01 August 2020

FTDNA Sale Starts NOW!

FamilyTree DNA Summer Sale is HERE!

Sale Ends Monday, August 31st

Additional bundle discounts are applied when an individual is purchasing more than one test (Family Finder, mtDNA, or Y-DNA) on a kit. Therefore, any cancellation of a test purchased as a bundle will result in a refund of the original sale price, minus the additional bundle discount. Upgrades do not receive the bundle discount.

Single Tests:
Family Finder (FF)                                was $79           now $59
Y-37                                                       was $119         now $109
Y-111                                                      was $249         now $219
Big Y-700                                               was $449         now $399
FMS (mitochondrial DNA)                    was $159         now $139

Bundles are an extra $9 off the Summer Sale prices

Y-12 to 37                          was $79           now $59
Y-12 to 67                          was $149         now $129
Y-12 to 111                        was $199         now $159
Y-25 to 37                          was $49           now $39
Y-25 to 67                          was $119         now $99
Y-25 to 111                        was $189         now $149
Y-37 to 67                          was $89           now $69
Y-37 to 111                        was $139         now $109
Y-67 to 111                        was $89           now $79
Y12 to Big Y-700              was $399         now $359
Y-25 to Big Y-700             was $389         now $349
Y-37 to Big Y-700             was $339         now $319
Y-67 to Big Y-700             was $279         now $259
Y-111 to Big Y-700           was $239         now $229
Big Y-500 to Big Y-700    was $209         now $199
mtDNA to FMS                was $119         now $79
mtPlus to FMS                 was $119          now $79

A few tips: 
It’s wise to upgrade during a sale, and if you have any Y test below the Y-67, it is definitely wise to upgrade. If you do not have the Full Mitochondrial Sequence (FMS), that is equally important.

Bundling the Family Finder test with they Y and mtDNA tests can help you greatly with your pedigree chart.


26 July 2020

AncestryDNA's Coming Changes and What You Can Do - Especially if you have MedBetter


This email is only for those who have tests at AncestyDNA. Also, if you have Chrome and MedBetter, you REALLY need to read this!!!

Many of you already know about AncestryDNA’s coming update where they will remove all your matches from 6-8cMs unless they are in a group, have a note or you have emailed the match.

To clarify, not all the 8cMs will be removed. Because Ancestry is removing 6-7cMs for sure and because they round up the cMs, some of your 8cMs will be gone, if they are really 7.99 and below. You won’t know which ones.

I have spent many, many hours for over a week trying to save my 6-8cMs.  After a week’s work on them I thought I was done as Ancestry indicated I was at the bottom of each list (6cM, 7cM and 8 cMs.  Note that I had also checked the ThruLines and put them in groups as well as the New Matches. BUT, not so….

I’m writing this in the case you have the same situation and may not know it.

After spending a week on doing the above, I returned to the 8cMs and noticed a huge percentage did not have groups.  WHAT!

I also had a recent half-first cousin test at Ancestry. She was not showing up in my matches and I wasn’t in hers.  We share the same grandmother.  I called Ancestry and they told me we were on each other and what group we were in for each other.  The woman at Ancestry suggested I clean my cache and try another browser.  I did both of those.  Chrome, my favorite, constantly updates the site so I wasn’t worried that I didn’t have the current version.

Then I posted to a DNA Facebook group and someone suggested there could be an extension, such as MedBetter.  Well, I do use MedBetter.

See more about MedBetter at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/medbetterdna/gnbpjempamffbpppblmabeeimkppenla?hl=en-US

I removed MedBetter, and there was not only my currently tested cousin but another cousin that I used to have in my list, but I thought she had removed her kit. AND... there were some others that I had not remembered seeing until they reappeared.  I am talking recent matches here…2nd to 3rd cousins.

SO, to prove to myself that MedBetter was the reason my groups I had formed for a week was the culprit, I spent the last three days (except for cooking, eating, sleeping for only 5-6 hrs, and watering my garden) redoing all my 8cMs matches. I just finished a few minutes ago (Today is 26 Jul 2020 1:20 pm).  I have 17, 733 8cMs. I now have to redo all the 7cMs and 6cMs.

