Jump to content


Photo

DNA Testing - What Company's Results are most Compatible with RM?

DNA

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Mike Power

Mike Power

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts

Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:47 PM

Can anyone suggest a DNA agency whose test results would provide the best range of detail for input to RM?  

 

My knowledge of DNA testing for genealogical purposes is very limited.

 

RM7 has provision for:

 

·         The mtDNA test - three haplotype categories ( HVR-1, HVR-2 and HVR-3) each with provision for entering ten locations; and     

·         The Y-STR test - in excess of one hundred haplotypes.

 

I've checked the websites of number of companies offering genealogical testing but most don't seem to provide any detailed information on what their tests provide. One exception is "familytreedna" whose comprehensive tests are rather expensive.

 

I have looked at "advisory" sites such as "familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Hiring_a_DNA_Testing_Company" but am still no clearer as to what company is best for my purposes.

  • What companies offer tests with results most compatible with the provisions in RM?
  • What is the best value for money?

 

Can anyone assist please?



#2 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3407 posts

Posted 13 April 2015 - 07:48 AM

Can anyone suggest a DNA agency whose test results would provide the best range of detail for input to RM?  

 

My knowledge of DNA testing for genealogical purposes is very limited.

 

Likewise this is a subject I need to read up on much more and try to understand better. Having recently done a test the results I received only partially populated the available RM fields but I was never expecting them all to be filled.

 

 

What is the best value for money?

 

Tests seem to continue to be better value for money, I'm not sure how this will reflect on quality in the future but I took the plunge when a half price UK coupon site deal flashed in front of me.

 

I look forward to more answers on your important and interesting question.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#3 Bob C

Bob C

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 April 2015 - 12:47 PM

Two references ( both US centric);

 

http://www.legalgene...r-the-dna-buck/

 

http://dna-explained.com/

 

In both look at the categories for more details.



#4 Mike Power

Mike Power

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts

Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:57 AM

Thanks for those references Bob.

 

I've realised that by posting to the RM7 forum I've probably limited my chances of getting a response to my specific query. I'm going to post to the "General" forum as well.

 

I tried using the Forum search facility to suss out any other posts on DNA (Content Type "Forums" - with only one result.

 

Googling "RootsMagis Forums + DNA" revealed a number of earlier posts. None of these, however, provide me with any assistance.



#5 Romer

Romer

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2069 posts

Posted 20 April 2015 - 03:02 AM

Currently, there are primarily the big three companies doing DNA testing -- 23andMe, FTDNA, and AncestryDNA.  23andMe and AncestryDNA each offer a single test, while FTDNA offers several.  Kit costs can vary by country, shipping costs can vary widely by company to country, and the tests aren't available in some countries, although more are being added over time.  AncestryDNA also requires an ongoing ancestry.com subscription for new tests to take advantage of all features.

 

As to Y-DNA, only FTDNA's Y-DNA STR test results are truly compatible with RM7.  The 23andMe test looks at Y-DNA SNPs, while the AncestryDNA test only includes a more limited number of Y-DNA SNPs in its raw data download file.  23andMe actually provides a paternal haplogroup based upon the Y-DNA SNPs it tests, so I suppose that you could enter that haplogroup in the Y-DNA fact and leave many of the other fields within it empty.

 

Y-DNA STRs only serve to estimate broadly a paternal haplogroup, but SNPs are needed to validate/determine it.  FTDNA also has what's called the Big Y that tests the most Y-DNA SNPs of any tests from the three companies.  It's also fairly expensive.  FTDNA offers individual SNP testing a la carte, as well.

 

FTDNA's mtDNA test includes one for all SNPs within the HVR1+2 regions and another for all within the HVR1+2+3 regions.  23andMe's test looks at just a subset of the mtDNA SNPs throughout all three, so isn't the best option since you enter those SNPs that differ from the "reference" for each region, so can be misleading.  AncestryDNA's test doesn't look at mtDNA at all.  Again with 23andMe, you could enter your maternal haplogroup assignment into the RM7 DNA fact.

 

All three companies test autosomal DNA (chromosomes 1-22), which is better suited for determining ancestry in more recent ancestry.  The FTDNA test that does so is called Family Finder.  That test is different than its Y-DNA and mtDNA tests given above, and the FF test doesn't look at Y-DNA or mtDNA.  If you're serious about your more recent vs. deep ancestry, these atDNA tests are the ones that you'll want to purchase, but the problem is that the results aren't suitable for input into RM or other genealogical packages since so many more markers (many hundreds of thousands) are tested.

