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  • Fern
    replied
    Originally posted by woodjr View Post
    I looked at the Estes blog and couldn't get past the terminology. I also have the Bettinger book, but I got bogged down in the technicalities in it as well.
    Unfortunately you'll have to come to grips with some of the terminology/technicalities if you want to make sense of your results. Being 82 isn't the reason you couldn't follow it - it's because the language and concepts aren't familiar. It's a steep learning curve for anyone of any age ... unless they're already well versed in biology and math.

    Try reading the Bettinger book a little at a time - and keep reading: don't freeze up when you find the terms unfamiliar I think there's a glossary towards the end of the book (can't remember for sure).

    I learnt huge amounts from Roberta Estes' blogs/articles, but I started with one that gave the basics and then went on to explore her other blogs. I suggest having a look at https://dna-explained.com/2015/08/07...-101-what-now/

    Read the comments below each blog, too - they often help clarify points that seem unclear.

    Once you have your results, the explanations and advice will be more relevant and you'll have more of an incentive for becoming familiar with the terminology. At the moment it's probably more like learning "theory", which is rarely easy

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  • Fern
    replied
    Wait until 25 April before ordering your test. 25 April is DNA Day, when FTDNA usually offers discounts on its tests.

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  • woodjr
    replied
    I looked at the Estes blog and couldn't get past the terminology. I also have the Bettinger book, but I got bogged down in the technicalities in it as well. I'm 82 years old with no living close relatives. I have, by the way, been researching my family the old fashioned way for 40+ years and have traced nearly all my lines back the their 17th century immigrants.

    In any case, it seems to me that the Family Finder test, as inexpensive as it is, is worth a shot. Since I know the surnames of all but one of my brick wall people, as well their might-be ancestries, the FF test might provide clues I can follow up on.

    Thanks to the forum for all the help.

    John

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  • KATM
    replied
    It is true that an autosomal test, such as FTDNA's Family Finder, usually will only go back from 4 to 6 generations, or about 250 years or so (depending upon how long the generations were). But, there are always outliers.

    Roberta Estes has a blog post, "Concepts - Percentage of Ancestors' DNA," in which she gives several examples of how DNA segments can be passed down.

    The bottom line is that you and a sibling may have inherited different amounts from different lines. So, if you have any siblings, or cousins along the "brick wall" lines (or your parent, aunt or uncle, if living), you should work up an autosomal testing strategy to include as many people as possible who could have inherited DNA from the ancestors in those lines. One or more may get matches that others do not. I have seen this in the kits I manage, which include different sets of two, two, and six siblings, plus several 1st and 2nd cousins of various degrees removed.

    Five of the "six sibling" group (plus one of their 1st cousins) had longest matching segments of from roughly 8-10 cM, to a person who is probably related via several paths. Conservatively, this person is at least a 6th cousin to the siblings. Two of the 4th g-grandparents of each line were siblings (6 generations from this match and the siblings' generation). The common ancestral couple, 5th g-grandparents born in about the early 1700s, are thus 7 generations from the DNA-matched 6th cousins.

    Note that the remaining one of the "six sibling" group did not have large enough matching segments with the 6th cousin to show as a match on FTDNA. Several segments under 5 cM did show for this non-matching sibling when all where compared at GEDmatch.
    Last edited by KATM; 12 April 2018, 05:58 PM. Reason: corrected cM numbers, and number of people matching

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  • woodjr
    replied
    Thanks,Your response was pretty much what I expected.

    John

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  • travers
    replied
    Originally posted by woodjr View Post
    Sorry about that. All of my brick walls save one pass through both male and female ancestors. The one I just wrote about happens to pass through my mother and her female ancestors to the female brick wall.
    John
    For the direct female line you could try taking a mtdna test as you receive your mitochondrial DNA through your mother who received from her mother etc. Usually though mtdna isn't that helpful as your matches could be from hundreds if not thousands of years ago and the people you are matching usually have a brick wall on their direct female line as well. Now if you have a clue as to who your brick wall direct female ancestor's mother is maybe mtdna will be of some help but usually it isn't if you are just hoping for a random match that solves a brick wall. Same pretty much with Family Finder because you are looking for information further back than what Family Finder is generally helpful with. But Family Finder would be the test for getting matches that are through all branches of your tree. Family Finder probably wouldn't be much help if you are looking back 6 or 7 generations though. Sounds like your best course of action is old fashioned research or hiring a professional researcher.

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  • woodjr
    replied
    Sorry about that. All of my brick walls save one pass through both male and female ancestors. The one I just wrote about happens to pass through my mother and her female ancestors to the female brick wall.
    John

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  • travers
    replied
    Originally posted by woodjr View Post
    So, even though I have a direct female line from my mother to the female ancestor in question, because I'm male and cannot inherit from my mother, the only way I can search for this missing female is through Family Finder? As you say, it is iffy if that would help given the genetic distance of that female.

    It looks as though I'm stymied, given I have no close female relatives in this line.

    John
    Reread what you previously wrote, you said the lineage to these ancestors pass through both male and female lines. Now you are saying it is a direct female line. So which is it?

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  • woodjr
    replied
    RE:Which dna Test

    So, even though I have a direct female line from my mother to the female ancestor in question, because I'm male and cannot inherit from my mother, the only way I can search for this missing female is through Family Finder? As you say, it is iffy if that would help given the genetic distance of that female.

    It looks as though I'm stymied, given I have no close female relatives in this line.

    John

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  • loobster
    replied
    FamilyFinder is the only one that might help if not direct maternal and not direct paternal - BUT you are looking for results so far out, FamilyFinder may not help.

    That book by Bettinger is still on my 'should check this out' list. It may answer some of your questions.

    Leave a comment:


  • KATM
    replied
    I would recommend autosomal tests for your situation, which is the Family Finder test at FTDNA. Since the line(s) you're interested in are in neither the direct maternal or direct paternal lines, autosomal is the way to go (and the least expensive!).

    You may find that it will be helpful to test relatives in certain lines. Before you do any DNA testing, I recommend reading Blaine Bettinger's book, "The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy," which has been highly praised for people new to the subject (it is published by Family Tree Books, which is not related to FTDNA).

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  • woodjr
    started a topic Which dna Test

    Which dna Test

    I have a couple of brick walls that I hoped a dna test would help break, but now I’m not sure. The two are in my maternal line, but pass through male and female ancestors to the 6th and 7th generations. Which dna tests might help uncover these persons’s identities?

    John
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