After my success with the Y-DNA test and close match, I thought I’d try out the autosomal DNA (atDNA), test and see what it brings. I was in one of the first Ancestry Beta test groups and was really excited to take the test and see what I might find out. I received the test in the mail, swabbed my cheek and sent it in. Then I waited, and waited, and waited. Oh did I mention that I waited. After and inexorable amount of time, I received a notification that my sample was inconsistent and needed to be taken later. I had to reapply for a test (no charge) and they sent me a salvia vial. I’ve since learned that they only use the vial any longer for the atDNA test.
After several weeks I received notification that the test was complete. Sadly nothing of interest. No surprises in my genetic ethnicity.
Well, maybe. There has been a family story that my third great-grandmother was Cherokee Indian. If true that would amount to about 3.1% which could make up some of that uncertainty amount. They mention that as time goes on some of the uncertain identifications may become identifiable. So maybe, someday I’ll learn if the legend is true. Better yet, maybe I’ll find someone with a matrilineal ancestry that includes her and can do a Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test.
There were no individuals identifies as first, second, or third cousins. Currently there are 61 people with whom I have a 95% or higher likelihood of being a fourth to sixth cousin with. Although I have had a few close matches, one with the same surname (Fannin) in the Carter County, Kentucky I am yet to find any one with a common ancestor. That means we aren’t fourth cousins, maybe fifth or sixth. I only have my lineage back four generations on that line. None of the other “matches” are even close — disappointing. Of course, I get excited when I have a match that has a common surname of Roberts. None of them have an ancestor which has a common match to my Roberts Notional work. That is not to say that none of the other testers don’t have a match. I’ve emailed several folks that matched but have a private tree who haven’t responded. I’ll probably try again soon and see if I can nudge a few responses.
Generally, I’ve been unimpressed with the Ancestry Autosomal Test results. The test is a lot of money to learn what I already knew or would have supposed. My ancestors are mostly from the “British Isles” (I disagree with calling Ireland “British Isles” as would most Irish) and Central European (although I’ve always thought of France and Germany as Western Europe).
Crista Cowan suggested on the Ancestry.com Aces Program group on Facebook that we do a simple math exercise about quantifying our successes in genealogy. I thought I had been doing pretty good, all things considered, but see I was only deluding myself.
I know that I’ve done a lot better on my wife’s tree and that not knowing my father cuts my possibility to 50% on all generations except 1-4 which is 53%. (Figuring out who my natural father was is another project I’m working on). When I can determine who that is, thanks to DNA Testing, it will open up the other side dramatically, probably double all numbers.
Anyway, here are my numbers.
Generations 1-4: 8 out of 15 (53.3%)
5th Generation: 6 out of 16 (37.5%)
6th Generation: 4 out of 32 (12.5%)
7th Generation: 6 out of 64 (9.3%)
8th Generation: 6 out of 128 (4.7%)
9th Generation: 5 out of 256 (2.0%)
10th Generation: 6 out of 512 (1.2%)
Total: 41 out of 1,023 (4.0%)
By the way, if I use my stepfather Generations 1-4 jump to 100% and the 5th generation jumps to 10 of 16 (62.5).
Wow, I have a lot of work to do on my tree, so you can expect to see I’ll be working on Brown/Montran and the “Roberts Notional” trees in the near future. The Roberts Notional tree I’m working on is based upon DNA results which I’ll write more about later.
In keeping with my goal to watch all of the presentations from this past RootsTech conference I decided to watch GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems by Nathan Murphy. The presentation was originally given at RootsTech but was re-recorded somewhere else (presumably at Family Search).
Because of my genetic history, I have a substancial interest in YDNA and using it as a tool for research.
Overall, the presentation had good material and was worth watching. He provided good information about various tests and potential reasons to select between Family Tree, Ancestry DNA, and GeneTree.
He also talked about places that allow for free uploads of your data, YSearch, GeneTree and Ancestry.
Nathan’s presentation style was quite stiff. He failed to engage the audience, and was quite apparently reading his material.
That said, most importantly his talk and discussion really made me want to document my DNA experiences. I think they are interesting, so, I plan to document my findings and experiences with both my Y-DNA and my autosomal DNA tests and their results. You will see the story of My DNA interspersed with my other posts.