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  • Italian DNA Testing Sites?

    A friend's father was Italian but she never knew her father and the name she has for him may be bogus. Is there any DNA testing companies that has a large European pool where she might be able to test in hopes of finding a close relative on her father's side?

  • #2
    Unfortunately, all the commercial genetic genealogy databases are dominated by people with northern European, especially British Isles, ancestry. That's also the ethnic background of most Americans, who are the main customer base for the main DNA testing companies - FTDNA, 23andMe and Ancestry.com.

    Ancestry.com doesn't yet sell test kits outside the U.S. FTDNA and 23andMe do, but the shipping costs for the test kit to Europe for 23andMe are more than the cost of the test in many cases! FTDNA has nominal shipping costs to Europe, but still is dominated by American customers.

    So, the answer to your question is no.

    However, you never know. I have full Italian ancestry. I tested at 23andMe a few years ago and within a year had a match with a previously unknown 2nd cousin, once removed. But it is the case that I have far fewer matches compared with the average 23andMe customer, since Italian ancestry is not well-represented in their database.

    The best approach to breaking down a brick wall is testing with all three companies. As more people test, they'll be potentially more matches to find. Genetic genealogy is really a waiting game.

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    • #3
      maybe the 50 miles of shelving holding old books and documents which will be computerized by next year, will shed light on my origins , but not genetically

      http://gizmodo.com/how-to-scan-50-mi...-on-1609143001

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      • #4
        Was your friend's father from Italy, or was he Italian-American?

        My father's parents were born in Italy. He has only 27 matches here at FTDNA. He hasn't tested anywhere else, but I seem to get more Italian matches at 23andMe. Knowing my father, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if I signed in one day and found a half-sibling match.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
          Was your friend's father from Italy, or was he Italian-American?

          My father's parents were born in Italy. He has only 27 matches here at FTDNA. He hasn't tested anywhere else, but I seem to get more Italian matches at 23andMe. Knowing my father, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if I signed in one day and found a half-sibling match.
          My friend's father is Italian and as far as I know never left Italy.

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          • #6
            The best chance for European matches ought to be FTDNA, combined with an upload to Gedmatch. The difference in shipping cost has made FTDNA considerably larger in Scandinavia and it may go the same route in SOuthern Europe. My wife is Polish but still got over 100 matches with FTDNA Family Finder.

            Of course, both FTDNA and 23andMe would be even better.

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            • #7
              You should give my e-mail to her because I have exactly the same problem which is partially solved thanks to 23andme.

              The shipping costs are not that expensive I've paid in total not more than 130,- Euro (shipping to the Netherlands)

              I didn't knew for sure who my father is, but the suggested father wasn't my biological father after doing a paternity test. The other 2 options were either French or Southern Italian (Naples area) and after seeing that most of my paternal matches (I've tested my mum as well with 23andme) came from Naples with my first match as well as my third and some more on the first page, and plenty other Southern Italians/Sicilians at the rest of the pages. Using Gedmatch, Ancestry detective service from Polako,23andme's AC (estimates 42.3% Italian, 2.1% broadly S Euro, 4.4% Middle Eastern for my paternal side) and FTDNA (26% South Euro/25% Anatolia but only 1 match from Naples which I also have on 23andme) helped me confirming the extremely high probability that the Neapolitan is indeed my biological father. I didn't find any close relatives yet, but FTDNA was not really helpfull for me but 23andme was in fact very helpfull because they have much more Italian clients.

              My luck is that my mum is a native North Dutch and plots near Danish people, so her data and matches are easily distinguished from my father's.

              I'm still in full research about the identity of my biological father because I don't have a name only a link to a place where he was in Amsterdam and a band he knew (kinda famous in Italy) which I've already contacted. I've made a facebook community page and invited Neapolitans who were there at that time and who knew the band as well, but until so far I haven't found him 'yet'.
              He should recognize me because I look a 100 % Southern Italian and most people think I'm Turkish or even Moroccan sometimes.

              My e-mail: [email protected]

              Originally posted by lazabby View Post
              A friend's father was Italian but she never knew her father and the name she has for him may be bogus. Is there any DNA testing companies that has a large European pool where she might be able to test in hopes of finding a close relative on her father's side?
              Last edited by Peppino; 18th August 2014, 06:20 PM.

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              • #8
                What is the name if you don't mind me asking? There may not be a need to DNA test at all. Italian records are EXTREMELY organized by town and region. My maternal line is N. Italian and I was able to research the line starting off with very little all the way back to the 1700s.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
                  Unfortunately, all the commercial genetic genealogy databases are dominated by people with northern European, especially British Isles, ancestry. That's also the ethnic background of most Americans, who are the main customer base for the main DNA testing companies - FTDNA, 23andMe and Ancestry.com.

