Analysis of My DNA


Personal Website of Roland Rhoades
Genealogist, Historian, and Time Traveler
Gorham Maine -

Specializing in Maine Families

 Back to Maine Families Genealogy Index Page

last update 23 August 2017

There are THREE kinds of DNA tests for genealogy purposes. They are best explained first hand from the or (FTDNA) websites.

I also find this blog very informational:

Y-dna testing is only available for males, telling the ancestry of the paternal surname straight line back (unless there was an oops at some point in time).

MtDNA is available for anyone, telling the maternal line straight back, surname changing every generation, mother's mother's mother's mother...... Take the FMS test at FTDNA.

Until 2011 or so all those other families in the middle were out of luck. That is the Family Finder or Autosomal test, now available to anyone. 

FREE DNA Test Aug 2017 - If you have already taken an autosomal test with any company, for a limited time you can get a free test by transferring. Details below.

Which Company?

Wherever you buy a dna test, WAIT until it goes on one of their frequent sales.

Ancestry reg $99 various sales, tests autosomal only, no maternal line ID, or Y paternal.

23&me reg $99, or $199 with health reports, usually on sale for $20 off. (I initially paid $299, price went down). Tests autosomal like Ancestry does, PLUS basic indicators for Y line if male, and mtdna for all. No subsequent "upgrades" to buy. I tested my parents here. Very detailed info.

Family Tree dna - I spent well over $1000 here with all their come-ons. "Here's some info, only $100 if you want more, oh and we also have this other test for $200..." Autosomal Family Finder test here is now $89, sometimes on sale, but NO Y or mtdna info. They sell those tests separately. If trying to solve a Y-line problem, they can be worth the Y test.  This is where the National Assn Of Leavitt Families has their Y-Leavitt research database.   BIG sale until 8/31/17.

All 3 give you the option of connecting with others of similar dna markers. These 3 companies do have large comparison databases to find cousins.

FREE DNA TEST - IF you have already taken an autosomal test anywhere, MYHeritageDNA recently began their own dna testing, and to beef up their comparison database, is offering a free transfer with full results according to their analysis. Their analysis IS different, not sure of the accuracy, but it should get better with a larger database. Free is free.  They also sell their test for $99. sale ends 8/31/17

What did I learn from these tests?
I first tested with Family Tree DNA - FTDNA (Y in 2008, mt in 2011, and autosomal in 2012). All 3 tests are separate and costly, with numerous upgrades, but prices have gone down. It requires a simple cheek swab. I also questioned the results, showing me 90.82% Western European and 9.18% Middle Eastern. I found no more specific breakdown.  Cousin matches seemed to show few common surnames in our ancestries. 

MY test at FTDNA: My Y-dna Rhoades line belongs to Haplogroup R1b1a2a1a1 (note disagreement by 23&me). FTDNA also matched my paternal line to people named Peavey instead of Rhoades. Story about that adventure coming soon. Renaming of the haplogroups now shows me as R1b-M269.

Genealogists on Facebook discussions have mentioned that it is not an exact science, especially after the first few digits, so ftdna might be correct. and both use the same test, using a saliva sample.
23&me is the Company they used the first season of the PBS TV show "Finding Your Roots" before Ancestry became a sponsor. I paid $299 each for my parents' tests and was delighted, because it tested all 3 (paternal, maternal, and autosomal) for one price. I had also tested myself at for $99. The only difference between these two companies is that, Ancestry does not give you your complete analysis or paternal/maternal data, and 23&me does, and gives more detailed analysis. I have received contact info for MANY cousins with both these tests, and can see comparing family trees who our common ancestors are. Comparing the common ancestors and the common dna strands can help determine which strands are passed down from which families to help identify future unknown cousins. 

MY test at :  No classifications of haplogroups.

89% British Isles and 11% Central European (covering France, Germany, Sweden). Seems to tell nothing more specific than that.  But cousin matches from dna do seem to match paper trails (from close to 5th-8th cousins).

Aug 2014: They have expanded what they tell you.  I am now: 97% European @ 32% Great Britian, 31% Europe West, 18% Ireland, 11% Scandinavia. Trace regions include: 2% European Jewish, 2% Iberian Peninsula, 1% Italy/Greece, < 1% Europe East, and 3% West Asia/Caucasus.


My Father's side - Roland Rhoades III tree at 23andme :

23&me says his paternal Y haplogroup is R1b1b2a1a2d3 which disagrees with FTDNA. I found out one is not necessarily wrong; they test different markers, and have also changed their classifications.

This test showed 100% European, broken down as 37.9% British & Irish (includes Scotch/Welsh), 7.5% French & German, 7.1% Scandinavian, and 42.5% "Nonspecific Northern European", and .2% Italian and 3.9% "Non-specific Southern European".  Nonspecific means they do not yet have the comparative data to pin it down, but it will eventually increase the Scandinavian and French amounts. This is one reason why they dropped the price to build their database to a million users. The test also showed .1% Ashkenazi Jewish and .8% Non-specific European, and <.1% Native American (that kinda blows a hole in my grandfather's story about his g-grandmother being an Indian princess!).  This test also showed 2.7% Neanderthal dna. 

