27 December 2009

DNA Testing Solves Mysteries and Brings Family Together, part 2a

The following two articles (this one and the next one) are only a few of the many DNA Project success stories for those of Irish heritage. Success is often relevant to the tester and gaining any information or clues is a great relief when you are at a brick wall. These stories show a varying degree of success as more genealogy work is needed to find that common ancestor. Often, however, to find a location in Ireland for that search is a major break though that DNA testing can provide.


Tally DNA Success

My journey for my Irish roots began in my late teens, after my grandfather died. He was a man who I know had many of the answers to the questions I now have, however I was never interested enough to ask them while he was still alive. Terrence Tally, my namesake, was named after his father, Terrence John Tally, who sailed with his brother Peter from Belfast to New York City in 1856, finally settling and becoming the Sheriff of Virginia City, Nevada, the colorful, exciting and robust gold rush town of the American west.

I started asking my dad and grandmother questions about Terrence John, knowing only that he came from Ireland. All my grandmother knew about her father-in-law, who she never met, was that he came from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. My dad knew no more. I started contacting distant cousins of mine, descendants of Terrence John, to see if they had any information either: specifically what town or village in Country Tyrone he was from, any information about his siblings, what his parents names were, etc. Other than some interesting stories of the Wild West and his position as Chief-of-Police in Virginia City and a few anecdotal recollections here and there, there was little light shed on Terrence John Tally. I continued my quest, but usually came up empty handed.

In the summer of 1981, while on business in New York City, I visited the genealogy section in the New York City Library. In my limited research that one morning I discovered several mentions of the name Tally in a few towns and villages in County Tyrone. Here, for the first time was a solid link to my past! Rather than do the sensible thing, looking them up and simply calling them, I took a cab to JFK airport and hopped on the first plane to Ireland. After landing at Shannon Airport in County Clair, I took trains to Belfast, rented a car, and braved driving on the left side of the road to Country Tyrone. While on this adventure I was stopped a couple of times by armed British soldiers asking for my passport, the purpose of my visit and what my destination was. This was in June1981 … during the heart of the Bobby Sands hunger strike when Catholic and Protestant turmoil was fierce and tourists were indeed rare.

One quaint village after another and several wonderful people led to my meeting a sweet elderly lady who told me of Tally’s Bar in Galbally, a small village not far from the town of Dungannon. Finding Galbally and Tally’s Bar was easy enough. I asked around and was introduced to a very fine man named Patrick Tally. Was he the long missing link I had traveled so far to meet? I told him I was a Tally from America hoping to find my great-grandfathers roots and wondered if they might have any genealogical information about the Tallys they could share. After some cautious questioning and uncertainty he decided I was for real and welcomed me into his home where I met his wonderful wife and five children. I soon met several other Tallys and was treated like a celebrity, especially, when the children from the area found out that I was employed in the film industry and had worked with Linda Carter, aka “Wonder Woman”, a very popular show at that time on Irish television.

One evening when many of the neighbors from Galbally came to meet me and “hear my accent”, the children all stood in line for my autograph because of my “Wonder Woman” connection. I, of course, happily obliged … you never know when you’re going to get asked for your autograph again. Everyone treated me wonderfully, and I felt like a long distant cousin regardless of our bloodline. While they had limited written family history documentation, I knew I was not far from my genealogical ground zero. Across the street from the Tally Bar and home was a cemetery with two tombstones with my first and last name on them.



Unfortunately, these distant and long forgotten relatives that I had a thousand questions for brought me no closer to discovering my missing link. The genealogy material that Patrick Tally provided and the people we queried still failed to fill in the blanks. I left Ireland a more complete soul but with no definite new leads to my lineage.

Many years passed with The California Tallys and the Galbally Tallys always staying in touch. We were visited on a couple of occasions by 2 of the daughters of Patrick’s while here on vacation. When I first met them in 1981 they were just little kids and my visit was one more story they heard about me rather than an actual memory.

Finally in the summer of 2008, I decided to take my wife and daughter to Galbally and revisit the Tallys. Again, we were treated like royalty. The years, however, have still failed to provide us with any new information that positively defined our relationship.

A few years ago, I heard about Emily Aulicino’s DNA projects and research and decided to take the DNA test to see what might transpire. I found the entire process fascinating and since I had still never determined that I was indeed in the same family tree as the Galbally Tally’s I proposed the idea of DNA testing to Patrick Tally’s only son, Patrick Jr. Sure enough he was open to the idea and did the test. We recently found a 37 marker match!



Paddy, mother Betty, Terrence, Patrick Sr., Catherine and Noeleen


Although we may never know our common Irish male ancestor, this has been a remarkable and wonderful tool. It confirmed my family history theory and filled in another blank in the search for my ancestors. I would certainly recommend this project to those who have embarked on a similar genealogical journey.
---Terrence Tally Los Angeles, California June, 2009


A condensed version of this success story appears in Irish Roots Magazine, 2009 Fourth Quarter, Issue 72, page 20.

Talley-Tally DNA Project: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Talley-Tally


Enjoy,
Emily
July, 2009

DNA Testing Solves Mysteries and Brings Family Together, part 1

DNA Testing solves mysteries ...

Although DNA Testing is beneficial to genealogists, others who have tested with the Genographic Project or have tested out of curiosity have become interested in their family history. Many mysteries have been solved through good genealogy research and DNA testing as well, including these with Irish connections:

In 1948 Northwest Flight 4422 crashed in the remote mountains of Alaska. In 1997 the wreckage was found and two years later, a frozen human arm was discovered. Through the use of written documentation, fingerprints, and DNA, the arm was identified out of the thirty sailors on the flight using mitochondrial DNA which is found in every person’s DNA given to them by their mother. Hence, an international investigation began in 2007 by Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick to trace each of the thirty sailors though their female lines to find someone whose DNA would match that of the arm and thus identify the victim. She was able to locate Mr. Conway of Limerick whose mitochondrial DNA matched sailor Frances Joseph Van Zandt.

Thus a fifty year old mystery was solved, and Mr. Conway expressed his pleasure in being able to help and stated on the RTE news video: “I now know where I came from. I now know where I originated, and my, own family and my own children and my grandchildren will know in time where they came from as well.”




Frances Van Zandt Maurice Conway


Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick has solved many other mysteries using DNA testing and forensic techniques. See her Wikipedia bio at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_Fitzpatrick_%28forensic_genealogist%29


A shorten version of this story can be found in Irish Roots magazine, 2009, Fourth Quarter, Issue 72, page 20.
---------------------------------


Interested in doing a DNA test?

Before ordering a test, understand what DNA testing can and cannot do for you. The following resources are easily accessible and are designed for the beginner in mind.


Web Sites:

http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/
Start reading at the beginning of the archives. This blog is designed for the beginner.
http://familytreedna.com
Click on TUTORIALS

www.familytreedna.com

Click TUTORIALS on the right
http://www.worldfamilies.net/
World Families Net - many topics

http://www.kerchner.com/dna-info.htm
Genetics & Genealogy - An Introduction
Genetic Genealogy DNA Testing Dictionary
Genetic Genealogy Glossary

http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/
The Genetic Genealogist...a blog to follow
Free booklet from Blaine T. Bettineger, Ph.D. (Click on icon to the right)


Wonderful beginners book on Genetic Genealogy:

Family History in the Genes by Chris Pomery
Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner
DNA and Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick and Andrew Yeiser


Follow these easy steps to choosing the correct test.


1. Determine your goals. Are you just curious or are you testing for genealogical purposes? If you are only curious about your most ancient ancestry, order the cheapest test. If you plan to use the results for your genealogy, then order a 37 marker for Ydna and at least the HVR2 for mtDNA.

2. If you are a male you can test both your Y-chromosome dna (the top line; that is, the all male line of your pedigree chart if you are number one on that chart) and your mitochondrial dna (the bottom line or all female line of your pedigree chart). If you are a female you can only test your mitochondrial dna.

3. Matches when testing the Ydna are closer in time. By testing 37 markers, two people who match have a high probability of a common ancestor within the last 300 yrs. However, matches on the mitochondrial dna (mtDNA) can be up to thousands of years ago.



Sources:
Colleen Fitzpatrick www.forensicgenealogy.info
RTE Video on Flight 2244:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0119/nationwide_av.html?2477134,null,228


Enjoy,
Emily
1 Jan 2010

Irish Roots Magazine, 2009 Fourth Quarter, Issue No. 72




Irish Roots magazine is a must for those interested in Irish genealogy. What pleases me the most about it is that the term Irish Diaspora is commonly found among its pages. This is significant to the vast number of genealogists who claim Irish heritage and who are seeking to find their origins in Ireland. I am constantly impressed by the Ireland’s genuine interest in those who left Ireland over the centuries.

