If you read my blog yesterday you will already know a bit about the Y-chromosome. YDNA will provide you with your direct line information as well as provide your ancient ancestral origins.
If you have decided to do a YDNA test then you will be testing with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as they are the only company that offers this test for recent paternal ancestry. Ancestry did offer it but discontinued that test in 2014. Next you will have to decide how many markers should you test? You can test 12, 25, 37, 67 or 111 markers. As with most things, more is better. Ok, maybe not desserts. But if costs are a factor then at minimum you want to test 37 markers. This will tell you that yes you are related but, if you want to learn more than you will have to test more markers. However this will only help if your matches have tested to the same number of markers. So if you have tested to 111 markers and they only to 37 markers then that is as close as you know. If you wanted to learn more you would have to convince them to purchase an upgrade to the kit.
Speaking of upgrades, once the testing company has your sample you can upgrade tests and purchase other tests until such time as you run out of sample. That’s why it’s so important to get those older family members to test as soon as possible. In my case I tested my mom and now should some new test come along I will be able to test despite the fact that my mom has since passed away.