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Rethinking the Reasons for Testing

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  • Rethinking the Reasons for Testing

    I have a match at 23/25 markers who has chosen to remain hidden---all I can see is his surname. I know that keeping your results private is a right, but why bother being tested at all? So why am I bent out of shape? Because his surname and my surname are both derived from "son of John". HIs name is McShane and mine is McCown/McOwen.

    My DNA is Maguire from 25 through 111 markers and since there is at least one Shane or McShane among the names of Maguire chiefs and their sons, we may very well closely match all the way out to 111 markers.

    Alas, neither of us will ever know until he allows his results to be compared against the entire FTDNA data base. This thread is notjustaimed at Mr. McShane but at all members who chose to remain private. The rest of the paying customers are not getting the full value of the cost of their tests. It is conceivable to me that if he were to match me at higher test levels, I would know that as well but have no clue on which markers we differ.

    Also, there is the matter deep subclade test results. The three McKown/McCowns with all available SNP's tested are, among those with Maguire DNA, alone with SNP P66+. If McShane is as well, none of us
    will know that either.
    Last edited by William McCown; 9 July 2012, 10:45 PM. Reason: shorten the thead

  • #2
    Originally posted by William McCown View Post
    I have a match at 23/25 markers who has chosen to remain hidden---all I can see is his surname. I know that keeping your results private is a right, but why bother being tested at all? So why am I bent out of shape? Because his surname and my surname are both derived from "son of John". HIs name is McShane and mine is McCown/McOwen.
    Until the recent "upgrade" by FTDNA you wouldn't even know the private match existed. Would that make you happier?

    I do understand your feelings and I have no answer as to why anyone would pay for the test and not use the rest of the materials provided by FTDNA. Of course they can switch to public, look at matches and then switch back to private.

    I have a 2nd cousin match at 23andMe who won't share family information so I have no idea who he is or how we are related even though I know his name.

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    • #3
      You could try emailing FTDNA and ask if they can forward an email for you? Or you could check if you find him in a project?

      I believe you will show up as private if you choose not to be notified of matches at that level. I have turned of notifications on 12 marker and 25 marker matches as I have very common markers on 1 through 25. The reason is not that I don't want to show up in matches, but that I do not want all the emails.

      -Kai

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      • #4
        Originally posted by William McCown View Post
        I have a match at 23/25 markers who has chosen to remain hidden---all I can see is his surname. I know that keeping your results private is a right, but why bother being tested at all? ...
        In the immortal words of a great American President, "I feel your pain." When we match a "cousin in denial," it can be very frustrating. However, you understand as well as I that denial is their right. We test to unearth our roots. Our cousins in denial tested for their own reasons.

        Let me give you a personal example. I am an African American with substantial European heritage. BTW, much of my heritage is English, Irish, and Scottish. Before testing with FT-DNA, I tested with other genetic genealogy services. One one of those, I had one African American among my closest matches. I have a very close match with a really nice lady of Scottish Canadian extraction. However, my closest matches have chosen remain anonymous and not to respond to offers to communicate. However, I believe that one of those posted his genome on GEDmatch.com. There, he has a visible name and email address.

        This match has been determined to be about 4 MRCA, closer than many of my known relatives. A message from me to him resulted only in silence. I Googled his name. One of the hits is of a young legislator in a Southern state--a Tea Party politician. If this young politician is my cousin in denial, then his genetic heritage contains enough African DNA to qualify him as African American by law in the Southern state where I live.

        There are African Americans in the Tea Party, but there are no known African Americans in the Tea Party who pretend to be otherwise. I have since learned that politicians vet themselves. One can think of any number of genetic issues that might compromise an ambitious person's career goals. Compared to the expense of attorneys, accountants, and private detectives, a genetic test by a commercial testing service is a bargain.

        Unfortunately for these people's genetic matches, there is no choice but to wonder why they don't respond to us.

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        • #5
          A lot of people like me simply don't understand DNA and don't understand this website and how to use it. They aren't remaining "hidden" on purpose but they are extremely confused with the whole situation. I match 2 people on 37 of 37 markers and 8 people on 36 of 37 markers. I can see that and I am in a YDNA project. Or at least i think i am. How to compare my records with them or how to contact them or ask them about their family tree is beyond me. I believe i sent a couple of them an email, but weather or not that went through is a mystery to me also. The only thing more complex than DNA, is understanding your matches and what it means.

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          • #6
            Rethinking the Reasons for Testing

            I thank all five of those who posted replies to my thread. I have written to FTDNA and they say there is nothing they can do to contact
            people who choose to remain private. Also, several of you have mentioned that people may be confused about how to handle their DNA
            accounts. The intent of genealogical DNA, since the Y-DNA used for these tests is worthless for any other purpose, my guess is many of those reamaining private but who do want to know their genealogy may
            need to know that to do that they should compare their results against
            the entire data base. The particular incident that set me off was
            from a Maguire who chose to remain private. There are two main
            Maguire Groups and their DNA is radically different. In fact, they are friendly rivals to the same genealogy.

            I thought that I was of Scottish descent until my 25 marker results
            came in and at 25 markers they were largely with Maguire associated
            surnames and then it solidified at 37, 67 and 111 markers. It is an
            adventure worth every penney and I have met many nice people along the
            way. The biggest finds to date were a cousin descended from the
            younger brother of my great grandfather and the other shares an MRCA
            with my cousin and I in about 1662. Now we are trying to connect our
            McCown/McKown surname with the source of our Maguire DNA.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 507 View Post
              A lot of people like me simply don't understand DNA and don't understand this website and how to use it.
              Every page has easy to understand comprehensive help associated with it labeled Page Help.

              They aren't remaining "hidden" on purpose but they are extremely confused with the whole situation. I match 2 people on 37 of 37 markers and 8 people on 36 of 37 markers. I can see that and I am in a YDNA project. Or at least i think i am.
              It's easy to see what project/s you are a member of as they are clearly listed on the myFTDNA home page under the heading My Projects.

              How to compare my records with them or how to contact them or ask them about their family tree is beyond me. I believe i sent a couple of them an email, but weather or not that went through is a mystery to me also. The only thing more complex than DNA, is understanding your matches and what it means.
              Again, it's easy to see if a match has provided their email address. As clearly shown in the Page Help, there will be an envelope icon directly after their name in the list of your Y matches. Click on that and it should launch your email application.

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