This recent publication features some wonderful articles including Tracing The Caledonia Irish, Irish Diaspora in Mexico, Clans of Ireland, and, of course the inclusion of genetic genealogy. DNA Testing - Solving Mysteries and Uniting Families was submitted by me, but those whose mysteries were aided by genetic testing actually did the writing while I organized and edited it. For this reason, I take no credit. My pride, however, is that the wonderful editors at Irish Roots asked me to do a DNA piece as they see value and interest in the topic. My hope is that articles such as this will inspire the Irish everywhere to test so they may learn where their cousins are and to locate their origins.

As each story was reduced to fit the magazine’s space, I will post them as originally written along with the related photos. Each one is unique, and each is considered a success of DNA testing by the participants.

You can find the Irish Roots magazine at some Barnes and Noble bookstores in the US, and this issue is on sale now.

To subscribe to Irish Roots in the US or Canada, telephone toll free: 1-877-363-1310
To subscribe by Fax in the US or Canada: 514-355-3332
To subscribe by mail for the US: write to Express Mag, PO Box 2769, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-0239
To subscribe by mail for Canada: Express Mag, 8155 Larrey Street, Anjou, Quebec, H1H 2L5

Email address: expsmag@espressmag.com
Payment method: American Express, Visa, Mastercard, check or money order

Enjoy,
Emily

23 December 2009

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale and Price Reduction

Family Tree DNA just sent the following reminder for their Holiday Sale which ends December 31st. However, they also mentioned new price reductions! These are fantastic savings from the original prices...or from the prices just a year ago.

Take advantage of this wonderful offer.

Dear Project Administrator,

2009 is coming to a close and we're finishing it off with an end-of-the-year promotion!

First, though, let me thank you for helping us make our recent Full Mitochondria Sequence sale a resounding success. Despite the challenging economy this was the most successful promotion in our company’s history.

Our Holiday Season promotion will bring back the discount that we offered this summer for the Y-DNA37, since this has been requested by many of our project administrators.

Y-DNA37 – promotional price $119 (reg. price $149)
Y-DNA67 – promotional price $209 (reg. price $239)
mtDNAPlus – promotional price $139 (reg. price $149)
SuperDNA – promotional price $488 (reg. price $665)

Orders for the above tests need to be placed and paid for by December 31, 2009 to receive the sale price.

IMPORTANT: since this promotion will run through the months of November and December, we encourage you to spread the word starting now, as the natural tendency is for people to order at the last minute, and we will not extend it beyond 12/31/2009. You may use our bulk email feature to notify existing project members about this holiday sale.

In addition here are the newly released permanent prices for the Full Mitochondria Sequence:

New kit (mtDNA Full Sequence) … $279
Upgrade from HVR1 … $229
Upgrade from HVR2 … $209
mtDNA Full Sequence after testing Y-DNA … $249

Thank you for your continued support. We appreciate your contribution to the sustained growth of the Family Tree DNA matching database, the best genealogical matching tool of its kind.

Bennett Greenspan
President
Family Tree DNA



© All Contents Copyright 2001-2009 Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.

01 December 2009

23andMe Success Story

The new rage in DNA testing is with 23andMe. They test autosomal markers for ancestry and health purposes. This means for your genealogy you can now match testers who are not on just your Ydna or your mtDNA lines. You can match people who are anywhere in your pedigree charts.

This last October I ordered their Complete Edition which includes data for my health and for my ancestry. You can order these separately, getting only the Ancestry test, if you wish. This story, however, is about my genealogy.

With 23andMe, at the moment, testers need to "opt in" to communicate with other testers. Under their section Relative Finder, I see that I have 239 people who match me. However, only twenty-one of them have allowed communication with testers. Of those twenty-one, only eleven have actually made contact. I am waiting for the other ten to open their email and reply to my invitation to share, one way or another: Accept or Ignore.

The company lists the Predicted Relationship which can range from very closely related to distant cousin. I happen to have one 3rd cousin who, unfortunately, has not opted to converse with anyone as yet. Most others are 4th and 5th cousins. I have two listed as Distant Cousins. The probable rankings for cousins are given in a Relationship Range from 3rd cousin to 7th, 8th, 10th, etc., depending.

Columns also give you the % of DNA Shared and the # of Shared Segments. Of course, the higher the numbers for these two, the better. 23andMe only deals with matching information within certain parameters, so other people could match you that are not listed. It is understandable that they want to provide matches that are reasonable. Also, remember that this isn't a full genome test. It only covers a bit over a half million markers. More people could match you if all areas were tested, but most of us cannot afford that.

Lynleigh was listed as my 4th cousin with a relationship range from 3rd to 7th cousin. We shared .23% of our DNA. While that does not sound like much, you must consider that it is enough to determine relationships as the comparison is based on having a block of result which matches. We match on one DNA segment, Chromosome 20.

This match can be seen under the link Family Inheritance. Here you compare your genome result with that of another person. A blue section appears where the match is.


Both Lynleigh and I share the same haplogroup: U5a1. However, in this testing, unlike mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), that is not important. The mtDNA test deals with the all female line (bottom line of a pedigree chart for the person who is number one on the chart). This is not where we match.

On November 12th, I sent her a message stating that 23andMe found we are related. After she accepted my invitation to connect, I sent her a list of surnames for my 4th great-grandparents on both sides of my family also including the states that were relevant for each. I then refined it to add my direct ancestors' full names, a date, and the county for each state, hoping that a county would help narrow the search.

She sent me her list, and I commented on those that were directly or indirectly related:

... Eads is connected to my Simpson line.
... Bowling to the Talley line.
... Roberson could be Robertson.
... Stokes were near Stokers in Southside VA and NC.
... Powell is connected to Talley.
... Rodgers could be Rogers.
... Shelton is connected to Doolin.
... Simms connected to Canterbury.


Then I suggested:

"Maybe we should share more detail on some lines. For example where were your Eads in VA ... and your Jenkins in PA? Although Jenkins is a Welsh name, it does not mean we can connect them even if they are neighborhood due to the naming patterns. Mine were in PA in the late 1600s...some may have stuck around. I think that some of the Watson line (from Albemarle Co, VA) did land in NC or SC, but they are not in my direct line. SO ... some of these may be worth checking, especially if you and I have sibling info. This will surely teach people not to do just their direct lines!"


On November 13th, Lynleigh asked to Genome Share. This can be done on a Basic or Extended level. The Basic level allows you to see which chromosome is matching. The Extended level allows you to share health information. We decided to do the Basic Sharing, and we learned that the matching result is on Chromosome 20.

November 28th, Lynleigh found our common ancestor! Actually, her husband Yasuyuki does the genealogy and found it. Since I had only sent my 4th great-grandparents, her husband had to do my genealogy to be certain. Without a dedicated researcher, we may still be searching. Sending more information would have helped more easily.


*** WE ARE 6TH COUSINS ONCE REMOVED! ***

23andMe predicted we are 3rd to 7th cousins, so they are pretty accurate.


Lynleigh's lineage:

1. William Simpson, b. 1750 Edgecombe Co, NC; d. 1813 Caldwell Co, KY
...+Mary UNKNOWN
2. Nancy Simpson, b. 1775 Caldwell/Livingston Co, KY; d. 1838 Gasconade Co, MO
...+John Eads, m. 1795 Caldwell Co, KY
3. William Eads, b. 1797 Christian Co, KY; d. 1846 Des Moines, IA
...+Rebecca A. Roberson, m. 1818 KY
4. Cyrene Eads, b. 1823 Gasconade Co, MO; d. 1906 Macoupin, IL
...+James E. Andrew, m. 1840 Des Moines, IA
5. Martha Leviscus Andrew, b. 1858 Macoupin Co, IL; d. 1940 Champaign Co, IL
...+Wililam Jackson Shelton, m. 1881 Macoupin Co, IL
6. Earnest Andrew Shelton, b. 1882 Macoupin Co, IL; d. 1955 Jersy Co, IL
...+Edna Alice Galloway, m. 1904 Macoupin Co, IL
7. James Glenn Shelton, b. 1917 Macoupin Co, IL; d. 1979 Champaign Co, IL
...+Marguerite Ann (surname withheld)
8. Lynleigh's parents
9. Lynleigh


My lineage:

1. William Simpson, b. 1750 Edgecombe Co, NC; d. 1813 Caldwell Co, KY
...+Mary UNKNOWN
2. Benjamin D. Simpson, b. 1777 Caldwell/Livingston Co, KY; d. 1853 Osage Co, MO
...+Mary (Polly) G. Roberson, m. 1808 KY
3. James Simpson, b. 1818 KY; d. 1849 en route to CA
...+Rebecca Syrene Miller, m. 1842 MO
4. Syrena Simpson, b. 1844
...+Henry Jefferson Williams, m. 1861 Osage Co, MO
5. Benjamin Franklin Williams, b. 1874 MO; d. 1952 MO
...+Tina Mae Simpson
6. Georgia Fay Williams, b. 1898 Pulaski Co, MO; d. 1980 Wyandotte Co, KS
...+Guy Franklin Doolin, m. 1918 Pulaski Co, MO
7. Emily's parents
8. Emily


Not only do I have a new cousin, I have a research partner!


