Whose Y to Use? Paternal Ancestry for Ladies

Editor’s Note: This post does not reflect our current product offering. 23andMe’s ancestry product looks at the autosomes (chromosomes 1-22), the sex chromosomes (XY), and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). For more information about how results are different for men and women go here. One of the most exciting parts of 23andMe’s Personal Genome Serviceâ„¢ is discovering your genetic ancestry. Suddenly your family tree has branches that reach back thousands of years into the prehistoric past.gus.jpg At present, 23andMe customers can trace two branches of their genetic family tree — one that follows the all-female line on the maternal side (through mitochondrial DNA) and another the all-male line on the paternal side (through the Y chromosome). Not all DNA is created equal, however: males have both mitochondrial DNA AND a Y chromosome, so they can trace both their maternal and paternal ancestry. Females, who have mitochondrial DNA but no Y chromosome, can trace only their maternal ancestry. So how can females discover their paternal history? One solution is to ‘borrow’ the Y chromosome of her most immediate paternal ancestor — her father. A female can have her father send his own DNA sample to 23andMe, then examine his Y chromosome as a way of understanding his paternal ancestry and her own. But what if a woman’s father can’t or won’t share his DNA? By sharing 23andMe accounts with the right male relative, a woman can still discover both her maternal and paternal ancestry. So whose DNA can a female customer use, besides her father’s? It could be anyone who shares his Y chromosome — her brother, paternal uncle (father’s brother), or even paternal grandfather (father’s father). The chart below illustrates some of the possibilities in one woman’s family tree; male relatives who share her father’s Y chromosome are depicted in blue. You may look at the chart and ask: Why not her son’s Y? After all, he’s a male relative, too. But even though a mother shares 50% of her genes with each of her children, only fathers pass Y chromosomes to their sons. So any examination of her son’s Y chromosome would yield not her father’s paternal history, but her husband’s. erinpaternal33.png The woman whose family tree is shown here (“Me”) could determine her paternal ancestry using the Y chromosomes of males who are colored blue.
  • PatM

    I’m just learning about 23andme, so excuse my uneducated questions, but here I go. I have very few male relatives left. I still have my dad and there is also one of his first cousins (his mom’s brother’s son). They are both in their 90s. What can I learn from either of their DNA? Is it only about their fathers? Since the cousin is on my grandmother’s side, can I then learn about her side of the family? So in order to learn about both paternal and maternal lines on my dad’s side of the family, I’d have to get both their DNA?

    Whose DNA would tell me about my mom’s side of the family?

  • You can actually learn a lot about your own ancestry by looking at the DNA of your dad, his cousin and yourself. Let’s start with you. Your mitochondrial DNA will tell you about your all-female ancestry, i.e., your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother, and so on back a few thousand years (exactly how far back depends on what that ancestry is). Your dad’s Y chromosome will tell you the same thing about his (and thus your) all-male ancestry. And your dad’s mitochondrial DNA will tell you about his mother’s all-female line.

    So to sum up, having your dad’s DNA and your own will give you some information about where three of your grandparents’ ancestors came from: both your paternal grandparents and your maternal grandmother.

    Your father’s cousin is a bit more complicated. Basically, his Y chromosome will give you a little more another data point about your paternal grandmother’s ancestry. That’s because, even though your great-grandfather’s (your father’s mother’s father) Y chromosome didn’t get passed down to your grandmother, it did get passed to her brother, and then to his son (your dad’s cousin).

    I find it really helps to draw a family tree when you think about these things!

  • Clara

    I have a question and I’m hoping that what I’m doing is right. In my genealogy studies in 20 years I haven’t been able to get past one of my great grandfathers. I ordered two of your full sets and one of my male cousins did one. I sent the other to a male whose line I believe is the same as mine in other words I think we share the same male ancestor.

    Will the tests when they are completed tell me if they share the same ancestor confirming my research.

  • Hi Clara,

    If the male cousin of yours and the other male you sent the kit to share the same Y chromosome haplogroup, it would be consistent with them sharing the same paternal line. But it won’t be enough to prove that you all share the same great grandfather.

    I think 23andMe’s Relative Finder will be of great interest to you. Everyday people are connecting with cousins they never knew they had and building up their family trees. I was never really into genealogy, but since I’m started making connections, I’ve been learning so much!

    More about Relative Finder: http://spittoon.23andme.com/2009/11/19/introducing-relative-finder-the-newest-feature-from-23andme/

  • Arlene

    It says above: “So how can females discover their paternal history? One solution is to ‘borrow’ the Y chromosome of her most immediate paternal ancestor — her father. A female can have her father send his own DNA sample to 23andMe, then examine his Y chromosome as a way of understanding his paternal ancestry and her own.”
    –Will results from the Complete Edition yield the Y haplogroup? And if so, can this information be used to trace the surname?

    • Hi Arlene,

      Note that there is only one version of the service now — equivalent to the Complete Edition. 23andMe results will yield the Y haplogroup only for men, so in order to learn something about your paternal line you would need to have a brother or father or paternal male relative test as well, and then see what that person’s Y haplogroup is. Many surname projects do use Y chromosome information but they may be tailored to data from their own associated tests, for example the FamilyTreeDNA paternal line testing. However, 23andMe provides data on all of the other chromosomes as well. In theory, surname information could be combined with any such genetic data to trace ancestral origins but we can’t predict how useful it will be for particular individuals.

  • Kathy Lee

    Hi there,
    I have done the 23andMe complete… And had my brothers and father do the test as well.
    – Is there a way to ‘connect’ your results to theres so the paternal line on my profile (as a woman) ‘knows’ which person im connected to is my father and automatically comes up with the information? I.e. when you click on paternal line, it knows?
    – As a female, when i use relative finder, is it only showing maternal line relatives?
    – I’ve found a 4th cousin on RF, who tells me she was adopted. How can i find out if she is related to my maternal line or my paternal line?
    So many questions! I am so enjoying 23andMe. Can’t wait until everyone on the planet is using it!

    • Hi Kathy,

      Currently there is no way to connect the paternal line information from your brothers/father to your own account. Keep in mind that the paternal haplogroup represents just one line out of thousands in your family tree — traced through your father’s father’s father’s …[etc] ancestors. You have 22 other pairs of chromosomes that came from both your mother and father, which themselves are mixtures of the 22 pairs of chromosomes they each received from their own mother and father, and so on. Relative Finder matches can be based on DNA from any of those chromosomes, so they can represent potential relatives from either your mother or your father’s side. If one or both of your parents have also done 23andMe and are sharing with you, you can usually figure out which side the match is from by using the Family Inheritance: Advanced feature and seeing which parent also shares segments of DNA with your Relative Finder match. Hope this helps!

  • Kathy Lee

    Thanks Shwu,

    That was such an interesting link – i hadn’t played with the ancestry labs before.

    So i compared the distant cousin with myself, my mother and my father. And weirdly: although my parenst have nothing in common when compared, the cousin had something in common with both of them. Why would that be?

    Carole (cousin) vs. Kathy Lee (me) 11 40000000 65000000 13.0 cM 3438
    Carole vs. Kathy Lee 15 78000000 86000000 6.0 cM 1294
    Carole vs. Stephen (dad) 11 40000000 67000000 14.0 cM 3670
    Carole vs. Sue (mum) 15 78000000 86000000 6.5 cM 1309

    I’d love to find out who our common ancestor might be and where my family originally came from.

