HELP!!! FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Did you get DNA testing done?

Yes. Got it done with FamilyTreeDNA >>>
-Join the Smith DNA project (Official-All Locations) at FamilyTreeDNA, (we are the official Smiths Project at FamilyTreeDNA for ALL geographical locations) . After you join, Marieand Deb will be sent an email letting us know you are a member of the project. What you need to do is send your direct line Smith descent to us. We will then send you back the link so you can add or edit the info.If you already are in a project, here's how to login to FTDNA and join Smiths.[/*]

Yes. Tested ydna for Smith with Ancestry, Sorenson, Relative Genetics, Oxford Ancestors, Genebase, DNA Heritage, Genetree, Genographics, DNA-Fingerprint? >>>>
Enter your markers here or do a YDNA transfer and then send us your family line (to so we can list it in the forum.[/*]

Yes. Test mtDNA or Family Finder. Join the Smiths project (Smiths Official All at FTDNA) and then send us your direct family line, from the earliest Smith/Schmidt/Smythe etc for which you have a source, directly down to you, including spouses and locations. (You may use this form if you like)

No. Do you want to get DNA testing done? Are you a direct line Smith male of this line? That is, your last name is Smith/Schmidt/Smyth/Smythe or you know someone who can represent you? Consider taking the Y-DNA test (FamilyTreeDNA) to help find connections and potential matches with others
Join FamilyTreeDNA[/*]

NO. I have Smiths and want to add my Smiths tree and also post my Most Wanteds but nothing to do with DNA now.H
ere is the Google Plus Smiths Community. You can post about your Most Wanted, add your line to Roll Call. You may also post on the Smith DNA GuestbookYou can also register on TNG (the family tree part) , for inclusion on TNG; you need to send us your tree so we can assign you to a branch and okay your registration . You do not have to be logged on to read TNG.

If you have questions, email



What about Family Information? Forum vs Tree

We are transitioning the tree information to a new program to make it easy to add pedigree, family info, and do it collaboratively, including seeing some wonderful charts. The old forums will remain, including forum 5, which is the Family Lines and Information forum, at least for the time being, but be read only

If you did testing through FamilyTreeDNA...

Login to FamilyTreeDNA using your FTDNA supplied logon name and password

You will then be at myFTDNA

On the right hand side of the menu, look for the My Account menu. Right above it you might see a message that you have not uploaded your gedcom file yet and a link to upload it. OR you can look in My Account for for Gedcom/FamilyTree link and follow the instructions there.

When FTDNA talks about a combined gedcom, they are simply saying that instead of having one Gedcom for, say,your YDNA and another for mtDNA, just make a gedcom for your line that includes both paternal and maternal and upload it.

When you upload it, it will be available only within FTDNA and not visible to the public.


With so many members, it's simply not only not possible to put everything on one page but also not desirable since that page would scroll forever. Instead, because there is so much information, we have provided forms to look up kits, hyperlinks, and search utilities. So think of the DNA Kit # as your key to finding all information about your DNA and your line.

IF YOU HAVE A SMITH DNA KIT, the first thing to do to find your information is to look on just about every page directly below the green menu for the form that says KIT # with a Search button directly to its right. Type in your kit number and press SEARCH.



 That will take you to what I call an index page that is a starter page for everything about your kit. You will see your haplogroup, the matched grouping you are in (IF you have matched at least one kit at some level more than 12 markers)  then an envelope for being contacted (Contact This Kit) , a tree that leads to your family information,  a pedigree icon IF here is one. In the right hand column you will see your haplogroup, Terminal SNP (if listed), and your markers. Underneath that, to compare your markers with others in the same haplogroup, you will see a Compare Markers link and IF you match in a group, a couple of group link reports.  If you have supplied a photo of an early Smith ancestor, you will also see it on the page. All the icons are hyperlinked, meaning you just have to click them to get to that part of the site. IF YOU GET LOST, you can always go put in your kit number in the search forum and get back to that page.

Although more tedious, you can also look at the DNA reports and find your kit, perhaps sorted by kit #, or lookup up by haplogroup (for a list of ALL the DNA reports, look in the black menu towards the top of the page for the DNA Reports item. Again, with so many people in the project, you might be going through quite a few pages before you come to your kit, so we suggest you always find your information much more easily with the Search for Kit # form located under the black menu at the top of most pages.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SMITH DNA KIT, and wish to look simply for Smiths/Schmidts/Smyths. etc, go to the TNG side of the site and search for your surname.

