Y DNA question #dna

Carole Brewster

I am female & have 3 sisters. How can I find relatives on my paternal side, especially possible half sibling?
I do have a son & nephews; would their DNA give me that info? Thanks for any explanation.
Carole Brewster
Delray Beach, FL

Alicia Weiss

Carol, Males inherit their Y chromosome from their fathers; that is
why this test is helpful for trancing the paternal line. Therefore,
your son's Y chromosome was inherited from his father, so will not be
helpful in tracing your paternal line, Similarly, as your nephews are
presumably the children of your sisters, they also inherited their
Y-chromosomes from their fathers.

If your father had brothers who had sons, these male first cousins (on
your paternal side) would be candidates for Y testing.

However, a Y-chromosome test alone will not allow you to identify
potential half-siblings, but in combination with an autosomal DNA test
would be helpful.

Good luck,
Alicia Weiss

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Your best bet, whatever sex, is to do an autosomal DNA test. This will test all branches of your ancestral tree, and find you lots of possible cousins (as Jews are all related, Ancestry gives me 197,000 5th - 8th cousins).
Y-DNA and mt-DNA test only the all male or all female line. However, since they don't crossover at meiosis, they don't change over many centuries. You won't find many cousins, but you will find out, in code of course, who your ancestor, maybe 1,000 or more years ago.
Sally Bruckheimer

Eva Lawrence

As I understand it, every woman inherits DNA from their father as well as from their mother in equal proportions (the double helix).  So people you share DNA with are just as likely to be relatives on your father's side as on your mother's.  Each gene consists of many chromosome-pairs  One of each pair comes from  the father, the other from the mother. Different human characteristics are influenced by different chromosome-pairs on the gene  but only one particular  pair  determines the sex of the child.  It's only this single chromosome .pair that can have a male-type Y chromosome which has to be passed on from the father and acts like a gender switch. .  The same pair could well have an X-type chromosome from the father as well as from the mother, and result in a female child.  So you and your three sisters have as many chromosomes from your father as from your mother and  share DNA with your father's side of the family too,  even half-siblings.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Sarah L Meyer

Look for first or second cousins that are sons of your father or grandfather's brothers.  Make sure that you only follow the male line.  My father had no brothers, but his father had two of them.  Each of those brothers had sons, and their sons had sons.  I tested two male second cousins and learned one was a 1/2 second cousin.  Yes I  would definitely also test yourself with the autosomal and your male cousins on the paternal side.  
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania



  Autosomal DNA is the way to go in this case.  You inherit 50% from
mom and 50% from dad.   You will match people on both sides. Jewish
autosomal DNA tends to be fairly challenging.  But top matches down to
about 2nd cousin level should still all be fairly accurate.  Beyond that
it gets very challenging to work with.

If you want to explore deep ancestry, YDNA can be helpful, but you would
need a male direct line descendant of your father's line. If he had no
daughters, you could look to his brothers, or their sons.  Or his
father's brothers and their sons, etc.

If you wish to explore YDNA, there are 2 free webinars by UGA that I am
teaching. One was the end of last month, and should be posted any day
and be free for a week, the 2nd is the 4th Tue this month and is free
live (and hopefully for a week after it is posted. )

  I admin a Jewish YDNA haplogroup project. If you wish more help in
that arena feel free to ask questions!

Vivs Laliberte

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Stephen Weinstein

Short answer:

Your full brother's son's DNA would.  Your son's DNA or your sister's son's DNA would not.  Your paternal half-brother's son's DNA would.  Your maternal half-brother's DNA would not.

Long answer:

Your son's DNA would help for finding his father's relatives, but would not help for finding any of your relatives whom you could not find with your own DNA.  His Y DNA would not help at all for finding your relatives, because it comes only from his father.  If your DNA was not available to test, then his regular DNA would help with finding your relatives, because half of it is from you, but it would help only to find relatives whom you would also find with your own DNA, and you are more likely to find them with your DNA than his, since he has only half of your regular DNA.

Similarly, your sisters' sons' DNA, would help for finding THEIR fathers' relatives, but their Y-DNA would not help you find YOUR father's relatives.

However, your brother's sons' DNA would help for finding your brother's father's relatives.  If your brother is either your full brother (same father as you and same mother as your) or your paternal half-brother (same father, different mother), then these would be your paternal relatives.  If your brother is your maternal half-brother (same mother, different father), then these would not be your relatives.


1) In the Torah, Abraham says that Sarah is his father's daughter or granddaughter (but not his mother's); therefore, Sarah could learn about the relatives of Terah (her father or grandfather) by testing the DNA of Isaac (her son and also the son of Terah's son Abraham), if DNA testing had been invented.  However, it would be no more useful than testing the DNA of Ishmael (the son of Abraham and Hagar, another woman, whom we will assume is not related to Sarah).  The same would apply today.  Similarly, if a woman's father is also her sister's sons' father, then DNA testing them would be useful, but only as useful as if she was not related to their mother.

2) There are rare cases of a person being born anatomically female, but with a Y chromosome.  The person appears to be a normal female (or even slightly less masculine than a typical woman) and often does not find out that they have a Y chromosome.  If your son is adopted, then there is a remote chance that you might have Y DNA that could be tested.  However, a person with this condition is not able to have biological children.  (They don't have ovaries or a properly functioning uterus.)  If you gave birth to your son (whether with your own eggs or donor eggs) or used a surrogate with your eggs, then you definitely don't have Y DNA.  (Finally, a transgender person who was born male, but now self-identifies as female, would still have sufficient Y DNA to have it tested and would not need to use the DNA of a male relative.)