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  • Test options for basic ethnic/geographic origins

    I am primarily interested in a picture of of my ethnic and geographic origins. Something along the lines of: "You're about 40% English, 30% Scottish, and 30% Irish... descended from about half Vikings and half Gauls", etc (and you're 1% black, surprise!). From the demo site, I get the impression that the information is never as neatly-packaged as this. However, I'm looking to get as close to that ideal as possible.

    I am not at all interested in meeting unknown distant relatives, or in detecting secret adoptions. At some point in the near future I might grow interested in serious family tree research, and it would be nice to already have helpful (and upgradable?) test results if that day comes. However, today I am mainly interested in my ethnic and geographic origins at the high level.

    From the reading I've done on the website thus far, it *sounds* like what I need is the "Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus" combination... priced $299 at the time of this post. However, since much of this is still gobbledygook even after a week of reading, I thought I would validate my assumptions with other people. Based on the interests I've described, would there be any major advantages to the higher-end "Y-DNA67" and "mtFullSequence" tests instead? It sounds like those are more suited to people researching adoptions, specific relatives, etc. Am I overlooking more appropriate options, or does it sound like I'm on the right track?

    Thanks for any feedback!

  • #2
    For all that you've stated that you want to know, you'll have to add the Family Finder test (in addition to the y-37 & mtDNA PLUS tests) to get your overall percentages. Depending on how much more you may want to know in the future, you'd upgrade your y-37 to 67, possibly do y-subclade testing, and/or mtDNA FGS.
    Last edited by vinnie; 15 February 2011, 04:28 PM.

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    • #3
      If you are solely interested at this point in biogeographic ancestry (BGA) information, but not in genealogically useful DNA testing, then you can skip the yDNA and mtDNA tests. The yDNA 37 STR marker (or whatever level) test is the basic tool in researching a specific paternal line and finding people who share a common ancestor in the paternal line. Along with the STR results, you'll get an accurate haplogroup prediction, which may give you a general idea in some cases of which part of Europe the line originated, but it's not really specific, more like a guessing game as to origin. At this point, mtDNA results will be even less useful in coming up with a BGA for the line, unless you have an mtDNA haplogroup which is clearly sub-Saharan African, East Asian or Native American.

      Also keep in mind that these tests only give you information on the strict paternal and maternal lines. So, they say nothing at all about the other lines, which at the level of just great-grandparents, make up 14 of your 16 lines.

      What you want is either the Family Finder test here at FTDNA or 23andMe. Both are autosomal tests that give you results for your autosomal chromosomes, which come from all the lines in your tree. Through various functions (Population Finder at FTDNA and Ancestry Painting/Ancestry Finder at 23andMe), you'll get a basic, but general, picture of your BGA.

      There are 3 independent projects for BGA analysis which offer free, more detailed analysis. You have to send the person who runs each project your Family Finder or 23andMe results and it will be run through software and compared to reference populations and other FTDNA and 23andMe customers' results. The 3 projects are one run by Dr. Doug McDonald and the Eurogenes Project and the Dodecad Project. Any of these 3 projects will give you the closest thing to what you're looking for.

      So, basically the choice is Family Finder at FTDNA or the 23andMe test. If you think you might be interested in genealogically useful DNA tests in the future, then the choice would be FTDNA, since 23andMe does not test yDNA STRs and does not have full mtDNA testing. So you don't necessarily get your actual mtDNA subclade, if 23andMe doesn't test a SNP that defines it. FTDNA does have yDNA STR testing and testing of every base in mtDNA.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by stevedperkins View Post
        I am primarily interested in a picture of of my ethnic and geographic origins. Something along the lines of: "You're about 40% English, 30% Scottish, and 30% Irish... descended from about half Vikings and half Gauls", etc (and you're 1% black, surprise!). From the demo site, I get the impression that the information is never as neatly-packaged as this. However, I'm looking to get as close to that ideal as possible.

