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Distant Ancestor - why don't we force this field to be completed?

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  • nas
    replied
    Distant Ancestor

    Hello Humans,

    Bio-Statistics is a fantastic science... but HUMANS are just not perfect!
    We all have our history on this forum... but let's not forget what we are... survivors on this planet.

    A good day to you all.
    Nas

    Leave a comment:


  • vineviz
    replied
    Originally posted by jablair
    I think FTDNA is walking a fine line between trying to maximize sales and keeping Project Administrators happy.

    When FTDNA first added the ability to join a project directly, bypassing the Administrator, there was an uproar by many PAs like myself. FTDNA quickly agreed to give each PA the right to decide how participants could their project.

    FTDNA does list all the Geographical Projects along with the Y-Surname and Mt-Lineage Projects. But even some of these Geographical Projects require PA approval before joining.
    There's no way to make everyone happy, but the current system makes most people pretty happy, and that's a big plus.

    My approach is to leave the doors wide open (i.e. not require permission), but to be careful about the data that I display. For the Italy dual-geographical project, I only show y-DNA results for folks who make an attempt at demonstrating Italian heritage on the paternal line, and only show mtDNA results for folks with maternal lines in Italy .

    I've got one or two people (out of 85) who haven't shown either lineage, but it is a lot easier (read "less confrontational") to exclude their data from the results than try to kick them out of the project. My opinion, which admittedly isn't worth much, is that this approach gives the best of both worlds: it minimizes the risk that an eligble person avoids project while still protecting the integrity of the data we display.

    Of course, I'm not getting dozens of new members each week either. That'd make it a little harder to monitor, I guess.

    Leave a comment:


  • jablair
    replied
    Originally posted by Jim Barrett
    The ones I always turn away are those who want to join because their great great grandmother on their maternal line was a Barrett. They want to order a Y-DNA test to learn about their Barrett line.
    I've also had that problem. If you're lucky you can help them find a direct male descendant of the surname project to provide a DNA sample. But if they can't, you at least saved them the price of a test that is not going to give them the answers they're looking for.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Barrett
    replied
    Originally posted by jablair
    Even Jim, who does not require ancestral information, requires potential participants to first come through him.
    The ones I always turn away are those who want to join because their great great grandmother on their maternal line was a Barrett. They want to order a Y-DNA test to learn about their Barrett line.

    Leave a comment:


  • jablair
    replied
    Originally posted by lgmayka
    I suspect it happens all the time, but you'll never know it, because your project sets up a barrier to initial ordering that many people will simply not bother crossing.
    That's a good point that I hadn't considered. However, the alternative is to completely bypass the Project Administrator and let every Tom, Dick or Harry who want's to save money join your project. This completely defeats the purpose of surname projects.

    Even Jim, who does not require ancestral information, requires potential participants to first come through him.

    Actually, I get most all my participants though my own website http://blairgenealogy.com/dna/, not the FTDNA site. I'm fortunate to have a very large recruitment network to work with.

    This is not a criticism of you or your project.
    No criticism taken.

    I am amazed, though, at FTDNA's marketers. Their web site does not make clear that customers who do not want to deal with projects like yours can choose other projects (e.g., many geographical projects) that are eager to 'close the deal' at the moment he wants to buy, without making him feel that he is applying for college financial aid.
    I think FTDNA is walking a fine line between trying to maximize sales and keeping Project Administrators happy.

    When FTDNA first added the ability to join a project directly, bypassing the Administrator, there was an uproar by many PAs like myself. FTDNA quickly agreed to give each PA the right to decide how participants could their project.

    FTDNA does list all the Geographical Projects along with the Y-Surname and Mt-Lineage Projects. But even some of these Geographical Projects require PA approval before joining.

    Leave a comment:


  • lgmayka
    replied
    Originally posted by jablair
    I understand your reasoning, but based on my own experience with the Blair DNA Project, I doubt that requiring ancestral information would drive many people away. I can't recalled anyone who tried to join the project and then didn't when told they needed to provide a pedigree chart.
    I suspect it happens all the time, but you'll never know it, because your project sets up a barrier to initial ordering that many people will simply not bother crossing.

    If someone by the name of Blair is considering an initial genetic ancestry purchase, FTDNA's web site generally points the prospective customer to this page:

    http://www.ftdna.com/surname_det.asp...&projecttype=S

    Instead of accepting the prospective customer's money, this page demands that he prove he is worthy to be a customer--a major turnoff.

