Tuesday, December 25, 2012

With DNA the known connection may not be the genetic connection

Neither of my parents are alive. All of my Father's siblings have passed and only his half-sister has descendants. Two of my Mother's siblings are alive but neither one has tested. I had 11 first cousins, one is deceased, 2 being related on both my paternal and maternal sides, 2 being descendants of my paternal grand mother through her first husband, and 8 being descendants only through my Mother's siblings. So far I have tested two of them, a 1st cousin from both lines (A) and a 1st cousin only through my Mother's side (B).

At 23andme I have three matches with a 5th cousin (C) who descends from from a couple on my Father's side. This is on one of my paternal great grandfather's line, one of the lines neither of my tested 1st cousins shares with me. Her maternal ancestry has several names in it that are in my maternal ancestry, but they are not traced back to a common ancestor. However, her mother has connections to a county in Arkansas where many of my relatives settled between 1830 and 1860.

When I compare her results to my two first cousins in Family Inheritance: Advanced She has matches with (B). Since (B) is my first cousin through her father, my Mother's brother, and her Mother was from a county that is not in my ancestry nor in (C)'s ancestry, the genetic relationship appears to actually be from (C)'s Mother's side and not from her direct paternal ancestry where she and I have the documented paper match.

This points out two concerns: the paper link is not necessarily the genetic link; and you need to have some way of determining which side of you ancestry the genetic link is on; either full phasing by parent-child groups or by testing your parent's siblings or your grandparents, or selected close relatives, like first cousins, as was done here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Time magazine, "The DNA Dilemma: A test that could change your life"

Dr D Digs Up Ancestors: The DNA Dilemma

David Dowell, PhD, a frequent blogger on genetic genealogy and a former professor of librarianship has written a Letter to the Editor in response to the current Time
cover story “The DNA Dilemma: A Test That Could Change Your Life”. As usual it is a thoughtful response that deserves your time to read with the article.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

23andme lowers price to $99USD

See the Press Release: https://www.23andme.com/about/press/12_11_2012/

23andMe Raises More Than $50 Million in New Financing

Company Sets Growth Goal Of One Million Customers, Reduces Price to $99 from $299

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – December 11, 2012 – 23andMe, Inc., the leading personal genetics company, today announced it has raised more than $50 million in a Series D financing. Participants in the financing include Yuri Milner, a new investor, as well as existing investors Sergey Brin, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, New Enterprise Associates, Google Ventures and MPM Capital. This investment will help the company achieve its growth goal of one million customers.

Friday, December 07, 2012

GeneTree Closing 1 Jan 2013

Dear GeneTree user,

Time is running out. As you may have heard, GeneTree.com is being discontinued as of January 1, 2013. Following this date, the GeneTree website will no longer be functional. So please take a moment to download your DNA results and pedigree data during the month of December, if you have not already done so. Once your data has been downloaded, you will be able to import your family tree GEDCOM files and your DNA results into an Ancestry.com account at no cost. We hope that you take this opportunity to continue with your family history search and take your discoveries even further. Please visit the home page of GeneTree.com for detailed instructions on how to export your data. You can also find information available at http://www.genetree.com/faq

Thank you,
GeneTree Customer Support

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Geno 2.0 sample received

I mailed my Geno 2.0 sample over 1 month ago and today I see it has been received and is now in DNA Isolation before being tested.

More information on the Geno 2.0 project is available on this web page:


An interview from last weeks conference in Florence is on JustinTV:


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Article: Archaic Human Genomics

Archaic human genomics

Todd R. Disotell*
Article first published online: 2 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22159

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Supplement: Supplement: Yearbook of Physical Anthropology
Volume 149, Issue Supplement 55, pages 24–39, 2012

