DNA Testing Update

Welcome to DNA Testing Update, my blog that keeps you up-to-date with what's new at DNA Testing Adviser. I’ll tell you about…

  • New or updated articles on the website

  • Significant news from the genealogy and adoption search communities

  • DNA testing tips for paternity, genealogy, and adoption search

Most of my posts are deliberately brief. You can read my latest posts below; but you can also have DNA Testing Update delivered directly to your computer.

How do I subscribe to DNA Testing Update?

You don't even need an email address. It's easy to set up an RSS feed using the buttons at the bottom of the column on the left. If you're not familiar with RSS, click on the question mark above the RSS graphic to learn everything you need to know.

Mar 27, 2017

Dear Adoption: A Heartfelt Letter

If you're not adopted, you may have trouble understanding what drives many adoptees to search for their birth families. This woman's letter lets you peek inside the mind and heart of one adoptee.

Continue reading "Dear Adoption: A Heartfelt Letter"

Mar 23, 2017

ABC News Records Woman's DNA Discovery

DNA testing helped reunite a Mississippi woman with her biological father. This search was followed and recorded by ABC News. Multiple DNA tests were used.

Continue reading "ABC News Records Woman's DNA Discovery"

Mar 21, 2017

New Genetic Weight Report from 23andMe

23andMe has released a new Genetic Weight report to users of its Health + Ancestry version. If your genes predispose you to weigh more than average, it tells you by how much, e.g. 8% more than average.

I checked the results for several family members and the results make sense. For example, I am predisposed to weigh about average and have never struggled with excess weight. But those who have had to work harder to control their weight do show a genetic predisposition to weigh more than average.

The report is is the Wellness section.

Continue reading "New Genetic Weight Report from 23andMe"

Mar 20, 2017

Three Ways to Join the Family Finder Database

No matter which autosomal DNA test my relatives do first, I bring all of them into Family Finder to take advantage of the great analysis tools.

Now there are three options for getting there priced at $79, $19 and $0. See this page to compare the options.

Continue reading "Three Ways to Join the Family Finder Database"

Mar 20, 2017

"Finding Family" Audiobook at Libraries

If you would like to listen to my audiobook for free, check your local library's digital collection. The "Finding Family" audiobook is now available through both Overdrive and Hoopla.

Many libraries use one or both services to provide their patrons with popular audiobooks. The following link includes a sample you can listen to now.

Continue reading ""Finding Family" Audiobook at Libraries"

Mar 17, 2017

Irish and Black on St. Patrick's Day

What's it like to be African-American and Irish? Here is one man's story with some interesting historical connections between blacks and Irish in America.

Continue reading "Irish and Black on St. Patrick's Day"

Mar 13, 2017

St. Patrick's Sale on AncestryDNA Test

Do the AncestryDNA test for a sale price of just $89. Then transfer your raw data for free to Family Finder, GEDmatch and MyHeritage.

It's a great time to get started with genetic genealogy. Expand your family tree. Discover your ethnicity. Find unknown biological relatives if you're adopted or have an unknown father.

Sale ends March 19, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Continue reading "St. Patrick's Sale on AncestryDNA Test"

Mar 11, 2017

Free Irish Records at Findmypast 3/13-3/17

Starting Monday you can get free access to Findmypast’s Irish records for five days.

Over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers

Over 9.5 million Census records including the 1901 and 1911 censuses

Over 22 million Petty Sessions Court Registers

Over 33 million Irish newspaper articles spanning the years 1708 to 1956

Over 7.3 million Dog Licences

Over 24 million Irish Passenger Lists

Over 2.4 million workhouse & poor law records

4 million Irish Quaker records

Over 131,000 Easter Uprising & Ireland Under Martial Law

Prison Registers, featuring over 3.5 million names

Landed Estates Court records featuring details of over 500,000 tenants residing on estates all over Ireland

The complete Griffith's Valuation

The most comprehensive set of national directories, dating back to 1814

Indexes to Irish wills dating from 1270 – 1858

Over 400,000 gravestones and church memorials

Continue reading "Free Irish Records at Findmypast 3/13-3/17"

Mar 09, 2017

Free DNA Transfer Into MyHeritage Database

MyHeritage accepts free transfers from other autosomal DNA tests.

Based outside the U.S., MyHeritage has the largest international network of family trees. With this wide international reach, you have a great chance of being matched with relatives who live in other countries.

Also, DNA uploaders will soon get the new ethnicity report for free. This is really a no-brainer. Upload now.

Continue reading "Free DNA Transfer Into MyHeritage Database"

Mar 08, 2017

The Finding Family Audiobook

The Finding Family Audiobook lets you listen to Richard Hill’s award-winning story, "Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.”

Continue reading "The Finding Family Audiobook"

Mar 08, 2017

GEDmatch Reunites Father and Daughter

This father-daughter reunion resulted from DNA tests at different companies that showed up as a close match on GEDmatch.

Continue reading "GEDmatch Reunites Father and Daughter"

Mar 06, 2017

Avoid This Useless DNA Test

GPS Origins claims to "locate the village where your ancestors lived hundreds and hundreds of year ago" Don't waste your money. Read this detailed blog post by Debbie Kennett.

Continue reading "Avoid This Useless DNA Test"

Mar 04, 2017

Washington Post Article on DNA for Adoptees

Even the Washington Post is writing about adoptees using DNA tests to reunite with their birth families.

