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Author Topic: Backbone Y-DNA tests  (Read 7730 times)
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Posts: 20

« on: March 15, 2012, 10:55:59 PM »

My Northern European family, like many families in the USA, has added African -American, Hispanic/Native American and Asian extensions to its tangled branches. An old Sunday School song says...Red and Yellow, Black and White, They are Precious in His sight. While rather dated in its racist overtones, the folks referred to in it are a pretty good description of what my family has become in recent years. For someone like me who is interested in humanity in all its variation, this has made for some interesting, challenging and fun genealogical searches.

With the advent of DNA testing to glean genealogical knowledge, this has opened a whole new feast of intellectual inquiry. A few months ago, I was finally able to pony up for two 37 marker Y-DNA for my African-American son-in-law and the other for my wife's cousin, a direct male descendent of her Hispanic maternal grandfather, who origins are obscure but with a paper trail back to Indians who lived in the mountains of southern Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico.

To come to the point of this already too long blast of loquacity... I still haven't gotten haplogroups from Family Tree DNA. After calling and talking to their representatives, I was told they had been submitted for "backbone" testing. I was told that the company would be testing much more about the Y-DNA sample than normally gets tested. But the reps were quite vague about what EXACTLY they were testing. Does anybody on this forum know what exactly goes into a backbone test?
Terry Barton
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Posts: 1679

« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 06:04:58 PM »

A backbone test is run to determine which Haplogroup the yDNA marker profile belongs in.  This is a free service from FTDNA - a part of their guarantee that every yDNA test will receive a valid definition of their haplogroup.  (In essence, that means your test was the first with exactly that marker profile.)

A Backbone Test and a Deep Clade test differ in the level of detail pursued.  You'll get a pretty short Haplogroup designation from a Backbone test - but it will be reported in green color, as it is based on SNP testing.  If you order a Deep Clade Test (usually $79), you'll get a a much deeper level of SNP testing - usually with a longer Haplogroup - and that outcome is also reported in green.

Someone with a red colored Haplogroup has an FTDNA estimate based on other SNP-tested kits which were an exact match to them in the markers used in the Haplogroup estimating process.  (I don't know which markers FTDNA uses now - possibly still only the first 12)
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