In 23andMe results, you should consider all aspects of your genealogy. You must realize that any connection may be (and is more likely to be) through a line that crosses gender and/or from lines that branch off from any of your ancestor's siblings. As you can see from my connection with Lynleigh, each of us crosses gender in almost every generation.


From this experience I have learned a great deal. The following suggestions may assist you in finding your common ancestor more quickly:

1. If you have not done so, choose to correspond with those who match you on 23andMe. If you cannot find the link to "opt in" for corresponding, email the company at:
help(at sign)23andme.com

It is VERY important that everyone decides to correspond even if you are a novice at genealogy or DNA.

2. Research all aspects of your lineage, including the siblings of your direct ancestors and some of their descendants. I have always had the general rule of researching three generations either side of my direct line. You could connect anywhere along the lines and more likely along lines that branch off of your ancestor's siblings. All those descendants are important to finding the connection.

3. Set up a simple website with your lineage details or put them in a Word Document, including at least:

... a. Names, dates, and locations of all your direct ancestors and all their spouses.
... b. Surnames of all the children's spouses.
... c. If any of your lines have tested for DNA with other companies, refer to that project link.
... d. If you have found connections on lines through 23andMe, mention where those are in your lineage.

4. Write some details of your lineage in the Invitation. If you have set up a website, include the link.

5. Share as much detail as possible about your family either through your website or in a Word Document that you can copy and paste to the 23andMe messages you write to your cousins. At some point, everyone will be comfortable sharing personal emails.

6. Start searching and researching. DO NOT give up. The common ancestor is there!

Success is SWEET!


If you have any DNA success stories, email me so I can post them here. Perhaps another cousin is reading this blog!

Emily
29 Nov 2009
aulicino(at sign)hevanet.com

14 November 2009

23andMe - Price and format change

News has begun to travel around the genetic genealogy world that 23andMe is changing its prices ... a major increase...and splitting its health testing services from its genealogical/ancestry services. This more than disturbing to the genetic genealogy world ....

As a very active person in genetic genealogy and as a person who gives more presentations than any other person on DNA as used for genealogy, I am very disturbed by this move. (If anyone is in doubt of my claims to my level of interest and participation, l know multiple thousands of genealogists who are interested in DNA testing. One of my projects has over 3,000 members, and I belong to ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists: www.isogg.org), doing presentations on their behalf. The ISOGG membership is huge!)

I just gave a presentation that included info on 23andMe last Tuesday as I tested there during their recent sale. I was very excited about this new company as it could help genealogists find cousins in their lineages that were not strictly along the all female or all male lines. We can now use DNA to find cousins for all those in our ancestry between the top and bottom lines of a pedigree chart.

My enthusiasm has greatly waned since last Tuesday (Nov 10th). The reason: 23andMe is keeping their nearly $500 fee for testing (the regular price, not any sale price), but instead of getting information on your health issues AND their Relative Finder section which helps you locate others who have tested and with whom you share a common ancestor (grouping them by level of cousins...3rd, 4th, etc), after November 19th $399 for the Ancestry edition, OR $429 for the Health edition, OR $499 for the Complete edition. The price before November 19th is $399 for the Complete edition. That is a huge increase in price for the service. HUGE!

After my presentation, my group was very excited about 23andMe even though I did not mention price. Then, when all this happened (the announcement of the change), I emailed everyone in ALL of my DNA projects and in all my interest groups to tell them of my disappointment only because it will limit who is able to purchase this type of testing. I had not mentioned the previous prices at all, but did mention that maybe they would have a Holiday price as they did last year. Even if they do now, people will be quite hesitant to pay that much for half of what they will get from now to November 19th.

I will continue to recommend it for people who are interested in finding ancestors beyond the Ydna and mtDNA for sure, but all the time knowing that most of my audience, if not all of it, will not pay that price for either section of 23andMe.

23andMe has something good going, but as it stands, it may only be for the more affluent or the really obsessive genealogist. Many genealogists may not have the time, patience, or depth of research to hunt down the lines to find the common ancestor, but would have been willing at a better price. Now, they will see it as beyond them.

That's very, very sad for the world of genealogy and for genetic genealogists. I know I would have talked many people in my projects into it as they cannot find the paper connection although they have tested their Ydna. This would have helped them determine the possible generation by another means. It also would have helped those who are interested in our surname projects who do not carry the surname and who are women not able to test for a surname project. Currently, I am in conversation with a man who does not carry the Talley surname, but has several Talleys in his family. We think this could be the connection. As a woman who also can't test for the Talley surname, we may have never met. Now, I'm helping him trace his line back to see where we connect, and I think I have it. BUT...is that worth $500 ... not really; not even if I find many lines this way.

SO ... not only this move by 23andMe limits who will buy their tests, but it will limit information on all of our DNA projects. It is really sad. Had I any idea this would be their direction, I would have bought many test during the sale, giving them to my project members and those connected to the project who cannot test for the surname. Many of them cannot find the paper trail to each other and this could have helped. Many of them, like most genealogists, are retired on fixed incomes or have families and must limit their spending on this hobby.

I dearly hope 23andMe is not trying to be a mega company for the sake of gathering a fortune, but be more like those companies who are more (or at least equally) interested in the genealogy world along with their "bottom line." I hope this is not their "Waterloo," but they have just pushed away the largest part of the genealogy world. The average genealogist cannot afford this and will not spend the money on it.

We at ISOGG have tried so hard to get the general public to understand and accept DNA testing for genealogy, helping them with justifying the cost of the Ydna and mtDNA tests. How wonderful it would have been to have them see that more than these two lines of the lineage could be tested to find family. This is truly a step backward for us all.

IF anyone sees a window to better pricing with 23andMe at some time, please post. I am sure many of my project members and interested parties would be interested if the price is right.

just my opinion...
Emily
If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email. LOL
http://writingyourmemories.blogspot.com/
http://www.rootsweb.com/~orgco2/speaker/EmilyAulicino.html
http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/
Northwest Regional Coordinator and Speaker for ISOGG (www.isogg.org)
Administrator for thirteen FTDNA DNA Projects

12 November 2009

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale

Family Tree DNA's current sale which started November 4th and will end December 31st. Please pass this one to members of your family, friends or genealogy group.

If you desire more in depth result from your testing at either Oxford or AncestryDNA, you can convert your previous testing with these companies to Family Tree DNA at a sale price using the conversion kits below.

Email me if you need any help: aulicino@hevanet.com


Products and Pricing

MALE LINE TESTING - FOR GENEALOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY

Y-DNA12
Order Now $109.00

This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of twelve Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. Additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related. It is used to affirm or disprove a genealogical connection on the direct paternal line. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of twelve marker matches.

Y-DNA37
Order Now was $169.00 now $139.00

This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of thirty-seven Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. This is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogy purposes. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at thirty-seven markers indicates the two individuals share common ancestry in recent times. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of thirty-seven marker matches.

Y-DNA67
Order Now was $298.00 now $248.00

This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of sixty-seven Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at sixty-seven markers indicates a common ancestor in very recent times. This is the ideal test for matching if a break in the paper trail, such as an adoption, is known or suspected. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of sixty-seven marker matches.

AncestryConversionKit37
Order Now was $149.00 now $129.00

This test allows Ancestry customers to upgrade their Y-DNA test to Family Tree DNA standards at the thirty-seven marker level. It is also good for converting any competitor's results. Please provide us with a copy of your previous results and use the kit to send us a DNA sample. This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of thirty-seven y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. This is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogical purposes. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at thirty-seven markers indicates the two individuals share common ancestry in recent times. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of thirty-seven marker matches.

