08 November 2007

Family Tree DNA International Conference 2007


I have returned from the Family Tree DNA International Conference in Houston (Oct 20-21) to report that my two presentations went well and many new administrators thanked me and mentioned that they learned a lot. AND...I have some information on new perks for all of us.

First of all, Family Tree DNA will be changing it's webpages and many of its features in the near future. This is exciting news as the system is really just too old to fix. They hired computer guru and genealogist Adrian Williams who has run the Williams DNA Project for years. Adrian is a wonderful asset to the company.

Secondly, FTDNA is creating a My Maps link which will show testers where the most ancient ancestor lives for people who closely match. This is a major improvement and different approach to the current map found on the public project websites. This link will improve with each phase. The first version of My Maps will show all the people who match you or have close matches on a 12, 25, 37, and 67 markers. It will show where the oldest ancestors lived, if the people who match you enter the longitude and latitude of their town or city under PREFERENCES at their FTDNA Personal Web Pages. You will only see those who have entered a longitude and latitude for the oldest proven ancestor. In this case the same close DNA is more important than the surname. Close haplotypes on many markers and a similar geographic location can indicate a close relationship, given the knowledge that people tended not to move.

The idea behind this is that from the 1600-1800s about 80% of the population married someone from the same or next village, less than 10 miles away. Therefore, a close genetic match equals a close geographic match in this time frame with the exception of those who migrated for some reason. Migration cannot be controlled, of course. People migrated to escape the law, religious persecution, to hide from family, to gain better or more land and no doubt many other reasons.

Of course, the higher the number of markers which match, the better the probability that your ancestors came from the same area as the other tester since this would show a much closer match/relationship.

To prepare for this feature.
Each of us needs to encourage our project members to enter the longitude and latitude for KNOWN locations of the oldest PROVEN ancestor and to do it accurately. Project managers should check the location of the balloon on the current map to determine accuracy as many people are landing in the Indian Ocean, etc. Below are instructions for placing the balloon properly.

It is VERY important to only place ancestors for whom you KNOW their geographic town or city. In some cases it is better to add a county/province if that is all that is known. To do so; however, you would need to use the longitude and latitude for the county seat or some other large town. Do indicate after entering the name (See #4 below) that you only know the county by stating it thusly:
James Doolin, b. 1755 VA; r. Pulaski Co, KY
(Note that I do not know where in Virginia James was born, but know where he lived. It is be better to use a fact than a guess.)

Steps for adding Longitude and Latitude:
Go to your Personal FTDNA Web pages
Scroll to the bottom of the page where you see: Paternal Side, etc.
Enter the name of your oldest PROVEN Ancestor for the line you tested. Also include a date where possible and a specific location. Example: James Doolin, b. 1755 VA; r. Somerset, KY
Do the same if you have tested for the maternal side (REMEMBER: These lines should be only for those tested….all male or all female)
Find the Hyperlink just above the Paternal Side box. The sentence reads: “The latitude and longitude fields should have a decimal format only placed in them. To find a location in the decimal format click here.
Click on the hyperlink and read the instructions.
Enter at least the country and a city and click GO.
Copy and paste the Latitude and Longitude to the boxes on your USER PREFERENCE web page
EX: Latitude: 37.093
Longitude: -84.601
NOTICE: If the minus sign appears before the Longitude, then copy it as well or
you may be placed in the Pacific Ocean, etc.
Check the project’s website map to see if you have been properly placed.

NOTE: Google Maps do have a glitch. If you are the first person to put in a town, then all is well. If you are not, then the balloon will not show as Google maps can only do one dot for each location. In this case (and until FTDNA can find a better mapping system), just tweak the latitude or longitude by increasing or decreasing the last number my one. This changes the “minutes”, but it is relatively close in locale. IF you add the location to the name of your oldest ancestor, this will help anyone viewing your balloon on the map. In other words, if I cannot get Somerset, KY to show a balloon, at least I have it after the name.

Also, FTDNA has announced their annual Gift to everyone. This year we see the return of the Gift Certificate. Please contact me if you wish to purchase a test and get the prices below by joining (temporarily even) a DNA project. If you go straight to the FTDNA site you will pay much more.

Each Project's General Fund will receive the following: two $30 Y-DNA37 2007 Gift Certificate two $15 Y-DNA25 2007 Gift Certificate two $15 mtDNA 2007 Gift Certificate

The certificates are for NEW testers only.
To use the certificate, the Administrator must place the kit order via INVOICE PAYMENT. The test price will be adjusted to reflect the gift certificate discount. CREDIT CARDS WITH THIS PROMOTION AS THE CARD WILL BE CHARGED THE FULL AMOUNT.

The Order must be placed and paid for between November 6, 2007 and December 31, 2007.
These gift certificates are NOT redeemable for cash, with any other offers or for existing kit upgrades.

If you know anyone you would liked tested, please email me with the name, address, phone number, email addr and the particular test you wish. I will then order your kit via INVOICE and you will receive it in the mail. The invoice will reflect the discounted gift certificate. When you submit your DNA sample, you send a check for the amount stated.

