Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1267713142

From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Naming Family Finder Projects
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 09:32:22 -0500
References: <0B44C81A10504DD6A7DDD09BB46FC888@HP><>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hello Tim,

I agree that the useful atDNA haplogroup projects are going to be ones based on
relatively recent SNP mutations possessed by relatively small groups of

My view on autosomal testing, like my view on DNA testing, in general, is
undoubtedly affected by a larger perspective of mine: I'm looking for my
family's ancestors, not its living relatives, beyond the ones I've already
identified "the old fashioned way" (via paper genealogy).

When I first started doing the family genealogy, I made it one of my goals to
find all the descendants of one of my immigrant ancestors (Daniel McCRAY). It
wasn't long before I realized how *many* descendants he must have and what a
huge undertaking it would be -- and for what? Doing so wasn't going to tell me
one thing new about my ancestry or his, so I abandoned the project. I'm
similarly not interested in atDNA projects aimed at finding all the descendants
of one couple. It's the kind of thing genealogists have long done (e.g., family
associations), and more power to anyone who wants to do it, but belonging to one
is just not a goal of mine.

I'm afraid you may find there are others like me who tested their atDNA
primarily for medical reasons and/or out of sheer curiosity. My apologies to
those whom I frustrate, but I'm just not interested in contacting the cousins
who show up in Relative Finder. I'm unlikely to join an atDNA project, unless I
could somehow see it helping me with my paper genealogy the way Y-DNA testing

What I'm really looking forward to is a much larger mtDNA FGS database, to find
matches supporting the matrilineal lines in my pedigree.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Tim Janzen
> Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 2:57 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Naming Family Finder Projects
> Dear Diana,
> Like you, I am also composite of numerous national and
> ethnic groups. It would be appropriate for me (and you) to
> join quite a few
> regional or countrywide projects if they form. I continue to
> believe that
> over time that properly managed and organized regional
> projections (using
> either FTDNA Family Finder data or 23andMe data) are going to
> be helpful to
> people. Regional projects could be split based on geography
> if they got too
> large or unwieldy. Family Finder projects (whether based on
> descendents
> from a specific ancestor/couple or regional/ethic in origin)
> are only going
> to be successful if there is sufficient volunteer help from
> interested and
> knowledgeable genealogists to make them successful.
> I think it is important that people catch a vision of
> what autosomal
> testing can do for genealogical research. If relatively few
> people catch
> that vision and few dedicate themselves to helping manage
> these projects
> then the Family Finder data will simply be floating around and won't
> necessarily be put to as productive of a use as it could be.
> I think that the Mennonite group is leading the way on
> this topic
> largely because we have a group of people who are already
> highly interested
> in this topic and we have someone (specifically Wayne
> Kauffman) who has
> sufficient database management skills that he is able to help
> us analyze the
> data.
> I think your idea of having autosomal haplogroup
> projects dedicated
> to studying the inheritance of a single SNP mutation is certainly a
> reasonable one, but it would be best if the SNP was a
> relatively recent one
> (and thus less common one) that occurred within the past
> 300-500 years than
> ones such as C282Y and H63D (the two SNPs that cause
> hemochromatosis) since
> both SNPs are so common that projects dedicated to their
> study would involve
> a large percentage of the total number of testees and thus
> projects devoted
> to their study would be unmanageable.
> Sincerely,
> Tim Janzen
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [mailto:] On Behalf Of Diana Gale
> Matthiesen
> Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 4:08 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Naming Family Finder Projects
> The problem with having regional or ethnic autosomal DNA
> (atDNA) projects is
> trying to decide where you divide them up. You couldn't even
> make a project
> suitable for me, one person, because I'm a composite of
> numerous national
> and ethnic groups, not to mention several haplogroups, who
> haven't had a
> common ancestor in thousands of years. If you look at just
> me and my first
> cousins, who are certainly closely related, we're literally
> all over the map
> because my parents' siblings married into seven different
> nationalities.
> What project(s) would you put us in? European? What is the
> point of having
> a group that large? Who could manage such a project?
> I can think of only one logical kind of atDNA group to
> create, and that
> would be a haplogroup. Studying the inheritance of a single
> SNP mutation
> would definitely make sense as you could clearly define the
> boundaries of
> the group.
> Diana
> -------------------------------
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