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Author Topic: Have you been asked the "How do you get DNA from your ancestors" question?  (Read 2832 times)
Marilyn Teaff Barton
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« on: September 11, 2006, 09:25:06 PM »

For those just getting started in genetic genealogy, an understandable hurdle is figuring out how we know what DNA our ancestors had.? Some people ask, "Do you have to dig them up?"? You can reassure them that they don't have to go to that extreme to find out their ancestor's DNA.? Males carry the yDNA of their Surname ancestors, so we test them as representatives of their ancestors..? DNA tests are taken from the living and compared among groups of people.? We look for? male descendants who share a common surname or surname spelling variant.? A single Y-DNA test is not that useful, but can be very revealing when compared to known or suspected cousins.? In many cases, yDNA matches among individuals indicate a common male ancestor who may have lived? hundreds of years ago, with the? ?cousins? being completely unknown to one another.? Similarly, we each carry the mtDNA of our mother, and her mother, and her mother, all the way back up the family tree.? Have you encountered this question?? How did you answer it?
Post your comments here.? (Click the button marked "reply" at the bottom of this page to post)? ?Note: if you are signed in, you can come back later and edit, update, or even delete your original? posting.? Feel free to post as many times as you'd like.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 09:25:25 PM by Marilyn » Logged
joeflood
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 10:32:36 PM »

Its like insanity, you get it from your kids.
(otr at least, you can triangulate it from the descendants)

Seriously, has anyone actually exhumed ancestors? I gather the Native Americans are (understandably) very touchy about this.
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honey
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 11:42:02 PM »

I don't understand how I can figure out what is the country of origin of my earliest known ancestor in my female mt DNA line.  If I am only looking at my female line how can I  the father?  For example, my mother is the result of a German father and English/Irish mother.  My grandmother has a German father and an English/Irish mother.  My 2nd grandmother German Father, English Mother, 3rd grandmother English/Irish Father, English/Irish Mother, and finally 4th grandmother, English/Irish Father and English/Irish Mother.  Is England/Ireland then the country of origin of my earliest female ancestor?

Connie
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crinoid1
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2007, 11:28:44 AM »

When i have been asked the question I reply, what little I know has been written by the scientific folks. They generally speak way over my head. I then advise them to check out a book on DNA hopefully one they can understand. Thats the approach i used and I'm not  totally convinced, but I think I have enough faith in the research to at least do the test make my own conclusion. If a person has the affinity to understand science and all its mysteries they may be able to explain, it but not in terms I would fully understand. Deoxyribonucleic acid abbreviated DNA. In 1962 a Nobel prize in Medicine and Physiology was awarded to Watson and Crick for their research that has as far as I can see got this DNA thing going. So again I say take a little time, read a book skip the high tech stuff if you dint understand, find the core meaning and we will know down the road I hope, if its good science.
CD
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 12:05:54 PM by crinoid1 » Logged
Biscuits
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2007, 04:08:38 PM »

I don't understand how I can figure out what is the country of origin of my earliest known ancestor in my female mt DNA line.  If I am only looking at my female line how can I  the father?  For example, my mother is the result of a German father and English/Irish mother.  My grandmother has a German father and an English/Irish mother.  My 2nd grandmother German Father, English Mother, 3rd grandmother English/Irish Father, English/Irish Mother, and finally 4th grandmother, English/Irish Father and English/Irish Mother.  Is England/Ireland then the country of origin of my earliest female ancestor?

Connie
Your mtDNA test will give you your mother's mother's mother's line of DNA.  So, yes, your paper trail likely leads to England/Ireland.

Your "deep ancestry" goes back a very long ways in time, however - all the way to prehistoric times.  A Germanic group closely related to the celts originally settled in England, then, there were some big waves of Roman immigrants made of up of people from all over the empire.  After that were invasions by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, as well as different viking groups.  The Normans (a mix of French and Vikings) came over with William the Conqueror in 1066.  There were also other groups that lived in England, such as Jewish immigrants and those fleeing civil wars or religious persecution in their homelands.  Your mitochondrial haplogroup, then, could end up being from one of a very large number of ancient population groups, even if your ancestors clearly lived in England/Ireland for hundreds of years prior to immigrating to the United States.

So, mitochondrial DNA can help you verify your paper trails back as many generations as you can calculate them, plus it can also tell you where your ancestors lived thousands of years ago.  It doesn't help much with all the generations in between.


If you wish to do DNA research for additional lines of your family tree, you need to convince relatives to be tested.  For instance, if you have a maternal uncle, his Y-DNA would give you information on your maternal grandfather's line.  If you have a paternal aunt/uncle, that person's mtDNA would give you information on your paternal grandmother's line.  And, so on.  The more relatives you sponsor, the more information you can get.

Here is a list of the different DNA tests offered.

The main limitations, of course, end up being time and money.  Most people can only afford to sponsor so many tests, and can only devote so much time to comparing DNA results to paper records.  However, there are a lot of possible ways to use DNA to clear up family mysteries and help overcome obstacles that many people are overlooking entirely.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 04:11:22 PM by Biscuits » Logged
cliffsheets
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 08:16:24 AM »

I give them a simple response then refer them to a website (i.e., www.smgf.org, www.familytreedna.com) for a more detailed explanation.

My simple explanation is that a man passes his Y-chromosome to his male children, so essentially you have the same Y chromosome as your father's father's father's father's father's, etc.

Your mom passes Mitochondrial DNA to each of her children (both male and female) but only the daughters will pass it on to their children, so the your MtDNA will be essentially the same as your mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's, etc.

After I give them the brief summary, I tell them how me and another man with my surname were both tested and we matched. Then, when comparing our pedigree charts, we determined that out MRCA (most recent common ancestor) Jacob was born in Germany about 1736 and came to America in 1753 and that I'm a descendant of Jacob's 4th child John and he's a descendant of Jacob's 6th child, George. It always helps if you have a success story.
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