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Y DNA test?

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by PeterM, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. PeterM

    PeterM LostCousins Member

    I had an autosomal test with Ancestry several years ago and have matches to the families of 3 of my Grandparents, but I have none to me fathers paternal line. The family tree for this line was built several years ago by one of my ancestors and goes back to the 1700's. I have confirmed the information from census and BMD records. There is however one birth record I cannot find. That is for my Great grandfather. He was born 1 year before his parents married and before the mother had received her divorce from a previous husband. I am beginning to think that he may not be the son of my 2x great grandfather. Would a Y DNA test help me? If so, which company would you suggest I test with?
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Taking a Y-DNA test on spec is an expensive gamble. Even if you get a useful match, which is fairly unlikely, it won't necessarily tell you what you need to know.

    However, if you have someone else to compare your Y-DNA against, the situation is different (though you'll need to pay for 2 tests rather than 1).

    I suggest taking another look at your atDNA matches - roughly a quarter of them will be connected to you through each grandparent. If you really have no matches through your paternal grandfather this suggests that he's the one whose parentage is in doubt - perhaps he was adopted? After all, if it was only the parentage of his father that was in doubt you'd still have matches through his mother.

    A general note: you can't check someone else's research rigorously by finding records that fit, because unless the name is an extremely rare one there will be multiple candidates. This is why autosomal DNA testing is so valuable - it allows us to verify our records-based evidence.
  3. PeterM

    PeterM LostCousins Member

    Thanks Peter. I hadn't considered adoption. I do have 1 possible match to the mother of my GGF. Perhaps I could start by looking at adoption within her family. My GGF was baptized when his younger brother was baptized which may mean he had just been adopted. I do have a number of close DNA matches which I haven't been able to confirm so there may be a link, although most of them are to USA and there is no link between this side of the family and the USA.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I think it's unlikely that your great-grandfather would have been adopted - why would a young couple with a baby on the way choose to adopt? However, the fact that your grandfather's birth seems not have been registered either under his father's surname or his mother's does leave open a wide range of possibilities. Sometimes registration was delayed in the hope of marriage.....

    Shared matches are key to identifying how you are connected to your genetic cousins (see this recent newsletter article). A good first step would be to connect with more 'lost cousins' - around half of active LostCousins members have already tested.
  5. PeterM

    PeterM LostCousins Member

    Nothing so far on the mothers side of my GGF. Clearly more to do. I am getting far more DNA matches on my mothers side (56) than I am on my fathers side (18). I have uploaded all my known family onto LostCousins and have 3 matches 2 of them on my mothers side. I have looked at the newsletter article which answers some of my questions (Don't know how I missed it - must read more carefully) Thanks
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Also check the entries on your My Ancestors page carefully, and fill in any gaps. DNA and conventional methods need to work together.

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