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, 2021

An Example Using What Are The Odds Tool

One of my favorite tools for determining how a new DNA match may be related to me is What Are The Odds by DNA Painter. This uses probability data from the Shared cM Project and computes the relative probability of various hypotheses of how a tester might relate to their matches. Here's a detailed example of how this tool works.

Continue reading "An Example Using What Are The Odds Tool"

Feb 23, 2021

Free Virtual Sessions on DNA at RootsTech Connect

RootsTech is online for 2021. You can watch live and recorded sessions this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (2/25-2/27). More than 60 sessions will focus on DNA for genealogy. The Legal Genealogist shares which ones are at the top of her list.

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Feb 22, 2021

MyHeritage Waives Unlock Fee for Free DNA Uploads

MyHeritage always accepts free transfers from other DNA tests. But to access all their great tools, you need to pay a one-time Unlock fee of $29. Now through 2/28/21 you can upload at the following link and avoid that fee. This is a real no-brainer. You will get many new matches, sometimes to European relatives you won't find in other tests. Plus, their tools like AutoClusters and Theory of Family Relativity are excellent.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Waives Unlock Fee for Free DNA Uploads"

Feb 19, 2021

Reminder: Free Virtual Family History Event Saturday

Join me at the first-ever FOREVER Family History Virtual Event on February 20, 2021 between noon and 4:00 Eastern time or watch the recordings later at your convenience.

Discover how to save, organize, and share all your memories for generations to come, with the privacy & permanency you've been looking for.

Get your free tickets at the following link and reach out to me with any additional questions.

Continue reading "Reminder: Free Virtual Family History Event Saturday"

Feb 15, 2021

How To Get More Theories of Family Relativity

My recent post about the Update to Theory of Family Relativity at MyHeritage has been extremely popular. But what if you did not get any Theories or very few of them? There are certain basic steps you must complete. And there are things you can do to see more Theories in the next update. Blogger Roberta Estes shows you what to do.

Continue reading "How To Get More Theories of Family Relativity"

Feb 12, 2021

Enjoy Excellent Odds to Win a Free DNA Test

Five new people have now signed up with me for a free Intro account at FOREVER. Each received a $20 coupon and a chance to win an Ancestry DNA Test. If you have photos to preserve and want a chance to win, you have until 2/20/21 to sign up through this link.

Continue reading "Enjoy Excellent Odds to Win a Free DNA Test"

Feb 11, 2021

Update to Theory of Family Relativity™

One of the most useful tools on a DNA testing site is the MyHeritage Theory of Familly Relativity. It uses historical records and family trees to suggest possible connection paths between you and some of your DNA matches. While it's not proof of a precise relationship, it can be an important clue. It's a huge data processing task and they just updated the tool--finding theories for 20% more DNA matches. Read about the update here.

Continue reading "Update to Theory of Family Relativity™"

Feb 10, 2021

A Clever Approach to Sharing Family History

I've often wondered how best to combine ancestor photos, genealogical records, and family stories for sharing with future generations. I think this genealogist came up with a perfect solution.

Continue reading "A Clever Approach to Sharing Family History"

Feb 10, 2021

A Brief Introduction to Y-DNA Testing

Only men have a Y chromosome and it passes directly down the paternal line. That makes Y-DNA testing a powerful tool in genetic genealogy. Debbie Kennett has written an easy-to-understand introduction to this important subject.

Continue reading "A Brief Introduction to Y-DNA Testing"

Feb 09, 2021

The Shocking Truth About Postwar Adoption in America

I just ordered this new book that everyone is talking about. "American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption." It's the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other. In doing so, it illuminates a dark time in our history and shows a path to reunion that can help heal the wounds inflicted by years of shame and secrecy.

Continue reading "The Shocking Truth About Postwar Adoption in America"

Feb 08, 2021

Getting Better: DNA Testing for Asian Ancestry

It's no secret that the major DNA databases have mostly been focused on European ancestry. But now many of these testing companies are making big progress in ethnicity breakdowns for Asian ancestry. This article summarizes those advancements.

Continue reading "Getting Better: DNA Testing for Asian Ancestry"

Feb 08, 2021

Did You Discover New Relatives thru DNA Testing?

You may be anxious to meet them. But how do you prepare for an in-person meeting with someone you've never met but who shares some of your DNA? If this is you, be sure to read these tips from Watershed DNA. They will help prepare you for a healthy, positive in-person meeting.