OxfordConversionKit37
Order Now was $149.00 now $129.00

This test allows Oxford Ancestry customers to upgrade their Y-DNA test to Family Tree DNA standards at the thirty-seven marker level. Please provide us with a copy of your Oxford Ancestry results and use the kit to send us a DNA sample. This is a male specific test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the paternal line. It includes a balanced panel of thirty-seven y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeat, STR, markers. This is the recommended test to trace the paternal ancestry of males for genealogical purposes. The additional markers refine the predicted time period in which two individuals are related and eliminate unrelated matches. A perfect match at thirty-seven markers indicates the two individuals share common ancestry in recent times. A haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of thirty-seven marker matches.


FEMALE LINE TESTING - FOR GENEALOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY

mtDNA
Order Now $99.00

Both men and women may take this test. It traces the direct maternal line without influence from other lines. This test is for HVR1(16001-16569) of the mitochondrial DNA. A panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal line. The customer receives a certificate and report generally describing the testing process and the meaning of matches. Results are placed in our database. When another person shows identical results, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form then we will inform them of the match.

mtDNAPlus
Order Now was $169.00 now $139.00

Both men and women may take this test. It traces the direct maternal line without influence from other lines. This test is for HVR1(16001-16569) and HVR2(00001-00574) of the mitochondrial DNA. The addition of HVR2 to results reduces the number of matches. A panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal line. The customer receives a certificate and report generally describing the testing process and the meaning of high resolution matches. Results are placed in our database. When another person shows identical results, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form then we will inform them of the match.

mtFullSequence
Order Now was $449.00 now $279.00

Both men and women may take this test. It traces the direct maternal line without influence from other lines. This test is for all three regions of the mitochondrial DNA: HVR1(16001-16569), HVR2(00001-00574), and the coding region (00575-16000). The entire mitochondrial genome is tested and this is the last mtDNA test that a person would need to take. A perfect match indicates a common ancestor in recent times. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal line. The customer receives a certificate and report generally describing the testing process and the meaning of matches. Results are placed in our database. When another person shows identical results, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form then we will inform them of the match.

OxfordmtConversionPlus
Order Now was $149.00 now $129.00

This test allows Oxford Ancestry customers to upgrade their mtDNA test to Family Tree DNA standards at the mtDNAPlus (HVR1+HVR2) level. Please provide us with a copy of your Oxford Ancestry results and use the kit to send us a DNA sample. Both men and women may take this test. It traces the direct maternal line without influence from other lines. This test is for HVR1(16001-16569) and HVR2(00001-00574) of the mitochondrial DNA. The addition of HVR2 to results reduces the number of matches. A panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal line. The customer receives a certificate and report generally describing the testing process and the meaning of high resolution matches. Results are placed in our database. When another person shows identical results, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form then we will inform them of the match.


COMBINED TESTS FOR MALE AND FEMALE LINES - FOR GENEALOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY (Only MALES can test for these)

Y-DNA12+mtDNA
Order Now $199.00

This is the combination of a male specific Y-chromosome test and a maternal lineage mitochondrial test. A discount is provided for ordering the Y-DNA 12 test and the mtDNA test together for one person. A Y-haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. For the mtDNA test, a panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of twelve marker and mtDNA matches.

Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus
Order Now was $299.00 now $258.00

This is the combination of a male specific Y-chromosome test and a maternal lineage mitochondrial test. A discount is provided for ordering the Y-DNA 37 test and the mtDNAPlus test together for one person. A Y-haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. For the mtDNA test, a panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of thirty-seven marker and mtDNA matches.


COMPREHENSIVE ANCESTRAL TESTS - FOR GENEALOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY

Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus
Order Now was $399.00 now $348.00

This is the combination of a male specific Y-chromosome test and a maternal lineage mitochondrial test. A discount is provided for ordering the Y-DNA 67 test and the mtDNAPlus test together for one person. A Y-haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. For the mtDNA test, a panel of twenty-two SNPs is included for backbone haplogroup placement. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of sixty-seven marker and mtDNA matches.

SuperDNA
Order Now was $695.00 now $557.00

This is the combination of a male specific Y-chromosome test and a maternal lineage mitochondrial test. A discount is provided for ordering the Y-DNA 67 test and the mtDNA full sequence, the most comprehensive and highest resolution mtDNA test, together for one person. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal and paternal lines. A Y-haplogroup is determined and backed by our SNP Assurance Program. The mtDNA full sequence allows placement in a current haplogroup and subclade. When another person shows identical results within our database, if both parties have signed the Family Tree DNA Release Form, then we will inform them of the match. The customer will also receive a certificate and report describing the testing process and the meaning of sixty-seven marker and mtDNA full sequence matches.


Enjoy,
Emily
If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email. LOL
http://writingyourmemories.blogspot.com/
http://www.rootsweb.com/~orgco2/speaker/EmilyAulicino.html
http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/
Northwest Regional Coordinator and Speaker for ISOGG (www.isogg.org)
Administrator for thirteen FTDNA DNA Projects

18 October 2009

Greetings!

I'm excited to mention that Family Tree DNA has reduced the upgrades for the mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) until October 30th, 2009. In the month of November they will be announcing a price reduction for new testers who order the mtDNA. This one is for anyone who has previously ordered either the HVR1 or HVR2 and wish to upgrade to the full sequence.

Please see the archives of this blog for information on using the full sequence for genealogy purposes before ordering. Email me at aulicino@hevanet.com if you have any questions.

The announcement appears below and was sent to administrators and those who previously tested the mtDNA. SO...basically this is a reminder to order, if you are interested and a notice to others of a price reduction coming in November. (I have no idea what that price will be until it is announced.)

Best wishes,
Emily

Dear Family Tree DNA Group Administrator

We would like for you to know first hand the announcement about a big promotion for the Full Mitochondria Sequence that we will be sending in the next days to Family Tree DNA customers in your project. Due to the fact that we will be reaching out directly to your members, we suggest that you DON’T send them a bulk email about it so that they don’t feel overloaded. As always, we appreciate your support...

Bennett Greenspan

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We are pleased to make a very special announcement about our Full Mitochondria Sequence test.

As you know, this test has continually dropped in price from its initial introduction at $895 in 2005. These price decreases were related to volume and workflow, translating productivity into economies of scale that allowed us to reduce prices to those customers interested in testing their full mitochondrial sequence.

Now Family Tree DNA is doing it again, but this time we are going to take advantage of new technology that will allow us to run more samples in less time, and the savings are substantial.

We will jumpstart this new era of complete mtDNA testing with a very aggressive price in order to build the comparative database to the levels that genetic genealogists will be able to use to answer precise ancestral and geographic questions.

So now to the news that you are waiting for: before a new price for the full mtDNA test is introduced in November, we will be offering our current customers a promotion at the following prices, valid until October 31st, 2009:

$179 for those who have already tested HVR1 and HVR2
$199 for those who have already tested HVR1

Orders need to placed and paid for by the end of the day, October 31st, 2009.

Depending upon the time that it takes to process these upgrade orders using our new hardware, we may experience a back order or lag time in November. If this occurs we expect to resolve the backlog in December.

© All Contents Copyright 2001-2009 Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.

26 July 2009

Ireland: A Focus on Genetic Genealogy

Genetic Genealogy, the use of DNA testing to aid traditional genealogical research, is the most accurate tool a genealogist has. it can prove or disprove a lineage, help genealogists pass through brick walls, assist in locating lost relatives, and aid an adopted person in finding family.


A short history of Genetic Genealogy

Over the last nine years DNA Testing for genealogy has developed from one man's quest to find his ancestors to a world-wide interest for modern genealogists. That one man is Bennett Greenspan, a genealogist, who in 2000 established Family Tree DNA, the largest company focused on genetic genealogy. The company has remained in the forefront ever since. It offers the most genetic markers applicable to genealogy and has the largest database with which to compare a tester's results. This International business has expanded its offices to Europe, has participated in the 2009 Who Do You Think You Are? Conference, and was the only DNA company present at The Gathering 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Since 2000 many other companies have been established with some now gone and new ones taking their places. In those short nine years, Genetic Genealogy has come a long way and is still progressing quickly! Geneticists and genealogists now work together in some realms of this science. The popularity of DNA testing is constantly increasing as more and more genealogists realize its value in their research.


