MyHeritage DNA Testing Kits – Just $79 – Watch the New Lab Video! Check out the Frequently Asked Questions

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MyHeritage DNA has produced a fascinating video that shows what happens to that cheek swab DNA sample that we send them for testing. For those of us who have an active amateur interest in DNA research, this short 1 minute, 47 second video adds depth and additional understanding to what we read. Many thanks to the MyHeritage DNA team for putting this together! Click on the following link to check it out. Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/189511362/3715da3689

MyHeritage has posted a terrific blog that takes on the many frequently asked questions that readers may have about MyHeritage DNA. Check it out at: http://blog.myheritage.com/2016/11/myheritage-dna-your-questions-answered/

Purchase a MyHeritage DNA test for just $79!

As again proven by the video mentioned above, MyHeritage – one of my favorite companies – has gone into the DNA testing and DNA Family Connections business big-time! The move represents a major turning point for the DNA industry, as MyHeritage DNA has debuted an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and offers some of the best ethnicity reports in the world. Not only that, but coupled with their 85 million users worldwide, 2.1 billion family tree profiles, 7 billion historical records and availability in 42 languages, MyHeritage’s new DNA service will allow genealogists more connections with others than they ever imagined possible.

The MyHeritage DNA kit consists of a simple cheek swab, taking only a minute to complete, with no need for blood or saliva. In other words, no spitting for two minutes! The swab is mailed to MyHeritage DNA’s lab for analysis. The genealogist is then invited to view the results at the MyHeritage website (where many of us spend a lot of time, anyway!). Initially, MyHeritage DNA has two main features. they are:

  • A detailed ethnicity report that maps the user’s ethnic and geographic origins.
  • DNA Matches for finding relatives

They say that “additional features and capabilities are planned for the future.” I’ll bet… Exciting things are in the works.

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What makes MyHeritage DNA unique in another way, is the Founder Population project. “More than 5000 participants have been handpicked for this project by MyHeritage from its 85 million members, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations. In the next few months, the project will be completed, resulting in a rich DNA data set of more than 100 ethnicities that will enable MyHeritage to show users their ancestral roots with far greater resolution than other services.” They have been mailing these kits everywhere – “from Uzbekistan to Fiji, from Greenland to South Africa, and every corner of the globe.” Standard ethnicity reports are currently available. However, the new “expert reports” will be released at no additional cost to users once the Founder Population project is completed.

I know what my DNA ethnic ancestry is, but what really excites me is that, when the DNA test facilitates a match between two people who have the same ancestor or ancestors, family trees and historical records are often essential for piecing together the exact relationship path between them. Remember that MyHeritage has 2.1 billion worldwide family tree profiles in their linked databases (of which over 4000 are mine!). Once my results are in, I can view family trees of the majority of my DNA Matches, pinpointing the connection path, automatically identify which surnames and geographical locations they have in common, and find cousins within those 2 billion profiles. Adoptees (like my niece) searching for their biological family without access to their adoption records, will have a great chance of finding family.

MyHeritage DNA is integrated with the other services provided by MyHeritage on all web and mobile platforms. They also have a dedicated standalone mobile app named MyHeritage DNA. I just downloaded this onto my android phone – what a great service!

The MyHeritage DNA kits are available at an introductory price of $79 + shipping (Prices vary by location. Remember, this is international. In the USA, it’s $10). To order, visit the MyHeritage DNA website by clicking on this link, or on the images. MyHeritage has already amassed a significant number of DNA kits uploaded by its users from other DNA services, providing valuable matches on the MyHeritage website from day one. Note that with the launch of MyHeritage DNA, the company will cease to offer DNA kits of other vendors, which they’ve been doing for some time.

Users who have already tested their DNA on other services (and I know that many of my readers have) are welcome for a limited time to upload their DNA data to MyHeritage at no cost to benefit from free DNA Matches. The more DNA, the merrier, thus the opportunity for FREE uploads.

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Genetic Genealogy in Practice – a New Workbook, by Blaine Bettinger & Debbie Wayne – 15% off thru Thursday, Nov 17.

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This last September, The National Genealogical Society (NGS) published Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the first workbook on genetic genealogy. Written by Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CGSM, CGLSM, the book provides family historians and genealogists who have just begun to explore genetic genealogy practical, easy to understand information that they can apply to their research. As Wayne notes in her blog, Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy, “DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time.”

