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  • Confused Newbie has some questions....

    From what I've read in this forum, this is nothing like my high school biology course... Wow, I'm totally overwhelmed!

    Everybody seems to have a complicated family situation, and mine is no different. I have been researching my family lines for more than 10 years now. My mother's family is well-documented. It's my dad's family that is the problem.

    Until a few years ago, my father and I knew nothing about our family history and ancestry. There were the usual rumors and half-truths that come with a family desperate to keep skeletons and dark secrets locked away in their respective closets, which were eventually taken to the grave one by one as family members died off. My father, being the last male in his line, died unexpectedly two years ago. My dad was an only child, as am I.

    I had the good fortune of connecting with some really wonderful people researching the same surname as I, who happen to be involved in one of these "male only" DNA projects. Unfortunately, I learned about the project 2-1/2 months after my father died.

    The DNA project coordinator for our surname did his best to explain things to me, bless his heart, but only confused me further. Maybe it's because things are way different now, way more technical and complex, than they were in my high school biology course over 20 years ago. The way I remember things from school is that the "Y" chromosone does not change as it is passed from male to male, but there is also an "X" that each parent possesses and passes down. I assume that "XX" is still female, and "XY" is still male.

    The surname coordinator told me that females can only trace maternal lines. Is that really true? Or is that just a clever way to avoid letting women participate in the DNA project? Maybe I got the wrong impression, but it just seemed to me that female DNA isn't as important or as valuable as male DNA.

    I'm not interested in a paternity test, as I already know who my father is, and know the Family Tree DNA project does not do them anyway. What I'd like to know is how I, as a female, can go about having my DNA tested against others involved in my maiden surname's project and connect to the same common ancestor? Is that possible? How does it work?

    Also, is it possible for my son to be able to biologically connect to the same common ancestor, with whom I am trying to connect via the DNA test, even though his "Y" chromosone comes from another lineage?

    I noticed there are so many different tests to choose from, though the choices for women were greatly limited to a few. What do the women's tests accomplish? Which is the most comprehensive test, one that would check the most DNA markings against others who have contributed?

    Finally, is there a good resource out there that could provide one with a little more basic information, like a crash course in DNA through a "For Dummies"-type book, so that I could be more concise in formulating my questions to this forum next time?

    Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to reading your answers.

    Sue

  • #2
    Sorry, but you have been given correct information. As of now, males can trace their male and female lineages (Ydna and Mtdna) but females can only trace their maternal lines (Mtdna). Actually the female line is traced via mitrochondrial dna rather than the X chromosome since that is the only way to get unambiguous results ( a special segment of the Y chromosome, called non-recombinant Y, is also needed for unambiguous results for the male line). This has posed a problem for my daughter and son since their now deceased maternal grandfather was adopted. Are there any distant cousins on your father's line?

    For introductory books see Stephen Oppenheimer's "The Real Eve" or Spencer Wells' video and book "The Family Of Man".

    Comment


    • #3
      P.S. There is probably a volume on genetics in the "Complete Idiots Guide" series. It should give an explanation as to why the X chromosome and the recombinant portion of the Y chromosome give ambiguous results, i.e. results that cannot distinguish between mothers' and fathers' contributions to ones dna.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by suebee88
        From what I've read in this forum, this is nothing like my high school biology course... Wow, I'm totally overwhelmed!

        Everybody seems to have a complicated family situation, and mine is no different. I have been researching my family lines for more than 10 years now. My mother's family is well-documented. It's my dad's family that is the problem.

        Until a few years ago, my father and I knew nothing about our family history and ancestry. There were the usual rumors and half-truths that come with a family desperate to keep skeletons and dark secrets locked away in their respective closets, which were eventually taken to the grave one by one as family members died off. My father, being the last male in his line, died unexpectedly two years ago. My dad was an only child, as am I.

        I had the good fortune of connecting with some really wonderful people researching the same surname as I, who happen to be involved in one of these "male only" DNA projects. Unfortunately, I learned about the project 2-1/2 months after my father died.

        The DNA project coordinator for our surname did his best to explain things to me, bless his heart, but only confused me further. Maybe it's because things are way different now, way more technical and complex, than they were in my high school biology course over 20 years ago. The way I remember things from school is that the "Y" chromosone does not change as it is passed from male to male, but there is also an "X" that each parent possesses and passes down. I assume that "XX" is still female, and "XY" is still male.

        The surname coordinator told me that females can only trace maternal lines. Is that really true? Or is that just a clever way to avoid letting women participate in the DNA project? Maybe I got the wrong impression, but it just seemed to me that female DNA isn't as important or as valuable as male DNA.

        I'm not interested in a paternity test, as I already know who my father is, and know the Family Tree DNA project does not do them anyway. What I'd like to know is how I, as a female, can go about having my DNA tested against others involved in my maiden surname's project and connect to the same common ancestor? Is that possible? How does it work?

