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 22, 2019

See My Ethnicity Presentation at RootsTech

I will be speaking at RootsTech next week on the subject of Understanding the Ethnic Ancestry in Your DNA Test. If you're going to be there, join me at 1:30 Wednesday in Ballroom B. Even if you can't make it, you can download my syllabus from my website.

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Feb 22, 2019

Flash Sale on MyHeritage DNA Test: Just $59

MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test in Europe. If you have European ancestors, you should take advantage of this sale. Just $59. Order two or more kits and standard shipping is free. Sale price is good through Monday, 2/25/19. #DNA #MyHeritage

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Feb 21, 2019

New Genetic Communities with AncestryDNA Test

Ancestry has announced 94 new and updated AncestryDNA communities for customers of African American and Afro-Caribbean descent. This will help those customers trace how their ancestors may have moved over time. #DNA #AncestryDNA

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Feb 20, 2019

RootsFinder Now Imports ALL Your DNA Matches

This free family history site now accepts DNA matches from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Finder, and MyHeritage. Plus, they have analysis tools for working with all that data. I have not yet tried this myself. But you can read more about it in Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. #DNA #RootsFinder

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Feb 19, 2019

Genealogy Show Cuts Celebrity for Boring Past

The British version of the Who Do You Think You Are? television show dumped one of its chosen celebrities when the researchers could not find anything interesting in his family tree. It makes you wonder if that has happened with the U.S. show.

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Feb 18, 2019

One of the Best DNA Discovery Stories

DNA testing can solve old mysteries and bring people together in various ways. This well-told story has a little bit of everything. Be sure to read the text and watch the video. #DNA

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Feb 15, 2019

All About Clustering Tools for DNA Matches

Most testers get thousands of genetic matches from autosomal DNA tests. A number of people have developed clustering tools to automate the grouping of matches. The idea is that each cluster potentially shares a common ancestor. This blog post provides a nice introduction to the concepts and links to several tools you may want to try. #DNA

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Feb 14, 2019

AncestryDNA Test Connects Adopted Man with Sister

A Minnesota TV station was there to capture the reunion between an adopted man and his baby sister. The reunion resulted from her receiving an AncestryDNA test kit for Christmas. The video is more complete than the text. So wait for the brief station promo to view it. #DNA #adoptee #AncestryDNA

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Feb 11, 2019

Half Sisters Find Each Other Through DNA Tests

Here's another sibling reunion brought about by DNA testing. This one involves family secrets and multiple children of a single sperm donor from decades ago. #DNA #NPE

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Feb 07, 2019

Free Webinar on Using MyHeritage Tools

On February 12 you can watch a free webinar called Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data. MyHeritage is a powerful alternative to Ancestry and is especially good for tracing our trees outside the U.S. #genealogy #MyHeritage

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Feb 06, 2019

New GEDmatch Uploads Going to Genesis

As of now, any new uploads at GEDmatch go directly into their Genesis platform. Genesis is designed to handle the new chips that test more SNPs. Eventually, all of our data will be migrated to Genesis. Get the details in Kitty Cooper's blog. #DNA #GEDmatch

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Feb 06, 2019

How 23andMe Fuels Medical Research

This NBC News article provides a nice summary of 23andMe's impact on medical research. So far, roughly 80 percent of the company's more than 5 million customers have agreed to let their test results be used in research. My family is included and I'm happy to help. #DNA #23andMe

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Feb 04, 2019

Another DNA Story Featured in The Wall Street Journal

Nearly ten years after my pioneering DNA success story was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, another family's DNA story is covered there. This one is full of surprises. #DNA #WSJ

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Feb 01, 2019

My Updated Speaking Schedule for 2019

I already have ten DNA speaking engagements scheduled for this year, including RootsTech. I just updated the Events page on my website. Take a look and join me if you can. #DNA #RichardHill

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Jan 31, 2019

Big Y 500 Expanding to Big Y 700

The ultimate Y chromosome DNA test is getting better. Family Tree DNA's Big Y test checks thousands of SNPs. Now it will include 700 STRs as well. Anyone who ordered earlier but hasn't received results yet will get the extra 200 STRs too. Use this link and click the SHOP NOW box under Y-DNA Paternal Ancestry to find Big Y 700. #DNA #BigY

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Jan 30, 2019

Don't Waste Your Money on African Ancestry DNA Test

There are lots of bad DNA tests being sold. I usually ignore such tests because I don't want to publicize them. But Shannon Christmas, the expert on DNA testing for people of African ancestry, has written a detailed critique of this bad test. I completely agree with him. #DNA #AfricanAncestry

