13 December 2013

Family Tree DNA Webinars with Elise Friedman

Family Tree DNA now offers webinars for learning the basics of genetic genealogy. These webinars, conducted by Elise Friedman, are FREE.  Ms. Friedman been doing DNA webinars for a few years through her website Relative Roots

This first webinar’s agenda was a wonderful overview of the basics of using DNA for genealogy and included these points:

What is Genetic Genealogy
Brief History of Genetic Genealogy
DNA Bases and Inheritance
Overiew of Family Tree DNA
Y-chromosome tests
mtDNA tests
autosomal tests Family Tree DNA Projects
More Family Tree DNA Resources
Announcements and Wrap UP
Q & A

The webinar gave clear examples and explanations for using DNA testing to supplement your traditional genealogy.  Ms. Friedman’s presentation provided quality information in a clear and concise manner without a lot of technical jargon.

Her future presentations will focus on the three types of tests: Y-chromosome (Y-DNA), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (atDNA) in the next couple of weeks.  Watch the Family Tree DNA Facebook page for dates and times.

In the near future, Family Tree DNA will have the schedule posted on their site.

Click to view this webinar  for the next few weeks.

Take advantage of this great learning tool and see how DNA testing can help your genealogy.

Wonderful idea Family Tree DNA!!!


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! 


05 December 2013

23andMe vs FDA: No DNA Health Tests Being Sold


It appears the FDA is moving quickly.  As of today 23andMe can no longer sell DNA kits for health purposes.  Perhaps this will change if things are resolved with the FDA, but that could take much time.

When you first open 23andMe the following message appears.  You must click that you understand the information before you can actually login.  This appears only once.

The above form letter states:

Welcome to 23andMe.

At this time, we have suspended our health-related genetic tests to comply immediately with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process.

We are continuing to provide you with both ancestry-related genetic tests and raw genetic data, without 23andMe’s interpretation.

If you are an existing customer please click the link below and then go to the health page for additional information. If you are a customer that purchased before 11/22/13, you will still have access to your health-related results.

We remain firmly committed to fulfilling our long-term mission to help people everywhere have access to their own genetic data and have the ability to use that information to improve their lives.

Upon entering the site, please confirm you understand the new changes in our services.

I understand that 23andMe only sells ancestry reports and raw genetic data at this time. I understand 23andMe will not provide health-related reports.  However, 23andMe may provide health-related results in the future, dependent upon FDA marketing authorization.


After clicking the green button below the message (see photo above) which says "I UNDERSTAND", you are taken to the home page for selling kits.  The kit price is still $99, but there is no mention of any health testing.

IF the FDA's issues with 23andMe can be resolved and the company can resume selling DNA health kits, the path would be cleared for other companies.  However, if 23andMe either has to cease selling the health tests or has to modify their system greatly, there is concern about how profitable the company will be, given that it has always been structured around a focus on health rather than on genealogy.  In the meantime, it is also possible that more restrictions may be placed upon the company. We shall have to see.

Depending upon the outcome, their entire business model may need changing and/or their website. No doubt the FDA has 23andMe's ear now, and no doubt 23andMe will scramble to comply.  They have no choice.  BUT just what will be required of them is the question  What compromise, if any, can be reached.

Regardless, this can be a handicap to genealogists.  Many genetic genealogists have reported that even though people have tested for health reason, they often become interested in genealogy.  Given this, all of us are losing.

The genetic genealogy community is watching all this very carefully...


Family Tree DNA Updates Website

Family Tree DNA has updated their site using the requests presented to them by the genetic genealogists at their yearly conference in Houston this last November.  These change,s as promised, have happened in record speed!  HAPPY DANCE!

All of the following were among the requests, and there are more requests slated to come!  This is a very exciting time to see that Family Tree DNA is listening to the project administrators who are greatly involved in using the website features I the best possible ways to assist in dealing with genealogical brick walls.

The announcement stated:

Today we are releasing some great updates that were requested during our 9th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy.  Here is a quick summary with some screen shots of what to expect.

ftdna 12-4
1. The timeout for myFTDNA has been increased from 30 min to 2 hrs.  This will benefit everyone but will especially be appreciated by our Group Admins when they are impersonating into a kit.
2. Changed the word “Triangulation” to “Common Matches” for Family Finder matching.
ftdna 12-4 2
3. Instead of using the word “Steps” on the matching pages we will now use “Genetic Distance.”  This will effect both the Y-DNA and mtDNA matching pages.
ftdna 12-4 3
4. Fixed the Interactive Tour.  It was getting stuck at the Family Finder section but will now complete.
ftdna 12-4 4
5. Updated the Profile Pop up on matching pages with a new design and restored the “About Me” section and badges.  This profile is available on all matching pages:  Y-DNA, mtDNA, Family Finder, and Advanced Matching.
ftdna 12-4 5
6. Added the ability for a user to download chromosome browser data for all of their matches.  This new option is towards the top right side of the chromosome browser page and will be in Excel format.

YEAH for these changes, especially number one an six since administrators are often timed-out before our work is complete AND the latter change allows everyone to download the chromosome browser data for all of our matches at once instead of five at a time! HAPPY, HAPPY DANCE!!!

Although some of these changes may seem minor, they are all very helpful...and the real point is this:  Family Tree DNA is listening to the needs of genetic genealogists who know best how to use DNA testing for their family research.  These changes reflex needs that make the lives of voluntary project administrators easier as well as clarify the process for the DNA users.

All of us are very anxious to see the rest of the proposed list addressed in the coming months, and are very hopeful that most, if not all, of the suggested changes will be implemented.  

AND, how many companies do you know that listen to consumer needs with positive action?  I can't name any other.  

Looking forward to the future!

03 December 2013

23andMe vs. FDA

Over the last week or so there has been a great deal of discussion with the announcement that the FDA is asking 23andMe to "cease and desist".  The genetic genealogy community has been watching all this very carefully.  We are not being alarmists, but cautious. Some of those genetic genealogists are familiar with the workings of the FDA on these matters and some are knowledgeable about 23andMe in general.  There is agreement that we need to move on all this.

I have waited to post about the FDA confronting 23andMe as other bloggers have done a very fine job keeping everyone current, and I wanted to be certain there was movement toward curbing 23andMe.  Now there is.

