Category Archives: DNA testing for Genealogy

Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook Group

Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook Group

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

April 7, 2018

four-leaf-clover-hi

Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library member Karen Bernard inquired about this resource that is new to me.

Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheIrishDNARegistry/

It is a closed Facebook support group that you have to ask to join.

The group is focused on DNA test results connected to Irish results only.

The whole purpose seems to be finding Irish cousins,

and helping genealogy searchers link to finding out more about their Irish (location) origins.

One must first have taken, and gotten results, from a DNA test.

Then upload the test results onto the free universal sharing site –

 

GEDmatch.com  (https://www.gedmatch.com/login1.php)
before joining this Facebook group.
GEDmatch offers a matching tool that may help with interpreting your DNA test results
whether you are Irish or not.

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 They do provide some premium tools for users who wish to help support with contributions. One will need to upload DNA and / or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to make use of the tools there. Registration requires your name, email and a password of your choice. Click HERE to register.

You can  also upload your DNA test results to FTDNA (Family Tree), or MyHeritage for free, as this will add greatly to your contacts and hopefully your results.
You do not have to have a membership to MyHeritage.

The Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group has enough members to get results:

Members · 5,152

Getting your DNA tested can help break through brick walls.
There is nothing to lose and so much potential for gain.

There are frequent sales at each of the DNA testing companies for about $60 for a general autosomal test.

Males can spend more, and be tested at FTDNA for their Y DNA.

Once your tests are done, and submitted to the various comparison sites (particularly
GedMatch), it is there for posterity.

Your sample at FTDNA is kept for any future developments, so there is no need to re-test.

Ideally you should have your oldest living relative/s sampled, as well as having siblings, cousins and other more distant known relatives tested.  This for comparison and elimination to narrow down most recent common ancestors (MRCAs). (This is a new term to me.
Include as complete a family ancestry tree as you can plus all
known ancestral surnames. To compare a DNA match one needs clues!

Irish peoples have emigrated all over the world.
Searching Irish ancestry seems to be especially difficult, due to the destruction of key records in Ireland.
Here are some especially helpful links to resources to help you search your Irish Ancestry:

(4-7-2018 I am sad to say that Sean E. Quinn’s “all things Irish” website IrishAncestors.net

is not longer available. It was a great resource.  I do not know what happened, and will let you know if I find out.)

See MANY, many more links at The StatelineGenealogyClub.wordpress.com BLOG under the top tab
Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps and then search alphabetically DOWN  to

“Irish Ancestors, (see also Scots- Irish Ancestors)”

DNA is increasingly proving the links where paper trails fail.

Karen, thanks for letting us know about this Irish DNA Registry’s Facebook group.
I too am finding my Irish Ancestors difficult.
And thanks for reminding me about uploading my DNA results to GEDmatch.com, and FTDNA and MyHeritage.com.
One more thing that I want to do soon.

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2018 Top DNA Tests

Vicki’s note – Family Tree magazine update on DNA tests.

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The Top 5 Autosomal DNA Tests of 2018

“With genetic genealogy testing now in its late adolescence, these five autosomal DNA tests are making the grade with millions of consumers. Here’s why each one may be worth your while.

It’s been about 18 years since the first consumer genetic tests for family history hit the market. This puts the DNA testing industry well into an exciting—and turbulent—
adolescence. Companies are working hard to establish unique identities, choose appropriate peers, set lofty goals and outgrow awkward blemishes. You can see them changing their looks and becoming more sophisticated. It’s a time of transition, experimentation and opportunity.

In recent years, one type of DNA testing has reached “Most Likely to Succeed” status: the autosomal test. Its affordability and applicability to all branches of a family tree makes it an all-around popular choice with millions who have tested already.

Let us introduce you to the top five autosomal test providers for the Class of 2018….”

23andMe

AncestryDNA

Family Tree DNA

MyHeritage DNA

and a new one –

“Living DNA

It was a surprise to many in the US genetic genealogy community when the UK-based company Living DNA, whose parent company DNA Worldwide Group provides paternity and other types of testing, launched its autosomal DNA test.”

Read the full article here:

 

Vicki’s note – here’s the newest from Legacy Family Tree and RootsTech 2018 on MyHeritage.com and Genealogy DNA testing and syncing:

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Perspectives on Combining Genealogy and Genetics

Join MyHeritage’s founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, as he reveals many first-time-ever technologies that take the lead in and shapes the future of both traditional and genetic genealogy.

