Best DNA genealogy testing kits

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Petrocelli
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Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Petrocelli » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:35 pm

There are a variety of services out there that test your DNA and give you information regarding your ancestry, such as ancestry.com, 23andme and Geno 2.0 (to name a few).

Has anyone tried any of these? Any pros or cons? Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

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rob
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by rob » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:44 pm

As far as potential cons..... Some places report the FBI and alike are accessing it in some way and maybe in the future are going to end up getting access to a lot of that data. It's not a decision for a single person... but also for you relatives and descendants :shock:
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fposte
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by fposte » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:54 pm

I did 23andme a few years ago. I liked it and am glad I did it. I'm an adoptee, so I was obviously interested in getting information I didn't already have.

The health information was of the most interest to me. As you may know, they went around with the FDA on the health information; I actually think it's pretty clearly presented (they always reference or even link to studies and summarize them, so you can, when it's a single-study guess, make a call as to how much weight you want to put on it). But there are definitely people on the forums there who do read the health-related findings as making claims with more certainty than they do. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people there who speak snp like people here speak ticker name. I don't go anywhere near that far.

If your interest is something other than health, you may find less payoff from 23andme. It does give you regions of genetic origin by percent (they seem to have changed that, as it used to clearly note that more specific localization was listed with less confidence) and information about mitochondrial haplogroup; Y chromosome people get special Y information too. Then there are links with anybody else in the service with genetic connections--I wouldn't be surprised if ancestry.com had more connections, if that's what you're looking for, since they've been in the connections business for a while.

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lthenderson
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:54 am

Ancestry has the best report for telling you regions where your ancestors come from and percentage mix of ethnicities.

23andme has the best health information

I think FamilyTree DNA was ranked the best for finding ancestors using autosomal DNA tests.

I have taken the Ancestry DNA test personally and have had good results with it. I like their report and because my family tree is also in Ancestry, it will automatically show me how others (who also have ancestry trees) are related to me and by which ancestor we share. For those without trees, it will tell you how many generations back you are likely to be connected. You can also print off your markers and enter them into other websites if you so choose.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:27 am

This article from one expert source gives some good insight. Note that the prices are Christmas discount prices, so wait unit the next sale or up the listed prices but about 20%.

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2015/12/13/all-you-want-for-christmas/

Most of the action these days is in autosomal DNA testing, which tries to get at all lines of your ancestors. Unless you are doing DNA testing to explore a strictly male or female line, skip the first two recommendations.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Leeraar » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:20 am

I just got an e-mail from Ancestry for 20% off.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by sesq » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:51 am

My wife and I did 23 and me a couple years ago. She actually corresponded a bit with a few second/third cousins and was able to figure out how they fit into the family trees. For me, although my paternal grandfather is a bit of a mystery most of my relatives were distant.

We actually did it because my wife can be a bit anxious about her health and sometimes would occasionally self diagnose obscure genetic disorders. We were pre-FDA smackdown and the reports we received back helped calm some of these concerns. We both realize that a spit tests are the end all be all in terms of diagnostic tools but relief is relief. I am not complaining.

Sadly my ancestral homes is pretty much all english/irish which wasn't a surprise. My wife's was more of a european mutt although it did dismiss a prior family claim of native american genes. I did have 1% of my genes tied to a european region which was primarily Jewish. I kidded with my Jewish friends that I am now allowed to participate in the jokes.

Its not life changing but it had value to us. I know their plans are/were to monetize the database for money and science. The latter of which could be good for society.

I haven't tried the others so I can't tell you which is best.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:58 am

My Mom has done both Ancestry and 23andMe. She originally much preferred 23andMe, but says that Ancestry has recently upped their game and is now the front-runner. Plus you can add on all that other family tree stuff if you want (which 23andMe doesn't do).

Once my Ancestry results get back from the lab, I'll be on both too. If you're a stickler, doing multiple services might be the way to go for you too. It will be interesting to compare the results.
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HueyLD
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by HueyLD » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:40 pm

I suggest you take the autosomal DNA test at Ancestry.com, and then transfer the raw DNA data for free to Gedmatch.com and to FTDNA.com. Ancestry has the largest data base among other things. Gedmatch has several interesting features such as chromosome browser comparisons, multiple programs for ethnicity calculations, and an archaic DNA matches section. Gedmatch does not do DNA testing, but rather uses results that have been transferred there. Access to FTDNA results would initially be limited, but for only $39 you can unlock the full autosomal DNA data base if you choose.