Why is Ireland a major focus?

Currently, the highest concentration for genetic genealogy testing is done by Irish populations. Three major reasons place the focus of DNA Testing on Ireland:

1. The Irish Diaspora

2. Trinity College's paper A Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland (December 2005)

3. National Geographic Society's Genographic Project


Irish Diaspora

Since the seventeenth century Irish families have left Ireland for various reasons, including the Potato Famine, the opportunity of acquiring land not accessible under the inheritance laws at the time, and deportation by the English. Various sources state that Irish emigrants and their descendants are found in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, states of the Caribbean, and continental Europe. It is estimated that over 80 million Irish people live outside Ireland. This number represents over thirteen times the population of the island itself (6.11 million in 2007). This massive exodus has led many genealogists to long for knowledge of their ancestors who once lived in Ireland as well as the hope of finding living cousins.

It is clear that Ireland recognizes her lost cousins and finds value in identifying them as stated by Ireland's former President Mary Robinson in her 1995 address entitled Cherishing the Irish Diaspora: On a Matter of Public Importance, given to the Houses of Oireachtas:

The men and women of our diaspora represent not simply a series of departures and loses. They remain, even while absent, a precious reflection of our own growth and change, a precious reminder of the many strands of identity which compose our story.

Ireland obviously cares about its departed family. Descendants of the emigrants have proudly announced their Irish heritage for all these generations. Sadly, what is lost in time are the ancestors who connect the Irish throughout the world. With the vast numbers of these expatriates around the globe it is understandable why Irish Diasporas plays a prominent role in the focus on Ireland.


Trinity

Trinity College in Dublin is a pioneer in Irish genetics for using the old genealogies in genetic testing. In December 2005 Trinity published its paper on Niall NĂ³igiallach (Niall of the Nine Hostages) whose dynasty ruled Ireland for six centuries. Irish pedigrees were used to determine the surnames that could be related to descendants of the male lines of Niall which became the Clan O'Neill. Living males with surnames found in Clan O'Neill were located and tested. The study's findings suggested that about one in twelve men share the same Y-chromosome as the 5th-century warlord. Their work indicated that 21.5% of the men in Northwestern Ireland are estimated to have his DNA signature.

Trinity College's study sparked an interest for Irish genealogists everywhere. For scientists to use genealogy and DNA testing to determine who among the living is related to a particular fifth-century clan was a major step in placing Ireland on the Genetic Genealogy map.


National Genographic Project

In April 2005 the Genographic Project was created by the National Geographic Society, IBM, and the Waitt Foundation. This five-year anthropological study was established to test indigenous people throughout the world in order to better map the migration patterns of our most ancient ancestors. Anyone can submit their DNA to this project as ti is one of the few scientific studies that allows the general public to participate. As a result of this venture, many Genetic Genealogists established various geographical projects to provide a permanent place for the public's test results since at the end of this study, the results will be available, but the DNA Will be destroyed, thus not allowing an opportunity for anyone to upgrade their test in the future.

The Ireland Y-DNA Project was created in December 2005 as its administrators saw the need to preserve the Irish DNA that the Genographic Project collects. The Y-DNA Project's roots lie in Ireland as two of the three administrators live there, thus providing the expertise needed to help Irish genealogists. This project is the largest Y-DNA project with over 3,300 testers, not including those from other companies which raise the number closer to 5,000. With the expert help of the administrators and the vast number of testers, the project results are revealing that some DNA signatures are more prominent in certain counties of Ireland. This provides a probable location for a researcher whose family left Ireland years ago to being their search in the mother land. The size of the Ireland Y-DNA Project is testimony to the inter st in the Emerald Isle.



In genetic genealogy the Y-chromosome is used to test the all male line (top line of a pedigree chart with the tester as number one on that chart) as this chromosome is consistent over time. For this reason a living male can be tested to determine the DNA signature of his ancestors in his all male line. The same is true of sections of the mitochondrial (mtDNA) which tests a person's all female line (bottom line of the pedigree chart if the tester is number one on that chart). Men can test both their Ydna and their mtDNA as every mother passes her mtDNA to all her children. However, only the daughters can pass the mtDNA to her children. Women can only their their mtDNA, as naturally, they do not carry their father's Y-chromosome. As Ydna mutates (changes that do no harm the species) more often it is possible to determine matches between testers within genealogical time. The mtDNA is slower to mutate, thus common the common ancestor of testers who match is not always within genealogical time. Testing the mtDNA has been immensely useful in solving specific problems for genealogists. Refer to SUCCESS STORIES at www.isogg.org for examples.

The next article in this series will focus on Irish DNA Success Stories.


Sources:
Family Tree DNA
President Mary Robinson's address
Trinity College paper: A Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland
National Geographic Society's Genographic Project
Ireland Y-DNA Project
FTDNA site for the Ireland Y-DNA Project

09 July 2009

Will Genetic Genealogy Lose Its Place?

Currently legislation is being passed that will curtail the use of DNA testing for genealogy and cause it to be more expensive. Some states have already passed laws controlling companies who market DNA tests to the public and more laws are being established.

As this is a very important topic, I felt it is necessary to share an article written by Doris Wheeler with you so that everyone knows and understands how DNA testing may be jeopardized. Being that DNA testing is the most accurate tool a genealogist has, it is important that all of us understand the impact a few can have on many. There are geneticists that think genealogists do not understand genetics and that we believe everything any company claims (i.e., if you have a certain results for some markers you will get some disease or you can be a track star). There are many genealogists and genetic genealogists who believe that some geneticists as well as people from the medical field do not understand how DNA testing is helpful to genealogy. They wish to protect us from ourselves!

As a result we are seeing government legislation trying to protect the poor, dumb consumer. RIGHT! This type of legislation will greatly harm the genealogist's access to DNA testing thus prohibiting an opportunity to break through their brick walls.

Doris Wheeler addresses this topic clearly and urgest that all of us must become informed. I urge you to take action locally and not let misinformed scientists and legislators control our hobby. Write those editorials, call your legislators. Do what you can to protect the most valuable and accurate source we have for finding our ancestors.


Thank you Doris, for permission to post your article.

The following article was written by Doris Wheeler for her blog Genealogy and DNA at http://genealogyanddna.blogspot.com/



Will Genetic Genealogy Lose Its Place?

A small but vocal group of scientists and legislators are clamoring for government regulation of DNA testing. A few states have already succumbed to this hysteria, and Washington has dipped its toe into the murky waters.

What does this mean to family genealogists like us? It could mean that we would have to have our family doctor submit an order for us to obtain a simple Y-DNA test. And the results would go to him or her. (Could there be a touch of self-interest on the part of the scientific and medical community?) As genealogists, how many of us would be willing to involve our personal doctor in our genealogy quest – and pay for the privilege? What does our family doctor know about genealogy, and does he care? Is he really the best qualified person to interpret results for us? Did you ever think you would have to get your family doctor to approve before you could do genealogy? It all sounds rather silly to me.

One argument in favor of such regulation is that people do not understand what they are getting when they buy a test. But isn’t this true of many things? Isn’t it up to the consumer to research and understand what he is buying? Another is that there are claims being made by some companies that promise far more than they can deliver. But this is a fact of life. It is up to the consumer to evaluate these claims.

I am proud to know that Family Tree DNA (the company I have chosen for all my DNA Projects (see links in the sidebar) is the acknowledged leader in the business of genetic genealogical testing and, in fact, was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s Award for Excellence in customer service. Its website has been designated as the "Best Cutting Edge Web Site" by Family Tree Magazine. Even more important is the fact that Family Tree DNA (and ISOGG, the International Society for Genetic Genealogy) provides references to an extensive library of books, videos and scientific journals for its customers’ edification. It has knowledgeable people on staff (as well as a full complement of scientists) who can and do answer questions in a timely manner. It is deeply involved in scientific research to find new SNPs and STRs that offer new avenues to pursue for those who are interested in both anthropology and genealogy and in getting as much as possible out of their testing experience. (SNPs are the portions of DNA that reflect deep ancestry – thousands of years ago. STRs are the markers used for genealogical purposes.)

Another service provided by FTDNA is its support for “projects.” All project members benefit from that support by having access to significantly reduced prices and special promotions that are only available through projects. Additionally, volunteer project administrators like me are provided with ongoing education so that we can better serve our clients. We seek to educate and to help explain test results so that our clients do understand what they are buying and why, and what the results mean.

