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The Best Advantage on Male Testing

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  • The Best Advantage on Male Testing

    I'd like to test my uncle who is the only male child of my maternal grandfather. My uncle's in his 70's so I'd like to test him before anything happens to him but I don't know which one is best. The tests are pretty pricey and would like to find something more cost friendly. Of course, I will pay the expense for the really pricey ones if need be. Would it be necessary to get the Comprehensive Genome or can I get by with less expensive tests? Or does the Comprehensive Genome ever go on sale? Obviously, I'm a confused newbie that desperately needs help.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Haupia View Post
    I'd like to test my uncle who is the only male child of my maternal grandfather. My uncle's in his 70's so I'd like to test him before anything happens to him but I don't know which one is best. The tests are pretty pricey and would like to find something more cost friendly. Of course, I will pay the expense for the really pricey ones if need be. Would it be necessary to get the Comprehensive Genome or can I get by with less expensive tests? Or does the Comprehensive Genome ever go on sale? Obviously, I'm a confused newbie that desperately needs help.
    If you are doing the testing with FTDNA, it will keep his DNA sample on file. You could start with the cheapest test, say Family Finder, and do the Y-DNA tests later. You normally get two vials for the samples, but given his age, you may want to request FTDNA to send a third to make sure there is ample DNA for future tests.

    Jack

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    • #3
      Yes, definitely do as Jack suggested. My late father submitted his initial two vials as part of National Geographic's Geno 2 test, which was at that time processed by FTDNA for Nat. Geo. and kept for them in separate storage. We transferred it to FTDNA, and I later asked for and received two additional vials for him to use, and for FTDNA to keep in storage for future testing (it is possible to request extra vials with your initial order, also, by contacting FTDNA, preferably by phone before the kit is mailed to you). My father's vials have been used for these tests: Y-67, upgrade to Y-111, one SNP panel, Full Mitochondrial Sequence (FMS) mtDNA, and BigY. His Family Finder was a transfer from 23andMe, version 3. I believe that there is at least one, if not two, of his original four vials left.

      In another case similar to yours, I have one maternal uncle, the only male child of my maternal grandfather. He misplaced/lost the original kit sent to him (with extra vials that I had requested), and when they sent the replacement, it had only the usual two vials. Recently, his sample was used for a BigY test, and there was an insufficient amount left to do it. His original sample was used previously for Family Finder, Y-67, and an upgrade to Y-111, and those tests used it up. As these two cases show, you never know how good the sample is, or how many tests can be run on it, so having extra vials in storage never hurts.

      As Jack said, you could start with Family Finder (now $89 regular price, I believe), or you might want to see if you can order a Y-12 test, which was $59 the last time I heard of it. You may have to join a project (surname or geographical) to be able to order a Y-12 test, but you could see if FTDNA would let you order it by phone (asking for as many extra vials as they will send, probably two). Y-12 is no longer shown on the tests available to order on FTDNA, but is available. Then you could wait for sales (particularly in Nov.-Dec.) to upgrade his Y markers, or order other tests. On the other hand, there may be a cost benefit for ordering a higher Y-STR test (Y-37 or Y-67) initially, and you'd likely use less DNA than you would by upgrading later.
      Last edited by KATM; 11 July 2017, 02:05 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Haupia View Post
        I'd like to test my uncle who is the only male child of my maternal grandfather. My uncle's in his 70's so I'd like to test him before anything happens to him but I don't know which one is best. The tests are pretty pricey and would like to find something more cost friendly. Of course, I will pay the expense for the really pricey ones if need be. Would it be necessary to get the Comprehensive Genome or can I get by with less expensive tests? Or does the Comprehensive Genome ever go on sale? Obviously, I'm a confused newbie that desperately needs help.
        To actually answer your original questions, my recollection of the "Comprehensive Genome" package is that it includes Family Finder, a Y test (Y-67?) and the mtDNA Full Sequence (FMS) test. The FTDNA website is undergoing maintenance right now, so I couldn't check that. It does go on sale occasionally.

