Category Archives: DNA testing for Genealogy

Genetic Genealogy Testing Strategy

Vicki’s note – article from FamilyTreeMagazine.com

 
Two Ways to Create Your Genetic Genealogy Testing Strategy
7/14/2017
You’ve got a limited DNA testing budget but lots of relatives. How do you decide who should be next to test? We’ll show you two ways to create your genetic genealogy testing strategy.

Q. I’ve had autosomal DNA testing done for my father, mother, wife and myself. We’re awaiting the results for my brother’s test. I transferred the Ancestry DNA results to GEDmatch and Family Tree DNA. Whom should I test next? A. The autosomal DNA test traces both sides of your family tree and is helpful in researching the most recent five or six generations. The more distant the ancestor, the less of that person’s DNA you have until he or she “drops off” your genetic family tree altogether. The most basic rule in autosomal DNA testing is to test any relative who doesn’t have both parents living, starting with the oldest generations. But since most of us don’t have the financial resources this approach might require, a testing plan also should take into consideration the reasons for pursuing genetic genealogy. More often than not, test-takers are in one (or both) of two situations:

  • they’re trying to solve a family history mystery
  • they just want to see what they can find out

Your DNA Testing Strategy for Solving a Family Mystery

If you have a family tree mystery, create a testing plan that will maximize your chances of finding out more about the ancestor in question. Set your sights on descendants of the mystery ancestors who are from lines other than yours. Say you’re trying to find the parents of your mom’s dad’s mom—your great-grandmother—Jane Lewis. You carry about 12 percent of Jane’s DNA (you have 50 percent of your mom’s DNA and 25 percent of your grandpa’s), and only about 6 percent of the DNA of each of her parents, the people you’re trying to find. To find out more about Jane’s parents, you need more DNA. Testing any of Jane’s descendants is helpful. But most helpful will be testing your second cousins, people who are descended from Jane’s other children—your grandfather’s siblings. These siblings got different parts of Jane’s DNA than your grandfather did, and passed some of those parts down to their children and grandchildren. Testing a second cousin also lets you differentiate the DNA you received from Jane (and her husband; we can’t separate the two at this point) from the DNA you received from your seven other great-grandparent couples. You can do this by studying the matches you share with your cousins using the Shared Matches, In Common With or similar tool offered by your testing company. In that list of shared matches, look for third cousins who might be descended from Jane’s parents or fourth cousins who might be descended from Jane’s grandparents.

Your DNA Testing Strategy for Seeing What You Can Find Out

If you’re testing not to address a particular question, but just to see what you can find out, try this:

  • Test second cousins from each of your known great-grandparent lines, starting with older relatives.
  • Consider finding a direct paternal line descendant of each of your four great-grandfathers to take a Y-DNA test, which would represent the surnames of each of those lines. The Y-DNA record for these paternal lines can help you sort out how other lineages with the same (or similar) surnames are related.

Get in-depth expertise on DNA testing strategies and results analysis in the genetic genealogy online courses and workshops at FamilyTreeUniversity.com.

 

The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook & other Bargains

 Vicki’s Note – Some genealogy bargains from Thomas MacEntee:

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

The more people that get tested, the more chances you have of ethnicity samples becoming more accurate, and the more chances you have of finding cousins.  If you have had your DNA tested, look back at the results a couple of times per year, you may find more accurate results just from more data being added from new testers. You will not have to pay again.
Or you can pay about $39 to have a DNA test from another company transferred to Family Tree DNA.  The more companies you test at, the greater your chances of having a match with a cousin. 
And information from YourDNAGuide.com about another free option to share your DNA tests.  Download your results to Gedmatch.com   to compare with more users.   GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free.  Read how to do it in the second part below:

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

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DNA DEALS

There are so many DNA Deals we had to add a special page for them all. I have to tell you I haven’t met a DNA test that I didn’t like and I’ve tested with every one of these companies. Take advantage of the Father’s Day Specials; for yourself, your dad, your uncle, your aunt. Tell everyone to test, because I’m always looking for cousins.

