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Family Tree DNA – Sales and 1,000,000 DNA Tests

Yesterday, Family Tree DNA , the genetic genealogy arm of Gene by Gene, announced that it has processed over 1,000,000 DNA test kits for genealogy and anthropology purposes. Congratulations!

There are several sales available at Family Tree DNA that you might want to take advantage of, including the following:

Family Finder

Family Finder is an autosomal DNA test that compares your DNA to the DNA of other users in the ever-growing Family Tree DNA database. You can also use your Family Finder raw data at an incredible array of third-party tools, including GEDmatch and DNAGedcom, among others.

Although the test is normally $99, each Family Finder test is now $79 until June 17, 2015. The more family members you’ve tested and can compare your DNA to, the more information … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy at SLIG 2015!

Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, noted on her blog today that registration for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (“SLIG”) opens this Saturday, June 14th, at 9:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time (11 a.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Central, and 8 a.m. Pacific).

Regular readers of The Genetic Genealogist may not be familiar with SLIG, which is an institute run by the Utah Genealogical Association. SLIG is one of a very limited number of week-long institutes that offer educational content for genealogists. SLIG 2015 will be held at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 12-16, 2015. Tuition for the institute is $375 for UGA members and $425 for everyone else.

This year there are 12 tracks at SLIG, including two at which I will be an instructor:

  • Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy – “This course provides genealogists with the knowledge needed to correctly incorporate DNA results into their family history. Beginners will receive foundational knowledge in the basics needed to understand the application of genetics for genealogical research purposes. Those with prior knowledge of DNA will be able fill in holes in understanding and be introduced to tools and techniques with practical, hands-on exercises.”

Course Coordinator: Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, … Click to read more!

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A Conversation About Genetic Genealogy

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Leclerc at Mocavo about DNA, our genealogical beginnings, and so much more. Michael recorded our conversation, and it’s now available as this week’s Mocavo Fireside Chat!

If you’re curious about Y-DNA, mtDNA, or autosomal DNA, or have questions about DNA in general, I think you’ll enjoy this Fireside Chat. And be sure to check out the previous chats, it’s a lineup full of great guests!

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  … Click to read more!

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DNAGedcom Announces New Tools For Genetic Analysis

DNAGedcomThe DNAGedcom team (lead by Rob Warthen, Diane Harman-Hoog and Karin Corbeil) would like to announce the following new items to the DNAGedcom system.

Product: Jworks – Autosomal Grouping Tool
Developer: Juan “Jay” Pizarro
Release Date: May 12, 2014

Download or Locationhttp://dnagedcom.com/Auto/JWorks.aspx

What It Does: This Excel based tool sorts and groups your chromosome browser results from FTDNA into overlapping DNA sets and assigns the ICW status within the set. By following the paper “Combining Results from All Tests” , the tool can also be used to organize the output from all three testing services. You must have Excel to use this. A Mac Version is also available.

Directions: Full directions are found on a link with in the product interface on dnagedcom.com

Further Information: This tool will save you many hours of work in your search for common ancestors. It is applicable to both genealogy and adoption searches.

It is part of the assumption that to … Click to read more!

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Announcing the Creation of Genetic Genealogy Standards

Genetic Genealogy Standards

Over the past few months, a group of genealogists and scientists has been working to draft a set of Genetic Genealogy Standards that can be used to guide genealogists and test-takers as they enter and explore the world of genetic genealogy. Importantly this document is not meant to be a manual, but instead is meant to function similarly to standards like the Genealogy Standards. From the preamble of the Standards:

This document is intended to provide ethical and usage standards for the genealogical community to follow when purchasing, recommending, sharing, or writing about the results of DNA testing for ancestry.

It is the responsibility of the test-taker to understand and consider these standards before ordering  a test, and when reviewing or sharing their results. However, all genealogists who utilize or recommend DNA testing should: (1) review and understand these standards; (2) strive to meet and exceed these minimum standards; and (3) assist clients with understanding these standards.

For absolute clarity, I note that the Standards Committee is not affiliated with any other group, organization, or committee, including being completely independent and separate from ISOGG.

Public Comment Period

For the next 4 weeks, the committee asks that members of the community visit this … Click to read more!

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What’s New With 23andMe?

Although they have not released any new big tools recently, 23andMe is constantly providing new ways for consumers to interact with the company and learn about genetics.

For example, over at Pinterest, 23andMe now has “What We’re Reading,” which is a great way to stay on top of the latest in the field of personal genomics. A number of my fellow genealogists have taken to using Pinterest both as a way to promote their business and as a way to share information or interests. Social media guru Thomas MacEntee has an article at Family Tree Magazine entitled “Using Pinterest for Genealogy Research,” and his own Presentations board, for example. Although I have a Pinterest presence, I haven’t yet used it for genealogy.

Another fun module offered by 23andMe is the DNA Facts Generator. For example, did you know that “12% of 23andMe customers say their … Click to read more!

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“Bumping” Your Genetic Relatives

The Future of Genetic GenealogyToday at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, Dick Eastman writes in “Avoid Dating Your Cousin – There’s an App for That” about a smartphone app that allows users to “bump” their smartphones – gently bump them together – in order to determine if and how they are related.  The Islendiga-App has been around for some time, as other articles discussing the app appear as early as April 2013.
Not surprisingly, it was created in Iceland where genealogies are incredibly detailed and comprehensive. From Dick’s post:

To determine if a potential date is a possible cousin, Icelanders often check the Íslendingabók database. Now a smartphone app will do that for you quickly and easily. Three students from the University of Iceland created a smartphone app, The Islendiga-App, that allows you to bump your phone against another person’s phone, similar to how bump-to-push contact exchange features work, and immediately see your genealogical (if any) relation to the person in question. There is even an alarm feature that lets you know if you share a grandparent.

In 2012, in response to a call for papers for RootsTech 2013, I submitted the following proposal, which turns out to be very similar to the  Islendiga-App.  Unfortunately I never had time (or money!) to develop the app. The proposal wasn’t selected, probably because it was a little unusual, but I … Click to read more!

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Genetic Genealogy in 2050 (or Maybe 2015?)

GeneticGenealogyFutureStamp1Summary: DNA from genetic cousins will be used to recreate the genomes of unknown ancestors who reside completely behind brick walls. While traditional research will often be able to provide a potential identity for the recreated genome, sometimes the individual will be known only by his or her DNA.

Into the Future!

Long-time readers of The Genetic Genealogist know that in addition to writing about the latest developments in genetic ancestry testing, I occasionally write about the future of genetic genealogy based on current trends and developments.  This is something I’ve been doing since at least 2007, with posts like “The Future of Genetic Genealogy” and “A Single Colon Cancer Gene Traced to 1630 – The Future of Genetic Genealogy?

In a recent post entitled “The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy,” I made some of my boldest predictions, including that – armed with massive databases – testing companies will be able recreate ancestors’ genomes … Click to read more!

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The AncestryDNA Witch Hunt

A word of advice: beware anyone who tells you to avoid AncestryDNA.AncestryDNA1

Many genetic genealogists, myself included, have had incredible success using AncestryDNA’s autosomal DNA test.  Personally, several of my own major DNA discoveries have occurred though the service.  Unfortunately, it has become popular among some genetic genealogists to deride AncestryDNA’s autosomal DNA test, and some recommend avoiding the service altogether.

While AncestryDNA certainly does have limitations, avoiding the service is missing out on a major opportunity and one of the largest autosomal DNA databases in the world.  This is especially true for adoptees; anyone that tells an adoptee not to test with AncestryDNA (or not to test with any one of the three major testing companies) should not be … Click to read more!