At their own pace, readers learn the basic concepts of genetic genealogy. They then build on that knowledge as they study the testing, analysis, and application of Y-DNA, X-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA (atDNA) to reach and support genealogical conclusions. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.

Family Roots Publishing wasn’t allowed to market the book until now, as the National Genealogical Society had made a decision to market the initial copies themselves. Their sales goal has been met, and FRPC bought a large stock of books for immediate shipment. The books arrived in Orting on election day, Nov. 8, 2016.

To celebrate the arrival of new volume, we’re discounting the price 15% (Reg. $36, on sale for just $30.60) thru midnight, 12 PM EST November 17, 2016. We’re also making it available during the sale period in a bundle with Blaine Bettinger’s other new volume, The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, at 25% off of the bundle (Reg 65.99 – on sale for just $49.49).

Click here to purchase Genetic Genealogy in Practice

Click here to purchase the bundle of Genetic Genealogy in Practice & The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

The following is from the Table of Contents:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Basic Genetics
  • Chapter 2 – Genetic Genealogy, Standards, and Ethics
  • Chapter 3 – Genealogical Applications for Y-DNA
  • Chapter 4 – Genealogical Applications for mtDNA
  • Chapter 5 – Genealogical Applications for atDNA
  • Chapter 6 – Genealogical Applications for X-DNA
  • Chapter 7 – Incorporating DNA Testing in a Family Study
  • Chapter 8 – Incorporating DNA Evidence in a Written Conclusion
  • Appendix A: Charts for Exercises
  • Appendix B: Glossary
  • Appendix C: Reading and Source List
  • Appendix D: Chapter Exercise Answers

Blaine Bettinger is an intellectual property attorney in Syracuse, New York. The author of The Genetic Genealogist blog, he is a genealogy educator, a trustee of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and organizer of the Shared cM Project, a crowdsourced project examining the associations between genetic data and genealogical relationships.

Debbie Parker Wayne is a professional genealogist who has conducted research for individuals as well as for the PBS series “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and other television shows. She is an award-winning author, the coordinator for genetic genealogy institute courses, and the DNA Project Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Genetic Genealogy in Practice; by Blaine T. Bettinger & Debbie Parker Wayne; Sept 2016; 8.5×11; 204 pp; ISBN: 978-1-935815-22-8; Item #: NGS25

MyHeritage Launches Global DNA Testing Service

I got a note from my friend, Daniel Horowitz, at MyHeritage.com, saying that he had big news. And this really is big news! Finally – there’s another major player on the DNA testing scene. That’s a very good thing. Competition drives prices down, and makes the quality of products better – simple economics. And I love it! Following is the News Release:

Unique Founder Population project conducted by the company expected to empower the highest resolution ethnicity analysis available on the market

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TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 7, 2016 MyHeritage, the leading international destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the launch of MyHeritage DNA, its global integrated genetic testing service. The move represents a major turning point for the DNA industry, as MyHeritage DNA debuts an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.

With 85 million users worldwide, 2.1 billion family tree profiles, 7 billion historical records and availability in 42 languages, MyHeritage’s new DNA service further strengthens its position as a global leader in family history.

DNA is the hereditary material in the cells of the human body and it carries within it a unique genetic record. The MyHeritage DNA kit enables users to test their DNA to reveal valuable information about their family history and ethnic origins. The kit consists of a simple cheek swab and takes only a minute to complete, with no need for blood or saliva. The sample is then mailed to MyHeritage DNA’s lab for analysis and the user is invited to view the results on the MyHeritage website. In its initial version, MyHeritage DNA provides two main features: detailed ethnicity reports that map the user’s ethnic and geographic origins, and DNA Matches for finding relatives. Additional features and capabilities are planned for the future.

MyHeritage DNA results include fascinating ethnicity reports, showing the percentage of the user’s DNA that come from different populations around the world. The initial reports currently include 25 ethnicities, but this will improve dramatically thanks to MyHeritage’s unique Founder Population project unveiled today — the largest of its kind ever conducted. More than 5000 participants have been handpicked for this project by MyHeritage from its 85 million members, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations. In the next few months, the project will be completed, resulting in a rich DNA data set of more than 100 ethnicities that will enable MyHeritage to show users their ancestral roots with far greater resolution than other services. To this end, the company has been sending its DNA kits to project participants far and wide, from Uzbekistan to Fiji, from Greenland to South Africa, and every corner of the globe. Standard ethnicity reports are currently available, with the expert reports to be released at no additional cost to users following the completion of the Founder Population project.