I realize that some of you may just be on AncestryDNA or Family Tree DNA, but most of you have done 23andMe and perhaps all three.

I know I have recently asked for emails from those who match me and am trying to get everything on 23andMe in order as this FDA project isn't going away.  23andMe has just pulled all their online ads for their affiliate programs.  You know, those links that get you something if someone orders a test through the link on your site.  The middle link tells you what to do for your account.

Anyway, I strongly urge you to read all of the following links from blogger Roberta Estes:

Please ask for emails from all your testers and to share BASIC genomes.  If you match me and we are not sharing emails or BASIC genomes, please send an invitation to do so and send me your email.

ALSO, consider transferring your test results to Family Tree DNA to be in another database for several reasons:
1. You get additional matches and at this site you do not have to invite people as you see their email and names.
2. We just don’t know to what exist the FDA will push their “cease and desist” order.

ALSO, know that 23andMe has had plans to upgrade their chip (at least before all this and they still may once this is resolved).  The new chip is not compatible with Family Tree DNA and with AncestryDNA so to join those groups now may be a good thing.  Family Tree DNA's cost to transfer from either 23andMe or AncestryDNA is on sale for $49 until Dec 31.

Do spread the word.  Altough some of us paid hundreds of dollars for this test while those new to all this paid $99 or got it free through one of the 23andMe programs, none of us want to lose what we have obtained.  

Hope this helps,

20 November 2013

Adoption Success Story

Another wonderful DNA Success Story!

It all started with a letter I found among my mother’s papers after she died in 1971. She had been born in 1918 in New York City. The letter, dated July 30,1948, was typed on letterhead stationery from “The Spence-Chapin Adoption Service.” I knew my mom had been adopted. In fact, her 2 brothers and sister were not biological siblings but were also adopted. They all grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, it was news to me that my mom had corresponded with the adoption agency, and that she had requested her birth certificate. I think, if the request had been granted, my mom would have received an amended birth certificate listing her adopted parents, not her birth parents.

The request had been denied. The explanation: “The reason for the difficulty seems to be that your mother [birth mother] had a different name put on the birth certificate than is on the order of adoption and we were unable to prove that the name Helen Grant which is on the order of adoption is the same person as Helen Moore, the name in which your birth is registered.”

I held onto the letter with the idea that sometime I might be able to complete this goal for my mom, but raising a family of six children myself, I let many years pass by before I took the goal seriously. When I did, I found that the Spence-Chapin Adoption Service was still in business in New York City, and I contacted them to request non-identifying information. I was told they would have to search for the file, and it took about 9 months, but finally an administrator phoned. They had found the file. Although I was only entitled to non-identifying information, the information they gave me coupled with the information I already had from the 1948 letter gave me some hope.

I made some assumptions, which could have been incorrect. I assumed that the surname “Grant” was probably my mom’s birth mother’s maiden name, and that the surname “Moore” was probably the surname of my mom’s unknown birth father. There was some evidence to support this theory. For example, the agency spokesperson told me that my mom’s birth grandmother was with her daughter when the adoption papers were signed. It seemed likely that they would have used the family name. On the other hand, the birth grandmother may not have been present in the hospital when the birth certificate information was given.

 The non-identifying information given to me by the adoption agency included these facts: My mom’s birth mother was 18 at the time of the birth. She was unmarried, not yet self-supporting, living with her family in the southeastern U.S., and unable to be a parent at this time. Knowing only that the birth family lived in the southeastern U.S. was not very helpful, so I asked if the agency representative could tell me the state. She told me “Mississippi.”

Meanwhile, my son was waiting for the birth of his first child and knew she was a girl. They were considering some family names, so I asked the agency spokesperson if I could know the birth mom’s first name, and I was told, “Marion.”

I had been referred to an adoption “angel,” who had also been adopted out of New York City. She had some knowledge of the process and a great desire to help me. She had access to the index of birth registrations in New York City during the time my mom was born there. She discovered that there is a birth registration for an un-named female baby Moore, born on my mom’s birthday (November 20, 1918) in New York City. The index did not include any other information, but I was thrilled. This could be the birth record referred to in the 1948 letter. It could be the record that the adoption agency had been unable to find because they had been told that the birth was registered under the name of Helen Moore. My adoption angel and I tried every way we could to obtain the long version of the birth certificate. We were unsuccessful.

New York City is notoriously unwilling to share vital records with anyone who isn’t the person involved or the person’s parents. There was a small chance that I could get the record if my last name were “Moore” or if I could provide notarized copies of documents showing my relationship to “Moore.” I concluded that, without a lawyer and a $5,000 fee, there was no hope in New York City.

I communicated with the Wisconsin government agency which provides assistance to adoptees looking for birth parents. The case worker was able to locate the record of the court adoption proceedings, and she even sent me a copy, but the name of the birth mother and any identifying information had been expunged. Apparently my mom’s adopted father, who was an attorney, had insisted that the records were sealed. Again, the only way to get more information involved a lawyer and lawyer’s fees.

I turned to the U.S. census records of Mississippi. Knowing that the birth mother was 18 at my mom’s birth was helpful, but there were still considerations. Since my mom’s birthday was late in the year (Nov. 20,1918), her mom’s birth date could have been in 1900 if she had a Jan. through Nov. 20th birthday. Or if her birth date were Nov. 20th through Dec. 31st, she would have been born in1899. Of course, census records show ages as of the enumeration date, and often the ages are incorrect depending on how knowledgeable the informant was. I was interested in the 1910 census, which had an enumeration date of 15 Apr 1910.

Searching for information on U.S. censuses has become easy, using ancestry.com and
FamilySearch.org. It took some diligence, but I finally found a “Marion Grant,” living in Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi. In April,1910 she was 9 years old, and I now knew her parents’ names.

This opened flood gates of possibilities. I was unable to find a birth record on FamilySearch.org, but when I searched the public member trees on ancestry.com, I found a couple of trees that listed “my” Marion. These gave me the fact that Marion was married about 10 years after my mom’s birth. Thus I discovered Marion’s married name. These trees listed interesting facts about the Grant family. I discovered that my mom’s possible birth grandmother (Marion’s mother), Frances Pitts Grant was an accomplished composer and pianist. I investigated this fact further and discovered that there are a number of her compositions in the Special Collections of Tulane University. This was especially interesting to me because my mother was an excellent pianist from a very young age. It strengthened the hope that I had found the right person.

I waited impatiently for the release of the 1940 U.S. Census. I hoped fervently that Marion’s listing would occupy line 14 or 29 of the 1940 census because these people were required to answer supplementary questions. These questions included “Number of children ever born.” I needn’t have wasted any time worrying about whether Marion would be truthful or not because she didn’t have to answer the supplemental questions. The census did reveal that a son “Dave” had joined the family.

I turned to newspaperarchive.com and discovered an obituary for Marion. She had died of a heart attack in Tuscan, Arizona in 1954. I used the death date to search and find a death certificate in Arizona records online. The death certificate provided me with her birth date:  November 9th, 1900. Reading Marion’s obituary gave me more information about her son, but I was hesitant to contact him without more definitive evidence.

I had been reading success stories about adoptees finding birth parents with DNA testing. I looked at the Family Tree DNA website, and I noticed that there is a Pitts Family project. Marion Grant’s mother was Frances Pitts Grant. I sent in my sample, and I hoped to uncover a connection that would give credibility to my theory. When the results came in the connection was not clear. A connection wasn’t ruled out, nor was it confirmed. For one thing, my mtDNA haplogroup was U5a1h, which is so rare that there were no others in the FTDNA database of more than 168,000 mtDNA records.

Nancy and David, the Pitts DNA Project administrators, encouraged me to contact my mom’s possible half-brother. If he agreed to testing, and if he were my half-uncle, then the connection would be very apparent. He would be the only person on FTDNA to share my rare haplogroup. Nevertheless, I was hesitant because I didn’t have strong proof, and I didn’t want to cause him emotional trauma. Nancy and David explained that my half-uncle’s mtDNA came from his mother Marion. My mtDNA came from my mother, who got her mtDNA from Marion. The two should be identical or nearly identical. However, my half-uncle’s children would not have Marion’s mtDNA. They would have gotten their mtDNA from their own mother.

With support from my family, I took a deep breath and wrote a letter to the person I hoped was my half-uncle. It turned out that he knew nothing about the idea that his mom had a baby prior to himself, but he was a very nice person. He agreed to give the DNA test a try, and ordered the mtdna Full Genetic Sequence.

I think he was very surprised when the DNA proved our relationship, but he says he is thrilled to include my family in his, and my family is thrilled too. Finally, I have another person with the U5a1h haplogroup, and I also have a newly discovered half-uncle. The Family Finder test confirmed the relationship at: 1st Cousin, Half Siblings, Grandparent/Grandchild, Aunt/Uncle, Niece/Nephew. It is a wonderful feeling.

Signed: Tish S.

Thank you Tish for sharing this and thank you David, co-admin of the Pitts DNA Project,  for notifying me of this wonderful story!


13 November 2013

2013 Family Tree DNA International Conference, Day 2

Day 2
The annual International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) meeting started today with a review.  ISOGG was born out of the 2004 FTDNA conference.  This self-supporting volunteer organization is free to anyone and only asks that you share your knowledge about DNA testing for genealogy.  Katherine Borges, director, mentioned that the ISOGG Wiki page is very active and that there is a new page for administrators who wish to sponsor tests can be listed.  Some DNA projects raise money to sponsor tests. The Wiki is a great source and you are welcome to use anything within its pages as long as you cite your source.

ISOGG has been a presence at Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) for many years.  This is the world’s largest genealogical conference and is held in London every February.  Besides this, ISOGG has had a table at Southern California Genealogical Society’s DNA Day held one day before Jamboree in June.  Many ISOGG members gave presentations and the day was a great success.  ISOGG also held a stand in Back to the Past (BOTP) in Dublin, Ireland this October.  This was the first presence there and Family Tree DNA also attended.  Again, another great success.

Alice Fairhurst reported that in 2006 the Y-SNP tree began.  SNPs were pulled from academic papers primarily. The following timeline shows the growth.

2006 – 436 SNPs
2008 – 790 SNPs
2010 – 935 SNPs
2012 – 2067 SNPs
Sept 2013 – 3610 SNPs

With the advent of the Big Y test which covers 25,000 SNPs, that number is now much larger.

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JOGG) was founded the same year as ISOGG, but has not been operating for over a year.  Katherine is seeking to put JOGG under the ISOGG umbrella, if needed, in the near future.

A DNA conference will be held August 16-17, 2014 in Washington DC.  Watch for coming news.

Michael Hammer’s presentation Implications of the 2014 Y Tree focused on the origins of some R1b subclades and with more testing the origins and migrations are altering. Dr. Hammer demonstrated that the current perception of R1b haplogroup migrations may have originated in the Near East before coming to Western Europe >5,000 years ago. Other haplogroups tend to show some other interesting patterns, although sample sizes are small at this time. Dr. Hammer called upon citizen scientists to help gather the needed data for further study by continuing to SNP test.

Marja Pirttivaara in Bridging Social Media & DNA shared her success with her Finland DNA Project and how to use social media to assist a DNA project.  She covered some privacy rights and intellectual property rights, suggesting that we refer to the GAP guidelines and Family Tree DNA’s Private Policy and Terms of Service. She would like everyone who has Finish ancestry to contact her.

Engineering Update/IT Roadmap was presented by Elliott Greenspan after introducing Jason Wang, the new Technology Officer. The IT department of Family Tree DNA has grown greatly and will continue to grow in the next few months. With the acquisition of Arpeggi the time to produce results from DNA testing has been reduced. In 2012 Family Tree DNA processed 107.6 petabytes and by October 2013 413.7 petabytes. The Family Finder pages have started to be revamped and are now in Build 37 with Build 38 coming. A SNP Request Form has been established so customers can have a particular SNP vetted and made available to the public. mtDNA is now in Build 14 and they added Steps (formerly called Genetic Difference) as is seen in Y-DNA testing. Family Tree DNA states that having a difference on the mtDNA still means two people are related, but probably just further back in time.  They have a case of a mother and child who have a difference of one.  The next Build upgrade will likely jump to 16 or 17. Family Tree DNA has provided a $10 coupon to anyone who uploads their Gedcom.  This coupon does not have an expiration date, but they do not know how long it will be provided.  Thousands of Gedcoms have been uploaded over the last couple of months.

