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Any ideas on how I can learn this "stuff"!!

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  • Any ideas on how I can learn this "stuff"!!

    I'm an educated woman but I find all of this confusing and a bit daunting. As I read posts, it seems that everyone else is using the jargon and language with apparent understanding. Surely, everyone else was new to this at some point. Might anyone have any suggestions as to where I can begin? Had YDNA and MTDNA-Plus testing done on my 87 year old father. He paid for the test as a gift to me and now I feel sad for Dad simply because I don't have a clue as to what I can tell him about the results. Honestly, I fear that my Dad's gift might have been useless, due to my lack of understanding. I welcome any encouragement or ideas. Thanks so much.

  • #2
    I found this a good starting point
    http://www.familytreedna.com/pdf-doc..._optimized.pdf
    You can also pick up a lot from just following posts on the forum.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by debrajean View Post
      I'm an educated woman but I find all of this confusing and a bit daunting. As I read posts, it seems that everyone else is using the jargon and language with apparent understanding. Surely, everyone else was new to this at some point. Might anyone have any suggestions as to where I can begin? Had YDNA and MTDNA-Plus testing done on my 87 year old father. He paid for the test as a gift to me and now I feel sad for Dad simply because I don't have a clue as to what I can tell him about the results. Honestly, I fear that my Dad's gift might have been useless, due to my lack of understanding. I welcome any encouragement or ideas. Thanks so much.
      Debrajean, I have learned (and relearned) and enormous amount of information just by reading these forums.

      You have a good start: You already know the haplogroups of your dad's YDNA and his mtDNA. Use this site to find out where these haplogroups originated and where his matches within those groups live now.

      If FamilyFinder was a part of your dad's testing, his new-found cousins are a key to most everything else. Ask yourself: Do I recognize any of the surnames of these cousins or the names they have listed on their ancestral names lists? Communicate with these cousins. A good number never will respond but those who do often prove to be very helpful.

      Once you have a grasp of your dad's background, think about having yourself tested, using FamilyFinder. Eventually get your own mitochondrial test so you find out the mtDNA haplogroup of your mom. (You carry your mom's mtDNA, not your dad's. Only women pass on mtDNA.)

      Good luck to you. Remember to be patient in all of this. Sometimes too, if it all gets to be too much, I recommend taking a break for a week or so.

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      • #4
        Hi.

        I have just played around with all my results for about 3 weeks. Just working out what they mean. I have played with gedmatch and looking at matches family trees and comparing to mine. I am now starting to get to grips with it but still early days.

        Hope that helps.

        Ps Im normally considered very intelligent too, but it is a science and does take time to get used to it all.

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        • #5
          Hi debrajean,

          I really doubt the test is useless. There are many friendly people on these forums that are happy to help. I don't know too much about mtDNA, but I'm starting to get the hang of Y-DNA.
          * If you log in and go to "Y-DNA -> Haplotree" there will be a short description on your father's haplogroup under "About My Haplogroup".
          * If you go to "Y-DNA -> Migration Maps", you will see how his paternal line migrated out of Africa. You can click on the little dots and get more information.
          * Under "Y-DNA -> Matches" you will see other FTDNA customers who have matching results. Good matches here will be people who share a direct paternal ancestor with you. You don't say how many markers were tested (the options are 12, 25, 37 and 67). If your father tested 12 markers and have a lot of matches, you might have to upgrade to get a good overview. You should also check if there is a surname project for your father's surname and join it (you'll find this under the "Project" menu item. Surname project administrators are usually very happy to get new members and can assist you further in the research of that paternal line.

          Welcome to the exciting world of genetic genealogy and good luck!

          -Kai

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          • #6
            debrajean, I found the webinars at RelativeRoots.net extremely helpful in my understanding. They can be found here:
            http://relativeroots.net/webinars/

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            • #7
              Have you built a family tree on ancestry.com or anywhere else? To me, this is invaluable in helping to make sense of Family Finder results, as well my dad's YDNA results. Once you fiind out what surnames are lurking in your background, the names of your matches, and their associated ancestral names will start to make more sense.

              I'm in a similar situation as you are in that I had my 70 year old father tested and must attempt to explain to him what he paid for. This is especially tricky given the fact that his YDNA keeps leading back to a surname other than our own. In fact, I've decided to keep this bit of information to myself as I think it could potentially be hurtful to him.

              Just keep reading, studying and asking questions and the rest will eventually fall into place.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by debrajean View Post
                I'm an educated woman but I find all of this confusing and a bit daunting. As I read posts, it seems that everyone else is using the jargon and language with apparent understanding. Surely, everyone else was new to this at some point. Might anyone have any suggestions as to where I can begin? Had YDNA and MTDNA-Plus testing done on my 87 year old father. He paid for the test as a gift to me and now I feel sad for Dad simply because I don't have a clue as to what I can tell him about the results. Honestly, I fear that my Dad's gift might have been useless, due to my lack of understanding. I welcome any encouragement or ideas. Thanks so much.
                Hello...go to the Interpreting Results E Book just below the Forum. You will find the answers to more question than you have. But as time goes on and you learn more you can refer back to their information. I am an educated 72 year old and it has taken me a while to understand what these test really prove and do not prove. If you are looking for instant understanding then this is not for you no matter what your education is. I have done almost every test FT has including the Walk Through The Y, FF and a 111 Marker and I am loving it.

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                • #9
                  The difficulty of the topic is that it is essentially biochemistry. However like many complex concepts it can be understood at different levels. You can operate a computer and use software without a deep understanding of the binary number systems and electronics.
                  So , like many have suggested, start at upper levels and eventually work down .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brunetmj View Post
                    The difficulty of the topic is that it is essentially biochemistry. However like many complex concepts it can be understood at different levels. You can operate a computer and use software without a deep understanding of the binary number systems and electronics.
                    So , like many have suggested, start at upper levels and eventually work down .
                    Well put.

                    It also helps greatly if your surname project administrator is active and knowledgeable and can take the time to answer your questions.

                    One book that you might like to read is "Deep Ancestry" by Spencer Wells. It's written in an interesting and accessible way.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by debrajean View Post
                      Had YDNA and MTDNA-Plus testing done on my 87 year old father. He paid for the test as a gift to me and now I feel sad for Dad simply because I don't have a clue as to what I can tell him about the results. Honestly, I fear that my Dad's gift might have been useless, due to my lack of understanding. I welcome any encouragement or ideas.
                      The simplest first step is to join projects whose administrators may be able to give you a "capsule summary" that you can then give to your Dad. These can be haplogroup projects, surname projects, or geographical projects.

                      Can you tell us your Dad's yDNA and mtDNA haplogroups, and his patrilineal and matrilineal ancestral origins (country or ethnic group)? Perhaps we can guide you to the appropriate projects.
                      Last edited by lgmayka; 6 July 2012, 02:38 PM.

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