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  • Why?

    I am curious as to why some of you have chosen to purchase DNA kits?

    My own family is incredibly small, which initiated my interest in genealogy, if nothing else to know the names of relatives and where I came from. We emigrated in 1973, by the time I returned to my birth town, I didn't know anyone. I've totally exhausted tracing my family tree, this left me with finding out who am I related to.
    1. My mother's family in WWII were evacuated, never returning to their home town. Lost contact with aunts, uncles and cousins. My mother had two sisters, both were spinsters and deceased.
    2. My father's family, his father, mother, only sibling died while we were abroad, so we lost contact with cousins.
    There we have it, my story in a condensed couple of lines and the reason for doing the DNA tests.

  • #2
    Not exactly related but I noticed your user name? Are you from Cardiff, Wales?


    • #3
      As far as the DNA kits’ use for genealogy, it is another tool to help solve problems in research, to be used along with traditional paper genealogy. There are a few reasons why I've purchased DNA tests (not presented in as a condensed way as you, I'm afraid):

      1. To help break brick walls in my research, for the ancestors who’ve left no paper genealogy clues regarding from whence they came in the “old countries.”
      It is something of a long shot, a fishing expedition, hoping that some cousin on a related line will also do a DNA test, and also be willing and able to share what they know of the family. Interestingly, transferring my own and a few other relative's kits to MyHeritage has recently yielded several 2nd and 3rd cousins who have helped to these ends. There are a few matches at FTDNA who could be helpful, if I could go back far enough to find the common ancestral couple. But, now we get into the difficulty of procuring necessary records from certain countries to accomplish such goals.

      2. Taking matching segment data of known related matches from chromosome browsers to use with DNA Painter, or for Visual Phasing, in order to “map” my own and other family members’ chromosomes.
      Identifying segments by ancestral couple or person can be productive, using it to place those new, or even some older matches who match particular identified segments into the correct branches of maternal and paternal sides (if neither the match or I cannot otherwise determine the connection). I've used matches at 23andMe, FTDNA, and MyHeritage, as well as GEDmatch, to help with such mapping, even if they won’t respond to messages.

      3. Haplogroups
      While for me perhaps the least important, or the least fruitful insofar as matches, I still find it interesting to know the haplogroups of my immigrant ancestors, if only to see where in ancient times their haplogroup(s) originated. I've had mixed success from testing selected people who are direct descendants on the maternal or paternal lines. This is because an appropriate descendant is not always available, due to the ancestor having had either no appropriate collateral relatives, or if they did exist, no descendants from them.
      Last edited by KATM; 6 June 2019, 03:14 PM. Reason: minor changes for clarity


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tenn4ever View Post
        Not exactly related but I noticed your user name? Are you from Cardiff, Wales?
        Yes, Cardiff, Wales.


        • #5
          Originally posted by KATM View Post
          As far as the DNA kits’ use for genealogy, it is another tool to help solve problems in research, to be used along with your traditional paper genealogy. There are a few reasons why I've purchased DNA tests (not presented in as a condensed way as you, I'm afraid):
          I could have written an essay, but didn't want to frighten people away from replying.

          As I have no links to anyone, I was hoping to find a cousin (or two or three).

          My mother is in a nursing home and has Alzheimer's and her knowledge is gibberish. Though it was through her I started my genealogy research.

          Like you I'm not too worried about haplogroups etc, though I find it very interesting.

          On my mother's side her grandfather for whatever reason adopted two children (why?) before he married.

          Another curious one on my mother's side her great great grandfather I don't believe is a related as he kept taking in daughter's, which was very confusing as all four daughter's have a different mother, there are no marriage records and no reference that these mother's lived at the address. Again 'why'?

          I've done the mtDNA, done the auDNA and only recently an auDNA kit for my twin brother and auDNA kit for my mother. At least both are then in the system and as and when I can afford it, a y-DNA for my twin and mtDNA full sequence for them both.


          • #6
            Your plan sounds good, with the limited range of known relatives that you have tested so far. It may take some time, and a lot of research, to answer your questions about your mother's grandfather and great-great-grandfather. But, DNA matches might help.

            Here's my essay, for what it's worth:

            I'm fortunate because I have many known cousins, of which a selected few agreed to test, as well as a few elders that I've been able to test before they passed away (as you've done, ALWAYS test the eldest generation of relatives if they are willing and able, as they are one generation closer to the ancestors - important for autosomal testing). I've tried to use a selective DNA testing plan as to which relatives I ask to take a DNA test, and for most of which I've paid to do so. Most are for autosomal, and certain of them have been useful for mtDNA and/or Y-DNA testing.

