[APG Public List] Exciting New Dimension for DNA Research
JYoung6180 at aol.com
JYoung6180 at aol.com
Thu Oct 29 16:16:14 MDT 2009
Last November I had my DNA tested with 23andme.com. I had never felt (as a
female) that there was much value for me in being tested for mtDNA only
because I know so little about my straight maternal line other than that they
came over from Northern Ireland in 1852. Yes, I have a few surnames but not
far enough back to really be able to compare with anyone and learn
anything meaningful. In any case, it never really interested me to learn ONLY
about this one tiny sliver of my ancestry. I wanted to learn about the whole
enchilada! Plus I knew I would at least learn some medical information by
being tested with 23andme.
I was pleased at the time with all the information I got from the test.
Learning I was a fast metabolizer of caffeine and could probably safely drink
all the coffee I wanted without harm (and possibly with benefit) was worth
it in and of itself. <g>
But alas, I digress...what I wanted to post about is a new beta tool
introduced this week by 23andme that is nothing short of astounding for
genealogists! Until now, we mostly could only learn about mtDNA for everyone and
Y-DNA for males (or if you had a male relative who fit the bill and would be
tested). Since 23andme tests the entire human genome (not all genes
obviously, but the most important ones in their judgment) there is a lot of X and
autosomal DNA information in our files. Since autosomal DNA doesn't tell
you which parent it came from it wasn't considered all that helpful (by
current standards) for genealogical purposes other than to help pinpoint
ethnicity to some extent.
However, the new beta Relative Finder using a new improved algorithm could
possibly be about to blow the lid off autosomal and X genealogical
matching. A couple days ago I set my account privacy settings to allow others using
the beta tool to contact me and so did some others who have been tested
I scrolled through my list of people who were identified by the tool as
being anywhere from a 3rd cousin to a "distant cousin." I think they draw
the line at about the 10th cousinship as being "distant." It looks like
anything up to 5th cousins they consider close. they give you a probable
relationship and a range, and tell you how many segments you share with another
person. At the top of my matching list was a male in the US who matched a
total of 1.03% of my total DNA. We shared two matching segments and were
identified as probable 3rd cousins with the range being 3rd to 5th cousins.
We contacted each other and compared family histories and guess what? The
relative finder was dead on! We are 3rd cousins. Our great-grandmothers are
sisters. Now, keep in mind that this is a match that would NEVER have been
made by Y or mtDNA testing...his mother's father's mother and my father's
mother's mother are the sisters. There would be no shared mtDNA nor Y DNA.
Now that we've compared our data what we share is a mind-boggling match on
the X chromosome--through his mother (his only X) and my X inherited from
my father. our match on this chromosome is greater than 90%! To top it
off, his mother is still living and she's now going to be tested and we will
compare. She is my 2nd cousin once removed. We also share a substantial
segment on chromosome 2 and have inherited similar traits that are carried on
chromosome 2--endurance to name one.
I have another person I match with .78% of my total DNA and with whom I
share FIVE matching segments and who is identified by the Relative Finder as
being a probable 3rd cousin and no further back than 4th. So far, this
person hasn't opted to join the beta test group but he (also a male in the US)
is ALSO listed as a close cousin for the cousin I have made contact
with--and so is possibly from the same branch of the family.
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