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Randy583 8th June 2017 02:23 AM

Which DNA test(s) should I take?
 
Which DNA test(s) should I take?

My name is Randy and I am male.

My late mother told me two days before she passed away (back in 2005) that my real father wasn't who I thought he was...

Since then I have located a marriage-related-only nephew (could be my cousin) of my possible biological father.

The problem is that my could-be cousin has informed me that no members of my could-be biological father's DNA-related family (that he knows of) are willing to do any DNA relationship conformation testing in order to help me confirm a biological relationship.

Over the last few months (from the 'find a grave' website) I have learned that the grandfather of the man who could be my father's mother had four siblings. And I suspect that they likely had descendants...

I know that you can not control your ancestry.

I suspect that some of my possible-father's grandfather's descendants have submitted their DNA to the semi-global pool of DNA matching websites such as Family Tree DNA.

My question is that from the possible Family Tree DNA testing options, which would be my best choice?

... I mean, I could pay to do the whole combo of Autosomal, X and Y tests ~ $550.00 or separate tests. But I'm just a newbie here with little experience.

What do you think should be my best choice in such an endeavor?

Randy

McCrary_Fondren 8th June 2017 06:46 AM

Randy, My situation was a lot like yours except that I was told back in 1960 at the age of 18 it was a certain man who had been married and was separated from his wife and my mother was divorced and they were together for a little over a year before he was killed in an accident.As I was born out of marriage I was given my mother's x husband's last name and my Mother thought it would be best at the time and I grew-up around and went to school with cousins and not knowing they were family.I was 18 when I found out that the person I thought was my father wasn't.I took the 111Y marker dna test and was lucky and had about 20 matches at the 37 marker all with the same last name at 37 markers a few with a distance of 2/37,at 111y markers there were only 3 who had taken it with the same name all at a distance of 5/111.So I had found my father's last name as it was the only one after the Y12 marker's results.The only trouble was that there were 4 brothers and of coarse they all have the same Ydna.As I wanted more proof I found that the brother that I was told was my father sill had a daughter living by his marriage.I contacted her and was lucky as she agree to take the family finder test,so I took it also and she came back as a half sister.Since then I had gotten a 0/67 Y DNA match.I found out that he is the grandson of my father's younger brother.

What I am trying to say is don't give up and I think you should take both the Y DNA and family-finder test and maybe later some of the could-be biological father's DNA related family might change their mind and take the test.I wish you the best of luck .

JerryS. 8th June 2017 08:14 AM

23 and Me.

MMaddi 8th June 2017 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy583 (Post 440700)
Over the last few months (from the 'find a grave' website) I have learned that the grandfather of the man who could be my father's mother had four siblings. And I suspect that they likely had descendants...

I suspect that some of my possible-father's grandfather's descendants have submitted their DNA to the semi-global pool of DNA matching websites such as Family Tree DNA.

My question is that from the possible Family Tree DNA testing options, which would be my best choice?

... I mean, I could pay to do the whole combo of Autosomal, X and Y tests ~ $550.00 or separate tests. But I'm just a newbie here with little experience.

What do you think should be my best choice in such an endeavor?

Randy

I've edited some of your original post in my quote of it and bolded the sentence that's unclear. How could a grandfather (a man) be someone's mother? In order to accurately answer the questions you ask, please clarify the relationships you're discussing in that sentence.

If I understand you correctly, this grandfather you mention may be your great-grandfather. If so, then you are hoping to connect with descendants of this man's brothers. I think these descendants would be your 3rd cousins or possibly 2nd cousins, once removed or 3rd cousins, once removed.

An autosomal test like Family Finder is reliable out to about 3rd cousins in finding matches in the database. About 90% of 3rd cousins will share enough DNA to be declared a match. Only about 50% of 4th cousins share enough DNA to be declared a match. So, if I've correctly understood the relationships to you that I bolded above, the Family Finder test should be able to find the descendants you're looking for, as long as they've tested and are in the same database as you. It is recommended that when trying to find unknown biological parents or close biological relatives that you test at all 3 testing companies - FTDNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe. That casts the widest net to find close matches.

However, remember that you have 8 sets of gg-grandparents, which would be the generation of common ancestors in this case (I think). So, even if someone comes back as a 3rd cousin match to you, their common ancestors with you could be any one of those 8 sets of gg-grandparents. You'd have to look closely at their family tree to see if the surname or specific ancestors you're looking for appear in their ancestry. If they don't have a family tree posted, you'd have to communicate with them to find out what they know about their ancestors.