Presented live at RootsTech 2018 (and concluded with a rousing standing ovation), Gilad announced the immediate availability of:

He also announced what’s coming soon at MyHeritage including the interactive Pedigree View, the “Big Tree” and the Theory of Family Relativity.

 

Click here to view the presentation.

https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=826

Genealogical DNA Testing Not Perfect!

Genealogical DNA Testing Not Perfect!

Vicki’s note – Here is a partial transcript of a NPR National Public Radio broadcast from Gisele Grayson  – Senior Producer, Science Desk explaining how DNA tests can be “inaccurate” and how different companies can have different results.  You can read the entire transcript linked below, or listen to it.

This may be a partial explanation/answer of Kim Caswell’s DNA questions and dissatisfaction about her MyHeritage DNA test results.  Kim brings up some valid considerations and cautions on getting and interpreting DNA tests for genealogy.

It is always a good idea to always be careful in what we do with Genealogical information that we discover, including DNA testing.  Remember that we only get 1/2 of  each parent’s genes, and any siblings get their own variation of 1/2.  So it is wise to have several people in your family tested if possible to get comparisons, and to get tests at more than one company if you can afford it. 

OR maybe not?  Read the NPR article to help you decide if it is worth it to you.

 

Image result for dna

“Friday, 19 January, 2018

Comment: Hello Everyone,
I have been away from Gen. Club and the blog for far too long but I feel I need to post this warning.
My husband got me the MyHeritage DNA kit for my birthday, I got my results and they are bogus.
First of all, my results came back titled ” Kimberly Buetow’s Ethnicity Estimate”. I never, anywhere, gave my maiden name – they should not have been able to know that. And why come back with my maiden name and not the name I put on the paperwork anyway? Then I got to thinking… at one point I started a family tree search using my maiden name. That could be the only place that they got the name from.
Then I get an email saying they located DNA matches. Surprisingly all the names can be found on MyHeritage web site. Not one name they gave me matches anything I have uncovered. I have been working on my ancestry nearly 30 yrs. with the assistance of actual hand written letters, diaries, journals and verified documents and records handed down through family members going back to as early as 1549. Every one of my grandparents, g-grandparents and back to 4x G-grandparents were born in cities and villages in Germany, Prosen and Prussia but the results say I am 21.2% Polish and the map does show Poland. BUT – many years ago, Poland was Prussia and a part of Germany.

It also says I am 1.1% Nigerian. When I spoke with a contact person I was told that basically every one of us has some African DNA. I’m sorry, bull.
Therefore, I believe people are getting false or misleading results because they are going by what some or many places are called today, not what they once were. Many people are not aware of name or country changes so will take results at face value.
It is my opinion that this will lead many down a false path in their genealogical searches.
SO – after all this rambling – I just want everyone to be very careful in the paths they follow after receiving DNA results.

Kim Caswell”

 

Click here for the following NPR full article.

 

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My Grandmother Was Italian. Why Aren’t My Genes Italian?

 

“Maybe you got one of those find-your-ancestry kits over the holidays. You’ve sent off your awkwardly-collected saliva sample and now you’re awaiting your results. If your experience is anything like that of me and my mom, you may find surprises — not the dramatic “switched at birth,” but results that are really different than you expected….

Last fall, we sent away to get our DNA tested by Helix, the company that works with National Geographic. Mom’s results: 31 percent from Italy and Southern Europe. That made sense because of her Italian mother. But my Helix results didn’t even have an “Italy and Southern European” category. How could I have 50 percent of Mom’s DNA and not have any Italian? We do look alike, and she says there’s little chance we were switched at birth.

We decided to get a second opinion and sent away to another company, 23andMe. We opened our results together and were just as surprised. This time, I at least had a category for southern Europe. But Mom came back as 25 percent southern European, me only 6 percent. And the Italian? Mom had 11.3 percent to my 1.6. So maybe the first test wasn’t wrong. But how could I have an Italian grandmother and almost no Italian genes?…”

How to Use Gedmatch.com for Your DNA Results

How to Use Gedmatch.com for Your DNA Results

Vicki’s note – click on the article link below to learn more from Gedmatch.about how to use this.:

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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.”

2017 DNA Testing Company Ratings and FAQ

2017 DNA Testing Company Ratings and FAQ

Vicki’s note – This is an  article that I modified from the Internet from this site –  https://www.top10bestdnatesting.com/.  I don’t know much about this rating organization, so take their rankings with a grain of salt. Their analysis of DNA testing and company features is thorough and answers a lot of FAQ frequently asked questions about DNA.