Neanderthals;Denisovans;introgression;ancient DNA

For much of the 20th century, the predominant view of human evolutionary history was derived from the fossil record. Homo erectus was seen arising in Africa from an earlier member of the genus and then spreading throughout the Old World and into the Oceania. A regional continuity model of anagenetic change from H. erectus via various intermediate archaic species into the modern humans in each of the regions inhabited by H. erectus was labeled the multiregional model of human evolution (MRE). A contrasting model positing a single origin, in Africa, of anatomically modern H. sapiens with some populations later migrating out of Africa and replacing the local archaic populations throughout the world with complete replacement became known as the recent African origin (RAO) model. Proponents of both models used different interpretations of the fossil record to bolster their views for decades. In the 1980s, molecular genetic techniques began providing evidence from modern human variation that allowed not only the different models of modern human origins to be tested but also the exploration demographic history and the types of selection that different regions of the genome and even specific traits had undergone. The majority of researchers interpreted these data as strongly supporting the RAO model, especially analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Extrapolating backward from modern patterns of variation and using various calibration points and substitution rates, a consensus arose that saw modern humans evolving from an African population around 200,000 years ago. Much later, around 50,000 years ago, a subset of this population migrated out of Africa replacing Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia as well as archaics in eastern Asia and Oceania. mtDNA sequences from more than two-dozen Neanderthals and early modern humans re-enforced this consensus. In 2010, however, the complete draft genomes of Neanderthals and of heretofore unknown hominins from Siberia, called Denisovans, demonstrated gene flow between these archaic human species and modern Eurasians but not sub-Saharan Africans. Although the levels of gene flow may be very limited, this unexpected finding does not fit well with either the RAO model or MRE model. More thorough sampling of modern human diversity, additional fossil discoveries, and the sequencing of additional hominin fossils are necessary to throw light onto our origins and our history. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FTDNA Holiday sale: Now till 31 Dec 2012

As we ended our 8th Annual Genetic Genealogy Conference, several conference participants asked us to start our year-end sale as soon as possible. In answer to those requests we decided to start it immediately:
New Kits Current Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 37         $169 $119
Y-DNA 67         $268 $199
mtDNAPlus         $159 $139
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $199
SuperDNA (Y-DNA 67 and 
 mtFullSequence) $548 $398
Family Finder         $289 $199
Family Finder + 
 mtDNAPlus         $438 $318
Family Finder + 
 mtFullSequence         $559 $398
Family Finder + 
 Y-DNA 37         $438 $318
 (FF + FMS + Y-67) $837 $597

Upgrades Current Price SALE PRICE
Y-Refine 12-25 Marker $59 $35
Y-Refine 12-37 Marker $109 $69
Y-Refine 12-67 Marker $199 $148
Y-Refine 25-37 Marker $59 $35
Y-Refine 25-67 Marker $159 $114
Y-Refine 37-67 Marker $109 $79
Y-Refine 37-111 Marker $220 $188
Y-Refine 67-111 Marker $129 $109
mtHVR1toMega         $269 $179
mtHVR2toMega         $239 $179
mtFullSequence Add-on $289 $199

To order this special offer, log in to your personal page and click on the Order An Upgrade button in the upper right corner. A link to the login page is provided below. ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED AND PAID FOR BY MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2012 11:59:00 PM CST TO RECEIVE THE SALE PRICES.

Log In to Order an Upgrade.

Click Here to Order a New Kit.

As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Family Tree DNA
"History Unearthed Daily"

Match statistics from FTDNA, 23andme and AncestryDNA

As of today I have:

467 matches at FTDNA on their Illumina V.3 chip;
1540 matches at 23andme on the Illumina V.2 chip;
1145 matches at 23andme on the Illumina V.3 chip;
2300-2350 matches at AncestryDNA on the Illumina V.3 chip:

Other than known 1st and 3rd cousins I had tested, my closest known matches are at the 3rd cousin level. I have a 2nd cousin match at 23andme who has not answered any invitations in 2 years. I have two predicted 2nd cousin matches at FTDNA who have not replied to emails and do not have pedigrees posted there. I have gotten through the first 27 of 47 match pages at Ancestry.com with many matches having either private trees, very small trees, or no trees. Very frustrating.

I spent this past weekend in Houston at the 8th FTDNA DNA Administrators Conference. I'll post a report later this week.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Abstract from American Society of Human Genetics meeting session

The GenoChip: a new tool for genetic anthropology.

S. Wells1, E. Greenspan2, S. Staats2, T. Krahn2, C. Tyler-Smith3, Y. Xue3, S. Tofanelli4, P. Francalacci5, F. Cucca6, L. Pagani7, L. Jin8, H. Li8, T. G. Schurr9, J. B. Gaieski9, C. Melendez9, M. G. Vilar9, A. C. Owings9, R. Gomez10, R. Fujita11, F. Santos12, D. Comas13, O. Balanovsky14, E. Balanovska14, P. Zalloua15, H. Soodyall16, R. Pitchappan17, G. Arun Kumar17, M. F. Hammer18, B. Greenspan2, E. Elhaik19

