Monday, August 27, 2012

“Parkinson's Voice Initiative”

There is a research project at 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

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.