Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level and type of the genetic relationship between individuals.
Edmondo, Nick received a message from Ray Banks suggesting that he get the test for the M406 SNP. Is there any advantage to upgrading Nick's test from 37 to 67 or 111 markers, and would one of those tests include the M406 SNP, or would he need that test also?
Y-STR and Y-SNP are two different kinds of DNA markers (mutations) found in the Y-DNA. For STR markers, a short stretch of DNA is repeated over and over again, and the number of repeats (reported as allele values) vary from one person to another. Some STR markers contain a wide range of repeats, like Y-STR marker DYS385a/b which has a repeat range of 6 to 28. On the other hand, some STR markers like DYS 426 contain a narrow range of repeats, spanning from 10 to 13.
SNP markers are mutations in a single nucleotide (represented as a letter, either A, T, C or G). For example, the ancestral allele for Y-SNP marker M207 is A, and the mutation for this marker is known to be A to G. If result of testing M207 is G, then it is considered a mutation. Unlike Y-STR markers which can have multiple repeats, SNP markers often only exist in 2 forms - the ancestral and the mutated allele.
The major difference between Y-DNA STR and Y-DNA SNP tests is that they examine different kinds of Y-DNA markers. Y-STR markers are useful in tracing recent paternal ancestry and allows the calculation of MRCA (most recent common ancestor) when comparing different individuals to see how long ago they shared a common ancestor. Y-DNA SNP markers are useful in tracing deep ancient paternal ancestry and Y-DNA SNP markers are used to define phylogenetic relationships in the Y-DNA phylogenetic tree. Each Y-DNA haplogroup and subclade in the phylogenetic tree is defined by an unique and specific set of Y-DNA SNP markers.
Thanks, Edmondo. This is a clear and helpful explanation. Since Nick has only one very distant match at the 37 marker level, I think we'll just test the M406 SNP for now to see if we can determine the subgroup he's in.
I used Family Tree DNA's "Family Finder" autosomal test. The test cost $99 US, arrived within about a week and a half of placing the order. I mailed the cheek swab sample on December 26th, FTDNA received the kit on December 30th, and my results appeared yesterday, January 24th. I just wanted to provide you all an idea of the process and turnaround time.
My father is half Sicilian (family from Pozzallo and Siracusa in Ragusa) and half Italian. We only know one branch of his Italian side and they're from a small little village called Avigliano in Potenza. As far as I can tell, my Italian ancestry mostly appears to be southern Italian. My mother is western and northern European ancestrally.
FTDNA said that I am 70% western European (French, Orcadian, and Spanish) and 30% Middle Eastern (Palestinian, Jewish, Iranian, Druze).
As far as I know, no Middle Eastern, but just knowing the history of Italy, Sicily, and the Mediterranean, we can all understand why Italians might have Middle Eastern DNA markers. FTDNA says as much in its FAQ - that if you are Italian, especially southern Italian, you might appear Middle Eastern.
So to delve a bit deeper, I entered my raw DNA data (that you can download from FTDNA or whatever company you use) into a website called Gedmatch.com. Gedmatch.com is a free service that lets you connect to other users with your DNA results from other websites. What's more, Gedmatch provides all sorts of DNA analyses, including various ethnicity finders.
Gedmatch helped a great deal. Its ethnicity calculators are a lot more precise, if you will. Instead of Middle Eastern, I was getting more results for Mediterranean, Italian, Greek, etc., which is what I expected.
Whatever site you use to test your DNA, Gedmatch is a must once you get the results.
Also, I used Ancestry.com years ago for mtDNA haplogroup testing. My result was Haplogroup W. Specifically, W1e. But I inherited that from my mother who isn't of Italian descent. The most distance female ancestor I know on her side (mother's mother's mother, and so on) is a woman named Marinda Sweet. She was primarily of English ancestry.
Readers should be aware that GEDmatch is entirely volunteer run and is experiencing some technical problems right now that I understand from one of the administrators will take awhile (weeks if not months) to resolve. Some people have been able to run analyses, and others, like me, may have uploaded data but are unable to log in. That's been my situation for almost a month now.
Hello everyone. I have been using IG.com for several years, mostly for translations and handwriting help. I noticed the DNA testing forum, and since I just did a Y DNA 37 test with Family Tree DNA, I got interested. I am a geneticist by training, (30 years teaching at the University of Maryland) and some of this material I understand and some of I don't . My test puts me in the Haplogroup L1. Family tree DNA has a Northern Italian subgroup, and they have my Surname listed, but apparently I am the only one with a DNA test. However a leader of the Norman group contacted me, because my L1 haplogroup is common with them. I just thought I was Italian, but had to learn who the Normans were. Now I am really confused. Most of my matches are to one family name in Tennessee. Again, I am confused about this.
I only have one question so far for this group. Edmondo how did you create that interesting chart? I do think we need to develop a way to categorize all this information. Also, after reviewing the different test companies, I still think that Family Tree DNA is the best. They do more, and are not any more expensive.
I am a geneticist by training, (30 years teaching at the University of Maryland) and some of this material I understand and some of I don't.
Hi, Paul. I can't tell you how relieved this makes me to know that even a skilled geneticist has trouble comprehending some of this. I'm a former classics professor but was quite good in math and science through college and have trouble wrapping my mind around some of it.
Are you at College Park? I worked for some years with Bob Shoenberg, who was dean there, and John Howarth and Faith Gabelnick when they ran the Honors Program. I also have a Cafarelli nephew who graduated in theatre from the Baltimore campus.
Hi Lesley, I do remember Bob Schoenberg. I came to College Park in 1973, and Retired in 2003. Moved to Delaware for 8 years, and then moved to Utah. That's where I am now.
I understand all the molecular biology that goes on here, But the interpretation for relationships is a little more fuzzy. I understand that my Y DNA information traces back through male lines only, and basically only works for males. Females can still use it if they have a brother. mtDNA works to trace anyone's maternal line back. Somewhere beyond that you get the interesting stuff Edmondo is showing. That's where I am at now. I know my haplogroup. I am close to a bunch in Tennessee. I have no idea how that happened. My grandparents came from Italy, I know where, I have traced my line back into the late 1600's. But that's it.
Paul, you're fortunate to have taken your line so far back. I've taken my husband Nick's Italian lines (one Italian grandparent) back as far as I can go with civil records and am working now on collateral lines, studying family migrations, etc. After getting Nick's Y-DNA done (Haplogroup G--pretty rare), I hired a local researcher to find church records in Laurenzana, Potenza province, and take his paternal line (Caffarella) as far back as he could get it, which proved to be about 1700 based on a son's baptismal record. I also asked the researcher to find siblings and take those lines forward to 1808 so that when I have time, I can try to trace those lines in civil records to see how Nick's family is related to more recent Caffarellas in Laurenzana. His paternal line left that town around 1800 and migrated to Ferrandina, then Stigliano, then Accettura, and then NYC and NJ in the US.
I was on the faculty at the U of Minnesota--came to Minneapolis from Boston in winter 1977. Moved to administration and faculty development, then to the Minnesota Private College Council as a VP for the consortium, then to presidency of a nonprofit higher ed consortium I founded. I took early retirement at the end of 2009 and have shifted my attention to becoming professional in genealogical research. I had been a hobbyist for a long time. Bob Shoenberg and I were part of the founding board of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, and I worked with him on other projects, some through the higher ed organizations at 1 Dupont Circle in DC. Anyway, that's enough hijacking of this DNA discussion. Nice to meet you.