Continue reading "Did You Discover New Relatives thru DNA Testing?"

Feb 05, 2021

Valentine's Sale on Family Finder DNA Test

Family Tree DNA has announced a $59 sale price on its Family Finder DNA test. Check this link to learn more about the test and order. The sale ends 2/14/21.

Continue reading "Valentine's Sale on Family Finder DNA Test"

Feb 05, 2021

23andMe Goes Public as $3.5 Billion Company

23andMe pioneered autosomal DNA testing for genetic genealogy. Yet ancestry testing has always been secondary. The founder believes that genetics will revolutionize health care. A key part of her business model is to turn genetic data from more than 12 million customers into therapies. This huge deal allows the company to accelerate that business.

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Feb 04, 2021

The Biology Behind Genetic Genealogy

Fortunately, we can use genetic genealogy as a family history tool without formal training in genetics or even biology. All we need to know are a few basic rules of inheritance. For those who want to dig a bit deeper into the science behind DNA inheritance, this is a concise and nicely illustrated overview.

Continue reading "The Biology Behind Genetic Genealogy"

Feb 03, 2021

Schedule a Virtual Presentation on DNA Testing

Yesterday I did a virtual presentation for a small genealogy group in northern Wisconsin. With no travel expense and only a $200 speaking fee, I am speaking to more groups in more places. Choose from four topics: 1. Finding Family with DNA Testing 2. Understanding the Ethnic Ancestry in Your DNA Test 3. Y-Chromosome Insights & Strategies 4. Genetic Genealogy Overview. Click this link to learn more and contact me, Richard Hill, DNA Testing Adviser.

Continue reading "Schedule a Virtual Presentation on DNA Testing"

Feb 02, 2021

Eighteen Important Free Websites for Genealogy Research

I belong to the National Genealogical Society. They have a nice list of 18 free websites for genealogy research. I was unaware of some of them until I saw this list. Check it out at this link.

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Feb 01, 2021

Finding Family with Mitochondrial DNA: An Example

Mitochondrial DNA is a powerful tool for tracing the direct maternal line. Yet I don't see many published case studies. Here's a great one from the family of Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist.

Continue reading "Finding Family with Mitochondrial DNA: An Example"

Jan 29, 2021

How Surnames Can Be Grouped in DNA Surname Projects

You are probably interested in the history of your surname. Yet many people with your surname do not share a common ancestor with you. Surname projects use DNA test results to organize people with the same surname into related subgroups. This article by Irish genealogy expert Maurice Gleeson details how this can be done.

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Jan 28, 2021

How to Trace Sephardic Genealogy Roots

When most genealogists think about Jewish ancestry, we're probably thinking of Ashkenazi Jews. Lesser known are Sephardic Jews, with origins in Spain and Portugal. This is the most detailed article I have seen on the subject.

Continue reading "How to Trace Sephardic Genealogy Roots"

Jan 27, 2021

How to Identify Your Unresponsive DNA Matches

It happens a lot. You get an interesting DNA match who does not respond to your inquiry. But their identity may be an important clue to your family history. Here's an example of how you can use a search engine to find living relatives.

Continue reading "How to Identify Your Unresponsive DNA Matches"

Jan 26, 2021

How to Win the Ancestry DNA Test I’m Giving Away

Use the following link to register for a free 2GB account at FOREVER, the permanent cloud storage platform I use for saving photos, videos, and genealogy documents.

After you confirm your email address, FOREVER will email you a $20 coupon to use for prints, customized photo gifts, digital conversions, or extra storage capacity.

IN ADDITION…If at least five people sign up by February 20, 2021, I will give one of you a $99 Ancestry DNA test kit. Richard Hill, DNA Testing Adviser and FOREVER Ambassador.

Continue reading "How to Win the Ancestry DNA Test I’m Giving Away"

Jan 25, 2021

Will a COVID Vaccine Change Your DNA?

There are many rumors circulating about COVID-19 and the vaccines created to combat the disease. Brianne Kirkpatrick of Watershed DNA puts several myths to rest in this blog post.

Continue reading "Will a COVID Vaccine Change Your DNA?"

Jan 22, 2021

Mark Your Calendars for the Free FOREVER Family History Virtual Event

Join me on February 20, 2021, from noon to 4 pm ET for this free Family History Event. You will learn how a FOREVER Account is essential for saving, organizing, and sharing all your photos, videos, audio files, and documents for generations to come, with the privacy & permanency you've been looking for.

