Complete MyHeritage Subscription & DNA Test – $199 (Reg. $349) Now Thru Tuesday, Feb 21

As far as I can tell, the following is the best offer ever made for a MyHeritage Complete Subscription plus a MyHeritage DNA Test. 

I just returned from RootsTech, where I was again most impressed with the latest technological advances made by MyHeritage.com. While at the conference, they made two major announcements – one about their new “Photo Discoveries” feature, and another about the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. Of course, Photo Discoveries was the most exciting new feature, as we can now count on getting far more photos in our trees than we’ve ever had before. NOTE: Since sending this out in the Genealogy Newsline last Monday, I’ve added the discount link to the above Photo Discoveries and Consistency Checker news releases – as I’ve had at least one reader attempt to get the discount directly from the MyHeritage Blog. WRONG PLACE! Thus the added paragraph and links in those blogs.

As I blogged last November, MyHeritage is now a major player in the DNA testing business. While at RootsTech, I worked out an exclusive offer for my readers. Subscribe to MyHeritage, and get their Complete Subscription, PLUS a MyHeritage DNA Test (with FREE shipping!) – all for just $199 (Reg. $349). This is the lowest price that I’ve ever seen offered! This offer was only good through February 20, but I got it extended for an additional day – through the 21st.  Click on this link to take advantage of the offer.

Since sending this offer out earlier, staff at MyHeritage have clarified that the offer is for new MyHeritage subscribers or those who have had subscription in the past and it is expired for at least 3 months. Anyone having a current subscription will not be able to see the offer when they click on the links… Sorry!

As my readers know, I’ve been a big fan of MyHeritage for a long time. Traditionally, I have considered the company and their website to be the European competitor to Ancestry.com, while FindMyPast filled the same niche for British research. Both MyHeritage and FindMyPast have expanded into the United States and Canada markets in recent years, with hundreds of millions of records of specific interest to Americans and their northern cousins.

Led by their founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, MyHeritage has consistently pushed the technology envelope. The technology that Gilad and his team have produced has allowed millions of genealogists worldwide to find more ancestors. New search technologies have kept MyHeritage at the forefront of the online database business for several years. And that technology continues to make huge advances.

MyHeritage is far more than just a place to build online family trees. While their trees continue to grow dramatically, they continue to collect data in many forms worldwide. Many of their users are our European and British cousins whose data may often be accessed at the site. Using the MyHeritage technologies, users are prompted to check out new MyHeritage Discoveries, Smart Matches and Record Matches. 

Based on my personal experience with MyHeritage, I highly recommend the site, as well as their DNA test. As I mentioned early in this article, I’ve worked out a promotion for my readers offering a Complete Subscription, plus the DNA test for only $199. What’s a Complete Subscription? It’s a MyHeritage membership which includes all the MyHeritage Data, as well as the Trees. Click Here to take advantage of this amazing offer.

This offer will give you the following:
• Your Personal Private site with unlimited capacity
• Start a new tree or import by GEDCOM
• Unlimited photo storage
• Apps for the iOs/Android smart phones and tablets
• Family Tree Builder premium software for the PC and MAC
• Smart Matches with 35 Million trees
• Automatic Record Matches
• Full Privacy Control
• Global Name Translation
• Record Detective II
• Over 7 billion historical records
• More than 100 Million newspapers
• Vital records from 48 countries
• 1790-1940 USA census records
• 1841-1911 England and Wales census records
• Over 5 million Dutch records
 NEW Compilation of Published Sources collection with over 450,000 books and 91 million pages
• Book Matching
NEW PedigreeMap
• NEW Sun Charts
 Join 87 million users who have built trees with 2 billion people.

Don’t just take my word for it. The following comment was made by my friend, Dick Eastman:
“I was amazed at the results. Within minutes MyHeritage.com showed me more information about a number of my ancestors than I had found in 35 years of searching on my own”
Dick Eastman – Author of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

Here’s the deal: $199 for a full year of a Complete Subscription to  MyHeritage – that’s their PremiumPlus Family Site, their Data Plan, and a DNA Testing Kit. Everything!!! Again – This is the lowest price I’ve ever seen for these products, So Click here to order yours today. Did I mention that the DNA Test Kit ships FREE! Order now, as this price will only be offered through Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

Note that the offer is for Genealogy Newsline Readers. However, since I author and own Genealogy Newsline, I can also offer it to my GenealogyBlog.com readers and folks that read me through social media. The landing screen from the above link says “Genealogy NewslineReaders” but all my readers and friends are included. Note that I do get a portion of the subscription fee when folks use my links during the promotion period – and I thank you for that support.

