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Genetic Genealogy Testing Strategy

Vicki’s note – article from FamilyTreeMagazine.com

 
Two Ways to Create Your Genetic Genealogy Testing Strategy
7/14/2017
You’ve got a limited DNA testing budget but lots of relatives. How do you decide who should be next to test? We’ll show you two ways to create your genetic genealogy testing strategy.

Q. I’ve had autosomal DNA testing done for my father, mother, wife and myself. We’re awaiting the results for my brother’s test. I transferred the Ancestry DNA results to GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA. Whom should I test next? A. The autosomal DNA test traces both sides of your family tree and is helpful in researching the most recent five or six generations. The more distant the ancestor, the less of that person’s DNA you have until he or she “drops off” your genetic family tree altogether. The most basic rule in autosomal DNA testing is to test any relative who doesn’t have both parents living, starting with the oldest generations. But since most of us don’t have the financial resources this approach might require, a testing plan also should take into consideration the reasons for pursuing genetic genealogy. More often than not, test-takers are in one (or both) of two situations:

  • they’re trying to solve a family history mystery
  • they just want to see what they can find out

Your DNA Testing Strategy for Solving a Family Mystery

If you have a family tree mystery, create a testing plan that will maximize your chances of finding out more about the ancestor in question. Set your sights on descendants of the mystery ancestors who are from lines other than yours. Say you’re trying to find the parents of your mom’s dad’s mom—your great-grandmother—Jane Lewis. You carry about 12 percent of Jane’s DNA (you have 50 percent of your mom’s DNA and 25 percent of your grandpa’s), and only about 6 percent of the DNA of each of her parents, the people you’re trying to find. To find out more about Jane’s parents, you need more DNA. Testing any of Jane’s descendants is helpful. But most helpful will be testing your second cousins, people who are descended from Jane’s other children—your grandfather’s siblings. These siblings got different parts of Jane’s DNA than your grandfather did, and passed some of those parts down to their children and grandchildren. Testing a second cousin also lets you differentiate the DNA you received from Jane (and her husband; we can’t separate the two at this point) from the DNA you received from your seven other great-grandparent couples. You can do this by studying the matches you share with your cousins using the Shared Matches, In Common With or similar tool offered by your testing company. In that list of shared matches, look for third cousins who might be descended from Jane’s parents or fourth cousins who might be descended from Jane’s grandparents.

Your DNA Testing Strategy for Seeing What You Can Find Out

If you’re testing not to address a particular question, but just to see what you can find out, try this:

  • Test second cousins from each of your known great-grandparent lines, starting with older relatives.
  • Consider finding a direct paternal line descendant of each of your four great-grandfathers to take a Y-DNA test, which would represent the surnames of each of those lines. The Y-DNA record for these paternal lines can help you sort out how other lineages with the same (or similar) surnames are related.

Get in-depth expertise on DNA testing strategies and results analysis in the genetic genealogy online courses and workshops at FamilyTreeUniversity.com.

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

The more people that get tested, the more chances you have of ethnicity samples becoming more accurate, and the more chances you have of finding cousins.  If you have had your DNA tested, look back at the results a couple of times per year, you may find more accurate results just from more data being added from new testers. You will not have to pay again.
Or you can pay about $39 to have a DNA test from another company transferred to Family Tree DNA.  The more companies you test at, the greater your chances of having a match with a cousin. 
And information from YourDNAGuide.com about another free option to share your DNA tests.  Download your results to Gedmatch.com   to compare with more users.   GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free.  Read how to do it in the second part below:

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

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DNA DEALS

There are so many DNA Deals we had to add a special page for them all. I have to tell you I haven’t met a DNA test that I didn’t like and I’ve tested with every one of these companies. Take advantage of the Father’s Day Specials; for yourself, your dad, your uncle, your aunt. Tell everyone to test, because I’m always looking for cousins.

AncestryDNA (Canada) Get $20 off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

 AncestryDNA (US) Get 20% off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Save as much as 20% off their DNA kits. Click HERE

MyHeritage Save $20 off their DNA kits. Click HERE

23andMe – Get your genealogy and medical DNA information. Save $50.  Click HERE 

Living DNA Save $40 off their DNA kits Click HERE

 

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Gedmatch.

Gedmatch can be a great place to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others.

It is a FREE (yes, FREE!) service provided by very intelligent and motivated genetic genealogists. Anyone with genetic genealogy test results from 23andMe, FTDNA.com (the Family Finder test), and Ancestry.com.

1. Head over to www.Gedmatch.com and click on “New User.”

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