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.

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May 28, 2020

How You Can Help CeCe Moore Identify Murderers

If you watched the premiere of The Genetic Detective, you saw how CeCe Moore depends on GEDmatch to solve horrific crimes. You can help in three steps: 1. Test your DNA at one of the acceptable testing companies and download your raw data to your computer. 2. Register at GEDmatch and upload your raw data. 3. In your kit profile change Access to "Public, with Law Enforcement access." If you manage kits for other people, make sure you first have their permission.

Continue reading "How You Can Help CeCe Moore Identify Murderers"

May 26, 2020

An Introduction to Telomere DNA Testing

You may have heard about a different kind of health-related DNA test that looks at your telomeres. What are telomeres? And what can these tests tell you about your health? Read this introduction to learn more.

Continue reading "An Introduction to Telomere DNA Testing"

May 25, 2020

The Genetic Detective Series on ABC Television

CeCe Moore uses genetic genealogy to solve major crimes on The Genetic Detective

Continue reading "The Genetic Detective Series on ABC Television"

May 25, 2020

MyHeritage Updates Its Theory of Family Relativity

One of the best features of a MyHeritage DNA test is the Theory of Family Relativity. This powerful tool leverages all the data available on MyHeritage, such as family trees and historical records, to provide us with plausible theories as to how we may be related to a given DNA Match. Due to the enormous amount of data to be processed, updates only appear in batches. Read this blog post to learn more.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Updates Its Theory of Family Relativity"

May 22, 2020

Virtual Presentations Can Now Bring Great Speakers to Genealogy Groups

The pandemic has forced genealogy conferences into virtual events. And speakers are staying home. With travel costs no longer a barrier, even local genealogy groups can book great speakers at low prices. For the rest of 2020, I am lowering my fee for one-hour virtual presentations on DNA testing topics to just $100. See this page of my website for details.

Continue reading "Virtual Presentations Can Now Bring Great Speakers to Genealogy Groups"

May 21, 2020

Finally, a Great YDNA and Mitochondrial DNA Database

If you have done Y-DNA or mtDNA testing, you may remember some databases to upload results from different companies for comparison. We don't have those anymore and a much better, crowdsourced, volunteer site now covers both test types.

mitoYDNA is now the place to upload your results for matching, analysis, and tools to further your genealogical research. They even have a Youtube channel with help videos and a user group on Facebook.

Continue reading "Finally, a Great YDNA and Mitochondrial DNA Database"

May 20, 2020

Genealogy Speaker Richard Hill

Richard Hill is a Midwest-based genealogy speaker specializing in DNA testing for genealogists and adoptees.

Continue reading "Genealogy Speaker Richard Hill"

May 20, 2020

Search Your Family's Military Records for Free

In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to its entire collection of military records from May 20–26, 2020. Use this link to search.

Continue reading "Search Your Family's Military Records for Free"

May 19, 2020

A Good Deal on Whole Genome Sequencing

Nebula Genomics has announced a sale for ALS Awareness Month. Save $100 on 30x Whole Genome Sequencing with Lifetime Subscription with Code ALS2020 until 5/31.

Continue reading "A Good Deal on Whole Genome Sequencing"

May 19, 2020

New Colorization Settings for MyHeritage In Color™

Thousands of us have tried the automatic colorization feature at MyHeritage that lets us add color to black and white photos. For some photos, the default settings are not quite right. It is now possible to customize the settings to improve your results. This blog post explains it all and provides many great examples.

Continue reading "New Colorization Settings for MyHeritage In Color™"

May 18, 2020

So What is DNA?

One of the nice things about genetic genealogy is that you can use DNA as a family tree building tool without getting too technical. For those who want to know more about the science of DNA itself, here's a brief introduction.

Continue reading "So What is DNA?"

May 15, 2020

New Genetic Detective TV Series Delayed One Week

Earlier I posted about CeCe Moore's new television series The Genetic Detective. The premier has been delayed one week until Tuesday, May 26 from 10 to 11 p.m. ET on the ABC network. This article provides more information about CeCe and the new series.

Continue reading "New Genetic Detective TV Series Delayed One Week"

May 14, 2020

REMINDER: Download Your Genographic Project Results

Public participation in National Geographic's Genographic Project will end on June 30, 2020. If you did one of their Geno DNA tests, you need to log into your account before that date to save your results. Just choose Print from the right side of the screen. The reports are long, so you may wish to save them as a PDF file.