    • Hi Kathy,

      It is certainly possible for both of your parents to be related to your distant cousin through different lines. All that means is that you can trace your common ancestry with your distant cousin through multiple paths in the family tree. For example, perhaps your mother shares a g-g-g-g-grandparent with cousin, and your father shares a different g-g-g-g-grandparent with cousin. You therefore share two g-g-g-g-g-grandparents with cousin.

      If you post your question and results in the 23andMe community, there are many folks who would be happy to help you make more sense of what you’re seeing in RF and FI:A. Good luck!

  • Sherri Small

    I deffinatley want to get my DNA tested to see where my ancesters came from. I know that I can only get my mothers line from my own DNA, but I want to get my fathers as well. I believe, if my research is correct, it will lead to Scotland. The problem is…Both my full blood brothers are dead and my father is quite out of it, as far as his mind, and is afraid to do the test. I do have a half-brother. I found him by doing this ancester stuff. My father was married to someone else before he met my mother and they had a son. Will my half-brothers DNA tell me about my fathers line without things getting confused with his mother. She is NO relation to me and I don’t want things getting mixed up.
    Thank You, Sherri Small

    • Hi Sheri,

      Your half-brother, since he is a direct male descendant of your father, will have inherited his Y chromosome from your father and thus his paternal line, so his results will tell you a bit more about one line of your paternal ancestry. Note that you can still learn quite a lot (and arguably more) about your paternal side of the family tree from other features such as Relative Finder, which use information from across all of the other 22 chromosomes. Since you inherit a copy of each of these chromosomes from your father as well as your mother, they carry information about both sides of your family tree. Hope this helps!

  • Suzanne

    As a female looking at my 23andme test for health reasons, will my test provide just the maternal side for health issues or will I need a male relative to send his sample in to provide me with additional information? Everyone is talking about ancestry rather than health, although it may not be different, I wanted to confirm. Thank you.

    • Hi Suzanne,

      The Y chromosome, which only men inherit from their fathers, is primarily used for ancestry purposes to trace the paternal line (father’s father’s father’s father etc). The health information at 23andMe relies on all of your chromosomes, which come equally from your mother and father, so there is no need to test a male relative. There is always the possibility that a genetic marker on the Y chromosome is found to be linked to a health condition or trait, but in this case the association would not impact you, as only the DNA you inherit contributes to your health and traits (along with non-genetic factors).

  • Eve Doody

    I have no idea who my Father is/was …but I have in the paternal haplogroup a list of males … do I take it this is my Father’s side of the family ???

    • Hi Eve,

      If you are sharing with other members of 23andMe, their paternal haplogroups will appear on the right hand side of that page. We also list haplogroups of some famous men, so you will see those as well. So those do not necessarily represent your father’s side, they are simply examples of other people’s paternal haplogroups.

      If you have a brother that had the same father as you, his test will provide information about your shared father’s paternal haplogroup, which you can then set as your own.

      Note that all of the other features on 23andMe use DNA information from both your mother and your father. For example, Relative Finder and Ancestry Finder can tell you about ancestry and genetic relatives from both sides of your family. If you have more questions, please visit 23andMe Customer Care! https://customercare.23andme.com/

  • Christina

    I am a female who would like to find out my father’s heritage, however he is diseased. My father was also adopted so I cannot use his father. I have a half brother, who shares the same father with me but he had a different mother. What can I expect from the DNA results if my half brother takes the test? Will I be able to determine what my heritage is on my father’s side?

    • Hi Christina,

      If your half-brother shares the same father with you, then his test results will be able to tell you about your father’s direct paternal line (i.e. father’s father’s fathers etc line). Note that all of the other features on 23andMe use all of your DNA, which comes from both your mother and father, and so can tell you something about both of them. For example, Relative Finder and Ancestry Finder identify people with whom you share identical segments of DNA; since these segments can come from either your father or your mother, your matches will thus represent ancestry and genealogical relatives through both parents. Hope this helps. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to visit 23andMe Customer Care: https://customercare.23andme.com/

  • Nancy

    I have heard that this fall 23andme will have a DNA test for women that will be able to trace her paternal line. Is this true? I have no paternal members to be tested.

    • Hi Nancy,

      As the paternal line is passed through the Y chromosome from father to son, there is no way to trace this through a woman’s DNA.

      A related feature that was recently added is the ability for women to set their paternal line if they have a paternal relative tested and linked through 23andMe. Note that you don’t necessarily need your father to be tested; a brother (with the same father) and male relatives that share your father’s direct paternal ancestry such as a paternal uncle, grandfather, or cousin also work for this purpose. You can see information about this and other frequently asked questions here.

  • Nannie

    I am wanting to get my DNA done but I am not sure if I will get the answer that I am looking for. I am a female wanting to find out my mother’s side, but what I want isn’t a direct female line. The family line is my mother>grandmother>great grandfather>great great grandmother> great great great grandmother> great great great great grandmother. Will I be able to find out my 4th great grandmothers lineage even though my great grandfather passed on the DNA?

  • Christine

    Will my father’s mother’s father’s mother ethnicity show up a paternal ancestry test? Is there any test to show that?

    [ My Reasons: My great grandfather was adopted, but my great grandparent’s adoptive parents knew the birth parents. My great grandfather told my grandmother that he was Romani Gypsy and Hungarian (born in Hungary). So I always believed I was part Hungarian. However in Romani culture, they never inbred with non-Romani. (And surprisingly only have South Asian and Middle Eastern blood — not Romanian or any other European roots despite their long nomadic history in Eastern Europe)There seems to now be confusion in the family tree who was my great-grandfather’s actual mother, two women being connected to him as a his birth mother in the Family Tree (neither being the name of the adoptive mother). I would guess that if my great grandfather was indeed part Hungarian, than he was the result of an infidelity and that’s why he was given up. But he could of just been saying that he was *nationally* Hungarian and not “half Hungarian” like it was originally interpreted as and was actually 100% Romani. The paper trails can’t give this information, so I wanted to get a DNA test to see if my great-grandfather was 100% Romani or if there really was some Hungarian. No other relatives have Romani or Hungarian blood so we’d immediately know the truth of this story, if a DNA test can pick up whatever the ethnic traces of my father’s mother’s father’s mother is ]

  • Jane

    I don’t have any male relatives on my paternal side to have tested. However my brother was cremated and I was given a lock of his hair, can DNA testing be done with this lock of hair?

    • Hi Jane,

      23andMe does not offer DNA analysis on hair, unfortunately. There may be other companies that do but we cannot provide any specific recommendations.

  • Carolyn Johnson

    All of the males in my father’s generation are deceased. My brother (same father & mother) – for a variety of reasons – does not want to be tested. If my brother’s son – my nephew – was tested, would that give me my father’s paternal line ? Thank You for whatever advice you can offer.

    • ScottH

      Carolyn, The short answer is yes.

  • carol

    My dad is dead, and I have no idea about any other male relatives in my family such as brothers and uncles. Can I use my sons DNA to find my linage though mitochondrial dna, thus finding my dads lineage?

    • ScottH

      No that wouldn’t work. Your son would learn about his Paternal Haplogroup but not your paternal line. While without a male relative on your paternal line you cannot learn about your paternal haplogroup, you can still learn a lot about the paternal side of your ancestry. Because we do autosomal testing, you will get DNA Relative matches from all sides of your family.

