From: J. Hugh Sullivan <>
Subject: Re: Anonymous ancestry DNA chat
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From: (J. Hugh Sullivan)
Subject: Re: Anonymous ancestry DNA chat
Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2018 12:28:14 GMT
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On Tue, 2 Jan 2018 16:43:49 -0800 (PST), xyzzy<>

>She's not interested in building a detailed family tree.  Just knowing her =
>general heritage (i.e., are the family stories that they are German true). =
> I don't think she needs the level of precision you are discussing.  I've s=
>een a bunch of reviews that Ancestry is the best choice for this because th=
>ey have the most data.

If most data is the primary reason for choice I understand the

I looked for accuracy and less commercialism that often involves

My idea is not to influence your selection. It is more to cause you to
make the best choices based on a very thorough investigation. I think
the mtDNA test for her would be a great gift. At the same time you
both need to be more knowledgeable about what to reasonably expect to
not be disappointed.

Foolish as it may be I am considering a second test with Geno although
I think my ancestral conclusions are as good or better than any
generalized professional opinion.

I am a male descended from a Sullivan who descended from a Sullivan,
who descended from a Sullivan back to a Haplogroup in Anglo-Saxon
Germany hundreds of years ago. No matter that my birth mother was
probably the Sullivan but probably not my birth father. My wife
(Smith) descended from a Wheat, who descended from a Homan, who
descended from a Walker, who descended from a Byars who descended
froma a Ray born just before 1800 in VA. The female surnames don't
follow making conclusions of origin very difficult.

Read about YDNA and mtDNA and learn what they can and can't tell you.

Below is one paper I wrote based on my research. The data are not
original with me - just what this amateur understood from what he
read. I suggest you research more.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans
and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person's body
has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is
called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in
the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).
The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical
bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human
DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of
those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of
these bases determines the information available for building and
maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the
alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.
DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form
units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar
molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and
phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two
long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure
of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs
forming the ladder's rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules
forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.
An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies
of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a
pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when
cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the
DNA present in the old cell.

"mtDNA Tests - Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained in the cytoplasm
of the cell, rather than the nucleus. This type of DNA is passed by a
mother to both male and female offspring without any mixing, so your
mtDNA is the same as your mother's mtDNA, which is the same as her
mother's mtDNA. mtDNA changes very slowly so it cannot determine close
relationships as well as it can determine general relatedness. If two
people have an exact match in their mtDNA, then there is a very good
chance they share a common maternal ancestor, but it is hard to
determine if this is a recent ancestor or one who lived hundreds of
years ago. It is important to keep in mind with this test."

A Y chromosome DNA test (Y-DNA test) is a genealogical DNA test which
is used to explore a man's patrilineal or direct father's-line
ancestry. The Y chromosome, like the patrilineal surname, passes down
virtually unchanged from father to son. Every now and then occasional
mistakes in the copying process occur, and these mutations can be used
to estimate the time frame in which the two individuals share a most
recent common ancestor or MRCA. If their test results are a perfect or
nearly perfect match, they are related within a genealogical time
frame. Each person can then look at the other's father-line
information, typically the names of each patrilineal ancestor and his
spouse, together with the dates and places of their marriage and of
both spouses' births and deaths. The two matched persons may find a
common ancestor or MRCA, as well as whatever information the other
already has about their joint patriline or father's line prior to the
MRCA. Y-DNA tests are typically co-ordinated in a surname DNA project.
And each receives the other's contact information if the other chose
to allow this. Women who wish to determine their direct paternal DNA
ancestry can ask their father, brother, paternal uncle, paternal
grandfather, or a cousin who shares the same surname lineage (the same
Y-DNA) to take a test for them. 

Tiny chemical markers on the Y chromosome create a distinctive
pattern, known as a haplotype, which distinguishes one male lineage
from another. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men,
though not the exact degree of the relationship. Y chromosome testing
is most often used by individuals with the same last name to learn if
they share a common ancestor. Haplogroup R is the phylogenetic name of
a major clade of Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups. In other words,
it is a way of grouping a significant part of all modern men according
to a shared male-line ancestor. It is common in many parts of Eurasia
and is frequently discussed in human population genetics and genetic
genealogy. One sub-clade (branch) of R, currently designated R1a1a, is
much more common than the others in all major geographical regions.
R1a1a, defined by the SNP mutation M17 or R-M198, is particularly
common in a large region extending from South Asia and Southern
Siberia to Central Europe and Scandinavia. Names of SNP mutations can
also be used to name clades or haplogroups.

Much of the above is quotes but I don't want to influence your reading


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