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Updates to 23andMe’s DNA Relatives Temporarily on Hold


Discover yourself at 23andMe
For the next week or so, 23andMe is pausing updates to the DNA Relatives feature.  This feature provides a list of genetic matches and estimates the range of relationship.

According to this week’s 23andMe update entitled “Release Notes: 7 June 2013,” (you must log in to view), “The computation time for DNA Relatives and Ancestry Composition has been growing.”

Going into greater detail at “DNA Relatives computations temporarily on hold,” 23andMe explains that due to the increased computational time, and in an effort to reduce the time it takes to generate DNA Relatives matches, updates are paused.  Accordingly, “[t]his means that you won’t be receiving new matches to your existing DNA Relatives list, and if you haven’t received your matches yet there may be some additional waiting time.”

It sounds as though … Click to read more!

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Family Tree DNA Announces Family Finder Transfer Sale – $49

For a limited time, Family Tree DNA is offering Family Finder Transfers for $49, reduced from the normal cost of $99.

The Family Finder Transfer program gives those who have taken an autosomal DNA test with Ancestry.com or 23andMe the ability to import their autosomal DNA results to Family Tree DNA.

According to the website, purchasers of the Family Finder Transfer program receive:

  • myFTDNA 2.0 account (personal page), if a new customer;
  • Autosomal DNA results uploaded to and stored on Family Tree DNA’s servers;
  • Matching to all autosomal Family Finder results in our matching database;
  • Ethnic origins results from our Population Finder program; and
  • All standard tools and pages associated with the autosomal Family Finder test and the Population Finder program.

The uploaded files are batched once a week then run through the conversion program, and results typically take between 6-10 weeks based on volume.  Customers are notified by e-mail when their results are available.

Why Transfer Your Results to FTDNA?

If you’ve already tested at Ancestry.com or 23andMe, you might wonder if there are any benefits to … Click to read more!

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The Legal Genealogist Discusses Ancestry.com’s New Autosomal Testing

Over at The Legal Genealogist (one of my favorite new blogs!), blogger Judy Russell, J.D., CG discusses Ancestry.com’s new autosomal DNA testing service in “Science and the “10th” cousin.”

As I noted in a recent blog post (see “WDYTYA Reveals More Information About Ancestry.com’s New Autosomal DNA Testing“), autosomal DNA testing was featured in the recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are with actor Blair Underwood.  After revealing Mr. Underwood’s biogeographical estimates (74% African American and 26% European), they revealed a genetic cousin found in the Ancestry.com’s database:

The service identified a distant cousin (somewhere around the 10th cousin range) who lived in Cameroon (an Eric Sonjowoh). Mr. Sonjowoh was already in the Ancestry.com database, which is why they were able to compare him to Mr. Underwood. According to Eric, someone approached him in 2005 and asked him for his DNA because African Americans were trying to trace their family back to Cameroon. I’m not sure what database the DNA was in, but it shows that Ancestry.com has pre-populated its database with at least some samples from other public and/or proprietary data sources.

Ms. Russell expresses concerns over the identification of the relationship between Mr. Underwood and Mr. Sonjowoh as “1oth Cousins:”

I have a bit of an issue with telling person A (Blair Underwood) that person B (Eric Sonjowoh) is a 10th cousin when there isn’t a prayer of a paper trail to support that statement — and the science isn’t good enough to say it either.

She notes – very correctly – that autosomal testing alone cannot identify a relationship as being 10th cousins rather than anything ranging from 5th, … Click to read more!

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WDYTYA Reveals More Information About Ancestry.com’s New Autosomal DNA Testing

[Update (2/24/12): Some genealogy forums are reporting that callers to Ancestry.com are being told that the autosomal DNA test will publicly launch in approximately 1 month (late March or early April).]

Tonight’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured African-American actor Blair Underwood. For those not familiar with Who Do You Think You Are, the 1-hour program examines the genealogy of a celebrity, typically focusing on one or two of their most interesting families.

DNA Testing

This episode was of particular interest to me because it featured Ancestry.com’s new autosomal DNA testing service, which I’ve written about before (see “Ancestry.com’s Autosomal DNA Product – An Update”). While there wasn’t too much new information about the DNA product in this episode, it was an interesting sneak peek at the

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