Category Archives: DNA testing for Genealogy

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.”

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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.

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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

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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