. The FTDNA database probably contains fewer DNA results from Europe than the Y-STR database contains.

It is sometimes an interesting exercise to plug in different combinations of results. For example, enter everything except the value for DYS19 and see if you get any hits, then everything except DYS391, and so forth. That way you can see which marker seems to be the most limiting for your case. Once you have identified that marker, you can try plugging in a value which is one more or one less than your actual results. The database is a little sluggish, though, so that can be somewhat tedious. You can also check Nancy Custer's charts of individual markers at: