Having a local DNA special interest group (DIG) is wonderful. It not only provides the pleasure of listening to interesting speakers; it is also a place to swap fun stories of NPEs and triangulations that would bore your non-genetic genealogist friends. For me that group is the DNA Special Interest Group of the North San Diego County Genealogical Society which meets on the 3rd thursday of every month.
My first time there, a few years back, I went to hear Cece Moore talk about using 23andme’s tools. I learned some good tips from her. One was to regularly sort my matches by Contact Status and look at the end for new ones. I had been using just Most Recent First and some had slipped by me. Another good tip was to have a standard contact message and send it out to everyone on my list while watching TV.
Kitty and Emily Aulicino, photo by Kathleen Cooper
This past week I had the great pleasure of hearing Emily Aulicino speak. She is the author of the excellent book on the basics of autosomal DNA testing – Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond
Emily also blogs at http://genealem-geneticgenealogy.blogspot.com/ and coordinates many DNA projects, the NW ISOGG branch, and a few mailing lists. Quite impressive and she is a good speaker as well!
She was talking about using autosomal DNA testing. Although I did not learn much that was new to me, I loved her stories.
Thanks to all of you I slipped into the 10th spot in the top ten rockstar genetic genealogists list. This makes me extremely happy. I did nothing to promote myself since I did not think that I deserved this honor and also this was my first year on the ballot.
So I will do my best to continue to bring you “how tos” and posts about new tools and features as well as write a few more tools myself. Stay tuned and thank you all so very much.
Genetic Genealogy Top Ten
There is a new tool, a chrome add-on called DNArboretum, that will generate an ahnentafel ancestor list from a Family Tree DNA tree or from the old format 23andme tree (not myHeritage).
An ahnentafel is a very clever and condense way to show all your ancestors. When trying to match up with a DNA relative it is particularly useful since you can quickly scan their ahnentafel for places and names in common. Obviously it would be better to automate that comparison but with misspellings and Norwegian names that has not worked well for me. However it might work for you, so click here for my blog post about how to use automation to compare GEDcoms.
This is part of my ahnentafel as generated by DNArboretum from my tree at Family Tree DNA when logged into another account there. I clicked on my great grandmother Maren Wold and it bolded all her ancestors and descendants. Note that my parents are missing because they are marked private.
Sue Griffith of Genealogy Junkie has blogged in detail about how to install and use this tool at
Today I sent the following email to a newly found DNA cousin match at ancestry whose great-grandmother lived right next door to my family in Kristiansand, Norway in the late 1800s. She moved to the U.S.A just a year after they did (1884 and 1885) and lived a block away from where my grandad eventually lived on Ovington Ave in Brooklyn, N.Y.
OK now I REALLY want to see where our DNA matches, because I have a large database (spreadsheets) of where my Dad, my brother and I match various known Norwegian relatives so it is likely that I can figure out from the matching DNA segment(s) where we are related and if it is really the 7th cousin match shown at Ancestry.com on the Eigeland line.
Pretty please either upload to GEDmatch or Family Tree DNA or both.
First you will need to get the raw data from Ancestry.com – here is how:
UPDATE 15-Aug-2018: Roberta Estes has published a step by step on how to do this: https://dna-explained.com/2018/08/15/ancestry-step-by-step-guide-how-to-upload-download-dna-files/ Continue reading