Regarding the possibility of ordering a yDNA test, in general it is useful when a male is trying to at least find the surname of a biological father, if not the specific man who is his father. That would mean ordering a 67 marker test and possibly later on SNP testing. Then you would look at matches at 37 or 67 markers to see if there is any surname that appears for more than one or two matches. If so, that surname may be the surname of your biological father.

You also mention an "x test." I believe that you're referring to the mtDNA test. It's a common misconception to believe that the x chromosome and mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) are the same. That's not true - two different types of DNA. You were probably referring to the mtDNA test when you wrote "x test." In general, mtDNA test results are not very useful for genealogy research, especially when trying to break down a brick wall. In your case, it wouldn't be helpful at all. You received your mtDNA from your mother, with no contribution from your biological father.

So, to answer your questions regarding which tests to order, forget about the mtDNA test. Order Family Finder and a yDNA test. I mentioned above testing 67 markers. You may want to take advantage of the Father's Day Sale which just started. You can order Family Finder and a 37 marker yDNA test for $199; the non-sale price for those two together is $258, so you'd save $59. Then you could upgrade later from 37 markers to 67 markers.

Randy583 8th June 2017 03:27 PM

To: McCrary Fondren,
My mother told me that my real father was a pilot who was killed in a jet crash before I was born (back in 1956) and that he never knew about me, nor did any of his family. Iíve done the research and there really is only one man who fits with my motherís story. But if this man is my father then he lied to my mother about his name. I know this manís real name (apparently he was given his motherís maiden name). I found a public record of his parentís marriage and I know the first and last name (surname) of his father (my could-be grandfather) but, at this time, the name is all that I know of my could-be fatherís father. I have learned that their marriage only lasted about a year.

My could-be grandmother remarried and from that marriage, my could-be father had a younger half-sister and two older step-sisters. I have been in contact with a son of one of the step-sisters (my could-be cousin by marriage). He thinks that I look as if I could be his step-uncleís son and I think I look like photos of my could-be father that he has sent to me. My motherís description of my father matches very well with recollections of his uncle. We both seek closure on this issue.

I tried to contact who I thought was the half-sister several years ago (with no response Ė Ďthought Iíd contacted the wrong person). I now know that she knows about me, but she and her daughters refuse at this time to have anything to do with me. Iíve never had a conversation with any of them; however, the half-sister, recently, spilled the beans about me to the man (my could-be cousin by marriage) who Iíve been in contact with for several months now. He immediately contacted me after the bomb-shell landed in his lap.

Personally, I donít like the idea of having blood-relatives who hate or resent me. Fortunately, because of DNA, I may not have to deal with them. But I want to know the truth, period. If Iím correct with my math, then I think the half-sister and I should share about 12.5% of our DNA and, with her daughters, about 6.25% of our DNA.

Ö Iím very glad that you were able to find closure in your ancestral endeavor, and I thank you very much for your consideration.


To: MMaddi,
You are absolutely correct. My statement: ďI have learned that the grandfather of the man who could be my father's mother had four siblings.Ē doesnít make sense. Thatís what I get for not proof-reading at two oíclock in the morning!

Let me clarify, in more detail:
The father of the mother of my could-be father (one of my could-be great grandfathers) had four siblings. This I learned from the Ďfind a graveí website. I do not know if his siblings were full-blood, half-blood or step.

Also, the mother of my could-be father had a brother. This too I learned from the Ďfind a graveí website. However, I do not know if she and her brother were full-blood, half-blood or just step siblings. Neither does the man Iíve been in contact with recently (my could-be cousin by marriage) because his aunt (my could-be fatherís half-sister) and her daughters will not tell him. They are very upset with him now, poor guy. Only one of the daughters speaks to him now and she wonít tell him anything against her motherís wishes.

I wasnít sure if paying for the mtDNA test would help in my endeavor and you cleared that issue up for me. Thank you, you saved me some coin.

After reading both McCrary Fondrenís and your posts I believe that my best starting point, for now, would be to take advantage of the Fatherís Day Sale and order the Family Finder and a 37 marker yDNA test for $199 as you suggested.


Hopefully, if I can confirm some DNA matches to family members of my could-be father, then the girls may reconsider their stand. But who knowsÖ

Again, I would like thank both of you for your consideration.

Randy

keigh 9th June 2017 07:02 PM

Hi Randy 583, As an adopted individual looking for a bio parent can be very difficult. I suggest that you go fishing in as many of the DNA bases as you can afford to. FTDNA, Ancestry, and 23andme all do the autosomal test and are three choices for larger bases for matches. Ancestry has the largest base and a pretty workable tree program attached to a subscription. And if you do the Ancestry test, it can be transferred here at FTDNA. But you can't download the FTDNA to the Ancestry site.