The above approach would give you access to three autosomal DNA data bases and the suite of programs each site uses at a low price.

You could start with the above and then for example take a Y DNA test at FTDNA if you want more.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:13 pm

HueyLD wrote:I suggest you take the autosomal DNA test at Ancestry.com, and then transfer the raw DNA data for free to Gedmatch.com and to FTDNA.com. Ancestry has the largest data base among other things. Gedmatch has several interesting features such as chromosome browser comparisons, multiple programs for ethnicity calculations, and an archaic DNA matches section. Gedmatch does not do DNA testing, but rather uses results that have been transferred there. Access to FTDNA results would initially be limited, but for only $39 you can unlock the full autosomal DNA data base if you choose.

The above approach would give you access to three autosomal DNA data bases and the suite of programs each site uses at a low price.

You could start with the above and then for example take a Y DNA test at FTDNA if you want more.


Very good advice there.

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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:19 pm

I did the 23and me a few years ago - just before they had to stop the health/medical pitch - so I was grandfathered in. I was mainly interested in the genetic background - and it was interesting. Mostly consistent with what I "knew" but a little twist here and there. Neanderthal was about 3% of my DNA.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Enkidu » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:02 pm

If you asked this a year ago I would have highly recommended 23andMe. However, in November 2015, 23andMe shifted to a new platform that has been a disaster. One of the things that I liked about the old 23andMe was the forum, which, like Bogelheads, was made successful by the participation of many knowledgeable users. The new forum is like a cartoon, and access to tools that were available on the old platform are no longer available. Sadly, I can no longer recommend 23andMe.

I also use FTDNA and find it very good, and I also have used http://GEDmatch.com with good results. Although I have not personally used Ancestry, I think the advice given by HueyLD is excellent.

One thing that I would add is that you can get health results for a nominal fee by using https://promethease.com/ after you have access to your raw DNA data from any provider. Also, here is a guide for people new to genetic genealogy https://sites.google.com/site/wheatonsurname/beginners-guide-to-genetic-genealogy . It is not specific to a given provider, but gives a good background for beginners who may be overwhelmed by the terminology and concepts.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by mouses » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:43 pm

sesq wrote: I did have 1% of my genes tied to a european region which was primarily Jewish. I kidded with my Jewish friends that I am now allowed to participate in the jokes.


Mine came out reflecting what I knew about my ethnicity, except for tiny amounts of a couple of other areas. My guess is that is reversed - the Vikings invaded/visited for trading and scattered some of their DNA around in those areas, so DNA from those areas shows up in my results.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:02 pm

mouses wrote:
Mine came out reflecting what I knew about my ethnicity, except for tiny amounts of a couple of other areas. My guess is that is reversed - the Vikings invaded/visited for trading and scattered some of their DNA around in those areas, so DNA from those areas shows up in my results.


It's very common for Viking DNA to show up in DNA tests for people who have ancestors from the U. K. I've know people who are very proud of finding out they have Viking ancestors. I'm not sure the females who were the recipients of that DNA were feeling so good about it.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Leeraar » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:29 pm

I come from an interesting group - South Africans of predominantly European descent.

My maternal grandparents were both born in England. My mother's DNA shows strong connections to Scandinavia. My paternal DNA (with 350 years of documented genealogy in South Africa) goes back to northern Germany and also southern Scandinavia, places like Denmark.

I am missing the most interesting part - my maternal line in Africa. The genealogy says I have female slave ancestors from places like India, Malaysia, and Madagascar. I have yet to find a cousin who will agree to be tested for that line.

There is a project around FTDNA that is assembling tests of people like me. The population is contained (relatively small) and the genealogy is well documented (like Iceland), so South Africans of European descent are lab rats for studies on genetics.

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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:03 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
mouses wrote:Mine came out reflecting what I knew about my ethnicity, except for tiny amounts of a couple of other areas. My guess is that is reversed - the Vikings invaded/visited for trading and scattered some of their DNA around in those areas, so DNA from those areas shows up in my results.

It's very common for Viking DNA to show up in DNA tests for people who have ancestors from the U. K. I've know people who are very proud of finding out they have Viking ancestors.


Same Scandinavian heritage - small percentage in my British Isles (including Ireland) ancestry.

I'm not sure the females who were the recipients of that DNA were feeling so good about it
Then again, maybe they were.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mup ... 04893403A3

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Petrocelli » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:23 pm

Thanks for all the responses!