Family Tree DNA introduced the Big Y test which tests 10,000,000 base pairs and 25,000 SNPs, and if one person has a unique SNP it will be placed on the Y-tree. Sale price until Nov 30 is $495, reg $695.  If you have tested the Walk Through the Y you will also find a $50 off coupon.

For the X-chromosome there is a new algorithm.  This will be on an advanced feature which will also have a browser.  With the uniqueness of the X inheritance, although matching is great, not matching someone may mean nothing. Launch date for the X is January 2, 2014.

Population Finder is being updated with a new outlook and new features so that when a new population is found it will take less time to be added to the system.  There will be over 50 populations in Europe alone and the African population will improve.

Dr. Connie Bormans who manages the lab gave the following information:
Family Tree DNA, unlike its major competition, runs its own lab and are proud to announce they have the following accreditation:

CLIA (federal)
CAP (College of American Pathologists) - This supersedes CLIA and is considered the "gold standard" of accreditation
NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health)

Although lab inspections are required every two years, given this list, the lab is audited yearly from some.

FTDNA also committed to renewing and improving communication between the customer and the Lab and the Lab to IT.  For example with some new software it now takes half the time to upload new Family Finder results.  There is better tracking systems in place, for example, if there is not enough of a DNA sample for an upgrade or traditional test so there is less turn-around time in requesting an additional sample when needed.

There are many future projects being planned with possibly a return to the Deep Clade test and the testing of trace DNA which means from hair, etc. if the demand is high enough.  At least this is on their radar.

Dr. Maurice Gleeson reported on the Back to Our Past conference in Dublin, Ireland.  Family Tree DNA sent some representatives there to swab the Irish and found several Americans attending who also tested. Dr. Gleason walked us through the marketing he did and the statistics showing the success of the marketing and of the conference.  The whole affair was deemed a success for DNA testing. Presentations can be found on  YouTube.

Brad Larkin spoke about his Surname DNA Journal which was conceived at the 2012 FTDNA Conference to provide a peer-review publication process in the field of genetic genealogy.  The first article was published in January 6, 2013. There are no fees and open access for readers.  The author retains the copyright and the work is published upon completion of peer review.  Articles in 2013 include:  Y-DNA of the British Monarchy, Using Y Chromosome DAN Testing to Pinpoint a Genetic Homeland in Ireland and Ancestral Parish Sampling in Ulster and Wexford. There is a call for papers. Submit your work to editor@surnamedan.com

Table Discussions:
1. atDNA  - Tim Janzen and CeCe Moore
2. atDNA Projects - for Saturday; Jen Zinck and Steven Perkins
3. Advanced DNA Tools -Rebekah Canada
4. mtDNA –Roberta Estes and Marie Rundquist
5. Y-DNA SNPs Mike Maddi and Charles Moore

I attended the Advanced DNA Tools (3rd-Party DNA Tools) where we discussed various tools which can be located on the ISOGG Wiki.  Concerns for uploading DNA results to open access databases were expressed.  Highlights of the discussion were the use of cladograms, Blaine Bettinger’s X-Chromosome charts, GEDmatch, and David Pike’s Utilities. The latter does not provide anyone with access to your data as you download the tools to your computer.

Questions and Answers period included many requests:
•  When using dark colors from grouping project members, a request was made to use a color other      than black for the text.
•  Wish more time on the administrator pages before being timed out
•  Can the raw atDNAand X-chromosome result be combined into one file.

The greatest announcement was that the Holiday Sale would begin now with an array of tests.
The sale ends 31 Dec 2013 and all tests must be paid by then.
With any test that includes the Family Finder test, you receive a $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate. Order from FTDNA now! A list of these tests is on the ISOGG Wiki.

Basic Tests:
Y-37 for $119 (reg. $169)
Y-67 for $189 (reg. $268)
Y-111 for $289 (reg. $359)
mtFull for $169 (reg. $199)
Family Finder for $99 and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate

Combination Tests:
Family Finder + Y-37 for $218 (reg. $268) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Family Finder + Y- 67 for $288 (reg. $367) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Family Finder + mtFull for $268 (reg. $298) and a Free $100 Restaurant.com gift certificate
Y-37 + mtFull for $288 (reg. $366)
Y-67 + mtFull for $358 (reg. $457)
Comprehensive for $457 (reg. $566)

Autosomal DNA Transfer for $49 (Reg $69)

Y-Refine 12 to 37 for $69 (reg. $109)
Y-Refine 12 to 67 for $148 (reg. $319)
Y-Refine 25 to 37 for $35 (reg. $59)
Y-Refine 25 to 67 for $114 (reg. $59)
Y-Refine 37 to 67 for $79 (reg. $109)
Y-Refine 37 to 111 for $188 (reg. $220)
Y-Refine 67 to 111 for $109 (reg. $129)
mtHVR1 to Mega for $149 (reg. $169)

Big Y – This is a new test for the Y-chromosome and tests 10,000,000 base pairs and 25,000 SNPs.  This sale goes only until November 30, 2013  at the sale price of $495 (You will receive an additional $50 coupon if you have done the Walk Through the Y earlier).  Regular price is $695.

The conference, once again, renewed our enthusiasm for genetic testing and in Family Tree DNA, especially this year with the Arpeggi merger.  Only one day after the conference we already see that Family Tree DNA is listening to our requests. Family Tree DNA has a renewed commitment to serving their customers and listening to their suggestions. It has begun!

As Dr. Spencer Wells  of the Genographic Project has said “The greatest history book ever written is the one hidden in our DNA.”

Time to jump into the gene pool!

12 November 2013

2013 Family Tree DNA International Conference

The 2013 FTDNA International Conference was held November 9-10 in Houston at the Sheraton North Houston.

Max and Bennett opened the conference with Max stating to the assembly that "Competition is an endorsement for what you are doing." Family Tree DNA started and the competition came.  He remarked that FTDNA is stronger than ever and that "good things are in the pipeline".  He commented that the recent acquisition with Arpeggi  guarantees continuity as he and Bennett are getting older.

Some of their newest staff were introduced and according to the conference manual ...

Jason Wang is now the Chief Technology Officer and has "had over ten years experience building successful technology companies and managing large development teams".

David Mittelman, PhD is Chief Scientific Officer and is a "geneticist, professor, and entrepreneur" and "holds a PhD in Molecular Biophysics through the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine".

Nir Leibovich is the Chief Business Officer and "a seasoned entrepreneur with a proven track record in operating and growing successful companies" with strengths in "business operations, team leadership, product and market strategy, business development and marking."

Rudy Marsh, Director of Product, has a degree in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas and was the "founder of FFAnet in 1999.  Under his guidance, FFAnet grew to 250,000 subscribers by 2006 before being sold."

David, Nir and Rudy met with several FTDNA Administrators prior to and after the conference to learn how we use DNA testing and what needs we have.  They have already begun making some of the suggested changes and additions so those at the conference are really excited about the coming years.

Max and Bennett remembered those who were part of our genetic genealogy family and have deceased:
Thomas Bopp
Tom Roderick
Herb Hubesher
David Brown
Kenny Hedgepath
Joan Miller
Henry Kaplan
Leo Little

Day 1 Agenda

Amy McGuire, JD, PhD’s presentation Am I My Brother’s Keeper addressed the privacy of individuals and the rights and interests of biological relatives of those who choose to share their genomic testing publicly.  She mentioned that with that with the online databases a good hacker could identify members of the 1,000 genomes testing. Interview data suggests that people vary greatly in how they feel about sharing their data and privacy.  One study concluded that 53.1% of those interviewed wanted the data public; 33.1% wanted it protected to some level and 13.1% wanted full protection from the public.  Many testers favored sharing the data to help health research.  Dr. McGuire mentioned dbGap which requires viewer to register and to go through a panel to justify why they wish to view/use the data stored there.  Open access databases do not have similar stipulations.

Various informed consent forms have been created by some of the companies who make the genomic data public.  When James Watson had his full genome tested, the project managers wanted permission of his children to make it public.  He would not allow them to contact his family, so the company gave it to him to release, which he did.

Of course, all of this is in flux and raised many concerns such as:
Just how many generations are relevant in data being shared?  Up to 3rd cousins?
The responsibility should fall on mis-users of genetic data rather on restricting access.
Biological relatives should not be allowed to block relatives’ autonomy rights.

Dr. Miguel Vilar from the Genographic Project discussed the Geno 2.0 Update and Y—2014 Tree. He reviewed various aspects of the project including the Legacy Fund which helps linguistic and cultural preservation, the seven scientific grants awarded so far this year (a total of 75 grants for over $2 million dollars since conception across 5 continents), 42 manuscripts produced, and over 80 professional conferences held.  In 2013 ninety-six grant applications were received which nearly tripled the average number. Over 3,000 students across hundreds of schools have participated in the Genographic education and outreach program.

The Geno 1.0 test which ran from 2005 to 2011 had ~500,000 participants and tested 8 mtDNA SNPs in the control region and 17 SNPs in the Y along with Y-STRs)  However, the Geno 2.0 which began in 2012 has ~80,000 participants. The Geno 2.0 chip contains ~150,000 SNP array (made by Illlumina) which encompasses 130,000 atDNA (non-medical) SNPs, 3,000 mtDNA SNPs and 17,000 Y-SNPs. There are 72,000 indigenous samples since 2005 and currently 12 research centers on six continents.

The Geno 2.0 test provides the mitochondrial and Y haplogroup, compares you to 46 populations and gives you information on the top two along with your percentage of matches with Neanderthal and Denisovian hominids.  The massive number of Y-SNPs can be transferred to Family Tree DNA.

The new Genorgaphic Blog will provided many interesting articles and the latest updates.

The Y haplogroup tree has branches ten times larger with the advent of Geno 2.0’s massive Y-SNP program.  There are dozens of SNPs downstream form R-M222 which are found in Ireland. Currently there is a massive focus on R-L21 and County Mayo, Ireland and results should be available in a week or two.

Great news!  Genographic has hired someone to work with US and Canadian Native Americans in order to encourage more testing in these areas.

Geno 2.0 is currently on sale for the holidays at $159.95 (Reg. $99.95)

Matt Dexter in his Autosomal Analysis shared the result from testing his family, including his five children.  His presentation explained how autosomal DNA tests all lines of a pedigree chart and from the results of testing several of his family members, including a grandparent and grandchild, he demonstrated how one can determine which segments came from which side of the family.  Some interesting findings were how a granddaughter inherited more DNA from one grandparent than from another, how two of his children had more DNA alike than they did with other siblings.  He noted that some chromosomes can crossover consistently as well as some segments are handed down for generations.

Break Out Sessions
Jeffery Mark Paul  – Differences in Autosomal DNA Characteristics between Jewish and Non-Jewish Populations and Implications for FTDNA;s Family Finder Test
Terry Barton – Finding Indian Princess
Debbie Wayne Parker  – mtDNA Tools and Technology

THIS is when I needed a couple of CLONES!

I attended Dr. Paull’s presentation Differences in Autosomal DNA Characteristics between Jewish and Non-Jewish Populations and Implications for FTDNA's Family Finder Test as I am in his study.  Since the research findings have not been published, specific data will be omitted here.

The study explored the reasons for significant differences in match probabilities between Jewish and non-Jewish populations. Eighty-four study participants were divided into Jewish, Non-Jewish, and Interfaith groups.  Using the Family Finder test with a focus on the number of matches and the distribution of predicted relationships, data was recorded regarding the variation of shared centimorgans (cMs) and longest cM blocks.  The goals is to determine how atDNA results varied between the groups so more accurate adjustments could be made to the Family Finder algorithm for endogamous populations.  The study determined among other things where over prediction appears to occur for Jewish populations.

NOTE:  Endogamous populations are those that tend to marry within their class, ethnic or social group.

Additonal Breakouts:
Roberta Estes – Finding Indian Princess
Tim Janzen – Autosomal Mapping
Jim Rader – What Can a Genealogist Use from DNA Test Results?

