Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Big Y, Full Y, Y Prime... Oh My!

There has been a small flurry of interest and activity in the past year or so that relates to advanced Y-DNA testing. The price has limited interest, as has its experimental nature. That is, we really had no idea what the results would show and whether or not they would be useful  to genealogists who are primarily interested in finding matches within the genealogical timeframe.

While the jury is still out on the matter of relevance, these tests are beginning to show results that have enabled a few groups to show branches within their lineages. As with any scientific discovery, there must be active participants who can evaluate and measure the results, compare their findings and eventually publish them so that others can determine their usefulness.

There are at least three companies competing in this space, and it's been difficult to compare them. The ISOGG Wiki provides information on their test offerings, but the question of practical application has persisted, primarily because we were comparing apples to oranges and the essential factor, interpretation, was missing from all three. One had to use a third party to evaluate and translate the findings, and still they were not in laymen's terms nor did they apply to or answer genealogists' questions.

Now, true to form, Family Tree DNA is providing matching capability, the one essential thing missing from all the offerings until now. Once again, it emerges as the true leader among genetic genealogy companies. It is simply the only company that provides a full range of testing for genealogy. It has no equal.

Roberta Estes reports today on FTDNA's latest offering and price reduction. in her blog, DNAeXplained. I hope this will encourage more men to order the Big Y test from Family Tree DNA. The results will be added to a small but growing pool that holds promise for ever more interesting developments in genetic genealogy and may help define line breaks that refine lineages.

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