Friday, June 29, 2012

Genetic Genealogy – Tapley DNA

I am taking the ProGen (Professional Genealogy) course and our first assignment was to craft a mission statement. I decided to focus on using genetic genealogy to take your family tree to the next level. With this in mind I have found my first guinnae pig – I mean “client” J My friend Keith decided to take the Family Finder autosomal test with ftDNA to learn more about his ancestry. His paper trail is like swiss cheese with lots of holes in it. Throw in some affairs and unwed mothers who gave their sons their surnames into the mix and you have a good candidate for DNA.

We opted out of taking a Y-DNA test because he knew that his surname is not really his direct paternal line surname as it actually came from a female ancestor and not a male. We have an idea of what his direct line male surname might be, but would like to use the autosomal test to see if we can determine this before taking the Y-DNA test. Also, there are no working surname projects at this time to support either of these surnames. Although a Y-DNA test will provide you with a list of matches, it is more beneficial when there is a surname project to support and manage the results data of you and your matches for comparison and interpretation.

I ordered Keith a Family Finder test from ftDNA. He collected the cheek swab samples and mailed them back to ftDNA. He received a kit number and a password for access to his account and home page. I put his account under both his name and my own so I will have access to his home page and be able to help him navigate through his matches and results. While we wait for his test to be analyzed, I have asked him to write down the last names of his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and 2nd great-grandparents. This is a good starting point for comparing surnames with his matches.

Keith sent me some pedigree charts along with some notes he has made for his own files. He also sent me an Ahnentafel report that his cousin (I presume) made up for him. From all of these files combined, I was able to compile a list of surnames for the ancestors listed above. If you are doing this for someone else, make sure you are clear that you need the names of the biological parents of each ancestor, not the spouses’ names. Here is a list of his surnames:

I then logged into his account and added each surname one by one. This is an important step that many testers don’t bother to do leading to a lot of frustration from their matches. Now we wait until his results come back.

Learn more about Keith's results in my post of Part 2

Photo of DNA kit from ftDNA website.

To Cite This Post:
Ginger R. Smith, "Genetic Genealogy - Tapley DNA," Genealogy By Ginger, 29 June 2012, ( : accessed [date])

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