DNA test results complement MyHeritage’s core offerings, including family trees and historical records — the tools traditionally used by family history enthusiasts. DNA can be used to prove or disprove a documented family tree connection, or answer the question of whether two people sharing the same rare surname are actually related. DNA is also indispensable for overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles in traditional research, as in the case of adoptees searching for their biological family without access to their adoption records. On the other hand, when DNA locates a match between two people who have the same ancestor or ancestors, family trees and historical records are often essential for piecing together the exact relationship path between them.

Thanks to its expertise in family trees and its vibrant community, MyHeritage provides its DNA customers with features not offered by most competing services including 23andMe, such as viewing family trees of the majority of their DNA Matches to pinpoint the connection path, and automatically identifying which surnames and geographical locations they have in common. DNA can be a fascinating introduction to the world of family history, and customers who embark on this journey by taking a DNA test can easily use MyHeritage’s tools to further explore what made them what they are.

“DNA testing is the future of family history,” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “We see DNA as a natural evolution of our business and look forward to harnessing it to reunite families, engage in new pro bono projects, and enrich the lives of millions of users.”

MyHeritage DNA kits are available at the affordable introductory price of $79 + shipping (prices vary by location). To order, visit the MyHeritage DNA website. MyHeritage has already amassed a significant number of DNA kits uploaded by its users from other DNA services, providing valuable matches on MyHeritage from day one. With the launch of MyHeritage DNA, the company will cease to offer DNA kits of other vendors. Users who have already tested their DNA on other services are welcome for a limited time to upload their DNA data to MyHeritage at no cost to benefit from free DNA Matches.

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About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading global destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. An extension of the core MyHeritage brand, MyHeritage DNA offers technologically-advanced, affordable DNA tests that reveal users’ ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage and MyHeritage DNA are available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

The FT Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy – by Blaine T. Bettinger – 28% off thru October 31

I understand that the publisher is currently out of stock of Blaine Bettinger’s new DNA volume. However, we still have copies – and are continuing our 28% off MSRP sale through the end of the month (October 31, 2016), or until we run out of stock – whichever comes first. See my review below.

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Finally! We now have a terrific new book to help us with genetic genealogy. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, by Blaine T. Bettinger is what we needed. There have been several books printed, but it seems to me most have have been either way too scientific, or far too limited in scope for the average genealogist. Blaine T. Bettinger has written a colorful 239 page volume for the genealogical community that I recommend to everyone! It’s brand new, with information that is sure to help anyone interested in using DNA to find ancestors.

FRPC purchased a full pallet of these books, which we can ship immediately. And we’ve reduced the price for this promotion by 28% off MSRP through October 31. Regularly $29.99, it’s just $21.59 (plus $5.50 p&h). Order NOW to take advantage of not only the latest information, but a great price!.

The Following is from the Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Part One: Getting Started
  • Chapter 1: Genetic Genealogy Basics
  • Kick-start your genetic research. This chapter features a brief history of DNA testing and breaks down DNA and the four popular genetic tests, plus how to identify your genetic family tree.

  • Chapter 2: Common Misconceptions
  • Debunk your DNA myths. This chapter addresses eleven common misunderstandings about DNA to set you straight as you begin your genetic research.

  • Chapter 3: Ethics and Genetic Genealogy
  • Conduct conscientious and responsible studies. This chapter explores some of the ethical issues involved in DNA testing for family research and how to account for them.

  • Part Two: Selecting a Test
  • Chapter 4: Mitochondrial-DNA (mtDNA) Testing
  • Discover Your female maternal ancestors and answer research questions about them with this guide to the oldest DNA test.

  • Chapter 5: Y-Chromosomal (Y-DNA) Testing
  • Find your paternal male ancestors. This chapter discusses how to use Y-DNA to track your male-line descendants and solve genealogical problems.

  • Chapter 6: Autosomal-DNA (atDNA) Testing
  • Explore your whole genetic family tree with this chapter’s guide to the atDNA test, the most popular and (arguably) most useful DNA Analysis.

  • Chapter 7: X-Chromosomal (X-DNA) Testing
  • Pinpoint your genetic ancestors. This chapter discusses how to use X-DNA and its inheritance patterns to grow your family tree.

  • Part Three: Analyzing and Applying Test Results
  • Chapter 8: Third-Party Autosomal-DNA Tools
  • Broaden your DNA analysis with this chapter’s tips for using software, online tools, and other third-party programs to analyze atDNA results.

