Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DNA Testing- You Only Swipe Once!

This post is all about seeking the advice/suggestions of my readers on how to use a one-time donation towards DNA testing. That whole area causes me confusion, no matter how much I read up on it. It seems that there are so many options for how to go about it. Please offer your ideas on how I should spend. (My budget is between 100 and 130 dollars)

The testing will be for my Yarborough DNA. I have no males left in my immediate Yarborough line (sadly), but a male cousin (who made the donation) has offered to do the test. For this family line, by main goal would be to try to determine our African origin, and just to see what genetic links we have to who, in general. The oldest known male in this line is my great-great grandfather, Calvin (b. 1839), who was enslaved. We have no idea who his parents were (yet), so therefore I'm not sure if he was "pure" Black or the product of the slave owner. There is a Yarborough DNA group, but according to my research, Calvin became a Yarborough slave through the marriage of his female owner, so I really have no reason to believe that we have Yarborough blood. Because of that, I'm thinking that it would be a waste of the money to use my one swipe of my cousin's saliva (lol) in that study.

Please readers, if you will, tell me which DNA test would be best for this situation, and why. Thanks so much!



  1. Renate,

    A few years ago, I was given a Family Tree
    Y-DNA kit as a birthday gift. I used the test on my brother who is the only remaining direct-line male Taliaferro. The test was done in connection with the Barton surname group (my friend got a discount for buying the test through their surname project), but I was able to call them and have his name and results moved to a Taliaferro surname group. There were no matches for him in that surname group. (No surprise there.) So, even if you start out in one surname group, you are no stuck there; you have options.

    The results also included matches for severeal African countries. These results are not as specific as say if I had done an African DNA test such as those offered through Dr. Kittles group or the one offered by Louis Gates' company. I hope to do a test through one of them in the future.

    I was also able to compare my brother's results to those in a larger DNA database at(www.Ysearch.org) The instructions for this were included with his results. I found some interesting results there. A few relatively close matches pop up in NC which is where my gg grandfather was born. I also put his results in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation DNA project. There, I found a 7/7 match for him there with someone in Nigeria, but so far I have not been able to make contact with that person.

    Through www.Genetree.com, I found he is also a 78% match with the blog world's own Craig Mason of GeneaBlogie. Not sure exactly what that means, but I thought it was interesting. We probably had a common ancestor many, many generations ago. Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and Genetree are connected in someway, I think.

    There was no additional cost for putting his results in any of these databases. Check with the company you choose to see what options you have available after you get the results of the test. I was happy with what I got, even though I'm still trying to understand what it all means.

    I hope this helps a little.


  2. Sandra,
    Thanks! That helps a LOT (even though I'm still confused...lol)! I didn't realize that other companies would do what you've described, so that's a plus. I'm leaning towards doing it through the Yarborough group, just to officially rule out that blood line (or perhaps I might get a surprise that would turn my research upside down). It's good to know that the results can be expanded to pull data outside of that one project.
    On another note, I just got an email yesterday from a Green/Greene cousin who wants to make a donation towards having that line done! Woo-hoo! Family support! I'm on a roll! :)

  3. Dang! San is like a DNA Authority!:-)

    Don't feel bad Renate, I too get confused with all the varying options & what's available if no direct male descendant can be tested.

    Keep us posted -- I may join you in being tested.


  4. LOL... Yeah, Sandra was on it, wasn't she?

    Update.... The test has been ordered! I had it sent directly to my cousin's home in MD so that he can gather that saliva and close the deal. Then come the waiting.. up to two months from what I've heard, but hopefully it won't be that long.

    Now, I'm even more eager to get the Green/Hawkins thing done. Next!

  5. Just an update to this post: The deed is done! My cousin, Avon, has completed the test and the sample is on its way to Texas! One correction though - the kit requires that the subject swipe three times - not just once!
    We'll see what happens when the results come in! :)