One thing I have always wanted when looking at my ancestry DNA matches was to list just the unstarred matches or matches that I have identified as being on a specific line. Well there is a new add-on for chrome called MedBetterDNA that will do that for you now, among other great features. Thank you Blaine for mentioning it in your Genetic Genalogy Tips and Techniques Facebook group today.
Another thing I love from this add-on is that it displays the notes you have made for this match directly on the match page so you no longer have to click each little notepad. Here is what my brother’s page looks like now:
Notice the little multi-colored people icons next to the green leaves? That is from another chrome add on called the AncestryDNA helper and a mouse-over on those icons shows the DNA relatives in common, but that is another blog post not yet written. Continue reading →
This New Year’s Eve I have resolved to remember my father’s advice, “Don’t let a big project overwhelm you, break it into small manageable parts.”
Personally, I have often put off starting a huge project because it seemed to be way too much to tackle. It is amazing how many other things get done when I am procrastinating!
If you had told me five years ago how many hours I would spend working with my family’s DNA results, I might never have started. That would have been sad as I would have missed out on the endless pleasure genetic genealogy has brought me and the many others I have helped.
If I had known twenty years ago where writing down the family stories would take me, I could not have imagined the thousands of hours I would spent on genealogy. I have enjoyed just about every minute of it, except perhaps going to the library or archive and not finding the record I was searching for.
Both of these hobbies are easy to break into small manageable parts. One family line at a time or one location at a time or one group of connected matches at a time or even one chromosome segment at a time. Whatever works for you.
I had been overwhelmed thinking about organizing and tidying up my office. Two years ago my New Year’s resolution was to reorganize it. I have a whole small bedroom with closet space and plenty of light, why such a shambles!
In that spirit, a week ago I started doing a little bit of office clean up each day. This is working, even if somewhat slowly. Continue reading →
Yesterday was a very very happy day. Thanks to DNA testing, an 82 year old man who thought he had no kids, now has two wonderful adult children plus grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Merry Christmas Billy (my pseudonym for him)! Here is the story.
An accomplished and successful Florida business woman, let’s call her Cheryl, discovered at her father’s funeral that he was not her biological dad. His relatives told her and were not particularly nice about it. Cheryl knew that her dad, let’s call him Larry, had married her mom when she was three months along, but Cheryl had not known that Larry had a paternity test done and knew that she was not his child. He loved her mom very much, so chose to love and cherish Cheryl as his daughter. They were always quite close.
Her mother was long gone and could not be asked. In disbelief, Cheryl took the Ancestry DNA test to confirm or deny this tale. She also got her half brother, her mother’s son from an earlier marriage, to test. That way she could separate out the matches on her mother’s side from those from her Dad’s line.
Her DNA results had no matches to anyone in Larry’s family, which disappointed her, even though it was not a surprise now. However she found what looked to be a half brother, let’s call him Joe, an adoptee born and raised in Australia. Her other paternal side matches, two second cousins, and several third cousins, all had roots in a small town along the Mississippi River. Surprisingly. the second cousins had no ancestors in common with any of the others. So Cheryl contacted me for help back in early October.
Technology never stands still. The latest change affecting all of us who love using DNA for genealogy is a new chip from Illumina. The past six or so years of autosomal DNA testing have shown that the current chip is great for testers with European ancestry, but does not have enough SNP coverage to figure out the details of the ethnic make up for people from other parts of the world. Many more and different SNPs are tested in this new GSA chip.
All the 23andMe tests done since this past July use that chip, as does Living DNA (highly recommended if you have British ancestry since it does local regional breakdowns). I imagine eventually the others will follow along. The bad news is that there is not that much overlap between this chip and the previous ones, which affects cousin matching.
Because the SNPs are so different the DNA results from these kits cannot be uploaded to GEDmatch, however our friends there have built another site to handle these new kits called GENESIS. They have come up with a whole new algorithm for relative matching that works with lower SNP counts.
The functions available at GEDmatch are being gradually implemented at GENESIS. Most of the key ones are there now. Plus there is some new functionality. One major addition is the showing of the number of SNPs actually overlapping between kits. Very important to know since the overlaps can be as small as 108,000 SNPs or as large as 580.000. Continue reading →
The sales are crazy! Black Friday and now Cyber Monday. Maybe you should buy a few kits on sale for relatives at the same company you already tested with. If you still have not done a DNA test, what are you waiting for? I have my thoughts on testing at this page – http://blog.kittycooper.com/dna-basics/dna-testing/ – with links to other pages discussing this. One point though for those of you who have already tested, if you have British ancestry, you might really benefit from the detailed regional breakdown offered by LivingDNA briefly on sale for $89.
If you have not yet registered for the i4gg genetic genealogy conference in San Diego the weekend after next, do so soon. Last year it sold out. The full schedule and speakers are now listed on the web site. [UPDATE: 4 Dec 2017 – the conference is now sold out]
Last but not least, I told all my clients I would be on vacation this week. It is not exactly a vacation, the National Bridge Championships are in San Diego this week. Yes the card game, my favorite game, and I will be competing, so do not expect timely replies to your comments this week nor will you see me on facebook much at all.
If you are a social bridge player you might consider a visit to the tournament to see what it is like. You would qualify to play the beginner events if you do not yet have an ACBL ranking or at least not a high one. See the second page of this pre-bulletin for some details – http://cdn.acbl.org/nabc/2017/03/bulletins/Pre.pdf