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  • Myself or my sister?

    Following my mother's side back through history. Should I have my dna tested or my sister's? or doesn't it matter

    Thanks

  • #2
    Which test are you thinking of doing? It won't matter if your sister or you takes the Family Finder, or even the mtDNA (direct maternal line) tests, since your mother is the mother of both of you. You each will have inherited a different mix from your mother, so it may help to test both of you, because one or the other may match cousins that the other won't.

    But, if there are any of your mother's siblings still living, you may want to see if they will do a Family Finder test. Testing the oldest generation is recommended.

    Whether you test yourself, your sister, or both of you, it would be good to have some maternal relation tested with Family Finder as well. FTDNA has a "Family Matching System," which uses known relatives on either side, who test with Family Finder, and then you link them on the family tree you've created at FTDNA (read the linked page about it, and which relatives will work, on FTDNA Learning Center). That will separate the matches in your Family Finder match list into maternal or paternal.

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    • #3
      One thing to understand is that there are two types of tests that you or your sister can take which would give you information about and matches to your mother's ancestry.

      The first test involves mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This is the type of DNA that a mother passes down to her children, but only her daughters pass on to their children. The inheritance is strictly maternal through the strict maternal line - mother, maternal grandmother, maternal grandmother's mother, etc. The test will mainly tell you about deep ancestry, perhaps as much as thousands of years ago.

      The second test is called Family Finder and tests the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes that you receive, with one set of 22 from your mother and the other set of 22 from your father. You will receive matches who can be from any line in your tree, either mother's or father's side. Also, this test gives you an estimate of your overall ethnic/geographic ancestry (myOrigins), which the mtDNA test doesn't give you.

      It wouldn't matter whether you or your sister took either of the tests. However, you and your sister share 50% of your autosomal DNA, so having both of you take the Family Finder test will get you more matches. Also, if you are male, you have a y chromosome which you received from your father. If you're interested in your father's strict paternal line (father, paternal grandfather, paternal grandfather's father, etc.), then you would want to order a y chromosome test for yourself.

      Multiple tests can be done from the DNA sample that's submitted, so you can order different tests at the same time. However, if both you and your sister order tests, that must be done through two separate accounts. You can't mix up the DNA from two people in the same account.
      Last edited by MMaddi; 22 May 2017, 09:56 AM.

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      • #4
        My sister or myself

        Sister and I are the last. Mother and her siblings have been gone for a while now. A female sibling of mothers was tested 15+ years ago. I no longer have the results which I'm sure are not as accurate as today

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        • #5
          Where was your mother's sister tested? I ask because 15+ years ago, no one offered autosomal testing; 23andMe was the first, and introduced their test in Oct. 2009. Family Tree DNA followed in Feb. 2010, and Ancestry.com introduced their autosomal DNA test in May of 2012. (dates are per ISOGG's History of genetic genealogy timeline)

          She may have had a mitochondrial test (mtDNA) done; FTDNA started that in 2000. If your maternal aunt did test at FTDNA, her results should still be available, if you have the account number and password. That would be of some use to you. If her sample is at FTDNA and still usable, a Family Finder test could be attempted with her sample, although it's debatable if the sample would still be usable. You don't know until you try.

          But, she may have done a DNA test at some other company. Even if it was the National Geographic's Genographic Project, that was started in 2005. I'm not sure if FTDNA did the testing for Nat. Geographic back then, but they did later (the samples were/are kept separately from FTDNA's customers, but could be transferred*). So, if she did an early test with Nat. Geographic, it may be possible that FTDNA has her sample stored. You would need to transfer it to FTDNA proper to have any further testing attempted, though.

          * The current version, National Geographic Geno 2.0 Next Generation testing, is done by a different company, and not stored by FTDNA.
          Last edited by KATM; 22 May 2017, 01:21 PM.

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          • #6
            I would add, if no older generation is available, then test both yourself and your sister. You will "catch more fish" that way.

            If you have ANY known cousins, see if one or more will test as well. At least you can use them to separate you/your sister's results into paternal or maternal, and that will help you. Make sure you list all the ancestral surnames and locations you know in your profile(s), and note the surnames/locations of your matches to help determine if maternal or paternal, if applicable.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KATM View Post
              I would add, if no older generation is available, then test both yourself and your sister. You will "catch more fish" that way.
              NOTE: Family Finder Test for each. You can always add MtDNA later if you really want it - but it often does not add anything useful for genealogy unless you have an hypothesis it would help confirm or disprove -- and you and your sister are likely to have exactly the same the results on it, so no need to test both of you there.

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              • #8
                loobster, thanks for pointing that out. I neglected to specify that I meant Family Finder, and you point out correctly why mtDNA is not needed, at least for both siblings.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KATM View Post
                  Where was your mother's sister tested? I ask because 15+ years ago, no one offered autosomal testing; 23andMe was the first, and introduced their test in Oct. 2009. Family Tree DNA followed in Feb. 2010, and Ancestry.com introduced their autosomal DNA test in May of 2012. (dates are per ISOGG's History of genetic genealogy timeline)

                  She may have had a mitochondrial test (mtDNA) done; FTDNA started that in 2000. If your maternal aunt did test at FTDNA, her results should still be available, if you have the account number and password. That would be of some use to you. If her sample is at FTDNA and still usable, a Family Finder test could be attempted with her sample, although it's debatable if the sample would still be usable. You don't know until you try.

                  But, she may have done a DNA test at some other company. Even if it was the National Geographic's Genographic Project, that was started in 2005. I'm not sure if FTDNA did the testing for Nat. Geographic back then, but they did later (the samples were/are kept separately from FTDNA's customers, but could be transferred*). So, if she did an early test with Nat. Geographic, it may be possible that FTDNA has her sample stored. You would need to transfer it to FTDNA proper to have any further testing attempted, though.

                  * The current version, National Geographic Geno 2.0 Next Generation testing, is done by a different company, and not stored by FTDNA.

                  The test done for my aunt was only to show where she was from. We think we have cherokee in our family. I do recall that the results we got showed a world map with percentages of likelihood.

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