21 December 2017

Finding Family

Mike sent this wonderful story of finding his family.  How wonderful to know your roots.  Thank  you so much for sharing as it no doubt will inspire others.

My father passed away in 1971 when I was 18. His absence from my life led me to want to learn more about him and his ancestors through genealogy research. Working with a group of other Moon researchers, we ran into a road block in 1771 with Abraham Moon. There were different spellings such as Mohn, Moon, Mohun, etc., and we could not find conclusive documentation to connect the lines.

In the early 2000s, DNA testing was becoming popular for genealogy purposes. Therefore, a group of us Moon researchers decided to take a DNA test to see if we could triangulate our names to hopefully make a connection with other Moon lines that were more established. 

Initially, I had a 12 and 25 marker YDNA test through Family Tree DNA. Those test results basically showed my male line matched to thousands of men throughout the world but no Moons. It wasn’t until I had a 37 marker YDNA test that I started matching to one particular name, Dunn. However, I could not figure out how a Dunn entered my Moon gene pool. I continued with the testing in hopes that the next level of DNA test would prove something more definitive. With the 6- marker test, I matched more Dunn’s but no Moons. Same with the 111-marker test. 

By this time, I was working with other Dunn’s and/or Dunn line administrators on what kind of tests to have and what the results meant. My mother was still living, and she made it clear that she didn’t like that I was doing the testing. She said she feared I might find some dark family secret. I laughed it off and assured her that it was far back in the Moon ancestry where the Dunn line came into our gene pool. 

Working with the Dunn administrator, I was advised to test my closest known male relative and with each match, find another male ancestor to be tested. Therefore, I had my brother tested first. Mom had already passed by that time (2006), and when I received my brothers YDNA test results, it showed that we didn’t match on any male ancestors. Which meant, we were not full brothers. I was shocked, as was everyone in our family. I was 55 at the time, and everything I thought I knew about my life was wrong. 

To make sure the results were right, FTDNA retested my sample, and it was the same as the first. We then had my brother (two and a half years older than me) and my sister (six years younger than me) tested with FTDNA’s autosomal tests. Their test results were clear, they were full siblings to each other and only half siblings to me.

Through much effort, my brother, sister, and I concluded that mom and dad split up for a short time after my brother was born in 1951 and got back together three months before my birth. We don’t know if they separated because mom cheated or that I was conceived while they were separated. Either way, my dad never made any difference in the way he treated me.

After the shock of the test results wore off, I decided to continue looking for my biological father and his family. I had the Big Y test done through FTDNA and then their autosomal test. However, none of the results proved anything, and I almost gave up because I’d spent a lot of money on all the family tests.

Then in 2015, I tried Ancestry.com’s autosomal test and the results were the same there. I matched some people connected to Dunn lines but no Dunn’s themselves and no one matched close enough to be even a fourth cousin. Then I received a message through Ancestry from a woman who asked how I was related to her daughter whose results showed she was a second cousin to me. We talked at length, and she agreed to be tested. Her results came back showing she was my first cousin. We knew by then this was my line, but we needed her uncle (one of five but only two still alive) to be tested. He was in a nursing home in Ohio, but we got him to submit a sample and his results came back as my uncle. My first cousin and I went through all the uncle’s pictures and agreed that I only looked like one of her uncles. She knew of the man, but the family wasn’t that close. She thought the one uncle had a daughter. I finally tracked her down, and at first, she was very resistant to doing the test. Finally, she agreed, and we both watched every day for the results to come back. Finally they did. I was driving in Florida when she called and said, “hello brother”.

Our dad died in 2010 but we are alike in a lot of ways. At least now I know she is my sister and that I have other nieces and nephews.  

                   Mike                                                             His dad, Sammy

Best wishes,


12 November 2017

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale!!!!

The Holiday Sale is HERE!

At the end of the FTDNA Conference in Houston today, they announced the sale for the holidays wish includes individual tests, bundles and upgrades!  Now is the time to test!

