10 December 2013

And the FTDNA Features just keep rolling along….

Family Tree DNA has begun notification on a weekly (no doubt when it applies) updates to their system.  This is greatly appreciated as changes requested by the genetic genealogy public are coming quickly.  

This week we have two changes: 
1.  Being able to clear their map coordinates for their oldest known maternal and paternal lines as that person can change as we add information to our lineages.
2. Using a matrix for Family Finder matches to determine if two or more of your matches match each other.

The Family Finder Matrix feature is extremely important in finding half-identical regions (HIRs) which allow you to map your chromosomes and determine a possible common ancestor.

      Each of our 23 chromosomes is actually a pair of chromosomes since we receive one from mom and one from dad, but the current chromosome comparison features do not indicate that each chromosome is actually a pair. This is partially due to not knowing which of the pair came from which parent. Determining which parent gave which chromosome in the pair can only be clarified after testing relatives and / or finding common ancestors with your matches or from phasing a parent(s) and child. Although viewing DNA segments with your matches using a chromosome comparison feature is an important step in finding a common ancestor, it is more important to determine the half-identical regions you share with your matches.
      Where you match someone on one of the pair in any chromosome is referred to as a half-identical region.  This is the region or segment along one of the copies of a chromosome (either the one from mom or the one from dad) where at least one of the two bases (A, G, T, C) of a person’s test results match at least one of the two bases from a different person's test results. This match should be throughout the entire HIR segment.
       If you wish to locate the common ancestor you share with a match or learn which ancestor gave you the DNA segment, you must determine the half-identical regions you share with your matches. If you are comparing two or more matches with your DNA results, you must determine which half-identical region you share with those matches and which they share with each other, if any. Testers must match on the same half-identical region in order to have the same common ancestor. The new Family Finder Matrix can help.

Family Tree liaison Rebekah Canada has sent the following message from Family Tree DNA:

Weekly Information Technology/Engineering Update 

(10 Dec 2013)

Matches Maps Locations Clear Button

Some users have requested the ability to clear their stored map coordinates for their most distant known maternal or paternal ancestors. We have added a Remove Location button to Step 3 of the Update Most Distant Ancestor’s Location wizard.

Family Tree DNA myFTDNA BETA Family Finder – Matrix

Today, we are happy to release our new BETA Family Finder – Matrix page. The Matrix tool can tell you if two or more of your matches match each other. This is most useful when you discover matches with wholly or partly overlapping DNA segments on the Family Finder - Chromosome Browser page.
Due to privacy concerns, the suggested relationship of your two matches (if related) is not revealed. However, we can tell you whether they are related according to our Family Finder program. To use it, you select up to 10 names from the Match list on the left side of the page and add them to the Selected Matches list on the right side of the page. A grid will populate below the lists. It will indicate whether there is a match (a blue check mark) or there is not a match (an empty white tile).

You access the BETA Family Finder – Matrix page through the Family Finder menu in your myFTDNA account.

The page starts out with two list areas: Matches and Selected Matches. You add Matches to the Selected Matches list by clicking on a name and then on the Add button.

Here is a screenshot of the BETA Family Finder – Matches page with a few matches added to the Selected Matches list.

 You can change the order of names in the matrix by clicking on a name and then either the Move Up or the Move Down button.

WOW...Family Tree DNA is listening to its customers and quickly applying their requests.  What more could you ask!  Thank you FTDNA!

Explore the new features now, before more come rolling along and you get behind! 


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