  • Chapter 9: Ethnicity Estimates
  • Unpack the estimate provided by DNA testing companies. This chapter shows what you can use – and can’t – learn about your ancestry from ethnicity estimates.

  • Chapter 10: Analyzing Complex Questions with DNA
  • Dig deeper into your DNA research with these tips and strategies for using your DNA results to break through brick walls and answer challenging research questions.

  • Chapter 11: Genetic Testing for Adoptees
  • Uncover your hidden past. This chapter provides strategies for adoptees and other individuals who may face an extra hurdle when researching ancestors.

  • Chapter 12: The Future of Genetic Genealogy
  • Gaze into DNA’s future with these predictions about the field’s trajectory and what you can hope to achieve as genetic technology advances.

  • Glossary – 5 pages of terminology for the rest of us!
  • Appendices
  • Appendix A: Comparison Guides
  • Appendix B: Research Forms
  • Appendix C: More Resources
  • Index

About The Author
blaine_bettinger_125pw_author-of-dna-guideBlaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D. (biochemistry), J.D. is an intellectual property attorney in Syracuse, New York, by day, and a genealogy educator and blogger by night. In 2007, he created The Genetic Genealogist, one of the first blogs devoted to genetic genealogy and personal genomics.

Blaine has written numerous DNA-related articles for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, Family Tree Magazine, and other publications. He has been an instructor at the inaugural genetic genealogy courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, Family Tree University, and Excelsior College (Albany, NY). He is a former editor of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, and a co-coordinator of the ad hoc Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee. In 2015, he became an alumnus of ProGen Study Group 21 and was elected to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Board of Trustees.

Blaine was born and raised in Ellisburg, NY, where his ancestors have lived for more than two hundred years, and is the father of two boys. You can find Blaine on his website and on Twitter (@blaine_5).

Order The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, by Blaine T. Bettinger for 28% off – just $21.59 (plus $5.50 p&h) thru the sale period. Order Now by clicking here.

Man Finds He Has a Son From a Long-Ago Relationship While in Vietnam

These DNA tests we’re all taking can have absolutely astounding results. Those results can change our lives. The following teaser is from an article posted October 20, 2016 at the al.com website.

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For years, veteran Bob Nore looked back at his experience in the Vietnam War as wasted time.

The North Dakota native and longtime Huntsville resident received the shock of his life this year when he discovered through DNA analysis that he unknowingly fathered a son with a young Vietnamese woman with whom he had a brief relationship in Saigon.

That child – now a working musician in Los Angeles – had been searching for his dad for years when Ancestry.com sent Nore the following message: We have found a very high probability of a father-son relationship between you and Son Vo.

Although Nore’s memory of Vo’s late mother is foggy, he knew the 45-year-old was his as he was born only six months after he left Vietnam. Nore, concerned Vo may not want a relationship with his biological father, waited for his son to reach out.

It was about two weeks later Vo sent Nore, 67, a message about the DNA match. A dialogue started and Nore’s feelings about the war began to change.

“Apparently, something good came out of it,” he said.

Read the full article.

Legacy Tree Hosting Their First-Ever LIVE DNA Q&A on Saturday, Oct. 29th

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Legacy Tree will be hosting their first-ever LIVE DNA Q&A on Saturday, Oct. 29th at 10:30 a.m. MST. Their genetic genealogist, Paul Woodbury, will be answering submitted questions about genetic genealogy and using DNA analysis to find ancestors. Questions may be submitted at https://www.legacytree.com/live

Check out the event here.

Parabon® Seeks Volunteers for DNA Kinship Study to Help Identify Fallen Soldiers from Past Conflicts

I got the following note from Laura Burgess, with Parabon® NanoLabs:

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I work with Parabon NanoLabs. They have created a DNA Phenotyping service called Snapshot. By using the smallest amount of DNA they produce lifelike images of what the person looked like. Right now, law enforcement is using their service to solve cold cases from across the country. The Department of Defense has also contracted with them to use this service to help in the identification of some 83,000 remains of our fallen soldiers from past conflicts. In fact one was just in the news from Pearl Harbor today. What they need though is the help of more Americans to provide their DNA so they can link families to many of these unclaimed remains. Any family that volunteers will get a free ancestry analysis, but we just need up to 500 people (about 50 families) to participate by February in order to meet the DoD’s guidelines.