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Jan 29, 2019

How to Get a Virtual Pass to RootsTech 2019

If you cannot attend RootsTech in Salt Lake City, you may want to buy Virtual Pass. That will give to access to 18 online recorded sessions from the conference. You can watch playbacks from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone device whenever and however you’d like. My presentation will NOT be video recorded. But the audio will be recorded. I'm not sure how that will become available for listening. #RootsTech

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Jan 25, 2019

Family Tree DNA Launches Big Y Block Tree

I was one of the first men to do the Big Y test. Until now, there was no good way to view all the data. Now, Family Tree DNA has created a new Block Tree that pulls together an amazing amount of information into a clear, interactive structure. If you've done Big Y, log into your account and explore. If not, consider testing yourself or a key man in your paternal line. #DNA #FTDNA

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Jan 24, 2019

My First Choice DNA Test for Ethic Ancestry

I have done seven different DNA tests on myself and on my wife. For both of us, the most detailed results that are also consistent with our family trees came from the 23andMe test. They recently upgraded to more than a thousand regions. If you tested earlier, check your results again. #DNA #ethnicity #23andMe

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Jan 22, 2019

DNA Tests Uncover 54-Year Old Family Secret

This article from the TIME magazine website is a great story about DNA testing. Plus, the author takes us thoughtfully into the issues surrounding donor conception in an age when donors can no longer be anonymous. #DNA

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Jan 22, 2019

DNA Uncovers Bad Behavior from Decades Ago

The case is a good example of secrets from decades ago that are now being uncovered accidentally by genetic genealogy DNA tests. #DNA

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Jan 21, 2019

Which DNA Test Offers the Most for Your Money?

If you are a genealogist or an adoptee looking for matches to genetic relatives, I recommend the AncestryDNA test. It has the largest database by far and the raw data from that test can be used for free uploads to Family Finder, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch. Their optional subscription boosts the power of your DNA through billions of genealogical records and millions of family trees. Click this link to learn more. #DNA #AncestryDNA

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Jan 18, 2019

My Interview on Beyond 50 Radio

Today I was interviewed online about my Finding Family book. Coincidentally, the host had also discovered some previously unknown family members. We had a great discussion about false birth records, DNA testing, and the process of searching for and reuniting with lost family. You can listen to the interview at this link. #FindingFamily #DNA #Beyond50

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Jan 18, 2019

Complete Details on Free DNA Uploads at MyHeritage

MyHeritage has published a clear explanation of which features are included with a free DNA upload and which require a one-time fee per uploaded kit. Those of us who uploaded before the change are grandfathered in as free for life. If you have the optional subscription, you can take advantage of the extra DNA features for as many uploaded kits as you’d like at no additional cost. #DNA #MyHeritage

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Jan 15, 2019

She Really is a Living Legacy to the Leader of the Band

Many adoptees fantasize about their birthparents being someone famous. If you read my "Finding Family" book, you know I did. Now here's a case where that really turned out to be the case. And DNA testing lead to that discovery. #DNA

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Jan 14, 2019

DNA Solves the Hatbox Baby Mystery of 1931

In 1931 a baby was found abandoned in the Arizona desert in a hatbox. In 1988 that grown woman contacted a newspaper reporter for help in learning the identity of her biological parents. For 30 years the reporter has doggedly tried to solve this mystery and DNA testing has played a huge role. The complete story ran as a 10-part serial narrative, but all 10 parts have been aggregated here. It's long but fascinating with lots of photos.

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Jan 11, 2019

Adoptee Survey for 2018

Are you an adoptee that FIRST tested your DNA in 2018? If so, would you consider helping with this survey? The goal is to determine the success rates for adoptees using DNA and to compare that success from year to year. Results will be shared when ready.

This is the third year of the survey, and the trends could be very interesting. There was a HUGE increase in success from 2016 to 2017. Please share the link with friends or other groups you are in.

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Jan 10, 2019

The Truth About DNA Privacy

A lot of uninformed or nefarious people have written scare pieces about DNA testing. Hooray for blogger Leah Larkin who took the time to set the record straight. #DNA

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Jan 08, 2019

Finding Your Roots Returns Tonight

Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., returns to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for Season 5, starting this evening, Tuesday, January 8th.The first subjects are actor Andy Samberg and author George R.R. Martin. #genealogy

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Jan 07, 2019

Combine DNA and Tree Matches at MyHeritage

If you have are in the DNA database at MyHeritage and have posted your tree there, you can use their powerful Filter features to do many things. One useful thing is to view only those DNA matches that have a SmartMatch with you, i.e. a common ancestor in your trees. Blogger Roberta Estes shows some great examples.#DNA #MyHeritage

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GENEALOGY TIP: Building an accurate family tree is time consuming. You can outsource the job to an expert at Legacy Tree Genealogists.

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.