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Which test to break this brick wall?

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  • Which test to break this brick wall?

    I am researching which DNA test would best help with my brick walls. Both lines dead end in New York about 1790 with my 3X great grandfathers.

    On the Morey line I have some ideas about Samuel's father, but no way to document it. While I do not have a direct male line in my generation I can ask by 2nd cousin once removed to take a test. He is the only direct male line, descending from my grandfather's brother.

    On the Garvey line I have absolutely no clue regarding John's parentage, and on this line there is, to my knowledge, no direct male descendent.

    So here are my questions: 1) at such a distant generation will a Y DNA test be helpful in researching the Morey line? 2) what are the odds that a more general test will be helpful in researching the Garvey line? 3) I have an Ancestry test. Would transferring that test to Family Tree DNA give me any additional information?

    I am just trying to decide the best way to invest my $$.


  • #2
    If your 2nd cousin once removed will do the Y-DNA test, get that one, as Y-DNA changes little over a few centuries. You might ask him before you purchase it though. And always be aware of the slight chance of getting the unpleasant surprise of turning up a case of misattributed parentage.

    For the all of your lines get Family Finder. You can test yourself, but if both parents are alive, test both of them instead, and if your grandparents are alive, test them instead of your parents. Essentially, you want to get the oldest generations in order to get the best chance of finding large matching segments of DNA and to break things down into separate lines.


    • #3
      yDNA is great for breaking through the direct paternal line brick walls. I have confirmed a direct 5th great grandfather with the yDNA testing of my father and grandfather. My family had placed this patriarch on our family tree long before I began genealogy. I was finding evidence that I might descend from a different son and while I am more convinced than ever that this is true, I haven't found the paper trail yet. In the meantime, I did the yDNA testing and lucked out as there were a couple very well documented descendants of the same patriarch whom are definitely confirmed DNA matches to us. Likewise, I have just confirmed another distant paternal ancestor on another line based on the dna test of a male direct descendant of that line who happens to be my 2nd cousin.

      How successful you will be depends on the number of testers of the same ancestors and how well their paper trails are documented. See if you can find a surname project and hopefully the administrator can be helpful to you!


      • #4
        There is usually a sale on DNA Day, so I expect there'll be one this year. But I have no idea which tests might be on sale.