Here are some tips I learned along the way. Maybe they will work for you…

Grouping a cM list: (NOTE:  There is no limit to the number of people in a group.)

1.      Work on one set of cMs at a time (6, 7, or 8). I personally suggest starting with 8cMs as there is a slightly better chance of finding a common ancestor, but do as you wish.
2.      Create a group and label it so it will appear just after the star.  (The groups are in alphabetical order.) (I’m beginning to HATE yellow after using that dot! LOL)
3.      Reduce the size of the font on the page. This makes for less scrolling and the ability to see more matches on a page.
4.      Once you decide which cM list you are doing, use your FIND link (see the three dots in the upper right of Chrome.) and enter a name. Chrome highlights that name in orange. This makes it easy to spot where you started. (I cannot help you if you have another browser or MAC.)
5.      Scroll down a bit from your highlighted name (as far as you wish to work for a time period). Then, work from the bottom of that group upward to the name you highlighted. Why?  Because you only have to do two clicks to get someone in a group by going from bottom to top. Otherwise, you do three clicks. When you are talking about thousands of names that is a big difference! 
6.      Once you have worked your way back to the top where your name is highlighted, you can quickly scroll down to where you began adding people to a group to make sure you did not skip anyone or that you clicked too quickly and the dot did not register. This gives you two opportunities to hit everyone. You can very quickly scroll down to where you started in this group, so that goes quickly. Just focus on the dot to see where there is not one.
7.      Continue this until you have reached the bottom of the list you started. Then begin a new section, and repeat from number 4.

Other tips if you do not have time to do the above or run out of time
after working on one cM group

Check your ThruLines and add them to an appropriate group.

You can use two or three filters located at the top of your matches page. To these add your 6cM, 7cM and/or 8cM matches list.

1.      Check your Unviewed Matches by the various 6 to 8cM categories.
2.      Check your Newest Matches. See SORT and choose DATE which gives you the newest to the most distant. Again, you only need to group 6-8cMs so add those to your filtered search. This you will want to do several times before Ancestry dumps everything which, in theory is the end of August. Of course, they are not clear on what “the end of August” means, so complete all this the week before the end of August to be safe.
3.      Filter by trees and by the 6, 7 and 8cMs and group those matches.
4.      Search for your surnames and if 8cMs or less, group them. You can actually search for a surname within a cM section. (REMEMBER: you can use multiple filters)

Know that if you have not completed a cM section and you exit it, then you may have to spend a lot of time scrolling down to where you left working. I have had to scroll for 50 minutes to get back to where I was, and I still had a good day’s work to complete the section. For this reason, I left my computer as its for three days!

ALSO, be prepared to deal with a page locking up, dumping you, etc.

I wish you the best.
If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email.  LOL
Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by E. Aulicino. Order online at AuthorHouse, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

22 July 2020

AncestryDNA Update on 6-7cM Removal

I just received this today after writing with my concerns that this removal is happening too quickly, and that one of my tester's result was due July 31.

The email stated: 
Hello Emily,

Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regard to AncestryDNA matches. We apologize for the delayed response, and are happy to help.

We have reviewed your inquiry, and feel that this information may help.As Ancestry continues to improve the accuracy of our DNA matching algorithms, we’ll be changing the way we calculate the amount of DNA that members share with their matches. Here’s what these changes will mean for our members:

More Accurate number of shared segments (Goes live early August)
The DNA you share with a match is distributed across short segments, long segments, or some combination of both. Our updated matching algorithm may reduce the estimated number of segments you share with some of your DNA matches. This doesn’t change the estimated total amount of shared DNA (measured in centimorgans/cM) or the predicted relationship to your matches.

Ability to see the length of the longest shared segment (Goes live Mid-August)
The length of the longest segment you and a DNA match have in common can help determine if you’re actually related. The longer the segment, the more likely you’re related. Segment length is also the easiest way to evaluate the difference between multiple matches that all show the same estimated relationship. Our updated matching algorithm can show you the length of the longest segment you share with your matches.

Distant DNA matches must share 8 cM or higher (Goes live late August)
Our updated matching algorithm will increase the likelihood you’re actually related to very distant matches. As a result, you’ll no longer see matches or be matched to people who share 7.9 cM or less DNA with you unless you’ve messaged them and/or included them in a note, or added them to a group (including your starred group). This means you will have fewer DNA matches and ThruLines™.

