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  • Starting From Scratch -- Best Way?

    So I've become very interested in genetic genealogy recently, and have been looking at the best way to start. For clarification, I'm interested in this from the genealogical perspective, and not the "health" perspective -- we all die from ~something~ and I'd like mine to be a surprise.

    I've looked at 23AndMe, Ancestry.com and of course here, and had a peek at the National Geographic service. There's enough out there to confuse a novice, but here's what my parameters are:
    • Initial Budget: Around $1,000; cheaper is always fine.
    • Philosophy: Test everything (maternal & paternal) as thoroughly as possible in ONE GO...if this is the best way to reach my "Expectations" below. I'm willing to spend for knowledge, but also don't want to be wasteful. I'm a fan of getting the maximum answer on the first try rather than incrementally buying my way towards answers, but am willing to balance that with $$$ spent and the best strategy.
    • Expectations: Matches against the maximum number of database entries available with an eye towards paternal genealogy, interest in deep ancestry and a small sidebar interest in figuring out if I'm really related to either Daniel or Noah Webster through my paternal great grandmother (maiden name Webster).
    • Have: Maternal grandfather's line back 12 generations to Capt. Carran Starr, born 1620; died WFT Est. 1653-1711. Paternal line back three generations to an entry of "born at sea" and with a probable origin in Germany (guessing).
    • I am male.

    From what I can tell though, commercial companies don't share databases, but DO allow you to transfer results (free or for a nominal fee). They may use different algorithims causing variation in matches. Also, there exist several search tools that allow you to use parts of your results to find other types of matches. So after all that noob babble, here are some questions for which I'd like your pros/cons:

    1. Would it be better to just do Comprehensive Genome through FTDNA, or test "smaller" here and also test at 23AndMe or another source?
    2. Why does Comprehensive Genome use Y-DNA67 and not Y-DNA111?
    3. What are the benefits of testing through my surname project (Warner) and would this better help me reach my expectations?

    Any and all comments appreciated, and thanks for helping!
    Last edited by s.werner; 25 February 2012, 05:55 AM. Reason: Gender

  • #2
    1. Comprehensive Genome through FTDNA.
    2. You would have to ask FTDNA, but this is cheaper and not that many people have ordered the 111 test at this time.
    3. Group discount. Other reasons would depend on the project admin. Start with your surname project. You can join other project later if you want to. There is no charge to join additional projects.

    Comment


    • #3
      Additionally, there will probably be a spring or summer sale of some sort, but I don't know if the Comprehensive will be on sale or not. It's up to you if you want to wait a few more months to find out.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would do all my testing here at ftdna. I did all mine here. Ftdna is a very good company, and they have high standards for testing. I however would buy the test individually. Starting with ydna 37, mtdna hvr1, and then familyfinder. The reason is you might not get matches at the highest level and therefore be wasting your money. For example my mtdna is I5a, which is soo rare that I no matches, so it would be pointess to spend money on the full genome with no matches. Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by s.werner View Post
          2. Why does Comprehensive Genome use Y-DNA67 and not Y-DNA111?
          I see noone has answered this. I've not asked FTDNA that specific question, but other questions regarding the Y-DNA111 test. It's my understanding that FTDNA's intention with that test is in those rare cases where people have exact Y67 matches and need futher refinement. What they did not expect was that it would be a huge hit with the deep ancestry researchers and therefore has sold very well. The reason it's not part of the comprehensive genome package is probably because FTDNA regards it as a test only needed in rare cases.

          You could also call them/email them and ask.

          -Kai

          Comment


          • #6
            If you want to cast the widest net, you'll need to test at more than one service.

            One advantage of doing your autosomal (Family/Relative Finder) tests at 23andMe and then transfering the results here is that you get to compare against two databases. I have ten times the matches at 23andMe that I do here. Some of that has to do with the different ways the two companies identify matches but not all of it. If you want to cast the widest net, you'll need to test at more than one service.

            I've bought additional tests here to duplicate the scenario I outlined above. I view it as an investment since new people are testing all the time so even if I don't get all the answers I would like to have now I still have a chance of discovering more in the future. The science is also advancing rapidly. It's an exciting time to get involved in genetic genalogy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the responses, everyone. Glad to see internet forums operate the same no matter what the subject matter.