Individual Tests:
Family Finder (FF)                     $59            Reg.  $89
mtFull Sequence (FMS)           $169            Reg. $199
Y-37                                          $129            Reg. $169
Y-67                                          $229            Reg. $268
Y-111                                        $299            Reg. $359

Family Finder + Y-37                 $178            Reg. $238
Family Finder + Y-67                 $278            Reg. $337
FF + mtFull Sequence                $218           Reg. $268
FF + Y-67 + mtFull Sequence    $442            Reg. $536

mt/mtPlus to FMS                     $119           Reg. $159
Big Y *                                      $475           Reg. $575
Y-12 to Y-37                               $69            Reg. $109
Y-25 to Y-37                               $35            Reg.   $59
Y-37 to Y-67                               $79            Reg. $109
Y-37 to Y-111                           $168            Reg. $228
Y-67 to Y-111                             $99            Reg. $129

*  You must have a Y-37 test before being able to order a Big Y.  The Big Y does upgrade you to the Y-111 test, however.)

NOTE:  SNPs and SNP Packs will also be 15% off during the Holiday Sale.

Typically this sale runs until the end of December.


30 October 2017

The Triangulator

Many genetic genealogists have created tools to use witdirect-to-consumer DNA testing companies.  The list grows every year and allows the DNA tester to view their results and their matches in a wide variety of ways.  One of the basic issues genetic genealogists have is to determine Half-Identical Regions (HIRs) in order to help find the common ancestor(s) they share with a match.

You say WHAT?

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) is the test provided by 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and the one called Family Finder at Family Tree DNA. Although we share 50% of our mother's DNA and 50% of our father's DNA,  atDNA randomly combines with every person so one person does not inherit the same DNA segments as their their siblings, and we do not get equal amounts of DNA from our grandparents, etc.

We inherit 22 PAIRS of chromosomes (one chromosome of each pair comes from each parent) and a set of sex chromosomes.  Males get a Y-chromosome from dad and an X-chromosome from mom.  Females get an X from dad and an X from mom.

Only 23andMe and Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) provide a Chromosome Browser so we can see the segments we share with our matches.  23andMe does have a method of triangulating to determine if matches share the same segment with other matches you have.

At AncestryDNA, you must upload your raw data to GEDmatch, a third-party pool.  Even then, you are only compared with those from any of the companies who have also uploaded their raw data.  That is, you won't see information on the matches at AncestryDNA unless they have also uploaded to GEDmatch.

However, by looking at a Chromosome Browser, you cannot determine if your matches come from your father's side or your mother's side of the family as we get one chromosome from dad and one from mom for each pair of chromosomes.

Until now, DNA testers uploaded their matching segments into a spreadsheet and sorted them by chromosome, start position and end position to determine which matches could share the same segment.  At least three people must be matching on the same segment.  However, this method required an email to the group of three or more to see if all of them matched each other on the same segment (give or take a bit) on the same chromosome.  Those who matched each other on the same segment have a common ancestor and, therefore, share a common ancestor either your mom or dad's side. If someone doesn't match all in the group, that person shares a common ancestor on the other parent's side. This is called determining Half-Identical Regions.  (A Full-Identical Region would be those segments shared by identical twins and there could be some segments which are shared by siblings which match both parents.)

Göran Runfeldt of Sweden has developed a triangulation process using Family Tree DNA.  It has been dubbed The Triangulator.  Remember, this is still in Beta and does work best on a PC with Chrome.  However, Mac users have been able to use it.  See his site for instructions.

Instead of repeating all that others have said, I refer you to the following links which include some blogs on the issue as well as the directions.

Roberta J. Estes' blog:  DNAeXplained at https://dna-explained.com/2017/10/21/introducing-the-triangulator/

Göran Runfeld's instructions at https://dnagen.net/

Haplogroup blog at http://haplogroup.org/installing-goran-runfeldts-family-finder-segment-triangulator-chrome-extension/

Have fun!

06 October 2017

Biggie Changes for Big Y

The Big Y test was launched in November 2013 and is a test for males who have taken a Y-DNA 37, 67 or 111 STR test.  The Big Y refines a tester’s haplogoup as well as contributors to the overall knowledge of the Y Tree by increasing the number of known SNPs from hundreds to thousands. This helps testers find matches who are more closely related in genealogical time with the goal of finding SNPs that are particular to a family group.  Eventually, we will close the gap between genealogical time (existence of records) and ancient DNA. 

