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.

Sep 22, 2017

23andMe Working on Cure for Parkinson's

Personally, I am happy to participate in DNA research at 23andMe. Our collective data, used anonymously, can save lives.

Here's an article about what they are doing to find a cure for Parkinson's.

Continue reading "23andMe Working on Cure for Parkinson's"

Sep 22, 2017

Suzanne Colton - MyHeritage Success Story

A 63-year old adoptee does the MyHeritage DNA test. Her initial match list includes an uncle and she is soon speaking to her 86-year old mother.

Continue reading "Suzanne Colton - MyHeritage Success Story"

Sep 21, 2017

New DNA Match Review Page at My Heritage

If your DNA is on My Heritage, your DNA match details are now consolidated into one place with different sections that will help you discover how the match may be related to you.

I like the way they do this. Read about it here.

Continue reading "New DNA Match Review Page at My Heritage"

Sep 20, 2017

Don't Forget to Use GEDmatch

If you have autosomal DNA test results from any of the major tests, you can upload your data for free to GEDmatch.

If you haven't done all the tests, you will probably pick up some new matches. If you have a family tree, upload your GEDCOM file too.

There are lots of powerful free tools for analyzing your data.

Continue reading "Don't Forget to Use GEDmatch"

Sep 19, 2017

Recommended DNA Books by Richard Hill and Others

Learn About Genetic Genealogy through DNA Books by Richard Hill and Other Authors

Continue reading "Recommended DNA Books by Richard Hill and Others"

Sep 19, 2017

One Man's DNA Ancestry Story

Here's a heartfelt story of a man who used DNA testing to ultimately identify his biological father.

He shares many good insights and demonstrates that persistence is important.

Continue reading "One Man's DNA Ancestry Story"

Sep 18, 2017

Viking Skeleton’s DNA Test Proves Historians Wrong

DNA testing of ancient skeletons can lead to surprises.

Continue reading "Viking Skeleton’s DNA Test Proves Historians Wrong"

Sep 17, 2017

DNA Testing Reunites Son with Father After 43 Years

Here's another published DNA success story.

Published stories like this are just the tip of the iceberg. Most DNA-driven reunions are not covered by the media.

Continue reading "DNA Testing Reunites Son with Father After 43 Years"

Sep 16, 2017

Support Hurricane Harvey Relief at FTDNA

During the month of September (2017), Houston-based Family Tree DNA will be donating a portion of their sales to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts.

If you have some additional testing to do or just want to stock up on test kits for later use, place your order now.

In case you're wondering, the FTDNA office and labs are fine. Flooded roads just kept the staff from getting to work for a few days.

Continue reading "Support Hurricane Harvey Relief at FTDNA"

Sep 15, 2017

Buyer Beware.

Don't waste your money! I keep getting emails from companies selling DNA tests for skin care, supplements, weight loss, exercise etc. There is not enough science to support such claims.

You can always find a list of recommended DNA testing companies in the left column of my web site. Click to see my list.

Continue reading "Buyer Beware."

Sep 14, 2017

Virginia Beach Man Finds Mom After DNA Test

Here's another DNA success story that reunites a man and both parents.

Continue reading "Virginia Beach Man Finds Mom After DNA Test"

Sep 13, 2017

Free DNA Uploads at My Heritage

If you have DNA results from Family Finder, 23andMe or AncestryDNA, you can upload your raw data for free into the My Heritage DNA database.

This will yield new matches and another interpretation of your ethnic ancestry at zero cost.

I recommend that adoptees and any serious genealogists get into every database

Continue reading "Free DNA Uploads at My Heritage"

Sep 12, 2017

Helix DNA Review

An independent and ongoing review of the Helix DNA test by DNA Testing Adviser

Continue reading "Helix DNA Review"

Sep 05, 2017

DNAGedcom Creator Receives Award

Rob Warthen received an FGS technology award for his work on DNAGedcom. The site includes many innovative free tools for adoptees and genealogists working with DNA matches. Check it out.

Continue reading "DNAGedcom Creator Receives Award"

Sep 05, 2017

Sign Up for My Free Monthly Newsletter

About once a month I send out an email newsletter with a summary of recent news for genealogists and adoptees. You can sign up with just your email address. I don't need to know your name and I won't share your address with anyone.

For signing up, you get to download a free PDF file of my latest "Guide to DNA Testing." See this page on my web site:

Continue reading "Sign Up for My Free Monthly Newsletter"

Sep 01, 2017

2017 Update to Shared cM Project

You and another person have a certain amount of DNA in common, as reported by one of the autosomal DNA tests. So what is your likely relationship?

Blaine Bettinger's Shared cM Project--based on 25,000 user reports--has been updated. See averages, minimums and maximums for any measurable relationship.

