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Regular DNA test vs Y-DNA and Mt DNA

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  • Regular DNA test vs Y-DNA and Mt DNA

    So I took a test with 23and me. for the regular DNA. very accurate about my origins down to which region and matched my family verbal history. However I uploaded the results to GEDmatch and was way off and also uploaded to familytreedna and myheritage. They both gave me a broader region but less detailed version from 23and me.

    So to get a better idea I ordered the Y DNA 67 and the full mtdna test at familytree. I was hoping to understand -what do these tests reveal? Will they show very detailed migrtaion of my ancestors on the Y and M side? What is the difference between these and the regular DNA . regualr DNA I could upload my 23and me and got a reading, but for these two they sent me a kit and I just sent back.

    Just trying to understand all this, while I await my results.

  • #2
    For "regular DNA," which is actually autosomal testing, (Family Finder at FTDNA, plus the tests offered by 23andMe, Ancestry, and MyHeritage) each company uses a different base of reference populations plus their own algorithm, for predicting ethnicity. This may be why you see differences in results from the various companies. In general, ethnicity predictions from autosomal DNA are most accurate at the continental level (broader region) than at more detailed levels. But, in the recent past, it would seem that some companies are providing more accurate predictions at more detailed levels (23andMe, Ancestry).

    Before ordering any DNA test, you should research what the results will provide, to see if it aligns with what your objectives are. FTDNA's Learning Center has a page describing "Our Three Basic Tests." You can read the descriptions for the three types there.
    • Your autosomal tests will give you an estimate of your most recent ethnicity mixture, generally within about 250 or more years (5 to 6 generations, perhaps a bit further). You also receive a list of matches, which each company ranks by estimated relationship to you. Those at "close" and "immediate" levels (close cousins, siblings, parents, grandparents, and so on) will be highest in your match list. Most people get many, many more distant cousins, past 3rd cousin to 5th-distant estimated relationship.
    • The other tests, mtDNA and Y-DNA, will each give you a respective haplogroup, which can be used to show the migration route and where that haplogroup originated thousands of years ago. These tests are not intended to predict ethnicity, but for information on the ancient origins on your direct maternal and paternal lines.
    • mtDNA and Y-DNA tests are also intended to find matches who are related to you via sharing your direct line. But these matches can be related from a recent to a much more distant time. It is easier to "see" that some Y-DNA matches are in your paternal line, since they can share the same surname as you (but not always, due to adoption, or taking on a different surname for other reasons). mtDNA is best used to prove that two women had the same maternal line origin, but may also find relatives in the match list. Since the surname is typically not passed on with mtDNA matches, you need to know your maternal line ancestresses' various surnames, and compare them to those of your matches.
    • The people who are in your match lists for the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests can indicate the name and location for their Earliest Known Ancestor, which may be useful if you can relate it to your ancestors in that direct line.
    • Your results for these two types of tests also includes a page called "Ancestral Origins," which will show the country of origin as reported by the individual customer (your matches) - these are not determined by FTDNA from your DNA.
    Last edited by KATM; 15th October 2019, 01:56 PM.


    • #3
      Note, ydna str testing (12, 25, 37, 67 and 111) only PREDICT a very basic haplogroup (older parent branch) based on your first 12 ydna str markers . No ydna snps are tested which are used to determine haplogroups. For full ydna haplogroup (your final subclade placement ) one needs to do additional ydna snp testing.

      if they can not predict with 100% confidence they run a backbone test