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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Aug 13, 2020

Why Even Small African Matches Matter

There is quite an uproar over AncestryDNA's announced plan to eliminate smaller matches within the 6 cM to 8 cM range. This is particularly true among people of African ancestry who have no paper trails to follow during the era of slavery. This exhaustive report at Tracing African Roots explains why this is a problem and what to do about it.

Continue reading "Why Even Small African Matches Matter"

Aug 12, 2020

Free, Unlimited Access to Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™

MyHeritage has two great features that let you enhance and colorize photos. Normally, only 10 photos can be enhanced or colorized by users who do not have a Complete plan. But for a while, you can enhance and colorize as many photos as you’d like for free! This ends 9/10/20.

Continue reading "Free, Unlimited Access to Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™"

Aug 11, 2020

Can A DNA Test Predict Your Future Health?

Today there are many consumer DNA tests that focus on health and well-being. I've taken several of them myself. Here's a brief overview of the topic.

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Aug 10, 2020

How DNA Test Can Solve Family Mysteries

This story shows how DNA testing, other research, and lots of patience can solve a variety of family mysteries.

Continue reading "How DNA Test Can Solve Family Mysteries"

Aug 07, 2020

How to Grow Your Business with Instagram

If you're looking for clients, speaking engagements, or have a book or cause to promote, Instagram can be a great tool. That's why I registered for George Kao's online Instagram for Business course. I'd love to have you join me as I take this course. The first session is on August 12.

Continue reading "How to Grow Your Business with Instagram"

Aug 06, 2020

Save $40 Each on Ancestry DNA Tests

With more than 18 million users, AncestryDNA is the most important DNA test for every genealogist and adoptee. With a current sale price of just $59, now is the time to order multiple tests for yourself and others you may wish to test later. Test kits can be stored and used far into the future. Sale ends on 8/17/20. See this link:

Continue reading "Save $40 Each on Ancestry DNA Tests"

Aug 06, 2020

$49 Sale Price on MyHeritage DNA Test

MyHeritage is the number one DNA test in Europe and is now quite popular in the US. The test includes many great tools for understanding and working with your matches. It is sale priced at $49 through August 19, 2020. See this link:

Continue reading "$49 Sale Price on MyHeritage DNA Test"

Aug 05, 2020

A New Review of "Finding Family"

Here's what a new reviewer on Amazon says about my book: "I've read lots of books on adoption searches, and this is by far the best. It is well-organized and clearly written, with a little suspense added at the end of each chapter. This book even has a dramatic twist at the end that you may not see coming. The book reveals that instinct, and hard work, and knowing when to ask for help are every bit as important to the success of the search as DNA matches." Finding Family is available in print, eBook, and audiobook formats.

Continue reading "A New Review of "Finding Family""

Aug 04, 2020

Helping Adoptees Find Their Birth Families With DNA Testing

I've been writing about this subject since my pioneering success 13 years ago. The process is much easier today with more powerful DNA tests and bigger databases. Here's a brief summary of the process.

Continue reading "Helping Adoptees Find Their Birth Families With DNA Testing"

Aug 03, 2020

Summer Sale at Family Tree DNA

Right now you can save $20 to $50 each on all the DNA tests at Family Tree DNA. Order two different tests in a bundle and save another $9. Even upgrades are sale priced. Click this link to see all the tests and prices.

Continue reading "Summer Sale at Family Tree DNA"

Jul 30, 2020

Early Registration Ends Friday for We Are Cousins Virtual Conference

Earlier I mentioned that I will be giving two different presentations on DNA testing for the We Are Cousins conference. I am looking forward to other presentations, including one on the "What Are the Odds?" tool. The last day to get the early registration price is this Friday, July 31, 2020.

Continue reading "Early Registration Ends Friday for We Are Cousins Virtual Conference"

Jul 30, 2020

Autosomal DNA Triangulation

You have probably heard the term "triangulation" applied to genetic genealogy. The term is used in different ways to mean different things. Blogger Debbie Kennett explores this subject and includes many links to additional resources.

Continue reading "Autosomal DNA Triangulation"

Jul 29, 2020

My Favorite Online Courses for Authentic Marketing

Some of you own a business or need to attract clients. You want to market yourself in an ethical manner. George Kao is the master of authentic marketing and I highly recommend his online classes and workshops.

