Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2008-02 > 1203119995

From: marianne dillow <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] FTDNA accidentally detects my baby's y-chromosome in myFGS test!
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 15:59:55 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>

Thanks for posting your story. I for one found it informative and amusing. Now, I am wondering what haplogroup you really are. LOL !
I hope you tell us when you find out. :)

Marianne Dillow

Asparagirl <> wrote:
I just received a very funny phone call from Eileen Krause, the
quality assurance manager at -- and that's "funny"
as in both "funny ha-ha" *and* "funny weird".

I was an early FTDNA customer and had been placed in mtDNA haplogroup
H2* waaaay-back-when. At the time, I thought this was a bit odd,
since I'm Ashkenazic, my documented direct-maternal line goes back to
Warsaw before 1800, and yet nearly all of my mtDNA matches in the
FTDNA database were Scots-Irish. But I wrote it off to a hypothesis
that the large Scots trader presence in Poland and the Baltics in the
16th-18th centuries had given me an ancestress who converted to
Judaism, even though that seemed unlikely. Plus, haplogroup H2 (with
no asterisk) does have a decent presence in the Middle East -- I think
I've read it's about 10%? -- so maybe it even predated my many
Scottish matches.

In any case, last year I finally decided to upgrade my results to the
full sequence mtDNA test. However, after several months of waiting
for the results, FTDNA mailed me a C/D kit (i.e. a third and fourth
sample collection) and said they needed to re-run the tests. I
figured this was simply because in the 2+ years since I submitted my
original sample kit, the DNA had been all extracted for use in the
various other tests that have been run, such as the autosomal tests,
and they just needed a fresh set of spit.

But even months after having mailed back my C/D kit to FTDNA, no
results were coming in, and the note in my "Pending Lab Results" tab
still said that they were awaiting my C/D kit to be returned. Larry
Mayka wrote about this very problem on this listserve a week or two
ago; I was one of the two members in his Polish project to whom he was

A few minutes ago, I got a call on my cellphone from Eileen at FTDNA.
She confirmed that the lab had indeed finally processed my C/D test
kit and sheepishly mentioned that they were having two different
problems with my mtDNA samples:

1) The mtDNA in all four test kits (A, B, C, D) all matched each
other; however, the sequence was not in haplogroup H2* -- or indeed,
in haplogroup H at all! Apparently, the original test results,
way-back-when, were labeled by hand -- and apparently mis-labeled at
that. Oops! I don't know what my correct mtDNA haplogroup
designation is, but she said I should be finding out in a few days
time. I guess that means that someone else out there, another early
customer *should* be in H2*, but isn't, and doesn't know it. That's a
bit troubling, but I presume they're currently trying to figure out
whose sample results got switched with mine. (If you're an early
FTDNA customer with Scots-Irish maternal heritage but inexplicable
mtDNA matches to Ashkenazic Jews, maybe it's really you?)

AND, on to the more interesting discovery....

2) Eileen hesitantly mentioned to me that they had found a
y-chromosome during the FGS test. After an initial "uh?" reaction, I
realized "oh! I was pregnant when I sent back in the C/D kit!" And
indeed, I was about seven or eight months pregnant with my son when I
sent it back to them; he was born in November, 2007 and is my first
child. She sounded very surprised, but relieved, to hear the
explanation. I guess the guys in the lab were worried either that
they were dealing with seriously mis-labeled test kits, or that I was
a woman with an undiagnosed case of AIS (i.e. looks female but is XY),
or that there was fraud in the testee information, or God knows what
must have been going through their poor minds. In any case, both my
husband and my son already have their own test kits on file with FTDNA
(yeah, I swabbed 'em), so if the lab wants to, I'm sure they can
confirm that this was indeed my son's DNA that they accidentally
picked up in my spit sample. Cool, huh?

Note that it has been known for a few years now that you can pick up a
faint y-chromosome (or rather, a few XY cells) inside a woman's blood
if she is pregnant with a son; it's the same process by which some of
the new super-early baby gender determination tests work, one of which
is even sold online as a (somewhat controversial) home test kit. But
since the average age of female genealogists is more likely to be in
the grandmother age range than my first-time-mom age range, it's not
surprising that the FTDNA lab hadn't seen this before.

I just found the whole thing amusing, and thought you all might too. :-)

- Brooke Schreier Ganz
Los Angeles, California (currently on vacation in Boca Raton, Florida)

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