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Which Y-DNA Test Should I Use?

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  • Which Y-DNA Test Should I Use?

    Here is the situation:

    The paternity of my late dad has been the subject of hushed discussion in my extended family for years. He was born in 1912 in a rural, sparsely-populated West Texas county. He did not look like his siblings (my aunts/uncles - now deceased) but did resemble the owner of the neighboring farm! Sounds like the Farkel's of Laugh In fame, doesn't it?

    I have a male cousin (son of my oldest uncle) who has agreed to co-operate with me in finding out the truth. I know we can determine whether we are truly related by using Y-chromosone DNA testing - I just don't know which test to use.

    Will the 12 marker test suffice? Or should we shell out the extra money for the 25 or 37 marker tests?

    I would appreciate some counsel from those of you that are expert in this field.


    Fred M

  • #2
    It depends...

    Hi Fred,

    The optimal number of markers needed to answer the question, depends on how closely you match your cousin ( an answer which, I know, really doesn't help before you test).

    If you & your cousin don't match at all closely, - eg. are in different haplogroups - then all you need is 12 markers to say 100% for sure that you aren't related (on the paternal line).

    If however you & your cousin do sort-of match, to "confirm" the relationship then depending on how common the haplotype is, you'll need as many markers as possible.

    I'd order either the 12 marker or 24 marker test & then depending on the result then upgrade. Which test you start with now probably depends on budget. If you aren't paternally related (& different haplogroups) you save money by only ordering the 12 marker now, but if you are paternally related it would be cheaper in long run to order the 37 marker test now......



    • #3
      Angela is right on.....12 marker test.