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  • Ordering generic kits for a reunion?

    Hi. We have an out of town family reunion coming up in the next few weeks & I'm hoping to convince a few of our older relatives to test. The only problem is that I have no idea which (if any) of the great aunts/uncles &/or other cousins will really go for it when the time truly comes.

    So...it's hard to know which type of test to order because we'd want different ones depending on the person's gender & particular family line. Some would be Y, some mitochondrial, etc...

    I've seen it mentioned several times in the past that FTDNA would let you order "generic" non-gender specific kits that wouldn't be paid for until you send them in. Is that still the case? If so, where on the site can you select that option? Thanks!

  • #2
    Kits can be ordered with payment by invoice. The best thing when ordering is to assign the name as TBD TBD TBD. Once you have a sample & send the kit in, you can change that to the person's name.

    I suggest that you try to get as many of the older generation as possible to take the Family Finder test. If some of the participants turn out to have either a patriline or matriline of interest, you can order additional tests later, which would be run against the existing sample.

    Timothy Peterman

    Comment


    • #3
      The invoice option is only available to project administrators and is available when ordering a kit through the Group Administrator Page (GAP). If you are not a group administrator you can try calling FTDNA and asking for some kits so that you can take them to your reunion, no guarantee but it would be worth a shot. Maybe they would send you some and you could then assign names and what testing you want done later, obviously you will need to take great care in not mixing the kits up. The mitochondrial tests are difficult to use for genealogy, so unless you have a very specific objective in mind I would steer clear of that particular test.

      Comment


      • #4
        In similar circumstances, I had purchased kits for Family Finder using real names of potential participants. Later some adjustments were needed, so I phoned FTDNA and corrected sex and/or test as required. I have adjusted the names using the web interface, before making the phone call.

        A test change required me to pay the price difference. Since Family Finder is the cheapest of the tests there were no problems.

        I made the phone call to FTDNA before the kits were returned.

        W. (Mr.)

        Comment


        • #5
          I had two different reunions this summer for different surnames.

          Process for those without a surname group admin account.

          1) Find a group for the surname you are researching, order the kit using combination of initials and surname of potential candidate name.

          Example: R. C. Smith for Robert C. Smith

          No big deal if you guess the name wrong!!!!!!

          After you pay for the kit test, ftDNA will send you an email with kit# and password.

          I only test males and I always order the yDNA 12 marker test still available when you join a group.

          2) You can access the account to change/correct the name of individual or upgrade the kit as required at a later date.

          I would also suggest that you keep a excel spreadsheet of all you kits and passwords. Print and keep a copy at 3 different geographical locations.

          I have a little more than a dozen kits that I am using for my genealogical and genetic family tree research.

          I ALWAYS keep at least two DNA kits on hand at all times, never knowing who the next candidate will be

          One other little tidbit, I have two types of DNA kits, the ones that I pay for, that I have full control, and those that other kin folks paid for that is under there full control.

          You will find a lot of folks that will volunteer for the DNA test for research, but don't want to pay, nor want to go through the hassle/trouble of accessing a online account, in other words they are TRUSTING you to be the custodian. They are happy if you mail a copy of the results of your research, along with discussing some family info, hopefully interesting stuff.

          Remember, never kiss and tell among family members, if you want to maintain trust. It is our duty to promote harmony within the family members, when discussing or posting family research results. Always use the kit #s when posting results on your family newsletter or online site.

          If the individual(s) DNA is important for my research, I pay for it, if not, they will pay for it.

          I try to find at least two (2) research candidates from each surname to ensure there is no NPE in that line. It is really nice if both test results match to an existing family in for the particular surname group.

          Anyway, just my 2 cents from lessons learned, good luck on the family reunion! Best wishes, K.L.Adams
          Last edited by K. L. Adams; 11 July 2015, 09:45 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            K. L. Adams, It sounds like you are using a strategy similar to mine. I became the Administrator of a couple of projects to get this done. One is a private project called FF Peterman Timothy. The other is the Peterman/ Petermann surname project.

            Timothy Peterman

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by T E Peterman View Post
              K. L. Adams, It sounds like you are using a strategy similar to mine. I became the Administrator of a couple of projects to get this done. One is a private project called FF Peterman Timothy. The other is the Peterman/ Petermann surname project.

              Timothy Peterman
              This is the exact process used before I also became an administrator. The only difference is that I used my own group to order the kits and none admins types would need to join a group to get the 12 marker kits.

              I like ordering the 12 marker tests, because I have ran into NPE a time or two, okay 3 times so far! So, I'll have two or three in a surname line take a yDNA 12 kit for $59.00, then choose what to upgrade to later.

              As you know, you may test a male with the 12 marker yDNA test that you rather track the maternal, the next candidate is a better fit for an autosomal test or the next might be a combination of the Y and autosomal (family finder) DNA test.

              One tidbit that I forgot in my last comment is the importance of keeping a copy of the signed release from your research candidates, plus creating a simple custodian letter to be also signed by the family member on file. Down the road these two documents could be important.

