Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

25 Feb 2016: Breaking the DNA Barrier February 25, 2016

I thought I’d do a series of posts allowing you to follow along with my experiences in having my DNA tested.  I know lots of folks who have considered using modern technology to aid in their genealogy research, but the price seems a little high with an uncertain outcome of success. For a long time, this was me.  I mean I already know a startling amount about my family history.  What more could I learn from the DNA that is locked inside the cells of my body?

Well, we’re about to find out.

After doing some research, I decided to work with Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) I chose them because from the chatter I read online, they give you the best results for the money. And it wasn’t cheap. I decided to purchase two tests, the Family Finder and the mtDNA Ancestry Test.

ftda-logo

Here’s what they consist of:

mtDNA Ancestry Test: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down almost unchanged from a mother to her children. That lets you trace your maternal ancestry using the world’s largest mtDNA database.

Family Finder: Will give you a very detailed geographic breakdown of where your ancestors came from. It works by comparing your DNA to the DNA of hundreds of ethnic groups around the world.

The Family Finder test is $99 and the mtDNA is $199, so all together it was about $312 including a shipping charge.  Considering the package it came in, I think that shipping charge was a bit high.

What came in the mail from Family Tree DNA

What came in the mail from Family Tree DNA

After I placed my order online, they mailed the test out to me very quickly.  I followed the instructions given and swabbed the inside of my cheeks.  Today I mailed back my samples, so now we wait to see what I get for my $312.

My samples and release form to be mailed back.

My samples and release form to be mailed back.

What am I hoping for?

I have two goals in mind that were the reasons I decided to outlay such a sum of cash. First, there’s been a persistent rumor on my mom’s side of the family, that my mother’s, mother’s, mothers’, mother’s, etc, side of the family was jewish. Since I’ve been unable to track that maternal line back to Europe, hopefully the mtDNA test will either prove or disprove the rumor that I’m a Jew.  Personally, I’m hoping I’m one of God’s chose people.  There’s not a whole lot of us at my Baptist church.  🙂  The most distant female line ancestor I know of is Regina Von Glahn. She was born in February 1835 in either Germany or Holland.  She came to America in 1850 and married Jacob Green, then died 17 February 1907 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Hopefully with this test, I’ll find out more about Regina’s origins.

The second reason, and the reason that I’ve decided to spend the money now instead of later is that I’m searching for a long-lost relative. I recently read an article that said that many people who have been adopted do DNA tests to find out about their biological family histories. In the case of Family Tree DNA, I had to sign a release form to send back with my samples.  This form gives  FT DNA permission to disclose my name and address to any close family matches that they may find in their database.  I’m hoping that maybe he has or he will send in his DNA for testing, if so, maybe I’ll be able to find this relative.  Since he was adopted and I’m having difficulty tracking him down after his adoption, who knows … maybe being one of God’s chosen people will help!

Anyway, this is post number one.  I’ll post again to let you know what results I get from my test.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

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