Tag Archives: FTDNA

DNA Test The Elders in Your Family


Back view of serene senior couple taking a walk in the park in summer


My children know, or at least they should know, that they won’t be getting some large inheritance because I’m spending all my money on DNA testing.  Well that might be a slight exaggeration but I’ve spent a lot and I plan to spend more.

Out of all that spending has come a greater visual understanding of how from one generation to the next you lose matches, at least with autosomal testing . What do I mean when I say that?  First of all let me tell you who I’ve tested.  I’ve tested both my sons, my parents, two uncles on my mom’s side of the family and one of my cousins on my mom side as well as a second cousin on my mom’s side of the family. On my dad’s side of the family I’ve tested two of my dad’s  second cousins and a third cousin and a second cousin once removed.  So what does that all tell me?

What I’ve found most interesting is the matches that my mom and her brothers get and how some of those are connected to one of my son and not to the other. I do understand that you get half of your chromosomes from each of your parents and that you don’t get the same half as your siblings. But I guess it didn’t really hit home until I saw who matched to who and who didn’t.

My mom was 78 when she passed away this year and my uncles are of a similar ages. When you start looking at who are their matches outside of the known  immediate family and to which members of the younger generation they connect to you realize that by not testing the older generation when you are able you may lose valuable information that will help you understand your family connection to your matches.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that with each generation you lose  a bit of how you connect to someone elses tree, so you shouldn’t wait … you should test your oldest generation as their DNA has much to tell you.


While The Cat’s Away This Hound Will Play


For the next couple of days;  my husband has gone on a fishing trip with my brother’s and my father. So while they are hoping to catch fish I’m hoping that I’ll bag a brick wall.  I’m going to do that by going through all my bits and pieces of Beaton papers and I’m going to work on my DNA kits till all hours of the day and night.

Over the past few years I’ve had various people related to the Beaton family do a DNA kit.  Before my mom pasted away, she did a kit, I’ve done one on myself, my cousin Rick, my two uncle’s; Ken and Dick , Margaret who is a descendant of my great-grandfather; William (Willie) Beaton’s sister;  Annie and Mary who is a descendant of the Beaton family.

If you’ve heard the Beaton/Batten story then you can leave for a moment and grab a beverage.  But for those of you who don’t know the story then you need to know that my great-grandfather; William Beaton was adopted by his father  but the lady who raised him wasn’t his mother. Or so the family story goes. Another version from one of my aunt’s is that Willie’s mom abandoned him and then his father abandoned him as well. So I’m not sure if the family, I found Willie in, in the 1881 census,  really is his family. I’ve  spent many hours and four weeks in Kingston trying to find orphan records or something that would explain the story.

Willie’s sister; Annie was adopted by the Batten family. She lived with that family just down the way from the Beaton’s.  I know, similar name…. but I can’t find a connection between the two families other than they adopted my family.

So are they orphans, are they home children…. who’s children are they?

Ok for those of you who left to get a drink, we continue.

So I tested Mary; who is a descendant of the Beaton family (that Willie was raised by)  and she wasn’t a match to my mom as a second cousin. I know that doesn’t prove without a doubt that we aren’t from the family but I haven’t been able to get another descendant to test yet.

I tested Margaret; a descendant of Annie Batten and she was a second cousin match to my mom.

I’ve put all these kits onto Gedmatch which is a third-party site that provides additional reports on your DNA.  This is great, because you can see anyone who’s loaded their kits from Family Tree DNA, Ancestry and 23andMe. I’ve paid a donation, so I’m a 1st Tier member. 1st Tier gives you additional reports.

Now for the fun… I found a new site called DNA Gedcom and I’m loading my info so I can see what I can triangulate. Triangulation is described by the ISOGG as,  the technique used in autosomal DNA testing to compare matching DNA segments to determine which ancestor donated which particular segment.

So I’m doing that today and I hope I will have something major to tell you about in the next few days.. crossing fingers.


The Wait Is Over – More to Do

To Do File Showing Organizing And Planning Tasks
Yesterday I told you that I was having a consultation with; Diahan Southard from Your DNA Guide. 

My consultation was a great experience and was done very professionally.  She sends you a link to have a go-to meeting and the entire session is recorded and you receive a copy of the recording.

