No announcement yet.

What are the Pros and Cons of FGS testing?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What are the Pros and Cons of FGS testing?

    I am wondering the pros and cons of FGS testing. At the moment I have done HVR1 and 2 and my haplogroup listing is T*. I have 3 matches at the combined level and 14 within plus or minus 1, including my second cousin. What, if anything, incrementally useful might I expect from FGS?
    Last edited by Deirwha; 29 October 2008, 06:25 PM.

  • #2
    If you want to find matches, the FGS is not going to help now, simply because few people have tested. Perhaps, a few years down the road the database will be richer.

    The FGS will help you understand where in the tree you fit. For instance, you can check the phylogenetic trees of FGS created by Ian Logan:

    (scroll down to T1 and T2)
    An FGS would place you somewhere in those trees.



    • #3
      Originally posted by cacio
      If you want to find matches, the FGS is not going to help now, simply because few people have tested. Perhaps, a few years down the road the database will be richer.
      On the other hand, if people are discouraged from ordering the FGS, the database will take a lot longer to grow!

      I, for one, have about 15 FGS matches. Granted, I'm in one of the most common Ashkenazi subclades, and having this many FGS matches is an exception rather than the rule right now. However, it proves that you can't make a blanket statement about the FGS being useless for finding matches.

      Yes, it may be uncommon for people to find FGS matches at the moment, but certainly not impossible.

      Deirwha, I can't really tell you whether you should or shouldn't order the FGS. It really depends on your goals. If you're curious about what the FGS will show regardless of the outcome and can afford it, then go for it. However, if you're someone who will be disappointed if you have no matches and will feel like you've wasted your money, then wait a couple years for the price to come down to a level that you're more comfortable with.

      Also, if you haven't already, check out the haplogroup T projects:

      With our premier suite of DNA tests and the world’s most comprehensive matching database...your DNA has met its match!

      And, I would recommend contacting the project administrators for their advice. Haplogroup project administrators are often intimately familiar with their haplogroup as a result of studying it and its members' results on a regular basis, and are therefore in the best position to give personalized advice to someone considering an upgrade.



      • #4
        Thank you both, Ciao and Elise

        I am dubious of finding matches simply because my maternal family has lived on an island for 400 years to which record keeping was added in the past century. I am mostly interested in where I fit along the golden thread. I have my private obsessions like everyone and the absence of a clear fit on either Y or mt has been a source of frustration. I am much further along in understanding Y than mt but there, too there is an apparent large gap between the "came from" represented by the haplogroup and the "got to" represented by what I can trace about my roots (only back into the 18th century with validity thus far). I have been weighing 23andMe v. FGS as the next step. I can afford one but not the other. I had heard mixed feedback about FGS but am thinking FGS may be the next step precisely because of what Ciao says. I continue to struggle with how it is my closest matches are in Italy rather than England or even the island where I know my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother were raised (despite known cousins in the mix). I have read much of the material offered by FTDNA and appreciate its efforts to communicate. I wish there was a possibility of an individual "reading" that went with results. When one does not know one does not know what is key in the information at which one looks. I understand what you mean about Administrators. I have received a ton of useful help from the Administrators of two projects most directly related to my Y and mt structure. However there are questions that even they have not been able to answer. Maybe there are no answers to these questions yet. Again, thanks ever so much.


        • #5
          I did both FGS and decodeme, and found both tests informative and useful. But they really have different uses. 23andme/decodeme gives you an incredible amount of information, often of medical relevance. But it is more tricky for genealogical purposes because you cannot know from which lineage something comes from, as the DNA mixes. There are some algorithms to compute admixture of different populations (including for instance dienekes's Eurocalc, which has NW Europe vs S Europe), but they are admixtures, they don't tell you where it comes from.

          FGS precisely identifies one lineage (the purely female one), though how much information you can get from it depends on the extent of current databases.



          • #6
            23andMe and DeCodeMe both sample the mitochondrion, FGS sequences the entire mitochondrion. On the basis of the mitochondrion alone, choosing between FGS and the others might be based on whether the others' mitochondrion sampling is sufficient to define phylogeny to your satisfaction.

            Obviously, the FGS is definitive, and doing both FGS and a genome scan is duplicative, as regard the mitochondrion. The genome scans, however, also sample Y, X and the autosome. You might also inquire of the genome scan companies as to the present size and geographic spread of their comparative databases of results to determine if the non-mitochondrial results would be of use to you.