Rest assured that Marie and I get emailed at the same time that you do about your results. When you get them, you can go login to FamilyTreeDNA using the credentials FTDNA gave you. That will bring you to myFTDNA page, where, on the right hand side you will see information such as YDNA or mtDNA matches, Haplogroup explanations, etc.

When Marie or Deb get a chance we put the markers up here so that they will show in the reports we have created. Bear in mind that Smiths DNA is a volunteer project, so if the email comes out at 8:00 at night, we aren't necessarily going to see it until we read our emails again. That might be right away or might be a few days, depending on what else is going on. We always, however, endeavor to do it as soon as we can. If you think that we are neglecting them and it's been a little while, please do send an email to

There are 2 places you can compare markers. One is on the FamilyTreeDNA website, after logging on using the credentials FamilyTreeDNA sent you when you joined. Depending on which type of match you are looking for, you can go to mtDNA/FamilyFinder or YDNA matches. For YDNA matches, you can either look at the entire database for matches or choose to look within projects you have joined. Likewise, if you would like to *filter* your results so that you only see the ones that have the surname Smith, you can. FamilyTreeDNA will send you out an email when you have some type of match in their entire set of members. That may or may not be the Smith surname, your results might include a lot of people from all over the map with various surnames. You can contact the people from this matching screen at FTDNA if the person has decided to show his or her email.
For the Smith Official DNA project, we also have matching on the site. When we are informed by FTDNA that results are in, we put them up on the site, where we have some custom reports. You can see the comparison report on the page on the Smith site where your kit is. You can find that kit from most pages by doing a search for it. You can also find it on reports where kits are listed. The icon for it looks like this.  The comparison report is a conservative report that compares people within the Smith project on the site-that can also include members who tested with vendors other than FTDNA. The comparison is always done using FTDNA's methodology and uses the haplogroup as the common identifier to sort kits by (So, if you are an R1b, you will not be compared against I2b) . Here is an example of the comparison report that compares against the haplogroup, ie, EVERYONE who has a haplogroup like this at Smiths. You can see how a kit compares and to what extent. Kits that don't match at all are left off this report. If a member has been matched into a group. there will also be two more reports, one a modal group report and one a comparison group report. The first looks within the group and finds the *modal* for each value, creates a modal baseline and then compares the kits against that baseline. The icon for matched groups is this. What is a modal? It's simply the value that there is more of in a given field. Suppose you have marker DYS393 and 4 people have a value of "13" and 3 people have a value of "14". Because there are more "13" than "14", the modal will be 13. This is useful for seeing patterns where given kits deviate from the baseline but the modal is not significant beyond that. Why not? Because the numbers are always subject to change based on who happens to be in that grouping at any given time. Suppose, as in my example above, that 2 more people join the group today and the value of their marker DYS393 is 14. Then there would be 4 people with "13" and 5 people with "14", so the modal value becomes 14. As you can see on this example, when there is a marker that deviates from the modal, it's put in white so it clearly shows.
The other grouping report is like the comparison report for markers except instead of using a haplogroup to compare kits by, the group is used. So your kit is used as the baseline for comparing everyone else in your group.  The icon for it looks like this. Here is an example of the comparison Group report- note that the reference kit has a value of 14 at 385b, the other kits have 13 so they show in white.

One other reason you might not see your results on Smiths is if you are not a member of the Smiths-Smiths Official All project at FamilyTreeDNA. Marie and I are only automatically sent results for those who are members. If you have had your DNA done with FamilyTreeDNA and fall into the criteria for the Smiths project
, follow these instructions. Go login to FTDNA using the credentials FTDNA gave you. You will then be on your myFTDNA page. Now you need to JOIN PROJECT- either Search for Smith or browse through the list for Smiths- Official DNA Project for All Smith/Schmidt/Smyth et all in the list. Join the Smiths project.  Marie  and I will be sent an email letting us know you are now part, and we will be able to see your results and add them to the site.

Suppose you are in a DNA group that has some good matches. Suppose one of the people in your group has supplied a tree that does not meet your early ancestor and that person nor you knows exactly how you might match from a paper trail standpoint. On the tree side we always list kits together that can prove a paper trail to a given ancestor. Example, Here is group R1b-60- the kits in this group that include Reverend John Smith b c 1620 ENG match very well and are thus grouped together.