              You just never know, but I would also urge family researchers to capture all they can, at the lowest cost, as soon as the opportunity arises, because none of us is getting younger

              Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

              Comment


              • #8
                It really doesn't matter what name you put on the order. You can even put YOUR name on all of the orders. You can edit the name anytime after it is mailed. If they will be mailed to you, you put in one order in your name for however many kits you need since they are being mailed to you anyway. After they are mailed, just edit in the test kit's account. Anyway, I have edited name/address/passwords on ALL of my test kits after ordering them.

                If you want family finders on everyone, order family finders and just guess how many male/female kits you want. You can add yDNA and mtDNA later. If you end up with a different number of male/female... then you can call and change the gender. I think I even changed a gender of one online, but I can't remember for sure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by K. L. Adams View Post
                  I would also suggest that you keep a excel spreadsheet of all you kits and passwords. Print and keep a copy at 3 different geographical locations.

                  One other little tidbit, I have two types of DNA kits, the ones that I pay for, that I have full control, and those that other kin folks paid for that is under there full control.

                  You will find a lot of folks that will volunteer for the DNA test for research, but don't want to pay, nor want to go through the hassle/trouble of accessing a online account, in other words they are TRUSTING you to be the custodian. They are happy if you mail a copy of the results of your research, along with discussing some family info, hopefully interesting stuff.
                  Great tips. My comments for these three tips:
                  1) Definitely keep a spreadsheet of your kit numbers! I have one on my computer that automatically backs up online. Also, I use the same spreadsheet to document ethnicity calculations. Not that it matters to the research, but it is fun to see the comparisons and for my family, the ethnicity calculations is all they are interested in for the most part. I put the name of each person in the top line, next line is their kit number, below each person/kit number I put their FTDNA myOrigins results, but I also included several calculators from Gedmatch. This is what I show people the most. We are all immediate family, so I personally share the entire spreadheet. But... if I had more distant relatives I would probably just copy their information and send them their info separately. Passwords: I manage all of the kits, so I changed ALL of their passwords to the same one so I don't go crazy.

                  2) I bought the majority of my kits, I control ALL of them. My mom bought hers, and I control hers to, but only because she doesn't have a computer at home, and I am doing the actual research. She is fine with that. I e-mail her anything she asks for. I DO have 2 family finder kits who were purchased by my matches who were very interested getting my father and grandfather tested. This woman sent me money to test them. I control those as well. They are my family. She uses their results only from the standpoint of they are on her match list (for her cousins I believe). Now... I otherwise agree if someone pays for their OWN kit, they can control it no problem. I just don't have that scenario in my situation.

                  3) I totally concur! So far my mom is the only one really asking questions about her matches... but only because she thought she would recognize some of the names. I had to explain that the majority (actually all for her) are relatives we never heard of and that most are distant relatives and we have to comb through their trees to hopefully find a connection.


                  I will add one more suggestion based on other people's experiences: Figure out ahead of time how you will handle any "surprise" results that may change someone's life in a way you can't control. Will you let people know ahead of time that sometimes unpleasant surprises could occur... such as an illegitimate child or finding out a father really wasn't the father? Could happen, and if it does, how will you handle that? Will the person who tests want to know? Will you tell them? The more people you test, increases the odds of something unexpected. My MIL found and then met a half sister just before she died. Turned out to be a good thing because she learned about her father (she knew who he was but he didn't raise her) and her siblings. Anyhow, food for thought.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jsarnacki View Post
                    [----] I will add one more suggestion based on other people's experiences: Figure out ahead of time how you will handle any "surprise" results that may change someone's life in a way you can't control. Will you let people know ahead of time that sometimes unpleasant surprises could occur... such as an illegitimate child or finding out a father really wasn't the father? Could happen, and if it does, how will you handle that? Will the person who tests want to know? Will you tell them? The more people you test, increases the odds of something unexpected. [----]
                    Since that is something entirely unknown before testing, please, please do not enter genetic testing if you do not have ideas how to handle surprise results.

                    You can improvise, change you mind, be elastic etc., but while with traditional genealogy you could pretend that you had not seen the sources or that they do not exist, no such luck with the DNA. DNA is readily available for testing...

                    W. (Mr.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ^^^ Yep, I didn't think TOO much about it before I tested myself and husband and kids, thankfully no surprises have turned up (yet)! But I did know it could happen, and I have thought more about the "what ifs" after the fact. For that reason, I have decided to test only immediate family. Especially after reading about a few very negative experiences. I would love extended family to test, so I have decided if they are interested, I will encourage them to do so, but I will let them buy the kit and manage it them self. I dont' want to get caught in the middle of anything! My MIL's experience was overall good for her, but very weird for my husband!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I also control most of the kits in my project. If I paid for the kit, it makes sense to me.

                        Regarding upgrades, most of my participants know little or nothing about DNA testing. I don't go back to them every time there is a new SNP to test.

