Monday, August 23, 2010

Beginning Steps to using Family Finder or Autosomal DNA Tests

We are getting queries and getting results with the new Family Finder test available from Family Tree DNA.  There are many benefits to using Family Finder.  One is to confirm how collatoral branches of families link together.  This will become quite useful to the Taylor project over time.  Even today we have "matches" where we can confirm that two or more individuals with different pedigrees have "related" DNA, but we do not know from the y-DNA or the paper trail exactly where the lines converge into a common ancestor.

With Family Finder we should be able to see where two (or more) lines converge if it is within the last seven generations.  This is because Family Finder works best with relationships at the 5th cousin or closer range. 

One of the steps in using Family Finder, other than submitting a sample, is to provide a list of surnames in your family line.  I have done this for my direct line and will include it below as an example.  Since the test goes out to fifth cousins, ideally you will go out to your seventh generation in lineage.  I have a couple of gaps, but most of my other 5 times great-grandparents are included.  Some of the surnames are duplicated, so that reduces the number and for some I give alternate spellings.

  • Augustus

  • Barteaux/Berteaux

  • Beall/Bell

  • Born

  • Bright/Brecht

  • Cassell

  • Crockwell

  • Dickerson

  • Foster

  • Gaston

  • Glover

  • Harbaugh

  • Hinton

  • Hockersmith

  • Hutt

  • Jackson

  • Johnson

  • LeCain

  • Leonard

  • Lingenfelter

  • Lockwood

  • Madden

  • McDonald

  • Mead(e)

  • Moore

  • Perry

  • Pope

  • Pulliam

  • Rice

  • Ritchie

  • Robinson

  • Ryerson

  • Scott

  • Simon

  • Smith

  • Spence

  • Springer

  • Starratt

  • Stone

  • Taylor

  • Vail

  • Wheat

  • Whitman

 Assembling that list of surnames will be vital to matching records--documented paper records--when you get a Family Finder match.  It's time to start your own list!
Lalia Wilson for the Taylor Surname Project

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