I have been researching my Maltese paternal line for a long time now, and fortunately due to one of my distant ancestors being upper class, my genealogy is well documented up until the around 1490, when my 14th great grandfather married.

He was a Knight, possibly of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and there is no birth record for him in Malta and this was an interesting time in Maltese history with many people coming from mainland Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Sicily to repopulate the island after it was retaken from the Arabs.

My surname is of uncertain etymology and it would be fascinating to find out where my paternal ancestor came from before he migrated to Malta, or whether he was part of the pre-replacement population.

I want to take a YDNA test that will help me see whether relatives with variants of the surname exist in other parts of Southern Europe and also where my subclade / subsubclade is most common and therefore most likely to have originated from.

Family Tree DNA offer a test for 37, 111 or 700 STRs. Which one of these will likely be best value for money for my purposes?

  • 1
    Have you searched for a One-Name Study or existing Y-DNA project for your surname?
    – Jan Murphy
    Mar 8, 2020 at 6:05
  • @JanMurphy My surname is Apap. This link says that 9 people with my surname have done DNA tests familytreedna.com/groups/malta/surnames/A
    – Charlie
    Mar 8, 2020 at 11:32
  • @JanMurphy though it is my understanding you have to do a DNA test to see their results.
    – Charlie
    Mar 8, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Family Tree DNA offer a test for 37, 111 or 700 STRs. Which one of these will likely be best value for money for my purposes?

I believe that all of them will be non-informative. I'll explain. The thing is that you may pass as precise and expensive test as you can afford, but it won't magically generate any DNA matches. It only depends on your luck. For example, I have 0 Y-DNA 111 matches, only 4 Y-DNA 67 matches and dozens of matches of lower level. In fact, two of four matched from Y-DNA67 are my relatives, but I could not never guess it because of relatively great genetic distance. What really helped - is the FGC Y-Elite 2.0 test with the YFull interpretation (or you may choose analogue from FTDNA called BIG-Y) - it placed me onto the sole Y-tree and with the every new person who pass the test my position is recalculated and more specified. So I concluded that my paternal line takes it's roots from Vikings/Varangians. I'll be glad to make the same test for my two matches to get more precious information but they can't afford it because of really high price. And according to Y-tree that we have with the closest relative (who passed the test too) common ancestor who lived 2900 YEARS BEFORE. This information is really funny, but have no practical value, because there is no confirmed paper trail. You may imagine how popular full genome tests must become to fill this gap....

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.