I just downloaded a list of matches from FTDNA on the chromosome browser view so that I could sort the segments by chromosome and position. I saw that the list includes tiny segments, so I filtered to include only segments over 10cM before sorting. Googling how FTDNA determines matches, I see that whenever two people share a segment over 9cM they are considered a match (and sometimes even when the longest matching segment is shorter). Thus, every person in my filtered spreadsheet should be in the list of matches.

However, for quite a few of the listed names of my matches, when I search the surname in FTDNA no person shows as a match. There separation between the download and the search is just a few minutes, so these people aren't somehow removing their accounts in the intervening time.

What's going on here?

  • If you download your matches from the link at the bottom of the matches page, do all the people in your filtered spreadsheet show up? – lkessler Aug 24 '18 at 20:33
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    At first glance, yes. The first bunch of people that were in the spreadsheet of matching segments but didn't show up in a search of matches do show up in a search of the downloaded list of matches. – Barry Aug 24 '18 at 20:57

There does appear to be something wrong with the Family Tree DNA search.

To prove it, I go to the last page, page 570 of my search results, where all the people are matching with only 20 cM and longest block 9 cM.

enter image description here

Now I pick someone on that page with a likely unique last name, e.g. this person with last name Presbury, and enter it into the search box, and I get this:

enter image description here

Searching for other people from that last page give me the same result.

But if I go to page 500 of my matches and search for someone who shares 41 cM with longest block 11 cM, they do show up properly in the search results.

You might want to report this problem to Family Tree DNA so that they can fix it.

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  • Thanks. I signed up for the forums and I'll ask about it there. – Barry Aug 25 '18 at 22:48
  • The person in your example profile has an icon that suggests this is a female. Could the username include a married name, and that's why it doesn't show up in the surname search? – Jan Murphy Aug 27 '18 at 16:15
  • @Jan, no, the search is supposed to be both for the person's name and for surnames. – lkessler Aug 27 '18 at 16:42
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    Jim Bartlett told me a workaround that works, so I'll post it as a second answer – Barry Sep 4 '18 at 12:10

This bug was reported to FTDNA some time ago. Until it is fixed, there a workaround that seems to work very well:

Type in just the first few letters of the surname into the search field.

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