The Big Y can be helpful when documentation does not exist.  It has helped genealogists find locations in their former homeland as can be seen in my experience below.

My personal experience:
After having my cousin do a Y-test, I found he matched six other surnames even when I upgraded him to a Y-111.  The wonderful haplogroup administrators suggested that I do some SNP testing which I did.  Then the advent of the Big Y came, and I jumped in.  After having a tester from each of the six names my cousin matched, the haplogroup administrators told me we are part of the Seven Septs of County Laois (Ireland) which existed there in the mid-1600s and at that point my surname Doolin was actually Dowling.
               Well, this is wonderful as I was stuck in Virginia in the mid-1700s and had no ideas if my surname was Scots or Irish as my dad always said we were Scots-Irish.  Also, I had no idea where in either of those countries our ancestors lived.  I realized my lineage could have come from County Laois, but there was a hundred-year difference.
               Last October (2016), my cousin received a match on a Y-37 with a genetic difference of two. I asked Mr. Dowling to upgrade to a Y-111 which he did and then he took the Big Y. He lived in London and had his lineage back to 1795 in County Laois!  So, now we have to discover which of his family (maybe not his direct line, however) may have left Ireland about 1750.  Without the Big Y, I would have had little hope in knowing a probable location of my Doolin ancestors.  Now there is some light.

The news today is that Family Tree DNA is providing a better Big Y experience in a few ways…
On October 10th the changes in Big Y go live.  At that point Family Tree DNA will be recalculating Big Y matches and they anticipate this to take 5-7 days at which time you will be a page stating “Results Pending.  Once your results are updated, you will be notified, and after the transaction is complete, Family Tree DNA will update you as to when BAM files are available.

So what can you expect?

1.  Update to Human Genome 38
An update from Human Genome 19 to Human Genome 38 which is the most recent version and a more accurate representation of the human genome.  Advantages include:
•  Better mapping of NGS data to the proper location
•  Consideration of alternative haplotypes across the genome

For more information about human genome builds, click here.

2.  Terminal SNP Guide
A terminal SNP Guide allows you to view and filter the branches closest to the tester's terminal branch on the haplotree.

3.  BIG Y Browser
The ability to view your SNP data from Big Y. This will allow you to personally assess all SNP call positions that are being evaluated for matching purposes. This data will be continuously updated.



26 September 2017

Family Tree DNA - Sale on Family Finder


I just received the message below from Family Tree DNA on their Family Finder Sale.

This is a very good sale on a very useful product.  Remember that DNA kits can be kept for years if not exposed to heat (think trunk of the car in summer), so it may be wise to take advantage of this sale, especially before Sept 30 as it helps the hurricane relief efforts.

It is wise to test various 1st-3rd cousins, siblings, parents, and older generations.  This autosomal test provides matches up to the 5th and often though to the 10th generations, depending upon various situations (endogamy).  By testing cousins, you can often determine which line of your pedigree chart to search for the common ancestor of a match.  By testing parents, you can move the matches back one more generation from you.  By testing siblings, you can discover matches that don't match you as each person inherits differently.

This test is the most popular DNA test.  Although AncestryDNA does the same type of test, you cannot see the particular DNA segments you share with others.  Although 23andMe provides the same type of test and you can see the segments, it costs $99 plus shipping.  Family Tree DNA has their Family Finder test on sale for $69 (not inc. shipping).  Family Tree DNA is the only company of the major three that focuses only on genealogy.

If you already have a Y-DNA or mtDNA test at Family Tree DNA, just go to your personal webpages and order the Family Finder test.

Buy some tests for the future and for holiday gifts.

Thank you for testing...you may be my cousin!

Best wishes,

Dear Project Administrators,

Thank you for all the thoughts, prayers, and kind words received as Houston continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey. We appreciate your concern. We also send our best wishes to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as by the wildfires in the western U.S. and the earthquakes in Mexico.

For a limited time, Family Finder is $69! 

This is not a sale, so we don’t have an end date. It’s a temporary price reduction, so take advantage of the reduced price now. And remember, a portion of all purchases made during September will be donated to hurricane relief efforts.

06 September 2017

Family Tree DNA and Havey


As all of you know Family Tree DNA is based in Houston.  Although the city and surrounding areas were devastated, their company had only minor issues with Harvey, and some of the staff's homes were not in danger, however, there are many staff members who have suffered in Harvey's grasp.

