Best DNA genealogy testing kits

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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:09 am

AllieTB1323 wrote: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.


Yes, this can cause difficulties.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Petrocelli » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:49 am

lthenderson wrote: 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.


Actually, I think that depends on when your ancestors got here.

My ancestors came through Ellis Island. Of my four grandparents, I can trace only one line out of the United States.

In contrast, many of my wife's ancestors got here in the "great migration" from England, and were the group that same to New England after the Mayflower. Her family has been traced for 400 years, and it is easy to trace many branches to the 1600s, and earlier.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Barefootgirl » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:48 pm

yes, I really think it depends on whether your ancestors kept written geneaological records. If they did, it's very easy to see the whole ancestral line.
In the case of my paternal grandfather, he just handed us the book. His ancestors were published geneaologists and even today I can buy a copy on Amazon of what they wrote.

The other lines in my family took more work.

All that said, I am contemplating an order from 23andme of the health & ancestry data - just wondering whether people felt the health data was of any use. I know it can be used to send to other entities that interpret the results...so if you find you are at high risk for something - do you take that to your doctor and based on it - take certain meds or supplements? eg. AREDS is a supplement used for those at risk for macular degeneration.

BFG
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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:45 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:yes, I really think it depends on whether your ancestors kept written geneaological records. If they did, it's very easy to see the whole ancestral line.
In the case of my paternal grandfather, he just handed us the book. His ancestors were published geneaologists and even today I can buy a copy on Amazon of what they wrote.
The other lines in my family took more work.
All that said, I am contemplating an order from 23andme of the health & ancestry data - just wondering whether people felt the health data was of any use. I know it can be used to send to other entities that interpret the results...so if you find you are at high risk for something - do you take that to your doctor and based on it - take certain meds or supplements? eg. AREDS is a supplement used for those at risk for macular degeneration.
BFG


I enrolled in 23and me just before their health/medical stuff was shut down. Now they are bringing it up one piece at a time. I got it for my ancestry mix and DNA history, so the health and medical was not a big deal. Nothing surprising on the health/medical, but a lot of trivia - like the kind of earwax I have (wet or dry) and I already know that. If you are at higher or lower risk for some condition, how does that affect your behavior? If you are at low risk for something influenced by a healthy diet, do you then just eat what you want because you are low risk? Or, if at higher risk, do you say you will get the condition anyway - so just eat what you want?

And, does it really help or inform you whether you produce stinky pee when you eat asparagus?

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:41 am

I took a peek at a friend's report and none of it was particularly interesting. Some genes indicate he had a higher chance of balding, others indicated a lower chance. (Does that mean it cancels out?) A lot of things are expressed in terms of probabilities, and none of it was actionable. After seeing his report, I decided not to get one myself.

I think things will be very different in maybe 5 years or a decade, when scientists know more.
Last edited by Caduceus on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Jnick55 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:47 pm

DNA contains a great deal of deeply personal information, not only about the donor but about the donor's parents, siblings and offspring. Entrusting a clean, uncontaminated DNA sample to a DNA genealogy testing company for analysis seems unwise to me. Once the sample is handed over and tested, it resides in the company's laboratory and in its data bank indefinitely. Many people who spend a great deal of effort guarding other types of personal information seem to place a significant degree of faith in DNA genealogy testing companies not to misuse their DNA samples or to carelessly disclose the personal information that can be revealed by that testing.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:43 pm

If you use a temporary email address and a gift card to pay - how do they know it's you in their data bank? a name and an address? people move....seems there are ways around it.

note to Caduceus: I just read that the price for full sequencing has come down to $1K, FWIW.

I am compelled since I know of several who have used the data to respond to methylation issues, leading to relief and health improvement, not going into further detail here, obviously.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby bowtie » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:31 pm

So... some people caution against a company having possession of one's DNA information like 23and me or others. Other people caution about putting anything online as scammers can try things.
I tend to err on the overly cautious side but then people I know who are very knowledgeable etc do not seem to have concern.....
Any other insights ......?

