Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sale on YDNA tests!

Here's a great opportunity to buy or upgrade: http://dna-explained.com/2014/08/28/y-dna-sale/.

Only FTDNA offers this range of products, and the sale ends September 3.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Master Genealogist

I was sad to learn that The Master Genealogist will not be supported by Wholly Genes after this year. However, the reality is that this program is still the very best available and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. So long as the users of other programs are willing to accept inferior products, there has been no incentive for TMG's competitors to develop the features, flexibility and advanced function that TMG provides. Without TMG, there would be no Second Site, and there truly is no competition for that -- serious or otherwise.

As a genealogist who has tried out practically all the programs on the market, I will not be running away from TMG. I will stick with it for as long as it is viable. There is no reason to expect that it will not work for another ten years or more, and John Cardinal has promised continued support for Second Site.

That's good enough for me.


Family Finder and ADSA

For those who have had the Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA, Don Worth has now announced a new version of his excellent tool for analyzing your results and triangulating groups to find common ancestors.

I highly recommend this free program, Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer (ADSA).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Big Y, Full Y, Y Prime... Oh My!

There has been a small flurry of interest and activity in the past year or so that relates to advanced Y-DNA testing. The price has limited interest, as has its experimental nature. That is, we really had no idea what the results would show and whether or not they would be useful  to genealogists who are primarily interested in finding matches within the genealogical timeframe.

While the jury is still out on the matter of relevance, these tests are beginning to show results that have enabled a few groups to show branches within their lineages. As with any scientific discovery, there must be active participants who can evaluate and measure the results, compare their findings and eventually publish them so that others can determine their usefulness.

There are at least three companies competing in this space, and it's been difficult to compare them. The ISOGG Wiki provides information on their test offerings, but the question of practical application has persisted, primarily because we were comparing apples to oranges and the essential factor, interpretation, was missing from all three. One had to use a third party to evaluate and translate the findings, and still they were not in laymen's terms nor did they apply to or answer genealogists' questions.

Now, true to form, Family Tree DNA is providing matching capability, the one essential thing missing from all the offerings until now. Once again, it emerges as the true leader among genetic genealogy companies. It is simply the only company that provides a full range of testing for genealogy. It has no equal.

Roberta Estes reports today on FTDNA's latest offering and price reduction. in her blog, DNAeXplained. I hope this will encourage more men to order the Big Y test from Family Tree DNA. The results will be added to a small but growing pool that holds promise for ever more interesting developments in genetic genealogy and may help define line breaks that refine lineages.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Global Family Reunion

Have you heard? This is not your mama's reunion.

The writer, AJ Jacobs, who is with Esquire and is  a best-selling author, wants to bring together as many "cousins" as possible for a massive reunion to be held on the site of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City next June 6. Admission is $20 but all proceeds will go to Alzheimer's research. For more information, visit the Reunion website http://goo.gl/opak9E.  Be sure to view the video. ABCnews has more coverage at http://goo.gl/sFM3VI.

In order to find all the cousins, there is an effort underway by a team consisting of names we all know: Wikitree, Geni (owned by MyHeritage), Family Tree DNA, 23andMe. Each of us can go online today to determine if we qualify for the reunion. It's based on "degrees of separation" between you and either AJ or his wife.

Notice there is one flaw in the mix (for purists like me): When AJ talks about "family," he is including in-laws. We all know that this is not acceptable to genealogists, or geneticists, but for this fun project, I'm willing to bend the rules.

And I already have. I've signed up for the Reunion and I'm number 100 in Wikitree's Global Reunion Project with 27 degrees of separation from AJ on two lines. The actual genetic relationships go through siblings in the lines, however, so neither  "cousinship" is accurate in genealogical terms.

I hope you will join me!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Understanding genetic genealogy

We all have questions:  Why should I care about DNA testing? How do I choose the right tests? What can I learn? What are the limitations and pitfalls? How do I interpret the results? How do I apply them to my own genealogy?... and more.  The information is out there in blogs, tutorials, books. FamilyTreeDNA itself  has a wonderful library of videos, FAQs, reports, etc. ISOGG has a wealth of information, including a wiki. Many of the bloggers I list as suggested links on this page have done and continue to do a wonderful job explaining the intricacies of DNA testing. Now Blaine Bettinger has launched the first how-to multimedia guide for genetic genealogy.

Spend the summer learning more about how you can advance your own genealogy through DNA testing. Happy ancestor tree climbing!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More about transfers

This message from Family Tree DNA discusses your options. I will add www.mitosearch.org for the transfer of  mtDNA data. Ysearch.org and mitosearch.org are simply databases; they do not allow you to buy additional tests, but they do allow you to match with others who have uploaded their data. Both are public sites that are sponsored by Family Tree DNA and accept DNA results from other companies as a public service. When you transfer to either of these databases, be sure to pay close attention to choosing the company you are transferring from because the data is formatted differently by different companies and your results will only be comparable if they are entered properly.

From Family Tree DNA:

On Thursday, Ancestry.com™ announced that they will no longer sell Y-DNA  tests.  Additionally, the results from past Y-DNA tests will no longer be available after September 5, 2014.
 
YSearch and Family Tree DNA are committed to supporting this valuable genealogical test today and in the future.  We strongly encourage you to tell your friends and family to transfer their Y-DNA data to Family Tree DNA or YSearch before it's too late.   

If you haven't already tested with Family Tree DNA, you can transfer your Y-DNA results to get:
  • Access to group projects (available to all transfers)
  • Find Y-DNA matches using FTDNA's huge database (requries  a transfer + marker upgrade)
  • Access to the new Y-DNA haplotree (requries a transfer + marker upgrade)
  • Access to superior customer support (available to all transfers)
Click here to transfer your Y-DNA results to Family Tree DNA now!

The Y-DNA transfer options are listed below:

$19
Y-DNA 33 Marker Transfer
  • Store your results on FTDNA.
  • Participate in group projects.
  • No matches or haplogroup predictions
$19
Y-DNA 46 Marker Transfer
  • Store your results on FTDNA.
  • Participate in group projects.
  • No matches or haplogroup predictions
$58
Y-DNA 33 Transfer +
25 Marker Upgrade*
  • Store your results on FTDNA.
  • Participate in group projects.
  • Y-DNA matches
  • Haplogroup predictions
  • Additional standard FTDNA Y-DNA features
$58
Y-DNA 46 Transfer +
37 Marker Upgrade*
  • Store your results on FTDNA.
  • Participate in group projects.
  • Y-DNA matches
  • Haplogroup predictions
  • Additional standard FTDNA Y-DNA features

* Those unable to provide samples can still be upgraded to receive 12 marker matches for Y-DNA33 and 25 marker matches for their Y-DNA46

 
Thank you,
YSearch & Family Tree DNA