The following News Release is from Parabon® NanoLabs
Extended families recruited to advance identification methods using DNA from distant relatives

Reston, Va. (6 October 2016)Parabon® NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today a call for participants in a research study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), in which DNA samples from distant relatives will be analyzed to develop innovative kinship and ancestry algorithms and associated laboratory methods to extend familial matching beyond current capabilities. Traditional DNA methods only allow remains to be identified if DNA from closely related family members is available. Many unidentified Service members, however, do not have living family members who are closely related. This study aims to increase the genetic distance over which kinship can be accurately inferred. The enhancements made possible by this research will assist in the identification of the toughest missing personnel cases by “matching” DNA from distant relatives to that of deceased Service members, including those from long past conflicts, such as World War II.

“This cause is personal to us at Parabon. Like many families in America, some of us at the company have loved ones who went missing in action. This study will help us make technological advances that will one day reunite fathers, sons, brothers and uncles with their families. We need volunteers from extended families to make this research possible,” said Paula Armentrout, vice president of Parabon NanoLabs.

Parabon seeks to enroll 50-100 extended families (5 to 10 volunteers per family) to participate in the study. Participating families do not need to have a direct relation to an M.I.A. soldier in order to qualify. Volunteers for the study will simply supply a sample of DNA from a mouth swab and answer questions about their family tree. In return for participation, each volunteer will receive a custom DNA ancestry report and a small stipend. There is no cost to participate. Those interested in participating in the study can sign up to be considered at:
https://snapshot.parabon-nanolabs.com/kinship-signup.

“Our ideal study participants are all related by blood and come from an extended family network that includes a wide variety of distant relatives, such as second cousins, great-uncles, and grandchildren,” said Ellen Greytak, PhD, Principal Investigator of the study. “We will study the similarity of their DNA and use the knowledge gained to improve our kinship inference methods.”

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capability & Prototyping is funding this research to help support the Department’s Personnel Accounting mission.

About Parabon® NanoLabs, Inc.:
Parabon® NanoLabs is a vertically integrated DNA technology company that develops next-generation forensic and therapeutic products, which leverage the enormous power of DNA.  Staffed by a uniquely qualified team of scientists and technologists, with expertise ranging from bioinformatics and chemistry to computer science and pharmacology, Parabon is bringing to market revolutionary new products and services made possible by recent advances in DNA sequencing, analysis and manufacturing technologies.

Three Terrific New DNA Guides by Diahan Southard Are Now Available!

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Three NEW DNA Quick Guides by Diahan Southard are now available. They are:
NEXT STEPS: WORKING WITH YOUR AUTOSOMAL DNA MATCHES
ORGANIZING YOUR DNA MATCHES: A COMPANION GUIDE
GEDMATCH: A NEXT STEP FOR YOUR AUTOSOMAL DNA TEST

If you’ve gotten any of Diahan Southard’s DNA guides in the past, you already know just how valuable they are. You may have even purchased the bundle of 6 of Diahan’s guides that FRPC offered on sale a while back. Well, Diahan now has three new ones with detailed new information. Each of the three guides may be purchased separately, or as a bundle of three. During the promotional sale period, the bundle is 15% off (Reg. 26.85 – on sale for $22.82, plus $4.50 p&h). The individual laminate guides may be purchased for 10% off ($8.06 each, plus $4.50 p&h for the first laminate, and 50 cents for each thereafter). We’ve again put all of Diahan’s guides, including the bundle of six, on sale for 15% off on bundles, and 10% off on individual guides. Click on the links to order.

Following are descriptions of each of the new DNA guides:

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NEXT STEPS: WORKING WITH YOUR AUTOSOMAL DNA MATCHES; by Diahan Southard (who worked for Sorenson Molecular); 4 pp; 8.5×11; Full Color, laminated; Published: 2016; Item # LU21

Many genealogists have heard about the power of DNA testing in genealogy and have dabbled in their own DNA test results. This guide outlines what to do next to maximize the power of DNA testing in genealogy. This guide provides instruction on:

  • How to leverage the power of known relatives who have tested
  • Gain a basic understanding of chromosome browsers and their role in the search process
  • Access to a free bonus template for evaluating the genealogical relationship of a match in relationship to the predicted genetic relationship
  • A methodology for converting the unknown relatives on the match list into known relatives

With this guide in hand, genealogists will be prepared to take their DNA testing experience to the next level and make new discoveries about their ancestors and heritage.