I am not familiar with some of the testing companies; new ones are added every year. My experience is that Ancestry.com is probably the most popular, and so should have the most DNA test takers.  This increases the ability to see more ethnic fine divisions and findings.  The results are compared to the typical DNA for most of the people in a particular population area.

All of them have sales, usually at holidays.  You can click on each of the online links below to find out more about pricing, etc.

I added 23andMe, as it is highly rated; and is a DNA testing company that does medical/health DNA tests, as well as Genealogy DNA tests.  There are several other adequate DNA testing companies that are not listed here as part of the ranking, such as FTDNA Family Tree DNA.

You also may want to be aware of the different company’s country of origin.

Hint – if you use a DNA testing company that uses the cheek swab method – be sure and “chew” the inside of your cheek before taking the sample.  This allows maximum amount of skin DNA cells to get an accurate test sample.

Most of the on-line sites have very interesting stories of actual cases where clients found family members, etc.  Some have a BLOG, news releases, and videos of case studies.

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2017 Top DNA Tests

Votes (7833)

Get results in 4-6 weeks

DNA matches in huge family tree database

Outstanding 9.8

Votes (1359)

$20 off per kit

5x more ethnic regions

Excellent 9.5

Votes (2194)

Excellent 9.2

Votes (275)

GPS Origins DNA tests revolutionize the DNA testing industry. Since 1995…Read Review

Paternal and maternal lineages

Very Good 8.9

Votes (557)

Diet, exercise, supplementation, and ancestry personalized to your DNA …Read Review

$99 for health + ancestry report

Receive results in 4-6 weeks

Very Good 8.7

 

               “Our Mission – To help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome.”

 

What is DNA Testing?

DNA testing examines the genetic code that’s carried in every person’s DNA. The code can be found in the cells of any human material, from a drop of saliva to a smear of blood or a strand of hair.

How Does DNA Testing Work?

DNA testing works by taking a sample of cells from the person who’s undergoing the test. Scientists isolate the DNA code that is at the heart of every single cell and carries the information which determines all of your physical characteristics, from your hair color and height to your chances of developing certain conditions.

How Do I Use the Kit?

If you use a home DNA testing kit, you’ll find all the instructions included. Usually, you’ll be sent a sterile tube to collect your saliva sample. It can be awkward to get enough spit for the test purposes. Some companies send a cheek swab that you rub against the inside of your cheek to get a sample of cells from there, instead.

Once you’ve collected your DNA sample, you’ll seal it into the sterile package and use the included mailing package to send it back to the company. It usually takes a few weeks to get the results, but the timeframe varies; it can be anything from 4 to 12 weeks.

When your results are ready, you’ll typically get an email inviting you to view the results online. Ancestry DNA companies have a dashboard that lets you explore your results.

The Top 3 DNA Testing Kit Providers

1.MyHeritage DNA is a huge service that supports genealogists as well as providing DNA tests. It offers advanced family history tools and has a very strong online genealogical community to help you make the most of your results.

Best for: looking for lost relatives

Results in: 4-6 weeks

Test type: cheek swab

Pros       Cons

Sync your results with family history data

Strong privacy policy

Only offers autosomal DNA testing

Your details are only stored for 25 years

  1. Ancestry.com

Best for: building family trees

Results in: 6-8 weeks

Test type: saliva test

Ancestry.com is a well-established DNA testing company with one of the biggest databases of users, at around 6 million people, which gives it an edge when it comes to matching relatives.

Pros       Cons

Largest database of users

Stores your DNA information forever

Easy-to-use dashboard

No chromosomal browser on offer

Only offers autosomal DNA testing

  1. LivingDNA

Best for: biogeographical ancestry results

Results in: up to 12 weeks

Test type: cheek swab

LivingDNA​ is a good choice for anyone who wants reliable information about family origins from the British Isles. By offering all 3 types of DNA tests, it offers an advanced and scientific approach to DNA ancestry testing that promises to deliver more reliable and detailed results.

Pros       Cons

Offers autosomal, Y-DNA, and mtDNA testing

Free test updates if results change

No chromosomal browser

No cousin matching service

 

Who Needs DNA Testing?

Potentially, everyone could need DNA testing at some point. It can be used to check for genetic disorders or inherited health conditions, paternity testing, or ancestry testing to learn more about your origins and search for family members. DNA testing has been used by historians and archaeologists to learn more about skeletons found at historic sites. For example, when the body of King Richard II was dug up in a modern parking lot, his identity was finally confirmed after DNA tests with some of his modern-day descendants.