Continue reading "REMINDER: Download Your Genographic Project Results"

May 13, 2020

Big Family Networks Update at Living DNA

Until now, Living DNA has only been useful for ethnicity testing, especially for breaking down British ancestry into sub-regions. Their Family Networks feature did not produce enough matches to be useful. They just updated it and my wife and I are both seeing many more matches. If you have tested there, log in now and click Relatives to see your matches. If you don't see any matches, go to your DNA Profile and opt-in to Matching in the Permissions section. If you have tested elsewhere, you can upload your data for free to see your matches. To also get the more detailed ethnicity breakdown you need to order the full Ancestry test.

Continue reading "Big Family Networks Update at Living DNA"

May 12, 2020

The Lowest Price Ever on a Major DNA Test

MyHeritage has announced a Stay at Home DNA Sale. You can get their DNA test kit and have it processed for just $39. If you order two or more kits, shipping will be free. This sale ends on 5/31/20.

Continue reading "The Lowest Price Ever on a Major DNA Test"

May 12, 2020

What is Microbiome Testing?

If you are interested in DNA testing, you may have run across the term "microbiome testing." Rather than helping with genealogy or ethnicity, this is more of a health and nutrition topic. This article provides a basic overview of microbiome testing for those who might be interested in the subject.

Continue reading "What is Microbiome Testing?"

May 11, 2020

A ThruLines Experiment

AncestryDNA has a powerful tool called ThruLines that can help you find likely common ancestors for many of your genetic matches. Blogger Kitty Cooper describes an experiment she did that puts ThruLines to work in a new way.

Continue reading "A ThruLines Experiment"

May 07, 2020

CeCe Moore's New Show--Watch the Trailer

I met CeCe Moore about ten years ago after I used genetic genealogy DNA testing to find my birth father's family. She saw the potential and began helping other adoptees find their birth families. Now she has moved on to solving horrific crimes. Her new TV show, The Genetic Detective, premiers Tuesday May 19th at 10 p.m. Eastern (9 p.m. Central). Watch the trailer at this link.

Continue reading "CeCe Moore's New Show--Watch the Trailer"

May 06, 2020

A Long Reunion Story Worth Reading

Back in the 90s, there was a widely published photo of a small boy whose face was disfigured by napalm in Iraq. He grew up assuming his family had all died in the attack. Years later a woman claimed to be his mother and DNA testing verified the match.

Continue reading "A Long Reunion Story Worth Reading"

May 05, 2020

Why Test Your Dog's DNA

As a cat owner, I have not had a reason to test a dog's DNA. But DNA tests are now available to confirm your dog's breed and check for genetic health issues. Here's a blog post that tells you more about it.

Continue reading "Why Test Your Dog's DNA"

May 01, 2020

Get Mom a Family Discovery Kit for Mother's Day

MyHeritage has created a unique gift package for Mother's Day at an attractive price of just $59. In addition to a MyHeritage DNA Kit, it includes 3 months of FREE access to MyHeritage.com, a scrapbook, scented candles, and more in a keepsake box.

Continue reading "Get Mom a Family Discovery Kit for Mother's Day"

Apr 30, 2020

Tips for Adoptees Searching for Birth Parents

Adoptee Lynn Grubb shares several useful tips she learned in her long and ultimately successful search for her birth father. Many of these tips can help anyone searching for an unknown ancestor. So genealogists should read this too.

Continue reading "Tips for Adoptees Searching for Birth Parents"

Apr 28, 2020

The Best Deal Ever on Full Genome Sequencing

Whole Genome Sequencing decodes 100% of your DNA. That produces 10,000 times more data than tests like AncestryDNA and 23andMe. I just took advantage of a DNA Day sale to order the highly accurate 30x test from Nebula Genetics for just $299. I also saved $500 on a lifetime subscription.

The personalized health reports cover far more ground than other tests already. And the subscription gives you access to new research as it is published. This is the ultimate package for anyone interested in genetic health.

A partnership with Family Tree DNA lets you use your data to join their Y-DNA and mtDNA databases for genealogical research at no extra cost.

Privacy is top-notch. I am so impressed with Nebula Genetics that I joined their affiliate program. If you order through my link, you get the best prices and I earn a small commission. The sale ends soon so check it out today.

Continue reading "The Best Deal Ever on Full Genome Sequencing"

Apr 27, 2020

How to Download and Share Your Raw DNA Data

Once you get your results from an autosomal DNA test, you can download your raw data for safekeeping or to use elsewhere. This page provides the instructions you need for downloading from each of the major testing companies. It also tells you some of the best places to upload your data for free to get more matches or other information.

Continue reading "How to Download and Share Your Raw DNA Data"

Apr 24, 2020

Share Your Thoughts About DNA Test Health Reports

If you recently purchased a DNA testing kit and received a health/genetic predisposition report, university researchers would like you to do this online survey. I completed the survey and it took about ten minutes. If you read your reports for the first time in the last 12 months, they would like to hear from you.