      • annieem

        Okaye, I have a question then. Since I don’t know for certain, ‘who’ my biological Father was, and if I should be able to have my brother tested (he’s certainly my mother’s child, ‘Mother’s baby, Father’s maybe’), then would the testing tell me if we are full siblings or half sibling? Do I have to report that my brother is taking the test or would it show up automatically that we are related? And would it still make the connection to me even though the tests were done months apart?

        • ScottH

          You will be able to tell if you are full or half siblings. As long as both of you choose to “see close relatives.” which is an option that you have to select and that you are opted in for DNA relatives your brother will show up in your DNA Relative matches. It doesn’t matter if you took the tests months apart, and no you don’t have to report that your brother took the test. Hope this helps.

  • Ensatina

    My dad is dead, so is there any advantage to getting both my brother and my half brother tested? Or do I just need one? Is there an advantage to my brother over my half brother for any reason? (I’m assuming yes, as I’d find out more about my mom’s side…).

    • ScottH

      It would be better to have your full brother tested, especially if your half brother and you do not share the same father. Having your full brother tested will allow you to see your paternal haplogroup and your paternal line more clearly.

  • Can a woman’s autosomal DNA tell us anything about her male ancestry?

    • ScottH

      Yes, although you won’t be able to learn your paternal line. The autosomes – chromosomes 1 to 22 – and the X chromosome are inherited from all sides of your family tree and therefore capture about both your maternal and paternal ancestry. 23andMe’s Ancestry Composition will break down that ancestry by geographic origin – your percentage of European or African or Asian ancestry. In addition matches found through DNA Relatives come from all parts of your family tree. Together this can give you insight to father’s and mother’s side of the family.

  • Nancy McGinty

    Can male first cousins who share a paternal grandfather have differences in their haplogroups? One is Q1a3 and the other is Q-p36.2.

    • ScottH

      The important thing to look at here, to see if two names refer to the same lineage, is the set of mutations (M242, p36.2, M346). Both of these men have the p36.2 mutation, so there is not an indication of a different haplogroup.

  • SAA

    I just want to make sure I’m correct before I purchase a kit for someone–I (female) have already received my report, but (of course) would like more of the story. My father passed away some time ago and he was an only child. My paternal grandparents have passed away as well. However, I have a half-brother (we share the same father). I would be able to get the paternal information from him, right? Otherwise, the next closest relative would be a great-uncle (and this would be much more difficult).

    • ScottH

      Yes you would be able to learn about your paternal line from your half brother, if you share the same father.

  • Penny

    I have a question I hope someone will be able to answer..My father is dead, I have no contact with his family; If my half-sister (mom’s child) gets tested, can we assume that the differences between her results and mine would belong to our fathers?

    • Neb-Maat-Re

      I realise this is an old question but I’m responding anyway. You would need to test your mother. There could be DNA your mother passed to you that she did not pass to your half-sister. You could not assume that anyone who matched you but did not match your half-sister was related to your father. The only certainty would be if someone matched you and not your mother then they would be related to your father.

  • Ms_Jones

    Hello, I recently found out that the man who raised me is not my father. My biological father has passed away, and a son that he fathered has also passed away. I DID manage to track down a cousin of HIS – ie, his father’s brother’s son. Would I be able to use this DNA sample? As a backup, could I even go as far as using HIS son’s DNA? Thank you.

    • ScottH

      His father’s brother’s son would indeed share the same paternal line as your father.

  • Ms_Jones

    (as a clarification of the above – I managed to track down a cousin of my BIOLOGICAL FATHER – not my half-brother.)

  • Audree

    I am a woman interested in taking the test. I see that I will not see my paternal line. Should I simply ask my brother to take the test instead of me? Would I get more information this way?

    • ScottH

      Audree, If you are interested in learning about your paternal line, then yeah it might make more sense to have your brother tested. You would get both your paternal and maternal line. But if you want more information about yourself – the traits you inherited from your parents, your ancestral composition, health conditions you have, etc. – obviously getting the test yourself makes the most sense.

  • John Abbott

    Does the 23andme test also tell you what percentage of Neanderthal you might have in your genome?

    • ScottH


  • Eileen M

    I must admit I am totally confused about my DNA results. My sister took the test via Ancestry.com. No surprise to us her results indicated 89% British Isles. Mine came out with 23andMe as nearly the opposite, 14.4% British Isles. Is this even possible? Any insight you can give me would be welcome.

    My main reason for doing the test was to, hopefully, connect with Irish roots, specifically attempt to locate my maternal grandfather’s family in Tuam, Galway, Ireland and in fact ordered the test through Ireland Reaching Out. Instead results seem to be about my maternal grandmother’s Jewish roots. (also interesting to me as it proved family lore to be accurate) again, I wonder why my sister’s results did not show this heritage.

    If I want to reach my mother’s father’s ancestors whom in the family should be tested? My deceased mother still has 2 sisters and one brother living. Would my uncle be the best option?

    • Susan Price Davis

      To get his Y line, your uncle would be the best choice I would think, that would give you the Surname information of your mother’s father and beyond.

  • Nicole

    So just to clarify, as a female doing this test, I would get all my lineage info, it just would not be divided into maternal and paternal because you could not distinguish which x came from the mother and which from the father?

    • ScottH

      Nicole, You are correct. You also would not be able to learn your paternal haplogroup.

  • DonnaF

    My brother and I are about to get tested. We are very interested in finding out more about my father’s mother’s ancestry, which on paper seems amazing. Will her ancestry even show up in the testing?

    • ScottH

      Donna, It’s great that your brother is getting tested because that will give you a fuller experience. You’ll be able to share information and see your paternal haplogroup. In answer to your question about your father’s mother, yes you will see that, but it’s not going to be readily apparent. In other words, you will be able to see what comes from your father that you received and your brother received. Your father’s ancestry is a combination of what he got from his father and mother. So in that way you will be able to see her ancestry in your results. But what comes from her might not be easy to identify. If you know enough about your family ancestry and her specific ancestry is distinctive – let’s say she is from Japan and your grandfather was European – you would more easily be able to see her ancestry. That might also be the case if you know that your grandfather was mostly Northern European and your own mother was from Northern European ancestry, but your grandmother’s ancestry is Southern European. That segment would then but much easier to identify.

  • Alice Stanley

    I have a question related to the paternal DNA. We know through our genealogy on my maternal side that we are related to several presidents and presidents wives but this did not show up on our Maternal DNA but we can support this with fact (the connection is through my mothers father and his grandmother back) So when I had my brother tested, low and behold the relationship shows up. I thought that paternal DNA identified the male line back…my brother, his father, his father and so on. And I know that my brother also carries maternal DNA, which would be my mother, her mother, her mother. So I guess my question is, is the connection showing up because my Stanley (male) ancestry has that connection further back than what we know, or is my brother’s DNA test able to pick that up. Am I way off base here?