What Are the Different Types of DNA Tests?

Paternity tests are used to confirm who is the father of a baby, child, or adult.

Genealogy or ancestry tests are used by genealogists to determine ancestral ethnicity and relationships.

Gene therapy DNA testing is most commonly used for parents before they try to conceive or for fetuses to check for inheritable genetic conditions or if an embryo is carrying any birth defects.

Forensic DNA tests are used by police at crime scenes in order to identify victims or find criminals after certain crimes.

 

How to Choose DNA Testing

Here are the key considerations to look for when you choose a DNA testing company or kit.

 

Type of Test

If you want a DNA test in order to learn more about your family and your origins, you have a few options. An autosomal DNA test checks only 22 out of the 23 pairs of chromosomes and can be used to compare DNA from both males and females, so it’s best for finding a range of living relatives. It gets less reliable the further back you go because of autosomal DNA changes every generation, so it’s only good for identifying up to third or sometimes fourth cousins and can only give reliable information back to your great-great-grandparents.

A mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test checks the tiny mitochondrial strands inside every cell. Both males and female inherit these mitochondria from their maternal line. It can be extended much further back in time because it doesn’t change quickly. It gives very precise details about your ancestors and distant cousins – even your 48th cousin! – but only if they lie on your maternal line. It’s good for proving you come from a particular region, ethnicity, or family group but not for finding relatives.

Y-DNA testing examines only the genetic information in the Y-chromosome, which is only found in males. It also does not change quickly, so like mtDNA, Y-DNA testing is good for proving relationship to a common ancestor or checking relationship with another individual, but it only works along the male or paternal line. This also means that only men can do a Y-DNA test, although women could ask a close male relative to take the Y-DNA test and then share the results.

Pricing

The price of the DNA test varies between different companies as well as depending on the type of test you take. mtDNA tests are the most expensive type of DNA testing, while autosomal DNA tests are the lowest cost and Y-DNA tests come in somewhere between the two. Although the tests are more or less the same, there’s a huge fluctuation in price between different companies so do compare prices before you buy. Some companies, like LivingDNA, offer a package of all 3 tests for a discount.

Ease of Use

Most DNA testing kits are pretty straightforward, but some elderly or weak individuals can find spit tests awkward to use. In those cases, companies that offer a cheek swab for taking samples instead of needing a saliva sample could be easier.

Reports

Not every company offers the same range of reports. Very few genealogical DNA testing companies will include health and wellness reports. Most companies provide ancestral reports, which break down your family heritage, ethnicity, and which region of the world you hail from, although some are more detailed than others. Some also provide a chromosomal browser which lets you compare your genetic profile with that of others from around the world. You can also find cousin matching reports, which let you know if you have any matches with other people registered with the same service.

Test Accuracy

The type of test you choose affects the accuracy since autosomal DNA tests are less accurate the further back you go but mtDNA and Y-DNA tests remain reliable for dozens of generations. The biggest DNA testing companies such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and LivingDNA are all pretty equally accurate in their test results. However, all companies warn that you shouldn’t use home DNA tests for detailed and critical genetic information like the risk of genetic disorders or of developing cancer.

Privacy

With the rise of hackers and cyber thieves, privacy is a big concern for DNA testing. Check that the company you choose uses industry-standard safeguards and firewalls to protect your details. You should also check that the company you choose has a strong privacy policy and won’t sell your details to medical research facilities or commercial partners without your agreement. It’s important to ask what exactly the company does with your details.

Special Features

As well as these considerations, there are a few extra features that are offered by some DNA testing companies. Some companies store your data indefinitely which means you can discover new family history information 50 years down the line. Others only store it for a certain number of years.

Another feature is the size of the database. The bigger the database of users, the better your chances of finding a match.

Some companies also permit you to upload raw genealogical data to their database so you can see if you have any matches without taking a test again.

DNA Testing and Genetics in Genealogy; 2017

12-27-2017 – Vicki’s note – a link that I found:

2017 TOP 10 Best DNA Testing Company Kits: Click Here.

copyright © 2009-2017 Natural Intelligence Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
By using our content, products & services you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Natural intelligence Ltd.

See also My Page for a list of DNA testing companies and helps interpreting the tests – Genealogical Links and Electronic helps   – scroll down to the alphabetical category “DNA Testing and Genetics in Genealogy”.

