When you want a relative to take a DNA test, what are the reasons you give?

+9 votes
147 views
I am the only one in my immediate family, besides my mother to take any genetic tests. I would like my 1st cousin to take at least FTDNA's family finder test. He's the only male 1st cousin I have thats genetically related to me who is still alive. And I'm suggesting the FF now because its the cheapest of the tests (because I prefer that he pay for it).  I'm not sure how to approach him on the subject, besides the limited reasons that  I can think of why he should take the test. Are there better reasons, or better ways to explain why? (We are friendly, though I don't have much contact with him--- his mother was ecstatic when I shared some of the research I had done about her side of the family).

Reasons I can think of as to why, besides what I mentioned above:

1. On FTDNA, the closest genetic cousin relations to me are 3rd or more distant cousins. I would like him to get his test so I can see a 1st cousin result

2. I would like to see potential race admixture from someone on the male Hammond line who isn't my sibling (though I might not mention this to him) because my father (and his father) are no longer alive.

3. All my Y-DNA matches are to people who don't show up in my Family Finder matches---must be distant cousins. Though it would probably make sense to suggest he take a Y-DNA done as well, its really a matter of affordability (if he does the FF, we can always do a Y-test later on).

4. I was able to easily find two 3rd cousins with Family Finder because I was familiar with that branch of the family tree. (Though I don't know if he's specifically interested in finding 3rd cousins - I thought I might mention one of them is a professional photographer---and his father/my uncle was a pro photographer as well).

(PS: Is getting a Family Finder test for my brother even worthwhile, as opposed to a male cousin on my Hammond line with a different mother? I would think my brother would be just a comparitively close copy of my own for identification purposes.)
in The Tree House by Michael Hammond G2G6 Mach 1 (11.7k points)
I recommend getting your brother to take a Family Finder test.  He has some of your father's autosomal autosomal DNA which you don't have.

3 Answers

+5 votes
The single best reason I can think of is triangulation.  Having someone else test with a known relationship will help identify other matches on FTDNA or GedMatch.  This applies top both of you.  It will also give him contact info for his DNA cousins, and help identify more cousins on the same genealogical line, that he may share additional DNA with.  This will help tell you more about all the matches you share with him and others at FTDNA.  Having my 1st cousin 2x removed tested was invaluable in breaking down genealogical brick walls.
by Marc Snelling G2G6 (7k points)
+4 votes
I made the decision a few years back to buy extra Ancestry DNA tests and give them to family members.  In short, given the fact that the vast majority of the population has no knowledge/understanding of DNA genealogy, it was a much better use of my time and money to invest in tests for my relatives than to try and convince them to learn about DNA genealogy and then pay $100+ for a test that they would have to maintain.

I have had a great deal of success with this over the past two years - particularly on my paternal grandfather's side (15 tests and counting) and my paternal grandmother's side (8 tests and counting).  While this is an expensive investment, having this DNA evidence has been incredibly valuable (and several of the relatives are in their 70s-80s).

So - in my case - the fact that I pay for the tests and mail the kits to family members has gone a long way in allowing me to get DNA evidence that is useful for my research.
by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (153k points)
While I would agree that the best way to get a test from a family member is to buy it for them, it is, like you said, a considerable investment. The reason I am hoping he might be willing to pay for it is that I've already invested money in my own (so far, Y-67, autosomal, and mtDNAFull, M343 SNP pack), plus paid for 2/3 of an adopted uncle's (Y67, autosomal, mtDNAFull)---only to realize later on that I didn't need to do so immediately.

Now I'm weighing whether I want to invest in a Y-111 (to connect with distant cousins on my Y-DNA side that don't show up in Autosomal) and maybe some additional SNP tests as well.
Every test has some value but IMO, you have invested more than enough in yDNA and mtDNA testing for now.

I looked at you Gedmatch report, and this shows that only 2, after your mother, of your DNA Cousin's uploaded from FTDNA out of the first 28. I highly recommend that the best investment of $$ is to test you and your mother on AncestryDNA. The next best investment would be to test you and your mother on 23andme.
+5 votes
No matter how you phrase it, most of your relatives have no, or very little interest in genealogy, at this time.

I have paid for about a dozen tests for relatives. I tell them it will significantly help me.  Even when I pay, there is still some selling of the idea. I can tell you that a very high percentage of DNA Relatives I have contacted over the years, didn't even know about the genealogy feature.

On AncestryDNA, they did it for the Ancestry Composition, which is one reason given to me by my 23andme DNA Cousins but a significant number of 23andme users did it for the Health and Traits reports.

Only contacts from FTDNA did it for Genealogy, but many, if not most also subscribe to 23andme and/or AncestryDNA.

Determine what the cousin is interested in, but getting them to pay for all of it is a significant hurdle to overcome.  

You will find significantly more 4th cousins and closer by testing you and your mother on the different DNA Services than you would testing your brother.  You won't find additional DNA Cousins by testing cousins, but it may help you connect to your current matches.
by Ken Sargent G2G6 Mach 5 (56.6k points)
Why pay for dna testing on the other services? It seems it would be a waste of money. (I've seen people's records indicating they did just that, but why?)
Because there more than million subscribers that are not on FTDNA or Gedmatch. No one can say for sure how many close relatives you have on AncestryDNA or 23andme that you don't know about.

In my case, I have 3 first cousins that are only on AncestryDNA. About 1/2 my known matches are now on AncestryDNA and it is growing. The rest are on 23andme and a few that are exclusively on FTDNA.

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