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 21, 2018

Is Your Genetic Ethnicity Not What You Expect?

Often the ethnic ancestry report from a DNA test will be pretty much what you expected. But sometimes an ethnicity in your paper trail doesn't show up as strong as you expected. This NPR article explores one of those cases.

#DNA #ethnicity #NPR

Continue reading "Is Your Genetic Ethnicity Not What You Expect?"

Feb 20, 2018

Now You Can Check Your Newborn's DNA

One company, Sema4, is offering a $649 DNA test for healthy babies as a supplement to existing screening tests. It's a controversial idea. Read the story and tell us what you think.

#DNA #Sema4

Continue reading "Now You Can Check Your Newborn's DNA"

Feb 19, 2018

Adoptees Find Family through DNA Testing

That's not surprising to my readers. But apparently the New York Times just got around to writing about adoptee success stories from DNA testing. Some numbers are wrong. But otherwise it's a good article.

#DNA #adoptee #nytimes

Continue reading "Adoptees Find Family through DNA Testing"

Feb 18, 2018

The Best Deal in DNA Testing is Right Now

The AncestryDNA test is sale priced at just $69. Even at the regular price of $99, this test provides much more than the ethnicity report featured in their ads.

With seven million people in the database you will discover hundreds of genetic relatives. Then you can transfer your data for FREE into three other big databases for even more matches: Family Finder, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch.

Want medical insights? You can get a personal DNA report based on your AncestryDNA data at Promethease for just $10.

Want to test several people? Pay for four tests at the sale price and get the fifth one free. Sale ends 2/25/18.

Continue reading "The Best Deal in DNA Testing is Right Now"

Feb 16, 2018

Surprise! DNA Finds You're Part African

Thanks to the growth of home DNA tests, a growing number of self-identified European Americans are learning that they are actually part African. This is a well-researched article by the Washington Post.

#DNA #African #race

Continue reading "Surprise! DNA Finds You're Part African"

Feb 15, 2018

Biggest Perk in DNA Tests is Matching

The TV ads for DNA testing emphasize ethnicity. But for genealogists, adoptees and many others the most important results are the genetic matches you find to other testers.

This librarian at the highly regarded Allen County Public Library explains why.

#DNA #ethnicity #geneticmatches

Continue reading "Biggest Perk in DNA Tests is Matching"

Feb 14, 2018

Massive Growth in MyHeritage DNA Tests

This article tells how MyHeritage has become a major player in the DNA testing market. The company’s subscription business is also growing between 30 and 40 percent year over year, with a retention rate of more than 75 percent.

Continue reading "Massive Growth in MyHeritage DNA Tests"

Feb 12, 2018

66-Year-Old Man Meets Family for First Time

For Randall, the results to his DNA tests were shocking; he wasn't actually related to a single person in his family. And there was no record of an adoption. His DNA matches included some close cousins and he now has a pretty good idea who his mother was and why someone else raised him.


Continue reading "66-Year-Old Man Meets Family for First Time"

Feb 09, 2018

AncestryDNA Launches Winter Sale

The DNA test with the largest database, AncestryDNA, has been reduced from $99 to just $69.

In addition to the heavily advertised ethnicity breakdown you will discover hundreds or even thousands of genetic relatives who could be related to you from any branch of your family tree. Once you get your results, you can download your raw data and transfer it for free into two other major databases to get many more matches.

Both men and women can test. If you have tested before, this is a good time to get extra test kits for other family members. Kits have a very long shelf life. Sale ends 2/25/18.

Continue reading "AncestryDNA Launches Winter Sale"

Feb 08, 2018

Valentine's Day Sale on Family Finder

My favorite DNA test is Family Finder. It has the most tools for working with your DNA matches. I get all of my tested family members into that database. Family Tree DNA uses cheek swabs instead of having you spit saliva into a tube. This is much easier for the very young, the very old, and anyone who is just grossed out by the idea of filling a test tube full of spit.