Be sure to download the PDF for complete instructions on how to use the data.

Continue reading "2017 Update to Shared cM Project"

Aug 28, 2017

Another DNA-Driven Reunion with Birth Mother

Here's another reunion made possible by genetic genealogy DNA testing. Two brothers find their mother after 46 years.

Continue reading "Another DNA-Driven Reunion with Birth Mother"

Aug 25, 2017

23andMe Raw Data and Alzheimers

If you did the health testing option at 23andMe, you may be interested in this VERY detailed discussion of 23andMe raw data in an Alzheimer's forum. I admit, I could not spend the time to read it all.

Continue reading "23andMe Raw Data and Alzheimers"

Aug 24, 2017

What is Endogamy and How Does It Impact DNA Tests?

People from close-knit societies, such as Ashkenazi Jews and others, will get a lot more DNA matches on an autosomal DNA test than the typical user. Furthermore, those relationships will often be more distant than predicted.

To learn more about the concept of endogamy in DNA testing see this page on the ISOGG Wiki.

Continue reading "What is Endogamy and How Does It Impact DNA Tests?"

Aug 23, 2017

Genetic Genealogy and the Single Segment

This blog post about single-segment autosomal DNA matches is six years old and I just stumbled on to it. While I don't pretend the follow all the math (feel free to skip), the basic conclusions seem sound and important today.

Continue reading "Genetic Genealogy and the Single Segment"

Aug 21, 2017

Free Update Path for My 'Guide to DNA Testing"

I had hoped that Amazon would let those who had already purchased my Guide to DNA Testing download the newer Kindle version for free. They won't. In fact, they won't even let you buy it.

If you have Version 2.0 of my Guide, you will want to see all the new and updated content in Version 3.0. Click this link for a free workaround.

Continue reading "Free Update Path for My 'Guide to DNA Testing""

Aug 19, 2017

DNA Test Finds Birth Mother

How long does it take for an adoptee to go from DNA test results to speaking with her birth mother? In this case it was less than 48 hours.

The article says it was an AncestryDNA test; but the accompanying video shows a 23andMe test kit.

Continue reading "DNA Test Finds Birth Mother"

Aug 18, 2017

Contacting Siblings When a First Mother is Silent

If an adoptee identifies a birth mother but she refuses contact, should he or she contact a sibling? That issue is discussed in detail in this great blog post by Lorraine Dusky. I agree with her completely.

Continue reading "Contacting Siblings When a First Mother is Silent"

Aug 17, 2017

Solving Adoption Mysteries at DNA Detectives

If you're an adoptee or otherwise separated from biological family, the place to turn for advice and support is The DNA Detectives group on Facebook.

This article covers just a few of their many success stories.

Continue reading "Solving Adoption Mysteries at DNA Detectives"

Aug 16, 2017

Beware of junk DNA tests.

Both the Internet and retail stores are now filling with DNA tests that make outrageous claims. Skin care? Weight loss? Pinpointing your ancestry to a specific village or tribe? Don't waste your money. On every page of my web site (in the left column) I now include a list of the only five DNA testing companies that I recommend.

On every page of my web site (in the left column) I now include a list of the only five DNA testing companies that I recommend.

Continue reading "Beware of junk DNA tests."

Aug 14, 2017

New Rules for Managing Multiple Kits at Ancestry

To give every DNA tester personal control over their test results, AncestryDNA has made a number of changes in how multiple family members are managed.

This post on their blog will help you understand the new procedures for managing multiple kits.

Continue reading "New Rules for Managing Multiple Kits at Ancestry"

Aug 14, 2017

Triangulation at 23andMe

One of the built-in features of the 23andMe DNA test is the ability to see which of your matches have overlapping segments. Blogger Jim Bartlett shares a step-by-step process for taking advantage of these Triangulated Groups.

Continue reading "Triangulation at 23andMe"

Aug 11, 2017

Can an Indian DNA Test Find or Prove Native American Ancestry?

Learn the uses and limitations of Indian DNA test alternatives in Native American genealogy.

Continue reading "Can an Indian DNA Test Find or Prove Native American Ancestry?"

Aug 11, 2017

DNA Testing Humor

We can't be serious all the time about DNA testing. Here is one writer's humorous look at the subject.

Continue reading "DNA Testing Humor"

Aug 09, 2017

DNA Success Story with Jewish Ancestry

Using DNA tests with Jewish ancestry can be challenging because of endogamy. Briefly, there were lots of marriages within a close-knit society. The bride and groom often had ancestors in common.

That can make DNA matches appear to be closer than they really are. But there are still many successes as illustrated by this story

Continue reading "DNA Success Story with Jewish Ancestry"


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.