Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Are you interested in genetic genealogy? Curious how it works, or how it can be used to benefit you? Join the discussion and benefit from the many others who have used DNA to augment their traditional research!

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I've greatly enjoyed adding DNA to my genealogy interest. My husband's Y-DNA test proved that a recently discovered family secret was probably correct (gggrandfather had changed his name, so we had hit a brick wall). My mtDNA proved so rare that I became quite interested and did the full sequence (FGS). Amazingly, I have one exact FGS match, and she and I are seeking a common ancestor. We have been told our type is so rare that it is highly unlikely two ancestresses both emigrated to America, and we have a possible line to trace from the 1700s. My husband's mtDNA also is a rare twig on the tree, so we are following that up as well. It is a fascinating study, but be prepared to have surprises, as there were so many informal adoptions and fostering situations as well as infidelities. A friend discovered he cannot really be the Mayflower descendant his father had always believed, for instance.
Hey Joan, I actually get a little annoyed when I discuss family trees with non genealogy people now. lol.. Everyone “knows” there family from stories passed down through history, so no one wants to hear that their the milkman’s kid! I tell people to take a DNA test early on now before spending too much time with the paper trail. And be ready for surprises and embrace them.
I successfully used DNA tests for information on my fathers family. It really worked pretty well. Had the help of a man who is setting up DNA tests on the name Hamman. He has several tribes that migrated from Pennsylvania to different parts of the midwest. Mine happened to be in one of the groups.
Hello Kathleen, If you are a member over at we have a I2a DNA group that is quite active, headed up by Bernie Cullen. Come on over! Its free to join the groups...
Kathleen, The Normans invaded Ireland, and not just England, in 1169. They were invited by an Irish King (of Leinster) but it eventually brought down the Irish High Kingship. Henry II later solidified the takeover and thus the British came to Ireland--by invitation. One would think in almost 1000 years the battles would be over. It is possible your genetic origins go back that far.
Hello Blaine! I follow your blog, keep up the great work... I have used Genetic Genealogy to discover I was truly an Allen. Also to disprove a family story linking my grandmother with a Cherokee Indian mother.

I never met my biological father but always knew his name. After taking the Y test over at I saw that the 8 closest matchs were Allens, so that proved what I had suspected. My Grandmother was always supposed to have Cherokee ancestry on her mothers side, my test came back today as Haplo U4 so the Cherokee must be through another in her line. She did have several children that looked Indian, so we are pretty sure its there, just not were we thought.
I have had an interest in the gene testing, mostly because I want to see if my gr grandmother did indeed come from Europe as she claimed. Then a few male cousins told me I was going to be spinning my wheels, that for me, a female, gene testing was really no good. I know my fathers lineage and that is not a concern. I am at a brick wall with this gr grandmother. I have been to England looking, I have had help from a volunteer researcher in England and still to no avail. So, what actually would gene testing for me, a female, find out for me?
Laura - is this great-grandmother your mother's mother's mother (that is, did your mtDNA pass through her)? Do you have any potential parents for your great-grandmother? Any other descendants to compare your results with?
I'm fairly new to DNA testing. What are autosomal and deep clade testing? [I know what mtDNA and Y-DNA tests are about.]

Autosomal testing examines DNA other than the mtDNA or the sex chromosomes (the X and Y). You can learn more about autosomal DNA here (

Deep clade testing is really just another way of saying that the test determines a person's haplogroup (usually for Y-DNA or mtDNA). Deep clade tests are usually done by SNP testing rather than STR or sequencing.
I don't know which DNA test to try.  I want a population profile telling me percentages of my ethnic background.  Does the Y test only tell my father's side and the Mt DNA just my my mother's side? And do they only go back six generations? I don't want to spend money and not get the answers I want. Can anyone help?

Does anyone know a simple hand calculation for percent admixture?  Calculating likelihood ratios is not too difficult, so maybe admixture can be done as well.




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