 

Finally, Y-DNA is passed down without recombination from father to son (except for a very small amount), so traces the deep ancestry along your direct paternal (father's father's . . . father's) line.  mtDNA is passed without recombination from mother to child, so traces the deep ancestry along your direct maternal (mother's mother's . . . mother's) line.  atDNA is passed down with recombination from both parents, so traces the more recent ancestry along all the lines along both your paternal and maternal sides.  After several generations, atDNA from a particular ancestor may no longer be evident due to recombination.  (The X-DNA inheritance pattern is more complex, so I won't include it here.)

 

As to the autosomal tests, each of the companies has its advantages and disadvantages, but if you can afford to test at all three in order to expand your possibilities for matches, I'd recommend it.  FTDNA allows autosomal raw data transfers from 23andMe and AncestryDNA to its FF product for a reduced fee.  However, the 23andMe data has to be from v3 of its chip, and new tests are on v4.  It's probably most cost effective to test at 23andMe and AncestryDNA and transfer the AncestryDNA raw data to FTDNA FF.

 

I'd probably not recommend the FTDNA Y-DNA STR or mtDNA tests unless you're unsure of your surname (adoption or non-paternal event along your direct paternal line or direct maternal line).   If you don't have uncertainties, the haplogroups provided by 23andMe may be good enough in order to disprove a hypothesized relationship along the direct paternal line and direct maternal line.  Even if there are uncertainties about your direct maternal line, a FTDNA mtDNA test seems to be much less useful since a woman's surname changes each generation and surnames are less commonly given going back in time.

 

Genetic genealogy is much more difficult than the companies would have you believe, so be sure to keep expectations low and realize that it's a long-term pursuit.  As more people continue to test, you'll have a better chance of finding more and closer relatives.

 

If considering testing soon, you might wait to see if any promotions are announced for National DNA Day (25 Apr 2015).  FTDNA often puts Y-DNA STR tests on sale over Father's Day (USA date) and mtDNA tests on sale over Mother's Day (USA date).  You may also see sales around the Holidays.



#6 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6254 posts

Posted 20 April 2015 - 06:44 AM

Great synopsis, Romer, and very educational. I know little about DNA but your write up provides a good overview. How did you come to be so knowledgable about it? May I quote your write up in our local genealogical society newsletter?

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#7 HelenCoffee

HelenCoffee

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 21 April 2015 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for that DNA breakdown, Romer. Really helpful, as I am now waiting on my dad's FTDNA analysis. And "National DNA Day" on April 25th? LOL, but of course! A promotion to persuade others to add their cheek samples to the communal pot. 



#8 Romer

Romer

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2069 posts

Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:52 PM

You're welcome.  I'm afraid that I've only scratched the surface above.  It's also a shame that the best from all three companies couldn't be combined in order to incorporate the strengths and exclude the shortcomings.

 

Tom, yes, feel free to use or edit whatever material you'd like.  I think that I tested with 23andMe about four years or so back and had very carefully researched the various companies and product offerings at that time.  I later uploaded my raw data to FTDNA FF, then tested with AncestryDNA.  I've also tested up to 111 markers via the Y-DNA STR test and have taken the FTDNA HVR1+2 mtDNA test.  I may eventually upgrade to HVR1+2+3, but if so, that would likely be it for awhile, as I just don't know that mtDNA is as helpful for my needs out of more than curiosity.  Eventually, though, full genome sequencing vs. SNP genotyping will become affordable and worthy for testing.

 

When I tested with 23andMe, AncestryDNA wasn't yet a player, but ancestry.com had a Y-DNA STR test and a mtDNA test, both of which it no longer offers.  23andMe offered health results, as well as ancestry, but the FDA deemed the kit a medical device.  As a consequence, health interpretations haven't been offered to those testing in the past two-plus years, but are eventually expected to return in some form.  The FDA has just recently approved the company's first report, which will hopefully lay the groundwork for future submissions, but the company won't include health interpretations for those who weren't grandfathered in until enough have been accepted.  Raw data for health SNPs is still provided, but it must be uploaded for use with third-party tools for health interpretations.  Unfortunately, these other solutions generally aren't very user-friendly.  AncestryDNA raw data also includes some health SNPs, so can be run through these same tools, as well.



#9 Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1045 posts

Posted 26 April 2015 - 07:38 PM

There's another company that offers a host of different testing options and does not require an ongoing subscription to find matches to other people. I've forgotten the name.

 

I don't need a DNA test to tell me that I'm 1/4 German, 1/4 Swedish and 1/2 Anglo-Irish. I need a DNA test to tell me if my Newcomb family is related to any of the four other main Newcomb families in the USA. I need a DNA that says if my 5th-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Whitmarsh, was the daughter of Rachel Ward, or someone else. Of course these tests will require the cooperation/participation of a lot of other people and probably a lot more DNA segment matches than the usual sort of test.



#10 Romer

Romer

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2069 posts

Posted 26 April 2015 - 08:48 PM

Don, Y-STR testing at FTDNA would be your best bet toward eventually trying to find out the Newcomb family question provided enough people have tested or could be recruited to test.