AncestryDNA (Canada) Get $20 off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

 AncestryDNA (US) Get 20% off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Save as much as 20% off their DNA kits. Click HERE

MyHeritage Save $20 off their DNA kits. Click HERE

23andMe – Get your genealogy and medical DNA information. Save $50.  Click HERE 

Living DNA Save $40 off their DNA kits Click HERE

 

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Gedmatch.

Gedmatch can be a great place to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others.

It is a FREE (yes, FREE!) service provided by very intelligent and motivated genetic genealogists. Anyone with genetic genealogy test results from 23andMe, FTDNA.com (the Family Finder test), and Ancestry.com.

1. Head over to www.Gedmatch.com and click on “New User.”

Upload DNA Results to MyHeritage for FREE!

Vicki’s note – 5/31/2017 email from Thomas MacEntee:

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Upload Your DNA Data to MyHeritage for FREE!

Did you know that many DNA test companies CHARGE YOU to upload DNA data from another company?

Not MyHeritage! You can click HERE and get started today . . . and you’ll be able to take advantage of the new improvements in the Ethnicity Estimate algorithm at MyHeritage.

I just rechecked my own AncestryDNA data that I uploaded to MyHeritage and WOW! I received more information and it actually resolved some issues I had with the Ancestry results.  I’m finding that the MyHeritage results align more with the research that I’ve been doing!

“MyHeritage, as part of its Founder Populations project, now offers the most ethnic populations than any other major DNA testing company. This project worked with over 5,000 participants from its user base of 90 million, based on their extensive family trees located at MyHeritage. These participants received complimentary DNA test kits to gather data to be used in this database.  “Thanks to this analysis, MyHeritage DNA has become the only mass-market percentage-based DNA test that reveals ethnicities such as Balkan; Baltic; Eskimo & Inuit; Japanese; Kenyan; Sierra Leonean; Somali; four major Jewish groups – Ethiopian, Yemenite, Sephardic from North Africa and Mizrahi from Iran and Iraq; Indigenous Amazonian; Papuan and many others.”

PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

Disclaimer: All prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved

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Foundations in DNA Webinars at BPL

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

(SGS) Stateline Genealogy Sorter

May 31, 2017

Foundations in DNA Webinars at BPL

Join us in just over a week for the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program on DNA – Second Friday of the month, June 9, 2017 from 10 a.m. – noon.

We will be viewing one, or two, Legacy Family Tree webinars by Blaine Bettinger on DNA:

Foundations in DNA – Part 1 Genealogy and DNA

Foundations in DNA – Part 2 DNA Overview

The 3 DNA testing companies do not share their results, but you can upload your data to GEDmatch.com which is one large database.

GEDMatch.com

Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research
GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free, but we do provide some premium tools for users who wish to help support us with contributions. You will need to upload DNA and / or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to make use of the tools here. Registration requires your name, email and password. Click HERE to register.

Log In

Email Address:
Password:

Not Registered? Click HERE

Forgot your password or wish to change your password? Click HERE

Site policy: Click HERE

Memorial Day Weekend Free Offers #2

Vicki’s note – freebies from Thomas MacEntee:

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Memorial Day Weekend Free Offers #1

Vicki’s note – some free genealogy type offers from Hound on the Hunt BLOG:

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Free Military Records This Memorial Weekend?

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It’s Memorial Weekend and if you’re missing a few of your ancestor’s military records then it’s a great time to catch up.

Fold3 and Ancestry are offering free records. To find out more and to get the links.

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Don’t miss out on your chance to win an AncestryDNA kit this weekend. The May Edition of The DNA Angel Project is on and you could win an AncestryDNA kit for yourself or give to someone special.

Kind regards,
Ellen T-J

DNA Testing – Hummmmm

Vicki’s Note – this is a post b

The following post gives me pause, but it sounds like the Ancestry.com “contract” has been “corrected”.  When I got my DNA tested at Ancestry.com, I did see the option to share my results (statistically only) with scientific research.  I decided not to do that at this time.  Giving Ancestry.com too much power?

