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Old 11-22-2017, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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AncestryDNA has proven to be a major resource in my search for unknown ancestors, particularly on my mother's side. My father's ancestors are reasonably well documented, and I have not spent a lot of time working on his side. FamilyTreeDNA is running their Christmas sale, so I've decided to give Y-DNA a try, just to see what pops up on Dad's side. For those who understand this stuff better than I do, is there a preferred number of markers for this type of test? I had planned to test 67 markers, but during the sale there's not a huge price difference between 67 and 111 markers. Are there real benefits to going ahead and testing at the higher level? Thanks for your thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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Generally people should start low and then upgrade if needed. Until you take a Y-STR test there is no way of knowing which level of testing will benefit you more. Some people find they have sufficient matches to confirm their ancestry even at Y-37 markers. Others will find they don't match anyone with their surname and so higher levels of testing are unnecessary. This could be because nobody else from their lineage has tested, or they have an NPE in the line. Upgrades to higher numbers of markers can help if you don't know your paternal line and you have too many matches with different surnames and need to narrow things down. Or say if your surname matches lots of others with the same surname who don't know how they are related through genealogy, and you want to try to estimate when your line broke off from the others. There are other situations that can arise, but keep in mind that not that many people have taken 111 marker tests, and those extra markers are only useful if other people have already tested at that level.

Do you know if any of your paternal surnamed cousins have already taken Y-DNA tests? You can google "Smith DNA Project" (substitute your surname for Smith) to see if FTDNA has a surname project for yours (not all are hosted at FTDNA, some are at WorldFamilies and other platforms). If so then look at the "classic" Results page to see if anyone has listed one of your ancestors. I think you can get an additional discount if you join your surname project (if one exists) at the time of purchasing the test.

For example, here's a link to the Collins DNA Project results where you can see that people have been grouped by STR markers into different lineages:
https://www.familytreedna.com/public...frame=yresults

But not all projects are equal. Some are well organized and others are not.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,198 posts, read 12,765,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawleysDude View Post
AncestryDNA has proven to be a major resource in my search for unknown ancestors, particularly on my mother's side. My father's ancestors are reasonably well documented, and I have not spent a lot of time working on his side. FamilyTreeDNA is running their Christmas sale, so I've decided to give Y-DNA a try, just to see what pops up on Dad's side. For those who understand this stuff better than I do, is there a preferred number of markers for this type of test? I had planned to test 67 markers, but during the sale there's not a huge price difference between 67 and 111 markers. Are there real benefits to going ahead and testing at the higher level? Thanks for your thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Yes, if there's a good deal on for 111 markers, I would do that. You're more likely to be able to confirm a match from within a genealogical time frame with 111 markers. Check the genetic distance chart here: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/dna-basics/ydna/
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Thanks for all the feedback; that's very helpful. I'm not sure what to expect, but I figured I'd roll the dice. There is a surname project on WorldFamilies but I don't recognize any ancestors. Thanks again.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawleysDude View Post
Thanks for all the feedback; that's very helpful. I'm not sure what to expect, but I figured I'd roll the dice. There is a surname project on WorldFamilies but I don't recognize any ancestors. Thanks again.
Most people unfortunately don't fill in the information on their ancestors' names. There may be people in the project from your lineage whom you will match. If you match them, you will have access to their email addresses for contact. If none of them have tested to 111 markers then it will not help you to spend extra money on markers that you can't use for matching.

If I were you, I'd buy the Y-37 test on sale now for $129. Then see where that gets you. I think $299 (for Y-111) is an awful lot of money to risk when you might find what you need at Y-37.

For example I started with Y-37. I had a match to one person who had also only tested 37 markers. Later other people with this surname tested 67 markers. I upgraded to 67 markers and I still matched them. So it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know from my 37 marker test.

Here's the advice from FTDNA, which is misleading because you CAN match and join group projects with 37 markers:

"Which test should I buy?

