Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Family Tree DNA Sale

If you haven't yet tested with Family Tree DNA, you're in for a treat. Not only can you buy an atDNA (Family Finder) test to discover new cousins and expand your family tree, but you can add Y-DNA and mtDNA tests to learn even more about your origins. The chart below shows sale prices from now until November 22nd.

Notice that if you have already had a test of any kind with Family Tree DNA and have a kit number, you should log into your FTDNA account and order an upgrade. If If enough DNA survives from your earlier test, they will use that. If not, they will require a new sample and will provide a new kit.

See the great prices here: https://tinyurl.com/ya9c56kt
or here: https://tinyurl.com/yd4ncz2j

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Holiday Planning and Gifts

Some of the companies are beginning to offer sale prices on DNA tests for the holidays. I'm sure they'll all be in sale mode very soon. If you have done only one or two tests, now is usually the best time of year to buy new tests or upgrades. They make a great holiday gift because all family members benefit (and sometimes contribute to the cost). Remember, you never know who has tested where, so it pays to play in all the pools.

Top testing companies for genealogy are FamilyTreeDNA (because they do all the tests and have good tools); AncestryDNA (because they have the largest database but few tools); MyHeritage (because it is the most innovative, growing quickly, and is best for European DNA and genealogy); 23andMe (because it does both health and ancestry testing). LivingDNA is a well respected company in England that will soon offer matching but doesn't yet. Be aware that other companies do not usually offer genealogy matching, which is the primary reason to test.

Other holiday gifts you might consider are subscriptions to companies like Ancestry, MyHeritage, and FindMyPast for research and trees. An exciting new online program that offers both advanced genealogy and DNA features is RootsFinder. Another possible gift is membership in various genealogy organizations or attendance at seminars or conferences. Write to me if you need suggestions.

To sum up, more testing is better, test the oldest family members first, and learn about all the tips and tricks of using genealogy and DNA.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tools keep getting better

Such a treasure of riches in DNA world! Not a month goes by, it seems, that we aren't treated to new and wonderful ways to discover, organize, analyze and use our DNA matches to enhance and extend our genealogy.

If you haven't discovered DNAPainter yet, or if you are already addicted, Jonny Perl has now made it even better. Still free, there is now a subscription option for advanced function. See the announcement. That seems to be a growing trend. Rootsfinder, another free excellent tree-building program, provides a subscription offering that includes some mind-blowing DNA features. If you haven't tried it yet, you're in for a treat -- and you can use the DNA features through October for free. An upgrade is expected then that promises to make this a must-have program. Get started now.

If you haven't transferred your raw data from wherever you tested to MyHeritage yet, you have until December 1 to transfer for free. After that, new transfers will cost you. They have some very good features, and it's well worthwhile to do so. Of course, remember, I'm a fan of playing in all the data pools. You never know where that cousin match you need to unlock a stubborn link has tested.

Still another deadline looms, this one for LivingDNA. This company promises to unveil very soon a revolutionary approach to matching. Be sure to get in on the ground floor, either via a free transfer or a new test.

Finally, don't forget the added value of testing with Family Tree DNA. It's the only company that offers the full spectrum of DNA testing. (The Y-DNA and mtDNA test results you get from other companies are just the tip of the iceburg.) It too has some innovative features.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

FTDNA Summer Sale

Good news for all who are waiting for better prices to take advantage of the full spectrum of DNA testing! See this blog for details.

This is a great opportunity to round out your testing for genealogy. Only FamilyTreeDNA does it all.

  • Test all your family members, oldest first, with at least Family Finder (or transfer autosomal tests done with other companies to Family Finder).
  • Test at least one male in each of your lines for Y-DNA.
  • Test your direct paternal line with Big Y for deep ancestral roots.
  • Test at least one person in each line for mtDNA.
  • Post your family tree at FTDNA.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Father's Day Sales

DNA Sales for Father’s Day
• 23and me $69 until June 17 with free gift wrap
• Ancestry $69 until June 18
• Family Tree DNA $59 until June 18. 25% off many other products
• MyHeritage $59 until June 17

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A refresher on using atDNA

The reason we do autosomal testing for genealogy -- with Ancestry, Family Finder at Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and 23andMe -- is to learn where our DNA matches fit into our trees. Our closest matches, at the top of our match lists, are parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. The rest are cousins -- first, second, third, etc., or half-cousins, etc. Once we find a match that fits in the family of GGGGGF Tom Jones and his wife, for example, we work together with the match to find our Common Ancestor. Then we look for other matches that we share with that person and expand Tom Jones' genealogy by adding generations, up and down. So we're always looking for people who match us and other people.

We want to find those who match bits and pieces of our DNA. To do that, we use tools like Gedmatch, DNAPainter, RootsFinder, or the new DNA Matrix in Charting Companion. Ancestry gives us a headstart with its Shared Matches. FTDNA provides chromosome mapping, a matrix tool,  ICW, its version of Ancestry's shared matches, and a phasing tool as part of its Family Tree feature. MyHeritage and 23andMe both provide full triangulation. For many more tools and many more matches, you must use Gedmatch.

The best strategy today is to test with Ancestry, which has the largest database, then download your raw data and upload that file to Gedmatch, FTDNA, and MyHeritage -- for free! You may want to pay for full access to FTDNA for $19 and occasionally spend $10 for a month's access to Gedmatch, but these are optional.

And if you're still befuddled, read this book by Blaine T. Bettinger: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Important! Today Only!

This link will take you to an announcement by 23andMe that they will accept transfers from Ancestry today only:    https://www.23andme.com/discover23/