GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2002-04 > 1018204288
From: "Allan S. Gleason" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Testing my Australian parents' DNA
Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002 11:31:35 -0700
Ah! Another Aussie, welcome, Karen! I think there are several of you on this list.
First, you don't need to see a doctor for genealogical DNA testing. You arrange via
the Internet with one of the three major companies (there are, I'm sure others, but
I don't know who they are) to have your DNA tested. They will send you a kit
consisting of a sponge swab which you rub around on the inside of your cheeks and
gums for awhile to collect a few cells. It is painless and non-invasive. You let
the swab dry a bit, put it in a bag and mail it back to the company. They will do
the test and send you the results.
The three companies are:
http://www.oxfordancestors.com/ Oxford Ancestors, associated with Oxford U.,
http://www.familytreedna.com/ Family Tree DNA, associated with U. of Arizona,
http://www.relativegenetics.com/index.jsp Relative Genetics, associated with
Brigham Young U., Utah, USA
It is important for you to go to their web sites and learn what it is that they
offer such as how many 'markers' they will evaluate and for what price. You may
want to continue lurking about this list to learn more about what genealogy DNA
testing CAN and CAN'T do for your genealogy research. You might also go to the web
sites of some of the surname people on this list - you can usually find their web
sites at the bottom of their posts. Many of the sites provide tutorials on DNA
The DNA test which closely follows the surname is of the Y-chromosome, Ycs, which,
of course comes from your father. It was passed down to him from his father
virtually unchanged and on and on and on. It will NOT have anything to do with any
of your grandmothers or other grandfathers from other lines. You will get a list of
numbers called a haplotype which will be your father's genetic fingerprint. Other
male paternal cousins should also have that haplotype so in that way you may be able
through research or eventually via databases find other cousins who can further your
research. By comparing the DNA with more distant living cousins if you can find
them, you can calculate roughly how far back in time you had a common ancestor -
although, of course, it won't tell you who that ancestor was.
The "mitochondrial DNA", mtDNA, test comes from small globules within every cell.
It is passed from the mother to all of her children so that the mtDNA is the same
for both girls and boys. In this case, the female passes that same DNA to her
children and on and on and on. The male has his mother's DNA but he doesn't pass it
on. Thus, since you have your mother's DNA either one of you can be tested for
MtDNA passing from mother to daughter is your mother's haplotype and doesn't have
anything to do with your father or any other grandmothers from other lines. MtDNA
is the preferred choice for identification purposes since it exists in both sexes
and is more stable, lasts longer under adverse circumstances, than Ycs DNA.
Finally, unless you have a brother, you may want to have your father tested since he
is even older than I am! - just in case you need those numbers in your future
research and he is gone. Of course, if you do have a brother, then you can have it
all simply by having him tested some time in the future when prices come down and
techniques stabilize somewhat. If you take the chance and something happens to your
brother, have the mortuary pull a few hairs from his head by the roots and you will
still have your sample.
Karen Chessell wrote:
> Dear Learned List-members,
> My father (83 years) and mother (78 years) are in principle willing to have
> their DNA tested, dependent upon what it will cost. They have spoken to
> their GP (local doctor) about this who asks what kind of test they want.
> They live in Perth, Western Australia. For starters, from what I have taken
> in so far of this complicated subject, testing my father's DNA is more
> valuable to me, as I can find out about his male line and his mother's
> female line, whereas testing my mother won't be much different from testing
> my own DNA (is this right? - does my mother's DNA not shed any light on her
> father's origins?).
> It seems the GP is not the person to consult - does anyone know of any
> testing organisation in Australia or is it just as easy to have samples sent
> around the world?
> Please excuse my ignorance - a little of all this science is beginning to
> penetrate but it's a slow process!
> To join Ancestry.com and access our 1.2 billion online genealogy records, go to:
|Re: [DNA] Testing my Australian parents' DNA by "Allan S. Gleason" <>|