1) Mission Programs, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC; 2) Family Tree DNA, Houston, TX; 3) Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK; 4) University of Pisa, Italy; 5) University of Sassari, Italy; 6) National Research Council, Monserrato, Italy; 7) University of Cambridge, UK; 8) Fudan University, Shanghai, China; 9) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; 10) CINVESTAV, Mexico City, Mexico; 11) University of San Martin de Porres, Lima, Peru; 12) Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil; 13) Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain; 14) Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 15) Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon; 16) University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; 17) Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, India; 18) University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; 19) Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Background: The Genographic Project is an international effort aimed at charting human history using genetic data. The project is non-profit and non-medical, and through the sale of its public participation kits it supports cultural preservation efforts in indigenous and traditional communities. To extend our knowledge of the human journey, interbreeding with ancient hominins, and modern human demographic history, we designed a genotyping chip optimized for genetic anthropology research. Methods: Our goal was to design, produce, and validate a SNP array dedicated to genetic anthropology. The GenoChip is an Illumina HD iSelect genotyping bead array with over 130,000 highly informative autosomal and X-chromosomal SNPs ascertained from over 450 worldwide populations, ~13,000 Y-chromosomal SNPs, and ~3,000 mtDNA SNPs. To determine the extent of gene flow from archaic hominins to modern humans, we included over 25,000 SNPs from candidate regions of interbreeding between extinct hominins (Neanderthal and Denisovan) and modern humans. To avoid any inadvertent medical testing we filtered out all SNPs that have known or suspected health or functional associations. We validated the chip by genotyping over 1,000 samples from 1000 Genomes, Family Tree DNA, and Genographic Project populations. Results: The concordance between the GenoChip and the 1000 Genomes data was over 99.5%. The GenoChip has a SNP density of approximately (1/100,000) bases over 92% of the human genome and is highly compatible with Illumina and Affymetrix commercial platforms. The ~10,000 novel Y SNPs included on the chip have greatly refined our understanding of the Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree. By including Y and mtDNA SNPs on an unprecedented scale, the GenoChip is able to delineate extremely detailed human migratory paths. The autosomal and X-chromosomal markers included on the GenoChip have revealed novel patterns of ancestry that shed a detailed new light on human history. Interbreeding analysis with extinct hominids confirmed some previous reports and allowed us to describe the modern geographical distribution of these markers in detail. Conclusions: The GenoChip is the first genotyping chip completely dedicated to genetic anthropology with no known medically relevant markers. We anticipate that the large-scale application of the GenoChip using the Genographic Project’s diverse sample collection will provide new insights into genetic anthropology and human history.

You may contact the first author (during and after the meeting) at spwells@ngs.org

Thursday, October 25, 2012

AncestryDNA out of Beta. Opened to subscribers and non-subscribers in the USA.

AncestryDNA has dropped the BETA label and has opened their autosomal DNA test to Ancestry subscribers and non-subscribers in the USA. The cost to subscribers has increased from $99 to $129 and it is $199 for non-subscribers. There is a combo test and 6 month subscription for $249. AncestryDNA has recently announced they will provide results to those who test with them.

CeCe Moore has more details on her blog:


Monday, October 22, 2012

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

An update on DNA matches

As of 3 Oct 2012:

440 matches in Family Finder at FTDNA.
1509 matches in Relative Finder at 23andm.com(sharing genomes with 450)
1750+ matches at AncestryDNA. I am slowly working through 38 pages of matches.

Most matches that have an identified Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) are from the Boone, Creekmore, Ball, Moses and Barnes families. I descend from over 20 families of 17th century New Haven Colony.

My ancestry is 95% British Isles and then German, French, Norwegian/Finnish make up the rest. Immigrants settled in Connecticut, New Amsterdam, New Sweden, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. Most were here in the 1600s. My most recent know ancestor was transported from Middlesex Gaol to Virginia in the 1760s for stealing cloth.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flash Sale (72 Hours) on DNA tests at Family Tree DNA


It seems every time we run a flash sale a few people e-mail us days later,
they were traveling, sick or just had not looked at their e-mails in time,
so for all of you who want to entice a friend, neighbor or reluctant
relative to get involved in Genetic Genealogy here's one more opportunity,
but it will last for only 72 hours.

We are gearing this sale for newcomers and upgrades by promoting the Family
Finder and the Full Mitochondria Sequence (FMS).This sale starts Friday,
September 28, at 12:00am and ends Sunday, September 30, at 11:59PM.