First of all she goes over some basic information about autosomal DNA.   She then asked me if there were any male descendants of my `great-grandfather, and there are/were but to the best of my knowledge they have died and left no male descendants. She went on to say that then I had done an excellent job of testing the key individuals that were left.  This made me happy to know that I was on the right trail and that my understanding of autosomal DNA was correct.

She went on to indicate that 88 CM  probably meant that my mom and Marg were probably only half cousins. This was something that I had suspected and was one of the questions that I had for Diahan, as my  theory is that my mom’s grandfather and Marg’s grandmother had the same mother but that each had a different father.  Diahan confirmed this was the case because my mom and Marg shared an X chromosome and if you look at the fan charts that are available to explain X chromosomes there are only certain ways you can connect that  way .  I will cover that in tomorrow’s blog.

We then talked about the chromosome browser tool  on FTDNA  where you can compare five matches and see what chromosome you connect on.  My family connects with Marg on chromosome 11 and 22. As there isn’t a very large list of in common people with Marg this means that it will be easy (if they answer) to contact them and see if we can figure out the overlap in chromosomes and trees of the other matches. Because we don’t know the family names for sure for my family or Marg’s we have to count on those people’s genealogy, surnames and places. I’ve already started some of that dialogue but perhaps I hadn’t asked the right questions. So Diahan advised me on what I should ask.

For instance, the match we have named Cliff,  has family members who came from the same region as my mom’s grandfather,  Willie and Marg’s grandmother; Annie.  I’ve been working with him on this but I should have asked him if there were other descendants of those people who could be tested. So I will do that this next week.

After the session is over Diahan provides a report going over what has been discussed which also provides you with a list of “to do” items for going forward as well as sends you a link to the recording of the session.  All in all it was a great experience and I would highly recommend it.

Now to get to work on that “To Do List”.  I’ll keep you posted.


Patiently Waiting


As I write this I am patiently waiting for my DNA consultation. Well I may be exaggerating a bit …. I never really wait patiently for anything.  I met Diahan Southard at Roots Tech 2015, and the first time I saw her,  she was presenting an introductory session on DNA. (Click her name to watch the video)    Diahan Southard

I’m not new to DNA but I am interested in the subject and always want to learn as much as I can. Diahan was very entertaining during her presentation .  Diahan offers DNA consultation through her business; Your DNA Guide (guide@yourDNAguide.com) and so I purchased a consultation but told her I wanted to wait until I had a couple more kits completed.

So what do I hope to get out of my consultation? The session is for an hour and I’m thinking with all the kits that I provided and what I hope to get out of the consultation, that one session may not  be enough. But it’s a start.

I believe that may of the people who are interested in DNA are doing it not only to learn more about themselves but to perhaps use it as a tool to break down a brick wall in their family history. This is the case with me.

So far for this consultation I’ve had the following people’s autosomal DNA tested; myself, my mom, a descendant of my great grandfather’s sister(my mom’s second cousin, Marg), one of my mom’s brothers; Ken, and a nephew of my mom; Rick, who is related  on my grandmother’s side of the family.  What I’m trying to do is narrow down the number of matches so we are looking at only  people who are connected to us through my Beaton family line.  I know that’s a lot of kits but I wanted her to have the info so she could decide what she needed to look at and what she could ignore.  So I provided all the kit numbers on FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) along with my password.

When I look at our matches on FTDNA there only a couple that are closely connection to all of us and shows as a 2-4th cousin. This I hope is promising.  In particular there is one man; Cliff  that my mom connects to at 69.82 CM. Marge connects to my mom by 88.13 CM and to Cliff   by 41.92 CM. My mom’s brother connects to Marg by 83.36 CM but doesn’t match Cliff.  When I start looking on FTDNA and the in common with it starts to get complicated, at least for me. But I think is just a matter of finding the appropriate way to present it visually to my brain.

I also told her the whole road block story and did my best at explaining how we are all connected. Because I know that it’s hard to figure out all the players when you not connected to the family yourself. Again maybe that’s just a me problem but that’s what I did.

My hope is with the kit information and the tree information, that Diahan can advise me what the next step is to breaking down my brick wall or if that is possible. So we will see. To be continued…… sketch-of-man-with-crossed-fingers-behind-his-back-vector-illustration_fkJGlMOd