My DNA Dilemma - what would YOU do with these DNA kits?

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I've finally ordered a DNA kit. Two of them in fact. Now I'm wondering, "what now?"

I guess I'm late to the DNA-genealogy game. It's been the talk of the community for years now, yet I've not felt compelled to jump in. I've learned a lot about DNA from our DNA webinar series and I've heard your stories of how DNA testing helped has helped you.

I've finally given in to your peer-pressure:

  • "What, YOU haven't had your DNA tested Geoff?"
  • "Just do it Geoff - everyone's doing it!"

and so when Ancestry's DNA kits went on sale recently I did it. I placed the order. I'm almost a genea-DNA-peep like the rest of you.

Now I face my first DNA dilemma. Who should I test? The best answer is probably, "well, what are you hoping to find? What are your goals?" My current response is, "I'm not really sure." But I still have three grandparents with me (age 92, 81, and 81) and something tells me I should work with them before much longer. I'd also be interested in having myself tested. Why? Because I'm interested in the results. 

I also have an old genealogy case where I think Y-DNA testing would help. Asa had four children in his first marriage.

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I THINK that child #1 is Griffin:

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and child #3 is John:

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but I don't know yet. While I know there's more research that can/should be done on these two children, it's been difficult. And so I'm wondering if DNA would tell me if I'm on the right track. Here's what I'm thinking:

  1. IF I can locate a living male BROWN-surnamed descendant of one of the two known children (Nathan or Lorenzo)
  2. AND I can locate a living male BROWN-surnamed descendant of Griffin or John
  3. AND I can convince BOTH of them to take a DNA test
  4. AND their DNA matches

Would this suggest that Griffin and John do belong in the family and that I should use my efforts to continue the quest?

Legacy's DNA Chart, the "Male Y-DNA, Carriers Only" chart

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should make it easier to know which of these descendants would carry the right Y-DNA, right?

Y-DNA Descendant Carriers Only of Asa Clark Brown

On the other hand, my mother's mother, age 81, is a descendant of one of my brick wall ancestors. Below, Grandma's mother's mother's mother's mother's parents are unknown. Would testing Grandma with a mtDNA test be of value here?

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What should Geoff do?

My dear genea-DNA-peeps - I've got two AncestryDNA (autosomal) kits sitting on my desk. Should I:

  1. Test Grandpa Rasmussen (Dad's father)
  2. Test Grandpa Larsen (Mom's father)
  3. Test Grandma Larsen (Mom's mother)
  4. Test Dad
  5. Test Mom
  6. Test myself

And which other tests should I obtain?

  1. y-DNA test for the Browns
  2. mtDNA test for Grandma Larsen

If my budget were not an issue I know I should do 'em all. Or should I just keep these tests on my desk for now?


New! DNA Quick Reference Guides

You've probably heard that DNA testing is a big deal in finding our ancestors these days. Maybe you've completed the DNA test, but are now left with more questions than answers. If you need help understanding your results, the differences between the testing companies, or just need help understanding where DNA fits in with your genealogy research plans, I recommend taking a look at Diahan Southard's new Quick Reference Guides. Seven are available for 5.95 each, or the 7-pack bundle is available for 29.95 (save 11.70).

1Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist

Do you want to use DNA to further your genealogy research? This guide will help you select the DNA test (and testing company) that is right for you. It's never been easier to get started. Let Your DNA Guide show you the way! This guide provides answers so you can test with confidence:

  • Explains what DNA can and can't do for your research
  • Identifies who in your family should be tested
  • Explains privacy measures
  • Provides a comprehensive flow chart that identifies the right test for your research
  • Helps you choose the right testing company for your test and genealogy research
  • How to take the test
  • A Quick Glossary Guide to help you navigate terminology easily

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

2Y Chromosome DNA for the Genealogist

This guide will walk you through each aspect of YDNA testing and help you identify your next steps to finding or extending paternal lines. You'll receive clear and concise explanations of:

  • How to determine if the YDNA test is right for you and your research
  • What the YDNA test can tell you
  • Haplotypes and Haplogroups
  • How many markers you should have tested
  • How to get tested step-by-step
  • The best company for YDNA testing
  • What the testing company can tell you
  • How to get the most out of the testing company website tools

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

Mitochondrial DNA for the Genealogist

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) carries with it an indestructible record of your direct maternal line. This guide will cover the basics of mtDNA testing, and how to harness its power in maternal line research. This guide will fully explain the different kinds of DNA tests, and importantly, how to use the results of testing to further your genealogical goals.

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

4Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist

Autosomal DNA is being touted as one of the hottest genealogy tools available, but it leaves many with more questions than answers. Turn to this quick guide for answers to these common questions:

  • What exactly is autosomal DNA testing?
  • Who can be tested?
  • What testing companies provide this testing?
  • What will the results tell me?
  • What are the maps with all of the ethnicity percentages?
  • What do those maps have to do with my genealogy?
  • How do I organize my DNA matches to make the most of the testing?
  • Use this guide to gain knowledge and confidence in this exciting field of research.

