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  • What test to order

    I ordered and sent in the YDNA37 for my brother. Now I want to figure out which test to order to find out about my paternal grandmother. Which test is best for this?

  • #2
    If you want to find out her haplogroup, you'll have to order a mtDNA test, preferably Full Mitochondrial Sequence (FMS), and have someone test such as your father, or one of his brothers or sisters, or someone else directly descended from the same maternal line as she was. If you want to find out about her overall ethnic make-up, then you should order Family Finder and test the most closely related person to her as possible. Again, this could be your father, one of his siblings, or whomever in your family is the most closely related.

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    • #3
      The most affordable option is to test with 23&Me for $99. Their test will give you a pretty good maternal line assignment (MtDNA) and a pretty good paternal line assignment (Y) as well as a pretty good read on autosomal ancestry, and access to their Relative Finder segment matching database.

      For another $90, you can transfer a copy of your 23andMe data to FTDNA's Family Finder for access to another segment matching database.

      From an FTDNA account you could order more refined tests, for more refined haplogroup assignments, for MtDNA and Y.

      If your paternal GM or GGM is alive you should definitely test her! Always test family elders if your interest is autosomal ancestry.

      If your interest is only in maternal line ancestry, follow Vinnie's guidance.

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      • #4
        Unfortunately, my paternal gm and my father and his siblings are all deceased. Myself and my siblings are the closest family members that I know of. I have not been able to find any info on my paternal grandparents. Testing my brother will help with gp but maybe at a dead end with gm.

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        • #5
          If both paternal grandparents are mysteries and you want to find out about them, then it sounds like Y-DNA by your brother, plus autosomal tests for you and other siblings, plus any cousins you can round up (on both sides). Doing the maternal cousins as well as any paternal ones would help you figure out what came to you from the two sides.

          So... kind of an expensive proposition but you could do it gradually and see if other family members will pay for some of the tests. Depending on the ancestry, you might have many or few matches early on, which is another reason to start with just two or three tests rather than a whole bunch.

          And do everything you can to get the paper genealogy solid and detailed, because you won't recognize most of the names that will come up on autosomal matches unless you've traced an awful lot of distant cousins. Bottom line, for most of us it will take time, money, and hard work to get informative results. But I think it's worth doing!

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