New Kits                       Current Price SALE PRICE
Family Finder                  $289           $199
mtFullSequence                 $299           $199
Family Finder + mtFullSequence $559           $398

Upgrades                       Current Price SALE PRICE
Family Finder                  $289           $199
HVR1 to mtFullSequence         $269           $199
HVR2 to mtFullSequence         $239           $199
mtFullSequence                 $289           $199

As with all promotions, orders need to be placed by the end of the sale and
payment must be made by end of this sale. Learn More

Best Regards,
Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA
"History Unearthed Daily"

© All Contents Copyright 2001-2012 Gene by Gene, Ltd.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

“Parkinson's Voice Initiative”

There is a research project at http://www.parkinsonsvoice.org that is trying to record voice calls from 10,000 people both with and without Parkinson's Disease, to refine an algorithm to detect Parkinson's via a simple voice test. Go to the page and view the video of Max Little at his TED presentation. Telephone numbers are given there for a number of countries. Record the number at the end of the call if you want to check for a response.

Was Susannah, wife of Mareen Duval, a Brassieur?

When Barack Obama was running for President, a Duval descendant posted a line for then Senator Obama from Mareen Duval and his wife Susannah. The poster opined that he believed Susannah was one of the daughters of Benois Brassieur, sometimes shown as Benjamin Brashear, of Maryland. I was interested in that since I have two lines of descent from Benois Brassieur.

I now have a DNA match with an individual at 23andme.  In comparing our pedigrees, we have one possible connection, Mareen Duval and Susannah. While not a definitive match, we could have other Maryland ancestry in common, I do think this does support the identification of Susannah as a daughter or other close relative of Benois Brassieur.

That link leads to Presidents Barack Obama and Harry S. Truman, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and to entertainers Ellen Degeneres and Robert Duval.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

FTDNA Super Summer Sale

Dear Family Tree DNA Project Administrator,

It seems that every time we run a super sale that a few people email us days later that they were traveling, sick or just hadn't looked at their emails in time, so for all of you who have wanted to entice a friend, neighbor or reluctant relative to get involved in Genetic Genealogy here's one more opportunity, but it will last for only 72 hours.
These are the only two options on sale, and they are geared specifically for newcomers. This sale will end on Saturday, August 25, at 11:59PM.
New Customers Only Current Price SALE PRICE
Family Finder + Y-DNA 12 $339 $249
Family Finder + mtDNA $339 $249
As with all promotions, orders need to be placed by the end of the sale and payment must be made by end of this sale. Learn More

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Astronomy Picture of the Day: DNA video

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a short video on DNA:

Full Identical by Descent match with a 3rd Cousin

Normally, one expects to find either Half Identical by Descent (HIBD) or Full Identical by Descent (FIBD) matches with your genetic relatives. Generally only close relatives through double 1st cousins are expected to have FIBD matches. I have a FIBD with one of my multiple 3rd cousins. The Family Inheritance chart from 23andMe is below:
The FIBD segment is on Chromosome 19. I do not have an FIBD match at that location with my multiple 1st cousin who has a similar relationship to the 3rd cousin.

I am interested in learning of any other FIBD matches with cousins beyond the 1st cousin level.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Invite for AncestryDNA came today

I received my invitation to the AncestryDNA test today, two and one half months after receiving notice that I was on the list for the invitation.  Hopefully I'll have results in another month.

This will be the sixth autosomal DNA test I have had. I have already tested with the Coriell Institute, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and DeCode Genetics. I was also tested by Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation but the autosomal results were never released.

I do not expect to have any new ethnicity results, but I do expect to have many more verifiable genealogical connections tied to the pedigree trees at Ancestry.com.

So far I have similar results from Family Finder at FTDNA and Relative Finder at 23andMe with 15 verified connections in each where I am sharing genomes with around 400 people in each database.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GeneTree Closing Notice

Dear GeneTree Customer,

You may have recently heard the exciting news that GeneTree has been acquired by AncestryDNA™ ( http://corporate.ancestry.com/press/press-releases/2012/05/ancestry.com-dna-launches/ ). As we redirect our efforts to the integration with AncestryDNA it will be necessary to discontinue the GeneTree.com website. However, as a valued GeneTree customer, you will be able to access GeneTree.com through the rest of this year, until January 1, 2013. Following this date, access to your account will no longer be available through the GeneTree site, so we recommend that you download your DNA results and pedigree data while the site is still available.

