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  1. #11
    Valued member of Brit-Gen SandraL's Avatar
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    I watched a short video on DNA and this pro that was narrating it said many have been disappointed with it.

  2. #12
    Administrator Ladkyis's Avatar
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    Unless you have a sample of the DNA from your ancestors the "matches" they make cannot be confirmed and would not survive the paper trail tests we should subject our research to.The results will always be totally vague - I mean what does 3% eastern European really mean? If you are testing for claims against huge estates with large amounts of money involved, or to see if someone really is the Princess Anastasia then go ahead but to possibly connect you to a very distant cousin when you don't have the connective paper trail? oh no not me.

    If you want to know your ethnicity or if you are descended from vikings then go ahead but until they find a way to take samples from long dead, cremated ancestors I will spend my pocket money on subscriptions to information websites and to buying certificates
    Ladkyis

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  3. #13
    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    All they do is tell you that you have a common ancestor with one or more people. It won't pinpoint who that ancestor was... it could be the person you suspect, their sibling or someone further back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandraL View Post
    One can only use Ancestry's DNA on Ancestry. You can download it and upload it to other sites. I have mine on Gedmatch as well as Family Tree DNA. If one wants to see all the matches on Family Tree DNA. It's a one time fee of $39 US. If one is a free member on the site they will only show the first 20 matches. I also have mine on My Heritage but was very disappointed with that site. I am a member of that site but I am not going to renew it.

    One can also build a tree on Family Tree DNA but it has it's pros and cons. I can't seem to get pictures uploaded. And if one links to a person that is either a Jr. or Sr. it will switch the people around. I tried changing it back to the proper way but it kept changing back to the wrong way. When I tried to remove that person to do them over, it removes the whole line and must be added again.
    so I opened a Family Tree DNA account, went to upload a freshly downloaded 23andme autosomal data file (the test was done this year, and I got this message "We only accept autosomal raw data files from Ancestry DNA & 23andMe V3 (sold from about Jan 2011 to Oct 2013)."

    I've made contact with a potential distant cousin on Ancestry - he has his DNA results on Ancestry (not sure the version), I have mine (actually my mothers but the connection is on her side) - do we have other options to compare results?

  5. #15
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    I'd much prefer to track ancestors thru their paper trail
    I'm with you there, MTS! I've always taken genealogy to mean tracing ancestors through surviving documents and can't see the place of DNA testing in the hobby.

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    I have some interesting DNA news that's personal to my own research. But thanks to GEDmatch I was able to prove a match between my mother and her cousins she didn't even know she had. Basically my gt gt grandfather had several wives and children, although we don't know the exact motives we are guessing he changed his name subtly to avoid paying child support (or obligations) back in the late 1800s. He also changed his dob several times and this made paper trailing him hard because you would doubt how accurate you were being or if you had found just another person with a similar name. So I made a guess and reached out to another person with this gt gt grandfather in his tree. It turned out he had already done a DNA test on ancestry so by using GEDmatch we could compare the raw data one to one and have conclusive evidence that we have the same person in our trees even though their names and birth differ (because of the records we had relied on).
    Last edited by warwickhewett; 12-12-2016 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Grammar

  7. #17
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    It has yet to be proved that a persons DNA is unique and we are a long way off proving such a claim.

    Keep in mind for many years it was claimed that snowflakes were unique but in 2014 it was shown that they fall into on of 35 different shapes ruled by temperature and humidity.

    It is therefore perfectly possible that as more individuals have DNA tests duplications could be discovered.

    Science does not deal in facts it deals in claims (theories) that hold true until proven false.

    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

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  9. #18
    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Agreed.

    "have conclusive evidence that we have the same person in our trees"

    Not quite. You have evidence that you have a common ancestor who could be the individual that you have in mind (call him Z). If it's a male and you're looking at the Y chromosome, it could be that you descend from brothers, cousins or even a nephew and uncle. Man who share a common completely male line (father's father's father's, etc).
    That's why we say that DNA is a useful tool but must be combined with other evidence. If Z was the only male relative in town, it makes it more likely. However if Z's whole family was in town, it confirms the family but not an individual.

  10. #19
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    I recommend that anyone who contemplates taking a DNA test first reads "A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived" by Adam Rutherford. Mr. Rutherford is a geneticist who writes very accessible books about the subject of DNA and what it can and, more importantly, cannot tell us about our ancestry (among many other things). I am reading it for the second time in a month, partly because I understand more as a result but also because it is such a fascinating read. It is available in hard copy, as a Kindle book and in our local library (in the UK).

    He debunks some of the sensational claims made by some companies who offer the service. He also reveals that different companies look at different areas of your DNA so you probably need to know what you are looking for before you choose to use one over an another. I had mine tested several years ago (Y Chromosome). All it showed me was that I wasn't genetically related to a lot of people round the world with the same surname as mine (who'd had theirs tested by the same company) within modern historic times i.e. going back several hundred years.

    Read the book first then decide whether it's for you.

    Tony
    "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” Edmund Burke

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  12. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley Robertson View Post
    Agreed.

    "have conclusive evidence that we have the same person in our trees"

    Not quite. You have evidence that you have a common ancestor who could be the individual that you have in mind (call him Z). If it's a male and you're looking at the Y chromosome, it could be that you descend from brothers, cousins or even a nephew and uncle. Man who share a common completely male line (father's father's father's, etc).
    That's why we say that DNA is a useful tool but must be combined with other evidence. If Z was the only male relative in town, it makes it more likely. However, if Z's whole family was in town, it confirms the family but not an individual.
    Unless you can find a potential tie though such relevance is extremely limited. So you're related? To whom & how?

    The vast problem I've found with people taking DNA tests - and I've tested on all the major DNA sites not to make discoveries but rather to see what all the hype is about - is the majority have limited genealogical knowledge. They don't know much about their familial history. A number likely can't trace their genealogy past the first hundred, maybe hundred and fifty, years and stumbling their way back across the pond is a daunting obstacle few can't tackle.

    I mean there's one DNA forum I frequent where the chap was throwing a party on the forums for having found his great-great-grandfather. The jaw-dropping revelation? This ancestor had lived a whopping 200 miles from where his family had lived for decades.

    Thus, in this sense, DNA testing becomes a case of the blind leading the blind.



    Besides Y, and mtDNA, is not autosomal. It doesn't recombine every time there's a baby. It can stay the same for generations upon generations. Thus a "relative"'s ancestor can be generations separated from your own ancestor.


    I mean, before I got fed up with the guy's bullying attitude which is a dang shame as I would have liked to assist but the person was a complete arse, some guy supposedly related to me indicated that he had found a potential French connection between his British ancestral line and some chap from France. He maintained my paternal line might "crack the code". His theory was it was Norman ancestry from the 1066s and onwards. He portrayed it as if he had broken ground on some life altering ancient mystery but given England's history of invaders, etc. I can't say I was as impressed**.

    The Normans, after all, aren't the only French in England's history. I know for a fact one of my ancestors' wives happened to have married a Huguenot descendant after his death for example. The irony is, is this person's ancestry happens to come from a region where Huguenot weavers settled too.


    **That's another thing I've found about these DNA researchers, their rather limited knowledge of historical populations movements. I frequent various DNA forums and some of their questions about so & so showing this and this ethnicity or their commentary about their supposed ancestry would make you roll your eyes except for the fear they become stuck that way you do it so often.

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