We all are sending prayers, good thoughts their way.  However, besides our heart-fell wishes, we can also help those in need through giving.

Family Tree DNA is donating a portion of their proceeds from the sale of ALL tests (including upgrades and paid transfers) during the month of September toward Hurricane Harvey's relief efforts.  There is a banner on their home page which displays the cumulative amount raised and will be updated twice daily.

By 11 a.m. today (Wednesday), they have raised $5,076.  

We all know that this damage is really in the billions.  Many of you have contributed to other organizations, but perhaps you can give a little more, and consider doing so again in coming months. It will take years to rebuild the damage.

Family Tree DNA employees are also helping out their employees who had damage. That is a different fund, however.

SO, purchase a few kits. They do keep as long as they are not in extreme heat (think...trunk of your car in the hot summer), and then locate relatives whom you wish to test.  If you are an administrator, purchase a few more kits to use for future project members either through a project scholarship or getting reimbursed later testers.

And...besides, some of you could be my close cousins so TEST!

Please give what you can.

Thank you and best wishes,

12 August 2017

McCarthy DNA Success

The following story was buried in a pile of papers, so I do not believe I have previously posted it. This helps prove that a genealogist never throws out anything!  Forgive me for this lengthy delay, Rita....

The Search for my McCarthy Line by Rita P.:  DNA the Winner!

I will try to keep my story short, but I do want people to understand that my first impulse was not to do DNA.  I have been researching for 30 years and had not succeeded with this line by regular means that genealogists use.  I even visited Ireland and spent most of three days researching church and civil records in Dublin.  I found my Burke line, but not even a lead on my McCarthy's.

As family legend had it, four McCarthy boys left southern Cork between the early 1880's and early 1890's.  Each boy came individually and helped the next make the trip.  Two came before their 18th birthdays so naturalization records were of no help.  They left their unhappy memories behind and left little for the proceeding generations to find.

After returning from Ireland I was very discouraged, but I did attend a workshop in Eugene where Emily Aulicino spoke about DNA.  It took me about a year to ask one of my brothers if he would do the Y-chromosome test for me, and much to my delight, he was willing.

We did a 25 marker test, and when I got the results I listed the results through the Family Tree DNA site with the McCarthy surname project.  I found a couple of close matches, but no one with 25 identical markers.

I watched and waited, hoping more people would take the test and someone would match up perfectly, but truly, I figured this was going to be something for later generations.

Then one day out of the blue came an e-mail from a gentleman living in England, Nigel McCarthy.  He was one marker off, but he thought it might be worth a try to see if we could connect our family lines.  Our McCarthy's were from the same general area so off he went on the hunt for my relatives with me supplying him with the little information I had.

Nigel has been able to find the birth records of my grandfather as well as his three brothers and a sister we did not know about.  He as found the death certificates for my great grandfather and his two wives.  One was the Mother of those four boys and the other his second wife and their family.  I now know that my ancestors came from Bealad, County Cork, Ireland.  I passed within several miles of this area on my trip.  I would now love to return to Ireland and visit this village.

Through both civil and church records, he has also determined the name of my great, great grandfather.  After many hours on his part in the London Family History Center and a trip to Dublin to look at records, he continues the hunt.  I have received 54 e-mails from him with many attachments and more information than I can handle some days.  I now continue to add information about my McCarthy family to my database with great joy.

I believe this is  not the end of the story, but only the beginning.

We have now decided to try the 37 marker test and adding a distant cousin of Nigel's to the mix.  This is to try to determine where the one marker changed, or if we are further apart than we first thought.

No matter what happens I now have a person that will continue to help me with my McCarthy genealogy and be a lifelong friend.

Thank you Rita for your story.

06 August 2017

GedTree.com - SALE!

Well, this is a hot summer for sales!  Now GedTree has a sale on their posters to celebrate the launch of this new company!

From now until August 13th their genealogy pedigree posters are 25% off.  Sale ends midnight Eastern Time.  They've added a new template (see the first one below) and others will be added soon.

You have a choice of  6, 7, and 8 generation fan charts with color, and one in black and white. Each chart is 36 inches x 24 inches, on sale for  $74, and suitable for framing. The years of birth and death with the exception of the 8th row, due to the lack of room, are included.