    • ScottH

      Alice, It’s difficult to answer you question based on what’s in your comment, but I’ll attempt to address a couple of things. First off, both you and your brother will get matches in the DNA Relative feature from both sides of your family. Because men inherit yDNA from their father’s they will had the added ability to see their paternal line – their paternal haplogroup. That also happens to be your paternal haplogroup so you it’s good that your brother has been tested. So why are you getting different matches than your brother? The answer is that although siblings get half their DNA from their mother and half from their father’s, they don’t get exactly the same DNA. In addition because of recombination each generation also gets an different proportion of DNA from their ancestors. When you go back several generations, the DNA signature from a specific relative might be so low that it could show up on one sibling but not the other. Visit our FAQ page for more. If you still aren’t getting your questions answered, you can query our Customer Care team.

      • Alice Stanley

        Thank you Scott for you reply. Sorry I wasn’t clear on my question. I guess I still a little confused due to being a newbie at the DNA side of genealogy. I appreciate your assistance and I believe I understand but still feel the need for further validation of my understanding, so I used the query line..thank you so much!

  • JoyceB

    I don’t know if this question has been asked already…can data from an Ancestry.com DNA test be uploaded to 23andMe for testing? I ask because my Dad, who is in a nursing home, is unable to do a saliva test, and Ancestry offers a cheek swab test, which he can do. I’d love to be able to have it run for the health report, as well as for additional ancestry info. Are there any other options if someone is unable to provide enough saliva for testing? Thanks in advance!

  • 23blog

    Joyce, I’m not totally familiar with Ancestry.com, But the 23andMe allows you to use our Family Tree feature by uploading a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM is a file format used for creating family trees that contains genealogical information about individuals and metadata linking these records together. Most online genealogy services and genealogy desktop software will produce a GEDCOM file on request – look for an option to “Export Tree,” “Download Tree,” or “Export GEDCOM.”

    • JoyceB

      That sounds good, I’ll give that a try. Thanks!

  • brealei

    Hi, I don’t have anybody available to me on my paternal line based on the tree above. Would it work to use my grandfather’s brother? Is there a way to designate him as my grandfather’s brother on this site and get my paternal line information or is that one step too far removed?

    Thanks! Sorry if this has been asked already.. I tried searching but did not find it.

    • 23blog

      If it’s your grandfather on your father’s side, then yes. And you can designate him as such in the Family Tree feature, and in the DNA Relative feature. While that will get you the information on your paternal haplogroup, it won’t automatically populate that information into your profile. We currently do that in father-child relationships, but not for other individuals on the paternal line. For more information go here: https://customercare.23andme.com/entries/21734268

  • The Elf

    OK, here is my dilemma….. I am female and an only child to my birth-father. I was also adopted and am unsure if he is really my father. Can I determine any connection what so ever if I tested me against my fathers fathers brothers son? So essentially my fathers first male cousin through his father (my grand dad), all from the same male line from my great grandfather??? My supposed father is dead and so are his parents. He was an only child so my fathers cousin is my only hope to unraveling this mystery. Its the closest relative I have from that side, if I am related and in fact he WAS my birth-father, I’d like to know. I am running out of options to complete my tree. Can somebody give me any direction? My fathers cousin is willing to test but I don’t know if it will even be worth the effort.

    • ttandme

      Yes of course you would be able to see if you are related. The only thing women are not able to see is their paternal haplogroup. You will still get relative matches on all branches of your family tree.

      • The Elf

        So, if we both did this 23andme DNA test, we would show up as a match if we were related? And if we were related, I could safely assume that the man who I think is my birth-father likely is? Or should I find a less general DNA test and test one on one? And one more question, if my actual birth-father was someone else and he also took this test would it show up as a match? Or again, should I just to a simple paternity test with him since he is still living?

        • 23blog

          Yes. If you both test and opt in to “show close relatives” you will both show up in your DNA Relative matches. The feature also gives an estimate on the relation based on the percentage of shared DNA. So if he is your biological father, and has tested and opted in to show close relatives he will show up in your matches.

  • glorayus

    So, I want to use my brother’s son for my paternal Y chromosome. can I do that?

    • 23blog

      Yes, you can use your brother’s son to figure out your patneral haplogroup.

      • Susan Price Davis

        Also, if you use your brother’s son, that will give them their mother’s mitochondrial haplogroup. Since your brother’s is the same as yours, this might be additional information they might like to have for their kids. If however, your father is still living, doing his would give you your paternal grandmother’s mitochondrial path, adding to your history.

  • Kasandra Hirst

    My mom is an only child from her Mother and Father. When my mom was 10 months old her father left and she hasn’t heard from him since(due to interference). She once hired a private investigator to look for her father but that didn’t have any turn out. I recently just shared the news about 23andme with my Mother which I was going to buy her as a surprise for one of her Christmas gifts BUT from my understanding a woman being an XX, there is no way for her to find anything about her paternal side because she doesn’t have his Y.. Correct? If I am wrong please let me know, I would love to do this for my Mother because I know how bad and how long she has wanted this.

    I am definitely skeptical because I’ve always been told “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” I pray this is an exception *fingers crossed*

  • Kasandra Hirst

    My mom is an only child from her Mother and Father. When my mom was 10 months old her father left and she hasn’t heard from him since(due to interference). She once hired a private investigator to look for her father but that didn’t have any turn out. I recently just shared the news about 23andme with my Mother which I was going to buy her as a surprise for one of her Christmas gifts BUT from my understanding a woman being an XX, there is no way for her to find anything about her paternal side because she doesn’t have his Y.. Correct? If I am wrong please let me know, I would love to do this for my Mother because I know how bad and how long she has wanted this.

    I am definitely skeptical because I’ve always been told “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” I pray this is an exception *fingers crossed*

  • Kasandra Hirst

    My mom is an only child from her Mother and Father. When my mom was 10 months old her father left and she hasn’t heard from him since(due to interference). She once hired a private investigator to look for her father but that didn’t have any turn out. I recently just shared the news about 23andme with my Mother which I was going to buy her as a surprise for one of her Christmas gifts BUT from my understanding a woman being an XX, there is no way for her to find anything about her paternal side because she doesn’t have his Y.. Correct? If I am wrong please let me know, I would love to do this for my Mother because I know how bad and how long she has wanted this.

    I am definitely skeptical because I’ve always been told “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” I pray this is an exception *fingers crossed*

  • marie motroni

    My brother did his DNA with 23 and me so I could see both sides of our DNA. However, his results were different (of course because it adds our father’s side) in a weird way. I have 2.6% French and German and there is none listed for him. Is there a threshold at which they just lump it into the nonspecific category?

  • Meowy FotBot

    I just added my Fathers brother (paternal uncle) on my family tree and connected his account. How long does it take until my paternal line gets updated with the info from his Y ? I saw his shows our Jewish line but mine does not.

  • 23blog

    His results are different also because although you both get 50 percent of your DNA from your father and 50 percent from your mother, it is not the same 50 percent. You can compare Genes and see where you overlap, and where you don’t. This will tell you what segments you share and what you don’t. If one of your parents tested you would also be able to see what came from your mother and what came from your father. To answer your last question, yes we do make nonspecific European, or nonspecific Northern European or Southern European ancestry assignments when the distinctions are not clear enough. You can adjust the estimate from conservative, to standard to speculative to change that.