Based on customer feedback, we are delaying this change until late August so you have time to review and determine if you want to save any very distant matches by adding them to a group, starring them, adding a note, or sending them a message.

We hope this helps. Thank you for contacting Ancestry. Have a nice day!

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message or call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST, seven days a week.


Customer Solutions Associate

17 July 2020

Ancestry removes more matches...it's not the first time.

By now, most of you know that starting around August 1 (no definate time has been given), Ancestry will change their algorithm and removed all matches at 6 and 7cM unless you have a note on them or have them in a catagory or have emailed them.

I've been working hours on just getting my 7cMs in a group.  I have run into issues with the site stopping before it allows me to download all the matches in their running page.  If we had page numbers as I mentioned to them when they decided to drop those, this would be easier and go faster.  For example after working HOURs yesterday just on 7cMs, I think I only had a couple of hundred to go.  It took me 50 minutes of continually using the down arrow to get back to where I stopped.  After that the site froze again.

I also had a call last night from a friend who was VERY upset as she had 42 tests she manages ...AND as she is African American she needs thos lower centiMorgans for her research.  AND, she hasn't even begun with the matches who are in African.  Although this may seem too small, it has lead her to answers using theses centiMorgans form 6-7.

AND, I have found at least two-dozen matche at the 7cM range that appear not to match me any other way since I have Colonial Ancestors and a pedigree chart that is robust, using GPS (Genealogy Proof Standards).

So...why am I whining about all this?  I need you to know that you have a short amount of time to do a big job, along with thousands of other testers.

At least we have a couple of weeks.  In the past we didn't know how much time for some of their chantges.

SO...as I need to return to my matches list, I'm just going to post these blogs where you can read about what to do.

Have fun!  (I'm not!)

09 June 2020

Father's Day Sale at Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA's Father's Day Sale has begun and will last through June 21!

Take advantage of these great savings!!!

Family Finder (FF) Test was $79; now $59

Y-DNA Tests
Y-37 was $119; now $109
Y-111 was $249; now $219
Big Y-700 was $449; now $399

And then there are Bundles (i.e., a Y test and the Family Finder Test)
Take an extra $9 off the Sale prices when you bundle!

Y-12 to 37 was $79; now $59
Y-12 to 67 was $149; now $129
Y-12 to 111 was $199; now $159

Y-25 to 37 was $49; now $39
Y-25 to 67 was $119; now $99
Y-25 to 111 was $189; now $149

Y-37 to 67 was $89; now $69
Y-37 to 111 was $139; now $109

Y-67 to 111 was $89; now $79

Y-12 to Big Y-700 was $399; now $359
Y-25 to Big Y-700 was $389; now $349
Y-37 to Big Y-700 was$339; now $319
Y-67 to Big Y-700 was$279; now $259
Y-111 to Big Y-700 was $239; now $229
Big Y-500 to Big Y-700 was $209; now $199

Only at Family Tree DNA can you get the Y-chromosome test.  You may ask why should I upgrade, well...

Each test level (i.e., Y-37 tests 37 markers on the Y-chromosome) has threshold, so by upgrading you can get additional matches.  Also, the &-37 is now considered the most basic Y test and if you have a common haplogroup you can receive hundreds of matches which may not be that close in generations. You really need to upgrade to narrow the matches to whom is most relevant.

We typically do not see another sale until Summer so don't pass this by.

Best wishes,

31 May 2020

MyHeritage Offers Access to Records

For the month of June, each day MyHeritage will allow access to a different historical record collection.

WhatsApp Image 2020-05-31 at 7.47.32 PM (1)

The company states:
The collections we have chosen for this offer were handpicked for their value for family historians and include collections that are exclusive to MyHeritage. Among them are the Sweden Household Examination Books, 1840–1947, 1940 Denmark Census, and U.S. City Directories. Altogether, we’ll be providing free access to more than 2 billion historical records throughout June!
All the collections are available on www.myheritage.com/research, and you can find the full schedule for the free collections, including direct links, on our blog.

Check it out!

Enjoy and stay safe,

15 March 2020

Staying Home? Bored? Try these ideas.