                  Ancestry.com doesn't yet sell test kits outside the U.S. FTDNA and 23andMe do, but the shipping costs for the test kit to Europe for 23andMe are more than the cost of the test in many cases! FTDNA has nominal shipping costs to Europe, but still is dominated by American customers.

                  So, the answer to your question is no.

                  However, you never know. I have full Italian ancestry. I tested at 23andMe a few years ago and within a year had a match with a previously unknown 2nd cousin, once removed. But it is the case that I have far fewer matches compared with the average 23andMe customer, since Italian ancestry is not well-represented in their database.

                  The best approach to breaking down a brick wall is testing with all three companies. As more people test, they'll be potentially more matches to find. Genetic genealogy is really a waiting game.
                  Stating that the majority of Americans are of Northern European ancestry is dubious. If you had said European, it's more believable. The US Census voluntary profile of ethnicity and nationality origins is wrong. Anglicizing a surname does not equal a Northern European origin.

                  The OP's main problem is that most people, in America and in Europe, don't test. This ideal that Europe is and was a cultured luxurious paradise for everybody dating back millenniums is false. Most people were and are sustenance farmers and sustenance workers then and now so DNA testing is a luxury to them; a luxury that doesn't hold familial or scholarly interest to them as their are no records and they aren't historians. If you family has been in Italy before Italian records were kept and before there was an nation called Italy, which is only since 1871, a genetic test is only of interest in helping scientists and scholars refute or confirm the accounts of various ancient cultural migrations and nations. The US has been keeping better records longer than all the European countries.

                  The US started the census to ensure a fair democracy. You have to identify who can legally vote and who can legally represent voters in government. It wouldn't do to have Benedict Arnold as President. The same is true in Europe, good record keeping only begins when democracy is introduced.

                  That said, the OP might have matches eventually but more likely cousins in NYC than in Italy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ksquinn View Post
                    What is the name if you don't mind me asking? There may not be a need to DNA test at all. Italian records are EXTREMELY organized by town and region. My maternal line is N. Italian and I was able to research the line starting off with very little all the way back to the 1700s.
                    My maternal line is in North italy ( eastern side )..below is one record of mine, I have many like this. Can you share the maternal surname?



                    Giovani Lessio had a daughter who he name Maria, born 27 Feb. 1810. Giovani was married to Catterina Vettori
                    From the district of Treviso.
                    It gives many clues, this one does state that the 2 who where testimony are not related.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, but the US started the census (in 1790)in order to find out how many males there were of military (service) age, where they were, & how big the general population was.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by B52 View Post
                        The US has been keeping better records longer than all the European countries.
                        That just isn't true.

                        The problem with European records is how spotty they can be, from one town to the next, from one region to the next. There are locales with very deep records that have existed in fine condition for centuries. One real problem has been the destruction of records in wars, and in other disasters (often large fires.)

                        And, large parts of the US had very few records before the middle of the 19th century. A great many people were born on the frontier, and families moved often. There are some excellent records from parts of NE and Virginia, but even into the 20th century some locales (such as Oklahoma) kept few records. Recording of births in the US was especially spotty up until about a century ago.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ksquinn View Post
                          What is the name if you don't mind me asking? There may not be a need to DNA test at all. Italian records are EXTREMELY organized by town and region. My maternal line is N. Italian and I was able to research the line starting off with very little all the way back to the 1700s.
                          The last name we think was Leoni. He lived in the Liguria region along the coast. Perhaps in the Imperia-Albenga region.

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                          • #14
                            There are accurate records in most parts of Italy from long before the country was united. Many parts of Italy introduced a town-based population register some time in the early 19th century under Napoleonic influence. Church records go back much further than that in most places. There are also registers of wills and property tranfers that go back to the middle ages.

                            The municipal population registers will list all residents of the town, their family composition, and all births and deaths in the family. (Of course, these won't include births that weren't acknowledged or registered.) If someone moved, it will indicate where they moved to.

                            The church records will indicate marriages (with parents' names), baptisms (with parents' names), and funerals.

                            The other registers are kept in various archives and searching them really requires professional assistance.

                            The main difficulty is that most of these records have not been digitized. Some towns have very helpful staff in the Demographic records offices; in our town, this office has put many people, including visitors from the USA, in touch with their ancestors.

                            Churches unfortunately have almost no one available to help with this sort of research. The priests are spread very thin, and most parishes can't afford clerical staff. They may allow access to their archives, but except for recent years, everything is in Latin, and the handwriting isn't easy to decipher. Still, I know someone who traced his family back to the mid-18th century just from church records in one town. He could almost certainly go back even further if he were to visit a church in a nearby town where there are known links to his family.

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                            • #15
                              Venice Ghetto resident

                              My great grandmother lived in the Ghetto in Venice, she moved out when she was 9 years old and she had at least one brother.

                              You guys are mentioning records in Italy, how could I get any information on the residents of the Ghetto?

                              Anyone ever done any research on it?

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