  • 23blog

    That is not totally accurate. As a woman, you cannot learn about your paternal haplogroup without having your father, or someone else on your paternal line, being tested. But you can learn about other things about your mother’s father. Remember that she inherited 50 percent of her DNA from her mother and 50 percent from her father. You in turn will have inherited about a quarter – this is approximate due to recombination. So your DNA Relative matches come from all branches of your family tree, and so too are the health conditions and traits. Your ancestry composition includes ancestry from your mother’s father. However figuring out what came from him is difficult. That is why people sometimes use additional bits of information that they know to put into context their results. For instances if you have a surname, then look through your DNA Relative matches and see similar surnames. That might focus your search on those matches. In addition, you might know cities where his family is from, and if you see matches that have those cities you might look at that. In addition, if his ancestry is very distinct, that might really stick out in your Ancestry Composition. I’d encourage you to look through our Help section to find out more.

  • allie

    I need some clarification being a female here. I have no known male relatives from my biological fathers side. He has been deceased for over twenty years, and his only known relative was a sister because they were products of a closed adoption. As far as I am aware I am his only child.
    I am curious to know if I can still get any information about his side of the family such as his/my heritage (direct or indirectly) and anything else I can find out?I do have a half brother (different fathers) so that doesn’t help.

  • LeahRocks

    We think there is a chance my Father had a different Father from his siblings. He is deceased. I have an uncle (his brother) still living. If he and I are tested, can it be determined if they had the same Father?

  • Scott23H

    You get half your DNA from your mother and half from your father. The analysis we do for you includes information from both sides of your family. However, because you are a woman and you do not receive a Y chromosome from your father, we cannot determine your paternal haplogroup.
    But haplogroups are one small part of your ancestry analysis. The 23andMe Personal Genome Service provides you with information from all branches of your family tree using your autosomal DNA.

  • Scott23H

    DNA Relatives can determine whether a match is on your mother’s side or your father’s side. But to do that you would have to have one of your parents tested.
    If your relative also shares DNA with your mother, he or she is most likely on your mother’s side of the family. Conversely, if a relative shares DNA with your father, he or she is probably on your dad’s side. This is the case for both male and female relatives, since DNA Relatives is based on your autosomal DNA.

    When you include one or both of your parents and confirm your relationship, DNA Relatives checks each of your matches to see which parent they match. You’ll see this indicated next to each match in your DNA Relatives list. You can filter your matches by which side of the family they’re on.

    In addition by having one or both parent tested you can show Split View, which will indicate the maternal and paternal contributions to your ancestry.

  • Diane

    I have been approached on Ancestry.Ca by someone who says they believe that my great grandfather had two children with another woman prior to meeting and marrying my great grandmother. Both children (both boys) have passed away, one married and had a son (still living). My grandmother is the only child left from the second marriage. Is there any DNA test that will prove that they are or are not related to my family?

  • Mary A Ballerin

    My father and his father are both deceased, dad only had a sister, she never had children. I have a deceased brother who has a son, my nephew – can he be used for my Y chromosome? I have one living male relative on that side, a brother that I don’t speak to, I can’t get his saliva.

    • Scott23H

      Hi Mary,
      Yes you can use a male on your paternal line to learn your own paternal haplogroup. So if your nephew tests you can learn about your paternal line from sharing with him.

  • I have some questions – my friend is trying to use 23andme to find her birth family. She knows who her birth mother is and connected with her half-sister a number of years ago. They both decided to do the 23andme, which confirmed that they are half-siblings (they weren’t sure, and their birth mother passed several years ago and did not give them any information about either of their fathers – they suspect she may not have known who their fathers were).
    Both she and her half-sister have relative matches from their test. Can my friend assume that if a second cousin comes up on her list but NOT on her half-sisters that this person is from her birth father’s family? It looks like my friend’s birth father was first nations but her half-sister is not – all of the cousins she has found that are not shared with her half-sister are first nations.

    • Scott23H

      Yes it would be most likely that your are correct. If the second cousin match is not found among her half sister’s matches than it is likely to be a match on her paternal side. Looking at ancestry composition and how the sisters differ and then how they compare to this second cousin might also give more clues about her father.

  • Rayna

    Will you get a paternal match testing two possible half sisters? Will it link you as a close relative, or will you only get 2 different maternal sides? There are no males on their side except for 2 sons.

    • Scott23H

      You’ll be able to determine if they are half sisters. You can also deduce if they match on the paternal or maternal side by looking at their shared matches. While a woman cannot determine her paternal haplogroup, she will get matches from both her mother’s and father’s side of the family

  • Scott23H

    Her ancestry is a mix of both her father and her mother. Although we cannot easily identify what came from her father, there are ways to do that. If her mother were to test for instance she could then look at split view in the ancestry composition tool and see what ancestry came from her mother and what came from her father. The reason testing her son wouldn’t help is that the Y chromosome is passed on from father to son. That traces the paternal line. So her son didn’t get his Y from her father but from his father and his father’s father.

    • kitty

      Ok, but then what if the woman who has the father who was adopted but died also has no sisters and her mother is dead also ? Then she has only herself to take the test to find out what her father’s ancestry was, wouldn’t there still be a way since she would have half of what he was in her genetic pattern ?

      • Scott23H

        Hi Kitty,
        That will be much more difficult. It will take using other information she may have about either her mother or father. It may be that she can look at her DNA Relative matches. Some of those will be from her father’s side. Looking at how those matches cluster and the ancestry of those individuals may help. Again it will take some triangulating of information.

  • Maxwell98761

    I am another daughter interesting in finding more about her father’s genetic history under seemingly impossible circumstances. My question is how far down can you go in a male line that is parallel to my fathers line to get reliable dna paternal results? (my grandfather’s brother’s). My father and his brother only had daughters. I would only possibly have dna from my grandfather’s brother’s line of males. My father was born when my grandfather was 40 and my grandfather was one of the youngest of 12 and according to family history that I have, most of my grandfather’s brothers died when my own father was in his 30’s. To make matters worse, I was born when my father was almost 50. An available male cousin from my grandfather’s brother’s would probably be at least 3 (maybe 4) generations down the line. Is that too far removed to produce reliable and revelent results?

    • 23blog

      Just to be clear, you get DNA from both sides of your family, but if you are woman you need a male relative on your paternal side to be able to trace your paternal line.
      So that means you will get DNA relative matches from both sides of your family. The issue of identifying which side of the family a match comes from is harder however. You’d asked about whether you had your paternal grandfather’s son’s son tested whether that would be helpful. Yes that would give you your paternal haplogroup. As long as you can trace that directly through the male line to a common grandfather you could indeed use that to identify your paternal haplgroup. Here’s a link to more about linking a relatives paternal haplogroup. (https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202906940-Linking-a-relative-s-paternal-haplogroup)

      • Maxwell98761

        Thank you so much for your help!

  • caren

    Can I use my sister’s son to our fathers grandfather bloodline ?

    • Scott23H

      The short answer is no that wouldn’t help you.

      For females, if a male relative such as your father, brother, paternal uncle or paternal male cousin were to be genotyped then you would be able to infer your own paternal haplogroup information from his. If your brother were to provide a sample, you would learn your maternal haplogroup as well as your paternal haplogroup.

      However, if your father or father’s brother were to provide a sample, you would learn your paternal haplogroup, but not your maternal haplogroup since he does not share your mother. If your biological father participates, you can link his paternal haplogroup to your profile so that it will appear on your own Paternal Line page.

      Haplogroups are one small part of your ancestry analysis. The 23andMe Personal Genome Service provides you with information from all branches of your family tree using your autosomal DNA.