        I am not at all interested in meeting unknown distant relatives, or in detecting secret adoptions. At some point in the near future I might grow interested in serious family tree research, and it would be nice to already have helpful (and upgradable?) test results if that day comes. However, today I am mainly interested in my ethnic and geographic origins at the high level.
        As others have already responded, Family Finder is the test that gives a percentage of Asian, African, European, etc. ancestry. Those are based on reference samples gathered from people in those places, so the results should get better as more populations are tested. Certain other companies specialize in specific areas of ancestry, e.g. African, Native American, or Jewish.

        Originally posted by stevedperkins View Post
        From the reading I've done on the website thus far, it *sounds* like what I need is the "Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus" combination... priced $299 at the time of this post. However, since much of this is still gobbledygook even after a week of reading, I thought I would validate my assumptions with other people. Based on the interests I've described, would there be any major advantages to the higher-end "Y-DNA67" and "mtFullSequence" tests instead? It sounds like those are more suited to people researching adoptions, specific relatives, etc. Am I overlooking more appropriate options, or does it sound like I'm on the right track?
        As to the other tests, it only makes sense to buy the highest resolution version in certain situations. At 37 markers on the Y-DNA test, I have only one match, with a genetic distance (GD) of 4. Since he was a GD of 2 at 25 markers, I'm betting the distance would only get further if we both upgraded to 67 markers. So I don't think it wouldn't make any sense for me to upgrade now, until I convince some likely paternal cousins to test, and we do match at 37 markers.

        On the other hand, I have a dozen or so exact mtDNA matches using HVR1+HVR2. So I think upgrading to the full mtDNA sequence would make sense, and be helpful to narrow down any potential matches.

        Comment


        • #5
          Steve, even though your primary focus is not finding new relatives, the matches you will get with FTDNA Family Finder will still yield clues regarding your ethnic ancestry.

          Judy

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          • #6
            Family Finder is what you want. Not only will you get information about "lost" relatives, you will also get Population Finder. Both are included in the same test, for the same price. Go to the FAQ page and look for Population Finder, and you will find a thorough explanation of what your results would look like. I began testing with the same purpose as you and I've found this test to be exactly what I was looking for.

            The ydna and mtdna are good,when you get really interested in knowing the deep origins of your paternal and maternal lines. Dont start with them, rather do them later to try and nail down your origins further

            Comment


            • #7
              What I have learned

              I have Y-67 results, MtDNA - FGS results, and Family Finder. I thought it might be useful to explain what I have learned from each.

              The Y testing came first. I learned that my paper records were right and I came from the immigrant Puritan line I thought I did. I also learned that others of the same surname in the same place were not related. I look at Thanksgiving differently knowing I descend from a boy whose parents died before the first feast. I learned the long Y chromosome path that led to my surname ancestor. I can look at the genographic map and follow the travels. I was also lucky and found where in Europe my surname kin live today and that they have been there 500 - 1000 years. I still test when there are upgrades to fill in the last couple thousand years of male line history. And I have had dinner with 10th cousins found by the matches.

              Then the MT-DNA. I got the long history effect, no close kin. I think all these tests work best with genealogical data, so you get the story. My furtherst known female ancestor lived 250 years ago on the Baltic. I have two anonymous FGS matches and they are on the North Sea. That starts some imagination going.

              Family Finder has told me a lot. Some is specific matches. Some is confirmation of known things, or extension of those. I knew I was old New England Colonial and German Palatinate, and I found out how many genetic kin that means I have, really impressed how those genes are fruitful and multiple. I knew I was a little Dutch colonial, now I know I am more. I knew a little Irish, but there are more matches than I knew and I may get the specific part of Ireland over time. I thought my mother's surname was from Scotland and I have matches with people on the England Scotland border whose ancestors wandered down from Scotland with that surname.