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ORGANIZING YOUR DNA MATCHES: A COMPANION GUIDE; by Diahan Southard (who worked for Sorenson Molecular); 4 pp; 8.5×11; Full Color, laminated; Published: 2016; Item # LU22

With over 2.5 million people in the possession of a DNA test, and most with match lists in the thousands, many are wondering how to keep track of all this data and apply it to their family history. This guide provides the foundation for managing DNA matches and correspondence, and will help budding genetic genealogists:

  • Centralize their point of contact with their matches from multiple testing companies
  • Familiarize them with Google Forms for tracking information, including providing a link to a free bonus form template
  • Provide a brief overview of how to use the power of Google Earth in their genetic genealogy
  • Provide an introduction to spreadsheets
  • Review valuable third party tools and their contributions to the organizing effort

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GEDMATCH: A NEXT STEP FOR YOUR AUTOSOMAL DNA TEST; by Diahan Southard (who worked for Sorenson Molecular); 4 pp; 8.5×11; Full Color, laminated; Published: 2016; Item # LU23

Gedmatch is a third‐party tool for use by genetic genealogists seeking to advance their knowledge of their autosomal DNA test. You can upload your DNA results from any major genetic genealogy testing company into Gedmatch for free. Turn to this quick guide for answers to these common questions:

  • What is Gedmatch?
  • Who can participate?
  • What do I have to do to join?
  • What kinds of tools do they offer?
  • Can it help with my ethnicity results?
  • Will I find new matches?
  • Is this a necessary tool?

This guide will navigate through the myriad of options and point out only the best tools for your genetic genealogy research.

The following previously published DNA Guides by Diahan Southard are also available – at 10% off each, or as a bundle at 15% off (see explanation above):

Ancestry Announces Appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer

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The following is from GlobeNewsWire.com:

LEHI, Utah, Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to overseeing the science team, Dr. Ball leads the Company’s initiatives to develop innovative new technologies and analyze genetic data at a rapidly-increasing scale.

Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the Company’s approach to genetic genealogy leading to the launch of AncestryDNA. She has built Ancestry’s science team into a key innovation engine, driving new scientific discoveries and powering the Company’s growth to become the largest consumer genomics provider globally. Today, AncestryDNA has the world’s largest consumer genomics database and has helped more than two million customers learn more about their ethnic origins and genetic relationships.

“This is an important recognition of the instrumental role Cathy has played – and will continue to play – in the tremendous growth of our DNA business,” said Ken Chahine Ph.D., Executive Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. “We’re focused on developing new innovations that combine the science of DNA with our vast database of 70 million family trees to help everyone, everywhere discover what led to them. We’re at the beginning of this journey and there’s no one better to spearhead these efforts than Cathy.”

“It’s incredibly gratifying to work on a product that has a meaningful impact on so many lives,” said Dr. Ball. “Our customers share extremely rewarding stories of self-discovery with us daily and it’s an important priority to be good stewards of the data entrusted to us. I look forward to continuing work with a stellar team of laboratory scientists, geneticists, statisticians, and computer scientists as we refine the genomic science behind family history to deliver more detailed and personalized results to those of all backgrounds.”

By bringing together DNA data and the context of ties between people, places, and human events found in family trees, the AncestryDNA team will continue to study ethnic diversity, migration patterns, human evolution and the history of our species, which has the potential to influence the way we think about identity and the connections among mankind.

Dr. Ball is a genomic scientist who has annotated and mined the genomes of various organisms and created resources to help clinicians, citizens and other scientists exploit and explore genome data. Her career has focused on helping people around the world appreciate, understand and use their own genomic data. Dr. Ball has collaborated on the annotation of the first sequenced eukaryotic genome (brewer’s yeast) and has collaboratively built databases to explore the genomes of yeast, E. coli and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. As a pioneer in data analysis resources for high-throughput biomedical technologies, she led the Stanford Microarray Database, the largest academic database of its kind. Dr. Ball has used high-throughput biomedical data to shed light on diverse research topics, from the biology of infectious organisms to the mechanisms involved in cell division and cancer. Dr. Ball has presented seminars at leading universities and contributes to National Institutes of Health committees. She received a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Ball was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley prior to her research in the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

About Ancestry
Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.

Searching for the Descendants of the Pitcairn Island Mutineers

The following teaser is from an article posted at phys.org August 22, 2016.

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Ten pigtails of hair thought to be from seven mutineers of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame and three of their female Polynesian companions will be analysed in a new collaboration between the Pitcairn Islands Study Centre at Pacific Union College (California, US) and the forensic DNA group at King’s College London (UK).