              Originally posted by 1_mke
              One advantage of doing your autosomal (Family/Relative Finder) tests at 23andMe and then transfering the results here...<snip>
              I've read the threads on transferring 23andMe results into FTDNA -- am I correct in assuming that it's a one-way street? I can't take FTDNA results and transfer them in to 23andMe?

              Originally posted by k.o.gran
              It's my understanding that FTDNA's intention with that test is in those rare cases where people have exact Y67 matches and need futher refinement. What they did not expect was that it would be a huge hit with the deep ancestry researchers and therefore has sold very well.
              Originally posted by Taz85
              I however would buy the test individually. Starting with ydna 37, mtdna hvr1, and then familyfinder. The reason is you might not get matches at the highest level and therefore be wasting your money.
              In the interest of science, is there any benefit to others, either now or 10 generations from now, if I do the most comprehensive tests? In other words, does the entire database benefit if more people populate it with Y111 results? At some point, I suppose I'll be an "ancestor" though I'm willing to wait a while for it. Will someone 10 generations from now be thanking me for my insight if I go the full monty?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by s.werner View Post
                I've read the threads on transferring 23andMe results into FTDNA -- am I correct in assuming that it's a one-way street? I can't take FTDNA results and transfer them in to 23andMe?
                Yes, it is a one way street and when you transfer from 23andMe to FTDNA you don't have as much results to compare against FTDNA customers as you would if you had tested with FTDNA.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So far as I know there is no difference between the transferred 23andMe autosomal results in Family Finder and autosomal results received from FTDNA so far as matching is concerned. It certainly wasn't mentioned when I paid for the transfer.

                  You will want to get extra tests from FTDNA if you want the most complete picture. I've decided to go with Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus since they seem to hit the sweet spot in terms of cost to benifit and I can always upgrade later.

                  Be sure to join the appropriate surname project first as I believe you get a small discount if you do.

                  In spite of the much lower number of matches here I already have one tentatively confirmed match in FF that has lead to discovering common links in my Genealogy. That is very cool and makes the whole transfer worthwhile. This also explains why you want the maximum coverage you can get. There is some overlap in the populations between the two sites but not everyone is on both.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by s.werner View Post
                    In the interest of science, is there any benefit to others, either now or 10 generations from now, if I do the most comprehensive tests? In other words, does the entire database benefit if more people populate it with Y111 results? At some point, I suppose I'll be an "ancestor" though I'm willing to wait a while for it. Will someone 10 generations from now be thanking me for my insight if I go the full monty?
                    Right now, Y111 results will help yourself if you have very close Y67 matches, and the community if you join haplogroup projects. Although, to really help the community, you must also do the Deep Clade and be willing to order newly found SNP "a la carte". Keep in mind that the community I'm talking of is researching "deep ancestry".

                    Future generations will probably say "They tested only 111 markers back then? That's close to useless?!"
                    As technology progresses, testing becomes cheaper and more advanced, so I would not take a Y111 test now for the benefit of future generations if you don't mind waiting a few years to see what comes next.

                    -Kai

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by k.o.gran View Post
                      Future generations will probably say "They tested only 111 markers back then? That's close to useless?!"
                      Na future generations will ask what's a marker? Is that what was tested before full genome sequences? Heck we might be saying that in five years.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by s.werner View Post
                        So I've become very interested in genetic genealogy recently, and have been looking at the best way to start. For clarification, I'm interested in this from the genealogical perspective, and not the "health" perspective -- we all die from ~something~ and I'd like mine to be a surprise.

                        I've looked at 23AndMe, Ancestry.com and of course here, and had a peek at the National Geographic service. There's enough out there to confuse a novice, but here's what my parameters are:
                        • Initial Budget: Around $1,000; cheaper is always fine.
                        • Philosophy: Test everything (maternal & paternal) as thoroughly as possible in ONE GO...if this is the best way to reach my "Expectations" below. I'm willing to spend for knowledge, but also don't want to be wasteful. I'm a fan of getting the maximum answer on the first try rather than incrementally buying my way towards answers, but am willing to balance that with $$$ spent and the best strategy.
                        • Expectations: Matches against the maximum number of database entries available with an eye towards paternal genealogy, interest in deep ancestry and a small sidebar interest in figuring out if I'm really related to either Daniel or Noah Webster through my paternal great grandmother (maiden name Webster).
                        • Have: Maternal grandfather's line back 12 generations to Capt. Carran Starr, born 1620; died WFT Est. 1653-1711. Paternal line back three generations to an entry of "born at sea" and with a probable origin in Germany (guessing).
                        • I am male.

