View Full Version : Value of DNA Testing

David Bawden
18-01-10, 21:55
I've only done a cursory review of comments here, investigated the usual DNA/genealogy providers and sites am still questioning its value. I realize this is an evolving field, but I'd like to know what useful information members have actually obtained from putting down $399 for Y-DNA67+mtDNA testing?

My Swede-Finn research has already gotten me a pretty complete picture back to the 1600's. To know my mother's mothers came from a group in the middle east after leaving Africa before settling in Scandinavia seems a bit vague.

19-01-10, 06:44

It really depends on what you're trying to do.

The bottom line is that one should not have great expectations by testing.


I had a very excellent outcome from my testing.

In combination with regular genealogy, visiting these boards and the help of many here, my DNA testing got me beyond my 1780 brick wall and I was not only able to get to my most distant known direct male ancestor, but was able to prove it with the 67 marker test.

I am a bit of a DNA test junkie, so you should realize that I've done DNA testing on myself for mtDNA and Y-DNA, my mom's paternal line Y-DNA, my father's mtDNA and several others.

I only recommend Family Tree DNA for the fact that they do both STR and SNP testing... don't waste money with ancestry.com

I've also had these folks tested at 23andMe and I was able to connect with a man that had shared DNA segments with me and find the paper trail connection. When I had mom tested, the size of the shared DNA segments was even larger than for me.

After talking with him and figuring out his maternal roots, I was able to prove yet even more paper trail genealogy because our own Finlander Forum Grand Dame, June Pelo, was able to show exactly where and how this fellow and I are related.

As far as mtDNA goes, I have 1 exact FGS match, he is also in Finland, and his most distant known ancestress is about 60 Km from my most distant known ancestress. Obviously, there is a connection, but just when and where has not yet been shown. Since it is mtDNA in this scenario, the chances of finding the missing link are much more slim because of the lack of surnames or even patronyms back as far as we both are.

If you can afford it, I say go for it and be active in the various DNA forums regarding your finds and searches. The Finland DNA Project at FTDNA has been a WEALTH of information for me, because I'm not only interested in my Y or mt lines, but in ALL of my autosomal DNA contributors lines as well.

21-01-10, 15:31
There are two approaches. (A) Just do it. Don't worry about the goal. (B) Know what your goal is before spending money.

"Approach A" seems counterintuitive. However, it's rational. The Finland DNA Project is aggressively seeking people to get tested. With a larger sample, more connections can be made. So even it you spend the big bucks and get no results this year, you are building the database and you may seem matches later as more people get tested. Basically, "approach A" DNA testing is like ice fishing: you bait your line, drop the hook through the hole, and then wait. It looks like you are doing nothing, and people think you are wasting time, but you are really fishing. There have to be lots of "approach A" people for the whole DNA thing to work.

Like the previous poster, I am an "approach B" person. Here is how I divided my DNA budget (prices may have changed) over four years.

(1) $130 on Y 37 marker test on my DNA. Goal: prove to family members that my paper trail was correct, leading to Vasa area ancestors. Result: Worth it. Found distant ancestors at near-by farms.

(2) $99 on the most basic mt test on my DNA. Goal: help track down maternal ancestors. Result: Billions of matches, did not prove anything. Need to upgrade when funds allow.

(3) $99 on my Osmun cousin's Y. (By testing my cousin's DNA, I was really testing one of my ancestral lines using his spit.) Goal: to confirm name change in 1700s and to connect to 1629 immigrant, and to confirm oral history of Scandinavian origins. Result: Best DNA money spent, able to confirm descent from immigrant ancestor Thomas Osman. Was "group I" Scandinavian. Now working on two missing links.

(4) $99 on wife's Fargo cousin's Y. Goal: disprove adoption rumor in 1700s. Result: Was not adopted. Have now found missing link, connecting to 1600s Pilgrim immigrant.

21-02-12, 16:34
There are seven of us at FTDNA who match HVR2 mtDNA and FGS. Four are from Finland and there are two others besides myself from the US. I am related to one of the three from the US through a common third great grandmother, our mtDNA connections were originally from NJ. And the only remaining match from the US also has an ancestor from early NJ. My mtDNA brick wall is Mrs. Thomas Gandy, Jr., who probably lived from around 1700 to ? in the Cape May, NJ area.

There are reasons to believe our unknown ancestor was from the New Sweden area. What marriage records would exist for the time period around 1717 in the Cape May,NJ - New Sweden area?

Thank you.

25-06-19, 02:19
I guess I am in the A group you suggested. My husband is very proud of the fact that he tells everyone he is 100% Finnish. His parent, grandparent and even great grandparents are all from Finland. But I tell him not to be so sure I have found a few traces of Swedish in his line and he is from an area in Finland that I think is now in Russia's area. Yaakima and Viipuri. So now I kid him and tell him he is Russian. But if the boundary does change that doesn't change his nationality I don't think. His results haven't come back as yet and I had mine done in Ancestry and have had very good luck with that so here is hoping his comes back soon and he can find some Finland relatives.

Carol Jantunen