All you need to do is upload your gedcom, choose a template, determine the title and subtitle for your chart, and, of course, pay for your selection.

The company keeps your gedcom only until the chart is delivered.

These charts make wonderful gifts for the relatives and are handy to have for a quick reference for you!

And then there is the X-chromosome chart using Blaine Bettinger's layout for X inheritance.  This one is for females, and there is another males.

Don't miss out!  Although I cannot speak for the company, usually we see the best sales during a launch.


01 August 2017

Family Tree DNA's Sizzlin" Summer Sale is ON!

Just in time for the Dog Days of Summer, Family Tree DNA has it's summer sale which starts today (Aug 1st) and runs through August 31st.  These prices are SIZZLIN' HOT! However, this year’s “Sizzlin’ Summer Sale” is called “Friends & Family Sale”
Therefore, invite everyone to join in the fun.

Family Finder          $69
Y-37                        $139
Y-37 + FF                $198
FMS                        $159
FMS + FF                $218
Y-67 + FMS + FF   $430

To clarify:
FMS means Full Mitochondrial Sequence

mt/mtPlus to FMS  $199
Big Y                      $395 (The best price I've every seen!)
Y-12 to 37                $69
Y-25 to 37                $35
Y-37 to 67                $79
Y-37 to 111             $168
Y-67 to 111               $99

To clarify:
Mt/mtPlus are the portions of the mitochondrial DNA
For the Big Y, you must already have a Y-37 test or higher
Y12-37 means you have a Y 12 and wish to upgrade to a Y37

As we are all cousins, it would be wonderful to discover our connection!


26 July 2017

Jamboree Webinar

FREE Webinar from SCGS:  August 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. PDT
Using atDNA to Verify and Expand Genealogy by Emily Aulicino


Understand how autosomal DNA and the X-chromosome results verify and expands your lineage by proving or disproving family lore, break adoption walls, and explore how this test can determine what DNA segments came from which ancestors.  Celebrate the success stories of others and create your own.

Emily speaks on genetic genealogy & writing family stories nationally and internationally; was interviewed for TV, newspapers, and blogtalk radio; writes two blogs, and wrote a genetic genealogy book.

A handout will be available shortly before the presentation. A link will be included in a reminder that will be sent the day before the session.

A goal of the Southern California Genealogical Society is to offer educational opportunities to genealogists and family history enthusiasts everywhere. The Jamboree Extension Webinar Series helps delivers those opportunities.

The initial webcast of each session is offered to the public free of charge.

Webinars are archived and available only to SCGS members as a benefit of membership in the society. The webinar archive can be found at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/archive-index.html.

The list of upcoming webinars can be found at http://scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html.

Learn about all the SCGS member benefits at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/about/benefit-memb.html.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

25 July 2017

And...what is Emily excited about now? GedTree.com

For anyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test at any company or who just has a pedigree chart of any sort, you must check into GedTree.com.  

A genetic genealogist friend, Blaine Bettinger who created the wonderful fan charts for the X-chromosome that GedTree uses posted a blurb on Facebook where I immediately requested my chart to be printed.  

Female X-chromosome Fan chart, courtesy of Blaine Bettinger

Male X-chromosome Fan chart, courtesy of Blaine Bettinger

The company provides many charts for genealogists that you can purchase, and there are two FREE ones which include highlighted portions for the X chromosome lineage, one for females and one for males.  However, there are many other wonderful charts you can purchase which would make great gifts for members of your family.

I had problems with ordering and printing my chart last night as my gedcom is too large (90,000 plus people).  Jon from the company emailed me after I contacted the company last night, and by this morning, the problem fixed on their end.  I now have a beautiful chart, printed with birth and death dates for eight generations and the highlighted lineage for my X from my mom and dad as found in Blaine Betinger’s chart.  It's a very nice fan chart, and I can determine the title.  I've never had a company reply to my request for help so quickly, and solve the problem.

BTW, they do not keep credit card info and only keep your gedcom on their secure server until they know your product has arrived.  Then it is dumped.

Check it out!  Gedtree.com


07 June 2017

Family Tree DNA Father's Day Sale

Family Tree DNA Tests on Sale for Father's Day with 20% and higher savings!