This FREE, educational event can be streamed live from the comfort of your own home. Recordings of all sessions will also be available for you to peruse after the event. Use this link to register.

Continue reading "Mark Your Calendars for the Free FOREVER Family History Virtual Event"

Jan 21, 2021

Joe Biden's Ancestry

Want someone to build your family tree for free? Run for President and people will do it for you. Dick Eastman has posted this page where you can quickly explore the ancestors of our new President.

Continue reading "Joe Biden's Ancestry"

Jan 20, 2021

State Library Offers Remote Access to Family History Databases

I'm passing along a tip I received after a recent DNA presentation. While this is specific to Michigan, other state libraries may be doing the same.

Due to the pandemic, the Library of Michigan is letting state residents apply online for a library card. After receiving my number in an email, I was able to remotely access databases such as Fold3 that normally can only be accessed while in the library. Michigan residents can apply at this link.

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Jan 19, 2021

Download My Free Updated File of Genetic Genealogy Links

I just updated my PDF file of Genetic Genealogy Links. The new total count is nearly 300 links, including DNA tests, third-party tools, Facebook pages, articles, and other resources for genealogists and adoptees.

You can download it at this link. If you have a problem, just try again later as too many simultaneous downloads can overwhelm my website.

Continue reading "Download My Free Updated File of Genetic Genealogy Links"

Jan 18, 2021

The Next Step for Your Y-DNA and mtDNA Results

If you have ever done a Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA test with any company--even those no longer in business--there is something you should do with your results. A volunteer-run database, mitoYDNA, accepts such data from all testing companies. You can discover new matches and get great tools for working with this data. All for free. My data is there. I suggest you join me. Read more about mitoYDNA here.

Continue reading "The Next Step for Your Y-DNA and mtDNA Results"

Jan 15, 2021

Ancestry Pulling Health DNA Test Just Over a Year After Launch

This morning the Ancestry Health test is still available to order on Ancestry's website. But the company has announced that it is discontinuing that test to focus on its core family tree business. You can read more about that and Ancestry's overall business situation in Debbie Kennett's blog.

Continue reading "Ancestry Pulling Health DNA Test Just Over a Year After Launch"

Jan 14, 2021

More Virtual Presentations on DNA Testing

Last night I gave my first virtual presentation of 2021 to a small genealogy group in Michigan. In the next few months, I will be speaking to groups in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Florida, and California. Without the expenses of travel, even the smallest groups can enjoy national speakers on genealogy and other topics. See this page for more information.

Continue reading "More Virtual Presentations on DNA Testing"

Jan 13, 2021

Solving Genealogical Brick Walls with DNA Testing

Here's a detailed case study that demonstrates how to use document evidence in conjunction with DNA evidence to resolve an Irish genealogy “brick wall”. Although this is an Irish example, the tips you will find can be applied elsewhere.

Continue reading "Solving Genealogical Brick Walls with DNA Testing"

Jan 12, 2021

Family Tree DNA Merges with Health Testing Company

Family Tree DNA has long offered every major type of genetic genealogy test. But unlike other companies in the field, it has not directly offered health and wellness testing to consumers. We can expect that to change as their parent company, Gene by Gene, has now merged with the Australian genomics company, myDNA. Read the announcement reported on EOGN.

Continue reading "Family Tree DNA Merges with Health Testing Company"

Jan 11, 2021

All About Y-DNA Testing

Here's another great repository of information by Roberta Estes that's definitely worth saving. In one place she has assembled a wealth of resources about testing a man's Y chromosome.

Continue reading "All About Y-DNA Testing"

Jan 08, 2021

Watch Dozens of Free Presentations on DNA and Genealogy Topics

One bright spot of 2020 was the introduction of Facebook LIVE sessions sponsored by MyHeritage. This link leads to a complete list by date where you can replay a session on demand with one click. My presentation on "DMA Testing for Adoptees" is on the list for December 7.

Continue reading "Watch Dozens of Free Presentations on DNA and Genealogy Topics"

Jan 07, 2021

Looking for Native American Ancestry? Here's How to Find It.

Many people have family legends of Native American ancestry, This article provides a good summary of the steps you can take to solve this puzzle--including DNA testing,

Continue reading "Looking for Native American Ancestry? Here's How to Find It."

