How to participate in the Maclea/Livingston/Boggs DNA surname project if you are not yet a participant.
If you are a male with one of the project surnames then we want a sample of your DNA! This is very simple process involving only rubbing inside the cheek. No needles or blood!
If you are not male or you don't have the right surname (like me) then we need your help! Indeed, many of the projects key people have gotten involved by helping find or sponsor possible relatives. If you do not know of any possible relatives then please take advantage of the possibility of sponsoring the project overall. See http://www.familytreedna.com/contribution.html
(All people interested in these surnames should consider whether the work this project does deserves a contribution.)
Participants and their sponsors and genealogists can join our Project Discussion group, which considers the genealogical implications of the results.
There are several testing organizations for genealogists. Three are commercial, and one is a project in which you can participate for free (the Sorenson project, see below). You might first want to look at this comparative table made by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (http://www.isogg.org/ydnachart.htm) as well as a chart showing available markers, made by Nelda Percival (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bonsteinandgilpin/dna/ydnaco.htm) but there are some interesting extra details. Here are some comments based on our experience so far…
If you already suspect a connection to another Livingston(e), MacLea or similar family already in the project, we can try to organize very targeted minimal testing, through other companies if necessary.
Otherwise, the basic rule is “the more markers, the better”.
Family Tree DNA.
TThis company has tested the most of our participants and is indeed the current market leader in DNA tests for genealogists. To join through this company through our project you can contact the project or do it yourself with this webpage: http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_join.asp?code=A81021&special=True
Family Tree DNA use the labs of the University of Arizona, plus their own lab in Texas, and their range of options is now very big. To give a few key products:
The most common way to get involved is to start with their 12 marker test which is normally enough to give people an indication, of relatedness to other families.
The FT DNA 37 marker test nearly always puts relationship beyond doubt, and then goes on to start showing patterns concerning who is most related to whom.
Upgrades beyond the power of the 37 marker test are really only available from Family Tree DNA, and this has been the direction of their product development in recent years. Different upgrades may be more suitable for different situations.
Keep in mind that Family Tree DNA hold a sponsorship fund for our project, and also often have special offers. This is a useful service to the project, because it allows us to collect donations without becoming too financially serious. So contact me about this option if the subject is potentially interesting participants who need extra price support.
All Family Tree DNA customer results also appear on our webpage on their webspace: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/livingston_maclea_dna/
DNA Fingerprint is now merged with Family Tree DNA, and this service will now be available via Family Tree DNA in 2007, for people who have already ordered a more standard test.
This company does many markers which no other lab used by genealogists does. They have led the way especially in developing more “multi-part” markers which I think hold a lot of promise for genealogy. Thomas Krahn, who led this venture, now runs Family Tree DNA's own lab.
We have had some contact with this company, and it was once perhaps the second most common choice. They are one of the companies who uses the Sorenson lab (see below) for the acutal testing. Two disadvantages, according to some people are:
·You must order at least 23 markers right from the start (I think this is not such a bad idea).
·They do not keep extracted DNA samples in case you want to order more tests at a later date. (The main cost of DNA testing is this extraction, meaning if you order at any other company you can get more tests after your first experiments in the field, which is what very many people end up doing.)
Our project also now has a join link with DNA Heritage: http://www.dnaheritage.com/oracle/join.asp?GroupUnique=355654267
They do not do 5 of the markers that are offered by Family Tree DNA or DNA Fingerprint, and unfortunately these tend
Ancestry.com took over Relative Genetics, which was another lab who used the Sorenson lab. They do all the same markers as DNA Heritage. Like other labs they do not do 5 of the markers that are offered by Family Tree DNA or DNA Fingerprint.
We had no experience with Relative Genetics before it was taken over by Ancestry.com, but the takeover has helped gain new participants. We still need to gain more experience with Ancestry. More to the point they also have to work on a few things, including the way in which they facilitate the swapping and gathering of information which is necessary for a surname project.
We have a project webpage on their webspace also, but it is not yet a good way to see what the project is doing.
This is NOT a commercial testing company, although they actually do the testing for DNA Heritage and Relative Genetics. However they will test and publish all 43 markers for free if you wish to be part of this Utah-based genealogical project. See http://smgf.org. The problem is that it can take years before the results are published, and then you will not be informed. I understand that they do not even decide to test all applicants?