The sale starts today, June 6th and ends at midnight June 18, Central Time.

Family Finder is only $69 (Reg. $89)
Y-37 is $139 (Reg. $169)

For the same test taker you can bundle these two together for only $199. (Reg. $258)

If you are attending Southern California's Genealogy Society's Jamboree in Burbank this week, Family Tree DNA's booth is in front of the expedition hall at booths 401-402.  AND...don't forget to attend some wonderful presentations:

Janine Cloud, Groups Project Manager, will speak about privacy concerns on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Michael Sager, Y-DNA Haplogroup Specialist will speak on the past, present and future of the Y-DNA haplotree.

Jim Brewster, Groups Project Assistant Manager will speak Saturday at 10:00 a.m. on Understanding DNA for Genealogy and on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. on The ABCs of Y DNA.

SO, check out the Family Tree DNA website to order!

20 April 2017

Living DNA - Launches Project in Germany

Living DNA

Living DNA has launched a project to determine identifying patters of DNA within Germany and surrounding regions.  They have partnered with Germany’s largest genealogical society, Verein für Computergenealogie e.V. (CompGen) which has 3,700 members.  Living DNA, a European based company is seeking individuals with four grandparents all born within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of each other.

Comments from the two companies:
David Nicholson of Living DNA:
“It’s a great honour to work with CompGen on this project, they have a vast understanding of the complex population structures of Germany and surrounding regions and we are all excited to see the results of the project”.

Dr. Tobias Kemper, genetic genealogist working for CompGen, says:
“We are thrilled to be working on this project which will show how the history of middle Europe – from the Roman Empire through the middle ages and the early modern period – until now has left traces within German DNA and their regional distribution.

The press release further states:
               The project’s aim is to map the genetic structure of contemporary Germany and surrounding
eastern regions (Silesia, Posen, Pomerania, East and West Prussia), which have been part of
Germany prior to WWI, with a special focus on the former eastern provinces (now part of Poland and Russia).

Those who qualify with the location of their grandparents would receive the test for only €89 + return postage (RRP €159), which includes lifetime membership to Living DNA.

Those who quality, but have already had their DNA tested with another company can transfer free of charge and have a complimentary lifetime membership to Living DNA.

So, let’s get to testing!

Best wishes,


Family Tree DNA's National DNA Day Sale

The National DNA Day Sale has begun!  Spread the news!  Order today!

The promotion ends at 11:59 pm Central Time on Thursday, April 27th.

NOTE:  Upgrades are not included.

Remember:  The more people who test, the more cousins we find!

Happy DNA Day!

Best wishes,

04 April 2017

Family Tree DNA Updates myOrigins

Family Tree DNA has exciting news! The long-awaited update to myOrigins is now available. 

The major points include:

1. Increased reference populations from 18 to 24, including the long-awaited Sephardic population, which is under the Jewish Diaspora category (see below). 
2. Updated design that includes an interactive landing page with the tester's percentages, which when clicked will display a description of that population. There will also be a separate list of all populations with those present highlighted in addition to the map with the Trace percentages are now available. Those populations found to be less than 2% of the person's makeup show as<2 nbsp="" span="">
4. The page resizes to be compatible with mobile devices. 
5. The database has already been re-run, so when the switch is flipped, customers will be able to see the updates. 

24 myOrigins Population Clusters
            East Central Africa
            West Africa
            South Central Africa
Central/South Asian 
            South Central Asia
            Central Asia
East Asian
Northeast Asia
Southeast Asia
            West and Central Europe    
            East Europe
            Southeast Europe
            British Isles  
Jewish Diaspora
Sephardic Diaspora
            Ashkenazi Diaspora
Middle Eastern
            East Middle East
            West Middle East 
Asia Minor
            North Africa
New World   
            North and Central America
South and Central America

FTDNA is working on a piece for the Learning Center about the update, including detailed descriptions of the populations on the list above. 


16 February 2017

Living DNA - New Testing Company

Originally there was one direct to consumer DNA company who stood out, namely Family Tree DNA.  Then came 23andMe and finally AncestryDNA.  These were the three major DNA testing companies for the genealogist and other interested parties for years.  However, new kids are moving to the block, and with a new focus on bio-geographical comparisons (admixtures) and one of those players is Living DNA!