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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:15 am

I was recently communicating by email with a relative of mine who was condifering doing DNA testing with one of these companies. That relative told me that in their small hometown, someone there had done this and "matched" with his child, who he and his wife had given up for adoption (at birth) before he and his wife were married. I think this situation turned out OK, but sometimes things like this turn out well, and sometimes not well at all.

In our own case, our now adult child is adopted and we know one side of the bio family very well and know the name of the other side. A recent internet search of that name indicates a very difficult/tragic "situation" of a bio half-sibling. So far, our now adult child has not expressed a desire to delve into that bio history. While you never know how things might turn out, I do not think any benefit would come to our child from such inquiries.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Sandtrap » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:17 pm

Puakinekine wrote:
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.
+1
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby m2go » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:48 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. I'm not sure the females who were the recipients of that DNA were feeling so good about it.


My wife from the Balkans did one of the early tests some 15 years ago - at the time they focused largely on mitochondrial DNA (inherited through the female line). Their answer was "Scandinavia". Since it's female lineage, I can't see how Norsk rape and pillage in the Mediterranean might have plays a role. The best I can say is that Halvar took his wife to the Mediterranean and threw her overboard, because she was constantly nagging him.

That would be in character :-)

I love her dearly and would never give her up. That being said, she also blew the Tay-Sachs test with possible/likely, and Jewish/Norsk is a truly strange combination, esp. since nobody in the family has official knowledge of either such relationships.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:12 pm

m2go wrote:
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. I'm not sure the females who were the recipients of that DNA were feeling so good about it.


My wife from the Balkans did one of the early tests some 15 years ago - at the time they focused largely on mitochondrial DNA (inherited through the female line). Their answer was "Scandinavia". Since it's female lineage, I can't see how Norsk rape and pillage in the Mediterranean might have plays a role. The best I can say is that Halvar took his wife to the Mediterranean and threw her overboard, because she was constantly nagging him.

That would be in character :-)

I love her dearly and would never give her up. That being said, she also blew the Tay-Sachs test with possible/likely, and Jewish/Norsk is a truly strange combination, esp. since nobody in the family has official knowledge of either such relationships.


The tests have improved a lot since then. I did one about that same time and all it told me that I was from "Central Europe". It was for the male line. That told me nothing since I had traced my ancestors back to a small town in Germany all the way back to the early 1600's and Switzerland before that.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Cruise » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:28 am

I've done Geno 2.0. Very interesting results. While both of my parents' families came from the same small village in Europe, it was fascinating to see the different paths that ancestors took to reach that area. While my mother's background was not surprising, my father's was very surprising.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:51 am

Cruise wrote:I've done Geno 2.0. Very interesting results. While both of my parents' families came from the same small village in Europe, it was fascinating to see the different paths that ancestors took to reach that area. While my mother's background was not surprising, my father's was very surprising.


Would you care to share more? I'm really interested myself in discovering more about family origins but I confess I don't quite understand how these tests reveal so much about humans' deep past.

I can barely research my line past four generations (I only consider elements of my family history I can factually document with actual source materials). How does Geno 2.0 know that John Smith's ancestors moved from, say, Northern Scandinavia into the British Isles around some time period, and then subsequently moved, say, to some other place? They would need factual proof of this ancestor having gone from this one place to another and I don't think there are that many people with such well-documented lineages going back hundreds of years?

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Cruise » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:57 pm

Caduceus wrote:
Cruise wrote:I've done Geno 2.0. Very interesting results. While both of my parents' families came from the same small village in Europe, it was fascinating to see the different paths that ancestors took to reach that area. While my mother's background was not surprising, my father's was very surprising.


Would you care to share more? I'm really interested myself in discovering more about family origins but I confess I don't quite understand how these tests reveal so much about humans' deep past.

I can barely research my line past four generations (I only consider elements of my family history I can factually document with actual source materials). How does Geno 2.0 know that John Smith's ancestors moved from, say, Northern Scandinavia into the British Isles around some time period, and then subsequently moved, say, to some other place? They would need factual proof of this ancestor having gone from this one place to another and I don't think there are that many people with such well-documented lineages going back hundreds of years?