By testing directly instead of transferring in data from another test, you get the maximum number of matches and they will attempt to save samples for 25 years. Getting your older relatives tested there is a must in my opinion.

NOTE: Several bundles with Family Finder and other tests are on sale too. Sale price ends on Valentine's Day 2/14/18.

#DNA #FamiyFinder #FamilyTreeDNA

Continue reading "Valentine's Day Sale on Family Finder"

Feb 08, 2018

Tips for Families Searching for Adoptees

Adoptees aren't the only ones searching for lost family. Many parents and siblings are searching for their lost children. Today, the best thing they can do is get their DNA into one or more of the major genetic genealogy databases.

Search angel Priscilla Stone Sharp has published a list of conventional search steps these families can also take.

Continue reading "Tips for Families Searching for Adoptees"

Feb 07, 2018

What People are Finding Out from DNA Sites

Unlike many stories about DNA testing written by lazy, uninformed reporters, this overview in the Chicago Tribune is pretty well done.

Continue reading "What People are Finding Out from DNA Sites"

Feb 05, 2018

The Unexpected Branch on the Family Tree

The article in the New York Times explores what happens when the writer received a shock from the ethnic ancestry report in his DNA test.

#DNA #ethnicity

Continue reading "The Unexpected Branch on the Family Tree"

Feb 03, 2018

Woman Identifies Her Marine Hero Father thru DNA

This woman struggled with abandonment issues for more than a half-century because she never knew her father, an American service member. Then a 23andMe DNA test matched her with a second cousin who could identify her father, who had died a hero in Vietnam. More surprises were in store.

#DNA #23andMe #Marine

Continue reading "Woman Identifies Her Marine Hero Father thru DNA"

Feb 01, 2018

Siblings Reunited After Lifetime Apart

Like countless others, this brother and sister found each other after they both did an AncestryDNA test. With over seven million users, this huge database is one you don't want to miss.

#DNA #siblings #AncestryDNA

Continue reading "Siblings Reunited After Lifetime Apart"

Jan 31, 2018

My European Family: The First 54,000 Years

I'll admit that I was never into anthropology. But I was fascinated by this new book. Now with DNA testing of ancient specimens combined seamlessly with anthropology and linguistics, this book paints a clear, personal picture of our ancient European ancestors.

#DNA #Europe #ancestors

Continue reading "My European Family: The First 54,000 Years"

Jan 30, 2018

Wanted: DNA from Vets Who Served in S. Korea

More than 110,000 Koreans have been adopted by Americans since 1958, according to Korea Adoption Services. Many were fathered by U.S. troops who flooded the country during the 1950-53 Korean War and remained as a deterrent.

Now there's a non-profit organization seeking to collect DNA, medical histories and genealogical information from potential birth families; to provide kits to adoptees; and to help them reunite.

DNA testing kits are free to all Korean adoptees and every military veteran who served on the divided peninsula or their descendants. One success story is shared in this article.

#DNA #325Kamra #Korea

Continue reading "Wanted: DNA from Vets Who Served in S. Korea"

Jan 29, 2018

Adopted Woman Meets Four Siblings at Age 66

An adopted woman whose birth family thought she had died finally meets them at 66 years old. It was a close DNA match on the AncestryDNA test that ultimately brought five siblings together for a thrilling reunion.

Continue reading "Adopted Woman Meets Four Siblings at Age 66"

Jan 26, 2018

Why You Should Test Your Siblings' DNA

Many people assume that once you have done an autosomal DNA test on yourself, there is no reason to test your siblings. This blog post shows how much more of your ancestors’ DNA you can access by testing multiple siblings.

#DNA #siblings #ancestors

Continue reading "Why You Should Test Your Siblings' DNA"

Jan 25, 2018

23andMe Kicks Off Massive Weight Loss Study

Consumer DNA testing company 23andMe is kicking off what it terms a “massive study” into the genetic basis of weight loss that it says will ultimately involve 100,000 people.

The crowdsourced study may prove to be the most comprehensive attempt yet to discern the links between people’s genes and dieting success.