        Also, is it possible for my son to be able to biologically connect to the same common ancestor, with whom I am trying to connect via the DNA test, even though his "Y" chromosone comes from another lineage?

        I noticed there are so many different tests to choose from, though the choices for women were greatly limited to a few. What do the women's tests accomplish? Which is the most comprehensive test, one that would check the most DNA markings against others who have contributed?

        Finally, is there a good resource out there that could provide one with a little more basic information, like a crash course in DNA through a "For Dummies"-type book, so that I could be more concise in formulating my questions to this forum next time?

        Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to reading your answers.

        Sue

        ok genealogist have you documented your dads family did his dad have brothers. did they have sons who had sons. if you can test 2-3 of them you can pinpoint the ydna of your dads dad. minus your dads non-existant son thats the best you can do.
        your mtdna can be able to trace your moms female lines
        its the finding of cousins who test that gives you the other dnas which is good in a genalogy book but doesnt really effect you in this dna . it does in real important dna thats important in heretitary stuff but this isnt that

        okay you test your mtdna your son has the same mtdna from you he doesnt have your dads ydna so it wont be necessary unles you want his dads ydna

        so why do any of it
        because you want to find that skeleton. in your case the important thing is location did your mom have sisters or maturnal aunts. these people didnt share the same surname but they share the same mtdna. so a locational study near where you or your mom lived makes sense

        locational studies take both mtdna and ydna. these samples will wait for matches who had the date ,location as in an opportunity to be sisters
        for these studies paperwork ,research are needed and maybe there was a family member or two you didnt know about. these things happen too

        Comment


        • #5
          mtdna ydna paperwork = results

          think of you,your mom her sisters their mom and her sisters their mom
          unless they died early or didnt marry how many have the same name? none


          so how can mtdna play a part? simple locations,locations locations

          if you have a location which is heavely researched . just a ton of paperwork but some wives if mentioned had no maiden names.So you dont know maybe who this women is except for the name Mary
          Now you have the females decended from Mary maybe thru 1910 .
          Marys husband was a pratt. you have in your mailing list 7 people who decend from that couple 2 might be males decended from Samual Pratt's 6 sons but 5 are females who are decended thru the female lines off of Mary's 7 daughters.

          these members are luke warm to all this since maiden names arent available. How can you be sure all the paperwork is true and people did what they said they did

          so you get all 7 to test .the two males match making them decendents of Samuel. Now the 5 females test and match exactly proving that they are decendents of mary so all 7 are related .immediatly all their paperwork merges
          and their trees spread wider more like an elm now then a fir.

          but does it stop there you have done the genealogy of this tri town area and have many Pratts. Included in this paperwork are familes suspected but not proven to be near the pratts and some never thought to be Pratts

          Do you stop testing with these 7 hell no

          and people seeing the results feel maybe i can get some new people. As new people test those suspected to be close to the Pratts with no proof maybe they lived in prattville . they get their brother to test and his mtdna matches the 5 sisters decendents and his ydna is his surname Dearborn. Dearborn recruits his uncle to make sure they match they do but the uncle surprises everyone and matches the 5 women decended from mary. Uncle Dearborn has his tree past the Samuel Pratt and Mary. He looks at his time table to see who might be the conection. sure enough in the period his tree has Jacob Dearborn and Priscilla they had 8 kids 5 seemed to survive but only 3 were known to have paperwork past birth .one of the two undocumented was a Mary so this means using his paperwork we find a female decendent of Priscilla. we test her and sure enough she matches the five decendents of Mary ,Mary,Uncle dearborn, nephew Dearborn, this means somehow nephew dearborn's mom and uncle dearborns mom were related to priscilla Jacob's wife

          now you merge all the trees involved and the research on the community has guidance on what to expect to find.

          I dont know how many of you have done towns genealogys I have and this is more then possible even probable

          Now i just started The Frosinone Project.Many people migrated to parts of the world. Now 50+ years later the children want to know am i related to all mazzolas from san danato as i am a mazzola from there . They pilgramage to there yearly.one problem its 8 miles from monte casino. In the battle with the germans there was mass bombings all buildings were leveled . all records destroyed. all grave yards destroyed. only 50 -100 years and no answers

          wanna bet ydna makes the families but mtdna connects them.whats needed a large database with decendents families .Most know the ggrandparents from american death certs and grave yards.as you accumalate the surname lines and the mtdna lines the process above will pay off at least to connect the mazzolas of the world to san danato

          maybe it isnt easy but who said it would be
          genealogy never is
          Last edited by Jim Denning; 4 October 2005, 09:22 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            What relationship can be inferred if HVR1 and HVR2 mutations are exact matches to another person ?