If you are looking to begin Y-DNA testing, the Y-37 Marker test will allow you to become familiar with Y-DNA results. However, if want to know more about your paternal line through matching or participate in any of our free Group Projects, you will want to start with a Y-67 test. The Y-111 test will be of most benefit for those looking to confirm Y chromosome matching at our highest level between two living men. The difference between the tests is that we test more markers (STRs) which allows for more refined results."
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:02 PM
 
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an 111 is better but you are only going match others with 111 markers, so really 67 is fine for matches. if you want to know where you are from then 111 the way to go
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
an 111 is better but you are only going match others with 111 markers, so really 67 is fine for matches. if you want to know where you are from then 111 the way to go
Don't know where you got that idea. You can find out where your paternal line came from with only 12 markers which is enough to predict a haplogroup.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,198 posts, read 12,765,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
an 111 is better but you are only going match others with 111 markers, so really 67 is fine for matches. if you want to know where you are from then 111 the way to go
That's not true at all. If you test at 111 markers, you will get matches with people who tested and/or match you at 12 markers, 37, or 67 too, not just 111.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,198 posts, read 12,765,392 times
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Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
Don't know where you got that idea. You can find out where your paternal line came from with only 12 markers which is enough to predict a haplogroup.
That's true, but the more markers you test, the more specific your haplogroup may be. Additionally, the more markers you test, the more likely you are to find a Y match who matches you within a genealogical time frame. At 12 markers, even at a genetic distance of 0, your matches are most likely to be from 29 generations ago. At 111 markers, and a genetic distance of 0, your matches are most likely to be from within only 5 generations ago. As far as I know, FTDNA doesn't even sell the 12 marker test anymore, because it's not very helpful. Maybe there's some buried way to order it, but it's not on the main Y-DNA test page - they start at 37 markers: https://www.familytreedna.com/products/y-dna

Lots of people say start with 37. It's true you can upgrade later. But upgrading later, last I checked, works out costing more in total than what you'd pay for the 67 or 111 test to begin with. In the long run, if you think you will likely upgrade later, it's more cost effective to just buy the higher markers now than upgrade later.

Again, look at the genetic distance chart here: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/dna-basics/ydna/

The original question was if you're planning to get the 67 test, and with the 111 test currently not being much more money, relatively speaking - is it worth it? I'd say, yes. If PawleysDude had said they were thinking of getting 37, but is 67 worth it instead? I might not have said yes. There's not much difference in genetic distance between 37 and 67, so the price hike isn't really worth it. But there is a more significant different in genetic distance between 67 and 111, so the extra cost IS worth it, in my opinion (especially with it being on sale right now), just in terms of value, of what you get for the cost. If you're looking for matches within a genealogical time frame, 111 markers is your best bet.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
2,945 posts, read 4,494,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
That's true, but the more markers you test, the more specific your haplogroup may be. Additionally, the more markers you test, the more likely you are to find a Y match who matches you within a genealogical time frame. At 12 markers, even at a genetic distance of 0, your matches are most likely to be from 29 generations ago. At 111 markers, and a genetic distance of 0, your matches are most likely to be from within only 5 generations ago. As far as I know, FTDNA doesn't even sell the 12 marker test anymore, because it's not very helpful. Maybe there's some buried way to order it, but it's not on the main Y-DNA test page - they start at 37 markers: https://www.familytreedna.com/products/y-dna

Lots of people say start with 37. It's true you can upgrade later. But upgrading later, last I checked, works out costing more in total than what you'd pay for the 67 or 111 test to begin with. In the long run, if you think you will likely upgrade later, it's more cost effective to just buy the higher markers now than upgrade later.

Again, look at the genetic distance chart here: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/dna-basics/ydna/

The original question was if you're planning to get the 67 test, and with the 111 test currently not being much more money, relatively speaking - is it worth it? I'd say, yes. If PawleysDude had said they were thinking of getting 37, but is 67 worth it instead? I might not have said yes. There's not much difference in genetic distance between 37 and 67, so the price hike isn't really worth it. But there is a more significant different in genetic distance between 67 and 111, so the extra cost IS worth it, in my opinion (especially with it being on sale right now), just in terms of value, of what you get for the cost. If you're looking for matches within a genealogical time frame, 111 markers is your best bet.
It's hard to keep track of all the prices of the different products, with periodic sales going on. But I just checked. Current price of Y-37 is $129. Current price of Y-67 is $229, or $100 more. Upgrade from Y-37 to Y-67 is only $79. So it is $21 cheaper to take Y-37 and then upgrade to Y-67.

You're right, a Y-111 test off the bat would be cheaper than to get there by upgrades. But most people find out they never needed a Y-111 test. That is why there are so few in the system. That is only recommended when a 67-marker test has been found to be insufficient. So it is a gamble in my opinion, and at $299 is not exactly cheap. There is no way to know ahead of time whether the 111-marker test will benefit you in the long run.

Haplogroups are really determined by SNP tests, not STR tests. At any level the kind of haplogroup assignment you get is very basic. For example I ended up managing a kit for a friend in the UK who took the Y-111 test before I knew he did it. It gives his haplogroup as R-M269 which is extremely broad, the same as I had when I first did Y-12. In 23andMe it was more specific.
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