Should I have my DNA tested?

+4 votes
My mother has done an Ancestry test two years ago. My father has done an FTDNA Y-DNA67 test 10 years ago which I can upgrade to Y-DNA111. I am also having my 89-year-old maternal grandmother's tests done at FTDNA, Ancestry, and 23andMe. Given that I am 100% positive that my parents are my birth parents and my grandmother is the birth mother of my mother, is there any point in having my own DNA tested or would that money be better spent having my wife or her parent's DNA tested to help with her family tree?

in Genealogy Help by Billy Dunn G2G6 (7.9k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Jessica is essentially correct. You are not really "covered" on your dad's side with just a Y-DNA test, which only applies to the paternal line. So you need an auDNA test for your dad.

Having the relatives further back, generationally, is a big advantage, so testing grandma is definitely a great move.

If you have tests for both your mom and your dad, all a test for yourself would add - genealogically - is to confirm that your parents are really your biological parents. I'd probably want to do it anyway, as something interesting/entertaining, but it's not critical if you have tests for mom & dad. I'd say yes, if there's a limited pot of money for this right now, that it would be better spent doing your wife's parents vs doing yours (or even hers!). I'd add that upgrading to Y-DNA111 isn't likely to tell you all that much beyond what Y-DNA67 already tells you, but it costs a lot, so I wouldn't make that a priority either.

As far as saving money goes, you could have just done AncestryDNA for grandma, and then downloaded a copy, and uploaded the data to the other platforms. But you could have other interests besides - the medical info some offer, for example.

You can also put your data on GEDmatch, a free site where it can be compared to people from other sites, at the chromosomal level. For real genealogy, it's all about the DNA matches, so you want to be able to match against as many other people as possible.

Good luck!
by Frank Stanley G2G6 Mach 6 (67.3k points)
selected by Joe Farler
+5 votes

auDNA testing would give you more information about your father's side of the family that your mother and grandmother's test can't tell you. YDNA is only a tiny portion of a man's DNA. If you wait for a sale (most companies have sales around major holidays) you might get 2 for 1.

As for privacy and other concerns, only you can decide what you're comfortable with. What I always tells people is, if there's anything that would destroy you if you found it out from a DNA test, then don't do it. If it would destroy you to find out your father isn't your biological father, then don't do it. If it would destroy you to find a half-sibling you never knew about, don't do it. If it would destroy you if your ethnicity isn't quite what you thought it was, don't do it.

by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (205k points)

Or you could talk to a therapist over why you prefer self-delusion over the truth!   smiley   (not you Jessica, anyone that's afraid of the truth)

But you're right, it's good to warn people of the possible emotional impacts of unexpected truths.

+1 vote

…  "is there any point in having my own DNA tested or would that money be better spent having my wife or her parent's DNA tested to help with her family tree?"

Aside from any privacy issues, personally, I would do both.  Take a test yourself AND test your wife's parents as well.

By testing your own AuDNA, you get to see which 50% you got from each parent.  In testing my two brothers and myself, I was able to get probably a truer picture of not only ethnicity (which is just a best guess anyway), We were able to find relatives that one would match, but not the rest of us.  Once you get to the third cousin range, you begin to have the possibility of sharing zero measurable DNA. It all depends on which 50% of each parents DNA you inherit, and which 50% of each parent they inherit, etc. So the more family members you can test the better... including yourself!

Since your wife's DNA is also separate from yours, then I would definitely test her parents and HER DNA also if she hasn't done it already. The reasons are the same as above. The more family members you can test, the more of a true picture you can see.

Hope this helps.

by Ken Parman G2G6 Mach 4 (46.9k points)
Plus if you are a tier one member at GedMatch if you have both parents and yourself autosomally tested you can use the evil twin phasing tool and then see who the twin matches!

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