I ordered a kit from ancestry.com. I also started a free 14 day trial on its web. I found a woman who had traced my paternal grandmother's family back to the 1700s.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Puakinekine » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:35 pm

Petrocelli wrote:Thanks for all the responses!

I ordered a kit from ancestry.com. I also started a free 14 day trial on its web. I found a woman who had traced my paternal grandmother's family back to the 1700s.

If I have just one bit of advice to anyone doing family history, it's to not trust any work that you have not done yourself. Or not to trust anything without seeing at least one or two original sources for the information that people are giving you.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by ilskeptic » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:08 am

My wife and I had our DNA tested by Ancestry over the holidays. No big surprises in the basic results. I'm still German and she's still British/Irish (though with an unexpected touch of Iberian Peninsula DNA ... a Latin lover in there somewhere, apparently). But I was intrigued to find, digging into the various family connections Ancestry also offers, that my sister is -- "with a high degree of confidence" -- actually my fifth cousin.

The process, however, was easy and surprisingly quick.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:14 am

ilskeptic wrote:I'm still German and she's still British/Irish (though with an unexpected touch of Iberian Peninsula DNA ... a Latin lover in there somewhere, apparently).


DNA tests look back into different periods of history to do their analysis, which is why you can get different results from one company vs the others. It's more likely that some DNA from 10,000 years or so continued in your wife's line since some very early settlers of the U.K. came from what is today the general area of Spain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_the_British_Isles#Earliest_people

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:51 am

Petrocelli wrote:Thanks for all the responses!

I ordered a kit from ancestry.com. I also started a free 14 day trial on its web. I found a woman who had traced my paternal grandmother's family back to the 1700s.


Someone else already mentioned it but I will say it again. As a long time Ancestry.com subscriber, there is more junk family trees out there than good ones. People get so addicted to clicking leafs that advance their tree back another generation, that they never put in the work to verify it. Whenever someone tells me that they have their lines traced back to pre-revolutionary times, I am instantly skeptical. It is fairly easy to trace families back to the early 1800's but going back into the 1700's takes a lot of work that just can't be done (yet) via a computer. There just aren't enough early records online to trace.

I keep two trees on Ancestry. A public one that contains all the information I have personally verified and is accurate. The other one is private so nobody can see it and I use that to click those leafs of what other people claim and am in the process of verifying or debunking. Sadly, most of the time it is the latter.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by mouses » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:35 pm

lthenderson wrote:Someone else already mentioned it but I will say it again. As a long time Ancestry.com subscriber, there is more junk family trees out there than good ones.


I certainly agree with that, and not just with ancestry as a "source." However, I had traced my family tree on my dad's side, painstakingly back to the late 1700s, when I ran aground because the documents were incredibly hard to read and unorganized. I stumbled across someone else who had built an enormous family tree of which my family was a secondary branch, and everything I checked matched except for one understandable error on his part. So I was able to fill in missing areas of my tree, of course checking the new data against original sources.

Fortunately, I downloaded his entire website with one command before that ability seemed to disappear from current browsers.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Leeraar » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:08 pm

It is fairly easy to trace families back to the early 1800's but going back into the 1700's takes a lot of work that just can't be done (yet) via a computer.

Except for South Africans of European descent. Virtually all of them are documented from the mid-1800s back to the first "settlers" in 1652.

But, I agree in general. In Britain it is very hard to go back before the start of civil registration, about 1840.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Crimsontide » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:23 pm

Just got my results from Ancestry. Big whoop. Results show I'm a mutt from Western Europe, one could tell this without the saliva sample :annoyed Glad I paid for this with the free Amazon gift card I had left over from Christmas...

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:48 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Someone else already mentioned it but I will say it again. As a long time Ancestry.com subscriber, there is more junk family trees out there than good ones. People get so addicted to clicking leafs that advance their tree back another generation, that they never put in the work to verify it.


I actually think the trees on ancestry are getting worse in recent years. Between all the TV advertising they do to bring in new paid ($$) subscribers who don't bother to learn how to do actual research, and the "shaky leaves" that are all too easy to just plunk in, the junk just builds and builds.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by derosa » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:53 pm

3 companies do testing in the US. Ancestry and 23me are autosomal only. FTDNA does that test as well as ydna for males and a mitochondrial test for females.

Dna evidence tests only work in comparison with other tests. One test by itself doesn't tell you anything. By itself it is just a bunch of numbers. Without the paper trail to work with you have nothing. No test will give you the names of family members. You have to do the hard work of research. So if you are not doing serious genealogy work now - just taking a test to take one is a parlor amusement trick - hey it's your money!

