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Y-DNA vs Family Finder

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  • Y-DNA vs Family Finder

    Hi,

    During my family research I've come in contact with several new cousins whom I had never met or known about prior.

    1. One man is my 4th cousin 1x removed. He is the grandson of John Hubert (1810-1886) and we have several documents to prove it.

    2. One man is my 2nd cousin 1x removed. He and I share the same grandfather, Lewis Hubert (1816-1882).

    To each other they are 4th cousins 2x removed.

    We all share the same grandfather, Peter Hubert (1787-1848). Peter Hubert is the father of the above Lewis and John Hubert, Lewis and John were brothers according to Peter Hubert's Will, census and death certificates.

    When I first discovered FamilyTreeDNA I immediately thought it would be great to confirm through DNA that our grandfathers Lewis and John were brothers but then a few folks on Facebook explained that DNA testing cannot technically "prove" that they were brothers and that it could only show that my cousins share a common ancestor. I understand that technically we could never prove that Lewis and John were brothers but between all of the documentation we have and the DNA match would make it highly likely that they were.

    My mother's father was actually a Hubert from this Hubert line. She gave me her maiden name instead of my fathers - which is why I am unable compare my Y-DNA with my cousins.

    If I were to purchase two Y-DNA kits for my two cousins, there will likely be a match. I will be completing my Y-DNA and Family Finder testing shortly.

    I was told that Y-DNA testers cannot be matched with Family Finder users, therefore, the two above cousins and I wont see each other in our list of matches.

    My question is, would it be best and would I accomplish the same thing if all three of us did the Family Finder test instead of Y-DNA? If our documentation is correct, we should all appear on each others list of matches, correct?

    If not then I would have to have my two cousins do the Y-DNA test and the Family Finder test.

    Having them do the Family Finder test would be most beneficial because I think we will not only prove whether or not we're all cousins but afterward we will be able to find more cousins than we would with Y-DNA.

    From what I've read over the past three days, the Family Finder test will provide us with more matches than a Y-DNA test would. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I realize I have a lot to learn but given the information above, what do you think would be the best route to take? I want to prove my connection through DNA with my cousins but at the same time I want to prove their distant relationship. Even though it does not prove that John and Lewis were brothers, it would greatly support the evidence I have that they were.
    Last edited by hubert; 25 July 2011, 01:59 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Hubert,

    I'm one who responded on FB

    Just had another thought, after reading your message here.

    What if you did these tests:

    You: FF + Y-DNA
    2nd cousin: FF + Y-DNA
    4th cousin: Y-DNA (FF optional)

    With these tests, you would be doing two different comparisons:

    1) You and your 2nd cousin will compare via Family Finder (autosomal DNA). As 2nd cousins (once removed), you should definitely come up as matches to each other. You may get predicted as 3rd cousins rather than 2nd because you are one generation removed, but that's still a very close match.

    2) Your 2nd and 4th cousins will compare their Y-DNA.

    So you'll be proving your connection to your 2nd cousin via autosomal, and your 2nd cousin will be proving his connection to your (his) 4th cousin via Y-DNA.

    You could do autosomal for the 4th cousin too, but I definitely wouldn't rely on that alone. Children inherit only 50% of each parents' autosomal DNA, so the further you get from the common ancestor, the less likely you are to still share enough autosomal DNA for FF to detect the relationship. FF can detect up to 3rd cousins with confidence, but beyond that, it becomes luck of the draw. You may indeed come back as predicted 4th (or 5th) cousins, but you could just as easily not show up as matches to each other, even if you are indeed related.

    Elise

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    • #3
      Hi Hubert,

      Originally posted by hubert View Post
      Hi,
      My mother's father was actually a Hubert from this Hubert line. She gave me her maiden name instead of my fathers - which is why I am unable compare my Y-DNA with my cousins.
      The Y-DNA test is not limited by your surname. Your Y-DNA test traces your father's-father's-father's-etc line, regardless of the surname. (The broad assumption with Y-DNA test is that the surname will be the same because of the habit of assuming the male surname in families.) But the Y-DNA test tells the real story. Is this Peter Hubert your father's-father?
      Originally posted by hubert View Post
      I was told that Y-DNA testers cannot be matched with Family Finder users, therefore, the two above cousins and I wont see each other in our list of matches.
      They are separate tests, and the results are on separate screens, but they both may show up. I have one Y-DNA match, 36/37 markers, and that person also shows up in my FF matches.
      Originally posted by hubert View Post
      My question is, would it be best and would I accomplish the same thing if all three of us did the Family Finder test instead of Y-DNA? If our documentation is correct, we should all appear on each others list of matches, correct?
      It's not the same, but FF test will show matches that are not limited to the just the fathers'-father's-etc-father, nor just the mother's-mother's-etc-mother. So if this Peter Hubert is your mother's-father (a maternal grandfather), then FF test would be the only way to identify matches along those lines. Neither Y-DNA, nor mtDNA test will find matches for your mother's-father's side.
      I hope this helps, I'm sure you'll get more responses (and welcome to this genealogical discussion).

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