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 12, 2021

DNA Test Leads Man to Eight Siblings

Victor loved his late father but knew nothing about the man's past life. A DNA test answered many of his questions, revealing three prior wives and a total of eight siblings. Read the story here.

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May 11, 2021

The Cure for Retirement Boredom Can Be Fun and Profitable

Do you need a new sense of purpose? Have knowledge you want to share with others? Finding something fun and profitable to do in retirement can make all the difference. The company I used to create DNA Testing Adviser offers a FREE Retirement Business Mini Course. If you are retired or approaching retirement, I urge you to check it out.

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May 10, 2021

Using Mitochondrial Haplogroups for Genealogy

Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and Living DNA can all report mitochondrial haplogroups to some level. While this information traces the ancient origins of your direct maternal line, it can also be used for genealogy. Blogger Robert Estes explains how with some excellent examples.

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May 07, 2021

Discussing Adoption with the Author of "American Baby"

The best book I've ever read on the subject of adoption is "American Baby." In this excellent interview with the author Gabrielle Glaser, you get a concise summary of the book and the often horrific history of adoption in America. This is a must-read for everyone. Please check it out.

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May 06, 2021

A First Mother's Pain on Mother's Day

While most of us see Mother's Day as a happy occasion, it can be a difficult day for some. That can include women who were never able to have children and the first mothers who relinquished a child for adoption. Lorraine Dusky, author of "Hole in My Heart," shares her thoughts on this difficult holiday.

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May 05, 2021

Why Do Some Branches of Our Family Tree Have More DNA Matches Than Others?

Our genetic matches on an autosomal DNA test can come from any branch of our family tree. Yet we see a lot of matches descended from some of our great-grandparents and far fewer from others. Blogger Jim Bartlett does a nice job of explaining why this happens.

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May 04, 2021

DNA Testing Reunites Long- Lost Family After 60 Years

Once again, DNA testing plus persistence has reunited a large family. In this case, the connection between European and American branches had been severed by the Cold War. The MyHeritage DNA test, especially popular in Europe, played a key role in this success story.

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May 03, 2021

Mother's Day Sale at Family Tree DNA

Right now you can save $20 each on the Family Finder test and the mitochondrial DNA test at Family Tree DNA. No sale prices on Y-DNA testing because mom doesn't have a Y chromosome. Only men can do that test. This sale ends 5/9/21.

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Apr 30, 2021

DNA Test Reunites Father and Son After 57 Years

This man got to hold his infant son before the baby's mother gave him up for adoption. He described it as "a hole in my heart for 57 years." Now, father and son both turned to DNA testing and the match was made. This story includes photos and videos of their reunion.

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Apr 29, 2021

Finding Family with DNA Testing: A Free Virtual Presentation

On Tuesday, May 4th I will be giving this online presentation at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. It is hosted by the library in Howell, Michigan, which has graciously opened it up to viewers anywhere. There is a capacity limit, so register now if you would like to attend.

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Apr 28, 2021

Get Mom (and Grandma) a DNA Test for Mother's Day

AncestryDNA has a sale for Mother's Day. Get the world's most popular DNA test for just $59. With more than 16 million people already in the AncestryDNA database, you are certain to discover genetic matches to help grow and confirm your family tree. Gift subscriptions are also 20% off during this sale, which ends 5/9/21.

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Apr 27, 2021

Color-Code Your Genetic Matches on AncestryDNA

If you have tested on AncestryDNA, you can color-code the people on your DNA match list. You can group people according to family tree branches or other criteria of your choosing. Then you can filter them to focus on those of current interest. The DNA Geek provides some examples and tips.

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Apr 26, 2021

DNA Uncovers Some Really Bad Behavior

DNA testing has uncovered a lot of secrets from decades ago. Individual actions considered bad behavior back then are usually viewed with more understanding through the lens of history. But the kind of behavior uncovered in this BBC story will never be acceptable. Watch the video.

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Apr 24, 2021

Another DNA Day Sale: MyHeritage DNA Test

Also in honor of DNA Day, MyHeritage has reduced the price of its DNA test to just $59. Order two or more kits and get free shipping. This sale ends 4/25/21.

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Apr 24, 2021

Sale on DNA Tests at 23andMe

To celebrate DNA Day on April 25, 23andMe has cut prices. Ancestry + Traits is just $79 and Health + Ancestry is just $149. These offers end 4/25/21.

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Apr 23, 2021

Looking Back at 40 Years of DNA Testing

Mitochondrial DNA was first sequenced in 1981 at Cambridge University using the DNA of an anonymous volunteer. Blogger Roberta Estes shares details of that historical first and where things went from there. It's a fascinating and educational read.

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Apr 22, 2021

My FREE File of 300+ Genetic Genealogy Links UPDATED

I just added a lot more links to Richard Hill's Genetic Genealogy Links. That's a free PDF file you can download now. Links include DNA tests, third-party tools, Facebook groups, fascinating and helpful articles, bloggers, books, conferences, interviews, etc. Don't miss separate sections for adoptees near the end. Click here to download the file.