              I had this genealogical dead end who said he was from Prussia, Poland, Germany at different times. I have several Polish ancestried matches and have good email relationships with a couple of them. One of them suggests wanderings between Poland and where my Baltic and North Sea ancestors lived. So a whole new idea of who I am opens up. And I have a fair number of Ashkenazi Jewish genetic matches, some come from the same town my Jewish sister in laws ancestors lived in. So maybe my brother married his cousin!

              Population Finder told me little. It said I am European, west and north. But I took my raw data to other sites and they showed 1-2% native American, which accords with family stories. My cousin who shares that ancestry also showed the native American and my uncle who does not share the ancestry does not show it. So I felt validated in the origins passed down. I expect better info will come along.

              Hope this helps.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank all you very much for the replies. They surprised me, since I got the impression from FTDNA's product page that "Family Finder" was the *last* thing I needed! It is the only test labeled "For Close Genealogy", rather than "For Genealogy and Anthropology"... and I assumed that what I was asking for is the latter. Sheesh, I know that this is complicated stuff, and most people put a lot of time into educating themselves... but the company could really use some significant changes on the website to help ramp-up newbies.

                Anyway, I notice that the "Family Finder" test is sold in bundles, where you can also get a "Y-DNA12" or "mtDNA" for only $10 more. I assume that these are simply less-thorough versions of the tests I asked about in the original post? As on the demo login, I could see the percentage of samples from various countries that are rough matches to mine?

                If that assumption is correct, then I might as well drop ten bucks for one of those add-ons. Is there any significant difference to going with paternal or maternal line, or is it just a coin toss? I wish they had a bundle with both for $20 or whatever... add that to the list of frustrating things on the site that could be improved!

                Thanks again.
                Last edited by stevedperkins; 16 February 2011, 11:04 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  John G native american

                  John,

                  What other site are you referring to where I can get my raw data analyzed ? I am 1/8 native american , but only show up as european on this site . I wasn't surprised by that, since there is no north american native american data base- only central and southern native americans from what I can understand . Anybody else north american native american tested ? What were your results ?

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                  • #10
                    FAmilyTree is offering a 40% off coupon for new customers that's valid for just 24 hours minus a couple. This came over Facebook but I understand it's open to everyone

                    Family Tree DNA
                    Congratulations! You have earned a 40% discount any of these tests:

                    Y-DNA37
                    mtDNAPlus
                    mtDNAFullSequence
                    ...Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus
                    Family Finder
                    Family Finder+mtDNAPlus
                    FamilyFinder+Y-DNA37
                    Comprehensive Genome
                    Warrior Gene

                    The coupon code is 5000FACES. This is only valid for new kits and can't be used on existing kits. Enter the code while ordering at www.familytreedna.com. It expires 24 HOURS from now! See More
                    http://www.familytreedna.com/


                    Originally posted by stevedperkins View Post
                    Thank all you very much for the replies. They surprised me, since I got the impression from FTDNA's product page that "Family Finder" was the *last* thing I needed! It is the only test labeled "For Close Genealogy", rather than "For Genealogy and Anthropology"... and I assumed that what I was asking for is the latter. Sheesh, I know that this is complicated stuff, and most people put a lot of time into educating themselves... but the company could really use some significant changes on the website to help ramp-up newbies.

                    Anyway, I notice that the "Family Finder" test is sold in bundles, where you can also get a "Y-DNA12" or "mtDNA" for only $10 more. I assume that these are simply less-thorough versions of the tests I asked about in the original post? As on the demo login, I could see the percentage of samples from various countries that are rough matches to mine?

                    If that assumption is correct, then I might as well drop ten bucks for one of those add-ons. Is there any significant difference to going with paternal or maternal line, or is it just a coin toss? I wish they had a bundle with both for $20 or whatever... add that to the list of frustrating things on the site that could be improved!

                    Thanks again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the head's up, "dwight". I went ahead and ordered the full-blown "Family Finder + Y-DNA37" bundle, since the discount code made it cheaper than the "Family Finder" alone. I was halfway tempted to add a maternal line test, but that's too big a bite to chew in one sitting. I may add it someday in future if they run another promotion of this size.