Suggest that you look at the Geno 2.0 website for more details. They are looking at movement of reference populations and at specific markers.

For me these were some of the highlights of my experience with Geno 2.o:

1. To see that I am not only part African (2%), but also part Northern Asian (2%). I was not surprised about the Asian part, as due to certain physical characteristics within my family, I suspected it. Still it was wonderful to see it confirmed.

2. There is a section in which participants can anonymously "share your story." You can then see a "genetic map" and look at the stories of those close to you in the map who chose to share. It was really surprising to see how my father's side map was closely aligned with descendants from Italy. That was a real shocker, and confirmed by the geographical map in the "Deep Ancestry" results, that showed my father's side transiting through Turkey and Italy.

Geno looks at population data, and will not give you information about a certain relative at a specific point in time. If you are interested in aggregate data, you will not be dissapointed.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Jazztonight » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:41 pm

Interesting thread.

I sent my sample to 23and me several years ago. I was less concerned with health issues than tracking down my family tree, but the medical stuff was interesting.

I was able to locate a "lost" (to me) branch of my family, which was very cool. My daughter lives near a newly discovered 3rd cousin, and they got together with their kids. Result? 4th cousins and an instant extended family. Of course, now they're all Facebook friends. I suppose it's all a good thing.

At one point, I told my father, "spit in this, Dad," and confirmed he is, indeed, my father. Never hurts to confirm.

After they worked their problems out with the FDA, etc.,it seems the 23andme site is now better than ever.

I've also discovered that many people are reticent to find out health and other information that the sites might reveal. My sister and my son refused to participate, even when I was willing to pay for their kits.
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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:26 pm

AllieTB1323 wrote: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.


Yes, while some such "reunions" with biological families have happy endings, some do not. Worse, some have very bad endings. Adoptions (on the birth parents side) are often connected with stressful and difficult (to say the least) situations. Our son (now in late 30's) is adopted (he came to live with us at about 18 months) and is related (biologically) to my wife. Some tragic circumstances related to his biological mother (now deceased). He has not asked about bio Dad, but we know the name. I hope he does not ask because an internet search of that name pops up our son's half-brother (located in another part of the country) who is a real mess. We have all dealt with the circumstance of the bio Mom's situation (our son knows the general situation) and that is just fine.

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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:36 pm

I recall my late father often saying, "Be careful about researching your ancestors. You might find things about them that are not good or that you really do not want to know!" . What he talked about a little (and I recently found out more details from my brother) is that his maternal grandfather (my great grandfather, who had the same first name as I have), as a poor young man in another country was involved in some less than legal activities before he came to the US.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Dimitri » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:52 pm

One of my coworkers and her brother both did ancestry.com. They had their suspicions (parents are both dead) but pretty much confirmed that Mom wasn't necessarily faithful to Dad. Things happen. They kind of suspected as much. My coworker also found out that according to ancestry.com she is a quadroon. That was a, shall we say, big surprise. Moral of the story? Don't ask if you don't want to know. What you find out might be surprising.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Herekittykitty » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:02 am

I did the ancestry.com DNA testing at the request of one of my (adult) kids who is interested in that kind of thing. Soon all of my kids, my sibling, an aunt on one side and an uncle on the other (my parents and my kids' father are deceased) did it for us.

It helped my daughter considerably in doing family tree work which she greatly enjoys. Doing ancestry.com DNA produced a lot of cousins and let her confirm things way back, and she has a great time doing it.

My children are full siblings to each other (I would know, besides which the DNA proves it) yet their ethnic reports, while all European in origin, are quite different in proportions. My siblings and mine are fairly different (we are full siblings, which was our opinion and the DNA proves it.) I suppose European mongrel best describes all of us, but it was a surprise to see how different the mix is among us.

I don't know whether 23&me would add anything to it. I believe they do use X and Y chromosomes (maybe in addition to autosomal DNA?) whereas ancestry.com just uses autosomal DNA (for unknown reasons - I would think X and Y chromosomes could add a lot.) I would be interested in the medical info if it were useful but it isn't, as we can figure out everything already that they test for. If they tested APO E-4, or something else useful, that could be good info to have.