If you have any questions, please email me.

This is a first come; first served basis. I will try to get extra certificates, if possible and will let you know if I can.

Best wishes,

10 February 2007

Genetic Genealogy Websites

Below is a list of Links that may be helpful to you.

Charles Kerchner's Webpage
This is a wonderful tutorial and array of information on Genetic Genealogy, including book recommendation.

Family Tree DNA Tutorial
This contains a large variety of information on testing.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's website with many resources. It also lists surname projects from several testing companies.

Dave Dorsey's Website
This site shows how DNA you take your DNA sample for testing

Revised Cambridge Reference Sequence
This is the 16,568 markers for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)

Family of Women
The site has many mtDNAHaplogroup projects and information on them.

Cyndi’s List for DNA
Various links to a wide range of DNA sources

World Families Network
Many wonderful resources

International Society of Genetic Genealogist (ISOGG)


Email list of Newbies -- anyone interested in Genetic Genealogy can join and ask any question on the email list.
Email list for Administrators with many links and files to help them.

(Join ISOGG today. There is no cost. Tell them you learned of it from Emily's Blog.)

Email me with any questions....


05 February 2007

DNA Book Lists

The following are a few of the books I recommend

Family History In the Genes
Chris Pomery, Richmond, Surrey, UK, 2007

Trace Your Roots With DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner, Rodale, 2004

Forensic Genealogy
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Phd
Rice Book Press, Fountain Valley, CA, 2005

DNA & Genealogy
Colleen Fitzpatrick & Andrew Yeiser
Rice Book Press, Fountain Valley, CA 2005

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
Spencer Wells
Princeton University Press, 2002
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science that Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
Bryan Sykes
W.W. Norton and Co, 2001

The Real Eve: Modern Man’s Journey Out of Africa
Stephen Oppenheimer
Carroll and Graf Publishers, 2004

Out of Eden
Stephen Oppenheimer
Constable and Robinson, 2004

DNA for Family Historians
Allan Savin
Federation of Family History Societies Publications, 2000

The Great Human Diasporas: The History of Diversity and Evolution
Luigi Luca and Francesco Cavalli-Sforza
Perseus Book Publishing, 1995

Mapping Human History: Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins
Steve Olson

DNA: The Secret of Life
James D. Watson and Andrew Berry

Genetic Genealogy DNA Testing Dictionary
Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
C. F. Kerchner and Associates, Inc., 2004

Unlocking Your Genetic History
(An NGS Guide)
Step by Step Guide to Discovering Your
Family’s Medical and Genetic Heritage
Thomas H. Shawker, M.D.
Rutledge Hill Press, 2004

How to DNA Test Our Family Relationships
GeneticTerrence Carmichael and Alexander Kuklin
AceN Press, 2000

DNA and Tradition: The Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews
Yaakov Kleinman
Devora Publishing, 2004

04 February 2007

Genetic Genealogy Presentations

Greetings everyone!

Genetic Genealogy, the merger of Genetics and genealogy was born in 2000 and has become the fastest growing aspect of genealogy today. Genetic Genealogy has beomce a powerful tool, helping genealogists break through their brick walls and prove their paper trails.

In my presentations, you can learn the basics of Genetic Genealogy, how DNA testing helps genealogical research, and how to choose a testing company. Time will be provided for answering questions. A $30 gift certificate toward the purchase of any DNA kit will be raffled at no cost to those attending.

I am a retired teacher who has been researching my family’s genealogy for over 35 years, and have traveled nationally and internationally for that research. Currently, I am the administrator of four email lists on Roots Web and one on Yahoo which helps genealogists and non-genealogists write their own family and personal memories. I also teaches monthly classes on Genetic Genealogy at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon (Portland) which is open to the public. I am the Speaker for and the Regional Coordinator of the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) for the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho which allows her to speak at any gathering on the subject of Genetic Genealogy. I manage eight DNA projects through Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and attended the FTDNA International DNA Conference in Washington DC, held at the National Geographic Headquarters in connection with their Genographic Project in November 2005 and in Houston in November 2006. In November 2005 I was interviewed by anchor Peter Ferryman of Good Day Oregon and have been the focus of a news article in The Daily News (Longview, Washington, May 2, 2006). I have given presentations on Genetic Genealogy to a large variety of audiences, in part, The All Cultural Society of Ireland (Portland), a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, various workshops including two on African DNA research, and various genealogical societies throughout Oregon and Washington.

Attend a presentation to learn how you can break through your genealogical brick walls, how you can prove or disprove your paper trail, and why thousands are turning to Genetic Genealogy to supplement their research.

Genealogical Societies and other groups with websites can benefit from genetic testing:
I am available to help these societies understand the benefits of Genetic Genealogy (use of DNA testing to aid traditional research), to set up a DNA Interest Group and to establish a DNA Project which will provide a source of income for the society. Email support for the Interest Group and the DNA Project is available.