There’s much to be said about DNA testing in genealogy, but most of it is best said by Blaine Bettinger on his blog, The Genetic Genealogist, which I highly recommend. So please visit there soon. But for now, I’d like to describe my recent experience with Ancestry.com’s DNA offering.
I got in on one of Ancestry’s DNA “sales” where the price was affordable for me to do a 46-marker test (a relatively “high resolution” test). The results came in about 18 days. They were posted in my “DNA account” at Ancestry.com. Note you don’t have to be an Ancestry subscriber to get DNA results.
The screen shot above is what one first encounters on the Ancestry.com DNA site. On the left side below “Welcome” are buttons that toggle between “Paternal” (Y-DNA) and “Maternal” (mtDNA). Below those buttons, we can “Find Matches,” “See Ancestry,” “View DNA,” or “Visit Groups.” We are toggled to the Y-DNA section; let’s go “See Ancestry.”
This generic description of my “deep” paternal ancestry shows my DNA belongs to Haplogroup E1b1a [formerly known as E3a]. This group is associated almost entirely with sub-Saharan Africa, although some authorities say that is too broad a statement to make at this point in our understanding of the issue. It can be stated confidently that E1b1a has a high frequency in West Africa among Bantu-speaking peoples such as in Cameroon. E1b1a is now well-dispersed throughout Africa.
Now the fun part. Let’s “Find Matches!”
Here we find the locations and names of 84 people who “match” my Y-DNA results.
Now I have a name and location for the “best match.” But our “Most Recent Common Ancestor” is likely more than 30 generations away!
When we toggle over to the “Maternal” side, we get this screen showing that my mtDNA is classified in Haplogroup L. Like my Y-DNA, this shows a connection to Bantu people in West Africa, although the haplogroup is now spread over the entire African continent. Haplogroup L has subdivisions L0, L1, L2, and L3. I evidently have some connection to these subgroups. L3 is said to be the progenitor of “all non-African haplogroups alive today.”
And we can see the alleles in the shot above.
The top three people “match” my mtDNA. Again, I’ve redacted the names. The list actually has all names with bewteen 0 and 2 variations. The top three had zero variations. Unlike the Y-DNA page, there is not a way to ascertain the physical locations of mtDNA matches in this set. So all I have are names. Could one of them hold the key to my most uncooperative ancestor, Sarah Gilbert Johnson?
April 10, 2009 Friday at 11:55 am