Re: Elder DNA


Hi Bob,

On Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 1:56 AM Bob Elder via <> wrote:

I had my DNA 67 markers carried out a few years ago with Family Tree DNA group. The only hits I got were McCleland clan, &  few of others but none of the Elder family the family I’m after. Will it be worth trying again or will I be throwing good money after bad?


What exactly do you mean by "trying again"? The most important thing you can do with Y dna results is to join a project or two, and share your data with the group admins. Since Y dna is very slow to change, it can reach far into the past, before surnames. if you have very few Elder men test, you will have very few matches. 

So this is my advice, based on experience and the advice of others:

1. Join a haplogroup DNA project at FTdna. Contact the admins and ask if they have the access they need to make use of your data, and ask for their help to make the changes they suggest. After they finish putting your listing in the group database, ask them for advice. Should you upgrade? Or is it better to find and recruit more men to test? 

2. After looking at your results in the haplogroup project, consider joining a surname project as well. Even small surname projects can be useful. Both my Cowan and McBee memberships have been very fruitful. These were my dad's and uncle's tests. If I had unlimited time and money, I would find men for other Y DNA tests I'm curious about too!

3. If the project admins suggest upgrading your test to Big Y, go for it. I think in future this will be the gold standard for Y testing. It's coming down in price; wait until there's an upgrade sale. Your project leader can get you even more of a discount sometimes. Big Y gets you all the information possible from that tiny little Y chromosome.

4. Keep doing your research! This is how you will find other male-line men you can ask to test. Both Y and mitochondrial testing can prove (or disprove) genealogical questions far into the past, but the research must be meticulous. 

If your questions are not far into the past, spend your energy on autosomal testing instead. Once you have flogged your Ancestry DNA matches and their matches, then upload elsewhere and do the same. Remember to put all those matches into your tree! That is how you will make the breakthroughs in the past two centuries. 

Y and mt can take you further, but only on the matri-patrilineal lines. Autosomal gets all your lines, but only back a few hundred years. 


-- - pronouns: she/her

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