Living DNA, a British company, does have an office in Louisville, Kentucky.  You order a test kit with two swab samples (no fluid) and mail it back to Eurofins Genomics (a partner) in Kentucky.  The testing is done in Denmark.

Testing results is an admixture (those “ethnic” percentages based on your autosomal DNA).  The company also provides the mitochondrial haplogroup and the Y-DNA haplogroup.  Although there is currently no matching feature nor chromosome browser, those will be provided in the near future.

What is unique about this company is that they provide testing to 80 world regions, and their focus is to test enough customers so they can pin-point locations within a country for your ancestors.  It allows you to see percentages and map locations for just your mother’s line, father’s line or both as well as some information on your haplogroup, a migration map and phylogenetic tree for each parent. Of course, this means it will be fine-tuned as more people test.  This test is especially helpful with those who have ancestors in the British Isles and Ireland.  You can view these 21 regions (so far) on their website going back in our ancestor up to ten generations. 

I know 38 of my 64 fourth-great-grandparents (which is 6 generations from me), and I only know about ten of those who are immigrants prior to 1800.  As all but one of my KNOWN ancestors were in the US by the early 1800s and that one arrived in 1838, I know a few general locations from where those immigrants came.  This type of test can help me determine where to search outside the U.S., but there are no guarantees that my ancestor lived in the specific area listed by any company’s bio-geographical comparison until I find that ancestor in the location.  However, it is interesting and may be most helpful to see what detailed variety my DNA sample can show.  I know my admixture will vary over time as more people test and more analysis can be made.

Know that this admixture (being compared with bio-geographical populations) has been the very reason some people test; that is, many who are not necessarily genealogists, but who may become interested in their lineage.  The more detail that a company can provide for the customer, the greater the interest by the public.  The more testing, the more advances we will see in the genetic genealogy field and that will benefit us all.

I always recommend that everyone test with a variety, if not all companies, in order to find matches in different databases.  As soon as this company gets its matching feature and its chromosome browser (to view the individual segments we share with our matches), the more this company will be able to compete with the others.

Click here to order a test.  

Jump in the new gene pool!  You may be my cousin!

Family Tree DNA - Updated Transfers from other companies!

It is always wise to play in more than one gene pool, and Family Tree DNA is making it easier for you to do that by allowing more transfers from other companies.  YEAH!!!!

Customers can now transfer their results from their 23andMe V4 chip and from their AncestryDNA
V2 files in addition to the 23andMe V3 and AncestryDNA V2 files to Family Tree DNA!!!!

In the coming weeks, those who tested at MyHeritage and Genographic will be also able to transfer.

Family Tree DNA still does not accept 23andMe results prior to November 2010.

Those transferring with the 23andMe V3 and AncestryDNA V1 results will receive a full list of matches and the ability to use the Matrix feature at FTDNA FOR FREE.  For only $19, the customer can unlock the Chromosome Browser, myOrgins, and ancient Origins.  (Frankly, all this is definitely worth the $19!!!)

23andMe V4 and AncestryDNA V2 results receive all but the most speculative matches (6th to remote cousins) for free.  If the customer wishes the speculative matches, they will have to submit a sample to FTDNA and have the Family Finder run at the reduce price of $59 (reg. $79).

Matches for transfers would take from one to 24 hours to appear, depending upon the volume of tests waiting to be converted.

More wonderful news....

myOrigins will be updated in the coming weeks.  Until then transfers will include only broad populations.

All previously transferred files that have not been unlocked will receive their matches and have access to the Matrix feature for free as long as the release form is signed.  This can be signed online from your personal webpages.  AND...these kits will also be able to unlock the other Family Finder features for $19.  IF the transfer was on a kit with another product where the release form has already been signed, then the matches will appear with not additional action necessary.

The Autosomal Transfer webpage now includes a new image and a FAQ section at the bottom of the page.

If a person tried to transfer the same autosomal file a second time, there will be a message with the kit number of the original kit.

See the Learning Center (bottom of an FTDNA page) and put Autosomal Transfer into the search box to see the most current information.

