Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More DNA Testing in the VH Household

Well, surprise, surprise, I just ordered another DNA test kit. As most my students know I am eaten up by all this DNA stuff.  More about that kit in a minute.

So let's review what we have here. I started things when I ordered my first test, a 37-marker Y DNA test in January 2007 from FTDNA. I later upgraded that to a 67-marker Y-DNA test at FTDNA in Feb 2012.

In June 2012 I ordered and took a HSV1 mtDNA test from FTDNA.

In the meantime Gayle ordered and took a HSV2 mtDNA test in Feb 2012. In April 2012 we had Gayle's 2nd cousin take a 37-marker Y-DNA at FTDNA. Three months later we had his nephew also take a 37-marker test to verify and support the test taken by Gayle's cousin.

In May 2012, I was honored to be one of the original AncestryDNA autosomal Beta testers. On the heels of my test I had Gayle also take an AncestryDNA autosomal test. When AncestryDNA test raw results were finally released for download in June 2013 I sent both Gayle and my results to FTDNA and their atDNA database (much cheaper than taking two more test at their site).

In short order I also had my Dad, Mother and my Dad's 1st Cousin test at Ancestry and Gayle had her 2nd cousin also take an AncestryDNA test. All those results were also uploaded to GEDMatch (another large database with a chromosome browser capability).

So I admit that I have been a very busy guy managing all these test, but recently got a nifty great idea. Since neither Gayle or I have tested at 23andMe, the third major atDNA test site/database, we are going to have our son test there to get our DNA in their database with only one test for $99. Of course, I will upload his results to GEDMatch and phase his test with ours to see who gave him the most DNA.

That will get our autosomal DNA across all three major atDNA databases. So I hope that before my Fall DNA class a TCCC is over, I can provide a report to my students on how our 23andMe experience has been.

All this testing has been a wonderful tool in genealogy research. Some brick walls have fallen, leads have been pursued, and ancestral paper research lines have verified.  We maximized our testing by doing our initial test at Ancestry and uploading results to FTDNA and GEDMatch. We have truly gotten the most bang for the buck.

It has been a lot of fun working with our DNA test results and everyday is a new adventure thanks to it our genetic genealogy research.

If you have not tested and you are working on your family history, you are missing the boat. I especially encourage those who have parents living (or in their place siblings of those parents) to test them as well and soon before they are gone. You don't want to lose that precious resource and family genealogy record.

Bottom line, each of us has a genetic genealogy history book inside us and now we have the ability to read that book. It is time for you to turn those pages and discover your family history.