#DNA #23andMe #weightloss

Continue reading "23andMe Kicks Off Massive Weight Loss Study"

Jan 24, 2018

Adopted Canadian Woman's Search for Birth Family

Judith Morency was adopted as a baby in Haiti by a Canadian family. After taking a DNA test, she learned she had not one but seven biological siblings. This Christmas, she met many of them for the first time.

#DNA #adoptee #siblings

Continue reading "Adopted Canadian Woman's Search for Birth Family"

Jan 23, 2018

Adoptee Access to Birth Certificates Protects Their Parents’ Privacy

Adoptees’ right to access their own original birth certificates is being pitted against the alleged rights of their mothers. However, granting adopted citizens equal access will, in fact, keep the parents who “begat” them safer from exposure than keeping the records sealed.

I recently ran across this 2015 post; but it makes some excellent points and provides many links to relevant information.

#adoptee #birthcertificates

Continue reading "Adoptee Access to Birth Certificates Protects Their Parents’ Privacy"

Jan 22, 2018

Best Friends Discover They Are Brothers

After 60 years of friendship, two men in Hawaii learn through DNA testing that they are half siblings. After meeting in the 6th grade, these two boys began a long and enduring friendship.Then in their 70s each one decides to try DNA testing.

#DNA #siblings #Hawaii

Continue reading "Best Friends Discover They Are Brothers"

Jan 19, 2018

DNA Test Reunites Twin Sisters

A Virginia Beach woman did a DNA test and discovered she had a twin sister. DNA testing brought the 33-year-olds together for the first time since they were adopted as babies by different families.

#DNA #adoption #twins

Continue reading "DNA Test Reunites Twin Sisters"

Jan 18, 2018

Working with the New Big Y Results

Family Tree DNA's Big Y test scans the entire gold standard region of a man's Y chromosome, hunting for mutations, called SNPs, that define your haplogroup with great precision.

This test also discovers SNPs never before found. Those newly discovered SNPs may someday become new haplogroup branches as well.

Blogger Roberta Estes has shared a very detailed explanation of Big Y and the recent changes.


Continue reading "Working with the New Big Y Results"

Jan 18, 2018

Tracing African Roots

How to find those elusive African DNA matches on Ancestry? This blog post gives some considerations on how to interpret African DNA matches. Then it provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to sort out your African DNA matches.

#DNA #Africa #Ancestry

Continue reading "Tracing African Roots"

Jan 17, 2018

Add Your MyHeritage Data to Shared cM Project

Now that MyHeritage has overhauled its matching algorithm, Blaine Bettinger needs LOTS of MyHeritage data for the Shared cM Project. According to Blaine, everyone that contributes data to the Shared cM Project from ANY company between now and January 31 will be entered in a drawing for a FREE MyHeritage kit. Use this form for each of your known relatives.

Continue reading "Add Your MyHeritage Data to Shared cM Project"

Jan 17, 2018

"Ask Amy" Got It Right

Many of the advice columnists have failed to give good advice on adoptee issues. This open adoption advocate gives Ask Amy high marks for reaching out to me for help with her answer.

#AskAmy #adoptee

Continue reading ""Ask Amy" Got It Right"

Jan 16, 2018

GENESIS from GEDmatch Handles New Chip

Both 23andMe and Living DNA are now analyzing DNA with a new advanced chip. While the results are not compatible with other tests, GEDmatch has created a separate site called GENESIS that can handle data from the new chip.

The functions available at GEDmatch are being gradually implemented at GENESIS. To learn more read this blog post by Kitty Cooper.


Continue reading "GENESIS from GEDmatch Handles New Chip"

Jan 15, 2018

MyHeritage Vastly Improves DNA Matching

Anyone who took a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded DNA data from another test will now get more accurate DNA Matches and about ten times as many matches.

They also launched a chromosome browser. I was impressed with the changes. To see how they did it, read here.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Vastly Improves DNA Matching"

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.