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.

Why Do So Many Brits Have Red Hair? The Answer May Be Cloudy Weather. Maybe…

The following excerpt is from a fascinating article posted at parentabout.com:

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The breakdown is 13% of Scottish people, 10% of Irish people. 6% of English people have red hair. Now genetic researchers want to know why so many in Birtain have red hair and the answer might be found in the cloudy weather found in the British Isles.

BritainsDNA is conducting a project that’s aimed at solving the mystery of the red hair and they hope to have the results by early next year. they’ve developed a test that can determine who carries the red gene variant and are analyzing the DNA of 4000 test subjects in order to find out who carries the gene variant that causes red hair, a variant that mightn’t show itself for generations…

Read the full article.

DNA Confirms That Bones Discovered in a Russian Mine Are Those of Tsar Nicholas II & His Wife

The following teaser is from the November 12, 2015 edition of DailyMail:

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New DNA tests comparing the exhumed bones of Russia’s tragic last tsar to known royal bloodstains have proved beyond doubt that the final Romanov emperor’s remains are genuine, it has been revealed.

And new samples taken from unnamed female descendants of Britain’s Queen Victoria genetically match the lower jaw of his controversial German-born empress Alexandra, who brought disgrace on the royals due to her close liaison with crazed monk Rasputin.

The tests were required by the Russian Orthodox Church, which feared that earlier DNA results on bones found buried in mineshafts in the Urals were not sound.

Read the full article.

Understanding 23andMe: A Companion Guide to “Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist”

lu19Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist, provided insight to Autosomal tests and what they are, with coverage on SNPs or SNiPs and the idea that “your genetic pedigree is not the same as your genealogical pedigree. In Diahan Southard’s latest guide, Understanding 23andMe: A Companion Guide to “Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist,” provides greater coverage of Autosomal DNA and much more.

“23andMe has a wide variety of content on their website that can easily distract you from the genetic genealogy tools they are offering. This guide will help you focus your efforts on the top genetic genealogy tools at 23andMe and how you can use them to verify and extend your family history.”

This guide is about helping you get the most of your DNA test results by using tools at 23andMe. A big section of the guide covers the main match page where you will “spend the majority of your time,” and “which displays a list of your genetic cousins.” The final page of the guide is dedicated to the admixture tool, or the “ethnicity tool, at 23andMe is called the Ancestral Composition view.” In other words, there is a lot for you to do and learn at 23andMe, and this guide will help you make the most of the site.

Understanding 23andMe is part of a series of guides on DNA genealogy. Each guide in the series follows the popular standard as four laminated pages with a simple center fold for easy storage and portability.

Here is a contents list based on specific headers in the guide:

  • Autosomal DNA and More
  • Your Health Information
  • Smart Communications
  • Talking Tips
  • Post Your Genealogy at 23andMe
  • Main Match Page
    • Names at 23andMe
    • Relationships
    • Ancestral Information
    • Haplogroups
    • Communicating with Matches
    • Map View
    • Surname View
  • Family Inheritance: Advanced
  • Admixture at 23andMe

 

About Author Diahan Southard (In her words):

“After getting bitten by the DNA bug as a high school student, I went on to study at Brigham Young University where I earned a bachelors degree in microbiology. I worked before and after graduation for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, one of the first efforts to create a correlated genetic and genealogical database.

Growing up with the budding genetic genealogy industry lead me to my current position as Your DNA Guide, where I provides personalized, interactive experiences to assist individuals and families in interpreting their genetic results in the context of their genealogical information. That means I can take you step by step through any kind of DNA test in a way that you will understand, and even enjoy!”

Diahan Southard has produced a series of colorful, laminated guides that outline all the basics one needs to understand DNA for genealogists. Her guides include:

 

All of Southard’s guides are available, along with Understanding 23andMe: A Companion Guide to “Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist”, from Family Roots Publishing.

Understanding 23andMe: A Companion Guide to “Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist” is available in hard copy as well as electronic (PDF format, available by clicking here).

Hanks & Lincoln Lineage Debate Solved With the Use of DNA

The following excerpt is from an article posted November 3, 2015 at the USA Today website.

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OSHKOSH, Wis. — Vicky Reany Paulson has known all her life that she is related to Abraham Lincoln.

But it wasn’t until she was 16 that she became interested in tracing her roots to the 16th president — more specifically through his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln — and inherited the passion from her great-grandmother.

“I would ask the relatives how we were related, and they would just say through the Hanks,” the 59-year-old Oshkosh resident said.

Paulson, who has written two books about the Hanks family and its connection to Lincoln, says she is thrilled after a new study has solved a 150-year-old mystery surrounding the true identity of Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s mother.

Read the full article.

$659K in Two Grants Given Out for Curriculums Based on PBS’ Finding Your Roots

The following excerpt is from an article posted October 31, 2015 at TheRoot.com:

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A new curriculum based on Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s popular PBS documentary series, Finding Your Roots, received two grants this week: one for $355,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to create Genetics and Genealogy Summer Camps for Middle School-Aged Youth; and one for $304,000 from the National Science Foundation to establish a college program, according to a news release.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of The Root and the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will lead the curriculum working groups, along with Nina Jablonski, the Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University.

Read the full article.

Thanks to The Weekly Genealogist for the heads-up.

Tom Jones to be DNA Tested for Possible Black Ancestry

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Tom Jones has decided it’s time to get DNA tested for possible black ancestry. The following teaser is from the November 2, 2015 edition of the CBS News website.