Test results that try to break down where you came from at the country level are pretty much winging it.

Law enforcement has no use for these tests. They are useless for crime solving purposes. Go check the company's reports on how many requests they had and what they did to comply.

This is no shortcut, sorry.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Crimsontide » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:34 pm

derosa wrote: So if you are not doing serious genealogy work now - just taking a test to take one is a parlor amusement trick - hey it's your money!

Test results that try to break down where you came from at the country level are pretty much winging it.


Yep, you've nailed it. We've traced back to 1798, all American born on my father's side. Thought this might give us some "hints" through Ancestry but no such luck. I could have done as well with a map and a dart.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Thatthatisis » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:17 pm

One word of caution: Don't do DNA testing unless you are confident you can handle any result. We have a last name with a membership group in each of two different states, which went back into the 1700s. They figured if they got a bunch of the men to take the tests, they could figure out if the two branches were related.

So they did, amd my brother was one of them. The results came back proving that without a doubt the people with that last name were in fact descended from a common ancestor.

All that is, except one man with the the same last name. He was not related at all. He had a hard time when he had to accept the fact that something had happened in his line that broke the biological relationship. It could have been an adoption, a wayward spouse, a child taken in after a family friend died - a whole host of things. But he had to come to grips with the fact that his history was not what he thought. You have to be prepared. (By the way, our association voted him an honorary membership. At the end of the day, it's not all about genes!)

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Caduceus » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:15 pm

I took a look at some of the options, and not knowing the science behind this, have one question. If I want to trace my family's line, does it matter whose DNA I use? Is it better to use the oldest relative (e.g. a parent or grandparent, if still alive, rather than my own DNA)? Or does it not matter?

I understand everyone's DNA is unique, but is there any advantage/disadvantage for genealogical research in deciding whose DNA to use/bank?

Now all the Boglehead scientists can come out of the woodwork 8-)

Thanks!

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by derosa » Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:55 pm

Male test - ydna - can only be used by males. Mitochondrial test can only be taken by females. Autosomal can be taken by anyone.

They all test different things and at different levels of confidence. Tests with very low levels of confidence will have you related to thousands of people - none of whom are related to you of course.

If you have a solid genealogy of your family and there is a SPECIFIC question that you cannot solve through the paper trail (deeds, census, marriage records, wills, etc etc) then one of those tests MIGHT be of some help. The problem you have drives the test that you might take.

On the other hand - if you just want to take a test for the heck of it - any one will do. And then you have the results to deal with and understand. Good luck with that.

Remember no names are provided by dna. You have to provide the names and how the people are related......

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by MrKnight » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:51 pm

Petrocelli wrote:There are a variety of services out there that test your DNA and give you information regarding your ancestry, such as ancestry.com, 23andme and Geno 2.0 (to name a few).

Has anyone tried any of these? Any pros or cons? Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance.


I've done ancestry. My mother did ancestry and a few others.

It's really cool. My mother and I matched up as child and parent so it is legitimate.

I purchased it when it was on sale and with a coupon for like $70-80.

Here was my background
Image

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:07 pm

Just to add to what derosa said. yDNA only tests the strictly male line, no intervening females allowed. Ditto mtDNA for females, but reversed.

if you're doing the autosomal test it's likely best to use your oldest direct ancestor in the line you're interested in. They're more likely to catch close relatives than you are since your DNA has been diluted one or two generations.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Joel » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:44 pm

The DNA tests through Ancestry.com allowed me to breakthrough several walls that I was stuck on with my family tree.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Pyrite » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:15 am

derosa wrote: Mitochondrial test can only be taken by females.


Everyone has mitochondria, so males can do the mitochondrial test; it will only give information about the female line of descent.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by JoinToday » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:45 am

Does anyone worry about information displayed on family trees? I did a google search a while back for my dad's name (deceased). A family tree came up, where my dad was a twig (?) in the overall scheme of things, not part of the main tree. It had my mom's name with unknown maiden name, and one of my brothers and sister. Did not include me or my other siblings. Given that my "mother's maiden name" is a typical security question, I was a little reluctant to send information about the rest of my family. And I would be reluctant to post my wife's maiden name for the same reason if one has kids.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by vbdoug » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:56 am

I went to groupon.com last month and got a price of $69 for an AncestrybyDNA test. That deal may no longer exist. I received the "swab" test and sent it in on 9Mar but have not received the results as yet. BTW, my local library offers free access to ancestry.com. I have traced some ancestors to the 18th century. A friend of mine has gone back to the 9th century, and that was facilitated because some of his ancestors were royals and that makes it a lot easer to trace back in time.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:10 am

Pyrite wrote:
derosa wrote: Mitochondrial test can only be taken by females.