 

The other question might not ever be able to be answered given how many generations back in time, but if it were, autosomal testing would be the way to go.  Any remaining intact DNA segments from that ancestor may be too small to register as identical-by-descent if they even exist.  It's generally believed (other than an AncestryDNA) that fourth cousins are approximately a 50/50 proposition in terms of being detected as related due to the random nature of recombination each generation, and you'd be looking some generations beyond that level here.



#11 Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1045 posts

Posted 27 April 2015 - 05:53 AM

The other question might not ever be able to be answered given how many generations back in time, but if it were, autosomal testing would be the way to go. 

 

This is what I understand. Which is sort of why I haven't rushed to get a DNA test. In my family, 4th cousins are "fairly close". I probably know the names of most of my 4th cousins. I'm not exactly sure what surprises my DNA would hold, unless things are not what they are supposed to be and someone got "swapped at the hospital", etc. 



#12 Mike Power

Mike Power

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts

Posted 09 May 2015 - 09:34 PM

 

Pardon the delay in following up but I have been away for a while.

 

I think we all owe a debt to Romer for his comprehensive overview. I agree, totally, with his comment that "Genetic genealogy is much more difficult than the companies would have you believe..."

 

Since my original post I've discovered the site for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) : http://www.isogg.org...ki_Welcome_Page

 

Under the section "Explore the ISOGG Wiki" `~ " DNA tests" are links to a number of useful articles in particular comparative charts for the various tests.

·         I assume that these are accurate and current.

 

I've also found the following to be of basic assistance: https://familysearch...Testing_Company

 

This portal contains links to a series of articles by a Ce Ce Moore "DNA Testing for Genealogy - Getting Started"

These, too, are a great introduction to the subject.

 

 

 

 

Hi Mike,

 

do you have a special purpose for being tested (i.e. breaking through a brick wall) or is it just to get filled the data fields provided by RM?

Check, if the value a test adds to your research is worth the money.

 

 

The answer is "both".  I can only trace my name line back to my great-grandfather so a test to uncover cousins from my Power family could be of great benefit.

 

But I also want to leave a genetic "signpost" for future generations - evidence that can tell relatives (close or removed) in the future who I am genetically. My assumption until recently has been that completed mtDNA and Y-STR data in RM would provide this.

 

I now realise that  as well as the provisions within RM, DNA testing companies themselves provide the "Ark" to (hopefully) carry this information forward.

 

 

Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” 
Alice― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland



#13 NickGC

NickGC

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 10 May 2015 - 04:39 AM

I have to challenge the April 27th claim that "I probably know the names of most of my 4th cousins."  Your 4th cousins would be all the other great great great grandchildren of of your 3rd great grandparents.  You have 16 sets of 3rd great grandparents.  That makes for a lot of current descendants in most cases.

 

Here is an empirical example:  A group of us have worked several years on tracing all the descendants of a single couple who lived ~ 1800-1865 and had kids between 1820-1840.  The number of 4th cousins from this single couple is 465 and since this cohort was mainly born 1940-1960, we admittedly haven't found them all.  Their kids (our 4th cousins once removed) number 491; their grandkids (our 4th cousins twice removed) so far number 198.

 

So let's first agree to only use "straight" 4th cousins and forget 4C1R and 4C2R (over 1150 total in this single family), and further assume that someone comes from a very non-fecund family  so instead of having an average of >400 cousins from a single pair of third great grandparents, they only have an average of 50 4th cousins per.  This would still result in that person having up to 800 4th cousins.

 

It's very late here (post 3am), so if I missed something vital, please let me know.

 

Nick 



#14 Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1045 posts

Posted 16 May 2015 - 07:33 AM

It's very late here (post 3am), so if I missed something vital, please let me know.

.

 

I'd probably have to except a couple of lines. I only really know my Swedish and Irish lines back to 2nd-great-grandparents. The Newcombs, probably, yeah. Benjamin & Stata only had two surviving children and I've pretty well got all of them. The Childerstons for sure.  The German line? Well, the local Ortsippenbuchs bring everyone down to the '50s. So I don't have after that.  



#15 Mike Power

Mike Power

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts

Posted 21 May 2015 - 10:20 PM

I've decided to run with what seems to be the most popular (and cheapest) product- the test offered by 23andMe.

 

I'll see how that goes and then, perhaps, consider the more comprehensive (and expensive) Y-STR and mtDNA tests offered by FamilyTreeDNA.

 

I thought of posting on the Wish List the suggestion that provision be added, either to the existing DNA fact or as a separate fact, to record results of  Autosomal DNA testing ie, what's call variously:

  • Ethnic Percentages Including any Neanderthal component;
  • Maternal and paternal lineages; 
  • Ancestry composition. 

Any thoughts on this or suggestions how it could be done best ?