As for 23&me (or anyone else) giving DNA to the FBI or any other crime fighting unit - I say more power to them. I would actually donate my DNA to a data base for that purpose.

BTW I believe (am not certain) the military takes DNA samples of soldiers, the purpose being identification if needed. Sad, but a good idea.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:54 pm

I give talks on genealogy research in my local area and people often ask me about the DNA tests to find out where they came from. Part of my my answer is "If you don't like the results of the test, get tested at one of the other companies that do it and you'll get a different result you might like better". Now I have an additional answer, "If you don't like the results of the test, have your siblings get tested and you'll get a different result you might like better".

Here's a good article on why, which includes this:

My brother’s DNA test results provided the following Ethnicity Estimates: 91% Great Britain; 5% Ireland; 3% Trace Regions (Italy/Greece)

My ethnicity admixture results are: 37% Great Britain; 29% Ireland; 21% Europe West; 8% Italy/Greece


http://oakgrovegenealogy.com/index.php/2016/02/20/dna-inheritance-is-passed-down-randomly-so-randomly-that-i-am-24-more-irish-than-my-brother/

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Herekittykitty » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:40 pm

Steelers fan, thanks for the link to that article.

I was distressed when my 3 (adult) children turned out so differently from each other on the ancestry dna test. (Their father is deceased.) I am/was positive they were full siblings, but worried that maybe they wondered about it due to the dna test. As it turns out, they weren't concerned about it but were curious. It was a relief to me when dna testing from their father's side of the family showed them all related to those relatives too, because then I didn't have to wonder if they were wondering......

Once my brother got tested, we had figured out how different full siblings could be and so although he and I had quite a chuckle about being so different from each other, we both turned out related to people on our mother's and father's side, so we didn't get to chuckle any more. It turns out that all our close relatives tested are a European mongrel mix, pretty different even among closely related people.

Ancestry.com has t.v. advertisements that imply percentages of ethnic results are more reliable than they seem to be. I wish they didn't do that.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:49 pm

I think these tests when used for genealogical purposes are not particularly informative as the field is so young. At some point in the future there will probably be interesting and specific and actually accurate things the tests can tell us, but not yet.

It's more important to just save the DNA data so that you can use it for research later.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby kramer » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:20 am

Caduceus wrote:I think these tests when used for genealogical purposes are not particularly informative as the field is so young. At some point in the future there will probably be interesting and specific and actually accurate things the tests can tell us, but not yet.

It's more important to just save the DNA data so that you can use it for research later.
Apologies if my question was already asked, but this last point is what I am wondering about. Which services let you save the DNA data for later use? Also, will the format of that data be useful to use against other databases out there or is it company-specific format (and/or possibly too generalized/sparse) to be used that way?

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Cruise » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:51 am

kramer wrote:
Caduceus wrote:I think these tests when used for genealogical purposes are not particularly informative as the field is so young. At some point in the future there will probably be interesting and specific and actually accurate things the tests can tell us, but not yet.

It's more important to just save the DNA data so that you can use it for research later.
Apologies if my question was already asked, but this last point is what I am wondering about. Which services let you save the DNA data for later use? Also, will the format of that data be useful to use against other databases out there or is it company-specific format (and/or possibly too generalized/sparse) to be used that way?


My Geno 2.0 results have been modified several times in the last few years as new research was incorporated into their data analysis.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Pajamas » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:07 am

A friend did 23 & Me and found out that she has a very high percentage of Neanderthal genes, even for the areas from which her genes originate. She got a limited amount of health information but there were no other surprises, just the abnormal percentage of Neanderthal ancestry. It bothers her so much that she wishes she hadn't had the testing done at all.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:45 am

kramer wrote:Apologies if my question was already asked, but this last point is what I am wondering about. Which services let you save the DNA data for later use? Also, will the format of that data be useful to use against other databases out there or is it company-specific format (and/or possibly too generalized/sparse) to be used that way?


You could do whole genome sequencing for slightly more than a $1,000 per person. The data that is produced can be saved in a digital format and the loss of the original DNA will no longer be a problem. The file sizes are huge but hard drive space is no longer a problem in this age.

