Archive | October 2015

Time to send your last 23andme invitations

It is time to cancel and re-invite all your closest anonymous matches at 23andme, letting them know that this is their last chance. After November 11 they will disappear from your relative lists as will all your pending introductions. Anonymous users will no longer be allowed to participate in DNA relatives. They can change their status in settings. Warning, if you are using a nickname rather than a real sounding name or initials, your profile will automatically be changed to anonymous (this does not include the nickname you had to specify for posting to forums). This proviso is still a little unclear to me, presumably when you are switched to the new 23andme, you can make changes to your profile then.


Another big change is that Countries of Ancestry is going away ,so download that spreadsheet now.

The good news is that the cap of 1000 matches is being raised to 2000. Also another good thing is that you can set yourself to “Open Sharing” which lets other open sharers compare matching DNA segments to you without the cumbersome introduction system

23andme has provided a page that maps old features to new (click here or on the image above):
A number of bloggers have written detailed posts on the changes coming to 23andme. Here are several good ones. You can also click here for the thread in the community section at 23andme.

Blogger Reports:

Shannon Christmas:

Judy Russell:

Roberta Estes:

Now to get back to cancelling and sending my new last chance messages!

Big changes coming at 23andme, Health is back

23andMe Utube

Excerpt from the 23andme Reports Overview at Youtube

The price has gone up but so has the amount of information you will receive. Those of you who bought kits after the FDA shut down the health information at 23andme will now get the new improved reports. All of us testers will receive an email once our accounts have transitioned over.

I received 12 emails today announcing this! As soon as any of the accounts I manage transition over to the new software, I will write a report here on my blog. The accounts that already had health reports were promised in the email that they will “continue to have access to [their] current health reports. The new experience will include redesigned versions of many of the same health and ancestry reports that you currently have.”

Blogger Andrea Badger published the following report on the DNA-NEWBIE mailing list:

Continue reading – a new site for your DNA results

Today the new DNA site – – did a major update which vastly improved the display page for matching relatives and also got rid of the false matches that we all initially saw.

Personally, I love the concept of crowd sourcing DNA science. This new site, created by a team at Columbia University, promises on its about page that you will “learn more about your dna and contribute to important scientific research.” It is also “in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) to better understand the genetic risks of breast cancer.” So of course I had to try it out. I uploaded the raw DNA data for my Dad, myself, and one aunt in the first day of its operation.


On the day after I uploaded, I was able to look at the matches page. My matches to my Dad and a maternal aunt are shown above. I like the compact display of the chromosomes on the right and was fascinated by the “ancient DNA” concept. An improvement today is to show the longest segment. I find having at least one large segment, more than 20cM, to be an important indicator of a close relative especially when combined with total cM or even better “Total Recent cM.”

As of today you can click under the image to get a table of the actual matching segments. This table was easy to cut and paste to a spreadsheet. Aternatively the whole page can be cut and pasted (Control-A to select, Control-C to copy)

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Free genealogy lectures today, Friday, in Salt Lake City

So here I am in Salt Lake City visiting friends and family and I notice on facebook that Judy Russell, the Legal GenealogistLegalGenealogist, and one of my favorite speakers has arrived in town. Why? Well she is giving a talk today, Friday, at 11:30 in the auditorium at the newly reopened LDS Church History Museum, right next door to the family history library.

This URL has the full schedule of the six free talks being offered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists on Friday October 9th.

See you there?

DNA testing has been a blessing for adoptees

I can only imagine the pain of not knowing your family’s medical history or origins or why your mother gave you up for adoption.

DNA testing has reunited many adoptees with their birth families. Some get lucky and find their biological parents within days of their test results. Others work on it for years before succeeding. There are some wonderful reunion stories at – Trish’s story moved me to tears, as did many of the others. That web site has a tried and true methodology and classes for using DNA in these searches.

Richard Hill, an adoptee who found his biological roots, has just published an excellent two page summary of how to use DNA testing for adoptees. A great starting point, it is available at

Also if you have not read his autobiographical story of his search, I highly recommend it; click on image at the left to get that book from Amazon. It reads like a good mystery novel.

Times have changed now and for many it is no longer an embarrassment to have a child out of wedlock. These days an adoption can be open, which solves the medical and ancestry issues for the adoptee (see ). But back in the 1950s and 1960s, being unmarried and pregnant was a huge social stigma, so many of those women still want to hide that fact today.

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