If you click on the TREE icon by each kit it will take you to the early known ancestor that is presumably proven or the PEDIGREE icon to see the ancestral direct lineage . In the case of Reverend John Smith, there are 4 kits listed at the tree link with Rev Smith (see pic directly below), not the 7 that are on the DNA matched grouping report. There IS a link to the Matched Grouping on the tree so that you can see if there are others that match EVEN  IF IT' S NOT KNOWN THAT THEY STEM FROM JOHN SMITH.

Below is the link from the tree for Kit 170423, from Thomas Smith. This kit IS listed with the matched grouping but is NOT listed with John Smith on the TREE part.
This is because, at this particular point in time, it is unknown what the sourced, paper trail nexus is with John Smith. IF at any time anyone seeing the tree can supply information to prove the connection, please do send, we will send it on to the contact person for the group for discussion and will update info

So, on the TREE side, suppose you wanted to compare Thomas Smith to see what relationship he has with John Smith. There will NOT be a relationship, because the utilty below is analyzing this from the TREE standpoint and at this point in time it is simply not known HOW that person may or may not be paper tied to John. So you can ONLY compare people with each other on the tree side who actually have a listed connection with another person. And really, that's the point of the DNA project, is to narrow down the field of Smith surnames to targeting research where you may match another person via DNA while not knowing the Smith tree relationship.

If there is not a contact for a group that includes your line, we welcome you to join up as the contact. Questions about the group would be referred to you as the collaboration head with others in the group. If you are already registered on TNG (the tree part of Smiths), send an email with your kit # and which group # you want to be the contact for. Otherwise, please register on TNG, reference, your DNA kit and put a note that you would like to be the contact person.

IF you had your YDNA DNA tested with FamilyTreeDNA, all you need to do is go join the project. To do so, login to FTDNA using the login name and password that were given to you by FamilyTreeDNA. That will bring you to your myFTDNA page. On the left hand side, look for Join Project, find SMITHS (Smith Official All DNA Project) and join it. That's all you need to do. Marie Plummer and Debbie Harper are the volunteer administrators for the official Smith DNA project for all locations at FTDNA and will receive an email letting us know you are now a member. That will enable us to see your markers and get them listed. We will also want to have your lineage. There are also a couple of regional Smith projects for specific states. For example, Smiths of Abbeville SC is for those who have ancestral origins there and Smith Connections NE is for those who have origins in specific states in the northeastern half of the United States. To compare your markers with ALL Smiths/Schmidts/Smyths/Smythes etc in ALL locations, you will need to join the Smith Official ALL project-we include ALL states in the US and ALL countries.

If you have not had your YDNA DNA tested and wish to do so at FamilyTreeDNA ,
click the Join link here.

If you YDNA tested with another vendor, such as Ancestry, Sorensen, Relative Genetics, etc,
you can go to FTDNA and have your YDNA markers listed with FTDNA by doing a ydna transfer or you can use this form to add them to the site(adding them to this site will not cause them to show up with FTDNA unless you do the ydna transfer). They will not show up here until they are approved to make sure you're not a spammer. We will also require that you send your lineage befor the markers are posted so that we can make some intelligent potential matches based on patriarchs and locations.
The Smith project is a surname project for the Smith/Schmidt/Smyth/Smitt/Smithers/Smithson and variations surname. For DNA comparison, we use YDNA, which requires that the participant is or has a tester that is a male Smith whose father is a Smith whose father is a Smith, or, if adopted or otherwise, unknown, has strong matches on multiple markers (past 12) with other Smiths testing via YDNA. If you have done Family Finder or Autosomal testing, you can still participate in the project by sending your tree; we do not match on autosomal results. The main reason for this is that autosomal is truly a DNA entity in which you compare with everyone in a given system, not simply those with the Smith surname. Since ONLY Smith, Schmidt, Smyth, etc join the Smith project, we do not have access to everyone in the system. Also, even if we did, the resources that would be required to try to do matching would simply be outdone by the great utility that FamilyTreeDNA has to look for matches. Therefore, what we suggest is that you send your direct lineage that includes Smith to us for listing on the TNG (tree) side, and then, if you did autosomal testing with another vendor than FTDNA, upload your results to FTDNA for comparison.

Understanding YDNA

Understanding Family Finder

Understanding mtDNA
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