                        From what I can tell though, commercial companies don't share databases, but DO allow you to transfer results (free or for a nominal fee). They may use different algorithims causing variation in matches. Also, there exist several search tools that allow you to use parts of your results to find other types of matches. So after all that noob babble, here are some questions for which I'd like your pros/cons:

                        1. Would it be better to just do Comprehensive Genome through FTDNA, or test "smaller" here and also test at 23AndMe or another source?
                        2. Why does Comprehensive Genome use Y-DNA67 and not Y-DNA111?
                        3. What are the benefits of testing through my surname project (Warner) and would this better help me reach my expectations?

                        Any and all comments appreciated, and thanks for helping!
                        First should note, there are actually 3 perspectives as what you term genealogy could be split into genealogy vs deep ancestry, the difference having to do with the time frames you are dealing with.

                        If you want to be as comprehensive as you can, would probably still recommend 23andMe along with upload to FF for your autosomal DNA.
                        You may also want to consider doing this for parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, siblings, as having known relative results to compare with makes the high volume microarray autosomal SNP testing more valuable.
                        The 23andMe test also includes mtDNA and YSNP test.

                        Specific to males and valuable for surname related research which has the clearest connection to genealogical research their is YSTR testing.
                        For YSTR testing would do Y67 as Y111 only of value if you have Y67 matches and you won't know if you do until you get your Y67 results.

                        Depending on your YSTR results from FTDNA and YDNA SNP results from 23andMe, you may want to get deep clade SNP test from FTDNA or order specific Y SNP tests. Would not order additional YSNP testing until you have your initial Y DNA results and can better determine purchase options from there.

                        Then for mtDNA, all depends on how much interest you have in your matrilineal line which like YDNA only addresses a small percentage of your ancestors just a few generations back, but unlike YDNA does not have direct relationship to surnames. For some researchers this is valuable and if you have a specific hypothesis to test may be of use. I personally don't put as much value in the mtDNA testing. FTDNA has full sequence mtDNA testing.

                        Ordering most FTDNA tests through a project, surname or other, will give you an additional discount.

                        Also, if you can hold off until April or June, FTDNA has had repetitive sale pricing several times a year for the past 4+ years, so might want to wait and save a little.

                        For 23andMe test ordering, my current advice is different than it was 3 months ago as they have discontinued their family plan (multi-kit) discount and have not yet advised if they will offer any such discount on future purchases. They are also working on improvements after customer back lash after their attempt to change subscription terms in December. Would probably be a little cautious in terms of ordering multiple kits from them at this time, but would suggest you get at least one for your self and do the upload to FF. Also keep eye open for what ancestryDNA comes out with in the next several months. (Would not order any YSTR or mtDNA testing from ancestry) You can also get some free testing from SMGF, but the results are not personalized and you loose control over your info.

                        Your $1000 can be used up pretty quickly, especially when you get to testing additional family members. Good luck.
                        Last edited by Geneadict; 26 February 2012, 11:02 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Anyone who has engaged in this is well aware that utilizing other vendors and "fishing in all available ponds" is the best way to maximize potential results.

                          I personally recommend FTDNA over ancestry for YSTR testing. Are there any other YSTR testing companies out there still? FTDNA also best and only source for additional YSTR markers and YSNP testing.

                          I have personally recommended 23ANDME over FF in the past mostly due to database size and pricing. The pricing issue is now up in the air and would limit my recommendation, but doing 23ANDME and then upload to FF would still be advisable. Meanwhile, unknown what ancestryDNA will bring to the table.
                          Last edited by Darren; 26 February 2012, 01:33 PM. Reason: edited, removed content not applicable to thread topic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Geneadict View Post
                            If you want to be as comprehensive as you can, would probably still recommend 23andMe along with upload to FF for your autosomal DNA.
                            I understand that 23andMe is comparing against a different database than FF...but are they also testing different factors?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Anyone willing to describe their actual story of progression in testing, with rough associated costs? In other words, a brief rundown of what you started with, what you upgraded, and what you added, with maybe a "why" thrown in here and there?

                              Comment

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