By: Diahan Southard

Learn how to use Y-DNA testing to solve family history questions with the YDNA for Genealogy Course from Your DNA Guide. This interactive, self-paced course provides hands-on experience, expert coaching, and real-life case studies to help you analyze Y-DNA test results and make meaningful discoveries.

When I started working in the fledgling genetic genealogy industry over 20 years ago, the Y-DNA test was my favorite genetic genealogy test. Much has changed, but I’m still partial to Y-DNA.

Sometimes Y-DNA is the only test that can help you explore a specific question. Y-DNA connections can reach hundreds of years into the past. The results are laser-focused on the paternal-line branch of the tester’s family tree. You can use Y-DNA to look for a birth father or male ancestor; distinguish between families who shared a surname; or trace a male lineage back many, many generations.

Y-DNA traces the male line back to the earliest known male ancestor

If you’ve taken a Y-DNA test with FamilyTreeDNA, you’ve already taken the first important step. FamilyTreeDNA is the only company that offers the match list and tools you need to analyze Y-DNA test results for family history relationships. But you need to figure out how to do the analysis, use the tools, and apply them in the context of your specific questions.

The Ultimate Course for Y-DNA Research

YDNA for Genealogy Course from Your DNA Guide

The YDNA for Genealogy Course from Your DNA Guide teaches you how to use all those tools to make Y-DNA discoveries! This three-week interactive, self-paced course uses proven adult learning strategies:

  • short video segments you can watch on-demand
  • a workbook with classwork, homework, and a research log template
  • hands-on experience with real-life case studies
  • quizzes, polls, and a discussion board where you can interact with other students
  • access to expert DNA coaches
  • a live Q&A session to wrap things up

Testimonials From Past Students

Here’s how the YDNA for Genealogy Course has worked for others.

Ginny Found a Meaningful Connection with a Previously Ignored DNA Match

Ginny Found a Meaningful Connection with a Previously Ignored DNA Match - FamilyTreeDNA

Ginny had ignored a match she thought was too distant. In the course, she learned that this match was actually meaningful, so she began exploring it. She discovered a connection through his 3x great-grandmother’s family and that the families lived near each other.

Read her story.

Toni and Linda Used Y-DNA to Solve a Genealogical Mystery

Toni and Linda Used Y-DNA to Solve a Genealogical Mystery

Toni and Linda connected as DNA matches when Toni was searching for her birth father. They decided to use Y-DNA to search for a male ancestor. Y-DNA pointed them to a different-than-expected surname. Creating a surname project and testing several men led to a complicated family tree. The advanced strategies they learned in the course helped them better understand the relationships between all those Y-DNA matches and form a strong theory about where their ancestor fits on that family tree.

Read their story.

How the Y-DNA Course Helped Sandra as a Group Project Administrator

How the Y-DNA Course Helped Sandra as a Group Project Administrator

Sandra came to Your DNA Guide as a volunteer Y-DNA Group Project Administrator who felt lacking in knowledge and experience. She was totally lost when it came to the Big Y test results! Of particular help to her were the course modules on surname projects (including sections on finding patterns in the Y-DNA data and creating cladograms) and Big Y (including an overview, matching, block trees, and next steps).

Read her story.

Answer Your Questions About Y-DNA

What questions do you have about working with your Y-DNA test results? Do they include questions like these:

  • What can Y-DNA do for my family history research?
  • How can it help me find a birth father, a male ancestor, or distinguish between men with the same surname?
  • How can I create the right DNA testing plan for my question?
  • Who should I test?
  • Should I test multiple close relatives?
  • When is it worth upgrading?
  • What do haplogroups mean, and how can I use them for genealogy?
  • Which matches are worth exploring?
  • How do I use all those tools and columns in the Y-DNA match list?
  • What should I think about Y-DNA matches with no shared surname?
  • How can I combine what I learn from Y-DNA with autosomal testing?
  • How can I find, join, and learn from surname projects?
  • When should I use the Big Y-700? What does matching look like, and what comes next?


Receive answers to all these questions and more in the YDNA for Genealogy Course from Your DNA Guide. So check it out–and start putting your Y-DNA test results from FamilyTreeDNA to work!

Diahan Southard - Your DNA Guide

About the Author

Diahan Southard

Founder of Your DNA Guide

Diahan Southard built her company, Your DNA Guide, to show that learning DNA doesn’t have to be intimidating, frustrating, or require a college degree in biology. Her goal is to teach you to “Do the DNA”–and feel confident and have fun in the process! Diahan has 20+ years of genetic genealogy experience. She teaches internationally, writes for popular magazines, authored Your DNA Guide–The Book, and produces Your DNA Guide–the Academy, an online learning experience.