            Blaine Bettinger, of "The Genetic Genealogist" blog, and a well-known presenter on the topic of DNA for genealogy, made a presentation at Legacy Family Tree Webinars, called "Formulating a DNA Testing Plan." It is well worth viewing if you can, but you have to have a subscription to view it. To summarize, he advised several things (all as available, obviously):
            • Test your "vertical relatives" first: parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great aunts/great uncles, and more.
            • If none of those are available, or don't want to test, move on to the "horizontal relatives," which are: you, your siblings, first cousins and second cousins. They can be from different generations (1C1R, 2C1R, nieces, nephews, etc.). Second cousins allow you to focus on a particular line.
            • Take advantage of raw data transfers to other companies (To: MyHeritage and LivingDNA; From: Ancestry, 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritage)
            • For anyone who has tested DNA at Ancestry, there is a good table which shows how likely it is for different family members to have a DNA match with cousins that YOU don't match. To view the article with this table, go to your DNA matches list, and click on the question mark just below your user name, at the top right. This will show "AncestryDNA Matching Help and Tips." Select "Should other family members get tested?," and scroll to Table 2; this will show percentages for various relatives' likelihood to match various degrees of cousins (3rd to 8th). Note that, although not shown in the table, but along with "Grandparent," your great aunts and great uncles will also match at the same percentages as the grandparent.
            I'll attach the above-mentioned Table 2 to this post, so you and others can see the various percentages of likelihood, by relative. Note how the percentages vary, depending on the degree of distant cousin, per different specific close relative:


            It sounds like you might find matches (to you or the others you have tested) with the descendants of your maternal aunts, uncles, and cousins, and your paternal cousins, with whom you have lost contact (if they or their descendants have tested). If your traditional research has gone up your direct lines, then out to collateral relatives, and then down through as many of their descendants as you can find, you will have some idea of from who your matches may be, or may be descended. Censuses may help find these earlier descendants, if you don't know them already. Keep an eye on the female relatives' married surnames. See "Who Is This? 6 Steps to Determine Genetic Relationships of Your DNA Matches," by Paul Woodbury.

            "Fishing in all ponds" may be helpful for you, if you can afford it (testing with, or transferring to, as many companies as you can, as you never know where that important match may have tested). Your brother's future Y-DNA testing may help, too. The mtDNA results can be used for specific genealogy questions, as "fishing" for matches with mtDNA is not usually as productive as autosomal testing (due to the comparatively fewer people who test mtDNA).

            While perhaps not particularly relevant to your case, some forum members may have groups of several siblings who they may be able to test. If a parent of such siblings cannot be tested, testing siblings can help to substitute for that parent. By testing many, or all siblings if possible, the combination of their DNA will cover large parts of the missing parent's, from whom they inherited it. Even testing a second sibling, as you have, is very helpful. Your brother is not your identical twin, so will have inherited 50% of his DNA the same as you, and 50% different from you, as a separate sibling would. Thus 25% more coverage will result from testing him. See "Is testing one sibling enough? Practical Autosomal Genealogy," by Rebekah Canada. The increased coverage of the DNA of the missing parent will allow for each of you to have different matches who would have matched that parent.

            This chart (from somewhere on Facebook) shows an example of approximate coverage for a parents' DNA if from one to up to six siblings have tested:


            • #7
              Thank you once again KATM. I use Legacy software, so I do get their webinar notifications etc and missed that email.

              I paid for all the kits, which starts to add up. I actually found the auDNA more beneficial than the mtDNA. In the case of my maternal lineage, it comes to a dead end in Ireland. Most offspring didn't marry, or died as babies so a family of 6 children in our case 2 babies died, 2 spinsters and 2 daughters married. Each of those 2 daughters only had one daughter each. It makes you wonder how our line made it this far, lots of spinsters/bachelors.

              I do like the fact my twin has now done the auDNA. While we are not identical twins, we are siblings and whew - he's male so eventually I may get that y-DNA test done. With regards to my mother - yes the eldest generation 'she's 79' and no idea how long we have.

              It's a shame I don't have anyone else. My mother's side just ends with her. I wrote to my mother's father's brother's son (tried twice). Never had a reply though of course the address may be completely out of date.

              Your images haven't shown up, so I presume they will appear soon. I will return to this thread to check on the chart and Table 2.

              Thank you so much for the links and suggested reading, much appreciated.


              • #8
                I see the table displayed in my last post, but not the pie chart. Will try again here, and hope it works this time. It's similar to the charts in the second link in my previous post, just showing percentage covered with more siblings. I do have a group of 6 siblings tested at FTDNA, and one of the parents, so it works for me! If I knew where it came from, I'd post a link to it.

                You are doing well with the tests you've ordered, or are planning, for the people you have available, at least per the advice usually given.

                Last edited by KATM; 7 June 2019, 09:56 AM.


                • #9
                  Wow you are fortunate to have that many siblings to do the Test. For me this end the only pie graph is visible - the last one shown on 7 June 2019.

                  I tried the last couple of days to try and get my brother to do the Y-dna test - no luck, so it'll have to wait until I can afford it, the thing is he has a son, who could also do the y-dna test. It would have helped, but hey ho. It'll have to wait until I can afford it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CardiffLady View Post
                    Wow you are fortunate to have that many siblings to do the Test. For me this end the only pie graph is visible - the last one shown on 7 June 2019.
                    I sent you a private message.