I am from Japan and I have been trying to identify my great-grandfather who was British. For more background these are two questions that I have asked here previously:

I have now taken a Family Finder DNA test (Autosomal DNA) but the results appear not to give any hints that will help me to identify my great-grandfather.

The DNA test says that I have a male cousin in Denmark and that this is three to five generations ago. However, I have not been able to make contact with him.

So three people were related to me. One Japanese man, one Japanese woman and Danish man. The two Japanese are more than 5 generations, while the Danish man is from 3 to 5 generation.

If the ancestors of this Danish man become known to me I think it will be very useful.

Is there another DNA test that I should take?

I did a Autosomal / Family Finder test of FamilyTree DNA.

I was matched with 3 people in FamilyTreeDNA. One person in the Danish, two people after is Japanese.

We'll explain the research that I have done. My great-grandfather was in Kobe of Japan in the 1890s. He was officially married and great-grandmother. However, I do not know his name.

As denoted in my other questions in addition to DNA testing I have... 1. I examined the foreigners who lived from the late 1880s until 1900 in Kobe. 2. So, I found a person who continued to live after that. 3. The person was Cecil Zohrab Ede. 4. I ordered the materials of Ede in Archives of the United Kingdom. As a result he was found to have died in Shanghai in 1901. And, he is a bachelor, his property his father has received. 5. I have heard that the great-grandmother went abroad with her husband. 6. So I examined the record of the boarding of the ship. And, I found that in 1893 Mr and Mrs Ede rode to the ship. 7. Because I cannot identify the great-grandfather in the record only, I was asked to test the FamilyTree DNA. When Ede brother offspring relationship if the registration is found I thought.

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    This question is not very clear. Try posting in a bullet format the information you have, as succinct as you can make it. Post as much information as you have, including names (Of deceased people), locations, dates, and what you have found so far. Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:42
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    @Akira Can you please clarify which DNA test you had performed. I also do not follow your statement about a cousin in Denmark. It sounds like you may have done an Autosomal DNA (Ancestry, 23andMe, FamilyFinder), but that is not clear. These tests are not crystal clear and usually require additional work and sorting out. It is RARE to have a clear result. Can you please clarify 1) What DNA test you did and with what service 2) The statement about the people in Denmark, were they a match? 3) Where you are located 4) Remove anything not directly related your DNA question.
    – CRSouser
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 17:08
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    I do not understand "Should I ask the other DNA test?" Do you have more than one match? Are you considering transferring your results to another company like FamilyTree DNA?
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 23:17
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    When referencing a DNA test, can you please state at minimum what test you both did as just saying DNA is not very helpful. Please references this [Q&A for some tips] (meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/2043/…) on how to communicate DNA test info.
    – CRSouser
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


There are several things unclear in the original question's content but to answer the core question of "Finding my Great-Grandfather when Autosomal DNA test not conclusive?" based on a Family Finder Autosomal DNA test.

This is a incorrect statement;

"I have now taken a Family Finder DNA test (Autosomal DNA) but the results appear not to give any hints that will help me to identify my great-grandfather."

Every single one of your matches on FamilyTreeDNA or any other service is a hint as to his identity; either a positive or negative hint as this test will contain matches from all sides of your ancestry.. it is just understanding the results and working with them.

There are a few core things you should do:

  1. Work to understand your autosomal (FamilyFinder) DNA results better and the associated tools available for them. From your original question it appears you need to understand the different levels of matching that FamilyTreeDNA and other services provided in the shared cM information; a great reference is ISOGG's Autosomal Statistics page.. The information supplied implies you may even be jumping to a conclusion based on a loose match as saying someone is "a match" from any service is almost useless without understanding the depth of relationship and shared cM values then you need a paper trail to support it. I highly doubt you only have 3 matches, as all 40+ kits I manage have in excess of 75 pages of matches at different levels. I personally focus on matches high score matches which others living today you would probably share about 100-300 shared cM (as your g-gfather you would share 850) if they also descended from him, and less so if they are descended from someone further back. Beyond 50cMs I find it very difficult to prove without good supporting documentation.

Instructions on how to understand Autosomal DNA results are in multiple languages or Google Translate can be used. I would also highly suggest reviewing other and tag'd questions on this site, in particular this one.

  1. Transfer your FamilyTreeDNA results to GEDMATCH.com. It is extremely easy to do and FREE. This will give you more results and enable people to contact you.

  2. Ancestry does not take transfers, so also test also with AncestryDNA.com (it is the same Autosomal test as FamilyTreeDNA's FamilyFinder effectively) and upload everything you know about your tree to your tree and make it public. This will enable their auto-matching tree service and enable people to contact you.

  3. The core additional tests you can take is the Y-DNA Y-67/Y-111 (do not bother taking a test below Y-67 as they are vague and not as conclusive) IF it is your PATERNAL great grandfather you are looking for. It will provide no value for your maternal grandfather. The Y-111 test will give you a clear less open to interpretation result on your relationship to other test takers. The catch is you may have to wait years to get a match.. I took my first Y test in 2008 and am still awaiting a match at Y-67 or above.

  4. Pair all DNA testing with traditional genealogy work and do not jump to conclusions.

  5. DNA tests, especially autosomal DNA, just became popular in the last three or so years and the number of people testing is still relatively small compared to the world population and its diversity. There are also multiple testing services to consider and the result sets are not automatically shared between them. DNA testing is also probably most popular and convenient in the US and their result sets are concentrated to the US population but that is slowly changing.

So the key point is here.. you need to understand the results you have (See #1), increase the number of matches (#2 & #3), pair DNA testing with traditional genealogy work & documentation (#4), then consider additional testing by adding the Y-111 (#5), and finally be patient and check your result sets regularly through understanding of them focus your energy on results that matter to your specific question and exercising patience where appropriate to avoid jumping to conclusions. (#6)

  • The great answer!!! Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 10:41

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