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  • best array of tests

    Greetings,

    I read in one of the ISOGG FAQs that we can glean the most qualitative information if we submit samples from 3 individuals in a given lineage. It seems like there should be an optimal set of tests to garner info most efficiently, so I'm looking for suggestions for which tests I should get for which individuals. I've got to choose who to test from both my maternal grandparents, both parents, two paternal uncles, a paternal aunt, two sisters, a brother, my wife, her sister, her parents, and a son. Thank you for any help.

    Chris

  • #2
    It could depend on what are the most important questions you want to explore.

    In general, the older generations are closer to the root of genealogical questions, so you would test them first. For completeness of trees and to be able to separate out lines, you would want to get both maternal and paternal sides tested.

    So on your maternal side, the grandparents are great. And for paternal, either your father or your uncles. Test the Y on the men.

    On your wife's side, her parents would be great. Test her father's Y.

    Adding siblings of your father adds more DNA. I did not have parents or grandparents to test, but my brother matches many people I do not. He and my cousins seem to be magnets for matches.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the feedback. I'll start with the eldest generation and see what I get.

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      • #4
        You did not state what your specific goals are; if you have not yet, sketch out for yourself specific goals.

        By all means test the oldest first - once they are gone you won't be able to do it.

        For autosomal matches, testing parents of a tested child is how you can determine whether a match of the child's is from the child's maternal or paternal side.

        Have you done much traditional genealogy? DNA tests supplement, not replace, traditional genealogy.

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        • #5
          Thank you for the reply.

          I have begun traditional genealogical research. I began with discussions with living relatives of what they knew as far back as possible. I then proceeded to search records via an international ancestry.com account as far back as my grandparents' generation with births in the 1920s and 1930s. I then focused on my patrilineal line and hit a roadblock with discerning my GGGF from others with the same name born around the same time in England just before the 1841 Census. I learned much about the value of additional scrutiny and deliberate methodology to ensure correct matches. The Friar surname is relatively common on that 1841 Census, so I am hoping to find some Y-DNA matches to help that search. However, after just starting to look into genetic genealogy, I recognized that getting samples from the oldest living relatives in my family was more time dependent.

          As you can see, I'm still at the beginning here and just looking for general advice on a methodical approach to learning as much about all facets of my genetic genealogy as possible. From what I've read about the Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA tests, I am interested in all three. I was hoping to find a simple guide about which tests to get first to glean the most information in the most deliberate fashion, but I think that the variability about which individuals are still available may make that a difficult guide to write. The advice about getting the oldest living individuals' samples while possible is a valuable start.

          Thank you,
          Chris

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          • #6
            I agree start with oldest generation BUT -- I would strongly recommend doing FAMILY FINDER. Perhaps I missed it, but didn't see that actually stated as recommendation. So - recommend Family Finder on Maternal Grandparents. And, on father's side, I would recommend Family Finder on Father. (at a later time, more folks would obviously be nice, but this is my recommendation of 3 to start). If you can do more than 3 folks now, and want your wife's side, start with Family Finder on her parents.

            Y-DNA is a nice supplement, but it can easily be added later.
            Last edited by loobster; 26 January 2014, 09:13 PM.

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            • #7
              I hope this helps the OP and isn't off topic, but briefly, what are the benefits of the autosomal over the Y-chromosome? Is the autosomal better for genealogical purposes? Thank you!

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              • #8
                A y- and an mt- match, even if perfect, cannot prove any specific relationship. It says you are related somewhere, somehow in the past [maternal line only or paternal line only]. In real life they are really useful in disproving relatedness theories, not proving any. The results are great for suggesting other places to look. Some may argue but I've only found generic 'ancestral' use of my 111 y- and FMS mt- testing, on multiple kits and family members.

                as- DNA and testing on the other hand is great at proving near-term direct relatedness and accurately predicting specific cousin relationships, and is the only test that works across m-f bounds. It has been valuable in clearing up suspected NPEs, demonstrating myth vs fact in reported American Indian heritage, and in knocking down a number of roadblocks/brick walls in my paper trees.

                That said, I would always be second-guessing and wondering had I not done the 111 y- or the FMS mt- testing. The lack of stress and constant questioning was worth it to me, not the value that it either has turned out to be in solving anything...

                Hope that makes some sense.

                Richard Hill's book "Finding Family" runs you through a real-life mystery solved by combined testing and teaches you the ropes along the way. I couldn't recommend it more highly.

                Bob H.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hansonrf View Post
                  as- DNA and testing on the other hand is great at proving near-term direct relatedness and accurately predicting specific cousin relationships, and is the only test that works across m-f bounds. It has been valuable in clearing up suspected NPEs, demonstrating myth vs fact in reported American Indian heritage, and in knocking down a number of roadblocks/brick walls in my paper trees.
                  Bob, that was incredibly helpful and makes complete sense. I would like my boyfriend to get his DNA tested, but I wasn't sure whether he should get the Y Chromosome, autosomal or mtDNA done. Or all three. I think the Family Finder autosomal is probably the best bang for his buck.

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