    This is not a criticism of you or your project. Your goals and methods are perfectly reasonable for your purposes. I am amazed, though, at FTDNA's marketers. Their web site does not make clear that customers who do not want to deal with projects like yours can choose other projects (e.g., many geographical projects) that are eager to 'close the deal' at the moment he wants to buy, without making him feel that he is applying for college financial aid.

    It's just a general rule of sales: Never turn away customers who have their credit card in hand and are ready to buy!

    Leave a comment:


  • nas
    replied
    to Jim Barrett

    Originally posted by Jim Barrett
    I'll let anyone with the correct paternal line into my projects. I request ancestral information, most provide it, but some don't.

    I feel that if they are in the project we have a chance to educate they and get the information at a later date. I they aren't in the project we don't have their results and we have little if any chance to educate them.

    I also let people who know they were adopted and think they may have a paternal line connected to the project join. If they don't match our members, but do match another group I encourage them to join the other group and drop mine.

    As for your comment about disappoint. Would you prefer to have a 37 marker match and not be able to get information from the person or not have the match at all? At least with the match you do know that there are others out there. I do agree it would be VERY frustrating.
    Hello JIM,
    Thanks.

    Nas

    Leave a comment:


  • jablair
    replied
    Originally posted by Jim Barrett
    I'll let anyone with the correct paternal line into my projects. I request ancestral information, most provide it, but some don't.

    I feel that if they are in the project we have a chance to educate they and get the information at a later date. If they aren't in the project we don't have their results and we have little if any chance to educate them.
    Hi Jim,

    I understand your reasoning, but based on my own experience with the Blair DNA Project, I doubt that requiring ancestral information would drive many people away. I can't recalled anyone who tried to join the project and then didn't when told they needed to provide a pedigree chart.

    I have an open website (like you) where test results and ancestral information is posted. I don't think it's fair to those who provide ancestral information that someone can join the project without providing information and then review and compare test results and retreive information that could further their own research without providing any thing in return.

    I also let people who know they were adopted and think they may have a paternal line connected to the project join. If they don't match our members, but do match another group I encourage them to join the other group and drop mine.
    I also let people who know they were adopted and think they may have a paternal line connected to the project join. But I also require that they provide what ever ancestral information they might have.

    As for your comment about disappoint. Would you prefer to have a 37 marker match and not be able to get information from the person or not have the match at all? At least with the match you do know that there are others out there. I do agree it would be VERY frustrating.
    Personally I think I would be more frustrated knowing I had a match and not being able to do anything with it then not knowing at all.

    The bottom line is there are no set rules. Each Project Administrator has to decide what works for them. All we can do is provide our own experiences and let them decide.

    Leave a comment:


  • jablair
    replied
    Originally posted by lgmayka
    1) The bottom line is that at least until recently, most customers joined a surname project whether they were interested in genealogical trees or not.
    This is one of the reasons I require that all potential Blair DNA Project participants first come through me and meet the minimum criteria for joining the project.

    I can't speak for other Project Administrators but the Blair DNA Project was established for a specific genealogical purpose, not as a "catch all" for anyone who wants to get their DNA tested.

    As Gary pointed out DNA testing is just another tool in genealogical research and the purpose of the Blair DNA Project is to use this tool to further genealogical research, not to provide a vehicle for a "cheaper" DNA test.

    Administering a surname project takes a lot of work, but it's more than worth it if all the participants are willing to share their research as well as their test results.

    I have 112 participants, all of whom were willing to provide their pedigree and allow their test results and oldest ancestors to be published on the project website. Over 70% of those participants with matches have provided contact information and allowed their full pedigree charts to be published.

    Leave a comment:


  • lgmayka
    replied
    Originally posted by glee
    You lost me on the whole British Isles comment. Please elaborate. My Lee project is not focused exclusively on British Isles Lees, nor would I classify other surname projects as doing this either.

    My point that you highlighted on the "99%... are doing research..." is intended to mean that I believe the vast majority of people who get involved in one of our surname projects are likely also doing their own research in libraries, online, family interviews, etc - more traditional genealogy research. And DNA testing is one very powerful and valuable facet and tool in that research.