If you’d like to learn more about how to download and continue using your information and family tree outside of GeneTree, see click here To help answer some frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQs. We greatly appreciate you being a part of GeneTree and hope that you continue with your genetic genealogy and family history research.

Sincerely, The GeneTree Team

GeneTree Logo

http://genetree.com/ | genetreesupport@ancestry.com | +1.800.694.6805 | FAQ | Privacy

2480 South Main Street, Suite 200 Salt Lake City, UT 84115 USA

Monday, July 09, 2012

Family Tree DNA's Sizzling summer Promotion

info@familytreedna.com  noreply@familytreedna.com


Dear Project Administrator,

Last summer, we offered special pricing to attract new members to your projects. This was the most successful offering of its type in our company’s history. Our project administrators that got behind the recruitment efforts saw their projects grow, and, thus, our database also grew. With this in mind, we’d like to offer a summer special again this year.
Special Summer Prices
NEW KITS Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $239 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $219
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67) $797 $617
SuperDNA $518 $428
12 to 37 $109 $70
25 to 37 $59 $35
25 to 67 $159 $114
37 to 67 $109 $79
37 to 111 $220 $188
67 to 111 $129 $109
mtHVR1 to Mega $269 $209
mtHVR2 to Mega $239 $199
You are welcome to blog about this, or send an email to your distribution list, but when it’s over, it’s over.
Orders must be in and paid for by 11:59PM on Sunday July 15th, to receive this offer.
Order An Upgrade
Order A New Kit
Best Regards,
Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA
"History Unearthed Daily"

Sunday, July 01, 2012

More information on the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation )SMGF) databases and Ancestry.com

Dr Tim Janzen has been running a Low German Mennonite Project at SMGF since 2006.  I am one of the participants in the study. In that time he has sent about 2000 test samples and genealogies to SMGF for their DNA project.  He has received two communications from SMGF in the past month giving more info on what is happening to the SMGF databases and genetic samples.  CeCe Moore has just published Dr Janzen's writup on the situation on her Your Genetic Genealogist blog. You can read it here: An important update on SMGF from Dr Tim Janzen. I also wrote about SMGF in this post: Status of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, SMGF, genetic genealogy DNA Databases and GeneTree

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Multiple cousin relationships and shared DNA: Endogamy and Consanguinity

I have read a number of posts about endogamy and shared DNA in regard
to the Ashkenazi "Jewish correction" used by 23andme and how it keeps
Ashkenazi Jews from seeing their non-Jewish cousins. Because of the
many intermarriages among European Jews the genetic relationship
predicted is often greater than that expected from the documented
genealogical relationship. These predicted higher or closer relations
push out the genetically smaller but documented higher genealogy

Many of the Ashkenazi cannot determine the relationships being shown
since the predicted range is too close and their pedigrees are not
detailed enough to make the connection. Below I'll give a non-Jewish
endogamy example where the relationships can be determined.

Last night I received a predicted 2nd cousin at 23andme.  The per cent
of shared DNA is 3.02 in 13 segments for 226cM. He (call him A) is
actually one of my multiple cousins. We (I am B) are 3rd cousins, 3rd
cousins once removed, half 3rd cousins once removed, 4th cousins, 5th
cousins, and triple 6th cousins.

Compared to my multiple 1st cousin (C) they share 10 segments for 151cM.

Compared to my and my 1st cousin's maternal double 3rd cousin once
removed (D) they share 1 segment of 0.9cM.

A is related to B and C on both maternal and paternal lines and to D
through his paternal grandmother.
B is related to A and C on both maternal and paternal lines and to D
on 2 maternal lines.
C is related to A and B on both maternal and paternal lines and to D
on 2 maternal lines.
D is related to A on one maternal line and to B and C on 2 maternal lines.

In all of these cases the predicted relationship, based on DNA shared,
was one generation closer than the documented relationship mainly due
to the high degree of endogamy and the resulting consanguinity.

Now I am waiting for A's wife's results, she is my 3rd cousin once
removed and, yes, we share multiple lines of ancestry. ;^)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Genetic Genealogy course from the National Genealogical Society


What’s Happening at the 

National Genealogical Society, 13 June 2012:

New NGS Course: Genetic Genealogy, The Basics
NGS proudly announces the release of its newest American Genealogy Studies course, Genetic Genealogy: The Basics. The course was developed by Dr. Thomas H. Shawker who is a physician with the National Institutes of Health, a nationally recognized lecturer on genetics, and chairman of the NGS Genetic Genealogy Committee.

