DNA: Who could think that these three letters could mean so much fun for genealogists!
Or even provide a future storage medium (Shakespeare’s sonnets and a 26 sec. clip of Martin Luther King’s speech in 41 grams of DNA!)
Should you test?
Lost Cousins newsletter check list to discover if you should test
The truth will out: the LegalGenealogist provides some thoughts about the impact on you AND OTHERS (my stress) from unexpected results.
Along with this post with links to sample forms about explaining DNA and informed consent for others you ask to test.
Read the company FAQs:
– Family Tree DNA FAQs,
– MyHeritage DNA blog posts
– Ancestry from your DNA home page, click on the ? top right of each of the boxes DNA Story, DNA Matches, ThruLines
Which testing company – useful overview.
Beginners Guide to genetic genealogy by Kelly Wheaton
Excellent series of articles by Gail Riddell published in the FamNet newsletters.
dna 101 y-chromosomes & test results explained (see also the links from there to DNA 102 and DNA 103)
Learn Genetics from University of Utah Health Sciences
Plus several dna forums:
- RootsWeb Mailing list Genealogy-DNA
- DNA – Newbie a Yahoo group – requires membership of ISOGG (all free) and has many of the experts in the field regularly answering queries
- Family Tree DNA
- A Genetic Genealogy Community
- Challenges with Irish autosomal DNA genealogical research – don’t worry if you aren’t Irish, the techniques apply to everyone!
20 Dos and Don’ts of DNA from the RootsRevealed blog
All of the Genetic Genealogy Surname projects below use Family Tree DNA as the testing company for preference because only they allow you to run projects for interested groups, and only they also test yDNA in addition to the autosomal DNA (their FamilyFinder, and the tests that the other companies all do – Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andme).
Apart from your match lists at your testing company why not fish in more ponds by utilising the free transfers to the other testing companies that accept transfers, and GEDmatch, a cross company comparison site.
Full instructions and explanation of why you might want to do so at the DNA Explained blog.
Ancestry test takers in particular may find this cartoon instructive:
And anyone concerned about privacy of doing so may be reassured by reading this:
Excellent blogs (there’s a more complete list on the ISOGG Wiki):
- DNAeXplained by Roberta Estes
- The Genetic Genealogist (Blaine Bettinger)
- The DNA Geek by Leah Larkin
- Segmentology (Jim Barrett) – how to REALLY work the DNA
- The Legal Genealogist (Judy Russell)
- Kitty Cooper – includes her wonderful chromosome mapping tools
Articles on specific topics:
- Debbie Kennett’s blog (eg the Ancestry bits)
- An interesting history of dna testing companies at DNAeXplained (also check the other posts on Ancestry).
- This post (from the WFN blog) about reporting accuracy
- TheLegalGenealogist on what ancestry doesn’t provide (DNA detail at the chromosome level)
Geni and your DNA
- Roberta Estes post on the collaboration between Geni and FamilyTreeDNA
- Ancestry transparency report – requests for information from outside agencies
See also sub menus for yDNA/atDNA specific tools/techniques and/or more details.
WikiTree.com‘s DNA links to pedigrees
Substitute your surname of choice for the SURNAME part of the links:
To find all YDNa tests entered for your surname of choice (caps not necessary)
For autosomal DNA
For mitochondrial DNA
Mark your confirmed relationships on WikiTree so they show up on charts:
Partnership between FTDNA and Geni – another tree/DNA connection
See also TheLegalGenealogist’s post with a cautionary note on DNA/tree link accuracy
Why not try RootsFinder to organise your match lists, link them to specific lines (nice colour coding) and do network analyses?
DNA Tips and Tools – very useful list
Try the chrome extension PedigreeThief to quickly snapshot a match’s pedigree (for Ancestry / MyHeritage) but not FTDNA
- Blaine Bettinger (The Genetic Genealogist):A Triangulation Intervention
- Jim Bartlett (Segmentology.org): Attributes of a TG
More to be found on atDNA sub menu.
Projects of interest
FFLornaHen: Autosomal DNA project for my own atDNA, family kits, Fairbairn or Runciman kits, and kits I help with, and all those who match them interested in exploring such matches to find our common ancestors.
For those Surname DNA projects that I either run, or have an interest in, see DNA Surnames.
Feb 2008 saw the administration of an existing ROWE project added to the list (with great success for my purposes), with the DAW(E) project being set up from scratch shortly thereafter. The latter finally confirmed (2017) we have a solid DNA signature for Isaac DAWE born 1770-ish, Devon.
Always looking for candidates for lines not yet represented – check out the Wanted! sections of each.