Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Note to the Wise

If you have built your family tree on any website and do not have it on your own computer as well, take heed. If you have had DNA tests done and have not downloaded the raw data and results to your own computer, beware.

A rumor is circulating that Ancestry may be for sale, but this is just one of many potential calamities. Businesses come and go all the time in today's world. Sometimes it's for the better and sometimes for the worse. We have seen SMGF (Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation) shut down, Heritage DNA merge and disappear, the Master Genealogist disappear, Ancestry withdraw from YDNA and mtDNA testing and the loss of its Y and mt databases. None of these events has been an improvement. Instead it has led to much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands.

All of us as genealogists have spent many years and considerable money researching our family's history and compiling photos, records, correspondence and other treasures. We must protect our work. If you do not have copies of everything you have done in your own computer (and backed up to ensure its safety and continuity), now is the time to act. Google to find a genealogy software package that works with your operating system (Mac or Windows) and that includes GEDCOM, a universal program that lets you download your tree from Ancestry or any other online location or genealogy software to your own computer so it will be both places. Test it to make sure your own new computer file is complete . Note that Ancestry's download does not include photos, files, and records you've attached. Also be sure you have copies of your raw data and matches from any testing company on your own computer. Then back it all up to two or three different devices or storage sites. Google offers 15 gigabytes free, for example.

This is not an alarmist view; it is common sense. Read more at this blog.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Celebrate DNA Day

Family Tree DNA Sale on Big Y

This announcement arrived in my Inbox a few minutes ago. To get the $100 discount on Big Y, use the coupon code below.
DNA Day 2015 is here!  Every year students, teachers, and the public take this day to learn more about genetics and genomics!  

Celebrate advances in the field of genetics with a Family Finder test, and don't forget to tune in to CBS Sunday Morning this Sunday, 4/26/2015 for an exciting DNA segment!

Family Tree DNA is looking forward to offering many exciting deals beginning summer 2015.  This DNA Day, use coupon code DNADayBigY to take $100 off Big Y.  This coupon is valid from 12:00 AM 4/25/2015 through 11:59 PM 4/30/2015.
Why Family Finder?

Why Big Y?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ancestry DNA sale

Order your DNA test now from Ancestry.com for only $79 (normally $99) until April 27.

YouTube Resources for DNA

An excellent way to learn about DNA and how to use it for genealogy is to simply watch video presentations from conferences around the world. They usually invite presenters who are both knowledgeable and creative in the way they cover material that can be highly complex. The Learning Center at Family Tree DNA is a good source, but this YouTube channel includes presentations made just this week at the Who Do You Think Are conference in England, the largest conference devoted to genealogy in the world.

Start with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_mPClKX3ls for an outstanding overview, then choose from the many offerings available.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Planning for the Global Family Reunion

You may be interested in this announcement from Family Tree DNA:

Family Tree DNA is proud to offer you an opportunity to deepen your understanding of your genetic past and meet your cousins from around the world - and have a blast doing it!

Family Tree DNA has partnered with The Global Family Reunion to put on a unique event: the first-ever gathering that brings together genetically linked people.  While at the gathering, you will get to hear from top scientists and entertainers on all aspects of DNA and family.

All Family Tree DNA members are being offered a limited-time early-bird price of $25 for the event.

Event Details

When: June 6, 2015
Where: New York Hall of Science, New York City

Click here for early bird tickets and more information.  

Click here for exclusive reward packages!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Still Wrestling with Genetic Genealogy?

Here is the ultimate solution, an opportunity to really learn how to use it, with hands-on exercises, all from your own home: http://goo.gl/LvDCn3. Blaine Bettinger is one of the best in the field.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I hope everyone who tests with Ancestry.com realizes that, unless you maintain an annual subscription, you will have limited access. The details are outlined here: goo.gl/AYA4yX.

It is highly recommended that you "transfer" your results to Family Tree DNA and to Gedmatch to reap the greatest rewards for your investment.