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 02 April 2015

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......

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

Which Company?

Ancestry reg $99 various sales, tests autosomal only, no maternal line ID, or Y paternal. They used to, but cut back to now doing only 1/3 of the job, messing up people who may have tested their parents/ grandparents who can't take a test elsewhere anymore. My opinion is don't waste your money. Not really a dna company, just an add-on to beef up their website subscriptions.

23&me reg $99 various sales. (I initially paid $299, price went down). Tests autosomal like Ancestry does, PLUS basic indicators for Y line if male, and mtdna for all. Generally the best place overall. 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 test here is also $99, 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.

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.

What did I learn from these tests?
I first tested with Family Tree DNA - FTDNA. All 3 tests are separate and costly, with numerous upgrades, ending up in the thousands of dollars. It requires a simple cheek swab. I also was not happy with the quality of the results, showing me 90.82% Western European and 9.18% Middle Eastern [way off the mark]. 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. They even got my haplogroups wrong for my father and mother.  Since the cousin matches showed no relation at all, and Ancestry and 23andme both agree to disagree with FTDNA, and give me cousin matches that DO match on paper, I question FTDNA.  Dec 2014: awaiting a Rhoades cousin who tested here to see how we match.

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. 23&me in December 2012 lowered their test cost to $99 until they reach one million tests to improve their matches with cousins around the world, thanks to a grant to further their research.  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.

Ancestry also announced Summer 2014 that they will no longer test or keep results for Y-dna or mtdna, only the autosomal, making it worthless in my book compared to 23&me. It is a heart-breaker for people who had their elderly relatives tested here who are no longer around to test with a real dna company.


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

23&me says his paternal Y Rhoades haplogroup is R1b1b2a1a2d3 which disagrees with FTDNA. Goes back to Henry Rhodes of Lynn MA, born 1608 England.  Any other Rhoades cousins out there wanting to test and compare results?

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: Rhoades, Reynolds, Simpson, Thayer, Humes; 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.

I just learned from the Discussion Facebook page, that gedmatch only matches autosomal dna, not Y or mtdna.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS:  For both price, and quality and substance of results, get your test kit NOW from for only $99, and tell all your friends and relatives. (Actually, please email me: if I email you a referral, they will give me a $10 Amazon giftcard.) 23andme also gives you the technical dna strand identifications for further analysis and comparison.  If you have a problem Y paternal line to track down, I recommend Ftdna for their family group comparisons.

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


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