        You can get by with less testing. You should think about whether you need all of those included in the Comprehensive Genome, particularly since you'd be ordering them all at once.

        Your maternal uncle would have the same mtDNA as your mother, or other full siblings they may share, and also (via your mother) you and your siblings. So, if any of those people (or another direct maternal-line descendant of your maternal grandmother) have already done an mtDNA test, your uncle wouldn't need to.

        The Y tests are of two types: Y-STR (Short Tandem Repeat), and Y-SNP (Single-nucleotide polymorphism). The Y-STR tests include Y-12, Y-25, Y-37, Y-67 and Y-111; the first two are of little use, as matches you get with them are not related in a recent timeframe. STR tests will show matches in the direct paternal line, but these can be distant. The more markers you test (37, 67, 111), the more relevant the match will be, if there are few or no differences (0 or 1 difference in markers). You will get a predicted haplogroup with a Y-STR test.

        To refine the predicted haplogroup, you would use Y-SNP tests, or the BigY (which finds the most recent, or "terminal" SNP, plus new ones not yet on the Y-tree). It is best to join a Y Haplogroup project and get advice for such testing. SNP testing is good if you want to find out the ancient origins of the paternal haplogroup. Some Y-haplogroups are very large, and many project members for such large groups (such as R1b) have tested with Big Y, or far down the Y-tree by testing individual SNPs or panels. This testing has gotten the "terminal" haplogroup subclade (last known SNP, or newly discovered SNP) down to almost a genealogical timeframe (500 or less years). Eventually that may happen, where SNP testing will be useful for finding relatives, but it will involve having many more men taking a BigY test to get to that point. At least that is my understanding - someone will correct me if I'm not describing it correctly.

        The Family Finder test is generally always good to do, especially if you are hoping to use your uncle's results as part of a general plan to find relatives of one degree or another from all branches of your family, to help with your genealogy research.

        FTDNA has sales at different times of the year. Some are: Mother's Day, Father's Day, "DNA" day, and many during their Holiday Sale in November and December, when there are also bonus coupons that you can use on top of the sale prices.

        You may want to check this Beginner's Guide to Genetic Genealogy, or the "Getting Started" part of the ISOGG.org website, to learn more.
        Last edited by KATM; 11 July 2017, 02:49 PM.

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        • #5
          I'm Starting to See the Light

          Thank for your help. I'm beginning to understand the process a little.

          I have already taken the MTFull Sequence so my uncle doesn't have to. Is that correct? My mother is deceased but she has a sibling here where I live.

          Does it cost anything for the extra vials?

          Is it worth it to also test with Ancestry? I'm only going with FTDNA because they seem to be more, for lack of a better word, 'detailed' with results, hence the expense.

          If my uncle doesn't have to take the MTDNA test because I did then I think my best choice would be is to get the Autosomal/67 markers package (with extra vials). He lives in Washington, I'm in Hawaii, and since I want to administer them myself, I am going to go to Washington to do it. I hope this a good plan.

          My interest in our genealogy is because I can't go back any farther than my grandparents, on both sides, and I really want to go farther back. My maternal grandfather was brought up by a village and they gave him his surname, so right there, names won't help me, at least for now. His father was supposedly a Spanish soldier, his mother, a native of the Philippines, who probably left him with the village to raise him. His wife, my maternal grandmother, I can't find any records on her. I was told that there was a fire in the office where the records were held and it all burned down. I have to check and see if there are records elsewhere in that country. My father's parents, I might have better luck but I'm very willing to do the footwork on this even if I have to fly to the Philippines. I may as well pay a professional genealogist to do it but I'd rather want to learn this with as much help as I can get. My best DNA match, according to Ancestry is 114 cm over 9 DNA segments, so I think I need to search to get something better. I did get in touch with that match and found him to be the nephew of a cousin on my father's side.

          I have to keep learning by reading through the many posts here and continue reading the Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. I will also go to the ISOGG link that was provided. It's a little daunting but extremely fascinating. Extremely! Thanks again!

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