Continue reading "My FREE File of 300+ Genetic Genealogy Links UPDATED"

Apr 21, 2021

Global Genetics Project to Diversify DNA Database

Most people in genetic genealogy databases have European ancestry. 23andMe aims to increase diversity from underrepresented populations through free DNA tests. If you reside in the U.S. but have grandparents from non-European regions of the world, check this page to see if you qualify.

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Apr 20, 2021

DNA Day Sale on Every Test Type at Family Tree DNA

Save up to $70 right now on DNA tests at Family Tree DNA. Family Finder is just $49 and both Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA tests are sale-priced too. This sale ends 4/26/21.

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Apr 19, 2021

A Money-Back Guarantee on a Birth Parent Search

Adoptees can finally outsource their DNA-based birth parent search with confidence. Origins International will find your birth parent in 90 days or less. If not, you pay nothing. After an exhaustive examination of this company, I have identified six reasons why this is a smart move for anyone trying to identify a birth parent or other lost relative. Click to read my findings.

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Apr 17, 2021

Living DNA Test Sale Priced at Just $69

British company Living DNA is known for breaking down English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry into 21 sub-regions. In addition to listing your genetic matches with other users, they report everyone's maternal haplogroup and a man's paternal haplogroup. Their advanced test, which adds fitness and nutritional reports, is reduced from $179 to $99. The sale ends 4/30/2021.

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Apr 16, 2021

Dimensions: A New Feature at DNA Painter

DNA Painter has announced a clever new feature called Dimensions for viewing your ancestral tree. It adds custom categories that let you create and share different views of your direct line. Several examples are given. Check it out.

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Apr 15, 2021

An Expert's Tips on Ashkenazi DNA

For most of us, our possible relationship with a DNA match is somewhat predictable. But it is far less certain for those with Ashkenazi Jewish DNA. Ashkenazi blogger Kitty Cooper shares her personal tips on where to test and what you can still learn from your results.

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Apr 14, 2021

A New Tool to Reconstruct an Ancestor's DNA

A tool called HAPI can reconstruct DNA for one parent using data from three or more children and their other parent. On average it can identify 94% of that parent's DNA. For now, at least, you can even upload a reconstructed kit to any of several databases.

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Apr 13, 2021

Finding Birth Family: An Important Update

For 13 years I’ve been writing about the use of DNA testing for birth parent searches. I just updated a key page on my website with a concise summary of the key steps. This includes a remarkable new option with a faster timeframe and a guarantee of success.

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Apr 12, 2021

DNA from Ancient Humans Reveals New Information

Those of us with European ancestry have some DNA from Neanderthals, a different, extinct species of human. New studies published in the journal Nature shed new light on our ancestors' interaction with Neanderthals 35,000 to 45,000 years ago. Read this for a brief summary.

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Apr 09, 2021

GEDmatch Partners with Genetic Affairs on New Tools

One of the oldest providers of third-party DNA tools, GEDmatch, has partnered with Genetic Affairs to offer three new tools to its users: Autocluster, Autopedigree, and Autotree. Read this news release to learn what each new tool can do.

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Apr 08, 2021

DNA Test Leads Woman to Father and 3 Siblings After 35 Years

This video shows another DNA success story. The woman transferred her raw DNA from another test to MyHeritage and a half-sibling match showed up right away. Hear her story and watch the reunion in this brief video.

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Apr 07, 2021

10 Things Not to Say After a DNA Surprise

With millions of people in the DNA databases, thousands of people are being knocked off balance by a DNA test result. If that happens to a friend or family member, you can help by avoiding the kinds of comments in this article. Understand it’s complicated. The issues and feelings from a DNA surprise are numerous and diverse. Often a willing ear and kind silence is the best response.

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Apr 06, 2021

Huge Virtual Conference on DNA Testing

The Southern California Genealogical Society is hosting a huge genetic genealogy conference this summer. I will be presenting "Genetic Genealogy Overview" on June 5 and answering questions live. Attendees have access to 25 DNA presentations over the following four months. See the entire schedule here.

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Apr 05, 2021

A Great Resource on X-Chromosome Inheritance

The inheritance path of the X chromosome is not easy to follow. You can only inherit the X from a defined set of your ancestors. And the path is different for males and females. This post shows some great examples of X inheritance and includes links to several X-DNA resources.

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Apr 02, 2021

Easter DNA Sale at MyHeritage

MyHeritage has the fastest-growing DNA database and is especially good at finding our European cousins. Testing directly with them gets you full access to all their great DNA tools. Just $59 through April 5, 2021.

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Mar 29, 2021

An Example of Chromosome Mapping with DNA Painter

One of the most ambitious things you can do in genetic genealogy is to figure out which pieces of DNA you inherited from specific ancestors. DNA Painter has a tool to help do that and this blog post shares a detailed example of how it's done.