The forensic DNA group at King’s has been sent hair strands from the ten pigtails, which are currently on display in the California-based centre, to help establish as much information as possible on their origins.
As the pigtails purportedly date back to the pre-1800s, the King’s team will first attempt to extract DNA from the historical hair samples after cleaning the outside and then digesting the hair matrix using a chemical process. Nuclear DNA is not found in hair shafts, only the roots which are not available here; however, mitochondrial DNA may be present. If sufficient mitochondrial DNA can be collected, the first step will be to investigate the ancestral origins of the owners of the pigtails.

Read the full article.

Thanks to Olive Tree Genealogy Blog for the heads-up.

Quest Diagnostics & AncestryDNA Form Multi-year Global Collaboration

The following News Release is from PRNewsWire.com:

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MADISON, N.J., and LEHI, Utah, Aug. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Quest Diagnostics (DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, and AncestryDNA, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, are teaming up to help meet the rapidly growing consumer demand for genetic tests that provide insights into genetic ethnicity, origins and other factors. The new collaboration will allow AncestryDNA to scale its testing services and pave the way for new wellness offerings.

Under a new multi-year global collaboration, Quest Diagnostics will provide genotyping test services on behalf of Ancestry’s AncestryDNA, a service that today identifies and quantifies an individual’s ethnic origins based on results of DNA testing. In just over four years, AncestryDNA has grown to become the world’s largest consumer genomics provider, with more than two million consumer DNA samples in its database.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Quest Diagnostics to offer our consumer DNA test to more consumers around the world,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry. “There’s an inherent human need to learn more about who we are as individuals and how we connect to the world around us. As the success of AncestryDNA has already demonstrated, the stories and revelations contained within our DNA can have incredibly meaningful, life-altering effects that change how we think about ourselves and our world.”

“People are very interested in their family history, and knowing one’s family health history is very important in helping us manage our health,” said Steve Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics President and CEO. “Sharing our unique capabilities with Ancestry will help everyone learn more about themselves. We look forward to leveraging our tremendous expertise in genetic testing and information to offer a first-in-class experience to Ancestry and its customers.”

“Quest stood out from all others through the breadth of their vision and their unwavering commitment to quality, as well as being well positioned to partner with us to provide wellness and health traits,” said Ken Chahine, EVP and GM of AncestryDNA. “Adding a second diagnostic partner is a critical step forward as we work to continue to meet the consumer demand we’re seeing for our DNA tests in the U.S. and markets around the world. We’ll also now be able to move toward an East-West logistical approach, testing kits closer to where our consumers live and, ideally, reducing the time they need to wait to receive their results.”

Ancestry selected Quest Diagnostics after considering several laboratory organizations through a formal request for proposal process. Quest Diagnostics will perform genetic testing on Ancestry customer samples at its state-of-the-art laboratory in Marlborough, Mass. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Quest’s Marlborough facility uses next-generation sequencing and other technologies to provide testing in genetics, inherited cancers, neurological disorders and other complex diseases. Opened in 2014, the 200,000 square foot laboratory can accommodate expected growing demand for AncestryDNA. Quest expects to begin performing testing for Ancestry in the first quarter of 2017. Over time, the two companies intend to explore additional opportunities such as developing tools and applications to guide people on building and understanding their “family medical tree.”

About Ancestry

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest Diagnostics annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 44,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

Quest, Quest Diagnostics and all associated Quest Diagnostics registered or unregistered trademarks are the property of Quest Diagnostics.

British Ancestry? Then How British Are You?

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Many of us can claim British ancestry. If you have colonial ancestry, then chances are very high that your ancestors may have come from Britain. But how British are you, really? The following teaser is from an article posted and updated in the July 28, 2016 edition of the British Daily Mail. The article points out that, based on DNA, only about 37 percent of those living in Britain today are really British. I’d recommend reading the full article. Enjoy!

The average Briton is only really 37 per cent British – with the remainder of their genes coming from European ancestors from as far afield as Scandinavia, Spain and Greece.

DNA testing has also revealed how the people of Yorkshire are officially the most British people in the land, with their genetic makeup containing an average 41 per cent Anglo-Saxon stock.

London, meanwhile, is the most ethnically diverse, while the people of Wales have the highest proportion of ancestry from Spain and Portugal.

Read the full article.