  • Angela Sherman

    My question I hope isn’t too confusing. I understand about getting my paternal and maternal heritage. However I am wondering isn’t my mothers paternal line important to my ancestry too? Her being female also would mean that she didn’t get her fathers Y correct? Doesn’t that mean that I wouldn’t get to understand the heritage of my maternal grandfathers all the way down the line unless I had my grandfathers,or maternal uncle’s dna? My grandfather has passed so does that mean I would have to get my maternal uncle to give me that information?

    • 23blog

      Hi Angela,
      Your initial questions was a little confusing, so apologies for not responding sooner. The simple answer to your last question is no. You would still be able to see the ancestry contributions from both your maternal and paternal side. You will also be able to get DNA Relative matches from both sides of the family.

      The analysis of the 22 autosomes is the same for women and men and provides the same information and level of detail. For each pair of these chromosomes one comes from your mother and the other from your father: two copies of the same recipe with slightly different ingredients. The autosomes are what we use to determine your DNA Relatives, your Ancestry Composition results, your health and trait reports, and many other features. The great majority of our features are based on the autosomes.

      However, since men and women have different sex chromosomes, there are some small differences in the information they will receive. For example, men will only display a single X chromosome in features such as Ancestry Composition, while women will have two.
      Since women have two X chromosomes instead of an X and a Y, the 23andMe Personal Genome Service does not directly provide paternal haplogroup assignments for women. The paternal haplogroup is traced through the Y chromosome, which women do not inherit.

      • Angela Sherman

        Thank you for thoroughly answering my question. I again apologize for the confusion.

        • 23blog

          Glad to help Angela.

  • tajma

    Can i test a half brother to see if his father is my father and if we matched hat would the result look like

    • 23blog

      The answer to your question is yes. If you share the same father than getting your half brother to test would allow you to learn about your patneral haplogroup. It will also help make clearer who of your DNA Relatives are match through your paternal line and who is matched through your maternal line.

      • tajma

        But would our relationship show ss 1st cousins or siblings

        • 23blog

          If should show as predicted half siblings or as another close relative.

  • Katherine

    I have a question about ancestral composition. I am female. Does the composition show both father and mother’s contributions? Thank you!

    • 23blog

      Yes it does, but we can’t identify what came from your mother and what came from your father without additional information. If one of your parents is tested then we can show a “split view” showing what came from each parent. Here’s a link to more information on ancestry composition’s split view: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202906820-Enabling-Split-View

  • Amy

    My biological father is no longer living, nor is my paternal grandfather. Dad had no brothers. I am one of four girls, so I have no brothers. I did my testing through 23 and Me before knowing that you can’t trace the paternal line if you don’t have DNA from the father, paternal uncle or brother. I assume there is absolutely no way for us to trace our paternal side?

    • 23blog

      Hi Amy,
      It’s true that you won’t be able to get information about your paternal haplogroup, but you can still learn a lot about your ancestry including your father’s ancestry.
      It will be harder to figure out what came from your father and what came from your mother, but your results reflects the contributions from both your parents. So your ancestry composition and the DNA Relative matches include contributions from both your mother and father.

      Haplogroups are one small part of your ancestry analysis. 23andMe provides you with information from all branches of your family tree using your autosomal DNA.

    • Trixanne

      If your paternal grandfather had any brothers and they had sons then you might be able to get your answer that way. Easiest way to think about it – any male cousins/second cousins/etc with your fathers last name? If so then they may be the link you need to find your paternal haplogroup. Try using your DNA to seek out relations with your fathers last name if you don’t know any yourself.

  • 23blog

    The answer is yes. Her Ancestry Composition would show contributions from both parents. The difficulty for women is that they can’t see their paternal line, so in looking at her ancestry composition it would be hard to figure out what contributions are from her mother and what are from her father.
    For more information on this go here: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-information-from-23andMe-

  • 23blog

    I’m not sure I’m following exactly what you’re asking but I’ll attempt to answer your question.
    Your paternal line traces your father’s,father’s father etc, while your maternal line traces your mother’s mother’s mother etc. What you’re asking about is your father’s mother’s father. You can’t really find your out about your dad’s maternal grandfather’s paternal line. However your DNA relatives matches and our ancestry composition results include all contributions on your family tree.
    Having your father test would improve your results and if he shared with you, you could learn about both his paternal and maternal line.
    Here’s more about paternal and maternal lines:https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202906930-What-is-a-paternal-haplogroup-

  • Holly Fischer

    Hi, my father and brothers are all deceased. My first cousin once removed is alive and willing to be tested to help me out. He was my father’s first cousin. Their fathers were brothers who shared the same father. Would this relationship give me the correct yDNA information. I am a member of 23andme. Thank you.

    • 23blog

      Hi Holly,
      The answer to your question is, yes. If he was your father’s first cousin and their fathers were brothers who shared the same father then they would have the same paternal haplogroup.

    • Jane

      Hi Holly – Im looking for a Holly that I have as a match on 23andme. If on the small chance its you .. please sign on and view our exciting results 🙂 I sent a message. Thanks!

  • 23blog

    Finding your maternal grandmother’s paternal line would require finding family on her paternal line. So if she had brothers then testing any of your cousins who are on that male line.

  • 23blog

    You will get matches from all branches of your family tree. The difference for women is that we cannot report their paternal haplogroup’s unless they have a male relative on their paternal line tested. This is because women have two X chromosomes instead of an X and a Y. The paternal haplogroup is traced through the Y chromosome, which women do not inherit.

  • Faith

    I have a question I hope someone will be able to answer … my father has passed on and I trying to find out if he is my biological father but both of his parents have died and he has no brothers but I found his aunt and she willing to do a DNA teat would I be able to find out that way or not ?

    • 23blog

      If your father’s sister is alive and she tests that would be one way to determine if he is your biological father. If he is then she would share about 25 percent DNA with you. If he is not your biological father you would not share any DNA with her.

  • 23blog

    A little bit more distant in terms of relation, but that could help you. This would be your great Aunt, correct? So the connection is through your father’s line. The only other consideration if you find that you do not share any DNA with her. First off, there are a few other potential “non-paternity events” that could explain why that is. In other words, perhaps the non-paternity has more to with her parentage than yours. And then there’s your father’s parents. Those are two points where the line connecting you to her could be broken. And of course there’s your father which is the other point where that connection could be broken.

  • 23blog

    If you both opt in to show close relatives and he is your biological father, then yes he will show up as your biological father.

  • Jasmine W

    I’m currently searching for my father and his family that I’ve never met. I don’t have any info about him or his family. Just curious, would it be easier for me to find my paternal linage if my mother tested also? If not, are there any other ways to go about it?

  • CeCeZee

    They have a saying in the black and mixed race community,you are what your father is. Regardless if you are male or female. Which I never liked that term. But now I will always say: Females have there mothers genes and boys have there fathers.

    • Sha-Sha Downing

      Boys have the genes of both their father and mother. Girls only have the genes of their mother.

      • 23blog

        That is not correct. Everyone inherits half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. What is different is that women do not inherit a Y chromosome from their father. So there is not a continuity in the paternal line of inheritance for girls. But daughters are a mix of both their mother’s and father’s DNA.

