Monday, February 16, 2015

What's new in the world of genealogy and DNA?

The pace of innovative change in  genealogy and especially genetic genealogy is becoming almost overwhelming. Two major conferences were held last week concurrently and in the same venue in Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the LDS church, the largest genealogical library in the world, and FamilySearch.org. Announcements flew as all the major companies and many start-ups vied for attention.

For a taste of especially important things to come in the next days and weeks, see http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2015/02/15/dna-in-slc/.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Presidents -- A Fun Finding

Just in case my postings here give you the idea that I have forsaken traditional genealogy in favor of genetic testing, I thought I'd share the fruits of a couple hours work over the weekend. Thanks to Wikitree's Relationship feature, I discovered that I am related to every president of the United States except four -- McKinley, Truman, Kennedy and Reagan. The closest is Ulysses S. Grant at 4th cousin 6 times removed; the most distant is Andrew Johnson at 21st 2 times removed. The most recent common ancestor was Joseph Hatch (1654-1737) and the most remote was Guy Brienne (1110-1159). See the results here: http://www.doriswheeler.org/ui273.htm.

It was a fun exercise, and there is a DNA tie-in: Joseph Hatch appears repeatedly among triangulated matches, as do several other of the ancestors I have in common with these men.

Wikitree.com is free, by the way. Try it for yourself. (I'm just a happy user and have no ties to the company.)

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Must Read

At the top of my list of "must reading" this month is:

The Legal Genealogist blog

 It is a snapshot of everything you need to know about DNA testing -- at least to get started.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

23andMe and MyHeritage

I'm sure everyone knows that 23andMe has entered into a partnership with 23andMe. Starting May 1, 2015, if you have a tree at 23andMe, it will be moved to MyHeritage.com, or you have the option of uploading your own GEDCOM to MyHeritage or keep the tree you already have there.

You may also know that MyHeritage offers free genealogy software that integrates with your online tree so updating is automatic. What, if any, new features might be offered by MyHeritage that make use of your DNA data from 23andMe is not yet known.

Be aware! MyHeritage will import your tree or allow you to create a new one for free but only for six months. After that, if your tree has 250 nodes or more, you will have to pay the normal subscription fee at MyHeritage to keep it there.

Learn more at https://www.23andme.com/family-tree/.

If you still have questions about autosomal DNA...

Check out, and study, Roberta Estes' blog today: http://dna-explained.com/2015/01/17/demystifying-autosomal-dna-matching/.

One caution: Roberta talks a lot about IBS (identical by state, as opposed to IBD -- identical by descent) matches. While virtually all matches at all three companies are IBD and therefore reliable matches to your relatives, those with really small amounts of matching DNA may not be. Accept the matching thresholds and you're safe to assume the matches are real. If you tinker with the thresholds, i.e., lower the matching level, then beware. The only time you should ever lower the level is when you believe an individual should match you but doesn't, then give that a try -- but only if you have good reason to believe the other person is a definite relative.

One example of this might be if your sibling or a cousin matches someone and you don't, you might want to try lowering the threshold to see if you inherited such a small chunk from the common ancestor that it simply doesn't show up. Of course, there's always the possibility that you didn't inherit any from that particular ancestor.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Announcing Geno 2.0 Sale

Geno 2.0 is the test currently sponsored by National Geographic (with lab work performed by Family Tree DNA). It is the latest, best work currently being done on the scientific aspects of DNA testing, especially as it relates to ethnicity and deep origins. Note that it is not for genealogy... yet.

The sale price is $159.95 "for a limited time." There is no expiration date given so this offer could end at any time. The normal price is $199.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Still time to order DNA tests at holiday prices!

Following is a list of current offers. If the one you want to use is already used, write to me doriswh AT gmail.com. I may be able to find more.

Courtesy of John R. Carpenter:

Coupon codes for different DNA tests currently on sale at FTDNA.com .
 
These coupons expire 12/28/2014 at 11:59 PM CT. Only valid for 1 purchase.
Cannot be combined with other coupons.
 
You got $10 off any purchase!
That's $10 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5V69L4O
R5RAATSS
R5G73PSB
 
You got $10 off Y37, Y67, or Y111!
That's $10 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5VD3N5X
R5CWS4G8
R5A7MMXU
R507ECJR
 
You got $100 off Big Y!
That's $100 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5IXWM12
 
 
You got $10 off Family Finder!
That's $10 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5KDLQWC
R5WWQVAP
 
You got $5 off Family Finder!
That's $5 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5B8R7V3
R5ZPALQK
 
You got $10 off mtFull Sequence!
That's $10 on top of the discounted Holiday Sale prices!
Use the promo code below at checkout:
 
R5FLKRVL
R5ZVM1UE
 
Note: these codes were valid at posting, if code is rejected, then some one has already used it. Then choose another.
 
 
FTDNA Regular Prices
 
Test               Regular                   Group * 
Y-DNA 12      $ 59- 
Y-DNA 25$109$109    
Y-DNA 37$169$149
Y-DNA 67$268$248
Y-DNA 111$359$339
mtDNAPlus (HVR1+HVR2)$69$69
FMS$199$199
Family Finder$99$99
Comprehensive Genome$566$546
Big Y$575$575
 
*Discount for joining a group
 
 
2014 Holiday Sale Prices until 31 Dec 2014 12:59 PM CT

Product-Regular Price-Sale Price-you save
Y37 $169 $129 $40 off
Y67 $268 $199 $69 off
Y111 $359 $289 $70 off

Upgrades
Y12 to Y37 $99 $78 $21 off
Y12 to Y67 $189 $149 $40 off
Y12 to Y111 $339 $257 $82 off
Y25 to Y37 $49 $39 $10 off
Y25 to Y67 $148 $119 $29 off
Y25 to Y111 $249 $209 $40 off
Y37 to Y67 $99 $78 $21 off
Y37 to Y111 $220 $187 $33 off
Y67 to Y111 $129 $109 $20 off

Family Finder $99 $89 $10 off
mtFullSequence $199 $169 $30 off
mtDNA+ to mtFullSequence $159 $139 $20 off