Things we need to consider with DNA testing:
Point the first: As of Apr 2017, ~4M have done Ancestry DNA testing. If we extrapolate to
include the US, British Empire and other genealogy focused kingdoms, the percentage of
people with a DNA test is substantially <1% . Without DNA tests to match against, it
doesn't matter if we are doing mtDNA, Y, X, autosomal or Family Finder. Our chances of
finding a match are on par with winning the lottery, slim to none. And the ones who will
match you can probably be found in the online chat groups (like this), FB groups, etc.
Birds of a feather and all that...
Item B: Most of our matches are 3rd+ cousins, meaning we shared a common g-g-grand in the
mid-1800s or earlier. Survival of records from this time period are somewhat sketchy (as
we all encounter daily). Many of the Ancestry sign-ups are focused on people who have
NEVER done genealogy on paper, scanning microfilm, etc. They expect a great
Googley-moogley search to tell them how they are related to Julius Caesar (my 75th great
I'd love to blanket a number of people with specific surnames in the hopes of breaking
through a ancestral wall. Not likely going to happen any time soon. It would take both
people within and without of my known family group.
Bottom line: we need more people engaged and taking DNA tests. It would be great if the
major providers (Ancestry, myHeritage, etc) differentiated on their genealogy management
services and allowed more data sharing with the lesser analytics companies (23 & me,
FTDNA, gedmatch, etc). Until we are into the double digit percentages of results, and
have enough DNA from our elders to provide 2-3 generations of DNA information, we are very
early into a really cool breakthrough opportunity. It will likely be 20-30 years before
government mandates or other similar actions are taken to make DNA as prevalent as
fingerprints, retinal scans or other types of biometric identification.
That's my $.02.
Sorry for the rant.
Bill - Florida
One thing to consider with regard to whether or not to do an autosomal DNA test now is
An autosomal DNA test is only able to resolve a connection between people to about 4th
cousins, sometimes 5th cousins if you are very very lucky.
If you leave it for your descendants to do the autosomal DNA test then it becomes more and
more likely that they will not find matches that you would find.
In simple terms each generation loses roughly 1/2 of the autosomal DNA of the previous
Your children carry 1/2 of each of their parents DNA but each child carries a slightly
different mix (sometimes more than slightly different).
Even if you combine all of the DNA of all of your children you are still likely that some
of your autosomal DNA is lost to time.
The fragments of autosomal DNA that you have from your 2nd great grandparents becomes so
small (or non existent) in your grandchildren that it is often impossible to detect in
It is for this reason that it is always recommended that oldest living relatives do the
autosomal test first; they retain the most autosomal DNA of their ancestors.
The autosomal DNA test is relevant to people living today.
However it will probably be useless for your grandchildren to take the test unless
significant advances are made in analysis techniques.