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Mar 27, 2021

DNA Databases Uniting American Veterans with Long-lost Children

This article in Stars and Stripes explains how genetic genealogy DNA databases are helping unite American Veterans with children they fathered in Vietnam and elsewhere.

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Mar 25, 2021

Join Me for a Virtual DNA Workshop Saturday

The Monmouth County Genealogy Society is hosting a Spring Workshop on DNA testing this Saturday 3/27/21. Diahan Southard and I will be the presenters. The event runs from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. EDT. If you are not a member of this New Jersey organization, the fee is $30. Use the following link to learn more and get your ticket.

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Mar 23, 2021

Using Facebook for Family History Research?

I never thought of Facebook as a place to research family history. Yet many local historians and others share their work there. This article presents several examples of how you might use Facebook to add to your family's history.

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Mar 22, 2021

Don't Miss This CBS Adoption/DNA Video

CBS Sunday Morning showed a great segment on adoption that includes a reunion due to DNA testing. You can watch it at this link and skip the ad after a few seconds. The story is also covered in a wonderful book noted in the video.

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Mar 22, 2021

The Shared cM Project Tool on DNA Painter

Based on thousands of real-world data points, the Shared cM Project Tool shows the relationship possibilities for your DNA matches. It's probably the single most essential tool for genetic genealogists. This blog post is a great summary of why you need to bookmark this free tool and how to use it.

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Mar 19, 2021

Comparing DNA Tests on Irish Ethnicity

How does Irish DNA ethnicity show up in your AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage DNA, Living DNA or Family Tree DNA test results? Diahann Southard provided this interesting comparison for St. Patrick's Day.

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Mar 18, 2021

Finding Family with DNA Testing: a Free Online Presentation

I give many virtual presentations to libraries and genealogy groups. Most are restricted to local audiences. But this library has invited me to share the Tuesday, March 30, 2021 event with my followers. It begins at 6:30 pm Eastern time and pre-registration is required at the following link.

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Mar 17, 2021

The Latest DNA Painter Updates

Many of you have used (or would benefit from using) the various tools provided by DNA Painter. In this blog post, Jonny Perl reports on some new features.

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Mar 16, 2021

A Must-Read for Everyone

I recently finished reading "American Baby." More than a DNA success story, it's a comprehensive overview of adoption in America. Here's my review of the book on Amazon.

A Compelling Personal Story with the Power of a Documentary. As the first adoptee to identify and reunite with birth family through genetic genealogy, I have long been advising countless adoptees on DNA testing. As such, I have heard and read scores of adoption stories, both good and bad. American Baby is both a true story and the most comprehensive overview of adoption history I have ever read.

Gabrielle Glaser does a phenomenal job of blending a very personal story with a well-researched documentary. The book held my interest from beginning to end. Adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents clearly need to read this book. Yet almost everyone is touched by adoption in some way. Therefore, I heartily recommend this book to all.

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Mar 15, 2021

A Great Introduction to the Science of DNA

You can do genetic genealogy with almost no understanding of the science behind it. Yet you might enjoy this even more with a basic understanding of DNA and concepts like reproduction and mutations. Blogger Leah Larkin has a nicely illustrated article on DNA Basics.

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Mar 12, 2021

DNA Test Identifies a Father on the FBI's Most Wanted List

Forrest Gump said "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." That certainly applies to adoptees searching for biological relatives. Yet even in this worst-case scenario, this woman seems glad to know the truth. TIP. Just close the pop-up that asks you to subscribe.

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Mar 11, 2021

Understanding Haplogroup Matches

Doing a Y-DNA or mtDNA test will provide you with a paternal or maternal haplogroup. So will 23andMe or Living DNA. So what kind of conclusions can you draw when comparing haplogroups with your matches? The answer is not at all simple as blogger Roberta Estes explains in this post.

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Mar 09, 2021

The Best DNA Reunion Story of 2021 So Far

As an adoptee who reunited with both birth families, I love reading other adoptee success stories, especially those brought about by genetic genealogy DNA testing. This one is even more heartwarming than average. I think you will enjoy reading it.

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Mar 08, 2021

One Way to Use DNA Painter

One of the more advanced tools for extracting genealogical information from DNA data is DNA Painter. This article gives one example. The writer included several links to additional information on the topics discussed.

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Mar 05, 2021

Adoption Wars Continue Online

As the pioneer adoptee in finding birth families through DNA testing, I am very aware that the subject of adoption is controversial. There are passionate people on all sides of the issue. Now that the process is moving from shady adoption agencies to social media, the battle has moved online. This Wired article shares different sides of the issue.

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Mar 04, 2021

The Mystery of the Melungeons

One of the more interesting genealogical mysteries surrounds the Melungeons, sometimes called the “Lost Tribe of Appalachia." For a summary of this mystery and the various theories of origin, read this brief article.

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