While the line between genetic genealogy and genome testing for health reasons is quite sharp, the naysayers are beginning to disregard that line and lump all genetic testing together. That is a sad day for genealogists who are just now beginning to reap the solid rewards of having databases that are large enough to provide answers to sticky questions. Ever larger databases of test results help all of us learn more about our family history and answer the age-old question, “Where do we come from?”. Any disruption of the flow of new testees is a disservice to those who have already tested and to the cause of genealogy for everyone. The jury is still out regarding the viability of genetic testing for disease. Obviously, again, the size of the database is critical and our knowledge will grow only as the database grows. And, in addition to all the reasons given above, there is the simple matter of personal choice that is taken away by increased regulation.

Since the key is an educated public, here are two websites that are highly recommended: www.isogg.org and www.thegeneticgenealogist.com.

Doris Wheeler, 8 Jul 2009

03 July 2009

FTDNA -- July Sale!!!

WOW....FTDNA is offering a sale for the MONTH of July! Read the msg below I received today!
Remember, a person must join a project to get these prices, but I have two that anyone can join (male or female) any time and then move to a more appropriate project (or not) at a later date at no cost. There's never any cost to move to different projects.
Email me if you need help with this or need to know about the two projects anyone can join. (Not every surname has a project AND...females CANNOT join a surname project.)

The email sent from FTDNA...


Dear Group Administrator (That's me! LOL)


This message has the double purpose of thanking you, and announcing a July offer.

So, first, let me thank you for helping us make our recent Y-37+mtDNA sale the most successful in the history of Family Tree DNA. While our lower Y-DNA37 prices combined with the free mtDNA test played an important role in this success, your efforts had a significant impact in this achievement, which made some projects increase their membership by a two-digit number.

We expect that the kits will begin to be returned for processing this week and that results will start being delivered to your project by the end of July or early August.

In light of this success and in conjunction with many reunions or events where one of us will be speaking, including the Clans Gathering 2009 and the Highland Games in Scotland, we have decided to offer for the month of July a variation of our recent promotion:


Y-DNA37 – promotional price $119 (reg. price $149)

Y-DNA67 – promotional price $199 (reg. price $238)

mtDNAPlus – promotional price $119 (reg. price $149)

These are the best prices, marker for marker, of any company in the market.


IMPORTANT: since this promotion will run through the month of July, we encourage you to spread the word starting now, as the natural tendency is for people to order at the last minute, and we will not extend it beyond this month.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to the sustained growth of the Family Tree DNA matching database.

Bennett Greenspan

President

www.familytreedna.com



If you have any questions, just email me.

Emily
If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email. LOL
http://writingyourmemories.blogspot.com/
http://www.rootsweb.com/~orgco2/speaker/EmilyAulicino.html
http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/
Northwest Regional Coordinator and Speaker for ISOGG (www.isogg.org)
Administrator for twelve FTDNA DNA Projects

23 June 2009

Family Tree DNA Sale Extended!

Greetings!

The following Family Tree DNA sale has been extended to Jun 30th with payment due by July 7th.


This sale is only for new male testers getting the 37 marker with the HVR1 (mtDNA). The 37 marker test is wonderful for genealogy. The price is $119 plus $4 shipping. Usually the 37 marker alone is $149 plus shipping and the HVR1 is $99. So that is a very good savings. We may not see this sale again.


FTDNA just sent this message to all the Administrators, so I'm passing it to you. You can pass the word around the Internet and within your family.

FTDNA wrote:

In the last few days we have received several e-mails from group administrators asking us to extend our "Unparalleled 50% Promotional Discount" Y-DNA37+mtDNA for $119 (the regular project price is $248 – a reduction of more than 50%!!), as many people are only now becoming aware of the promotion.

We have decided, therefore, to extend it until June 30th, 2009. Kits must be paid by July 7, 2009. In order for the most people take advantage of this promotion, we encourage you to post the following link in your family messages boards, blogs, and mail lists, as well as forward to people when they ask you where to place the order.

As always, that you for your continued support.

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
http://www.FamilyTreeDNA.com
"History Unearthed Daily"

Emily
23 Jun 2009

16 June 2009

Greetings everyone!

I wanted all of you to get in on this before it's gone in the case you have been waiting for a DNA test sale. I just received this msg. from FTDNA.... It's a VERY nice sale as the 37 marker Ydna test by itself is normally $149. The mtDNA by itself is normally mtDNA (HVR1) $99. That's a nice savings! The deadline as stated below is June 24th and you MUST pay by June 30th. If you order by credit card it is considered paid. If you order on invoice be sure to send in your payment (Check or credit card is accepted with an invoice.) by June 30th.

REMEBER: This price is ONLY for those joining an existing project. If you do not find your surname listed with FTDNA, then use two (either one) I have set up for any and everyone: GFO or use WVGS (You do not have to be a member of either genealogical society to join it.)

Just click on the FTDNA icon at the bottom right of this blog. Then follow the rest of the directions, putting in your surname or one of the above (GFO or WVGS). The rest of the steps are clear.

IF you have problems or do not see the icon on this page, email me at aulicino@hevanet.com

I can order the test for you via invoice so you won't miss the sale.


Dear Family Tree DNA Group Administrator,

Last summer we offered a pricing special that was the most successful offering of its kind in our company’s history.

Many project administrators strongly supported our recruitment efforts and both their projects and our database grew significantly.
This year we will offer an early summer special with an unparalleled promotional discount.

Offer summary:

• Y-DNA37+mtDNA for $119. (The regular project price is $248 – a reduction of more than 50%!!)
• The promotion will begin on June 9, 2009 and will end on June 24, 2009
• Kits ordered in this sale must be paid for by June 30, 2009

This is your new members’ opportunity to skip past the Y-DNA12 and Y-DNA25 tests and get the best Y-DNA Genealogical test on the market in addition to an mtDNA test for an extremely reduced price!

I should also mention that according to one of our competitors’ method of counting markers our 37-marker test could also be called a “41-marker test” as we do test and report markers 464e, 464f, 464g, and DYS19b. Though we test them, it is very rare that individuals have results for these markers. Therefore, by our conservative counting method, our competitor's “33-marker test” is actually a “29-marker test.” We mention this to make sure that you understand the difference between these tests and are able to compare “apples to apples.”

So... I hope that with this promotion your project can gain many new members.

As always, that you for your continued support.

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
http://www.FamilyTreeDNA.com
"History Unearthed Daily"

23 May 2009

Which DNA Testing Company Fits Your Needs?

In the early years of 2000 there were only a few testing companies that tested DNA for genealogists. In the last few years, DNA Testing has become a household term, especially due to the advent of so many television programs using it to miraculously solve crimes within an hour. Many new companies have now appeared on the scene with a varying degree of services. Some have massive advertising campaigns that entice the public to purchase a testing kit even if the public does not fully understand how testing can help and not help genealogy. Others claim they can give you the location and tribe of your ancestors. And, still other companies claim you can discover the gene that will either make you an athlete or tell you of your health issues. News articles have touted the virtues of testing while others liken it to witchcraft and hocus-pocus. Some articles instill fear that the government will have your DNA profile and tag you for some crime.

In some of my past articles, I have explained how different companies test differently for criminal profiling and for health. I have further explained how DNA testing can and cannot help genealogists and how autosomal testing is not helpful to genealogy for the most part.

So, how does the general public sort out this mess?


The following steps will help:

1. Educate yourself about DNA testing.
Before purchasing any test for any reason, the buyer must understand how DNA testing can help and how it cannot help. My previous blog articles can greatly help with this as well as the listing I offer for online tutorial information and through various Genetic Genealogy books.

2. Establish a goal or reason to test.
Ask yourself what it is you wish to determine by testing. What genealogical problem are you trying to solve. Read books and online tutorials to help you determine what tests can assist with your goal. (Email me, if you can't decide.)

3. Learn all you can about the testing companies.
You do not have to know everything about every company, but you should understand not only the difference between the three top companies, and which companies are not helpful to genealogy and your goals.


As you research the major testing companies for yourself, ask these questions:


1. What is the size of the database? Size is important. You will be compared to other testers in order to find matches. You and those testers who match have a common ancestor. You would want to contact them and share lineage information. Would you wish to test with a company who has over 100,000 testers or one who has 10,000 testers? Which has the likelihood of producing more matches for you?

2. Can you contact the testers you match? Matching others, but not being able to share data on your research makes testing and matching a waste of time and money.