Kind regards,
Leland K Meitzler
Genealogy Newsline & GenealogyBlog.com

Ancestry.com Settles Lawsuit with OraSure Technologies Over DNA testing

Ancestry.com has agreed to pay OraSure Technologies and its DNA Genotek subsidiary $12.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged that Ancestry took DNA Genotek’s saliva sampling technology and improved upon it, without giving credit to DNA Genotek. According to the agreement, “Ancestry can continue using its version of the sampling technology, but must pay royalties to DNA Genotek. DNA Genotek will also receive access to patents involved with Ancestry.com’s version of the test, but without any royalties.

The following teaser is from an article posted February 6, 2017 at The Morning Call website:

BETHLEHEM — Genealogy website Ancestry.com has agreed to pay Bethlehem-based OraSure Technologies Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary DNA Genotek $12.5 million to settle claims it stole patented DNA testing technology to produce its own saliva-based DNA test.

DNA Genotek sued Ancestry.com in May 2015, alleging the website stole its technology for collecting DNA via saliva samples and improved upon it for its own use in violation of the terms of an agreement between the two companies. The website offers to trace users’ ethnic background using their DNA.

Ancestry.com, according to the lawsuit, purchased DNA Genotek saliva test kits in 2012 and 2013 in order to collect saliva samples from its customers, then filed for its own patent for an improved version of the device in 2013 without DNA Genotek’s consent.

Read the full article.

MyHeritage Appoints Prominent DNA Expert Dr. Yaniv Erlich as Chief Science Officer

The following news release was received from Daniel Horowitz at MyHeritage.com:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah , February 9, 2017MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Yaniv Erlich as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Erlich, a DNA scientist of world renown, will lead scientific development and strategy for MyHeritage DNA, the company’s newly established DNA service for family history and ethnicity, and ensure that its products are built on a solid scientific foundation.

Dr. Erlich, nicknamed the Genome Hacker by Nature journal, brings to MyHeritage unparalleled experience in the field of genomics as Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at Columbia University and as a Core Member at the New York Genome Center. He is also the former principal investigator and a Whitehead Fellow at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, founder of DNA.LAND and the principal investigator of the Erlich DNA lab.

Dr. Erlich completed his Ph.D. at the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2010, and has won numerous awards as a cutting-edge scientist, including the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award (2013), the Harold M. Weintraub Award (2010) and the IEEE/ACM-CS High Performance Computing Award (2008). Dr. Erlich has a B.Sc. degree cum laude in Neuroscience from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Erlich’s research interests are diverse and cover many facets of computational human genetics, including population studies, DNA privacy, DNA storage and genetic research in crowd-sourced family trees.

“We’re delighted to welcome Yaniv to our management team. Yaniv’s expertise in computational genetics and its synergy with family history will provide the solid scientific foundation that is fundamental for setting apart our fast-growing DNA service from the others” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “We are committed to providing our users with the most accurate DNA results, and helping them understand more about themselves. Yaniv will lead a dedicated team of world-class scientists to help us achieve this.”

“I’m excited to join the talented team at MyHeritage and put my scientific experience to use by the millions of users on the MyHeritage platform,” said Dr. Erlich. “I’ve collaborated with MyHeritage since 2012 and have known them to be forward thinkers about building tools and platforms that enable massive scale scientific studies. I look forward to opening new horizons in consumer genetics in my new role, and further empowering our users with useful and creative tools that harness the latest scientific discoveries”.

MyHeritage DNA was launched in November 2016, offering simple DNA home-testing kits for determining users’ ethnic origins and discovering new relatives. The service is offered in more than 190 countries worldwide, in 42 languages.

NOTE: If you wish to order the bundle of the Full Subscription to MyHeritage & a DNA test for $199, Click on this link. The links below, as well as the link within the illustration just go to MyHeritage, and DO NOT include the special offer. I say this, because I’ve found that one of my readers was very confused, attempting to order the special offer directly from the MyHeritage blog, which these links go to. The offer is good through February 20, 2017.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading global destination for family history and DNA. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage has transformed family history into an activity that is 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. Through MyHeritage DNA, the company 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 find new family members, discover ethnic origins, and to share family stories, past and present, and to treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

The FT Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy – by Blaine T. Bettinger – 38% off thru Feb 28

We’re again running a promo on Blaine Bettinger’s The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. We made a special purchase and are making it available for 38% off thru Tuesday, Feb. 28 – or whenever we run out of the current stock if before then. 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.

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 38% off – just $18.59 (plus $5.50 p&h) thru the sale period. Order Now by clicking here.

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.

myheritage-dna-images_570pw

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

myheritage-dna-page_300pw

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.”

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

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.