  • Maria Del Carmen Aguirre

    Hi, I wonder why do I have a paternal line?? It appears to be T, I don’t understand since I am a woman.

  • 23blog

    There’s some detailed information about this in our FAQs. Here’s a link: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-information-from-23andMe-

  • 23blog

    Hi Kitty,
    Your ancestry composition is a mix of 50 percent your father and 50 percent your mother. If you know about your mother’s ancestry and it was distinct from your father, you might be able to figure out more about the mix of your father’s ancestry.

  • subroo

    To be clear, if I do not have a sample from my father side of the family (Y) will what I get from his side be from his mother, and perhaps her mother etc? This is really disappointing because I was hoping to have questions answered from his side?

    • 23blog

      You will still get information about yourself that includes what you inherited from your father. So your mix of ancestry in the the Ancestry Composition will be the mix you inherit from both your mother and father. The issue is that it will be harder to identify what came from your mother and what came from your father. You will also still be connected to DNA relatives from both your maternal and paternal side of the family. But you will not be able to easily identify which side of the family those DNA Relatives come from unless you have some additional information that will help you. So for instance, if your mother and father had distinctly different ancestry, say one was Ashkenazi and the other had ancestry from the UK, that would help you figure out which side of the family a DNA Relative was from because you could see the ancestry of some of your matches. You could also look at geography and surnames that are included in your DNA Relative matches to help you figure that out.

  • 23blog

    Hi Rebecca,
    Either would be good, but having your father tested would allow for you to see specifically what came from your mother and what came from your father. It would also allow you to see your paternal haplogroup.

  • 23blog

    No because they do not share the same father so he and his half brother do not have the same paternal line. If he had a half brother with the same father you would.

  • 23blog

    I don’t think I can answer that. While 23andMe cannot make a paternal haplogroup assignment, we are able to match you with relatives on both your paternal and maternal line. In addition your ancestry composition includes both contributions from your mother and father. If your mother tested, you can see a split view and see which ancestry came from your mother and which came from your father. That might help you in your search for more information regarding your paternal line. You also may be able to infer information from some of those matches. Of course if you are able to have a male on your paternal line tested that would tell you what your paternal haplogroup is.

  • Margie Adams

    I’m trying to get mine and my husband’s sides. Will my son carry all of my side as well as his father’s?

    • 23blog

      Yes. I also want to make clear that while women do not see their paternal haplogroup, they do get matches from all sides of their family tree. In addition the traits and wellness results are also based on what they inherited from both the maternal and paternal sides. Just as your son gets 50 percent of his DNA from you and 50 percent from his father.

  • pavloz

    My mother passed away several years ago. The exact country origin of my mother’s biological father was something of a mystery – I was told he was visiting from another far northern country when my mother’s mother fell pregnant to him. I am one of her son’s and I have a sister. Can my DNA test give any indication of which haplogroup or region my biological grandfather originates from on my mother’s side?

    • 23blog

      Your test wouldn’t indicate your mother’s father’s haplogroup. That said your results would include your grandfather’s contribution – about a quarter of your DNA comes from him. If you know more about the ancestry of your other grandparents it may make it easier to learn about his ancestry simply by elimination. In addition you will find matches on all branches of your family tree. Those matches may also help you learn more about his background, but figuring out which of your matches come from him will take some work and the use of whatever you know about family surnames and geography.

      • pavloz

        Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it.

  • 23blog

    I think the key phrase in your query is “through simple means of deduction.” Yes you can infer your paternal line through deduction, but it is not always simple. To be able to do it you would need to have enough matches on your paternal side to make it clearer. It helps that your parents’ ancestry is so different – she’s has Northern European ancestry and he has Spanish and Puerto Rican ancestry.

  • Jody Waldo

    My dad died at 46, my only brother died in 2009, and there are no male cousins or uncles left on my paternal side, either. My brother does have a son, though. Could my nephew’s DNA be used to trace my paternal side? I’m thinking it could, but would like to know for sure before asking him. Thanks!

    • 23blog

      Hi Jody,
      Yes, you’re brother’s son could be used to identify your paternal haplogroup. He would share that with his father, your brother, and your father.

      • Jody Waldo

        Thank you for that confirmation!

  • Margie

    My father is deceased…he had one brother, also deceased (never married). I do not have a brother…all sisters.I have sent in my sample to 23andme….just waiting for the results. Is it possible to have forensic DNA testing done? I have an old watch which would have my father’s DNA on it. If I were to have testing done at a private facility, could you use this for DNA Ancestry testing? I would really like to trace my father’s line as we know nothing of that side of our family.

    • 23blog

      Hi Margie,
      We get asked this question quite a bit and the answer is no. We do not take samples other than from spit, and more importantly our process and terms of service are for individuals to submit their own DNA.

  • 23blog

    Hi Steph,
    First off, DNA Relatives will be able to connect you to individuals who you are related to on all branches of your family tree. But to find your paternal grandmother’s “paternal haplogroup “and your maternal grandfather’s haplogroups may be a challenge without being able to test individuals who are on that line. Just to repeat however, that doesn’t mean you will not be connected to cousins who are related to you on those lines. It will just mean that it will be harder to see how you are related.
    Your paternal haplogroup goes from father to son through generations largely unchanged. Because women do not inherit a y chromosome they can’t see what that paternal haplogroup is unless someone on that line is tested. Both men and women get their maternal haplogroup from their mothers.
    So to answer you questions the way to find your paternal grandmother’s “maternal haplogroup” would be to have your father tested or one of his siblings tested. But finding her “paternal haplogroup” would require testing a male relative on her paternal side – if she had a brother or a brother’s son.
    The other question was related to your maternal grandfather’s side. Again this would require you identifying if you have male relatives on your maternal grandfather’s line. You can learn a little more about this by going to this link:

  • 23blog

    Your results do reflect your father’s DNA contribution. So you will get DNA Relatives on from both sides of your family tree. In addition your traits and the ancestry composition reflects contributions from both your mother and father. What you don’t see is your paternal haplogroup. In addition it will be harder to discern which matches come from your mother’s side and which from your father’s side. Here’s a link explaining some of this: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-information-from-23andMe-

  • Candice Nugent

    Does not having a Y chromosome change your ancestry composition results?

    • 23blog

      Hi Candice,
      No. Your ancestry composition consists of contributions from both your father and mother, but it may be a little harder to figure out your paternal haplogroup.

  • Sarah Adjani

    i only want to find the ethnicity of my father who died recently , as i have no idea where he came from (my mothers would be 100% British)- can I take the test myself or do I need my half brother (same father) to do it? I am looking for recent ethnicity- I don’t really need to go back to the neanderthals!!

    • 23blog

      You will see your own ancestry composition, which reflects the contribution from your mom and your dad. If you know your mother’s ancestry, and your father’s ancestry is different from her’s, than you will very easily see what comes from your mother and your father. But for that to be easy to see your father’s ancestry will have to be very distinct from your mother’s ancestry. If they both have ancestry that is from the UK, than it would be very hard to discern any difference. But if say your father had Eastern or Southern European ancestry, or Scandanavian ancestry or African ancestry, that would show up in your ancestry composition and you’d be able to see that.
      To make it easier, if you’ve had your mother tested and are sharing with her, you can see your ancestry composition as a split view. That will break out the ancestry you got from your mother from the ancestry you got from father.
      Also, although you don’t have to have your half brother tested, if he has tested, and you are sharing with him, you can compare your ancestry to his and see where you overlap. That overlap is the ancestry that you both received from your father, and it would be another way for you to identify your father’s ancestry.

