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:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

DNA Day sales are here

All the companies are extending good offers for this limited time sale. As usual, the best offers for a long-time investment in your DNA testing come from Family Tree DNA, which provides reduced prices  for tests, bundles and upgrades, as well as an exciting new Big Y-500. Remember, only FTDNA has a full selection of tests.

Scam Alert!

While I cannot verify all the statements in this article, it is important that we "consider the source" in everything in life.  If you follow the tenet "better safe than sorry," you will want to read this carefully:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Attention Adoptees has a not-to-be-missed offer on the table through April only. This link will take you to

Monday, April 9, 2018

An open letter to Ancestry

Thank you for bringing so many new people to DNA testing. The larger the database the better, of course.

BUT, you have fallen far behind in serving your customer base! Virtually every other company now offers features that allow us to make full use of our DNA to break down brick walls and otherwise enhance our family trees in ways we could not have imagined just a few years, even months, ago. Your company future depends on whether you want to provide cocktail party fodder or make meaningful contributions to human society.

For years we have asked for chromosome mapping and segment analysis; now we want more, starting with full triangulation as provided by 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and, of course, Gedmatch. Many of us who have pioneered in genetic genealogy no longer recommend Ancestry for DNA testing and groan when we hear that someone has ordered a test from you.  We know we must now deal with your marketing hype that forces us to moderate their expectations, then persuade these friends, associates and relatives to transfer their results to other companies in order to make full use of them.

You could do so much more! You are in a perfect position to become the kind of leader that not only makes DNA testing an essential part of genealogy but encourages your testing base to expand their interest in family history. Think of the potential revenue from those who test to learn only their ethnicity but are persuaded to go on to study genealogy. Your membership could grow exponentially... But most of your customers do not have the time or inclination to download and upload files, study and apply advanced spreadsheet techniques, understand the process of genetics, and engage in analytics. It is your job to make genetics-based matching an automatic and integral part of genealogy.

I look forward to seeing a renewed commitment by Ancestry to put customer needs first.