UPDATE April 2022.
When I began my genetic genealogy work it was necessary to spend some time figuring out the WHERE question. Which company to submit a DNA test/kit was and is a critical choice. There were very serious differences between genetic genealogy companies. I spent some time evaluating the different companies that offered GENETIC GENEALOGY tests. I chose FTDNA to submit our Great Uncle’s sample. WHY?
1 – FamilyTreeDNA.com (FTDNA) offered the full complement of genetic genealogy tests. All of the other companies offered only autosomal tests and in order to do genetic genealogy correctly one must identify their clan line(s). No autosomal test does it. It takes Ymarker tests to identify and establish a direct family line. FTDNA was and is the only company offering all genetic genealogy tests. All of the other companies were selling tests – you submit a sample and the sample was used to do one test, period. FTDNA was and is different. They sell sample kits. So you submit a kit to them and they store the sample and allow you to order any of their tests in any order. Since genetic genealogy was new I wanted to be sure and submit sample so that I could have the greatest opportunities to secure the most information possible and be able to take advantage of any new developed test.
2- FTDNA was and is used by 98 percent of professional genealogists. For me this meant there was a high probability of connecting to folks who were working Colonial family lines Many folks who submit applications to the DAR/SAR or Colonial Dames or Society of Cincinnati use professional genealogists. Most historical and genealogical societies have professional genealogists. The Bible tells us to seek wise counsel. So logically, it made sense to submit a kit which could communicate with kits submitted by experts.
3 -FTDNA was the only one National Geographic partnered. National Geographic had embarked on a worldwide genetic anthropological project to DNA map population clusters all over the world, with the exception of Iran and North Korean. By partnering with FTDNA researchers had the potential to reach out and partner with folks across the globe.
4 – FTDNA was the company with the SURNAME PROJECTS . Larry Jordan had started the JORDAN SURNAME PROJECT very close to 2000. It was one of the first SURNAME PROJECTS. When he began the project he actively sought men to identify JORDAN family lines. He had a reason. He was trying to identify his own direct line. At the same time many JORDAN men were progressive researchers and quickly used the tool to help them do their family history work. So, FTDNA was the logical lab/company to submit our JORDAN kit.
Once you understand which company to use the next step is to evaluate one’s pedigree and locate the best candidate to do a FTDNA kit.
The best candidate is always the patriarch of one’s family and this was our Great Uncle for our JORDAN line. He swabbed his cheeks and sent the kit to FTDNA. I will be forever grateful to him! One only has to swab once unless there is a problem with the kit. Once the lab receives the kit whatever tests ordered will be done. One can order one or more tests. One can order tests in any order. I ordered two tests.
The Y-37 test was THE first necessary genetic genealogy test. If you look at your pedigree chart, the Y marker test coincides with your paternal line, in other words, your father’s father’s father’s father’s… line. On most traditional pedigree charts it is the top line.
A Y37 or greater marker test is necessary to IDENTIFY and ESTABLISH your direct family branch. The reach of the test is 25-26 generations. In other words, it has the potential to reach back and allow a researcher to confirm 750 yrs back in time along a paternal line. I call the kit that establishes a paternal line the ANCHOR kit. It is critically important that NO GUESSWORK as far as earliest ancestors be provided to FTDNA. Using DNA to proof our work can only be successful if folks are very careful about CONCLUSIONS. Remember many of the early genealogy works are not accurate. Our family could only go back to a specific MATTHEW JORDAN who died in 1849 in JOHNSTON COUNTY. So that is who I listed as our earliest ancestor.
The GOAL for the Y37 or greater test is to find a match with all of the same markers or at the very least only one marker different. WHY? A 0-1 different marker match means the match is very close to one’s direct paternal line. 2 markers different means a match is connected to the same CLAN tree but further from one’s direct line. As the different markers increase the distance from one’s direct line increases. Keep in mind the reach of a Ymarker test is 25-26 generations so even if a 0-1 match is found it could potentially reach enough generations to find a connecting match before Europeans made their way to North America.
For our kit, we did not have such a match. We had many 2 markers different matches! The first two matches were for two Mississippi JORDANs who turned out to be part of the same family. These men CLAIMED GRAY JORDAN of EDGECOMBE (think Rocky Mount) as their earliest ancestor. This was confusing to me. I did not see any kit that actually CONFIRMED the MISSISSIPPI JORDANS claim in the JORDAN SURNAME PROJECT. In other words, I didn’t see a match for our MATTHEW’s kit at 2 steps for a kit submitted by a North Carolina JORDAN descendant of Gray Jordan. IT TAKES THREE KITS TO CONFIRM A BRANCH IN A PARTICULAR FAMILY TREE.
The second test I ordered was the FAMILY FINDER test. It is very important for NC or any COLONIAL region researchers to do BOTH tests. Each test works in a different way to confirm your pedigree work and help clarify relationships and resolve conflicts. The FAMILY FINDER TEST can be done of course by a male Jordan but it can also be done if you are a female Jordan. Folks who are male or female and don’t carry the Jordan surname but have a Jordan ancestor – a grandpa or grandma at any generation from 1st to 7th in your pedigree work- can also submit a family finder kit to isolate your Jordan ancestor. The FAMILY FINDER TEST casts a net back five to seven generations from the person who is tested. So the older the tester, the further back in time one can potentially work.
ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I BEGAN THIS BLOG was to HELP FOLKS UNDERSTAND WE HAVE A FINITE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO GATHER DNA WHICH WILL ALLOW US TO RECONSTRUCT BACK TO THE LORDS PROPRIETORS ERA. In order to be successful, we need folks over 70 years of age to participate.
The more family finder kits we have submitted the better we will be able to connect folks to their proper ancestors and help us understand who lived where when in NC.
Many folks submit test kits to Ancestry.com or 23andme. The raw data from these companies need to be moved to FTDNA. WHY?
There are other DNA tests such as the mitochondrial test – this is looking at the mother’s mother’s mother’s … portion of your pedigree. It is one of the most expensive tests and I believe at this time it makes more sense to find males to establish direct paternal lines through Ymarker tests and both males and females, especially family over the age of 70 to participate and order family finder tests through FamilyTreeDNA.com.
These are the two DNA tests I am using in the NC 1700s JORDANS PROJECT. If you have done a kit through a different lab. I ask that you please transport your raw data (FAMILY FINDER) or results (Y marker) to Familytreedna.com. My goal is to create a DNA cluster for COLONIAL CAROLINA. I am hoping by creating this blog I can help folks understand where I am with the research, find researchers who want to join the effort, and help folks see where we have holes, aka missing branches or Jordans.
I began fourteen years ago identifying missing branches of Jordans. There still are missing early JORDAN lines. And as I have worked I have discovered there are mysteries and mistaken genealogies involving many other early family lines whose direct lines are not yet established. We need these missing branches to submit FTDNA kits and move autosomal raw data from Ancestry and/or 23andme or MyHeritage to FTDNA. Family historians and genealogists today have the opportunity to bring to light missing Early American information. We have a finite window to do our family history work correctly. All of us working COLONIAL or pre-Colonial lines need to get the line(s) established and anchored. FTDNA kits including both the Ymarker 37 or greater test and Family Finder test is the starting point.