Continue reading "Share Your Thoughts About DNA Test Health Reports"

Apr 23, 2020

Free Access to U.S. Yearbook Collection

MyHeritage has opened access to their high school yearbook collection for free, through May 23, 2020. Once you find the person you search for, you can see the page as it is or colorized. The collection covers 290 million names in 36 million pages, from yearbooks across the U.S. from 1890 until 1979.

Continue reading "Free Access to U.S. Yearbook Collection"

Apr 22, 2020

A Deep Dive Into the Shared cM Project

I recently posted about the latest update to the Shared cM Project. That's the data behind the tool I use regularly to determine possible relationships from the amount of DNA shared by two people. Roberta Estes, the most prolific blogger in genetic genealogy, has done an in-depth examination of this project as it has evolved. It's a fascinating analysis.

Continue reading "A Deep Dive Into the Shared cM Project"

Apr 21, 2020

What Is It Like to Have 60 Siblings?

DNA testing continues to uncover large groups of siblings fathered by their common fertility doctor. These doctors used their own sperm to inseminate their patients. While this was highly unethical, it was apparently not illegal.

Continue reading "What Is It Like to Have 60 Siblings?"

Apr 16, 2020

Coming to Television: The Genetic Detective

My friend CeCe Moore has her own TV show. ABC has announced that The Genetic Detective will premier May 19th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The new series will follow CeCe as she works with police departments and crime scene DNA to solve violent crimes.

Continue reading "Coming to Television: The Genetic Detective"

Apr 15, 2020

Are Overlapping DNA Segments Triangulated?

Have you used a chromosome browser to see where you and a genetic match have overlapping segments? Those may or may not indicate triangulation, where three or more people share a common ancestor. Here's a good refresher on overlapping segments.

Continue reading "Are Overlapping DNA Segments Triangulated?"

Apr 14, 2020

71-Year Old Adoptee Enjoying Lockdown with Her Newfound Sister

When an adoptee finds birth family that lives a long distance away, it can take time to build a relationship. In this case, the adoptee traveled to New Zealand for a visit and the sisters are in lockdown together.

Continue reading "71-Year Old Adoptee Enjoying Lockdown with Her Newfound Sister"

Apr 10, 2020

REMINDER: Freebies and Bargains at MyHeritage

You can access all U.S. Census records for free on MyHeritage through April 12. Also enjoy free and unlimited use of MyHeritage In Color™ to create colorized versions of black & white photos. The MyHeritage DNA test is not free, but the current $39 sale is the lowest price ever. That sale is good through 4/30/20.

Continue reading "REMINDER: Freebies and Bargains at MyHeritage"

Apr 09, 2020

A Free, Easy-to-Follow Introduction to the Basics of DNA Testing

If you, a friend, or a family member want to better understand DNA testing, there's a new DNA Basics section on my website. You don't have to buy a book or pay to watch a webinar. It's completely free. There are dozens of links to additional pages and resources. So just follow the subjects that interest you. Please share this post.

Continue reading "A Free, Easy-to-Follow Introduction to the Basics of DNA Testing"

Apr 08, 2020

DNA Test Reveals Bad News--Then Good News

Taking a genetic genealogy test will sometimes reveal long hidden family secrets. This man discovered that the man who raised him was not his biological father. But it also led him to discover and eventually meet six new siblings.

Continue reading "DNA Test Reveals Bad News--Then Good News"

Apr 07, 2020

66-Year Old Twins Find Birth Mother thru DNA Test

Jim and John never expected to discover their birth mother. But one of them took a DNA test and got a direct match to their birth mother. She had already tested and was waiting for them to find her.

Continue reading "66-Year Old Twins Find Birth Mother thru DNA Test"

Apr 06, 2020

Ken Burns Presents THE GENE An Intimate History

This new documentary on PBS is more on the medical side of genetics. But anything by Ken Burns is very well done. There are two parts to be broadcast April 7 & 14, 2020 8/7c. You may want to watch live or set your DVR to record them.

Continue reading "Ken Burns Presents THE GENE An Intimate History"

Apr 03, 2020

New Genealogy Show Starts Saturday Morning on NBC

"Roots Less Traveled" follows real people--not celebrities-- and their personal discoveries. This new show, created by Ancestry and NBC, joins the Saturday NBC morning programming block, The More You Know, beginning April 4, 2020. Check your local listings for further details. Episodes will also stream on NBC.com and Hulu.

Continue reading "New Genealogy Show Starts Saturday Morning on NBC"

Mar 30, 2020

Are You a Genealogist Stuck at Home?

