When talking to
the Family Tree DNA I asked if I did a special article about them would
they give me a free test and they kindly agreed :-) I'm working
with Leah Wark to do this and I very much appreciate her help.
Even before I asked her about this article she had been most helpful.
I received the test kit by FedEx and this
is what it looked like...
The complete kit came in the grey envelope and
they supply an addressed jiffy bag for you to return your samples.
note your ID number is on everything so nothing should become separated.
As well as a welcome letter and instructions
on how to do the test the sample kit came in the clear plastic envelope
the contents of which are show here. It also includes a release form for
you to sign as in the event of them finding a match they will then contact
you. Also note there are three sample brushes and you are asked to do all
three with a 2-4 hour gap between each sample being taken.
Here is the documentation
that comes with the kit...
The actual sampler sticks
are neat as they have a wee plunger that when you have completed the
scrubbing of your inside cheek you simple put the stick gently into the
top of the sampler tube and when you press the syringe like plunger it
just pops in and the rest of the stick become separated and you just
dispose of it.
These are the questions I
asked the Family Tree DNA and the answers they sent me back.
Given that lots of
people these days are getting interested in Genealogy do you think it
would be a good idea for parents to get their DNA analysed so it can
be recorded for future generations and if so/not why?
This can be a great gift
to future generations. So often there is a dead-end in the paper
trail and DNA tests can only help overcome brick walls if there are
available test takers from a line. I asked my father to test because
he has no brothers and no sons and I want to preserve the genealogical
information in his Y-chromosome. Plus, he and I have had a great time
comparing against others and discussing our family history!
There seems to be
various DNA standards such as 12, 25, 37 and 67 markers. What is the
difference and which one would you advise people to take and why?
The number of markers
you test depends on what you are trying to learn. If you are interested
in the deep ancestral origin of your line (Native American, Middle
Eastern, European, African, etc.), for example, you might
only want to test 12 markers. But if you also want to compare
against others in the database and learn whether you have any close
matches, you will probably want to test 25 or 37 markers.
Most people don't need
67 markers at this time. This test is one that larger groups might
find useful when trying to differentiate between different related
lines. In other words, it is
generally most useful when trying to find differences to
distinguish between people with very close results.
Were you to take a 12
or 25 marker test can that also be used at a later date to upgrade to
a 37 or 67 marker test or would you need to send in another kit?
the sample can be used at a later date! We
store the sample for 25 years
so that you can upgrade or add on additional tests without needing to
submit a new sample. We will simply run the additional testing on the
sample we already have. This can be especially useful if an older
relative is no longer available to test.
As Electric Scotland is
the No.1 web site when it comes to the history of Scotland and the
Scots & Scots-Irish we get many emails asking if we can help identify
their name with a Scottish clan. Can DNA help in this process?
Many clan members and individuals with clan names have
tested with Family Tree DNA. In fact, we have the largest database of
its kind in the world with
over 3,600 "one-name projects". Several of our projects focus
on one or more clan names. We can compare your Y-DNA
signature against the database and let you know what surnames you are
Given that the spelling
of a name is often different from the original can DNA help to find
out the origin of the person?
This is one excellent
reason to join a surname project. As I mentioned, these projects most
often include related variants of a name.
Although your DNA by itself won't tell you
about the spelling of your name or how it was
changed, you might find something
out by sharing information with your matches. Surname projects
provide a way for males sharing similar names to compare against one
another and share genealogical information by working together.
A recent article from Iceland claimed that through DNA studies 60% of
the women in Iceland came from Scotland. Can your DNA results confirm
if you have a Scottish or Celtic background and if so how do you
From our own testing experience, we know that the exact same results
are often found in multiple countries due to migrations
over time, which makes determining a country of
origin solely from DNA testing very difficult at best. However, if
your DNA results match another
person with a similar surname or match at a large number of markers,
and that other person knows his country
of origin, this would essentially identify your country of origin. Additionally, haplogroups
(automatically predicted in all Y-DNA tests) help identify
mutations that are characteristic of population groups and their
migration patterns. This can give
hints whether a person living in Scotland
today, for example, could be descended from
Vikings that invaded the area several centuries ago.
We are told that many
Native American Indians have Scottish blood due to the inter-marriage
of especially Scottish Highlanders into the Indian Tribe. We know for
example that John Ross, chief of the Cherokees for some 36 years, was
90% Scottish and 10% Cherokee. Are there any parts of the DNA that can
show if you also have Native American links?
Yes, we can show if your
line is Native American in origin. It is important to remember though
that our tests are looking at your direct line only. This is what
allows us to make comparisons between participants. The tests will
only show the single origin of the direct line tested. To confirm
Native American ancestry you should determine who the original Native
American ancestor is in your family
tree and then trace down his or her
direct line to someone today who can test.
I'm told you have a
special study for Niall of the Nine Hostages in Ireland. Can you tell
me something about this study?
College performed this study. They found that a significant
percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the
same Y-DNA signature. The results suggest that Niall may be the
ancestor of 1 in 12 Irishmen.
This signature is
found in 1.03%
of the Family Tree DNA database. You will be automatically compared
against this signature when you take a Y-DNA test.
Many Scottish names
start with Mac or Mc or M' and I wondered if you had means of
searching for any name starting with all three versions or would you
need to search for each name?
Our projects typically include several variants of a
name or names. For example, you can search by Donald, McDonald,
MacDonald, MacDonell, etc. and find the Donald Clan project.
After you test your DNA, the system
will search for matches
regardless of surname or the spelling of the surname.
Are you doing any
special studies on Scottish Clan Names and/or Scottish/Scots-Irish
We have over 3,600
surname projects. We have many projects focusing on specific
surnames, clans, and even regions in this area. You can browse and
search a complete list of surname and geographic projects available
How big is Family Tree
DNA in relationship to other similar companies and are you truly
We are the pioneer
and leading company in the field of genetic genealogy. The
size of the database does matter and ours is more than five times the
size of our competitors' with over
115,000 DNA records and growing at a rate of 4-5,000 a month.
Yes, we are truly an international company. Our scientists are the
foremost in their fields, our database includes samples from all over
the world, we provide the
testing for the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project's
public participation which has sold over 160,000 test kits worldwide,
and we are also planning to begin offering our test kits and our
website in multiple languages.
It is important to note that our partnership with National Geographic
also allows for people that have tested with the
Genographic Project to transfer their records into our database
- which not only adds to the size of
our database, but also the diversity.
Is there anything else
that you feel we should know when it comes to Scots and Scots-Irish
names in relationship to DNA studies through Family Tree DNA?
I think that
the most important point when it comes to Scots and Scots-Irish names
in relationship to DNA studies through Family Tree DNA is to remember
that having the largest number of clan projects
and members gives you the best chance
of finding matches - that's the
strength of Family Tree DNA in addition,
of course, to our science.
I believe we've
covered the major points, but please don't
hesitate to contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Remember,
DNA is the "gene" in genealogy!
December I got in an email telling me...
Y-DNA1-12 results have been posted for your Family Tree DNA Kit. If
you ordered a Y-DNA25 or Y-DNA37 test, please note that the tests are
processed in sections, and the remaining results will be posted within
one to two weeks.
Follow the link below for more information at your Family Tree DNA
I clicked on the link I found...
I was in Haplogroup R1b1.
try and learn more and then give an overview in simple terms.
Certainly when looking at my page I found that my Recent Ancestral
Marker Y-DNA Matches
Puerto Rico (147)
is rather interesting :-)
it game to the Haplogroup the results included...
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