Companies like 23andme do not do whole sequencing. They only look at parts of the genome - the ones that are most likely to be relevant. In some cases, selective sampling will get things like haplogroups wrong or will give a more general categorization (e.g. at the level of the haplogroup) rather than a more specific one.

"My Geno 2.0 results have been modified several times in the last few years as new research was incorporated into their data analysis."

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the original DNA data being modified; what's being modified are the categories and groupings based on new understanding on genealogical data. For instance, maybe someone who was initially assigned to haplogroup H1a1 will now be assigned to H1a2. Your data hasn't changed; the understanding of the data did. Having the data itself will allow you to unlock any future research advances in this area.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Cruise » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:00 am

Caduceus wrote:"My Geno 2.0 results have been modified several times in the last few years as new research was incorporated into their data analysis."

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the original DNA data being modified; what's being modified are the categories and groupings based on new understanding on genealogical data. For instance, maybe someone who was initially assigned to haplogroup H1a1 will now be assigned to H1a2. Your data hasn't changed; the understanding of the data did. Having the data itself will allow you to unlock any future research advances in this area.


Thanks so much for kindly verifying my understanding of this reality. :confused

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Dead Man Walking » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:26 am

Steelersfan wrote:I give talks on genealogy research in my local area and people often ask me about the DNA tests to find out where they came from. Part of my my answer is "If you don't like the results of the test, get tested at one of the other companies that do it and you'll get a different result you might like better". Now I have an additional answer, "If you don't like the results of the test, have your siblings get tested and you'll get a different result you might like better".

Here's a good article on why, which includes this:

My brother’s DNA test results provided the following Ethnicity Estimates: 91% Great Britain; 5% Ireland; 3% Trace Regions (Italy/Greece)

My ethnicity admixture results are: 37% Great Britain; 29% Ireland; 21% Europe West; 8% Italy/Greece


http://oakgrovegenealogy.com/index.php/2016/02/20/dna-inheritance-is-passed-down-randomly-so-randomly-that-i-am-24-more-irish-than-my-brother/


Great link! I was considering having a DNA test done until I read this thread. I have accurate genealogical records for my ancestors since they arrived in the USA because family members kept records of names, births, and deaths of my ancestors. I don't have complete records of the families of the siblings of my ancestors; however, I have complete records for those from whom I'm directly descended. My aunt verified the family tree in order to become a member of the DAR.

I know the general areas in Europe that my ancestors came from. Unfortunately, the locations were in areas that were conquered by various nationalities throughout history. I'm probably a European mongrel as described by another poster. The test would likely confirm this. What happened in Europe over 200 years ago will have to stay in Europe.

DMW

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby stickman731 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:00 am

Steelersfan wrote:I give talks on genealogy research in my local area and people often ask me about the DNA tests to find out where they came from. Part of my my answer is "If you don't like the results of the test, get tested at one of the other companies that do it and you'll get a different result you might like better". Now I have an additional answer, "If you don't like the results of the test, have your siblings get tested and you'll get a different result you might like better".

Here's a good article on why, which includes this:

My brother’s DNA test results provided the following Ethnicity Estimates: 91% Great Britain; 5% Ireland; 3% Trace Regions (Italy/Greece)

My ethnicity admixture results are: 37% Great Britain; 29% Ireland; 21% Europe West; 8% Italy/Greece


http://oakgrovegenealogy.com/index.php/2016/02/20/dna-inheritance-is-passed-down-randomly-so-randomly-that-i-am-24-more-irish-than-my-brother/



Thanks for posting the link. I just started reading Bill Griffeth book on his genealogy journey and DNA testing - https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-My-Gene ... 0880823445

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lthenderson
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby lthenderson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:31 am

kramer wrote:Apologies if my question was already asked, but this last point is what I am wondering about. Which services let you save the DNA data for later use? Also, will the format of that data be useful to use against other databases out there or is it company-specific format (and/or possibly too generalized/sparse) to be used that way?


