Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DNA Research - Which Y-DNA Test? Why?

I am still deciding which DNA testing company to have my Y-DNA tested on, so I went looking for more information. Should I go with the biggest company, FamilyTreeDNA, in order to have the best chance of matching other persons? Or should I be tested by a company with cheaper rates for a given number of Y-DNA markers? I'm confused, I guess.

I was reading The Genetic Genealogist blog post today about Surnames and saw a link to the "DNA Success Stories"on the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) web site at http://www.isogg.org/successstories.htm. The second paragraph lists the Kerchner project - it says:

"From the Kerchner DNA Project

"Two early German immigrants to colonial Pennsylvania arrived within several years of each other and have the same surname. They settled in the same township and named their children similar given names. But no paper trails in church or legal records have been found to link the two early immigrant families. Were they brothers or related in some way? Genetic Genealogy can provide some clues. See the Kerchner Surname Y-DNA Project Success Stories webpage for more details on this case. - - Posted 28 Mar 2005."

One of the options for my Carringer surname (earliest known ancestor was Martin Carringer, born about 1758 in Pennsylvania) has been that it came from a surname like Kerchner, and a look at the Kerchner surname project link above shows that there are Karriker and Karriger persons in the Kerchner project - and a perfect Y-DNA match to many Kerchner descendants. My grandfather was the last Carringer in my line, so I'd have to find another living male Carringer, descended from Martin Carringer, to take the Y-DNA test.

I wondered about the Seaver surname, and found that FamilyTreeDNA has a Sevier Surname Project that includes the Seaver surname variant. You have to register and have your Y-DNA tested in order to be a member of the surname project, but I could view the results currently in the project at http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/sevier/results (thank you, Rebekah!).

If you have your Y-DNA tested by FTDNA through a surname project, you get a price break (e.g., $149 for a Y-DNA37 marker test vs. $259 without going through a project). Apparently, you can join two surname projects with a given Y-DNA test, so I could be part of the Sevier group and perhaps start or join a Seaver group.

Since I've had my mitochondrial DNA tested, I wondered if I could use those results from SMGF and GeneTree, and join a project on FamilyTreeDNA. The FTDNA "Join" page at http://www.worldfamilies.net/join does not indicate that I can do that - it looks like I can do it only through the National Geographic Genographic Project. I was hoping that I could just input my mtDNA results into a table on the FTDNA web site. Maybe I just don't see how to do this. Oh well.

I welcome any comments that might help me understand what I don't know about this!

UPDATED 3 p.m.: Rebekah commented that I could see the surname Project results and provided the URL. I updated the paragraph dealing with that. I missed the second line of links on the Project page.


theKiwi said...

I've been in the same quandary - I had a SMGF free test a while ago, and then paid $20 to transfer that to GeneTree.

I have contacted an Administrator of one of the Moffat DNA groups on FTDNA, and there is apparently no way to give him my results from GeneTree to input into FTDNA so that I'm in their matching system.

So a couple of weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and paid $129 for a FTDNA 37 marker test through the Moffitt project.

My other choice had been a 46 marker test through Ancestry for $100 last month (a discount for Ancestry Members), but I couldn't provide those results to the Moffat and Moffitt projects on FTDNA.

theKiwi said...

Ooops - forgot to "sign" the previous post...


Roger Moffat

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

One of the problems is that the testing companies don't all test the same markers, so it's difficult to get an accurate comparison.

But it's been my experience that the decision to accept test results from testees using "other" companies is up to the individual project administrator. As the admin for a very small grooup with a very rare surname, I'm willing to accept people who have tested ANYWHERE, and will do my best to accommodate them. I have a project page at FTDNA as well as Ancestry. My original goal was to set up a third-party web site that is not affiliated with any testing company, which I still plan to do, but we've discovered that the Ancestry DNA "group" is actually a lot of fun, so I'm pretty sure we'll keep it. I'm willing to go with what the group wants.

That being said, an admin for a large project may not want to be as accommodating. If so, you can always upload your results to Y-Search, which accepts and compares results from anywhere.

But if it were up to me, I would go with FTDNA. Just my personal preference.

Rebekah said...

Sure you can look at the Sevier's results. Just go to http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/sevier/results


Unknown said...

Hi Randy. You'll need to contact the mtDNA haplogroup project administrator who serves your haplogroup to see if they accept participants who were tested at other companies. Most mtDNA Haplogroup projects operate from FTDNA - and it is a lot of extra work to include tests from other companies unless the project has its own website. Some do, some don't.

We try to keep an updated listing of mt Haplogroup projects, but it is hard to stay up to date. Here is what we have at this time:




Hi, Randy.

It always pays to go with the largest database for the highest probability of getting hits! FamilyTreeDNA.com has the largest database, therefore the best chance. I am either admin, co-admin or participant in several FamilyTreeDNA projects, as well as attempting to convince relatives to test - not always easy!

It's a shame you didn't do this before September 30, when the company offered a great special, including a free mtDNA test with the YDNA test at a great price. However, many other people did take advantage of this deal, so perhaps your chances of finding genetic matches may now be even better.

Good luck!

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