Friday, April 18, 2014

All you ever wanted to know about DNA testing for genealogy

If you have questions about how to use the various DNA tests, how to interpret results, what you can do with them to solve genealogical problems and break down brick walls... (And is there anyone out there who doesn't?)...

Sign up now for what promises to be the most outstanding conference ever for genealogists:

I'll be there and will look forward to seeing you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Direct to Consumer (DTC) DNA Testing

Do you agree with me that our choice to have DNA tests should not be restricted by the government or by medical professionals? As genealogists, I and many others have benefited greatly from the various tests that are available for family history. Many of us have also benefited from information we have gleaned regarding our health, although that was not our primary purpose for having the tests.

I was pleased to see a survey that gives us a chance to voice our opinions on this important matter. Should we, as consenting adults, have control of what we wish to learn about ourselves, or should we let others decide what is "good for us"? I hope everyone will take this survey so that our voices will be heard.

Friday, January 3, 2014


More good news! The DAR ( has chosen Family Tree DNA as its testing partner and is offering Y-DNA tests at a discount to prospective members. This will no doubt add to the numbere of people who order DNA tests for genealogy and thereby increase the size of the database for finding matches.

Hopefully, it will also encourage everyone to upload their GEDCOMs.

Many people do not seem to understand that if they do a DNA test, it is useless to them and everyone else if they refuse to allow matching. The whole purpose is to find others who match you, that is, who have the same DNA your ancestors had, thus proving your relatedness. Even if those you match are very distant cousins, they and you have a common ancestor.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

More goodies from FTDNA

Now we can analyze the X chromosome too, as part of the Family Finder test. The X reflects our ancestry in a kind of zig-zag pattern. For details, see this blog: Also, be sure to check the ISOGG Wiki article that is referenced in this blog for good additional information.

If you have already done the Family Finder test, you can now view these X chromosome results on your own MyFTDNA page. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to order it, or transfer your autosomal results from Ancestry or 23andMe. It is another new opportunity to sift your matches to align them with your maternal or paternal line.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Understanding DNA for Genealogy

Would you like to know more about DNA testing for genealogy? A new series of free webinars sponsored by Family Tree DNA are being made available. You are welcome to sign up for any of these. I'm sure they will be very well done, since I have seen this person deliver similar lectures. Roberta Estes has, as usual, provided an excellent overview on her blog today:

Friday, December 6, 2013


You probably have heard that the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) is investigating 23andMe for its health-related testing and reporting. As a result, 23andMe has suspended its health-related services, at least until this issue can be cleared up.

If you placed an order with 23andMe before November 22, 2013, there is no change. That order will be procesed and you will continue to have access to your reports as usual. Any orders placed after November 22 will be processed for genealogical information only, and raw data results will be provided but without interpretation for health matters.

NOTICE: I strongly recommend that you download ALL your reports and data, including matches, just in case. We can not know what the future holds, and you may not have an opportunity to do this later.

Please see this blog for more information and instructions for downloading:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The FDA and 23andMe

For those who are interested in their DNA, the airwaves have been full of news and conjecture this week about a stern letter from the Food and Drug Administration to 23andMe. For a fair and balanced report, see Blaine Bettinger explains the issues rationally and refers to two other blogs for practical advice: and

The bottom line is that DNA testing for genealogy is not in question and neither is testing for health purposes. However, the interpretation of the health-related test results is at issue. The FDA requires proof that such interpretation is valid, and 23andMe has not yet provided this proof. Note that 23andMe is the only company at present that provides direct to consumer (DTC) testing for health-related issues.