 

Cyber Monday and Black Friday DNA Test Sales

Cyber Monday DNA Test Sales

11-26-2017

http://blog.familyhistoryhound.com/black-friday-specials/

Black Friday DNA Test Sales

11-24-2017

Vicki’s note – Here are some Black Friday Sales :

From Family Tree DNA –  $49  and up depending on type of test –

per Hound on the Hunt, Diane T-J:

http://blog.familyhistoryhound.com/this-weeks-treasures/

From 23and Me:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G7PYQTM?tag=livescience01-20

From MyHeritage:

https://www.myheritage.com/dna?utm_source=black_friday_sale_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=legacy_email&utm_content=link2

From Ancestry.com:

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=dna%20test%20ancestry

 

 

 

 

A Fun Photo Discovery

A Fun Photo Discovery

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn

SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

I was able to date (my 2 x Great Grandmother’s) Lucy Adams Leighty’s dress from researching and presenting my program several times on “Contemporary Fashion through the Decades – How to Identify Our Ancestors’ Timelines  by What They Wore, When”.   I am learning the time periods of some of the historic styles by sight.

Here is Lucy Adams Leighty’s 1897 dress:

Lucy Adams dress 1Lucy Adams dress 2Lucy Adams dress 3Lucy Adams dress 4

My sisters and brother have been working on a 600+ pages family photograph book; Chris is creating the book, all of us donated photographs, two of us (Melodie and I)  are editing and doing genealogy research (as fast as we can) to fill in gaps, and I have been writing family stories about our ancestors based on research.  So much for waiting until I semi-retire someday and have more time to do all that!  🙂
Greg, our third cousin from Pennsylvania, has been invaluable in donating old family photographs and filling in family history.  We connected due to an Ancestry.com DNA test match.
If the “book” is ever published on paper, we would have to split it into 2 books.  The cost would be about $1 per page through the program that my sister is using.  We may just print one copy and give everyone else a DVD or electronic version.  What a great way to preserve family history.  The very last revision needed from me was to write a story to go with these photos.
My niece Andrea had done research on this dress for her college costuming history class.  She had surmised that Lucy made the special dress for her own wedding (in 1867).  This is not the correct style for that time period.  And Andrea had put in examples of 1890s dresses. 
Hint – don’t let preconceived notions of family stories detract you from the evidence, “i.e. “This must have been Gt Gt Grandma’s (1867) wedding dress.”  Keep your mind open to see the possibilities.  Look for clues and pieces of the puzzle that fit together.
While writing this history story last night, I discovered the fun photo discovery:
I was right – the dress is from 1897!  Lucy sewed the dress for her to wear as mother-of-the-bride at her daughter’s wedding!
Lucy Adams (probably) beautifully sewed this dress herself.  It’s style of fitted sleeves with a small puffed upper “leg of mutton” is from about 1897, when Lucy would have been age 60.  She married William Smith Leighty on March 29, 1867. They had five children in 20 years. Lucy and her husband were farmers in Morgan, Ohio.
Lucy may have worn a small bustle with the dress, as the back is longer by about an 1 1/2 inches.  It has a one-piece fitted bodice with hook and eye closure, and full skirt which was a little less full than the style (as a cost savings?)  The special fabric – a print of white flower sprigs on dark blue/black,  and the black lace collar, indicate that she made it for a special occasion, probably her daughter Annetta’s wedding.
One of Lucy’s children was our paternal Great Grandmother Annetta Leighty Jewison.  Annetta married Charles Oscar Jewison on February 17, 1897, in McDonough, Illinois. They had three children during their marriage, including our paternal grandmother Muriel Helen Jewison Ruthe.
Great Great Grandma Lucy would have used this as a Sunday dress afterward.

Have You Gotten DNA Surprise Results? A Reporter may Want to Interview You.

Vicki’s note –

Below is an email request that I received.  Is there anyone who would like to be interviewed by this reporter?  If you contact her directly, and let me know. 🙂

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Hi Vicki,

I’m a reporter at Channel 12 in Milwaukee interested in doing a story about people who’ve done DNA testing to further their genealogical searches, only to find they aren’t really who they think they are – in other words, parents, other relatives aren’t who their oral family history suggested.  If you know of anyone from southeast Wisconsin who might be in this situation, would you mind passing my contact information on to them?  I would be very grateful.

Thanks so much!

Colleen

Colleen Henry

WISN-TV
Reporter

759 N. 19th Street
Milwaukee, WI  53211

414/378-7120