3. Can I contact the company easily? You may have a problem or a question. Some companies list no email or phone number to contact them. Some prefer that the administrator of a project contact them. (What if you are not in a project?) Others will answer your question within one business day whether it be by phone or email.

4. How accurate is the testing? No doubt every company will tell you their labs are accurate, and this has been found to be true for giving you your haplotype (your DNA signature). However, some companies will do testing to determine your haplogroup (your twig on the world family tree) while some do not do this testing, called SNP testing. The companies who do not SNP test do take guesses for the haplogroup and have been found to be totally in error. I can cite several cases of this.

Unknowledgeable testers may not discover this error unless they test with another company or find that they do not match with a known relative for the haplogroup.

5. Will my DNA sample be stored so I can upgrade my testing? DNA testing for genealogy began in 2000 and is still evolving. We do not know what the future holds, but we know that more and more tests are available every year. Some companies do not keep your sample so you must pay for another kit to test further. This would be impossible for a tester’s family to do if the tester dies. Other companies keep the sample for many years and allow you to upgrade using the same sample.

6. What tests are available? Tests vary from company to company. Each company does not test the same markers; therefore, comparing someone who matches you from another company isn’t as easy as looking at the results and often doesn’t test enough of the same markers to get a clear picture of how close your match could be. Some companies only offer a few tests and appear to have no plans for changing that. Other companies offer a wide variety as well as combination tests (Ydna and mtDNA as one test for a person). Some companies are always adding new options to better serve their customers.

7. How is the company’s customer service?
This may be difficult to answer unless you know others who have tested with a particular company. However, it is not impossible to determine a company’s reputation from their customers if you attempt the following:

a. Join the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) at www.isogg.org and ask the other members about their experiences. This society is non-profit and requests that you tell others about genetic genealogy. That is their only requirement … to help spread the word about DNA testing for genealogy. This email list is monitored by experts, but can be overwhelming in volume. Consider getting it in digest form or check it online.

b. In some companies you can go to the website and find the administrator of any project. Email this person to see how the company is treating them. Other companies do not provide this service, however.

c. Email me. I have friends who have dealt with all the major companies, and I have met testers who have used these companies. I can provide you with comments about each of the major companies from both testers and administrators.

8. What is the cost of the tests? Many of us are always looking for a bargain. However, the cost should be the last consideration as this is a product that can be very helpful to our genealogy research and is of great use over time. With it we can prove or disprove our lineages and find matches today or in ten years. A wise consumer will seek a reliable company which provides the best of the above points before placing cost as the top priority.

Cost varies from company to company and will change within a company as sales are often available and as over time the prices are falling due to new techniques and equipment that requires less time in the lab to process. The best approach to this concern is to set your goal for testing, select the test that best fits your needs, and then compare the cost per marker for each company that fits your testing needs. Sales are usually unpredictable since you never know when one will happen. Some companies will allow you to test a few markers and upgrade any time later which helps you afford a larger test sections at a time.


REMEMBER:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey." John Ruskin (1819-1900)

(NOTE: This quote hangs on the wall in every Baskin Robbins ice cream store, but sources indicate the author of this statement is not necessarily John Ruskin.)

Emily
©Aulicino, 23 May 2009
Email: Aulicino@hevanet.com

13 May 2009

Family Tree DNA - Y-DNA Upgrade Sale

Greetings!

Family Tree DNA is having a sale to upgrade any Y-DNA tester at a nicely reduced price. As these sales are often rather rare, you may wish to take advantage.

If you have questions as to why you should upgrade, please check the archives for this blog as there are articles on the advantages of testing particular numbers of markers and how they help genealogy.

The following message is from FTDNA regarding the sale. Remember only NEW testers can go through the link on this blog. Otherwise, go to your personal FTDNA pages to order an upgrade:


Dear Administrator,
Over the last several years, due to the unmatched growth of our database, numerous people have confirmed and found new connections with others of their surname, and adoptees and descendants of adoptees have even found their biological surname lines. Are there any other individuals among these adoptees looking for their connection to this direct paternal line?

To help answer that question, Family Tree DNA is offering, for a limited time, a discount on all Y-DNA upgrades! We will notify each participant in the database who qualifies for this offer by e-mail, and will provide them a direct link they may use to take advantage of the upgrade. There will be no need for participants to contact us directly in order to receive the reduced price; our prices have been adjusted in the system accordingly.

The offer will last from May 14th through May 23nd . On average, the
reduced prices will be 25% lower than the standard upgrade price.
This is a great opportunity to increase the data in your project. Are there members who have been hesitant to upgrade due to price? This discount is an opportunity for them to upgrade and help both their group and potential lost relatives at the same time. When encouraging members to upgrade, you may wish to note that genetic matches allow people to find their biological lines, and not necessarily a specific individual.

This promotion is for upgrades only and does not apply to new kit orders. It’s our way to thank past customers for their patronage.

As always, we appreciate your continued support.
Family Tree DNA
Max Blankfeld Vice-President

18 March 2009

5th Annual Internatonal Family Tree DNA Conference 2009

March 14-15 Administrators of Family Tree DNA projects gathered in Houston to renew friendships, to meet new administrators, to learn more about their craft, and to discover the progress of the company and labs. Attendees from many parts of the US and Canada began to gather on March 12 and FTDNA held its usual reception the evening of the 13th. This always gives everyone the opportunity to see who arrived this year and to rub shoulders with the speakers, the FTDNA staff, and those who came from the University of Arizona. Those of us who attended the WDYTYA (Who Do You Think You Are?) conference in London two weeks before were pleased to relive those experiences.

Once again the programs for the two days were outstanding.


Day One:
Bennett Greenspan, CEO and President, and Max Blankfeld, Vice President opened the meeting with a kind welcome to us all and announcements that FTDNA would attend The Gathering 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland in July and would return to the Who Do You Think You Are Conference next year in London.

Next was a long awaited speaker, Spencer Wells, the head of the National Genographic Project (a five year anthropological study to help determine the migration pattern of our oldest ancestors), spoke on Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project. Dr. Wells was unable to attend in 2005 when the FTDNA conference was held at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC as he was in Chad. The government gave the crew a last minute clearance to enter so that indigenous people could be tested for the study. Dr. Wells explained that a century ago Charles Darwin had realized all of us had come from Africa, and he was correct. The Genographic Project was launched in 2005 with three areas: Testing indigenous people around the world, allowing public participation and providing a Legacy Fund to assist the indigenous in education and health. The current results include a collection of 50,000 samples from the indigenous and the public. The Legacy Foundation has reached $3.5 million…that’s many grants for the groups tested. The first publications are beginning to appear on the results.

NOTE: See the project at https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html for more details and how the public can join this scientific study. IF you or anyone you know has tested through the National Genographic Project, you need to move your test results to Family Tree DNA before the study ends so the results will be preserved in the case you some day wish to use the information for genealogy. At the end of the five years, in 2010, the public samples will be destroyed. There is no cost in moving your result to FTDNA. Family Tree DNA handles all the Genographic testing through the University of Arizona Lab.

Side note: Dr. Wells attended the FTDNA reception and as I had expected to meet him, I took the two books I own that he wrote in order to get his autograph…and below is the photo that was taken then. (Thank you Max! LOL)

Emily with Dr. Wells
Family Tree’s Chief Technology Officer, Mark Williams, presented a view of the new Administrator pages entitled Group Administrator Dashboard (GAD). This total rewrite of the Web pages will allow Admins to view all their projects through one dashboard and to custom design their site. Admins can elect which windows to view and how to place them. Several new options will allow various charts to track the number of testers within a time period, haplogroup charts within a grouped list of testers and more. An administrator can order their members page according to several columns such as kit number, name, haplogroup, etc. Several of us helped Beta test this over the last few weeks, but those administrators who attended the conference are allow to further Beta test these pages. For a while both the old system and the new one will run independently of each other. This new approach provides more flexibility in tracking our projects and contacting our testers. Having all our projects on one page with one password along with all the new tools will be most helpful.

Dr. Ricki Lewis, a geneticist presented on Privacy & Ethics of DNA Testing. During lunch at my table she commented that she knows little about Genetic Genealogy, but remained for the sessions to learn more for her next novel. From my notes, her comments were that testing the entire genome is not helpful as there is too much junk DNA, but she feels that sequencing subsets of the genome can be helpful. She views those seeking DNA for health issues and for genealogical purposes start with a different intent. Dr. Lewis states that for health testing you get bad news, and it is done in secrecy. For ancestry testing the purpose is good news and for sharing.

