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.

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"

Jan 09, 2017

DNA Testing for Adoptees 2017

This is an excellent summary for adoptees looking to find birth parents and siblings through DNA testing. The key message: "Take every autosomal DNA test you can afford to take."

Continue reading "DNA Testing for Adoptees 2017"

Jan 07, 2017

What Use is DNA Testing for Me?

Why You Should Take a Genealogical DNA Test – Even If You Don’t Think You Need One. This is a good blog post from Legacy Tree Genealogists.

Continue reading "What Use is DNA Testing for Me?"

Jan 05, 2017

How Irish are the British?

AncestryDNA data reveals the average British person is one-fifth Irish.

Continue reading "How Irish are the British?"

Jan 02, 2017

The Current State of Genetic Genealogy

One of my favorite DNA bloggers, Roberta Estes, has posted a great summary of where genetic genealogy stands at the end of 2016.

Like all of her posts, it is very long. But if you really want to know more about the subject, I suggest you work your way through it.

Continue reading "The Current State of Genetic Genealogy"

Jan 01, 2017

100-Year Old Mother Meets 83-Year Old Daughter

This reunion did not require DNA testing; but it probably sets a record for the oldest pair in a mother-daughter reunion.

Continue reading "100-Year Old Mother Meets 83-Year Old Daughter"

Dec 23, 2016

Sibling Reunion from DNA Testing

Here's another sibling reunion made possible by a genetic genealogy DNA test.

Continue reading "Sibling Reunion from DNA Testing"

Dec 15, 2016

DNA Sleuths Give Amnesiac His Life Back

Here's an update on the Benjamin Kyle case that was solved through genetic genealogy DNA tests. Note: You may have to X out some ads that clutter this newspaper site.

Continue reading "DNA Sleuths Give Amnesiac His Life Back"

Dec 07, 2016

DNA Testing for African Americans

Which DNA test is best for determining African origins? I recommend the AncestryDNA test, which breaks African Ancestry into these nine regions:

Africa North


Ivory Coast / Ghana

Benin / Togo

Cameroon / Congo



Africa Southeast Bantu

Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers

Additionally, every African American will have some European ancestry. This test will also measure that and give you some idea what part of Europe that ancestry originated.

Continue reading "DNA Testing for African Americans"

Dec 06, 2016

Explosive Growth in DNA Testing During 2016

Using AncestryDNA match data, this blogger measures the dramatic growth in genetic genealogy DNA testing in 2016 compared to prior years.

Continue reading "Explosive Growth in DNA Testing During 2016"

Dec 05, 2016

Fishing in Three Ponds Leads to Reunion

This 71-year old woman was united with her birth family through DNA testing. The story doesn't say which tests she did; but she submitted three samples.

I'm guessing she took our standard advice and did three autosomal DNA tests: AncestryDNA, Family Finder, and 23andMe.

We don't know which one produced the first-cousin match that led to the reunion. But that's a good point. No matter what worked for anyone else, you cannot tell in advance where YOUR best match will be found. Do them all!

Continue reading "Fishing in Three Ponds Leads to Reunion"

Nov 29, 2016

Yet Another Reunion from DNA Testing

If you are adopted or gave up a child for adoption, don't pass up this chance to get into the AncestryDNA database. Your family may be waiting.

Continue reading "Yet Another Reunion from DNA Testing"

Nov 29, 2016

Mother & Daughter Reunited thru DNA Testing

Here's another adoptee-birthparent reunion brought about by DNA testing. Each of them yearned to know of the other and sealed records kept them apart. Once again, genetic genealogy gets around the secrecy.

Continue reading "Mother & Daughter Reunited thru DNA Testing"

Nov 23, 2016

Guide to DNA Testing: Review Number 200

My 99-cent Kindle Short Book: "Guide to DNA Testing" received its 200th review. This is what it said:

"This guide was a fantastic, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand outline of what one needs to know and evaluate when pursuing the avenue of genealogical research via DNA testing, without having any background knowledge of it.

As a result, I feel well-equipped to easily make decisions regarding my future genealogical research using DNA testing as a resource."

NOTE: You don't need a Kindle device to read this or any Kindle eBook. Amazon provides FREE reader apps for computers, tablets and smartphones.

Continue reading "Guide to DNA Testing: Review Number 200"

Nov 21, 2016

Beware of DNA Tests with Similar Names

I have issued this warning before; but some people are still getting tricked by ads on Groupon etc.

Do NOT confuse the excellent AncestryDNA test with a far less useful test called Ancestry By DNA. Use the following link to get the good one:

Continue reading "Beware of DNA Tests with Similar Names"

Nov 18, 2016

New Ancient Origins Feature at FTDNA

You can read the news release from Family Tree DNA about the new Ancient Origins feature that's now included with its Family Finder test. For now, only European origins are covered but Asian ancestry will come later.

Continue reading "New Ancient Origins Feature at FTDNA"

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.

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.