Roberta Estes in her presentation on Finding Indian Princess provided some wonderful clues to determine if an ancestor could have been a Native American when DNA testing cannot always help.  If the Native American is not on the patrilineal, matrilineal line or is not within the parameters of an atDNA test and the tester has enough DNA to fit the threshold, a DNA test cannot help greatly. Roberta shared her knowledge that helps researchers not kiss too many frogs as she puts it, but to find their Indian Princess.  In some records during certain times, Native Americans are lumped together with all persons of color. However, knowing the state laws can help. On tax rolls, wives who were not white were also taxed.  White wives were not.  In 1835 in North Carolina and Tennessee if a person had a drop of non-white blood, the lost their right to vote, testify in court and other civil rights that we take for granted today. A mixed couple could live on tribal land and many did.  The Cherokees were heavily admixed and in 1835 there were 211 white intermarried when the removal roll was taken.

Remember that not all oral history accounts of Native American can be determined by DNA testing, but that does not disprove the oral history.

Table Discussions:
The names following the topic were moderators of the discussions which were well attended.

1. atDNA – Matt Dexter
2. atDNA Projects – Ken Graves and Emily Aulicino
3. Advanced DNA Tools; 3rd Party, etc. – CeCe Moore
4. mtDNA – Debbie Parker Wayne
5. Y-DNA SNPs – Rebekah Canada, Roberta Estes, and Marie Rundquist

The results of the atDNA Project meeting on Saturday culminated in gathering all the email addresses of those attended to continue further discussion.  A major focus was to gather information on the varieties of atDNA projects that do exist, determine what variety of atDNA projects could exist as well as what information could be included on atDNA webpages and what tools are needed. Some of the criteria for these goals will take time to develop.

FTDNA Recognizes 10+ Year Administrators
Before the end of the day, Bennett and Max handed out plaques to those in attendance who had been administrators for ten or more years.  Family Tree DNA knows there are many others who have been administrators this long, but had to settle on those who attended. They intend to recognize the others in some manner, so if you are a 10+ year administrator, please email FTDNA at events@ftdna.com with your name, group and approximate start date.

Those are:
1.  Leo Baca
2.  Mic Barnette
3.  Janet Baker Burks
4.  Roberta Estes
5.  Robert B. Noles
6.  Dyann Hersey Noles
7.  Nora J. Probasco
8.  Whitney Keen
9.  Jim Barrett
10. Michael DeWitt McCown
11. James L. Rader
12. Steven C. Perkins
13. Ken Graves
14. Linda Magellan
15. Allen Grant
16. Katherine Hope Borges
17. Phillip Crow
18. George Valko
19. Terese Bueker
20. Nancy Custer
21. Peter J. Roberts
22. Louise Rorer Rosett
23. Mary Fern Souder

Jerry Cole should have received a plaque and will be getting his this week.

The group is flanked by Max and Bennett.

AND...check out the great logo for the T-shirts this year!

Say tuned for Day 2 and the list of DNA kits on sale until December 31st!

31 October 2013

DAR Accepts DNA

... The Second Time Around

A few years ago the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) accepted the use of DNA for membership.  Shortly thereafter, they changed their mind. No doubt this was due to the fact that doing a Y-DNA test can only prove you are connected or not connected to a family and not to a specific person since any males along the Y-line would have the same DNA results (DNA signature). This is understandable. However, it could have disproved existing members if there were some way of testing those lines, thus making membership more accurate.

Many lineage societies have embraced DNA testing for membership years ago, including the Sons of the American Revolution. This month, the DAR has accepted the use of DNA testing under specific guidelines, effective January 1, 2014. There are eight criteria that an applicant must address. Those are explained in a PDF entitled NSDAR Policy on the Use of Y-DNA Evidence for DAR Membership Applications 

In reading numbers 7 and 8, it appears that the DAR is asking that two male descendants from the same patriot be tested at a 37-marker level and that this test results be identical on all these specific markers. The descendant who is applying for membership must match a descendant who is currently a member from the same patriot. This can be problematic, and there are many possible scenarios.

The most obvious issue is for the new applicant to locate a descendant who has membership in the DAR and locate a male from this line to do a Y-DNA test.  Not an easy task in many cases.

Having a perfect match with a DAR member’s male relative is not always possible even if that male and the new applicant are from the same patriot. There is often a mutational difference in the descendants of someone who lived in the 1700s as mutations are can happen anytime. This means that if two descendants of the same patriot tested and there was a mutational difference of one, the applicant would not be eligible. I have seen cases in my Y-DNA projects where the mutation is very recent, thus the one could conclude that the two testers do have the same common ancestor. Although what the DAR is proposing is triangulation (the process of comparing two or more test results to determine the validity of a genealogical connection) there is no explanation that more descendants may need testing to prove the relationship since one son of a patriot could have received a mutation, but not the other son. If any mutation shows in the lineage, the applicant should be able to submit enough tests and a reasonable argument explaining where the mutations occurred and why the patriot is still the ancestor of the applicant.

On the other hand, I know testers who have a perfect match at 37 markers, but when the test is increased to 67 or 111 they have mutational differences that could make them on separate lines of descent. Again, triangulation could help.

This seems to be a way of accepting DNA testing to help support the paper trail or in some cases in lieu of one father-son connection as mentioned in their criteria.  No doubt this can help some applicants, hopefully.  However, it seems that only those with difficulty finding a good paper trial will resort to DNA testing. At least that gives the applicant another avenue, but I would like to see DNA testing submitted where possible, regardless. This way, the DAR would also know if the paper trail is correct. This would help build a DNA database for their future applicants. Granted, not all applicants have a male in their line to test, but by requiring DNA testing of a male for all future applicants where possible, the DAR would have a more accurate picture of their members.

This is a major step for the DAR and they are to be congratulated in allowing applicants to submit DNA testing results with their paper trail. This is still putting a lot of weight on the paper trail so if an applicant does not match an existing line through a DNA test, the applicant could merely submit the paper work, but not the test. All genealogists know the problems with using paper records for proof and all genetic genealogists know that DNA testing is the most accurate tool a genealogist has.

Welcome to the gene pool, Daughters of the American Revolution.


29 October 2013

National Genographic Sale

National Genographic is having a three-day sale starting today!

Their Geno 2.0 test is regularly $199.95, but currently on sale for $159.95.

You can become a part of a scientific study that is mapping how humans migrated around the globe.  National Genographic, a non-profit organization, uses part of the money from your purchase for research and part for their Legacy Fund which provides grants to indigenous people.