I know many of you are staying home due to our world's heath issues. At least, I hope very many of you are home so we can slow this virus and give the medical facilities the ability to handle those in need.

However, I do know that many of you may be a bit bored. Of course, you can get out into your yards or on the sidewalks as long as you do not come in contact with others. A daily walk is good for you, as well as breathing that fresh air. BUT, that means many hours inside. What to do!!!

I have many ideas, especially since those of you reading this are genealogists!

1.  In your search engine, put a topic of interest on genealogy or genetic genealogy and then add:  YouTube. There will be many, many free webinars that could interest you.

2. Other free webinars: 
    Family Tree DNA has them on all their tests. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on LEARNING CENTER and put WEBINAR in the search box.
    Legacy Family Tree has many on both genealogy and genetic genealogy. They are also available a week after they are presented. You do not get the handouts, however. Go to: https://familytreewebinars.com/

3. Check Facebook for many, many genealogy and genetic genealogy groups. Your questions are welcomed and many people are ready to answer them.

4. Test your DNA if you have not and test cousins and other relatives. Companies have sales rather often. Check their websites. If you have tested, at AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, transfer to Family Tree DNA and pay the $19 to get all the bells and whistles. MyHeritage takes transfers, also, but costs a bit more.

5. Read genetic genealogy blogs.  These are some of my favorites:
    DNAeXplained by Roberta J. Estes
    The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger
    Kitty Cooper's Blog

6.  If you have an adoption in your family or a recent line which is unknown, DNAAdoption.org may help. Get involved with the discussions and download the free handout entitled A Methodology to Indentify Relatives with autosomal DNA Test Data.

7. Enhance your pedigree chart. The more detailed it is, the easier to find the common ancestors you share with your matches. Not only use the subscriptions you have, use your browser to search various counties and libraries for additional information. Be creative with your searches.

8. Carefully go through your pedigree in your genealogy software to locate errors to correct. Often you can find duplication of names that need merging. Spelling errors from quick typing seem to be my issue!

9. Write a bio for some of your family members or ancestors. Your descendants will appreciate your compiling names, dates, and places into a narrative. These can be short vignettes. I teach a class on writing one's childhood memories and family stories and find several of my members compile these stories and give them as a Christmas gift. You have time to do this now.

10.  Do not forget to write about your own life. No matter how boring you may think it will be, it is not. AND, write about the times in which we live now. Your experiences are very much more important than those of our collective society or what the historians write.  If you need help or ideas, see my blog: Writing Your Memories. My booklet "Memoing" My Memories provides 130 topics, and for each topic you can write many more than a single story or two. You can only order it directly from me. The beginning of the blog has many tips and suggestions on writing; later are some wonderful stories written by my class members...some are so funny; some just cannot be explained; some are a bit scary! Just browse through them all.

11.  Search Google Books and other free ebooks on your topic or location of interest. You can even save them to review later.

12. Read the books you have on genetic genealogy or order more from Amazon.

13.  Check-in with your matches and other researchers you know to collaborate on your lines and to share this list.

14. So by now, in needing a break from our all-consuming hobby, clean out those closets...or like me, clean off my desk (One would think I was a CPA in the middle of tax season!) Do those awful household chores and get some exercise even if it is only in they house or yard.

15. Check on friends and family via the phone, email, etc. If you have a surplus of items that someone who is sheltering in place may need, offer to share. Just drop off the items at the front door so not to expose anyone. I have already done this. We must support each other.

Above all, stay safe and be well.

Hugs to you all.

06 March 2020

Family Tree DNA’s St. Patrick’s Day Sale

Family Tree DNA's St. Patrick's Day Sale is from March 6th to March 17th

It's a $20 savings!  The luck of the Irish!

Family Finder was $79; now $59

Also get $9 off each additional tested added to a bundle

Family Finder + Y-37 was $189; now $169
Family Finder + Y-111 was $319; now $299
Family Finder + Full mitochondrial Sequence (FMS) was $339; now $319
Family Finder + Y-111 + FMS was $469; now $449

Test!  You could be my cousin!

Best wishes,

28 February 2020

MyHeritage - Updates

I cannot begin to update you on what has been happening at MyHeritage.

