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…
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.