Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Y-DNA Results - Post 2: Reading the Markers

My daughters gifted me a 20-marker Y-DNA test from The DNA Ancestry Project ( for Christmas. I sent it in via mail in mid-January and had not heard anything back from them. I checked into it on Monday and found that my results were available on Genebase.

The first post described Getting Started on the web site. This post describes seeing my 20 Y-DNA markers for the first time.

At the end of the last post, I was about to "View My Y-DNA" on the "Explore Your Ancestry" page. I clicked on the link to "View My Y-DNA":

The top of this page says "Raw DNA Results." The page has a short summary of what Y-DNA is, a long image of something that looks like a thermometer but is not understandable, and two boxes on the right showing more information about STR's and teasing another test. The text is informative:

"Only male individuals carry Y-DNA. Unlike all of the other DNA types in your cells, Y-DNA is unique because it is inherited along the paternal line and remains relatively unchanged as it is passed down from generation to generation, making it an excellent candidate for paternal ancestral studies. An individual's Y-DNA is the same as his father's Y-DNA and it is also the same as the Y-DNA of all paternal ancestors along the paternal line (father's father's father's father…..). This means that by testing an individual's Y-DNA, we are actually testing the same DNA type as an individual's paternal ancestors from thousands of years ago, thus allowing the investigation of an individual's paternal ancestral roots."

OK, where do I find mine? There's a link "My DNA" in small type under the "Raw DNA Data" title. I clicked on "My DNA." That didn't work. It was logical, but led me to a page about Y-DNA and mtDNA, which led me back to the last page.

There is a link to "View Y-DNA STR Results" in the box on the right in fairly large print - I clicked on that and this page appeared (3 screens below):

At the top of the page there is a summary of my test. In the middle is a listing of the Y-DNA markers that GeneBase tests and my results for the 20 markers I had tested - this has the "thermometer scale" thing in the middle - the different markers are at different locations on this scale. At the bottom of the page are a series of links to informational articles about Paternal Ancient Ancestry, DNA Archaeology (Y-DNA), DNA Clans (Y-DNA), Carrier Analysis (Y-DNA) and several more.

I wrote down all of my marker values from the long table with the black background. The darn things don't seem to be in numerical order because they are in different locations on the "thermometer scale."

Aha! There is a link on the right near the top of the page that says "Print DNA Certificate." I clicked on it and saw:

OK, that's more like it. I printed it out in landscape, and can proudly post it on my wall. Or I can use it for scratch paper, whatever. I printed two - one for notes and one for saving.

So I have my Y-DNA 20-marker test results. What should I do next? I will enter my Family Tree GEDCOM into Genebase. Then I will check the Genebase database to see if anybody has matches to my markers.

I will also try to enter my marker information into other Y-DNA databases at FamilyTreeDNA, Ancestry, GeneTree, and any other site that can compare my results to other tested persons.

The process so far has been fairly easy, even with all of the false steps trying to find the links to get to the markers. Genebase should make this process easier by at least providing a list of things to do and making the steps easier to find. Several links were in the sidebar boxes. I usually consider sidebar boxes as peripheral information containing advertisements and commercial invitations, not as the path of results.


Cheryle Hoover Davis said...

Thanks, Randy...very informative. I've been thinking of getting my mtDNA tests done, and this gives me a 'heads-up' on how to complete the process!

VacaGrammy said...

I had several people tested for their DNA. My hubby, his brother, one of my male cousins, a female cousin and myself. We used FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) and the results are MUCH easier read that what Randy has noted. FTDNA also has special rates if you qualify for one of their groups. My hubby & his brother tested with the group for Russian heritage, and got a sizeable discount.

bgwiehle said...

I think 'the "thermometer scale" thing' is a representation of the Y-chromosome. So the chart is a map to the physical location of all the markers. Note the little indentation in the middle (the centromere). The unshown part of the chromosome, making the usual x-shape, is identical.