                        If they have done Family Finder & inquire, I will send them an Excel spreadsheet listing their FF matches, sorted in order of shared cms. They can see that they match me & other close relatives.

                        Timothy Peterman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jsarnacki View Post
                          Great tips. My comments for these three tips:
                          1) Definitely keep a spreadsheet of your kit numbers! I have one on my computer that automatically backs up online. Also, I use the same spreadsheet to document ethnicity calculations. Not that it matters to the research, but it is fun to see the comparisons and for my family, the ethnicity calculations is all they are interested in for the most part. I put the name of each person in the top line, next line is their kit number, below each person/kit number I put their FTDNA myOrigins results, but I also included several calculators from Gedmatch. This is what I show people the most. We are all immediate family, so I personally share the entire spreadheet. But... if I had more distant relatives I would probably just copy their information and send them their info separately. Passwords: I manage all of the kits, so I changed ALL of their passwords to the same one so I don't go crazy.

                          2) I bought the majority of my kits, I control ALL of them. My mom bought hers, and I control hers to, but only because she doesn't have a computer at home, and I am doing the actual research. She is fine with that. I e-mail her anything she asks for. I DO have 2 family finder kits who were purchased by my matches who were very interested getting my father and grandfather tested. This woman sent me money to test them. I control those as well. They are my family. She uses their results only from the standpoint of they are on her match list (for her cousins I believe). Now... I otherwise agree if someone pays for their OWN kit, they can control it no problem. I just don't have that scenario in my situation.

                          3) I totally concur! So far my mom is the only one really asking questions about her matches... but only because she thought she would recognize some of the names. I had to explain that the majority (actually all for her) are relatives we never heard of and that most are distant relatives and we have to comb through their trees to hopefully find a connection.


                          I will add one more suggestion based on other people's experiences: Figure out ahead of time how you will handle any "surprise" results that may change someone's life in a way you can't control. Will you let people know ahead of time that sometimes unpleasant surprises could occur... such as an illegitimate child or finding out a father really wasn't the father? Could happen, and if it does, how will you handle that? Will the person who tests want to know? Will you tell them? The more people you test, increases the odds of something unexpected. My MIL found and then met a half sister just before she died. Turned out to be a good thing because she learned about her father (she knew who he was but he didn't raise her) and her siblings. Anyhow, food for thought.
                          Great post for other genealogical and genetic family researchers.

                          I see no problem to have an exception to the payment rule for family members providing donations to the research and wanting you to be custodian.

                          As for NPE, Adoptions and such, the only thing I can urge folks to do is emphasis the positive and back burner the negative.

                          One has to remember, you break trust with family members, your research is over.

                          As an example, I have a man who was 94 years old, the genetic tests shows that his yDNA belong to another surname.

                          I printed the string certificate, origins map and gave him some interesting info on his haplotype and he was a very happy man when I left him.

                          Now, somebody that new something about DNA could have figured out the NPE, but my guess is it will not happen.

                          Every situation will be different, but always use one primary rule:

                          Cause no harm to the family.

                          Best wishes, Kevin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Totally agree Kevin! My intent is to just make sure people consider how they will handle these situations should they occur. Definitely Do No Harm and Do NOT break their trust! I too would emphasize the positive, but I think I would have to briefly mention the negative as well. These are of course personal choices. Quite frankly, I am moving slowly with adding new people up the DNA ladder and ensuring I don't find surprises in the closer relatives results before spreading out to the next earlier generation. No surprises with me, husband, or kids - added mom and dad. No surprises with mom or dad - added Grandpa. Someday I may branch out to aunts/uncles/cousins... but not too soon or quickly! Baby steps for me. And I like your approach to sharing the learned information... send results to them and see if they figure it out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jsarnacki View Post
                              Totally agree Kevin! My intent is to just make sure people consider how they will handle these situations should they occur. Definitely Do No Harm and Do NOT break their trust! I too would emphasize the positive, but I think I would have to briefly mention the negative as well. These are of course personal choices. Quite frankly, I am moving slowly with adding new people up the DNA ladder and ensuring I don't find surprises in the closer relatives results before spreading out to the next earlier generation. No surprises with me, husband, or kids - added mom and dad. No surprises with mom or dad - added Grandpa. Someday I may branch out to aunts/uncles/cousins... but not too soon or quickly! Baby steps for me. And I like your approach to sharing the learned information... send results to them and see if they figure it out.
                              A good goal is to find a "male" for the paternal and maternal lines for your father and for your mother and work back.

                              As an example for my mom's, mother, grandfather I have a yDNA candidate for her Cofield surname line and mtDNA candidate for my maternal mom's line(Adams), mother (Colvin), & grandmother (Darley). Hope that was not too confusing I always purchase the family finder test for each candidate.

                              So, look at a 6 generation pedigree chart and try to get at least one candidate from each line 2 or 3 generations back. You may find that some candidates are already tested and posted on one of the surname groups.

                              http://www.mymcpl.org/_uploaded_reso...ixgenchart.pdf

                              Best wishes and good hunting! Kevin

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