Not only can you colorize your black and white photos by uploading them. The directions state:  "...click on any black and white photo you already have, then click Colorize. Your original photos will not be changed."  These can be shared with family and friends.  The following is their example:

You can create a fan tree to share with friends and relatives. Here's an example of the fan tree (all people in it, but me have passed) The default is six generations, but you can add more. There are small marks where the lines do go back farther.  This was also very easy me to add more ancestors.  Just click on the blank and up pops a screen.  What I really love is the fact that you have many choices for dates, including:  exact, circa, before, between, after, etc.  AND...by clicking on a name (see the one is light orange), details of the family are displayed on the left, just as you see with the other pedigree layouts.

You can also get the fan chart in a color block form. Hovering over a space gives you a name. Clicking on the name gives you family details in a column to the left.

And, now they have uploaded 25,000 U.S. city directories published between 1860 and 1960. Their entire historical record database contains 11.9 billion records now. This collection will increase in the future.

MyHeritage’s announcement on this states:  “The online collection of U.S. city directories is now available on SuperSearch, MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records. Searching the collection is free. A subscription is required to view the full records and to access Record Matches.”

I’m sure I have missed some announcements over the last few weeks; however, when MyHeritage started a few years ago, I called them the “new kid on the block”, but I could see they were rapidly catching up to the other “big boys”!
Hey...what's next MyHeritage! 

Enjoy, Emily 

04 January 2020

YEAH, FTDNA - Price Reduction for 2020

Now that the holiday sale is over, we expected the Family Tree DNA prices to rise to their former level, but NO! Here's the current prices!

  • Y-37  $119 (previously $169)
  • Y-111 $249 (previously $359)
  • BigY-700 $449 (previously $649). The BAM file must now be purchased as an add on for $100.
  • mtDNA full sequence $159 (previously $199)
  • Upgrade from Y-37 to Y-67, now $89
  • Upgrade form Y-37 to Y-111, now $139
  • Upgrade from Y-67 to Y-111, now $89
  • Upgrade from Y-37 to Big Y-700, now $339
  • Upgrade from Y-67 to Big Y-700, now $279
  • Upgrade from Y-111 to Big Y-700, now $239
  • Upgrade from Big Y-500 to Big Y-700, now $209
If you are stuck at a Y-12 or Y-25, know that the Y-25 no longer exists.
Upgrades for the Y-12 and Y-25 are:

Y-12 to Y-37, now $79
Y-12 to Y-67, now $149
Y-12 to Y-111, now $199
Y-12 to Big Y-700, now $399 (not including the BAM file)

Y-25 to Y-37, now $49
Y-25 to Y-67, now $119
Y-25 to Y-111, now $189
Y-25 to Big Y-700, now $389 (not including the BAM file

Family Finder is still $79, but when it is on sale there is very little profit, so that is understandable.

The bundle of a Y-37 and Family Finder saves you $9 and is now $189.

Shipping is now $9.95 U.S. and $12.95 for International.

I greatly encourage you to upgrade or test at the Y-37 level or higher. The Y-37 is now the very basic, and if you happen to be in a large haplogroup (your twig on the world family tree) such as R and I, your matches can be numerous and many may not show as each test level has its own maximum threshold. Therefore, by testing at a Y-67 you may find more matches that you would at a Y-37.

Also know that the mtDNA Plus no longer exists so there is now only the Full Sequence. This is also good as the mtDNA is slower to mutate so matches could be farther back in time, and the full mtDNA gives a clearer picture of who matches you. Again, if you are in a common haplogroup such as H and U, you may have hundreds of matches.

Remember, always contact and work with the matches who have the fewest genetic distances first. They will match you more closely in time than those with high genetic distances. (A genetic distance is the differences you and a match have on your test results. For example, if you and a match have a difference of 2 on one marker you have a genetic distance of 2. Zero is a perfect match. Allow the company to determine the genetic distance as some markers are calculated differently.)

The key to finding common ancestors for your matches is to have a ROBUST pedigree chart. Remember to use Genealogy Proof Standards (GPS) in creating your pedigree. AND...upload your tree to the website!!!

Thank you FTDNA for the New Year's gift!

SO...all of you out there, test and enjoy!
Remember, you could be my cousin...