Dear Ken

Dear Ken, 

Thanks so much for calling into the Genealogy Gems podcast. I wish everyone had your enthusiasm about YDNA testing! You are absolutely right in thinking that the YDNA test can help you answer questions about your direct paternal line. Because of the way YDNA is inherited, other Maloney’s who share your YDNA, also share a common ancestor with you. The best way to take advantage of the YDNA test is to first test at least 37 markers at Family Tree DNA. 67 is probably ideal, but you can always test more later. 

The next thing to do is to join a family project. You can search for family projects right from the homepage at Just put in any surname of interest, and you can see how many people with that surname have been tested, and if there are any family projects associated with that surname. Clicking on the name of a project will take you to that project page where you can join the project and contact the project coordinator with your questions. 

Now, while it is of great benefit to see others matching your YDNA, and sharing an ancestor with you, an often overlooked benefit of the family project is your ability to see all of the people who are sharing your surname, but do NOT share a direct paternal line with you. This list can be a goldmine, as it can save you hours of wasted research barking up the wrong tree. Any ancestor represented in the surname project that does not share YDNA with you, is not your ancestor! It doesn’t matter if their name is spelled just like yours, or that they named all of their eldest sons Solomon, or that they lived in the same county as your family. THEY ARE NOT YOUR FAMILY. So you can move on, and find other, more valuable, leads. 

As for your questions about ethnicity, you may want to check out a couple of blog posts here at genealogy gems to point you in the right direction: 

Keep up the good genetic genealogy testing, it is bound to help you and your Maloneys. 

Orginally published on December 2017 on 

Diahan SouthardComment