    As such, I believe having the lineage trails is a critical part of conducting a family project.
    1) A surname project for Lee is going to focus on the British Isles, just as a surname project for Sobieski is going to focus on Poland. Any project based on an Anglo surname is going to focus on the Anglo countries--i.e., the British Isles, its colonies, and descendant nations. The Anglo countries have a specific history and characteristics making them particularly suitable for genealogical tree investigation, most obviously a lack of recent destructive invasions and occupations. Most other countries do not have those advantages.

    The Anglo countries have also enjoyed a phenomenal population explosion, due to colonization and other factors, resulting in a situation where tens of thousands of tested customers are of the same haplogroup and subclade, and differ only slightly in their haplotypes. This is wonderful for genealogical tree investigation. But most other countries do not have this advantage.

    2) Family Tree DNA customers join a surname project because FTDNA's web site appears not to give them any other choice. A prospective customer viewing FTDNA's web site could easily get the impression that he simply must join a surname project, or start a surname project, or pay $$$ extra for nothing (i.e., without the project discount). In fact, FTDNA has cleaned this up a little recently--the web site's emphasis on surnames used to be much more oppressive.

    The bottom line is that at least until recently, most customers joined a surname project whether they were interested in genealogical trees or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • glee
    replied
    You lost me on the whole British Isles comment. Please elaborate. My Lee project is not focused exclusively on British Isles Lees, nor would I classify other surname projects as doing this either.

    My point that you highlighted on the "99%... are doing research..." is intended to mean that I believe the vast majority of people who get involved in one of our surname projects are likely also doing their own research in libraries, online, family interviews, etc - more traditional genealogy research. And DNA testing is one very powerful and valuable facet and tool in that research.

    As such, I believe having the lineage trails is a critical part of conducting a family project.

    Leave a comment:


  • lgmayka
    replied
    Originally posted by glee
    But I believe 99% of the people coming here are doign genealogy research.
    That only applies to British Isles descendants, and even for them I think your percentage is way too high.

    Most genetic testing customers who are not of British Isles ancestry have very little hope of, and often no great interest in, extending individual genealogical trees. They are more interested in ancestry at the coarser, more 'tribal' level.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Barrett
    replied
    I'll let anyone with the correct paternal line into my projects. I request ancestral information, most provide it, but some don't.

    I feel that if they are in the project we have a chance to educate they and get the information at a later date. I they aren't in the project we don't have their results and we have little if any chance to educate them.

    I also let people who know they were adopted and think they may have a paternal line connected to the project join. If they don't match our members, but do match another group I encourage them to join the other group and drop mine.

    As for your comment about disappoint. Would you prefer to have a 37 marker match and not be able to get information from the person or not have the match at all? At least with the match you do know that there are others out there. I do agree it would be VERY frustrating.

    Leave a comment:


  • glee
    replied
    John:

    Thanks.

    I'll extend this thread to ask admins how many of you are following a similar policy to only allow people into your groups willing to submit family information?

    This makes perfect sense to me. I respect the contrary opinions given here, and know there will be exceptions -- especially for those adopted seeking solutions. But I believe 99% of the people coming here are doign genealogy research.

    I just can't fathom the disappointment of someone who has spent 20+ years as I have on a logjam (James B. Lee, b 1804....) who finally gets a 37 marker and haplogroup match on a Lee participant, and there is no way to uncover anything about the participant's lineage because they are gone, dead or otherwise unresponsive.

    Please let me hear from others on this list.

    grl

    Leave a comment:


  • jablair
    replied
    Originally posted by glee
    (a) have you had any success in getting your participants to add this information?

    Any thoughts on this welcome.

    Gary Lee
    [email protected]
    I'm the Project Administrator for the Blair DNA Project and I require all potential participants to come through me before being allowed to join the project.

    All participants must submit a pedigree chart of their Blair ancestry as far back as the know it and must agree to let me publish their kit #, test results and oldest known Blair ancestor information. If they do not agree to these conditions, they are not allowed to join the Blair DNA Project.

    After they receive their test results, participants are encouraged to provide contact information and allow me to publish their complete pedigree minus information on living people.

    As you said, "DNA testing is a tool in genealogy research" and unless potential applicant are willing to share their own genealogical research with the rest of those in the project, they can not join the project.

    My project website is http://blairgenealogy.com/dna/

    Leave a comment:

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