DNA Testing

Notes from the Meeting on DNA. April 2010

Are you interested in DNA Testing to move your genealogical pursuits forward? If so, then here is a very special announcement.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon (JGSO), in co-operation with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), offers discounted DNA testing. DNA testing may help you break through that brick wall that has stalled your family history research. Take advantage of the latest DNA genealogical technology to advance your genealogical inquiries. By ordering your DNA tests through JGSO’s page on the FTDNA website, you can get basic tests done at a substantial discount. By participating in this DNA project you may be able to find new relatives or confirm or reject suspected, but unproven, relationships to other people. This, in turn, can lead to finding previously unknown ancestors and relatives.

It is easy to participate. All you have to do is order a test kit and use it to submit a sample of your DNA to Family Tree DNA. (FTDNA is the world’s leading genealogical DNA testing company with.) You provide the sample simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek—no blood needed! Once you place your order, Family Tree DNA will send you a kit for taking the sample and a mailer for returning it. They will process the sample and send you the results. You also will have the option of allowing FTDNA to post the results in their databases. This allows FTDNA to look for matches between your results and others who have submitted test samples. Depending on the nature of the test you took and how close your match is, the results can tell you with a certain probability how many generations ago you and your matching person had a common ancestor.

Several different levels of DNA testing are available (discussed below). The different tests cost between $99 and $498. Family Tree DNA has given us a group discount on certain of the tests and they will give JGSO a “commission” of 5% to 10% on certain tests ordered through our group. So, it is important that you order your DNA kit from the "JewishGenOregon" page on Famliy Tree DNA’s website (see the link below).

Participation is open to anyone associated with JGS Oregon. (If you receive this message, you are eligible.) However, there is one very important criterion about which you must be aware before you participate:

PLEASE NOTE: DNA testing allows you to trace your father’s paternal line (Y-DNA testing) and your mother’s maternal line (mtDNA testing). It does not allow you to trace back to your father’s mother, or to your mother’s father and their lines (or to other mixed male/female ancestral lines) … unless you get a correctly situated cousin, aunt or uncle involved in the DNA testing project. If you think this is something you want to do but aren’t certain how to proceed, please contact us for help.

There are four levels of Y-DNA testing: 12, 25, 37, and 67 markers. We strongly recommend that you take at least the 37 marker test. For the female line, you have three choices: “mtDNA”, “mtDNAPlus”, or “mtDNA Full Sequence”. For now, we recommend the mtDNAPlus test. The more detailed tests cost a bit more but they are well worth the extra money. The more detailed the test the more the results will exclude random matches with unrelated people. And, the more detailed tests will provide matches that have a higher chance of identifying a possible relative whom you can subsequently confirm in a paper trail. See FTDNA’s web page for more information about other, more detailed tests.

We have arranged with FamilyTree DNA for reduced rates on DNA tests. To get the reduced rate do the following:
Log onto www.familytreedna.com and in the search box type "JewishGenOregon" (without the quotes).
On the Search Results page that comes up, click on "JewishGenOregon".
That takes you to our JGSO DNA Testing Webpage. You also can get to this page by typing the following address directly into your web browser:
http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=JewishGSO
Scroll down the page to see the tests available and their costs.
Select the type of DNA test or combination of tests you want by clicking the “Order Now” button. This takes you to another “Products List” page where you can change your order if you wish.
Cick “Next” and fll out the form that appears.
After you have filled in the form, click on “Continue” at the bottom of the page and follow instructions for making payment.
Of course, if you want more information about our project or about DNA testing, feel free to contact our DNA Co-Project Directors, Ron Doctor (rondoctor@earthlink.net) or Ron Subotnick (rsubot@gmail.com).