This is a wonderful test for ancient ancestry. It will help reduce the gap between our written genealogy and our ancient ancestry. Not only can you learn how your ancestors moved around the world, but you are compared with various populations to determine which two make up most of your ancestry.  You can also learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA.

This test is very informative for males as they receive a detailed Y-DNA haplogroup which can be transferred to Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) at no cost.  As Family Tree DNA no longer does a Deep Clade SNP test, this is a great substitute.  (FTDNA does do individual SNP testing, however)

Join over a half a million people who have already tested!

See you in the Gene Pool!


20 September 2013

Family Tree DNA - $10 Coupon for your GEDCOM

Family Tree DNA is offering an easier way to upload your GEDCOM and in conjunction with this they are offering a $10 coupon for doing so.

Create your GEDCOM then go to your personal Family Tree DNA page and click on the icon that says:  $10 Coupon for your Family Tree.  Follow the instructions, and your coupon will appear in your e-mail.

This coupon has no expiration date and can be used for any test over $40, even new ones. Use it adding a test for yourself or share your coupon with anyone you wish to have tested.  This is the opportunity to get the Family Finder test for only $89 rather than the standard $99, for example. Or apply it to other tests.

If you happen to need more than one $10 coupon (only one coupon per test) and you have uploaded your GEDCOM, email me as I have extra coupons that I can send you.

 My e-mail:  aulicino@hevanet.com  Do let me know you saw this on my blog.


07 August 2013

Gene by Gene Acquires Arpeggi

Gene by Gene, the parent company of Family Tree DNA has just purchased Arpeggi, a start-up Health- and GE-backed company.  Gene by Gene intends to build the world’s leading genetic testing and genome diagnostic company.

The press release today states that Gene by Gene, Ltd. is “…the world’s first company to develop consumer DNA testing products for ancestry and genealogy applications…”.

This acquisition will allow DNA sequence and clinical genomics to be more accessible and affordable to consumers, researchers and healthcare providers.

Gene by Gene intends to transform healthcare by dramatically speeding up the process of sequencing, and reducing the cost of genetic tests. Presently, the company offers the full genome to customers, without analysis or interpretation, for $6995. Other tests are offered as well, but everyone is waiting for a full genome test under $1,000.

It will be grand to see decreases in sequencing time and reductions in pricing.

Congratulations Gene by Gene!

Read the entire press release here.


22 July 2013

The World's Oldest Haplogroup, A00, is now a Field Research Project!

A field research project has been formed for the oldest Y-DNA group currently known, the A00 Haplogroup.

Dear friends and fellow enthusiasts,

I have an exciting announcement to share with you.  Until now, we as genetic genealogists and researchers of deep ancestry have always been dependent on the field research carried out by professional, academic population geneticists, whose priorities and interests have been different from ours.  They were the only ones with access to the grant funding necessary to finance such projects.

It's a new day now -- the times they are a-changin'.  "Crowdfunding" is one of the hottest new developments in the online world, and with good reason.  Now, we the people can launch all kinds of projects, and we can decide what we want to support with our own funds.

Today we go live with our crowdfunding page for the first grassroots, citizen science organized project to collect DNA samples in the field, in Cameroon!   We're using the Microryza website, which is devoted to crowdfunding science research.  Here's the link:




Many of you heard about our discovery of the A00 haplogroup, the world's earliest-branching Y-chromosome lineage.  It was found in a WTY of the Perrys, an African-American family with an extremely unusual and unique haplotype, and then we found a few haplotypes matching them from members of two African ethnic groups, the Mbo and the Bangwa, who are neighbors in Southwest Cameroon.  A few tiny bits of Mbo DNA were shared with Dr. Michael Hammer, and sequenced by his lab and Thomas Krahn at FTDNA. The SNPs confirmed that they belonged to the same haplogroup as the Perry family.

Calculations by Dr. Fernando Mendez, and others in our community, have placed the branching age of this lineage at anywhere from 200,000 to 338,000 years ago --  at the dawn of modern humans' emergence, or before.  And so little is known about it!  How far does it extend from those few Mbo and Bangwa families, and can it be found in other peoples?  Is A00 a remnant of the earliest, indigenous hunting and gathering peoples of Africa, and if so, when and where were they assimilated into other peoples, who are now settled farmers (though they still hunt)?

For the first time since A00 has been known to exist, a young Cameroonian scholar, Matthew Fomine Forka Leypey, a member of the Mbo ethnic group, will visit the villages known to harbor significant numbers of A00 members, sample there, and collect information on the families.  How do we know which villages have A00?   Because Matthew collected the original Mbo samples, and over 2000 other DNA samples from all over Cameroon, as part of his dissertation research!  His data indicate that the Mbo and Bangwa are only two of a number of peoples who have A00 among them.  About a dozen other ethnic groups include A00 members, including some Pygmies!  Those samples, though, are no longer available to us.

Now it's time to gather our own samples.  We have a series of five field trips planned, to gather samples of diverse peoples in Western, Southern and Eastern Cameroon.  Our analysis will include some special areas of knowledge from Matthew's studies, such as how different peoples support themselves within forest and grasslands ecologies, and the effects of polygamy vs. monogamy in patterns of populations' Y-chromosome DNA.

In the past, it has always been thought necessary to make DNA donors anonymous when they participate in scientific studies.  In this project, however, we'll be asking for the donors' names, for several reasons:
1. We want to give them the possibility of receiving their test results, if they are interested
2. We want there to be a future possibility of families who match them, such as African Americans, to know their matches, if they opt in
3. We hope to gather a second sample (saliva) from one or more donors, in order to have a full Y genome sequence done
4. We hope to correlate the haplogroups and haplotypes we find with families of different known histories, such as royal lineages, traditional religious office-holders, and those that are known to have had ancestors held as slaves by local rulers.

Of course, their names will not be made public except, should they decide to participate and future funding allows it, to their individual DNA matches.

This is a kind of research, combining genealogy with population genetics, that academics rarely undertake, but which has been occasionally done in papers such as this one by one of the co-authors of our last paper, Dr. Krishna Veeramah:
Sex-Specific Genetic Data Support One of Two Alternative Versions of the Foundation of the Ruling Dynasty of the Nso in Cameroon 

We have four weeks to raise the $2500 needed to launch our first field trip in Cameroon.  Our deadline is August 19th.  Then Matthew will set out for the remote mountain villages where he was raised.  We look forward to bringing you all along on this great adventure.