  • 23blog

    I encourage you to visit our page on haplogroups at https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-information-from-23andMe-. This should help answer your question.

  • jacalicasa

    Since 23andMe traces 2 branches of a man’s family tree but only one branch of a woman’s ancestry, are women charged half-price?.

    • 23blog

      Hi Jacalicasa,
      We actually look at all branches of your family tree no matter if you area a man or a woman. In the case of women we cannot assign paternal haplogroup. That doesn’t mean we do not look at matches on the paternal side. We also report out their ancestry contribution based on contributions from both their mother and father. The only difference is that women don’t receive a Y chromosome from their dads so we cannot assign their paternal haplogroup. You can learn more about the differences between result for male and female customers here: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000

  • 23blog

    No testing your son would not tell you your paternal haplogroup. However you do get DNA Relative matches from your father’s side of the family. It’s just harder to identify which of your matches are on the maternal or paternal side. You can use other information that you have either about your dad ancestry – especially what was different from your mother’s ancestry – to help you identify which matches come from your dad. For more information about the differences between male and female customers go here: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000

  • Jana Robert Salsbury

    I am trying to decipher my Maternal grandfather’s DNA. My oldest brother, my Mother and I have all tested and the only ancestors I’ve located are my Mom’s maternal side both Maternal & Paternal and and both Maternal/Paternal sides for my father. However my Maternal grandfather’s information or lack of has me stymied. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  • wc711

    I have native American ancestry on both my mother and father’s side, but it is in my mother’s paternal line and my father’s maternal line. Will any native American markers show up in my DNA results? I am a male. There are no living males I know of on my mother’s paternal side.

  • 23blog

    Hi LeAnne,
    Our test currently costs $199, which sounds like it is out of your budget. But I’ll try to address what you are asking. Your 23andMe results, what we use to determine your DNA Relatives, your Ancestry Composition results, your health and trait reports, and many other features are all a reflection of the DNA you inherited from both your mother and your father. So when you look at your results, you are seeing the contributions from both your parents. But since men and women have different sex chromosomes, there are some small differences in the information men and women will receive. For example, since women have two X chromosomes instead of an X and a Y, 23andMe does not directly provide paternal haplogroup assignments for women. The paternal haplogroup is traced through the Y chromosome, which women do not inherit. If you have a male relative on your paternal line, an uncle and nephew who is on that line, and they have been genotyped you would be able to infer your own paternal haplogroup information from his.

  • Alice Jones

    So does your testing for women include My deceased fathers line at all? I have already had my mitochondrial dna tested. And I wanted to have a better idea from my fathers side of my family also. So which test would include both sides?

  • 23blog

    All of your results for traits, ancestry and DNA relatives are informed by all sides of your family tree. What may be difficult for you to figure out is which matches come from your paternal side. This is because as a woman you do not inherit Y from your father. You will still see relatives from your paternal side and you will still see traits you inherited from your father and ancestry that came from your father. It’s just harder to discern what came from your mother and what came from your father’s side.

  • 23blog

    Hi Maggie,
    First off 23andMe is not a paternity test, but if your sister is the half sister of the man you think you would be able to see that in her results based on what you’re suggesting. If the woman who is the daughter of the man you think is your sister’s father, your sister’s results would show that they are half sisters. You could further check this information by looking at the DNA you share with your sister.

  • 77anteater

    I know this has been asked plenty of times, but does 23andme have any plans on ever updating paternal haplogroup names?

    • 23blog

      Yes we do.

  • 23blog

    I’m not exactly sure what you’re referring to, but in case there’s a misunderstanding I thought I’d mention a few things. While female customers do not get a paternal haplogroup assignment, they are matched to DNA relative matches from both their paternal and maternal side.

  • sandrala

    I had my brother’s Y-DNA tested through FamilyTreeDNA long ago. He and Dad are now deceased. Can I use his test to compare with my 23andMe test?

    • 23blog

      You can look at his paternal haplogroup assignment to help figure that out. The one caveat is that haplogroup names have changed quite a bit, so you’d need to look at that carefull and see how it matches up with the naming conventions 23andMe uses. But that shouldn’t be too hard. To truth check it you can then look at your DNA Relative matches and see if you get clustering of relatives with similar paternal haplogroup assignments.

  • Rhe

    Should I have my brother take the test instead of myself so both maternal & paternal show up? Will it change any of the other test? I want specific information for myself (female) but also want to test my Dads side. Sorry if you’ve already answered this, I’m confused.

    • 23blog

      Hi Rhe,
      If you want to learn just about your maternal and paternal haplogroups then that would be one way to do it, but that won’t be so helpful for you personally. While you share with your brother the same set of relatives and you share the same maternal and paternal lines, what you was passed down to you from your parents is different. You both inherit 50 percent of your DNA from your mom and from your dad, just not the same 50 percent. So, for instance, your ancestry breakdown will be slightly different. The traits you inherited will be different and health and wellness results would be different. As to the ancestry results, the list of DNA relatives will also be mostly the same, particularly for close relatives. The difference is that it will be a little easier for your brother to identify which of his DNA relatives are on your father’s side of the family and which are on your mother’s side. Here’s more information on the differences in results for men and women: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-ancestry-information-from-23andMe-

  • 23blog

    That is kind of hard to follow, but if the adopted daughter has tested and you have tested and you find that you are related that would would indicate a good possibility that your grandfather was her biological father. But to prove that would be very difficult.

  • 23blog

    Hi Julia,
    If her father had Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (Eastern European) and passed that down to her, she will be able to see this. Here is a link to more information about detecting Jewish ancestry: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/212170398-Can-23andMe-identify-Jewish-ancestry-

  • 23blog

    You do not spit into the same tube. A woman who has had a male on her paternal line – her dad, brother or father’s brother, etc. – can have that relative tested to learn about her paternal haplogroup.

  • 23blog

    Hi R Darby,
    What you are suggesting won’t work because it’s not just a male relative that needs to be tested, but a male relative on your paternal line. So that would mean your father, his brother or brothers or their sons, or your father’s father. If none of that is available to you, there are ways to infer your paternal haplogroup, but to do that you need to triangulate with other information. So for instance if your father had some distinctly different ancestry from your mother, you could then look at your DNA relative matches to find individuals with that ancestry. That would help you determine relatives who you are related to through your father.
    I might suggest that you go to our help section or the community forums. Here is a link that may be helpful for you: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-ancestry-information-from-23andMe-

  • 23blog

    Your results, all your results, reflect the contributions from both your mother and your father. So your DNA Relative matches, the individuals in the database with whom you are related will reflect that. The difference for women is that they have no Y chromosome, so it is not easy to identify if your matches are on your maternal or paternal side. So you would to infer some of that information. So for example if your birth mother was of Italian ancestry, but your birth father had no Italian ancestry than it would be easier to figure out that the DNA Relative matches you get with Italian ancestry are more likely on your mother’s side. The others would more likely be on your father’s side. You can use other kinds of information that you might have, geographic locations, surnames, etc to help you in your search. Here’s a link to more information about this topic: https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202908000-Do-men-and-women-receive-different-ancestry-information-from-23andMe-