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What other tests do I need?

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  • What other tests do I need?

    I am a newbie to DNA and so have some basic questions I would be grateful to have answered. I hope I have posted this question in the correct area. If not, could the administrator please move it to the correct area.

    I have done the following DNA tests:
    me - Family Finder and mt Full Sequence
    my brother - Family Finder and Ydna 67 markers
    my father - Family Finder
    my mother - family Finder.

    I am wondering if it is worth ordering a mt Full Sequence test on my mother or brother and a Ydna test on my father.

    I am primarily interested in genealogy and have a number of road blocks in researching both sides of my family.

    While my existing dna tests have shown up many matches, I have not been able to connect them with known members of my family tree.

    Can anyone help?

  • #2
    One that you didn't mention is doing the mtFullSequence test for your father, which would give you his mother's haplogroup. This test, of course, also would give him maternal-line matches, just as your mtFullSequence test does for you. Your brother's mtDNA is the same as yours and your mother's, so doing an mtDNA test on your brother and mother isn't necessary.

    Since you already have done mtDNA testing, and your brother Y-DNA testing (STR), the only other reason that I can think of to do parallel tests on your parents would be to see if there are any differences in mutations (mtDNA) or STR values (Y-DNA) between your parents and you and your brother. I don't think that would be worth it for genealogy.

    And since you have your brother's Y-DNA done through 67 markers, that should be enough (depending on if any of the matches have the family surname, how many matches he has for that test, and how much genetic distance the matches show) to be informative for your strict paternal-line genealogy.

    I suppose another test is the BigY, which you could have done by your father or your brother, but it is expensive. Most folks regard it as more helpful for science than genealogy, although it's possible you could find a match. It tests SNPs (not STR markers), and would basically be the last Y-DNA test you'd ever need; it would find your father's or brother's "novel variants," and give him the terminal subclade of his haplogroup.

    There is the DNA sale going on now, through the 27th, with reductions on most of the tests mentioned. See for the tests on sale and their prices.
    Last edited by KATM; 20 April 2017, 09:22 PM.


    • #3
      More beneficial to genealogy would be to test siblings of your parents or your cousins with Family Finder.

      Your parents each received only a random 50% of each of their parents. Their siblings would have also received a random 50%, some will be shared with your parents some not.

      You will get better coverage of your Grandparents DNA by testing Parents siblings or your cousin to gain matches on DNA that your parents did not inherit, but siblings did.

      If Grandparents are able to be tested they are the best candidate.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies.

        Unfortunately my grandparents have passed. I intend to a mt Full Sequence on my Dad. I also have two other brothers. Is it worth testing them? I'm not in touch with any cousins on my Dad's side and my Mum is an only child and so I have limited options.

        The Ydna 67 marker on my brother has been disappointing. Two matches with a similar surname, but neither person has any information on their profile and may even be the same individual. A email received no reply.


        • #5
          I see no benefit to your genealogy research in your brothers doing a Family Finder, Y-DNA or mtDNA test. Their Y-DNA should be the same as your brothers and their mtDNA the same as yours. If they were keen they could test elsewhere to find autosomal matches in another database.

          Have you uploaded your kit to Gedmatch?

          Even without brickwalls it's not uncommon to not recognise any matches initially, particularly if the match has a limited tree and doesn't list surnames.


          • #6
            Originally posted by wisewoman View Post
            Thanks for the replies.

            Unfortunately my grandparents have passed. I intend to a mt Full Sequence on my Dad. I also have two other brothers. Is it worth testing them? I'm not in touch with any cousins on my Dad's side and my Mum is an only child and so I have limited options.
            Does your father have any siblings? For his cousins with whom you're not in touch, maybe get in touch, build a rapport, and sometime in the future when it feels comfortable, see if they'd do a Family Finder test.

            Your mother has no siblings, but does she have cousins who may take a FF test?

            Over the last 5 years, I've asked siblings of my parents, and cousins of my father, to help me with my research by doing a DNA test. Perhaps I've been lucky, but eventually all have done so. A big factor in getting many people to participate is that YOU pay for the test.

            One of my father's cousins (1st, once removed) recently did a FF test for me, and I have only been in touch with him and his siblings rarely and sporadically. I sent an email to him and his two siblings, and he replied that he was interested. I also have a 2nd cousin to my father who eventually tested; this was a person interested in genealogy. I'm working on a couple more, slowly.

            If you have the money to spare: I have bought FF kits when on sale, and saved as a spare kit for when someone agrees to test. I just use "TBD" for the name in those cases (names can be changed later in the account, when you know who it is).

            I tested my siblings, but in my situation my mother passed away before she could test, so testing my siblings helped with representing her DNA. Since you have tested both parents, you don't need to test your siblings, unless they are interested and want to test.
            Last edited by KATM; 21 April 2017, 08:09 AM.


            • #7
              Personally, I wouldn't spend money on your father's mtDNA. You've said that genealogy is your primary interest, and most people agree that mtDNA is the least useful test in this regard. It only looks at a very narrow line of ancestry and, because the surname tends to change with every generation, it's usually the hardest line of ancestry to research.

              Since your parents have both tested, there's not much to gain by testing your siblings. They have a mix of some of your parents' DNA, but nothing more. The only possible reason to test them (other than to confirm that they're full siblings!) is to create a "chromosome map" showing who got which segment of DNA from which grandparent. For this to be useful you'd still need to test known cousins, preferably your 2nd cousins or your parents' 1st or 2nd cousins.

              As KATM said, it can be hard to track down these cousins and persuade them to take the Family Finder test. It can help if you can find any old family photos to share. One of my late mother's first cousins, who had lost all contact with the family and had never heard of my surname, jumped through hoops to take the test when I showed him a photo of his older sister playing on the beach with my mother, with his mother sitting in the background drinking tea! If you don't have photos, family stories can help. One of my 2nd cousins realised that I must be his family because I knew his grandfather's nickname and occupation, and where he lived and worked, and that he didn't talk to the rest of his family who lived in a different town.