I had mine done through Ancestry.com. When newer methods of analyzing it came along, they automatically upgraded me free of charge so that I could see the "new" test results. They also give you the raw data which I was able to add it to several other of the DNA/genealogy websites. I also have it saved on my hard drive should I desire to use it later in some fashion.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:00 am

Here are a couple of blog posts comparing the various DNA testing sites.

https://www.exploringlifesmysteries.com/23andme-vs-ancestry-vs-ftdna-vs-geno-2-0/

http://www.legalgenealogist.com/2015/02/02/2015-most-bang-for-the-dna-buck/

The later blog is very active, so go to the home page and read through whichever posts you find interesting. While she's an admitted DNA enthusiast, she also gives solid advice.

As the first blog records, only Family Tree DNA allows you to import tests done at other sites. The others requires you to use their testing methodology to access their technology and databases.

skepticalobserver
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby skepticalobserver » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:13 am

A related inquiry: has anyone looked into telomere testing a "genetic test that reveals your cellular age" (Teloyears):

https://www.teloyears.com/home/index.ht ... AsBM8P8HAQ

Handy for SPIA analysis!
Last edited by skepticalobserver on Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lthenderson
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby lthenderson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:38 am

Steelersfan - I hadn't realized that Ancestry stopped doing the Y-DNA test. That would kind of be a deal breaker for me.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:06 pm

lthenderson wrote:Steelersfan - I hadn't realized that Ancestry stopped doing the Y-DNA test. That would kind of be a deal breaker for me.


Autosomnal DNA testing is the way all the companies are heading. Because it looks at DNA contributions from all your ancestors, not just your direct paternal line(Y-DNA) or direct maternal line (mtDNA), it's better at finding cousins and getting an estimate (however inaccurate) of where your ancestors came from.

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lthenderson
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby lthenderson » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:37 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
lthenderson wrote:Steelersfan - I hadn't realized that Ancestry stopped doing the Y-DNA test. That would kind of be a deal breaker for me.


Autosomnal DNA testing is the way all the companies are heading. Because it looks at DNA contributions from all your ancestors, not just your direct paternal line(Y-DNA) or direct maternal line (mtDNA), it's better at finding cousins and getting an estimate (however inaccurate) of where your ancestors came from.


I agree, but when your paternal line peters out in the late 18th century in Pennsylvania, Y-DNA comes in handy in trying to figure out where they were before.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Thatthatisis » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:33 am

I have trouble understanding the science behind genetics. A genealogical researcher put it in terms I could (almost!) understand. He said that you start with a bag of mixed vegetables for dinner. You and your parents and siblings share DNA in the same way as if they were all sitting around the dining table and serving themselves vegetables from the bowl. Your mom might get more peas than her son. Your sister might get more carrots than you did. It's all the same sources, but the mix that shows up is slightly different from person to person.

Then you take that bowl of mixed vegetables and put it on a larger table with other people's mashed potatoes. People at that table fill their plates. And so on. Several dinners and families later, you trace who came from which bowls based on comparing the genetic markers (I.e., the mix of peas, carrots and potatoes).

Not scientific, but it helped me understand the basic concepts.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:39 am

lthenderson wrote:
I agree, but when your paternal line peters out in the late 18th century in Pennsylvania, Y-DNA comes in handy in trying to figure out where they were before.


Yeah, and Y-DNA is the basis for last name studies too. You can only trace one line out of many, many lines in your entire ancestry with Y-DNA, and this specificity becomes a strength if that's exactly your focus.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Thatthatisis » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:51 am

Understanding your family history requires a certain amount of historical knowledge. For those of you who have mentioned the Norse "raping and pillaging" as the reason you show Scandinavia in your genes: the Norse for some reason are one of the people least studied in our schools amd I have no idea why. They were an extremely successful empire for centuries. For example, the Norsemen ruled Sicily for about 400 years. The fact that Ancestry DNA shows a person whose family comes from Sicily has Norse background is not surprising.

People often think of Sicilians as short. My husband and I took a tour in Sicily. My husband's Ancestry is Sicilian back at least 5 generations. Same with the tour guide, only more gerarions. They were the two tallest people on the tour, both topping 6'3". The tour guide made an offhand comment about the Norsemen in Sicily. It was clear as day. Most people on the tour had never heard that.

