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When testing grandparents and parents

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  • When testing grandparents and parents

    I've done pretty much every test FTDNA offers for myself (just got my Y deep clade back, so that's the last of the primary tests for me). I'm now branching out and trying to convince some of my relatives to test as well, particularly my two surviving grandparents. I just ordered a family finder test for my maternal grandmother. I suppose the only other test to do for her would be the FGS for mtDNA. However, I got to thinking and it struck me that this might be wasteful. My FGS will certainly match hers, but will having hers done really get me any new information? There shouldn't be too much of a difference between the two. I feel the same way about my paternal grandfather and his Y-DNA. Won't it be virtually identical to mine, and not really offer much new information?

    I think eventually I will have both tests done, but for now will settle for family finder for both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather and mtDNA for my paternal grandfather. Right now, this is what seems most economical. But what would be the real advantage of having my maternal grandmothers mtDNA FGS done and my grandfathers Y-DNA done other than for completeness sake?

    Thanks for reading my message! Any advice or input is surely appreciated.

  • #2
    If you are in a direct unbroken female line to your grandmother your MT-DNA should be the same as your mother line Grandmother.. If you are in direct line of your Paternal Grandfather your Y-DNA should be the same but mutations might have happened between his generation and yours. One thing you could test your Paternal grandfather for is his MT-DNA since he did not pass that down to your father or you

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    • #3
      You could also test any grandparent for Family Finder, because they will have matches you do not, and you will be able to identify which lines many of your matches are (and aren't) coming from.

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      • #4
        What's your Y-DNA haplogroup? You might want to consider testing individual Y-SNPs. The deep clade only tests SNPs based on the 2008 YCC tree. Both ISOGG's current tree and FTDNA's draft tree are continually updated. Over on DNA Forums, David Reynolds and others track the newly discovered SNPs, as Thomas Krahn runs the Walk Through the Y (WTY) tests.

        Being an N1c1, our tree isn't very deep, especially compared to the gargantuan R1b tree. Testing new SNPs as FTDNA makes them available is helping flesh it out. For science!!

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        • #5
          Regarding your paternal grandfather and Y-DNA. I'm currently in the situation where I have a match with genetic distance 2 at 67 markers. I would have loved to have had my grandfather's Y-DNA as that would have told me if any of the mutations happened in my father or me.

          Y-DNA is kind of tricky that way... I've read of people who are exact matches at 67 markers with several hundred years back to the common ancestor and I've read of brothers who are GD2 at 67 markers.

          As a side note, if you plan on running all the tests on their DNA, I suggest you contact FTDNA after placing the order to have them add an extra vial to the kit so you get three vials instead of two.

          -Kai

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          • #6
            Also test your great-aunts & great-uncles if any are living. By so doing, you will maximize the genomic information (ie, matches) that are available for your grandparents' generation.

            Timothy Peterman

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the advice. I think the suggestion of ordering an extra vial is a good one. I already contacted them about it in fact. I've ordered a family finder for my maternal grandmother and want to do the same for my paternal grandfather as well. I'll have to a wait a little while due to the expense however. THANKS!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KCWelch View Post
                I'll have to a wait a little while due to the expense however.

                Every sale I add another family member.

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