Continue reading "My Favorite Online Courses for Authentic Marketing"

Jul 28, 2020

What is BRCA Testing And How Accurate Is It?

Many forms of inherited breast cancer are related to two abnormal genes called BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 (the abbreviation BRCA is taken from BReast CAncer). Some DNA tests include BRCA genetic testing to see if you have a predisposition to breast cancer. Read this post to learn more.

Continue reading "What is BRCA Testing And How Accurate Is It?"

Jul 27, 2020

Pandemic Silver Lining: Huge Federation of Genealogical Societies Family History Conference Will Be Virtual

Instead of spending big bucks on travel and lodging, you can watch 8 live presentations (on 9/2/20)and a selection of over 90 on-demand presentations over the next six months. There will be about 20 presentations on DNA testing, including three by me. Early Bird Registration ends August 15, 2020. There are three different packages to fit your learning and budget needs. A FREE Conference Syllabus is included with all registrations.

Continue reading "Pandemic Silver Lining: Huge Federation of Genealogical Societies Family History Conference Will Be Virtual"

Jul 24, 2020

New 23andMe Study Reveals the Genetic Legacy of Slavery in the Americas

DNA testing company 23andMe has combined genetic analysis with shipping records of the boats that operated during the era of the transatlantic slave trade. The result is fresh insight into the roots of African ancestry in the Americas.

Continue reading "New 23andMe Study Reveals the Genetic Legacy of Slavery in the Americas"

Jul 23, 2020

DNA Kits Spell the End for Family Secrets

While this article is from Ireland, the types of stories covered are happening all over. Whether by accident, through mere curiosity, or as part of deliberate and painstaking detective work, individuals are finding out about a hidden biological parent or an unknown sibling.

Continue reading "DNA Kits Spell the End for Family Secrets"

Jul 22, 2020

Important Things To Know Before Taking A DNA Test

I am a huge fan of genetic genealogy DNA testing. It has enlarged my family and changed my life for the better. But not every reunion with lost family members goes well. This blog post reminds us that surprises are possible and not always positive.

Continue reading "Important Things To Know Before Taking A DNA Test"

Jul 21, 2020

GEDmatch Down to Fix Security Breach

One of the most useful independent sites for genetic genealogists is GEDmatch. It's also the one used by CeCe Moore and others to solve major crimes. On July 19 they experienced a security breach and promptly took the site down. They have been properly transparent about this and are working with a cybersecurity firm to implement the best possible security measures. For more information, you can visit their Facebook Page.

Continue reading "GEDmatch Down to Fix Security Breach"

Jul 20, 2020

Planned Data Purge at Ancestry to Hit African Americans

The uproar over Ancestry's planned purge of 6-8 cM matches continues to be big news. Roberta Estes points out that those segments are necessary for African-Americans to trace their pre-slavery roots. She goes on to suggest some immediate and long-term solutions.

Continue reading "Planned Data Purge at Ancestry to Hit African Americans"

Jul 17, 2020

More Thoughts on Losing Distant Matches at Ancestry

Yesterday's post on this subject generated a huge amount of discussion. Another genetic genealogy expert explains why eliminating matches that share less than 8 cM with you will be a good thing overall.

Continue reading "More Thoughts on Losing Distant Matches at Ancestry"

Jul 16, 2020

Ancestry To Remove Some of Our DNA Matches

Ancestry just announced that they will remove smaller matches from our DNA match lists around the first of August. Not all of them will be false matches. But there are things you can do to save the ones that matter most to you. Blogger Roberta Estes provides preservation strategies with detailed instructions in this post.

Continue reading "Ancestry To Remove Some of Our DNA Matches"

Jul 15, 2020

1st Annual We Are Cousins Virtual Conference

I will be giving two presentations on DNA topics at a new online genealogy conference set for September 23-25. One is on “Understanding the Ethnic Ancestry in Your DNA Test” and the other is on “Y-Chromosome Insights & Strategies.” By registering, you can access all recorded presentations until November 30, 2020. More speakers are still being added. Check it out.

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Jul 14, 2020

Does DNA Change As You Get Older?

That's a question I get from time to time. The answer isn't as simple as you might think. You can read this article to see what I mean by that.

Continue reading "Does DNA Change As You Get Older?"