Anyway, us genealogists are suckers for anything that make our searches easier.  DNA testing has been worth it for many people to help break down walls. 

I have a wonderful new relationship with a third cousin mutually discovered by DNA test results.  He is from the original “home” state Pennsylvania, and has been invaluable to help to me and my sisters sleuth out family history clues on-site.  We have traded old family photos as well.

I still think DNA testing is worth it, and Ancestry.com is the powerhouse tester.  Four million tests generates a lot of good results.

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25 May 2017

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users’ DNA

25 May 2017

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40045942

A leading genealogy service, Ancestry.com, has denied exploiting users’ DNA following criticism of its terms and conditions.

The US company’s DNA testing service has included a right to grant Ancestry a “perpetual” licence to use customers’ genetic material.

A New York data protection lawyer spotted the clause and published a blog warning about privacy implications.

Ancestry told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours its terms were being changed.

Headquartered in Utah, Ancestry is among the world’s largest for-profit genealogy firms, with a DNA testing service available in more than 30 countries.

‘Perpetual’

The company, which uses customers’ saliva samples to predict their genetic ethnicity and find new family connections, claims to have more than 4 million DNA profiles in its database.

Ancestry also stores the profiles forever, unless users ask for them to be destroyed.

BBC

The company’s terms and conditions have stated that users grant the company a “perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license” to their DNA data, for purposes including “personalised products and services”.

In a statement to You and Yours, an Ancestry spokesperson said the company “never takes ownership of a customer’s data” and would “remove the perpetuity clause”.

It added: “We will honour our commitment to delete user data or destroy their DNA sample if they request it. The user is in control.”

‘Unaware’

Joel Winston, a consumer rights lawyer and former New Jersey State deputy attorney-general, was one of the first to spot the legal wording and to warn of the possible implications.

“Ancestry.com takes ownership of your DNA forever; your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years,” he said.

He added: “How many people really read those contracts before clicking to agree? How many relatives of Ancestry.com customers are also reading?”

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Mr Winston also warns that many consumers are unaware of the additional uses of the data.

In its terms and conditions Ancestry makes reference to “commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA using your genetic information”.

One customer, Richard Peace, used AncestryDNA to learn more about his family history.

‘Not happy’

He told You and Yours he “knew nothing” about the commercial use when he signed up for the test.

“I’m not happy about it and today I will be emailing them to ask them not to use the information,” he said.

Ancestry told the BBC: “We do not share user data for research unless the user has voluntarily opted-in to that sharing.”

The company added: “We always de-identify data before it’s shared with researchers, meaning the data is stripped of any information that could tie it back to its owner.”

The ambitious scale of Ancestry’s plans does have support among some academics.

Debbie Kennett, a genetics researcher at University College London, welcomed the aim of building a large, global DNA database.

“For genealogy purposes we really want, and rely on, the power of these large data sets,” she told You and Yours. “A DNA test on its own doesn’t tell you anything at all.”

You and Yours is on BBC Radio 4 weekdays 12:15-13:00 GMT. Listen online or download the programme podcast.

 

Skeletons in Your Family Closet and How to “Report” Them, (or Not)

Skeletons in Your Family Closet

and How to “Report” Them,

(or Not)

Vicki’s Note – This is a March 19, 2017 article from MyHeritage.com BLOG by W. Scott Fisher:

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Scandal! Dealing With Skeletons In Your Family Tree

This is a guest post by W. Scott Fisher, the creator and host of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, heard on dozens of radio stations in the US and as a podcast. A broadcaster by career, Scott has been a devoted genealogist since 1981. He was featured in People in 2015 for using his skills to locate the family of a murder victim, who had been missing for 32 years.

 

I still remember my verbal response to the very first family scandal I ran across in my research. “WHAAAAT?!!!” The 1893 newspaper article was lit up inside a banged-up old microfilm reader and began answering a long list of questions I had had for years concerning my great grandfather, Andrew J. Fisher, and his wife, Jane.

