Why Your DNA Matters

I am continuing my discussion regarding my Miller family, and the impact that DNA testing has made upon my research and the cousins that I have found, before and after testing. Back in 2015, I made connections with cousins Mary Beth Worley, Carman Merritt and Allison Miller.

These cousins clued me in to their family connections to our Miller clan.

Also in 2015, I had the YDNA test done through Family Tree DNA.  I’ve had various matches, but nothing earth shattering seemed to appear.  Last year, my cousin Allison took the 37 marker YDNA test.  It took 4 – 6 weeks for the results to come in, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait!

In Feb. of this year, Allison’s test results were posted, and Allison showed up as a match in my FTDNA match hit list immediately.  That clearly told me one thing…

DNA testing does work!

Allison descends from Matthias Mueller (1743-1805), the youngest son of our immigrant ancestor, Jacob Mueller, and brother of my 6x great-grandfather, Johannes Mueller.

Our haplogroup is R-M269.

From International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki

Haplogroup R1b (R-M343) is the most frequently occurring Y-chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe and the most common haplogroup in the genetic genealogy databases. R1b1a2 (R-M269) is the dominant branch of R1b in Western Europe.

When you take a standard Y-chromosome DNA test with a company such as Family Tree DNA you will be given a base haplogroup assignment such as R1b1a2 (R-M269). It is necessary to order additional SNP testing to confirm which subclade of R1b you belong to. It is sometimes possible to predict the R1b subclade from a 67-marker Y-STRhaplotype. If the participant has close matches at 67 markers the prediction can sometimes be informed by the SNP status of his matches. If the subclade can be predicted with reasonable confidence then single SNP testing can be ordered from Family Tree DNA’s à la carte SNP menu. Otherwise it is necessary to order a full SNP test for confirmation of your SNP status. SNP status can also be confirmed with the 23andMe test though this incorporates a much smaller range of Y-SNPs and will not provide such a detailed haplogroup assignment.

It’s very important to have, even a basic understanding of your DNA results and the types of tests to take.  Remember there are 3 different types of tests:

mtDNA – (mitochonrdial) tests the maternal line of your family

Y-DNA – tests paternal line (father to son) of your family

Autosomal – tests across the genome on a broader scope of your maternal and paternal lines

DNA testing is just another tool that you can put in your arsenal of “genie” tools to uncover your ancestors, and discover cousins, which in turn, could uncover even more ancestors and relatives. Just keep diggin’…

Brian S. Miller

Special thanks to Mary Beth Worley, Carman Merritt and Allison Miller


2 thoughts on “Why Your DNA Matters

    • Hi Dea, Great questions!!! Okay DNA tests…Ancestry and Familytree DNA as far as I’m concerned are the best. They both have ways of connecting you to relatives, known and unknown. Ancestry is the cheapest, so look for deals. Their DNA test can be as low as $59. If I see one when they pop up, I’ll send it your way. Now, as for tutorials, there are a lot of really good ones on YouTube, but I also have read this one:


      Start with the easy stuff first, then move up slowly to more advanced concepts. Also, once you get your Ancestry DNA, you can download it and enter it into GEDMatch.org, which will match your DNA with others that have done the same…best of all, it’s free. Hope this helps! Brian


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