Dr. Shawker shares his medical expertise in this six-lesson self-paced course. Topics covered in the course include
·    the structure of the DNA molecule, how it is organized, how it replicates, and how it functions;
·         human chromosomes and how the Y chromosome is inherited;
·         the two types of DNA markers used in genetic genealogy;
·         haplotypes and haplogroups;
·    evaluation of a Y chromosome surname project and a discussion on how to evaluate the test results of the participants; and
·    the structure of the mitochondrial DNA molecule, how it is inherited, and how it can be used in genealogy. 

Genetic Genealogy, The Basics is designed for independent study. Students check their work with an answer key that immediately follows each self-test. The course is available on a PC- or MAC-compatible CD in a PDF format. The tuition is $45.00 for members and $70.00 for non-members.

Please visit the course web page at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/genetic_genealogy for more information and to register for the course.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two discount codes for the FTDNA Family Finder test

The codes below will get a Family Finder autosomal DNA test at Family Tree DNA for $179 each.  That is a $110 discount from the regular price.  The Family Finder test can help you identify genetic cousins within the past five generations and beyond.

The codes must be used today, 10 June 2012 at http://www.familytreedna.com/landing/family-finder.aspx

Your coupon code is FF5CAD9E2684, we appreciate your past participation and invite you to share it with a friend or family member. 

Your coupon code is FF5C4470B2298, we appreciate your past participation and invite you to share it with a friend or family member. 

  Special Note: Coupon code has a firm expiration date of June 10th 2012 and is good for one use only. Offer only valid for credit card payments. Enter the coupon code during the checkout process to purchase at the promotional price.

FTDNA does not test known medical DNA locations.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Have you tested Family Finder at Family Tree DNA? Check your email!

FTDNA has provided a discount certificate to everyone who has already had the Family Finder test at FTDNA. Check your FTDNA email now to see if you have a certificate. You MUST USE it by the 10th of June to get the Family Finder test at a discount of $110 from the regular $289 price. You should have as many certificates as tests you have paid for.

Remember that this is an autosomal DNA test and can be used by both males and females to find your relatives from the past 5 generations.

This is a great opportunity to test more family members.

New Ancestry features at 23andme

Today, at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, 23andMe announced some new features for their Ancestry component. Here is a link to their blog post:

CeCe Moore has also covered this in a post to her blog:

A new My Ancestry Page; Ancestry Painting v.2 with 20 populations to compare against; Relative Finder Geographic Map View; and Family Tree with GEDCOM upload are among the changes.

It looks like some exciting improvements are coming this year.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Identified matches at FTDNA, Family Finder, and at 23andme, Relative Finder

I have 330 matches in Family Finder at FTDNA and have identified 13 relationships.

I have 1440 matches at 23andMe and am Sharing Genomes with 402. I have identified 15 relationships with those 402.

The success ratio at both services is comparable at about 4%.

I also have matches at GEDMATCH, but I have not been successful in identifying the relationship with any one there who is not already identified in Family Finder or Relative Finder.

If you are in the 23andMe database, a new feature of Ancestry Finder allows you to compare all of your matches and their matches to see if there are clusters at common locations. See this post for details on a method to download all your AF matches and their matches and use a spreadsheet for triangulation of the results:

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Status of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, SMGF,genetic genealogy DNA Databases and GeneTree

Like many other people I participated in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Y DNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA testing program.  Recently some of the principal people involved in that program moved to Ancestry.com and their DNA Ancestry program.  I wrote to the SMGF to ask about the status of their databases. With their permission, their reply is printed below :

Hello Steven,

Yes, the databases have been transferred to Ancestry.com. GeneTree will not be continuing; they have stopped taking orders and in the near future www.genetree.com will be taken down. There are not plans to automatically 'convert' GeneTree accounts into Ancestry.com accounts, so GeneTree customers will need to move their information over to Ancestry on an individual basis.