Jul 13, 2020

"Finding Family" Reached 100 Reviews on Goodreads

I just checked Goodreads and noticed that my book has 100 reviews. Here's a recent one: "A fascinating read, chock full of information. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend this book for anyone who has ever considered exploring their family tree. Reads like a mystery, and there is much that can be learned through the author's experience." If you read "Finding Family" but have not yet reviewed it, please consider adding one to Goodreads. Fresh reviews help maintain interest in the book and can encourage people to try DNA testing. That means more matches for you and me.

Continue reading ""Finding Family" Reached 100 Reviews on Goodreads"

Jul 10, 2020

How to Do Manual Clustering at Ancestry

As you may have heard, Ancestry has blocked the use of automated clustering tools on its site. But you can still cluster your matches manually. Jim Bartlett explains how to do that.

Continue reading "How to Do Manual Clustering at Ancestry"

Jul 09, 2020

Some Polynesians Carry DNA of Ancient Native Americans

For much of the world, the migration routes of ancient ancestors are fairly obvious. But not for remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. This article in The New York Times summarizes some fascinating new research.

Continue reading "Some Polynesians Carry DNA of Ancient Native Americans"

Jul 08, 2020

MyHeritage Announces a $49 Summer DNA Sale

MyHeritage is the fastest-growing, most globally diverse DNA database. Their AutoClusters and Theory of Family Relativity are powerful tools for figuring out how your genetic matches are related to you. You also get an ethnicity breakdown and a chromosome browser. During this sale, the test is just $49. Order two or more and get free shipping. Sale ends July 20, 2020.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Announces a $49 Summer DNA Sale"

Jul 07, 2020

Surprising Celebrity Relationships

If you go back far enough, we are all related. So some of the relationships in this blog post are not that surprising. But our fascination with celebrities, the British Royal Family, U.S. Presidents, and sports stars makes such lists hard to resist. Take a look.

Continue reading "Surprising Celebrity Relationships"

Jul 06, 2020

New Automated Tree Matching at GEDmatch

Hopefully, you have uploaded both your raw DNA and a GEDCOM file of your family tree at GEDmatch. They have a powerful new tool that can find the most recent common ancestors for you and your DNA matches. Roberta Estes provides a detailed explanation in this blog post.

Continue reading "New Automated Tree Matching at GEDmatch"

Jul 03, 2020

1st Annual We Are Cousins Virtual Conference

I will be giving two presentions on DNA topics at a new online genealogy conference set for September 23-25. By registering, you can access all recorded presentations until November 30, 2020. More speakers are still being added. Check it out.

Continue reading "1st Annual We Are Cousins Virtual Conference"

Jul 03, 2020

How to Use Your Ancestry Tree on Other DNA Testing Sites

To get the most out of genetic genealogy you need to combine genetic matching with family trees. If you have a family tree on Ancestry, you can download a GEDCOM file and upload it to several DNA sites. Blogger Roberta Estes explains exactly how to do that.

Continue reading "How to Use Your Ancestry Tree on Other DNA Testing Sites"

Jul 01, 2020

DNA Never Lies. Is There an Exception?

DNA has become the definitive answer to proving relationships. But what if a woman gives birth to children who don't share her DNA? This article provides a vivid example of a rare situation.

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Jun 30, 2020

My Personal Mentor Can Be Yours Too

Would you like to start a business? Write a book? Create videos? Develop and market an online course? Or just manage your time better? George Kao offers many online courses and I have personally benefitted from his wisdom and mentoring over the years. Check out his current course list at this link.

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Jun 28, 2020

DNA Test Leads Woman to Her Sperm Donor Father

Like many adults, the woman in this story learned she had been conceived through artificial insemination. A DNA test provided much-needed answers. Plus, she met her sperm donor father and discovered how much they had in common.

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Jun 26, 2020

Nebula Genomics Extends Sale Prices to June 30

This is such a great deal that I ordered it myself. Nebula Genomics will decode 100% of your DNA for just $299. This Whole Genome Sequencing produces 10,000 times more data than tests like 23andMe. Then they send you weekly health updates based on the latest scientific discoveries. Getting all the updates requires a subscription and the LIFETIME subscription is also sale priced. GREAT TIP FOR GENEALOGISTS: You can transfer your Y-DNA and mtDNA results into the databases at Family Tree DNA. So this is better and cheaper than doing Big Y-700 and the Full Mitochondrial Sequence tests.