My Note: In general, the purpose of testing for health and for ancestry can be the desire of the general public as Dr. Lewis stated, but genetic genealogists have a great depth of knowledge and desire for more information than the average person. Any genealogist knows it is important to gather and record family health issues, and this is especially important for those who were adopted. For these reasons, genealogists seek information on health issues, at least for themselves. Those who do understand that environment is the biggest factor and not inherited diseases. They understand that in most all cases, the DNA shows the propensity of getting a disease if one doesn’t take care of themselves properly. For example, one person who took a personal genome test found he had a very high probability for prostate cancer. He went to the doctor and they found he did have it. He is alive today as a result of testing for health. Granted, science has not determined which combination of genes causes most of our health issues, but in some cases they know. Genetic genealogists know and understand this.

Genetic genealogists vary from knowing the basics of how DNA testing helps genealogy to being actual geneticists, mathematicians, doctors, anthropologists, scientists, and lawyers. That is to say, they come from every walk of life, with every background, and with a wide variety of knowledge regarding every aspect of genealogy and the use of DNA for family research. Over the last nine years genetic genealogy has existed, the knowledge base of the followers has grown tremendously. With these annual meetings and other seminars, with the availability of online resources, technical papers, and published books, with the establishment of various email groups, anyone wishing to understand genetics with regard to genealogy can do so.

Dr. Lewis rightfully mentioned the ridiculous aspects of some DNA companies claiming that children have a gene that determines their sports ability, etc. Genetic genealogists know how ludicrous this is. Unfortunate the general public takes the extremes: DNA testing is totally bogus or DNA testing for such genes is a god-sent. Both are wrong.

After a wonderful lunch, Bob McLaren, dressed in his kilt and manager of the Clan MacLaren project gave an interesting presentation entitled: Lessons Learned from Running a Large Surname Project. Mr. McLaren discussed ways to display DNA results, how to recruit members, and how to keep them informed. Bob’s project is one of the larger surname projects with 327 members as of July 2008.

Dr. Doron Behar, postdoctoral fellow in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and FTDNA’s chief lab technician for mitochondrial DNA, and William R. Hurst, administrator of the mtDNA Haplogroup K Project and co-admin of the Hurst Surname Project discussed Advances in mtDNA Testing for Genealogy and Anthropology. They informed the audience that 5100 full mitochondrial DNA records were in GenBank with over 250 of those from Family Tree DNA and that FTDNA has over 4100 completed mtDNA. They clarified that Dna Ancestry misses 75% of the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) that FTDNA tests. (SNPs determine the haplogroup which is a person’s twig on the Phylogenetic Tree which is the world’s family tree.)

NOTE: GenBank is a collection of publicly accessed DNA sequences for many species. An easy explanation of it can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GenBank

The day ended in a Question and Answer panel. We learned that Ysearch will be updated later this year to include more markers; that the Genographic project requires the haplogroup to be known for the Hyper Variable Region 1 (HVR1) so the required SNPs are tested; that Dna Anecestry originally planned to make the DNA they test a part of a paid subscription in the future. (Personally, that’s scary…you pay; they profit via their subscriptions.); and many more topics.

Day two:
Dr. Michael Hammer, Biotechnology Research Scientist at eh University of Arizona and Director of the Genomic Analysis and Technology Core facility, discussed the Advances in TMRCA in a break-out session. TMRCA (Time to the Most Recent Common Ancestor) is a mathematical probability that helps determine the number of generations back to the common paternal grandfather with people who match on DNA testing. Several models are applied and this process can be very useful guideline when the paper trail dead-ends. Of course there is a constant desire to improve this connection and with more testing it will be. FTDNA is currently looking for more males who have tested 67 markers and who are willing to have their male child, parent or grandchild tested. Three male generations, closely related (not cousins) will help determine a better proximity to the time to the most common ancestor. FTDNA is hoping to get volunteers of male halpogroups other than those who are R1b and I. The audience also learned that R1b and I mutation rates are similar and that J should have faster rates.

The other break-out session was Haplogroups: Uses for Your Project by Eileen Krause, Post-Lab Quaility Assurance Manager at FTDNA. Ms. Krause discussed the future of DNA testing and explained how DNA testing has already begun to bridge the gap between the genealogical paper trail, DNA testing and the SNPs that determine haplogroups.

The Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project by Dr. David Ewing, administrator of the Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project and member of Clan Ewing, gave some wonderful examples of how DNA testing solved some genealogical problems, while creating others with further work could resolve. He showed the audience some techniques for analyzing results and how to explain them to project members. Back mutations and Parallel mutations were explained.

Next, Matt Kaplan, associate staff scientist at the University of Arizona in the Division of Biotechnology and doctoral candidate, and Taylor Edwards, Senior Research Specialist at the Genomic Analysis and Technology Core at the University of Arizona and contributes to all aspects of the laboratory work for FTDNA and the Genographic Project, presented on What’s in a Name…the Current State of Y STR Nomenclature 2009. In 2007 John Butler of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) spoke to the FTDNA conference attendees regarding the standardization of DNA companies. Since that time, Messers. Kaplan and Edwards have worked closely with Dr. Butler to help FTDNA incorporate the changes.

The current rules established by NIST were presented, but the required changes from NIST (below) shows discrepancies in the application of those rules. However, FTDNA will follow the rules.

Currently, three markers that FTDNA test were given as an example of having NIST guidelines.
1. DYS 441 – Add 1 to the current FTDNA nomenclature.
2. DYS 442 – Add 5
3. DYS GATA-H4 – Add 1

These three markers will change on the websites sometime this year. Unfortunately, the certificates previously printed will be wrong after the change.

FTDNA’s goal is to follow the NIST rules, but where NIST has not created a standard, FTDNA must follow the primary literature. These changes will take much time as NIST was created to focus primarily on Forensics and other non-genealogical companies and as more and more markers are being discovered at a rapid pace.

FTDNA vows full disclosure to NIST on their testing process. Their newly found markers are being sent to NIST, and FTDNA will be altering their reports and websites to reflect micro-alleles (partial repeats which will be displayed as decimals. Example: 14.1 instead of 14).

Bennett Greenspan, President of FTDNA, stressed that for all this to work, it is important that ALL other testing labs follow the NIST guidelines. He also suggested that all of us should push for standardization.

After another wonderful lunch, Thomas Krahn, Technical Laboratory Manager of Family Tree DNA’s Genomics Research Center in Houston, presented on A Walk Through the Y Update and NULL Alleles as a break-out session. Mr. Krahn explained that a NULL is the absence of DNA results in a particular marker. The audience learned that there are many possible locations for NULLs, namely, DYS 439, 437, 391, 565, 448, 389, 425, and 448. Some of these appear in particular haplogroups more so than in others.

We also learned the outcome of what tests have gone through the Walk Through the Y program. This testing was geared to finding more SNPs by testing parts of the Y chromosome, with the hopes of finding SNPs particular to family and even in establishing a private SNP. As of now, the project is open to the public through an application available by contacting FTDNA.
Challenges to the Genetic Genealogist by David Ewing and Bob McLaren was another breakout session answered questions regarding how your projects’ genetic information can be integrated with traditional genealogical data. Their presentation included who to test, how to recruit, what marker level to use, and how to make sense of your project results.

The last session of the conference was Updates to the Y-chromosome Tree by Dr. Michael Hammer. We learned that there are 600 SNPs which have been mapped, 20 major haplogroups (A-T), and that the R haplogroup acquired most of the new mutations although seven other groups received new mutations and subclades.

At every conference, Family Tree DNA gives the attendees some gift. At times it is a newly published book, but this year we received an updated Y Phylogenetic Tree. The best part of this tree, besides including the new subclades and SNPs, is that it uses the “short-hand” for subclades, but gives the longer version in the last column. For example, as the current subclades are getting much longer (R1b1b2) many genetic genealogists use the last SNP to indicate the twig (R-M269). However, it is easier to see the route of the twig back to the R branch by seeing the longer version. This Phylogenetic Tree is viewed at Family Tree’s website by clicking on SNPs R Us.

The conference closed with a period of questions and answers.

Various photos from the conference:


Dr. Hammer's TMRCA Presentation















Bennett


















Elise and Max




















Spencer and Doron





















Elise and Thomas















Alice, David and Terry after the conference















Doug Mumma, the first project manager at Family Tree DNA. He began in 2000.