            Comment


            • #7
              Not too much. It implies that you probably had a common relative within the past 600 to 1000 years. It is less useful than Ydna for recent family connections. FTDNA does offer a rather more expensive Mtdna test for more recent geneology. The basic tests are more important in determining haplogroup membership or "deep" geneology.
              Last edited by josh w.; 13 October 2005, 07:50 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jsp
                What relationship can be inferred if HVR1 and HVR2 mutations are exact matches to another person ?
                It means you share a common female ancestor with that person. There's a 50% chance that this ancestor lived within the last 38 generations, and 50% chance that this ancestor lived further back. (If you just matched on HVR1, then the chances are 50% that the ancestor lived within the last 52 generations).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jsp
                  What relationship can be inferred if HVR1 and HVR2 mutations are exact matches to another person ?
                  hrv1 + hrv2 matches are like 12/12 compared to 25/25
                  here is how mtdna and paperwork works you need to think outside box and think locations

                  so how can mtdna play a part? simple locations,locations locations

                  if you have a location which is heavely researched . just a ton of paperwork but some wives if mentioned had no maiden names.So you dont know maybe who this women is except for the name Mary
                  Now you have the females decended from Mary
                  Marys husband was a pratt. you have in your database 7 people who decend from that couple 2 might be males decended from Samual Pratt's 6 sons but 5 are females who are decended thru the female lines off of Mary's 7 daughters.

                  these members are luke warm to all this since maiden names arent available. How can you be sure all the paperwork is true and people did what they said they did

                  so you get all 7 to test .the two males match making them decendents of Samuel. Now the 5 females test and match exactly proving that they are decendents of Mary so all 7 are related .immediatly all their paperwork merges
                  and their trees spread wider more like an elm now then a fir.

                  but does it stop there you have done the genealogy of this tri town area and have many Pratts. Included in this paperwork are familes suspected but not proven to be near these pratts and some never thought to be Pratts

                  Do you stop testing with these 7 hell no

                  and people seeing the results fell maybe i can get some new people. As new people test those suspected to be close to the Pratts with no proof maybe they lived in prattville . they get their brother to test and his mtdna matches the 5 sisters decendents and his ydna is his surname Dearborn. Dearborn recruits his uncle to make sure they match they do but the uncle surprises everyone and matches the 5 women decended from mary. Uncle Dearborn has his tree past the Samuel Pratt and Mary. He looks at his time table to see who might be the conection. sure enough in the period his tree has Jacob Dearborn and Priscilla they had 8 kids 5 seemed to survive but only 3 were known to have paperwork past birth .one of the two undocumented was a Mary so this means using his paperwork we find a female decendent of Priscilla. we test her and sure enough she matches the five decendents of Mary ,Mary,Uncle dearborn, nephew Dearborn, this means somehow nephew dearborn's mom and uncle dearborns mom were related to priscilla Jacob's wife

                  now you merge all the trees involved and the research on the community has guidance on what to expect to find.

                  I dont know how many of you have done towns genealogys I have and this is more then possible even probable

                  Now i just started The Frosinone Project.Many people migrated to parts of the world. Now 50+ years later the children want to know am i related to all mazzolas from san danato as i am a mazzola from there . They pilgramage to there yearly.one problem its 8 miles from monte casino. In the battle with the germans there was mass bombings all buildings were leveled . all records destroyed. all grave yards destroyed. only 50 -100 years and no answers

                  wanna bet ydna makes the families but mtdna connects them. So whats needed is a large database with decendents families .Most know the ggrandparents from american death certs and grave yards,ect.as you accumalate the surname lines and the mtdna lines the process above will pay off at least to connect the mazzolas of the world to san danato

                  maybe it isnt easy but who said it would be
                  genealogy never is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MtDNA can be of great value in certain circumstances. At some point in every matriline, one will trace back to an ancestress who is either unknown or in question. If you know the presumed mtDNA sequence of these early ancestors (from testing a matrilineal descendant) and you know of a possible sister with identified descendants, some of whom are matrilineal, a test of the sister's descendants could corroborate a relationship.

                    Imagine a township in 1820 with 500 heads of household. Imagine a time in the future when a third, or half, or even two-thirds have had matrilineal descendants tested. If this township was recently settled (as in frontier America), the odds of any two families having the same HVR1 & HVR2 sequences at random would be astronomically low. Sisters, known only by first name, will be identified.

                    MtDNA can also help rule out families with the same surname and the same y-DNA. We know that two such men lived in the same community in say 1800 & the census suggests that each had a large number of sons & daughters. Legal records identify a daughter of each. But there are a number of possible daughters in the community. These can be seen in marriage records, but the identities of their parents is just a guess. The mtDNA of matrilineal descendants of the known daughters are tested. Any subsequent matches to either by matrilineal descendants of the possible daughters confirms which family they belong to.

                    If someone thinks about it, numerous other circumstances can be imagined. A sequence without any possible relative for comparison sake does look meaningless, but eventually it will all be helpful.

                    Timothy Peterman

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