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Is a 12 marker test enough?

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  • Is a 12 marker test enough?

    I have traced my ancester back 11 generations.... I find a 12 marker match with someone who has the same sure name. If we are related it is probably no earlier than 15 or more generations ago.

    It seems to me that if we match at 12 markers that there is a high probability that we are related somewhere.

    I don't understand why the need for more markers... does it really improve accuracy... I am looking pretty far back... so I suspect that even if I do a larger test that at 15 generations there might be some mutations.

  • #2
    It seems to me that if one has a good genealogical paper trail, one would not need a deep DNA testing.

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    • #3
      I can go back 13 generations..... my question... is... if I have a 12 marker match with another person of the same sure name.... ... we are trying to determine if we are related some 300-400 years ago.

      It seems to me I only need a 12 marker match and sure name match to suggest a strong probablity that we are related... it seems to have a few more markers is like icing on the cake... not really all that meaningful.... plus what if you have a few mutations... does that mean you are not related... or just that there are natural mutations... so in that case more data ... means more vs less confusion.

      That is the reason for my questions about 12 vs... say 67 marker testing

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jhk View Post
        I can go back 13 generations..... my question... is... if I have a 12 marker match with another person of the same sure name.... ... we are trying to determine if we are related some 300-400 years ago.

        It seems to me I only need a 12 marker match and sure name match to suggest a strong probablity that we are related... it seems to have a few more markers is like icing on the cake... not really all that meaningful.... plus what if you have a few mutations... does that mean you are not related... or just that there are natural mutations... so in that case more data ... means more vs less confusion.

        That is the reason for my questions about 12 vs... say 67 marker testing
        It depends on how much your match knows. If you have your y line traced back pretty far and that other person with your surname does not, then going to 37 or 67 markers could help him out quite a bit by revealing exactly how closely matched you are.

        Besides, there are plenty of people with the same surname who are really not closely related. If you are R1b, a 12-marker match could be next to useless, even with someone of the same surname - unless your surname is Frgllzptlxwitz or something equally rare.

        If you are interested in genetic genealogy at all, you're eventually going to want to go to 67 markers. And if you are R1b, you're going to want the Deep Clade-R test, as well.

        In my opinion, those upgrades are worth every penny. They opened up a whole new world to me and have given me hours of enjoyment in a fascinating hobby.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jhk View Post
          I have traced my ancester back 11 generations
          That's some feat. How did you find accurate documentation for so many generations?

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          • #6
            One needs to recall that there are people who only match 11/12 with their father or brother. In fact, this should happen as often as one out of 300 or 400 people.

            In almost all cases these 11/12 came out as 66/67 finaly.
            But who would rate a 11/12 as important and go further?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Daniel72 View Post
              . . .
              But who would rate a 11/12 as important and go further?
              If it's with someone of the same surname, I would.

              But I would definitely go further and not stop at 12 markers.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stevo View Post
                If it's with someone of the same surname, I would
                Yeah. Lucky ones who have a surname that is AT ALL in the Database.

                None of the 4 surnames of my 4 grandparents can be found in either FTDNA or YSearch.

                I even tested all the surnames of my former schoolmates and there is no one in FTDNA or YSearch who matches these surnames. (I am from Germany)

                Quiet.... sad.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Daniel72 View Post
                  I even tested all the surnames of my former schoolmates and there is no one in FTDNA or YSearch who matches these surnames. (I am from Germany)
                  Is there perhaps a reluctance among German nationals to get involved with DNA testing, as there seems to be among French nationals?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daniel72 View Post
                    Yeah. Lucky ones who have a surname that is AT ALL in the Database.

                    None of the 4 surnames of my 4 grandparents can be found in either FTDNA or YSearch.

                    I even tested all the surnames of my former schoolmates and there is no one in FTDNA or YSearch who matches these surnames. (I am from Germany)

                    Quiet.... sad.
                    We need more participation from Germany, that's for sure.

                    Even though the population of Germany exceeds that of all the countries of the British Isles combined, there are only just over 9,000 persons who claim German ancestry in FTDNA's "Ancestral Origins" database and well over 51,000 who identify themselves as having ancestry in the British Isles.

                    The imbalance with the British Isles is even worse for most other countries.

                    That's why so many men who get an R1b result, no matter where they are from, automatically assume they are somehow "British."

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                    • #11
                      I assume thats the majority of testers is US-American.

                      For my mtDNA results for example, ALL my 20 "High Resolution" (HVR1+HVR2) matches are US-Americans.

                      I also read somewhere the claim, that the overwelming majority of the YSearch entries belong to US-Americans and by this, the results are tinted by the migration to the USA (countries whos people didnt migrate into the USA often, are underrepresented or missing)

                      So, yes, bad is that there is only 9.000 people in the database who claim German anchestry. But even more worse may be that it could (a guess by me) be 8.500 US-Americans who claim German anchestry and only 500 actual Germans.

                      Is there perhaps a reluctance among German nationals to get involved with DNA testing, as there seems to be among French nationals?
                      Well, I dont know for France, but Germany had some recent bad experience with people who thought one can estaminate anchestry by the shape of skulls and put them into master, servant and crematory categories.

                      My maternal grandfather refused a test (wich I paid) by muttering "and then they come and shoot me!"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Daniel72 View Post
                        . . . But even more worse may be that it could (a guess by me) be 8.500 US-Americans who claim German anchestry and only 500 actual Germans.
                        Well, in some ways, North Americans of German descent may - at least in terms of their y-dna - be better representatives of Old Germany than many modern Germans. After all, the Americans' ancestors, for the most part, left Germany long ago (some as early as the 17th century), while modern Germany has experienced many demographic changes and population movements.

                        Given current population trends in the EU, in another fifty years historic German dna may be pretty hard to find in Germany itself.
                        Last edited by Stevo; 22 December 2009, 08:35 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Daniel72 View Post
                          Well, I dont know for France, but Germany had some recent bad experience with people who thought one can estaminate anchestry by the shape of skulls and put them into master, servant and crematory categories.

                          My maternal grandfather refused a test (wich I paid) by muttering "and then they come and shoot me!"
                          Yes, given Germany's recent history, that attitude is entirely understandable.

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                          • #14
                            Is a 12 marker test enough?

                            There are many things to be gained by additional testing even though you have such good documentation so far back. I agree with Stevo that the testing is worth every penny. You have a genealogy documentation that makes many of us envious. I can only go back five generations and all five were born in America.
                            First, one of the primary purposes of the tests is to verify the documentation because there are many documents that have been falsified intentionally or accidentally even by census takers.
                            In my case my gggf, ggf and ggu lived in a small village in KY in 1850, yet the same census taker interviewed each of them spelled as follows: McCowen, McCown and McKeown. While these all come from the same Gaelic root meaning son of John or Johnson, would you accept someone whose name is a spelling variation of your surname as being of the same name? Also, if you have your Preferences on your FTDNA personal page set to compare your results only within your surname group, you may be missing a lot of meaningful matches. Set your Preferences to compare your results against the entire FTDNA data base and you will be in for a lot of surprises. It sounds as if you are content with 13 generations but why stop there?

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                            • #15
                              I'm sure the experts have given you what you want, however, everything I have read, assuming you want to "find" connections genetically, REQUIRES more than 12 markers?

                              The number of required markers is the question that seems to be the area to focus your attention?

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