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The Paternal Ancestry Y-DNA test is ideal for individuals who wish to trace the ancestry of their direct paternal lineage (father’s father’s father’…. Paternal lineage). Y-DNA is unique because it is passed down unchanged from father to son along the direct paternal lineage. All males who have descended from the same direct paternal lineage (from the same forefather) will have exactly the same or very similar Y-DNA profiles.
No. Only males can take this test because only males have Y-DNA. Females do not have Y-DNA.
Females wishing to trace their direct paternal lineage must test the Y-DNA of a male relative such as a brother, father, uncle, male cousin, etc. on their direct paternal lineage.
The Paternal Ancestry Test examines both STR markers as well as SNP markers in the Y-DNA. STR stands for "short tandem repeat". STR markers are unique because they have a very fast mutation rate (approximately 1 mutation every 20 generations). The fast mutation rate of STR markers means that it is unique to families and allows any two males to compare their marker profiles to see how long ago they shared a common paternal ancestor. SNP markers are slow mutating markers (one mutation every few thousand years). SNP markers are useful for tracing ancient ancestry and allows you to determine which Y-DNA haplogroup (ancient family group) you belong to. Each Y-DNA haplogroup has a distinct ancient migration pattern within and/or out of Africa and allows you to see how your ancient forefathers journeyed to their final ancestral homeland. All paternal ancestry tests include both STR markers as well as haplogroup determining SNP markers.
The Standard Paternal Ancestry Test includes 20 Y-DNA STR markers. Whenever a close relative match is found during a search, the stringency of the match can be further refined if more Y-DNA STR markers markers are compared. Individuals can start with less STR markers and test more at a later date if they need it. Please note that testing more STR markers will not affect your Haplogroup. Your haplogroup will be determined for you in the SNP marker test that is included with every Paternal Ancestry Package. Testing more STR markers will not provide you with Subclade information. Only the Subclade SNP marker test will provide subclade information. 20 STR markers is more than sufficient for most applications and match searches.
Subclades are finer branches of the Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree. The Y-DNA Subclade SNP tests are only available to current clients who have already confirmed their Y-DNA Haplogroup using the Paternal Ancestry Package test. Once your Y-DNA Haplogroup has been confirmed, the Subclade test for your particular confirmed haplogroup can be ordered as an optional upgrade. Subclade tests are currently only available for Y-DNA Haplogroups E, G, H, I, J, L, N, O, Q, R1a, R1b, and R2.