The same with people with "Iberian". Most with heritage from Great Britain will show Iberian background because both England and Spain (especially northern Spain) share Celtic roots.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:52 am

Those examples show, and many other conquests and expulsions and resulting intermarriages over centuries of history, how testing DNA to determine where your family came from is so difficult, and why siblings end up with different apparent origins.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Caduceus » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:01 am

Steelersfan wrote:Those examples show, and many other conquests and expulsions and resulting intermarriages over centuries of history, how testing DNA to determine where your family came from is so difficult, and why siblings end up with different apparent origins.


Yes, and actually the process as it stands is deficient precisely because we don't yet have sufficient "old-school" genealogical research to tell us what these DNA tests mean. Only when a particular ancestral line already has a great deal of documented history in terms of the exact origins and movements will someone else who's identified as a relative using the DNA test be able to take advantage of the information. DNA tests can't reveal genealogical research that hasn't yet been done.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Petrocelli » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:07 pm

DNA tests on Ancestry.com can help you find relatives that you didn't know existed. That information can help you build your family tree.
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby c078342 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:58 pm

I did Ancestry.com earlier this year. Other than taking 2 months to receive the results, it was neat. I thought i had a good handle on my ancestry -- 50% British and 50% German. But I was surprised to find out I was 39% Scandinavian, 30% Irish, and about 8% each British and Western European with some others factored in. The Scandinavian part I can understand, many of my British ancestors lived where the Danes had occupied Saxon territory a 1000+ years ago. But the Irish? Nobody in my family had ever indicated an Irish heritage. And the low Western European ancestry was a bit puzzling also, since my maternal grandparents were both second generation German immigrants. I may try another service at some point -- I find it fascinating.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby lthenderson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:46 pm

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a several autosomnal DNA from Ancestry.com for myself, my wife and one of our children. I've done a Y-DNA and a mtDNA but never the autosomnal so I'm interested to see how it compares. We did them last night and mailed them this morning. Now for the waiting.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Steelersfan » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:54 pm

A note for those who did the "Origins" test with FamilyTree DNA. They changed their algorithm recently and some people who did the test with the same DNA sample before and after the change are reporting substantially different results. Which one is correct? Probably neither.

You pays your money and you takes your chance.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby Joel » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:48 pm

c078342 wrote:I did Ancestry.com earlier this year. Other than taking 2 months to receive the results, it was neat. I thought i had a good handle on my ancestry -- 50% British and 50% German. But I was surprised to find out I was 39% Scandinavian, 30% Irish, and about 8% each British and Western European with some others factored in. The Scandinavian part I can understand, many of my British ancestors lived where the Danes had occupied Saxon territory a 1000+ years ago. But the Irish? Nobody in my family had ever indicated an Irish heritage. And the low Western European ancestry was a bit puzzling also, since my maternal grandparents were both second generation German immigrants. I may try another service at some point -- I find it fascinating.


Keep in mind that those percentages can be inaccurate.For my mother, it shows 1% Iberian Peninsula (with a range of 0-6%). However, I can in fact confirm she is 25% Portuguese. He paternal grandfather was born in the Azores (Portugal) and I was able to trace the documentation back at least 4 generations in the Azores. So with that said, it's not always accurate.
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dm200
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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby dm200 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:01 pm

Joel wrote:
c078342 wrote:I did Ancestry.com earlier this year. Other than taking 2 months to receive the results, it was neat. I thought i had a good handle on my ancestry -- 50% British and 50% German. But I was surprised to find out I was 39% Scandinavian, 30% Irish, and about 8% each British and Western European with some others factored in. The Scandinavian part I can understand, many of my British ancestors lived where the Danes had occupied Saxon territory a 1000+ years ago. But the Irish? Nobody in my family had ever indicated an Irish heritage. And the low Western European ancestry was a bit puzzling also, since my maternal grandparents were both second generation German immigrants. I may try another service at some point -- I find it fascinating.