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

5Understanding AncestryDNA

Thousands have purchased DNA testing through Ancestry.com. Most are left without a clear idea of what to do next. This guide provides answers to the following questions:

  • How can I find my best DNA matches at Ancestry.com?
  • What do the ethnicity results mean?
  • How can I link my pedigree chart to my DNA? Is that something I want to do?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What are the DNA circles?
  • Can I trust the shaky leaf hints?
  • What are my next steps?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

6Understanding Family Tree DNA

Many have begun to explore autosomal DNA testing with Family Tree DNA but aren’t sure how to navigate the website and make genealogical connections. This guide provides answers to the following questions:

  • How can I find my best matches at FTDNA?
  • What do the MyOrigins results mean?
  • Do I need to add my pedigree chart to the website?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What is a cM and why is it listed on my match page?
  • What is a Chromosome Browser? How do I use it in my genealogy?
  • How do I use the In Common with tool to find genealogical connections?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

7Understanding 23andMe

Over 1 million people have had their DNA evaluated by 23andMe. This website has powerful family history tools and this guide will answer the most pressing questions like:

  • How can I control how much information is being shared with others?
  • How can I enter my genealogical information?
  • How do I know when I have a good match?
  • Is the YDNA and mtDNA information they give the same as what I see at other places?
  • What is the best way to use the ethnicity results presented?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

DNA Reference Guide 7-Pack PDF Bundle

All 7 DNA reference guides at a discounted price!

Purchase for 29.95 for immediate download delivery (savings of 11.70).

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Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy - free webinar by Diahan Southard now online for limited time

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The recording of tonight's webinar, "Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy" by Diahan Southard is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time.

In this one-of-a-kind lecture we will discuss various methods for keeping track of your DNA matches- especially your autosomal DNA matches. We will first discuss what kind of information you need to keep track of, and why. We will cover the basics of Excel, Word, email folders and correspondence. We will talk about some alternative tools like Evernote, and Kustumnote that can help you streamline and standardize your organization. We will even cover some visual tools that will help you including Google Earth. This webinar will leave you armed and dangerous, ready to identify your best autosomal DNA matches and begin to move forward with the real genealogy business of making connections.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 38 minute recording of "Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - dna4 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, November 16, 2015.

Dna7packDNA Reference Guide 7-Pack PDF Bundle

All seven DNA Reference Guides!

  • Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist
  • Y Chromosome DNA for the Genealogist
  • Mitochondrial DNA for the Genealogist
  • Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist
  • Understanding AncestryDNA
  • Understanding Family Tree DNA
  • Understanding 23andMe
Sold separately: 41.65
Bundle Price: 29.95
 

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 277 classes, 415 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,216 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. December 18.

Click here to register.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


DNA Testing Kits now available from the Legacy Family Tree online store

Mtdna Most genealogists have heard a little about how genetic testing can help prove, verify, or even disprove a pedigree or difficult research problem. Thanks to Dr. Ugo A. Perego's webinar yesterday, we all now know a lot more about what to expect from a DNA test. And thanks to a new partnership we've recently made with Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and GeneTree.com, these DNA kits are now available to purchase from our online store.

Two different types of tests are available. The Y-DNA test helps you learn about your paternal line and the mtDNA test helps you learn about your maternal line. Here's the extended descriptions:

Enhanced Paternal Lineage Test (Y-DNA 46 marker)

Testing your Y-DNA is an ideal way to learn more about your direct paternal line (the lineage connecting you to your father, your father to his father, and so on). You receive your Y-DNA profile of 46 markers and a Y-DNA haplogroup prediction. Use your haplogroup prediction to discover the early origins and migrations of your paternal ancestors. Use your Y-DNA profile to find DNA cousins in GeneTree’s genetic-genealogy database. Any person you find with a matching Y-DNA profile is your paternal relative, some distant, some recent. By contacting and collaborating with your DNA matches, you can investigate, verify, and discover more information about your paternal line. This test is available to males only. Price: $179.

Click here for more information or to purchase.

Enhanced Maternal Lineage Test (mtDNA HVR-1,2,3)

Testing your mtDNA is an ideal way to learn more about your direct maternal line (the lineage connecting you to your mother, your mother to her mother, and so on). You receive your mtDNA profile and mtDNA haplogroup prediction. Use your haplogroup prediction to discover the early origins and migrations of your maternal ancestors. Use your mtDNA profile to find DNA cousins in GeneTree’s genetic-genealogy database. Any person you find with a matching mtDNA profile is your maternal relative, some distant, some recent. By contacting and collaborating with your DNA matches, you can investigate, verify, and discover more information about your maternal line. This test is available to males and females. Price: $179.

Click here for more information or to purchase.

Is Griffin Brown part of MY family?

Some of you think I talk about my Brown families too much. I probably do, but I've learned more about genealogy by studying the Browns then by any other way. And now I hope to use DNA testing to solve a brick wall.

Asa Brown had four known children by his first wife, Elizabeth. I know who children two and four are, but children one and three are still a mystery. I believe that child three is Griffin Brown, but have not yet proved it. The way I see it, I have two choices. First, I can continue with traditional research methods to prove or disprove his position in the family or second, I can use genetic testing to prove or disprove his position in the family. Let's say that through genetic testing I learn that Griffin does NOT belong to the family. Case closed. Now I can use my resources to try to find the real child number three. I suspect, however, that the tests will show that Griffin does belong to the family. So while the price of a DNA test seems a bit high, it could save me years (and hundreds or thousands of dollars) of chasing after the wrong guy.

So this is my plan. I need to identify a living, male, Brown descendant of either child #2 (Nathan ) or child #4 (Lorenzo) and have his Y-DNA tested. Then I would compare that DNA with that of a living, male, Brown descendant of child #3 (Griffin). If the DNA matches up, then I know that Griffin does in fact belong. Make sense?

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I'll let you know what I learn. And if you see a guy dancing in the street, it just might be me doing my latest Genealogy Happy Dance.