Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Making the most of your Britton DNA

Whether your oldest BRITTON ancestor is a male or female, DNA testing can help to identify your ancestral Britton line.  However, you may need to apply different DNA analysis techniques before you can confirm your Britton pedigree and to be confident of valid connections back to their original homeland.
There are three DNA tests that might help depending on where your Britton sits in your pedigree:

* Autosomal-DNA test at AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage or 23andMe - for both males and females whose ancestry is expected to be Britton on any of their ancestral lines;

* Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA - for male Britton's whose ancestry is expected to be Britton on their paternal line, ie. father, fathers father, fathers paternal grandfather, etc;

* mt-DNA test at Family Tree DNA - for both males and females whose ancestry is expected to be Britton on their oldest maternal line ancestor, ie.mother, mothers mother, mothers maternal grandmother, etc.

Is your line DNA confirmed?
Y-DNA tests can be expensive, particularly the best test - the Big-Y.  So before you make an investment in these types of Y-DNA tests, make sure your Britton line appears to be DNA confirmed through autosomal testing first.  Approximately 25% of DNA testers find there is a break in their line due to unexpected parentage events, adoptions etc.  

The recommended strategy is:
* Test at AncestryDNA first and ensure you have DNA confirming your Britton line up to your 2nd great grandparents.  AncestryDNA is particularly recommended for Americans and Australians due to the large numbers of testers from these countries.  AncestryDNA has the largest database of DNA testers plus many family trees which helps to identify connections.  Try to test all your older relatives who would have Britton DNA, male and female;

* Testers at AncestryDNA should upload their results to a chromosome analysis site to achieve the best results, particularly if you wish to confirm your pedigree beyond 2nd great grandparents.  Refer to Leah Larkins DNA Geek blog for instructions;

* If you test at AncestryDNA or 23andMe you can upload your results for free to FTDNA, My Heritage and GEDMatch which will assist in making more connections.  Testing at FTDNA and My Heritage can also enable you to upload to these sites but unfortunately you cannot 'transfer in' to either AncestryDNA or 23andMe;

* Once your Britton line is confirmed through autosomal testing, test the oldest male BRITTON ancestor at FTDNA for their Y-DNA.  STR testing should be at least at the 37 marker level and up to 111 markers (if you can afford it).  The Big Y is even more expensive but will provide details of SNP's which will better position your ancestor in the Haplogroup tree.  Y-DNA testing can confirm ancestry back many thousands of years, much more than autosomal tests and is best for connecting more distant ancestors.

BRITTON Autosomal (au/at) DNA Testers
Testing your au/at-DNA can be undertaken at a variety of companies including AncestryDNA, My Heritage, FTDNA and 23andMe.  If you have tested your au/at-DNA which includes a Britton ancestor you should also:
* Upload your results to FTDNA.  If any your ancestors have connections to Ireland please also join our Brittons of Ireland project (all counties welcomed);;
* Use the FTDNA advanced matching tool to find other matches in the Britton project;
* Upload your results to GEDmatch to connect with testers from other DNA testing companies;
* Join the GEDmatch Ancestors Project to find other matches in the Britton project. Under free tools on the GEDmatch homepage, search for Britton;
* Use the same file to also upload to My Heritage which is also free - you may as well 'swim in all the ponds';
* Unfortunately you cannot upload results to AncestryDNA and 23andMe, you will need to test there;
* Instructions for downloading from AncestryDNA and uploading to other sites can be found here.

Y-DNA tests can only be undertaken at FTDNA.  You should test at least 37 markers (up to 111), or do the Big-Y - for best results the most you can afford is recommended.  You should also join projects and add your results to third party tools to maximise your connections and hopefully identify your oldest Britton patriarch:
* Use the FTDNA advanced matching tool to find other matches in the Britton projects;
* Add your results to mitoYDNA project.

BRITTON mt-DNA Testers
mt-DNA tests can only be undertaken at FTDNA.  If you have tested your mt-DNA which includes a Britton ancestor on your maternal line you should also join projects relevant to your mt-DNA haplogroup and add your results to third party tools to maximise your connections and hopefully identify your oldest Britton matriarch:
* Join a haplogroup project at FTDNA;
* Add your results to mito mtDNA project.

Communicate with other BRITTON cousins
* Join the Britton's of Fermanagh Facebook Group.

Increase your chances of connecting with other BRITTON 's
* Add your pedigree to a 'One World Tree' - we recommend WikiTree;
* Add your Britton's to our 'One Name Study' at Wikitree;
* Add your oldest Britton patriarch to our 'Patriarchs' list at Wikitree;
* Add your oldest Britton matriarch to our 'Matriarchs' list at Wikitree.

Other information
Read more about my family on 'The Genemonkey' blog, it includes 2 posts which talk about our Britton DNA project - Cassidy and Brittons of Fermanagh, Ireland.

As part of the recent 2022 Cassidy Clan Gathering in Fermanagh Ireland, I prepared two presentations that are now on You Tube.  I hope you might find of interest, they are both approximately 30 mins each.  The first focuses on the nuts and bolts of DNA testing, what, who and why you should test.  The second focuses on my Cassidy and Britton family and what I have been able to achieve through DNA testing.
Making the most of your Cassidy DNA (can be applied to Britton DNA);

More help
If you need help with Wikitree or other aspects in this post, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form on this blog, by private message at Wikitree.