Keep in mind that those percentages can be inaccurate.For my mother, it shows 1% Iberian Peninsula (with a range of 0-6%). However, I can in fact confirm she is 25% Portuguese. He paternal grandfather was born in the Azores (Portugal) and I was able to trace the documentation back at least 4 generations in the Azores. So with that said, it's not always accurate.


Isn't it possible that there were some degree of folks from places other the Portugal in the Azores? Just because the Azores is/was under the political jurisdiction of Portugal does not mean that the ihhabitants are, necessarily, of Portugese decent (genetically). Wikipedia lists several non-Portugese groups that have made up s significant part of the population of the Azores.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby richardglm » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:10 pm

Joel wrote:Keep in mind that those percentages can be inaccurate.For my mother, it shows 1% Iberian Peninsula (with a range of 0-6%). However, I can in fact confirm she is 25% Portuguese. He paternal grandfather was born in the Azores (Portugal) and I was able to trace the documentation back at least 4 generations in the Azores. So with that said, it's not always accurate.


There is some variation in quality of results, and you will definitely find the percentages vary between testing providers depending on the genetic model used, but I doubt that there can be that big of a discrepancy solely attributable to the genetic test. It is much more likely that your genealogical records aren't giving you the full story (even if both are completely correct). For example:

  • DNA ancestry measures the approximate origin of ancestors from 800-1000 years ago. It is very likely, by itself, that genealogical history does not go back that far, and some people moved around quite a bit in that time gap.
  • DNA does not measure cultural or language identity. Identity is very fluid and can change voluntarily or involuntarily over the years. How likely this is depends a bit on how much some ancestors may want to hide their previous heritage
  • The further you go back in history, the higher likelihood of "non-paternity events." It's human nature.
  • Finally there is some error in the test itself. The reasons for error are well known. Part of the problem is you don't inherit uniformly from all of your ancestors, and sometimes one grandparent contributes a lot more (something that the test cannot correct for). In addition the genetic model is an estimate, based on a guess of the genetic composition of people who lived 100's and 1000's of years ago (and there is/was no such thing as a "pure" ethnic person, anyway) which is why ranges are often stated roughly +/- 5%, and can be wider for other ethnicities not well studied.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby daveydoo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:49 am

For genetic ancestry, these tests are perhaps worthwhile. But note, as at least one poster pointed out above, that genetic ancestry and geographic ancestry may not be related. Jews "from" Russia will not be genetically "Russian." There is, however, an awful lot that has been inferred recently about population dispersal around the globe based on genetic analysis and largely corroborating the archeological record. This includes the entire peopling of the New World and is summed up in a single figure from a Nature review in January: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v5 ... 347-f3.jpg.

For "disease risk" genetic variants in healthy folks, these highly multiplexed tests are mostly useless and generally prey upon the worried well. Knowing that you have a 1 or 2% increased risk of developing Alzheimer's isn't super-helpful or actionable. There are clinically actionable genetic variants that are important to know -- depending upon your genetic ancestry -- but I don't think they show up in these panels. Many have to do with drug metabolism and can be used as markers for drug effectiveness or for susceptibility to serious drug side effects. On the plus side, some of these companies do actual research after "de-identifying" the DNA that you supply. Opponents argue that even de-identified genetic information can be readily re-identified -- it only takes a handful of genetic variants to uniquely tag each and every one of us. A database of your genetic information on some hard drive somewhere is as good as SSN, etc. So I'd think twice about submitting my DNA to a private enterprise like that.

But if you're able to participate in either of the two national public efforts to genotype a million Americans -- the VA's Million Veteran Program or the NIH-sponsored All of Us Program (formerly Pres. Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative) -- they are amazing opportunities.

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Re: Best DNA genealogy testing kits

Postby letsgobobby » Thu May 11, 2017 3:06 am

Steelersfan wrote:
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.

is this still considered the best advice? Most interested in (hopefully) confirming beliefs about geographic/ethnic origins of parental ancestors. Believe it is pretty clearcut, but parents are very ill so if we ever want to do it it's now or never.

Does our particular ethnicity matter? ie, we are not European, will that decrease the accuracy of our test? Are some tests better for some groups than others? I could PM you personal info.


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