As far as the autosomal database is concerned, our autosomal tests were generated with older technology, making them incompatible with current industry standards. Therefore, they are not included in the autosomal service offered by AncestryDNA. We also don't plan on making them available via smgf.org.
Best regards,


As of today, 1 June 2012, the Y DNA and mtDNA databases are still available at the SMGF site: http://smgf.org/ If you have tested I suggest you go and download your results and your matches. It is my understanding that people will be able to remove their results from the Ancestry.com databases if they so desire.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Change in price at 23andme. End of $99.00 option today, 10 May, at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

As of 2 days ago 23andme announced a return to one tier pricing for the complete edition DNA test. It will now cost $299.00 and there will be no option for the $99.00 up-front cost with a 12 month obligation at $9.00 per month unless you order by 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time today, 10 May 2010:

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ancestry launches Beta of DNA Ancestry

Today I received an email from Ancestry announcing the opening of the Beta phase of their autosomal DNA testing program.  The URL is http://dna.ancestry.com/ If you already subscribe to Ancestry.com you should receive the same email allowing your to signup for an invitation.  The cost is $99.00.  At the moment you do not get your raw data file. This may change when the service moves out of Beta. This appears to be in combination with their acquisition of GeneTree and their collaboration with the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

The Press Release is here .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DNA day Upgrade sale at FTDNA: One day only!

From FTDNA for Current Group members (Join a surname group to get the discount price):

Well if you haven’t heard it’s again DNA day tomorrow and Family Tree DNA felt that was good enough for us to have a short two day sale. 

Nearly the entire offering will be on sale these two days, including upgrades that were not on last year's sale.  The sale will begin at 6PM Thursday April 19th and will conclude at 11:59PM on Saturday April 21st.
There will be no need for a coupon - all prices will be automatically adjusted on the website.
We hope that this will give a big boost to your projects!
New Kits
  Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
mtDNA $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $238 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $249
Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA $179 $118
FF + Y-DNA 12 $339 $258
FF + mtDNA $339 $258
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67) $797 $657
Y-DNA 12 $89 $59
mtDNA add-on $89 $59
Y-DNA 12-37 Marker $99 $69
Y-DNA 37-67 Marker $99 $79
Y-DNA 12-67 Marker $199 $148
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence add-on $289 $219
Family Finder add-on $289 $199
Login to place your order.
You are welcome to blog about this, report this to your group members, or send an email to your distribution list, but when it’s over, it’s over.

As always, we appreciate your continued support.
Best regards,

Bennett Greenspan
© All Contents Copyright 2001-2012 Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

New 5th cousin once removed found through FTDNA's Family Finder

Today I looked at my matches on FTDNA's Family Finder autosomal database using the All Matches link to see that I had 293 matches.  This was 5 more since last week.  Using the Matches In Common I scrolled through the people linked to my confirmed cousins and saw a new one with an ancestor chart.  I clicked on the chart link and opened it to 9 generations from the default 4 generations.  I saw a name that vaguely rang a bell, Hiram Farris Walker of Lafayette County, Missouri.

I opened my Legacy Family Tree database and found Hiram as a son of Samuel Wilcoxon Walker, a brother of my ancestor Jesse Walker, and a son of Renelder Walker and Mary Wilcoxon. I confirmed the name of Hiram's wife and then checked Census records to confirm the pedigree.  After that I contacted the submitter and we have confirmed the relationship.  This information adds a relationship to the Boone family to the submitter's line.

We have 6 links in the following chromosomes with the assumption being the large link on chromosome 12 comes either from Renelder Walker, or from his wife, Mary Wilcoxon:

1 25060651 27093108 2.08 500
1 70824243 73827828 1.17 600
3 123242334 125016973 2.15 500
5 129643803 132242229 2.39 500
12 82230023 85588625 2.09 500
12 107280282 124270507 27.31 4550

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finding Your Roots begins tonight

Dr. Henry Louis Gates' newest genealogy program, Finding Your Roots, begins tonight on PBS in the United States.  It is broadcast from 8 until 10 P.M. on the East Coast. Check your PBS guide for local stations and times.  This series will make more extensive use of genetics with Y chromosome, autosomal and mitochondrial DNA testing for all of the participants. See the link above for more details.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

US Veterans Administration seeks 1 million DNA samples

From The Baltimore Sun:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for a few good men and women to volunteer for a battle it's waging at home — against disease.

Actually, more than a few are needed. Officials overseeing health care for the nation's veterans are undertaking what may be the largest effort of its kind in the nation, to collect medical records and blood samples from a million former service members for a bank of genetic information.