Aug 2014 Update his results have been refined: 99.8% European, broken down as 41% British & Irish, 14.8% French & German, 8.2% Scandinavian, 29.9% Broadly Northern European, 1.3% Iberian, .5% Broadly Southern European, .1% Ashkenazi, 4.1% Broadly European; .2% East Asian & Native American, .1% Mongolian, <.1% Native American.  Still 2.7% Neanderthal dna.

His Maternal Haplogroup is U2e1a (this group expanded into Europe 35,000 years ago with some of the first humans to inhabit the continent.) This line would be: Marion Boudway (my grandmother) > Agnes Peterson of Sweden > Johanna Gross >  Emilia Augusta Borjesson > Anna Svensdotter b 1790 Goteborg county > Brita Maria Hansdotter - of Sweden but those patrilineal names confuse ancestry.  I would never know that if I hadn't tested my father before it was too late.  Test the oldest people in your family; each new generation dilutes the gene pool by 50%.

His major families: Peavey, Flagg, Hallowell, Briggs, French;  Boudway/Beaudoin, Pooler, Crozier, LaChance; Peterson, Gross, Holmen, Borjesson.

MY test at 23andme (Roland Rhoades IV):

With both my parents having different results than my test at FTDNA, I was actually beginning to wonder if maybe I got switched at the hospital with another baby.  But, my 23andme test also shows my paternal dna is exactly the same haplogroup, as it should be: R1b1b2a1a2d3.  This is a subgroup of R1b1b2, the most common haplogroup in western Europe, with distinct branches in specific regions. Populations include Irish, Basques, British, and French, and the group is about 17,000 years old.

Cousin matches from dna DO match the paper trail.

My Mother's side - Muriel Robertson Rhoades tree at 23& :

Her Maternal Haplogroup is H6a1b2.

Also 100% European, broken down as 57% Bristish & Irish (includes Scotch/Welsh), 12.5% French & German, 3.7% Scandinavian, and 25.7% "Nonspecific Northern European", and .3% "Non-specific Southern European".  Nonspecific means they do not yet have the comparative data to pin it down. This is one reason why they dropped the price to build their database to a million users. The test also showed .8% Non-specific European, and <.1% South Asian (India).  This test also showed 2.9% Neanderthal dna.

Aug 2014 her results have been refined: 99.9% European, broken down as 64.8% British & Irish, 12.7% French & German, 2.3% Scandinavian, 16% Broadly Northern European, .2% Italian, 2.1% Broadly Southern European, 1.8% Broadly European, .1% unassigned. 2.9% Neanderthal.

Her major families: Robertson, McFarlane, McCullough, Mitchell, Safford, Jumper, Cordwell, Rogers; Leavitt, Morgridge, Stinneford, Trafton, Penney, Russell, Mason, Walls.

MY test at 23andme (Roland Rhoades IV):

My mtdna test agrees with my mother's, as it should, as H6a1b2.   H6 is a relatively ancient offshoot of H that arose about 30,000 years ago, before the Ice Age peak, and moved east into central Asia. Fairly recent migrations have brought H6a into western Europe over the last few thousand years.

Again, FTDNA was different, telling me My maternal line haplogroup is H6a1a2a.

My mtdna maternal ancestry is: Muriel Ruth Robertson > Edith Maude Leavitt 1889 > Ellura Mae Stinneford 1860 > Lupira B Trafton 1832 > Margaret Jane Penney 1795 > Molly/Mary Gowen 1759 > Kesiah Cole 1729 > Bethiah Spencer 1698 > Mary ( ) 1663 md John Spencer, all born in Maine, earliest 5 in Wells, York area.  Any cousins out there?

My Total ancestry composition shows 100% European, broken down as 43.7% British & Irish (includes Scotch/Welsh), 9.9% French & German, 8.9% Scandinavian, and 35.8 Non-specific Northern European, .7% Nonspecific Southern European, and .9% Nonspecific European. Also shows < .1% South Asian. Also 2.8% Neanderthal dna.

Aug 2014 results have been refined: 99.5% European, broken down as 46.5% British & Irish, 21% French & German, 8.4% Scandinavian, 21.5% Broadly Northern European, .2% Italian, .2% Broadly Southern European, .1% Ashkenazi, 1.6% Broadly European; .1% East Asian & Native American, .1% Broadly East Asian, <.1% Broadly East Asian & Native American, .3% Unassigned. Still 2.8% Neanderthal dna.

GEDMATCH.COM - I will be uploading my data from all 5 tests to this free impartial analysis website as soon as I get time.  IF you have taken an autosomal test anywhere, you can upload and transfer your dna here for free for another analysis and cousin matches.

 Gedmatch only matches autosomal dna, not Y or mtdna.

If you are one of my cousins - Maternal: Robertson, McFarlane, Safford, Leavitt, Stinneford, Morgridge, Mason, or Paternal: Peavey, Flagg, Hallowell, French, Boudway, Pooler, Peterson, Gross, etc, I hope you will test so we can see how we match.


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