In addition, apart from the appeal for fieldwork support per se, we're looking for a few generous individuals who'll help us obtain a decent (can be used) laptop and a digital camera for Matthew, who's a very low-income grad student.  We're also looking for a trustworthy person flying to Cameroon who can take these along, saving us the exorbitant shipping fees. Please write to me if you have any leads.
In the near future, the next fundraising campaign will ask for your support for the DNA extraction and the screening of our first set of samples for A00.  Stay tuned!  Please visit and "like" our page on Facebook:

Looking forward to seeing you, with gratitude for your support,
Bonnie Schrack

The above message arrived today on the e-mail list for the administrators who are members of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, a non-profit organization which helps to educate the public about the use of DNA for genealogy.  Anyone can join this organization for free, and there is an email list for non administrators called the Newbie DNA e-mail list.  Do join and get your questions regarding DNA answered!

WTY - is the acronym for Walk Through the Y which tests for unknown SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers that help determine haplogroups (a section of the world's family tree).

Congratulations Bonnie!

27 June 2013

FTDNA's Sizzling Summer Sale --- HOT! HOT! HOT!!!!


Summer is here and the temperatures are rising!  SO...jump into the Gene Pool and take advantage of this wonderful sale!!!  What a sale Family Tree DNA has for us now!
Truly a HOT one!

Their announcement just appeared to all the Administrators:

Dear Project Administrator,

Summer is once again upon us and it is time for our Sizzling Summer event! Our successful summers over the last two years have led us to offer you great values again this year. So, let's work together to grow your projects and to grow our database.

We have been working with Illumina to offer our Family Finder autosomal test for only $99 during our summer event. In fact, if we receive enough orders at $99, Illumina may be able to help us keep it at this extremely low of rate of $99!

As you take advantage of our summer event, remember that the permanency of the $99 Family Finder test is actually in your hands!

Beginning on Thursday, June 27, 2013 and running until Friday, July 26, 2013, we will offer the following: 
Family Finder was $289 Now $99
mtDNA Full Sequence was $289 Now $189
Y-DNA37 was $169 Now $129
Y-DNA67 was $268 Now $208
Y-DNA111 was $359 Now $308
Family Finder + Y-DNA37 was $368 Now $228
Family Finder + Y-DNA67 was $467 Now $307
Family Finder + mtDNAFullSequence was $398 Now $288
Comprehensive Genome (Y-DNA67, FMS & FF) was $666 Now $496



12 June 2013

Family Tree DNA's Father's Day Sale


It is time to honor all fathers, past and present, and what a better way to do it than to give your father a Y-DNA test to allow him to see how he connects along his all male line back to the oldest known male ancestor.  This ancestor is the progenitor of all living males!  And what a way for fathers to leave a bit of themselves connected to their descendants for many, many years to come!

Honor your father with a Y-DNA test or an upgrade.

Family Tree DNA wrote to all their Project Administrators:

Since last summer's upgrade sale was such huge success, we thought we'd repeat history! Project Administrators like you played a very important role in last year's success by broadcasting the sale to project members. As your project members upgrade, the resolution of results and comparisons we provide greatly improves. So, please spread the word and we'll make this year's upgrade sale even bigger!

From June 12, 2013 through June 19, 2013, we will reduce the following prices.
Y-DNA 12 to 25 was $49 Now $35
Y-DNA 12 to 37 was $99 Now $69
Y-DNA 12 to 67 was $189 Now $148
Y-DNA 25 to 37 was $49 Now $35
Y-DNA 25 to 67 was $148 Now $114
Y-DNA 25 to 111 was $249 Now $224
Y-DNA 37 to 67 was $99 Now $79
Y-DNA 37 to 111 was $220 Now $188
Y-DNA 67 to 111 was $129 Now $109

To order an upgrade at these special prices your members can log into their personal pages with their kit number and password. Click on the "Order Upgrade" button located on the right side of the menu bar. Then click on the "Special Offers" button.


You have never ordered a test at FTDNA yet?
To get a test and use this upgrade sale:
1.  Go to the FTDNA website
2.  Click on ORDER NOW just after you read the announcement of the $49 Y-DNA test.
3.  Order a Y-12 marker test for $49
4.  Once you get the kit number and your password (It is on your order), call FTDNA to add the upgrade you desire.  The number, again, is:  713-868-1438.  You cannot order the upgrade from your personal website, but when you call the customer representative will take your request for an upgrade, and it will be honored when the test is "batched" (i.e., put in a group for testing).  You will need to watch your webpage to see when it is batched.  Look under ORDER HISTORY.  At that time, call the company and give them your kit number and credit card information for the upgrade.  They will honor the price as you requested it during the sale.

IMO, not the easiest situation for the customer, but it is a nice savings and worth the extra effort.


11 June 2013

Family Tree DNA Accepts AncestryDNA's Autosomal Tests at a Sale Price

Have you taken the autosomal test at 23andMe or AncestryDNA.com?  If so, this deal is for YOU!

While at Southern California's DNA Day and Jamboree, Family Tree DNA revealed that testers of Ancestry DNA can now transfer their test into FTDNA's database.  They have been allowing transfers from 23andMe for years.  NO other company does this, and those companies have no plans to do it.

Why is transfering your results to another company so great?    You are in more than one database and, therefore can find more matches along your autosomal lines.  Working with other genealogists can help you trace your lineage, share family artifacts, and have a great research partner.

And the best part of this?   You can now transfer your data from either of these companies to Family Tree DNA this week for only $49 (Regularly $99)!  (NOTE:  This transfer does not remove you from the former database, but just adds you to Family Tree DNA.)

Hurry, you don't want to miss out on this sale...the first time it's ever been offered!

Click on FAQs and put in the search:  Third Party Transfers

If you need help, call the company at:  713-868-1438

You do NOT have to have results for the autosomal tests yet.  You only need to purchase the transfer and when the results from the other company arrives, transfer it then.

As both 23andMe and Ancestry now charge $99 for their autosomal test and with the transfer cost, you are getting not only the benefit of more than one database, but the cheapest deal around!

Time to jump into the Olympic Gene Pool!

11 Jun 2013