Vets who would like to volunteer, can go to http://www.research.va.gov/mvp/ for more information or call 866-441-6075.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FTDNA now accepting transfer of 23andme v3 Relative Finder results

The following notice appears on the Products page at http://www.ftdna.com/products.aspx :

This option is available for men or women who have Relative Finder results from a third party company that used the Illumina OmniExpress Plus Genotyping BeadChip (this includes tests performed by 23andMe). You may use this option to upload your results to the Family Tree DNA database. This product will provide you with a Family Tree DNA personal page and various features.
ATTENTION: If you are already a Family Tree DNA customer, please log into your personal account to transfer your third party results and avoid creating a duplicate record.
Results file with less than 700,000 SNPs (i.e. 23andMe's V2):
  • Is NOT compatible with our Family Finder product. In order to verify the compatibility, you will have to upload your file into our system. Please read our refund policy here, before you proceed and find your record incompatible.
  • Includes a one-time use coupon code to purchase our Family Finder product for an additional $109 plus shipping.
Results file with more than 900,000 SNPs (i.e. 23andMe's V3):
  • Is compatible with our Family Finder product.
  • Includes matches related within about the last 5 generations and predicted relationship ranges.*
  • Provides percentages of your ancestral make-up (Native-American, Middle Eastern (including Jewish), African, West and East European).
  • Recommended for genealogists.
  • Great for confirming close relationships regardless of gender.
  • Please note, uploaded files are batch processed once a week. You will be notified by e-mail when your file has been processed.
*You will be matched with others who have also taken the Family Finder test. However, if you come from an under-represented population, it is possible that you will not find matches right away. Your matches largely depend on how your DNA compares to our database. As our database is constantly growing, we will send you e-mail notifications about any new matches.
IMPORTANT: Your results from Family Tree DNA compared to another company's results will be similar, however, they WILL NOT be exact. Due to Family Tree DNA's proprietary algorithm your matches, centimorgan totals, and centimorgan length will vary.

23andMe© is a copyrighted trademark of 23andMe, Inc©. Family Tree DNA is not affiliated with 23andMe© in any way.

Mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosome Variation Provides Evidence for a Recent Common Ancestry between Native Americans and Indigenous Altaians.

Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosome Variation Provides Evidence for a Recent Common Ancestry between Native Americans and Indigenous Altaians.


Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398, USA.


The Altai region of southern Siberia has played a critical role in the peopling of northern Asia as an entry point into Siberia and a possible homeland for ancestral Native Americans. It has an old and rich history because humans have inhabited this area since the Paleolithic. Today, the Altai region is home to numerous Turkic-speaking ethnic groups, which have been divided into northern and southern clusters based on linguistic, cultural, and anthropological traits. To untangle Altaian genetic histories, we analyzed mtDNA and Y chromosome variation in northern and southern Altaian populations. All mtDNAs were assayed by PCR-RFLP analysis and control region sequencing, and the nonrecombining portion of the Y chromosome was scored for more than 100 biallelic markers and 17 Y-STRs. Based on these data, we noted differences in the origin and population history of Altaian ethnic groups, with northern Altaians appearing more like Yeniseian, Ugric, and Samoyedic speakers to the north, and southern Altaians having greater affinities to other Turkic speaking populations of southern Siberia and Central Asia. Moreover, high-resolution analysis of Y chromosome haplogroup Q has allowed us to reshape the phylogeny of this branch, making connections between populations of the New World and Old World more apparent and demonstrating that southern Altaians and Native Americans share a recent common ancestor. These results greatly enhance our understanding of the peopling of Siberia and the Americas.*

*Emphasis added by SCP.

Copyright © 2012 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

FTDNA Extend Holiday Sale through 7 Jan 2012

Products and Promotions

Holiday Promotion extended to January 7, 2012

Due to popular demand Family Tree DNA extended its Holiday Promotion, which encompasses the widest rage of tests, from new kits to upgrades. Here are the details of the promotion:

New Kits Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 37 $149 $119
Y-DNA 67 $239 $199
mtFullSequence $299 $239
SuperDNA (Y-DNA67 and FMS) $518 $438
Family Finder $289 $199
Family Finder + mtPlus $438 $318
Family Finder + FMS $559 $439
Family Finder+ Y-DNA37 $438 $318
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67) $797 $627
12-25 Marker $49 $35
12-37 Marker $99 $69
12-67 Marker $189 $148
25-37 Marker $49 $35
25-67 Marker $148 $114
37-67 Marker $99 $79
Family Finder $289 $199
mtHVR1toMega $269 $229
mtHVR2toMega $239 $209
Orders must be placed and paid for by January 7, 2012 to receive this offer.
IMPORTANT: This promotion will not be extended beyond January 7, 2012.
Order An Upgrade
Order A New Kit