Everyone has mitochondria, so males can do the mitochondrial test; it will only give information about the female line of descent.


Good clarification. Thanks.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by derosa » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:40 am

My error in the writing this on mtdna. Both can take but it only looks at the female line. In both tests one is trying to determine if there is a common ancestor between two people. In no way can the tests tell you who that person is. Only that there is a good chance there is a person in common. Only the paper trail can revel who that common person might be.

The challenge, compared to ydna, is that mtdna changes/mutates very little, if at all, over potentially thousands of years. So a match could be recent - say 3 generations ago or it could be with 100s or 1000s of years ago.

On the other hand ydna changes on a somewhat regular basis over short periods of time. It is this somewhat regular mutation that allows much more certainty in how far back (4 generations or 8 generations...) there is a common ancestor.

My focus has been on ydna. It was able to show that at 8 generations, with a very very high probability, there was a shared, common male ancestor. It killed about 150 years of family history saying that one group of descendants had one male ancestor and the other group had another male ancestor. These two ancestors turned out to be brothers. The paper record on one ancestor's birth had burned up in a courthouse fire. So no record existed that specifically stated who were the parents. The courthouse records all around were completely absent of any record of any births.

The paternal record of the other brother was known and proved through various documents like deeds, wills, indentureships, marriage records, business transactions, etc. So with the ydna test we were able to find that current descendants were identical. That allowed us to show the two ancestors were in fact brothers and to point to the shared ancestor, who was already known, That then made the birth link and the paternal record.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by c078342 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:22 pm

Some interesting books on genetics and lineage have been written by Bryan Sykes, an English geneticist. The 7 Daughters of Eve and Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland) are 2 I recently read that informed of mitochondrial DNA. He is also associated with Oxford Ancestors which performs similar DNA testing.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:41 pm

I thought I'd report back.

I started a family tree. I then got a DNA tests done for me, my wife, my father, and my mother's sister (who is the closest living relative to my mother, who passed away). I was able to locate some distant relatives, and even located a distant first cousin (4 times removed) who immigrated from Italy in 1863 and fought in the Civil War.

I knew my wife had a 4th great grandfather who fought in the Revolution. It turns out she has four 4th great grandparents who fought in the American Revolution. Also, she is a direct descendant of 20 of the first 5,000 people to arrive in America from England.

We also learned she is a distant cousin of Presidents Roosevelt, Coolidge, Fillmore and Grant

I learned most of the information regarding her family without the DNA testing. However, the DNA tests have confirmed much of the information.

In any event, it has been well worth the time spent. It's an interesting hobby
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

johnubc
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by johnubc » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:50 pm

This article (recent) regarding private DNA repositories is a little unsettling to me. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/0 ... databases/

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Petrocelli
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:08 pm

johnubc wrote:This article (recent) regarding private DNA repositories is a little unsettling to me. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/0 ... databases/


If anyone wants my DNA, they can have it. In fact, if anyone wants to send me a tube, I'll spit in it.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

Leeraar
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Leeraar » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:09 pm

I have been tested three times: First for my male line by National Geographic, then for my male and female lines by Family Tree DNA. I am not sure whether this is useful, or if it is just some parlor trick with only entertainment value.

First, the male line. I am a South African of European descent, with ancestors who arrived in South Africa before 1700. The male tests point to origins in northwest Germany and southern Scandinavia, which is exactly what one might expect. There is no historical genealogy trace of the male progenitor of my family in Europe.

The female test is disappointing. My maternal grandmother was English, but we have no trace of her. I believe she was born illegitimate and brought up as an orphan. The test shows some close matches but on very common genes from Britain and Scandinavia. Nothing to hang your hat on. Every couple of weeks I get an e-mail, "We found 2 new mtDNA HVR1 match(es) for ..." since matches occur as more people are tested.

Over time, this may be interesting. The genealogies of South Africans of European descent are remarkably well documented, and there is a project to have people tested and then to connect those tests to the known genealogies.

The missing thing here is the maternal DNA on my father's side, for which I cannot be tested. Virtually all South Africans of my heritage have slave ancestors from the period before 1800 or so. These slaves are generally from India and Malaysia, but may include China, Japan, and East Africa and Madagascar. I do not have any female relatives I know of who can be tested for these lines, since my father comes from three generations where only males had offspring. Female cousins on that side of the family are very rare, and I do not know any well enough to ask them to be tested.