                      I'd definitely be interested in an answer to "drk"'s question, about which places you can send raw data to get more thorough detail. "MMaddi" mentioned three of these in her comment above, second from the top... but when I searched for all three on Google I found no real detail about sending them data. For the data in question, are there any real privacy or safety concerns in sending it to third-parties?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good Choice!

                        No doubt about it. The discount sounds great, so that definitely sounds like a good choice.

                        You should try searching the forum for the options MMMaddi mentioned. "The 3 projects are one run by Dr. Doug McDonald and the Eurogenes Project and the Dodecad Project." There are several threads here on the forum that talk about these and how to get in touch with them. From what I read, these are knowledgeable folks volunteering their expertise to those interested. I haven't done it myself, but I read many people are satisfied with their results. Like I said, just search for those projects using the search function on the forums and you'll be able to read comments on those.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Two more options:
                          1) DNA Tribes
                          2) DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC)


                          The FTDNA forum no longer allows posting links of other dna companies, so you'll have google it. The DDC has the AncestrybyDNA test that originally belonged to DNAPrint.

                          Elizabeth

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stevedperkins View Post
                            Thanks for the head's up, "dwight". I went ahead and ordered the full-blown "Family Finder + Y-DNA37" bundle, since the discount code made it cheaper than the "Family Finder" alone. I was halfway tempted to add a maternal line test, but that's too big a bite to chew in one sitting. I may add it someday in future if they run another promotion of this size.

                            I'd definitely be interested in an answer to "drk"'s question, about which places you can send raw data to get more thorough detail. "MMaddi" mentioned three of these in her comment above, second from the top... but when I searched for all three on Google I found no real detail about sending them data. For the data in question, are there any real privacy or safety concerns in sending it to third-parties?
                            With a 40% discount, there's no way to not to take advantage of the Family Finder/yDNA packge you ordered! With that package, you'll be able to get your yDNA haplogroup and, perhaps, some clues to the ancestry of your paternal line.

                            I'm sorry about not giving you information about sending data to the 3 independent projects. So here's that information.

                            Send your unzipped Family Finder results file to [email protected] for Dr. McDonald's project. He doesn't have a website for the project, but posts regularly at the Genealogy-DNA list at Rootsweb.com and at dna-forums.org

                            For the Eurogenes Project, send your unzipped Family Finder results file to [email protected] The website for the project is at http://bga101.blogspot.com/

                            For the Dodecad Project, send your unzipped Family Finder results file to [email protected] If you don't have all 4 grandparents from the same European geographic origin or ethnicity, you may not be accepted for the project. That's one of the conditions for participation, although sometimes exceptions are made. The website for the project is http://dodecad.blogspot.com

                            Both projects have been written up in Nature magazine, with praise from professional scientists for the quality of the analysis. One scientist addresses the privacy issue in his quote in the article, "In response to concerns about the genetic privacy of those offering their genomes for analysis, 'I don't think this is too worrisome,' says Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University in California. Both projects provide adequate privacy protection, he says, although they both could do a slightly better job at disclosing the risk of a release." Read the full Nature article at http://www.nature.com/news/2010/1012...l/468880a.html

                            Mike Maddi

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                            • #15
                              There's also now the Harrappa Ancestry Project:
                              http://www.harappadna.org/

                              Participation criteria:
                              South Asian ancestry or:
                              Afghanistan
                              Bangladesh
                              Bhutan
                              Burma
                              India
                              Iran
                              Maldives
                              Nepal
                              Pakistan
                              Sri Lanka
                              Tibet

                              [not yet open to ftdna data, but I think that will happen soon]

                              Note:
                              Harappa has also made publicly available the source code for
                              converting data sets for PCA analysis. Also, Harappa is not
                              charging any fee for participation, apparently.

                              EDIT:
                              I am not affiliated with this project, and am only posting as an fyi.
                              Last edited by jloe; 16 February 2011, 08:23 PM.

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