Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wikitree, Gedmatch... and why you should use them

If you haven't discovered Wikitree.com yet, you really ought to take a look. It is building a universal tree like other wikis, but it has some unique aspects that add real value. For example, if you record your own DNA test information, it offers some of the coolest DNA-related features that are not available anywhere else. It will add the appropriate DNA links to your ancestors and descendants and provide reports showing your X-DNA, Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA ancestors and descendants. It now also provides the ability to find others who have tested specific surnames. You can then compare their test results to your own. For anyone who is serious about proving (or disproving) their family tree, DNA testing and building triangulated groups is essential. Wikitree provides some amazing tools.

Of course, as always, Gedmatch.com is the essential site that offers the ability to do actual triangulation -- and it's free for most features. If you're concerned about privacy, simply use an alias and a separate email address, easily acquired free through Gmail and Yahoo.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

AncestryDNA changes

Ancestry.com has made significant changes to its algorithms for matching. This link will take you to an excellent review of these changes and what they mean for all of us who have done or will do autosomal DNA testing with them.

The overall experience of current users is positive, although most of us recognize that no matching algorithm is perfect. There will always be some degree of false positive and false negative calls. Each company -- 23andMe, Ancestry and FamilyTreeDNA -- has its own proprietary system for matching. As always, it is wise to upload one's raw results from any ofthese three companies to GedMatch.com where you can manipulate threshholds to evaluate different settings, matches and probabilities.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SALE - Family tree DNA

In honor of DNA Day, FTDNA will be launching later today its annual sale. It will run until April 26. Here are the prices:

Retail Pricing
   Sale Price
Family Finder
mtFull Seq
SNP Packs
mtDNA plus
Not on Sale

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Urgent - Action needed on Ancestry DNA Matches

Please see https://dna-explained.com/2016/04/19/upcoming-ancestry-dna-update-urgent/.

Friday, April 8, 2016

In case you do not follow its blog, you may not have received this announcement from the NEHGS (New England Historical and  Genealogical Society):

Through April 13, American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering FREE access to one billion online records on AmericanAncestors.org. Free accounts ordinarily allow Guest Users only a sampling of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This unprecedented promotion offers the Society's entire collection of online content for eight full days to anyone who registers for a free account! Already registered? Just log in and start searching. Please share this exciting opportunity with friends, family, and fellow family historians!

This organization's database covers more than just New England, so be sure to check it out:  http://www.americanancestors.org/index.aspxAmerican Ancestors.org.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Learning about Geetic Genealogy

Some of us "early timers" to genetic genealogy, a phrase that didn't even exist in those days (almost 15 years ago now), took our baby steps with this wonderful offering from the venerable Sorenson Molecular Genetic Foundation (SMGF).

As some of you will remember, SMGF was the brainchild of a single man who used a good portion of his wealth to introduce genetics to the world for popular application in genealogy. He financed the testing of thousands of people for the entry level Y-DNA and mtDNA tests that were first available and the creation of an amazing database that was a priceless resource for genealogy. Unfortunately, at his death, his family shut down the research facility, the foundation and everything that went with it. Ancestry.com eventually acquired its holdings but then later destroyed them.

But now it looks like they may be bringing it back from the dead? See http://dna.ancestry.com/smgf. What can it mean?