I might also mention that the Sykes studies (noted upthread) and others have shown that the "error" rate in genealogy is quite high, perhaps 15%. One in seven people in your tree are not biologically connected as you think they might be. Infidelity and adoptions are two explanations, but so are simple errors in documentation. What someone called "wishful linking".

L.
Last edited by Leeraar on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FreddieG
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by FreddieG » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:14 am

I just sent off a sample to 23andme. I am confused by the comments here that say that 23andme no longer includes health information.

Health information is part of the fee that I paid.

Didn't they negotiate with the FDA and rework the tests so that they're compliant now?

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Steelersfan » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:33 am

FreddieG wrote:I just sent off a sample to 23andme. I am confused by the comments here that say that 23andme no longer includes health information.

Health information is part of the fee that I paid.

Didn't they negotiate with the FDA and rework the tests so that they're compliant now?


Yes they did and yes, they are back doing genetic health information.

What that portends for their ongoing investment in genealogy related work is yet to be seen.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by tbradnc » Fri May 27, 2016 8:00 pm

In the past few months I've received the results back from AncestryDNA and 23andMe - the results correlated fairly well and the obvious things like eye and hair color were correct so I'm reasonable confident these aren't scams.

No real surprises - both report that I'm 98.x% European.

By far and away the most interesting thing has been uploading the results to Promethease - https://www.promethease.com/ and seeing all the various genetic information contained in my DNA with regards to likelihood of various diseases, aliments, mental issues, etc. The health results reported by 23andMe are very limited. Promethease provides so much info you can't digest it even in several sittings.

vested1
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by vested1 » Sat May 28, 2016 11:58 am

On my brother's advice I chose 23andMe as a mother's day gift for my wife. Her mother had told her that her grandfather who my wife never met was 100% Cherokee Indian, so my wife and all her siblings thought that they were at least 25% American Indian, taking some pride in that fact, perhaps romantically. All attempts to glean more information about their lineage from their mother were unsuccessful.

When we got the results back a couple of weeks ago my wife's ancestry showed zero American Indian and nothing from the western hemisphere, with 95.6% northwestern European. She was deeply disappointed, and passed on the results to her siblings and her extended family, which was shocking to say the least. Now several others on my wife's side want to be tested. I'm wondering if a second opinion from Ancestry.com is in order. There is no possibility that my wife or her siblings had a different mother or father.

As others have mentioned, the results you get may come as an unwelcome surprise.

On my side, my deceased father was definitely 1/2 Portugese, yet my brother's DNA came back with less than 1% Iberian, (Spanish and Portugese from what I understand). Oops, looks like it's time for me to submit a sample.

Joel
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Joel » Sat May 28, 2016 4:18 pm

My moms father was 25% Portuguese, however, my mom's DNA test did not show as much from the Iberian peninsula as expected. It estimated something like 5% instead of 12.5%.
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AllieTB1323
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by AllieTB1323 » Sat May 28, 2016 4:47 pm

A few words of caution, DNA testing isn't for the faint of heart. During the early 1950s, my wife was adopted at birth. Last year out of curiosity she wanted to determine her ethnic origins so she sent her sample to Ancestry DNA. The results showed she was basically Irish but also indicated she had two first cousins. This February one of the "cousins" contacted her and they have become good email friends. A few weeks later Ancestry showed my wife had a full sibling match. At first blush this would seem like a great commercial for Ancestry but alas things haven't worked out too well. Since there are over 100 first, second and third cousin relatives to both my wife and her biological sibling she decided it would be best to email the sib and explain she was adopted. He never responded but there has been some communication with another brother, an attorney. As things currently stand the full sibling match has caused problems in the biological family while causing my wife extreme guilt for even submitting her sample.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:16 pm

It is fairly easy to trace families back to the early 1800's but going back into the 1700's takes a lot of work that just can't be done (yet) via a computer. There just aren't enough early records online to trace.

I know all of the names/birth and death dates/locations of my father's paternal grandfathers going back to my 9th great grandfather who was the first family member to arrive from England, to Boston in 1640.

I don't believe it's hard provided that the branch of your family in question, was able to maintain a steady stream of geneaologists who kept records all along the way.

Looking across my 8 great grandparents - for 3 of the 8 I can go back to the 1700s and the 1600s...for the others I am still waiting for the pieces to fall into place.
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