Since I’m on a bit of a DNA testing kick and the test is on sale (until 3 January 2021!), I decided to go ahead and purchase the Family Tree DNA Big-Y700 test. It isn’t the cheapest test out there, but is probably the best for matching with others over the paternal DNA line over the last thousand years.
Like the 23andMe test, this test is testing Y-DNA SNPs. Unlike the 23andMe test, which put me in the R1-DF13 haplogroup (about 4000 years old), the expectation is that the Big Y test will have enough information to provide me with a terminal haplogroup on the Y-DNA tree. Depending on how quickly my paternal line tends to mutate, this could put me inside of 200 years of the last change. This puts me in reach of paternal Keatings who I have names for.
However, this all depends on matching with other family. I’d love to see some of my more distant Keating paternal line family take the test, perhaps my Florida cousins who descended from Thomas Patrick, or descendants of the immigrant Patrick (the Cleveland Keatings and the Elyria Keatings). Barring that, it would also be great to see anyone descended from Keating family in County Kildare or County Dublin, where my family is said to come from.
Why not take the Y-DNA111 or Y-DNA37 test? While the STR tests are great for finding general family groups, they only estimate the haplogroup. This means that an ancestor shared with others can have lived as far back as 10,000 or more years. To get deeper results, you’ll eventually end up wanting to upgrade to the Big-Y test. (Although you can always upgrade your existing FTDNA test.)
I’ll follow up with an analysis of my results. With any luck, I’ll match with others who have already taken the test. If not, I’ll need to wait for others to match to me.
If you are interested, here’s the link to the test. The price is reduced until the 3rd, so now’s a good time to order it. If the price is too high (and it has been for me for many years), consider the Y-DNA111 or Y-DNA37. Like I said, they can be upgraded over time.
(Note that at the time I write this article, I do not currently receive any monetary reward from FamilyTreeDNA or any other DNA company, although I am a co-administrator of the FTDNA Keating DNA Project. Some of the DNA companies offer affiliate links, but I have not yet started using them. When it comes to the DNA tests, my overriding goal is informational, not monetary. If I do decide to begin using affiliate links in the future, the affiliate links will be indicated as such.)