This is a perfect time to learn more about DNA testing and genealogy. Every year a number of presentations and general sessions at RootsTech have been recorded. Right now you can view dozens of sessions from the last six years. You can even see some celebrities delivering keynote talks.

Continue reading "Are You a Genealogist Stuck at Home?"

Mar 27, 2020

Announcing Version 4 of The Shared cM Tool

Since 2015, Blaine Bettinger has been crowd-sourcing data on the number of centimorgans (cMs) of DNA shared for known relationships. Jonny Perl created a web-based version that lets you enter a number and see the possible relationships and their probability. Blaine has updated his data and Jonny has updated the tool. Read more about it in this blog post.

Continue reading "Announcing Version 4 of The Shared cM Tool"

Mar 26, 2020

His Parents Burned the Adoption Papers and at Age 59 a DNA Test Finds the Truth

My adoptive family also burned papers relating to my adoption. But I discovered the truth at age 18 and met my birth families decades later. The man in this article was much older when he found out. But now he knows his birth mother and eight total siblings.

Continue reading "His Parents Burned the Adoption Papers and at Age 59 a DNA Test Finds the Truth"

Mar 25, 2020

Watch a Genealogist Use and Explain ThruLines

Crista Cowan is a genealogist at Ancestry. Her informal presentation at RootsTech about the ThruLines tool was recorded. That's the tool that uses family trees to suggest exactly how you and your genetic matches are related. I watched it yesterday and learned some more things that I did not know. You can watch it here.

Continue reading "Watch a Genealogist Use and Explain ThruLines"

Mar 24, 2020

New Company To Offer DNA Testing of Personal Artifacts

Wouldn't you love to get the DNA of deceased family members? Keepsake DNA is a new service set to launch on DNA Day (4/25/20) that will attempt to extract DNA from artifacts. Examples: envelopes, hats, hair, eyeglasses, watches, bone, dentures, toothbrushes, jewelry, garments, smoking pipes, tools, lighters, bandages, artificial limbs, chewed gum, etc. No prices have been posted yet. But this could be a great addition to the world of genetic genealogy.

Continue reading "New Company To Offer DNA Testing of Personal Artifacts"

Mar 23, 2020

Watch MyHeritage CEO Presentation at RootsTech

Gilad Japhet is the founder and CEO of MyHeritage. I just watched his RootsTech presentation and I think any genealogist would enjoy it. He goes behind the scenes on the development of three new features: 1. photo colorization, 2. a new approach to city directories, and 3. their interactive fan view of your family tree. You can watch the whole video or advance to any subject of particular interest.

Continue reading "Watch MyHeritage CEO Presentation at RootsTech"

Mar 20, 2020

DNA Testing Helps Two Men Discover They Were Switched at Birth

Consumer DNA tests are helping people uncover all kinds of secrets. In this story from Canada, two men born on the same day in the same hospital confirm a suspicion that they were switched at birth 57 years ago.

Continue reading "DNA Testing Helps Two Men Discover They Were Switched at Birth"

Mar 16, 2020

DNA Test Leads Woman to Her Father on the Opposite Side of the World

DNA testing is especially popular in English-speaking countries around the world. In this case, a woman in Australia discovered her previously unknown father living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She took her family north to spend the Christmas holidays with him.

Continue reading "DNA Test Leads Woman to Her Father on the Opposite Side of the World"

Mar 13, 2020

DNA Test Strategy

A Proven DNA Test Strategy That Won't Waste Your Time and Money

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Mar 12, 2020

How to Trace Traits in Your DNA to Specific Ancestors

Jonny Perl is a pioneer in chromosome mapping. His DNA Painter site offers many useful tools. The latest addition is a feature that can help you view certain traits and medical SNPs on your chromosome map. This could potentially be used to track specific conditions back in time through specific ancestors.

Continue reading "How to Trace Traits in Your DNA to Specific Ancestors"

Mar 11, 2020

DNA Test Leads Woman to Full Siblings and Birth Mother

As often happens, a second cousin match on a DNA test and some sleuthing on Facebook was all it took to discover an adopted woman's birth family. The reason for the adoption was typical for the time period of her birth.

Continue reading "DNA Test Leads Woman to Full Siblings and Birth Mother"

Mar 10, 2020

Learn About Automated Tree Building with Genetic Affairs

Genetic Affairs is one of the sites that can do automatic clustering of your genetic matches from autosomal DNA tests. Recently, they added a feature that makes tree diagrams from those clusters. Blogger Kitty Cooper shows some great examples of how she uses these tools to solve genetic mysteries.

Continue reading "Learn About Automated Tree Building with Genetic Affairs"



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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.