Continue reading "Nebula Genomics Extends Sale Prices to June 30"

Jun 25, 2020

Racism and DNA

There are many ways that DNA can combat racist thinking. Genetic genealogist Diahan Southard shares her thoughts on this important topic.

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Jun 24, 2020

"Finding Family" in Bas Bleu Summer Reading Collection

I was the first adoptee to identify my birth family through genetic genealogy DNA tests. I shared my story in "Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA." My book has been chosen for inclusion in the Summer Reading Collection of the Bas Bleu print catalog and website from now through July. Here is the listing with their editor’s comments:

Continue reading ""Finding Family" in Bas Bleu Summer Reading Collection"

Jun 23, 2020

Using Blood Types to Confirm a Child’s Father

How ABO blood types can sometimes save you the cost of a DNA paternity test

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Jun 23, 2020

Ancient Humans in Our DNA

You may have read about ancient humans known as Neanderthals or Denisovans. The presence of their DNA in the modern human genome confirms that there was interbreeding with our species. This article shares some interesting findings.

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Jun 22, 2020

DNA Test Leads Police Officer to His GI Dad

This is one of the best Father's Day stories I read over the weekend. A Vietnamese "leftover" immigrates to the United States, eventually becomes a police officer, and then discovers his GI father through a DNA test.

Continue reading "DNA Test Leads Police Officer to His GI Dad"

Jun 19, 2020

The Last Chance to Save Your Results from the Genographic Project

If you tested with the Genographic Project from National Geographic, your last chance to preserve your results and advance science is June 30, 2020. Fortunately, you can transfer your results into Family Tree DNA if you act now. Blogger Roberta Estes explains exactly what you can do.

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Jun 18, 2020

Watch This Teenage Genealogy Wiz

Most of us don't get into genealogy until we are older. When we try to get our kids interested in it, they just roll their eyes. Watch this New Jersey teenager as he works with genealogical records and DNA test results for his clients.

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Jun 17, 2020

Uncovering the Mystery of DNA Replication

In my presentations on DNA topics, I avoid getting into the science of DNA replication. You can use DNA testing as a genealogy tool without knowing all that. But some people want to know more and may find this article interesting.

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Jun 16, 2020

A Great Deal on the Ultimate DNA Test for Health

Whole Genome Sequencing decodes 100% of your DNA and produces 10,000 times more data than other DNA tests. Nebula Genomics does this at 30x quality. The test and a lifetime subscription to new reports are both sale-priced for Father's Day. Users get full access to their genomic data, weekly updates based on the latest scientific discoveries, advanced ancestry analysis and powerful genome exploration tools. This test includes 100% of a man's Y chromosome and all the mitochondrial DNA. Privacy is excellent. Click the Buy Now button and select "Unlimited Lifetime Access" as the subscription option.

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Jun 14, 2020

New Photo Enhancer from MyHeritage

Not long ago, MyHeritage introduced a feature where you can upload a photo to their site and create a colorized copy. Now they have another tool that brings blurry faces in any photo into sharp focus. I've tried it and it's amazing. Watch this short video to see several examples.

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Jun 12, 2020

MyHeritage Reunites Family Separated at Auschwitz

Dora Rapaport and her 2-year-old daughter Eva were captured by the Nazis during World War II and deported to Auschwitz. They were separated shortly thereafter and never saw each other again. Dora survived the war, married, and had two more daughters, Jean and Dena, but never gave up the search for Eva. Her daughters decided to take a MyHeritage DNA test and received a DNA Match to Clare, the daughter of Eva, their long-lost sister. Watch their reunion on the TODAY show.

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Jun 11, 2020

How to Get Comfortable Being in the Spotlight

Do you ever pass up on opportunities to share your knowledge with others? Are you an introvert? George Kao has been a mentor and educator to me for many years. I have completed several of his classes and he is now offering a course in Emotional Freedom Techniques. Check it out if you are interested.

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Jun 09, 2020

A DNA Glossary of Terms

In my presentations about DNA testing for genealogy and adoption search purposes, I deliberately avoid the science discussion. It's not necessary to use genetic genealogy as a tool. But some people want to learn more about DNA itself. Here's an article that tackles the subject.

Continue reading "A DNA Glossary of Terms"



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