05 January 2013

Update on my family's DNA Testing


Last month I wrote about my plans to use DNA testing as a genealogy tool. Kerry Farmer subsequently reminded me of two important points that I forgot to mention (see Postscript no.1 on 'DNA Testing for My Family History').

My uncle's autosomal DNA ('Family Finder') test results have arrived! He already has six matches in the '2nd-4th cousin' predicted range and ten in '3rd-5th cousin'. I am hoping for closer matches in the future when more genealogists with known English and Scottish ancestry do tests through FamilyTreeDNA. I am also hoping that some of my second-cousins will agree be tested.

The best match so far is 'shared cM 49.22, longest block 32.05'... but I have not yet learned how to interpret all this. I was not expecting the test results until mid-January, so I got caught short and hadn't done my homework!

I have already started contacting people who match my uncle's autosomal DNA. I soon realised that I need to send them a list of all names (except living people), not just a pedigree chart - because the name they might recognise won't necessarily be my direct ancestor. As Gedmatch points out, "siblings (and descendants of siblings) of one family often turn up as 'spouses' (with no recorded ancestors) in another family." There is a diagram that illustrates this clearly.

If you have advice to share with DNA newbies like myself, please add a comment below. It will be very welcome.

2 comments:

  1. Judy,
    It is so exciting when the results are posted. I agree that it will be great in the future when more people with known UK ancestry test. Many of the matches I have so far only know their US ancestry, but some UK and Irish matches have all their ancestry concentrated in some of my ancestral counties of England and Ireland, thus making it easier to estimate which branch of my family tree they match on.
    I look forward to following your blog for any updates re your uncle's test results.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Aillin. It will be such a help if geographical locations can narrow down the possibilities! The vast majority of my families lived in either Yorkshire, Argyllshire or the Greater London area (inner Middlesex and Surrey), with just a handful in Somerset, Kent, Lancashire and other areas.

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