Where was their New York City marriage record? Who was this “Sarah Fisher” that appeared cryptically in the court file concerning a challenge to his will? Why did that record note “the said Andrew J. Fisher left no widow him surviving”? Of course, he did! It was Jane. She was right there in the will, and lived another six years!

One salacious headline told me all my genealogical conundrums were about to be resolved: “ANDREW FISHER’S RIVAL WIDOWS / One was Recognized by His Will, Which the Other Now Seeks to Break.”

It turned out that “Sarah Fisher” was Andrew’s other, other woman. Three decades younger than he, she had a child by him when he was 58. She claimed common law rights because, said she, Jane, though named in the will, couldn’t be a common-law wife because she was still married to someone else. Hence… no marriage record.

The truth is, if you haven’t found a scandal in your family yet, you haven’t been researching long enough. Just as we all descend from kings and paupers, we also all descend from saints and sinners.

As a writer of over a dozen books for my family, specifically on the ancestral families of both my wife and me, the 1893 story presented a challenge. How do I present this rather… ahem… interesting tale? And, yes, Andrew Fisher has been dead for well over a century, but what of his reputation?

After a lot of thought, I recognized that Andrew’s story was shared among countless people who knew him, and didn’t, during his lifetime. It was a widely spread story in its day. Needless to say, none of those people were still around, including children, to risk causing personal embarrassment to anyone.

I determined that I would have to include this chapter of his life story without embellishment, simply sticking to the facts. Further, I recognized there were many good things he did in his life… he was a volunteer fireman, for instance, who no doubt saved many lives. A comment from my friend, Janet Hovorka, stuck in my mind: “Every scoundrel has some hero in them. Every hero has some scoundrel in them.”

Further, through this final chapter of Andrew’s life, I was able to illustrate that the way people react to damaging family experiences can affect generations. Andrew’s oldest son, John, followed in his father’s footsteps. He drank heavily, was kicked out of the family by his wife, and led a life of despair. His brother, my grandfather, made a conscious effort not to repeat the past. He married and stayed devoted to his teenage sweetheart who died at 49 of tuberculosis. He never married again. He raised his own two sons as his number one priority. Both, including my father, became very successful.

A study at Emory University from the 1990s shows how building a strong family narrative among children, including how ancestors overcame adversity, developed in them greater emotional maturity and inner strength. Indeed, it was beneficial for them to know about the foibles of their ancestors as well as their moments of greatness.

Dealing with more recent family situations can, of course, be more difficult. Here’s a somewhat minor issue. In transcribing a stack of letters written by my grandmother more than a half-century ago, I made the decision to eliminate an unkind comment she made about a cousin of mine who was, at the time, just a pre-schooler. Grandmother is revered in our family, and I’m certain she would never have imagined her thoughtless scribble could have survived for decades and possibly come back to the ears or eyes of this (now) very successful business and family man.

My personal rule is, the feelings of the living, even if the individual in question is dead, must be taken into account. A record that causes pain or embarrassment is contrary to the purpose of family history research and the strengthening of future generations.

When I wrote the first volume of my father’s story, I talked about his first marriage and the challenges it created for the family when he and his wife divorced. I noted something he once told me. “I walked out of the courtroom with eight dollars in my pocket.” I never imagined his first wife, then in her 90s, would ever read it, yet alone take offense. She did. I removed that quote from the next revision.

Yes, it’s true. As the family historian, you get to tell the story the way you see it. (I warned my mother before she died!) But with the privilege of that opportunity also comes responsibility. Privacy is due to the living as well as living people who were close to those who may now be dead. The law may grant protections and maybe even penalties to living family members over what you make public about them. In the end, if you err on the side of sensitivity and ask permission where needed, you’ll avoid painful family trouble. Even as a historian, there are times where we don’t have to share everything we know… or believe we are aware.

Family Tree DNA Test on Sale for Mother’s Day

 

 Vicki’s note – 5-10-2017 alert from Thomas MacEntee about a sale on DNA testing :
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🔗 HUGE SAVINGS! Family Tree DNA just $69 USD – this test is an autosomal test just like AncestryDNA!

Try the new Yahoo Mail
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