Jan 06, 2021

Triangulating Your Genome

Jim Bartlett is an advanced user of genetic genealogy DNA tests. In this blog post, he walks you through the steps he uses to triangulate shared DNA segments at MyHeritage. If social distancing has left you with a lot of free time this winter, triangulation may be something worth exploring.

Continue reading "Triangulating Your Genome"

Jan 04, 2021

The Leeds Method--All in One Place

Dana Leeds is a pioneer in working with DNA matches. She developed the Leeds Method, which uses a spreadsheet to sort DNA matches into color groups based on shared ancestors. Conveniently, she has this one page that describes the method and includes links to more information.

Continue reading "The Leeds Method--All in One Place"

Dec 31, 2020

Is GEDmatch Still Relevant for Genealogy?

This article explains why GEDmatch filled an important role when DNA tests were more expensive. But with lower prices and several free upload options, the author claims that GEDmatch is no longer relevant for genealogy. Do you agree? Or is there something about GEDmatch that you still find valuable?

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Dec 29, 2020

The Genetics Of Food Allergies

Our DNA predetermines many things about us. One of those can be allergies to certain types of food. Since many people experience such allergies, this article on Best DNA Testing Kits is one you should read.

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Dec 28, 2020

A Detailed Tour of the New Genetic Groups at MyHeritage

Genetic Groups combine DNA with genealogy to provide new insights about your ancestry that go beyond ethnicity. Blogger Roberta Estes provides a detailed tour of this new MyHeritage feature plus step-by-step instructions for you to follow.

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Dec 24, 2020

MyHeritage Adds Genetic Groups to Your Ethnicity Estimates

If you did a DNA test at MyHeritage, you will want to log into your account now to see a fascinating addition. Genetic Groups complement your Ethnicity Estimate by providing you with an enhanced understanding of your origins and a higher resolution breakdown of the places your ancestors came from across 2100+ geographic regions. If you have not done this DNA test yet, this is your last chance to order it for just $49.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Adds Genetic Groups to Your Ethnicity Estimates"

Dec 23, 2020

Nine Tips to Start Your Family History

Many of us will have some extra free time for the rest of this year. If you--or someone you know--are not yet into genealogy, start with this list from the National Genealogical Society.

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Dec 22, 2020

The Genetic Impact of Radiation on Atomic Bomb Survivors

A Japanese-US joint team is studying the relationship between nuclear radiation and genetics. Their subjects are the survivors and their families from the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They're looking at things like gene mutations, cancer, and birth defects. This article at Best DNA Testing Kits also discusses the ionizing radiation we all receive from natural sources.

Continue reading "The Genetic Impact of Radiation on Atomic Bomb Survivors"

Dec 21, 2020

Triangulation Resources In One Place

Once you have your genetic matches from an autosomal DNA test, you can use triangulation to discover or confirm your ancestors or ancestral lines. How you do triangulation and even what it's called will vary from one vendor to another. Blogger Roberta Estes has a wonderfully comprehensive post that explains all of this.

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Dec 18, 2020

Understanding the Genetics of Your Dog's Coat

I only have cats. But I know many dog owners who would like to know more about the genetics of their pets. This article gets into how a dog's genes will impact traits such as the colors in a dog's coat. You can read it and learn more about pet DNA testing on Best DNA Testing Kits.

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Dec 17, 2020

The Story Behind DNA Testing Adviser

I, Richard Hill, was recently interviewed by DNAWeekly about my personal experience with DNA testing that led me to create my DNA Testing Adviser website 12 years ago. You can read the interview on this page.

Continue reading "The Story Behind DNA Testing Adviser"

Dec 16, 2020

Finding Your Birth Family with a DNA Test

Here's a nice overview of the steps involved in a birth parent search. Blogger Diahan Southard makes many good points in this brief summary.

Continue reading "Finding Your Birth Family with a DNA Test"

Dec 15, 2020

DNA Leads Vietnamese French Adoptee to Her American Birth Father

In this video a father and the daughter he never knew describe how they found each other through DNA testing. Listen to them tell their story and watch their reunion.

Continue reading "DNA Leads Vietnamese French Adoptee to Her American Birth Father"

Dec 11, 2020

Update on 23andMe Parkinson’s Research

23andMe is the one consumer DNA testing company that's always been focused on the connection between genetics and health. When users consent to being included in research and answer surveys, we contribute to medical science. Here is an example of research they are doing on Parkinson's Disease.

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