Continue reading "Washington Post Article on DNA for Adoptees"

Mar 02, 2017

The Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA

Why Family Finder is my favorite DNA test for genealogists and adoptees.

Continue reading "The Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA"

Feb 27, 2017

Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to TV

Who Do You Think You Are? begins a new season on March 5th. Once again they will explore the family trees of several celebrities.

Typically, DNA testing will play an important role in some cases. The series is on the TLC network with episodes available online after the broadcast date.

See this link for more information, including a list of this season's celebrities.

Continue reading "Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to TV"

Feb 24, 2017

Genetic Genealogy on the Sunday TODAY Show

Here's an interesting segment on DNA testing that appeared on Sunday Today program last weekend

Continue reading "Genetic Genealogy on the Sunday TODAY Show"

Feb 23, 2017

My Guest Post on the MyHeritage Blog

I provided a guest post for the MyHeritage Blog. While the post is aimed specifically at adoptees, anyone interested in genetic genealogy can get useful tips. That's me in the photo with my adoptive parents.

Continue reading "My Guest Post on the MyHeritage Blog"

Feb 21, 2017

Free Transfers into Family Finder

Great news! Family Tree DNA now accepts transfers into Family Finder from all AncestryDNA tests and all 23andMe tests done since November 2010.

Upload your raw data to receive a full list of matches and the ability to use the Matrix feature FOR FREE.

For just $19, you can unlock the best DNA analysis tools of any test, including Chromosome Browser, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins.

Use the following link and then choose Autosomal Transfer from the dropdown menu under DNA Tests at the top of the page.

Continue reading "Free Transfers into Family Finder"

Feb 10, 2017

Another Reunion through Genetic Genealogy

Here's another family reunion that was only made possible through DNA testing.

Continue reading "Another Reunion through Genetic Genealogy"

Feb 03, 2017

Report on Adoptee Success with DNA Testing

How has DNA changed the way adoptees find birth families? The American Adoption Congress newsletter includes this report of adoptee search results over the past two years.

Continue reading "Report on Adoptee Success with DNA Testing"

Feb 02, 2017

A Jewish Adoptee Finds His Birth Family

For a Jewish adoptee, finding one's birth family is especially difficult for the reasons explained in this article. But this case had a successful ending.

Continue reading "A Jewish Adoptee Finds His Birth Family"

Jan 31, 2017

DNA Tests and How You See Your Family

Why Taking DNA Tests Can Change How You See Your Family. That's the theme of this interesting story of discovery.

Continue reading "DNA Tests and How You See Your Family"

Jan 30, 2017

Connecticut Considers Opening Adoption Records

This excellent article supports a change in Connecticut law to open adoption records for older adults, who were adopted before October 1983. Records are already open for more recent adoptions.

Continue reading "Connecticut Considers Opening Adoption Records"

Jan 27, 2017

LivingDNA Breaks Down British Ancestry & More

I just mailed in my DNA sample to LivingDNA. This test breaks down your ancestry across 80 worldwide regions, as well as over 21 regions in the British Isles. It also reports your haplogroups. This should be useful for people like me with British ancestry. I will report on it after my results are ready. Check it out now to learn more:

Continue reading "LivingDNA Breaks Down British Ancestry & More"

Jan 23, 2017

DNA Advice for Genealogists and Adoptees

Richard Hill answers the most popular questions he gets from those seeking DNA advice.

Continue reading "DNA Advice for Genealogists and Adoptees"

Jan 20, 2017

Uploading to GEDmatch

Once you get your results from any of the autosomal DNA tests (Family Finder, AncestryDNA, 23andMe and MyHeritageDNA), be sure to upload your raw data to GEDmatch. Blogger Jim Bartlett explains exactly how to do it.

Continue reading "Uploading to GEDmatch"

Jan 19, 2017

Another Reunion through Genetic Genealogy

A man abandoned as a newborn finds his birth family 39 years later through DNA testing.

Continue reading "Another Reunion through Genetic Genealogy"

Jan 16, 2017

New DNA Test from MyHeritage

I am trying a promising new DNA test. MyHeritage DNA claims Ethnicity Estimates with higher resolution and better accuracy. Plus, they have a global user base that should produce many unique matches Check it out here:

Continue reading "New DNA Test from MyHeritage"

Jan 14, 2017

Family Finder Test Finds Family

Here's another story of an adoptee who found her birth family through genetic genealogy. She followed the standard advice to fish in all three autosomal DNA ponds. It was the Family Finder test that yielded the breakthrough match.

Continue reading "Family Finder Test Finds Family"

Jan 12, 2017

Survey of Adoptee DNA Testing

If you are an adoptee who took an autosomal DNA test at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA in 2015 or 2016, please complete this survey.

This is the same survey mentioned in my prior post. It is still open for more participants.

Continue reading "Survey of Adoptee DNA Testing"



23andMe now offers two versions of it's DNA test. The Ancestry-only version is just $99. The Health + Ancestry version that includes some FDA-approved health test results is $199.


If you already have results from another autosomal DNA test, you may be able to transfer into Family Finder for free.


How an RSS Reader Can Simplify Your Life

My blog will appear in RSS readers. If you're not sure why you need one, read this article in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.