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  • Which Tests(s)?

    A Contact of mine is trying to discover the name of her 2xGGrandfather's Father. She has taken an Ancestry Test which I have advised she should upload to FTDNA and GEDmatch to find other matches. She obviously cannot take a Y-DNA Test and her Autosomal Tests are unlikely to be particularly useful. She has 2 brothers but I am assuming their Y-DNA will come from their Father and not the lineage she is seeking. Is there any point in them taking any test which will move her forward?

  • #2
    Originally posted by dagian View Post
    A Contact of mine is trying to discover the name of her 2xGGrandfather's Father. She has taken an Ancestry Test which I have advised she should upload to FTDNA and GEDmatch to find other matches.
    Do not have her upload the AncestryDNA kit to Family Finder. Looking for a relationship that far back, she needs to take the Family Finder test itself because it includes a lot more SNP's than the Ancestry test (unless the Ancestry test was done more than a couple of years back). She will get more matches on Family Finder with a real Family finder test.

    Jack

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    • #3
      Edited to add: I agree with Jack about testing at FTDNA.

      So her 3rd g-grandfather (father of her 2nd g-grandfather) is not in the direct male ancestor lineage. He's either her mother's ancestor, or her father's maternal ancestor, something like that. I assume traditional genealogy has hit a brick wall.

      Unless your friend has, or can find, a relative in the direct male line for this 3rd g-grandfather (to do a Y-DNA test), then autosomal DNA testing is the way to go here. By testing her brothers for autosomal DNA, it will increase the odds that one of the siblings may get a match related to the 3rd g-grandfather. That is 5 generations distant: sibling tested > parent > grandparent > 1st g-grand > 2nd g-grand > 3rd g-grand; so on the outer limits for autosomal matches, which are generally good for up to 4-6 generations. See the Shared cM Relationship Chart by Blaine Bettinger to visualize this. You could be looking at a relevant match in the 4th to 5th cousin level; but transfers to FTDNA from people who have tested at Ancestry on their v. 2 test (from May 2016 onward) usually will not get such matches at FTDNA. See the ISOGG Wiki page for Ancestry DNA, where, under the "Transfers" heading, it notes (my bolding):
      AncestryDNA results can also be transferred to Family Tree DNA's Family Finder database where you can search for additional matches, join projects and use additional tools to compare results. The transfer is free but a small fee is required to unlock additional features. Details can be found at [url]www.familytreedna.com/AutosomalTransfer. Note that AncestryDNA transfers after the introduction of the new chip in May 2016 will receive a reduced number of matches and will not receive matches in the speculative range. See the blog post from Louise Coakley Should you upgrade your Family Finder transfer?
      (in particular, read from the "What don't you get when you transfer?" heading and the rest after that in Louise Coakley's article linked above). Of course, if your friend and her brothers test at Ancestry, their distant matches should show up there.

      Another point is, does your friend have any other relatives who could do the Family Finder test at FTDNA? She could link such tested relatives to a tree she has in her FTDNA account (and that of her brothers', if they test), to group her matches into maternal and/or paternal tabs, which would be helpful in sorting her matches. See the articles in the FTDNA Learning center, "Family Finder – Family Matching Tool" and "Family Finder – Family Matching System" for more information about this. Articles about this tool in Roberta Estes' blog posts, "Family Tree DNA Introduces Phased Family Finder Matches" and "Additional Relatives Added to Phased Family Matches at Family Tree DNA," give details about the relatives who can be tested and used with this tool.
      Last edited by KATM; 23rd July 2018, 12:23 PM. Reason: edited to add comment

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      • #4
        Good advice! I shall advise her to do a FF Test and see if she can encourage her brothers to also test.

        Her 2 x GGrandfather is on her Mother's side and there are no known relatives who could be tested.

        The advantage (!) she may eventually have is that the families have lived in the same small geographical area for hundreds of years which may make an eventual paper trail easier.

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        • #5
          In addition to the expert advice you have already received, I would advise you to upload to MyHeritage which is free. I have found close matches there which I do not have at FTDNA, 23, Ancestry and Gedmatch.

          You said "families have lines in the same small geographic area for hundreds of year", then it would be logical there could be cousin marriages (endogamy) which could make some of your matches seem closer than they actually are regarding cMs.

          3X ggrandparents would be 4th cousins. One of the prevailing stats is that at this level, there is only ~ a 50% chance that you would have a dna match with one of your 4th cousins, and a 10% chance with a 5th Cousin.

          There are varying stats out there, so someone else, please comment.
          Last edited by Biblioteque; 23rd July 2018, 02:05 PM.

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          • #6
            Trying to find a 3rd great grandfather through autosomal DNA testing will be extremely difficult. Now perhaps she will be lucky and this man comes from a large lineage where many have DNA tested or she will get that one lucky match who holds the answer, but probably unlikely. If it were me I would have her do some traditional research first and then in time if she finds it necessary to test her brothers then do so (test the oldest generation from the line in question as possible). I mean if she has other mysteries too than by all means test multiple family members but I wouldn't encourage her that this one particular mystery can be solved through DNA testing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by travers View Post
              Trying to find a 3rd great grandfather through autosomal DNA testing will be extremely difficult. Now perhaps she will be lucky and this man comes from a large lineage where many have DNA tested or she will get that one lucky match who holds the answer, but probably unlikely. If it were me I would have her do some traditional research first and then in time if she finds it necessary to test her brothers then do so (test the oldest generation from the line in question as possible). I mean if she has other mysteries too than by all means test multiple family members but I wouldn't encourage her that this one particular mystery can be solved through DNA testing.
              Caution is in order, but the right circumstances can yield results. With Family Finder, I have discovered:

              - A great grandfather of a third great grandmother.


              - that a second great grandmother was adopted.


              - my third great grandfather, John Wyatt, fathered an Annis Wyatt out of wedlock.


              I probably have more examples of distant findings, but those are just a few that come to mind.


              Jack

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              • #8
                travers makes a good point; it will be very hard to find a match related to the 3rd great-grandfather. I tried to qualify for that situation with my statement in my first post, "I assume traditional genealogy has hit a brick wall." It would be advisable to keep plugging away at finding some paper research to find the identity, even if DNA testing is pursued.

                I have a match at FTDNA with a person who is a 6th cousin to me. His 3rd great-grandfather was a 1st cousin to one of my confirmed 3rd great-grandmothers, and his pedigree goes back to our common 5th g-grandparents (I have not independently confirmed the parents for that 3rd great-grandmother of mine, though). He can also track back to who his research shows are our common 10th g-grandparents, (m. in 1515, Malta).

                I get many matches with Maltese ancestry, which seems to be very endogamous. It may be a similar situation for dagian's contact, as Biblioteque has previously already pointed out.
                Last edited by KATM; 23rd July 2018, 04:09 PM. Reason: correction to statistics typo

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                • #9
                  KATM, thanks for that valuable link. I will save it. Yes, there is a great variance in the stats of cousins not matching.

                  So, as I once read, it is interesting that we can actually be dna-related to someone, yet have no match.
                  Last edited by Biblioteque; 23rd July 2018, 04:35 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Many thanks for all the useful Comments. I have now passed on the suggestions to my Contact who is grateful that there may now be a way forward.

                    Top marks to all the Contributors who quickly respond to questions from us Novices - the answers are always very clear, concise and in a language that is understandable.

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