At 75 years old, Tom Jones wants to do something quite unusual. The singer wants to get a DNA test to find out if he has any black ancestry.

The “What’s New Pussycat” singer, who is from South Wales, said that he’s always wondered if he is of mixed race, part because of his curly hair and tan skin.

Read the full article.

A Man’s Unborn Twin Fathered His Child

Following is a teaser from an article posted at the October 28, 2015 Time website.

Now how would you chart this one?

Paternity tests are well known for producing some unexpected surprises, but the case involving a Washington man presents a new head-scratcher. After undergoing fertility treatments and having a son, the man and his partner were surprised when blood work showed that the boy couldn’t be related to the father. After two paternity tests showed the father only shared 10% of his child’s DNA, the parents feared the fertility clinic had inseminated the mother with another man’s sperm…

It turned out that the DNA in the man’s sperm, which was 90% his DNA and 10% that of his twin’s, was from his unborn fraternal twin.

Read the full article.

23andMe Now Includes Reports That Meet FDA Standards

I got the following from 23andMe:

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Today marks a great milestone in the history of personal genetics. I am thrilled to let you know that 23andMe is now the first and only genetic service available directly to you that includes reports that meet FDA standards.

After nearly two years of work with the FDA, extensive user comprehension testing and a complete redesign, 23andMe is launching an entirely new experience that includes carrier status, wellness, trait and ancestry reports. We have also developed new and improved tools to share and compare your genetics with friends and family – and for those of you participating in research, we will provide new insights to explore.

As one of our earlier customers, you will continue to have access to your current health reports. The new experience will include redesigned versions of many of the same health and ancestry reports that you currently have. We have also added some new features and tools.

Our team will be rolling out the new experience to you by early next year. We will send you an email when your account is updated.

If you have any questions on the new experience, you can visit our new FAQ page. Additionally, we have updated our Privacy Statement and Terms of Service to support the new features, which I encourage you to read.

We are committed to bringing you a world class service which provides you with ongoing updates. The genetics revolution is here and we are excited to enable customers like you to keep learning about your DNA. Today is only the beginning!

Anne Wojcicki
CEO, 23andMe

Share Your AncestryDNA Ethnicity Results

AncestryDNA recently launched a new feature that allows individuals to share their ethnicity results. I tried it out, sending the results to select family members by email – as well as posting to Facebook. Note that I had to allow the pop-up for Facebook sharing. I didn’t spot the block at first and wondered why the Facebook link wasn’t sharing. The share link also allows you to copy and paste the link. I pasted it into the illustration at the bottom of this post, allowing anyone to click on the illustration and get the full page at AncestryDNA.

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Benjamin Kyle has an Indentity

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I first blogged about Benjamin Kyle almost exactly 6 years ago – in early October of 2009. Now – I see that through the use of genetic genealogy, his identity is known. The following teaser is from an article posted at the September 16, 2015 DailyMail.com website.

A man who was found beaten and left for dead in a dumpster in Savannah with no name, age or memory has finally discovered his true identity.

The amnesiac has called himself Benjamin Kyle, or BK, since he was discovered in the Burger King dumpster, sunburned and severely injured, in August 2004.

He woke up in hospital with no recollection of what happened or his past and was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, which is memory loss caused by injury or disease.

But after over 10 years of searching for answers, in which time he has lived mostly in Jackonsville, Florida, Kyle now has them, thanks to the work of a genetic genealogist.

The specialist, CeCe Moore, and her team say they spent two and a half years investigating Kyle’s case by crosschecking his DNA with others in databases across the country, News 4 Jax reported.

Read the full article.

Ancestry DNA Test – 20% Off! – Just $79 – Sale Ends This Monday, August 17, 2015

AncestryDNA is once again running a 20% off promotion on their DNA test!

The promotion ends Monday, August 17, 2015. The $79 price is the best price they have ever offered to my knowledge. This is a deal you can’t get everyday (although this is the 3rd time this year!).

AncestryDNA has been in the news a lot this last year, with their new DNA Circles, shared ancestor hints, New Ancestor Discoveries, and their new contract with Calico. Patty and I both got new AncestryDNA tests done a few months ago, and now have more ancestors, cousins and connections than we can keep up with. If you’ve been putting off getting a test done, wait no more!

Click on the illustration below to order. Note that the actual final link to make your purchase may be all the way to the bottom of the page:


Ancestry Helps “Hicks Baby” Find Her Mother

The following is from the August 5 New York Daily News.

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It took one woman more than half a century to find a piece of her familial roots.

Kriste Hughes, 51, was reunited with her birth mother and brother after a lengthy search.

Hughes was one of 200 children sold into adoption on the black market by Dr. Thomas Jugarthy Hicks, an unscrupulous physician in McCaysville, Ga., decades ago.

“I know this is real, but I’m still kind of in shock,” Hughes told ABC News, which helped her and eight other “Hicks babies” to locate their biological relatives.

The largest genealogy website, Ancestry.com, helped Hughes and the others track down their birth parents.

She sent her DNA sample to the lab and the site analyzed the specimen for free.

But chances of finding a match were slim. The database includes 1 million people, far less than 1% of the global population.

Despite the long odds, Hughes found her match — a first cousin named Jackie Flowers.

Another DNA test returned a match. This time she got a mom and a big brother.

Read the full article.