DNA & A Question of Paternity: Part 1 – Introduction

Almost two years ago, I was talking with an acquaintance who had been uncertain of the identity of his biological father for much of his life. I suggested the idea of DNA testing to him; I would help him, and we would see what we could learn about his genetic ancestry. He was open to the idea, so we ordered Family Finder and Y-DNA tests from FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), and (with his consent) I transferred his autosomal results to MyHeritage and GEDmatch. (He didn’t test with any other company, though I’m not going to discuss why not here.)

Using DNA matches from ALL THREE of those sites, I found and built trees, came up with a likely most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for some paternal matches, and identified candidates for his father. The Y-DNA results also provided supporting evidence.

I made a lot of use of statistical tools for DNA analysis like the Shared cM Tool and the What Are The Odds? Tool, in combination with a variety of “paper” records. And now, I have it narrowed down to one candidate who is more likely than any others.

Over the next few posts, I’ll discuss some of what I did. For the sake of privacy, I am not going to use any real names, and I’ll leave out some of the details of the process. But I’ll try to highlight what steps I took and how I used various tools to get results. 

All Posts in the Series:


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