Silver Lake to invest in Ancestry.com

The following teaser is from an article posted on reuters.com

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Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Ancestry.com in a deal that values the privately held genealogy website at $2.6 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The investment represents a bet that Ancestry’s fast-growing DNA business will continue to expand. Ancestry sold 1 million genomics kits last year, a 93 percent increase from the prior year, as people keen to discover their roots sent in saliva samples.

Read the full article.

9-Item DNA Genealogy Research Laminate Bundle – 15% Off thru March 14, 2016

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I just returned from RootsTech 2016 this last week, after having an amazing nearly week-long experience there. One of the topics that it seemed everyone was interested in was DNA and Genetic research. A number of classes were held on the topic, and numerous exhibitors were featuring DNA-related products. Diahan Southard was there, offering both auditorium and at-the-booth classes to DNA enthusiasts. Diahan has written seven 4-page laminated guides on DNA research. Elizabeth Shown Mills and Angie Bush have also written quick-guides on the topic. Family Roots Publishing has purchased a large quantity of the guides, bundled all nine of them together and reduced the price over 15% on the bundle. An $82.55 value, FRPC is now making the bundle available through March 14 for just $69.95 (plus $5.50 p&h). Order the bundle by clicking here.

Don’t need the entire bundle? We’ve reduced the price on the guides themselves by 10% during the sale period.

Again, this bundle is made up of seven 4-page laminated guides on DNA research, by Diahan Southard; one Quicksheet – Citing Genetic Sources for History Research, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, and one Genealogy at a Glance – Genetic Genealogy Basics, by Angie Bush. Click on the links to see the details about each item. Use your back arrow to come back to this page to order the bundle or view other items in the list below. If you just want new guides that you may not already have, you may purchase them at 10% off.

Note that no Coupon Code is needed to get the discounts. If you wish to purchase by phone, call us at 801-949-7259 from 9a.m.-5:30p.m. PST Monday through Friday.

The entire bundle of nine laminated guides may be ordered by clicking here.

New! Genetic Genealogy Basics – 10% off – or 15% off in a DNA Laminate Bundle thru March 14

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I recently received a copy of a new laminated Genealogy at a Glance, on the topic of DNA. This one’s titled Genealogy at a Glance: Genetic Genealogy Basics and was written by Angie Bush.

Contrary to popular belief, DNA testing is not the final word in determining your ancestry, but it is extremely helpful. It is most effective when it’s used to confirm that documentation concerning your family relationships is accurate. It is also used to test hypotheses about ancestors for whom little or no documentary evidence exists. Equally important, DNA testing can be used as “cousin bait” to identify previously unknown cousins who may be able to add information to your genealogical research and/or confirm your ancestral connections.

In this handy four-page guide, author Angie Bush gives you the simple facts about (a) DNA testing, (b) DNA testing companies, and (c) DNA testing results. She provides a simple overview of the three types of DNA tests: Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA, or autosomal DNA, the most popular type of testing for genealogists. She goes on to explain which test is right for you and then launches into a description of the testing companies and what you can expect from them. The companies featured in this At a Glance guide were chosen because they are the only companies that provide a list of “genetic cousin” matches based on DNA analysis.

Most crucially, DNA test results give information about where your most ancient ancestor originated and his ethnicity. But equally important for resolving questions of a genealogical nature is the list of genetic cousins that the companies provide as matches. Proper evaluation of match lists within the context of how that particular type of DNA was inherited is key to using DNA as a genealogical record. In the end, the author cautions, DNA testing does not provide proof of relationship without genealogical research to support the findings, but knowing your ethnicity, place of origin, and previously unknown cousins is a very good place to start.

The following contents are found in Genetic Genealogy Basics:
Quick Facts

Overview

  • Confirming Relationships
  • Fishing for Cousins

Types of DNA Tests

  • Y-DNA Test (paternal lineage)
  • mtDNA Test (maternal lineage)
  • Autosomal DNA Test (all ancestors)

DNA Testing Companies

  • Family Tree DNA
  • 23andMe
  • AncestryDNA

DNA Testing Results

  • DNA Raw Data
  • Haplogroup and Ethnicity Estimates
  • DNA Cousin Match Lists

Tip for Getting the Most from DNA Testing

Genealogy at a Glance: Genetic Genealogy Basics; by Angie Bush; 4 pp., folded; Laminated; 8.5×11; Published: 2016; ISBN: 9780806320342; Item # GPC846 – 10% off Thru March 14, 2016, or buy as a bundle for 15% off thru the same date.