Here's hoping that you get someone fairly close to you genetically that had an interest in genealogy and knows something about his or her family. Good Luck.

Randy583 9th June 2017 11:28 PM

To: keigh,
Thank you for the data base size info.

I’m only beginning to imagine what it must be like for an adopted person (with no clue of where to start searching) to begin a search for their ancestry.

I now know that I was very lucky to have my mother even give me a clue as to where to start my search.

My prayers go to you and all people who face such insurmountable odds.

I started-up my first nuclear reactor when I was 19 years old. I learned way back then that anyone can accomplish anything they want... The only thing that really matters is: “How bad do you want it?”

NEVER give up!

Randy

whoiis 6th July 2017 02:48 PM

Agreed.
 
Quote:

Personally, I don’t like the idea of having blood-relatives who hate or resent me. Fortunately, because of DNA, I may not have to deal with them. But I want to know the truth, period. If I’m correct with my math and calculus skills, then I think the half-sister and I should share about 12.5% of our DNA and, with her daughters, about 6.25% of our DNA.
Yeah thank god for math and science or the amount of ignorance out there regarding DNA is simply unbelievable. Sorry folks but you can't deny science.

Randy583 10th July 2017 08:22 PM

To: whoiis,

Two thumbs up for the math and science comment. Kudos to you!

I simulated the DNA problem mathematically with a computer program I wrote that mimics a person's genes:

A simple analogy to a person's DNA, or genes, can be represented by a deck of 52 playing cards.
Suppose mom represents a deck of 52 red cards, dad1 represents a deck of 52 blue cards and dad2 represents a deck of 52 green cards.
Child1 of mom and dad1 is created by shuffling mom's deck, shuffling dad1's deck and dealing out 26 cards from each, then combining the delt cards into a deck of 52 cards containing 26 of mom's red cards and 26 of dad1's blue cards.
Child2 of mom and dad2 is created by shuffling mom's deck of 52 cards again, shuffling dad2's deck of 52 cards and dealing out 26 cards from each, then combining the delt cards into a deck of 52 cards containing 26 of mom's red cards and 26 of dad2's green cards.
Child1 and child2 will each have 26 of their mom's red cards, but they will not be the SAME 26 red cards! On average only about half of each child's red cards, that came from their common mom, will match between the siblings. So these two siblings will only share about 25% of their mom's genes and none of their different father's genes (they are half-blood siblings).
Two full-blood siblings will share 50% of their two parents genes, 25% of their mom's genes AND 25% of their dad's genes.

Determining the proper percentage of DNA that should be common to related individuals can be a source of much confusion.

Using this concept I created instances of individual DNA_Persons and mated them as necessary then matched the common ancestral genes of descendants...

It was somewhat difficult to state the problem correctly at first but not too hard to implement after that.

Randy

Randy583 12th July 2017 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy583 (Post 441702)
To: whoiis,

Two thumbs up for the math and science comment. Kudos to you!

I simulated the DNA problem mathematically with a computer program I wrote that mimics a person's genes:

A simple analogy to a person's DNA, or genes, can be represented by a deck of 52 playing cards.

Suppose mom represents a deck of 52 red cards, dad1 represents a deck of 52 blue cards and dad2 represents a deck of 52 green cards.

Child1 of mom and dad1 is created by shuffling mom's deck, shuffling dad1's deck and dealing out 26 cards from each, then combining the delt cards into a deck of 52 cards containing 26 of mom's red cards and 26 of dad1's blue cards.

Child2 of mom and dad2 is created by shuffling mom's deck of 52 cards again, shuffling dad2's deck of 52 cards and dealing out 26 cards from each, then combining the delt cards into a deck of 52 cards containing 26 of mom's red cards and 26 of dad2's green cards.

Child1 and child2 will each have 26 of their mom's red cards, but they will not be the SAME 26 red cards!

On average only about half of each child's red cards, that came from their common mom, will match between the siblings. So these two siblings will only share about 25% of their mom's genes and none of their different father's genes (they are half-blood siblings).

Two full-blood siblings will share 50% of their two parents genes, 25% of their mom's genes AND 25% of their dad's genes.

Determining the proper percentage of DNA that should be common to related individuals can be a source of much confusion.

Using this concept I created instances of individual DNA_Persons and mated them as necessary then matched the common ancestral genes of descendants...

It was somewhat difficult to state the problem correctly at first but not too hard to implement after that.

Randy



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