Know that if you transfer results to FTDNA and you wish to purchase an additional test (Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA), you will need to order a kit, but be sure to use the same kit number you are given at your autosomal transfer.  One person; one kit number ALWAYS!

Hope you transfer...you may be my cousin!

Best wishes,

04 February 2017

2017 SCGS Jamboree Webinars

Although the bi-monthly Jamboree Webinars have already begun (started in January), there are plenty more to come!

These presentations are free when first aired and for SCGS members the 100 sessions are available at any time free.  Register at : http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html
Details can be seen at the Jamboree Webinar website.

For a small taste of those coming soon:
Wednesday, February 15   6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PST
Presented by Denise Levenick, MA

Saturday, March 4   10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST
Presented by Mary Kircher Roddy

Wednesday, March 15  6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PDT
Presented by Diane L. Richards

**Special Webinar rescheduled from 2016**
Wednesday, March 22  6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PDT
Presented by Tessa Keough

AND...does anyone look familiar in that poster?  LOL


02 February 2017

Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree 2017

Jamboree 2017Registration is Open

This year from June 8th to the 11th at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel (Burbank, California), Jamboree is again gathering wonderful speakers and classes.  Jamboree reaches many levels of genealogists and genetic genealogists from the beginners to the advanced. I am again privileged to present classes and a workshop (also a Webinar in early August) for DNA Day on Thursday and a free workshop on Friday.  Of course, this is along with other wonderful DNA speakers.  For the remaining days of Jamboree many well-respected genealogist will give presentations on a wide variety of subjects.

This year’s theme for the “DNA Day is Diving into DNA” which is in its fifth year as an addition to the Jamboree’s genealogical presentations and covers topics for all levels of knowledge from many of the field’s leading instructors.  Several DNA authors will be available to meet and will be selling their books. This event requires a separate fee from the genealogical portion of the event, but as using DNA is the most accurate tool for your genealogy, it is important to understand how it can help you.

I'll be speaking on: 
Thursday 10-11 a.m. - TH010 - How to Convince Relatives and Strangers to DNA Test and Why
Thursday 2-3 p.m. TH018 - ABCs of DNA
Thursday 5-6 p.m. for TH028 Meet the Authors
Friday 8:30 to noon - workshop FR-A I've Tested, but What Now?

Saturday, August 5 at 10:00 am PDT, I will give a FREE webinar entitled:  Using atDNA to Verify and Expand Genealogy.  tinyrul.com/2017-SCGS-Webinars

For the genealogy portion of the event is “Hunting Your Heritage” which includes presentations on the British Isles, Ireland, Armenia and the Caucasus as well as African American Research. In total, Jamboree has 80+ speakers, 155+ class sessions and 15 workshops along with one-on-one research assistance, research tours, banquet and breakfast speakers, and an exhibit hall with vendors and societies.  The Exhibit has is free all weekend. Something for everyone!

Join us!  Register now!


31 January 2017

RootsTech, Feb 8-11 Salt Lake City

RootsTech is just around the corner, and many of you may be going!

I will be speaking this year on writing your childhood memories and family stories as well as on the basics of using DNA for your genealogy.

For those planning to come, here is my schedule.  Stop by and say hello!

My events:

Feb 9, Thursday, 12:00 - MyHeritage Lunch at 355B

Feb 10, Friday, 1:00-1:30 - The DNA Q&A at MyHeritage booth, RT17

Feb 10, Friday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., (GS9546) Writing Your Childhood Memories and Family Stories, Room 155D

Feb 10, Friday night - The After-Party at the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom

Feb 11, Saturday, 3:00-4:00 p.m., (RT9542) Supercharge Your Research with DNA, Room 150

I will have a few copies of my book with me, but I must sell them outside of the conference.  Please designate which book is of interest:
     "Memoing" Your Memories:  A Simple Technique for Writing Your Family Stories
     Genetic Genealogy:  The Basics and Beyond

You can email me to bring one for you, also.  This way I'm selling it here and just delivering it to you.  My email:  aulicino (at sign) hevanet (dot) com

AND...MOST IMPORTANTLY, youo can download the schedule and all the handouts for free by adding the RootsTech 2017 app to your smart phone.  (Just scroll to the bottom for the app or find it at the App Store on your phone.

Hope to see you there!