So Much Genetic Genealogy News!

I am enjoying my little vacation on the beach, but there is so much news to report in the DNA world that I have put together a list with links to some of my favorite other bloggers’ reports.

Holiday Sales have started

Every year most of the companies have sales during Thanksgiving week. 23andMe started theirs early, an incredible sale where you can get two kits for the price of one ($49 each) or just one kit for $69.

There are many things to like about 23andme, getting your haplogroups, receiving some health results, and learning your ethnicity by chromosome location as well as a more accurate ancestry overview than the other main companies (but not necessarily better than LivingDNA, see below). The down side is they have moved to the new illumina chip which is not very compatible with the other companies, see Debbie Kennet’s discussion of the new chip:

While AncestryDNA is the leader for cousin matching, if you can afford a second test, do 23andMe while on sale, unless your ancestry is primarily British …

Those of British descent will prefer to do a LivingDNA test on sale at half their usual price, now comparable to the others at $99. What this test provides is an accurate breakdown of your ancestors’ locations within the British Isles, as well as your haplogroups which provide your deep maternal ancestry (as well as paternal for men).

LivingDNA announced their Holiday sale for Halloween but it appears to still be on. They are also now taking uploads of DNA results from other companies, but will have no resulting reports until August 2018. Additionally they are looking for people to test with four grandparents born within 50 miles of each other from specific countries.

UPDATE 6 Nov 2017: MyHeritage also just started a great holiday sale = 40% off until November 23 so only $59 for a DNA kit!

Family Tree DNA has a sale on the unlock of DNA results uploaded from elsewhere. Roberta’s blog covers this as well as a fix to the problems with ancestry DNA uploads. I can vouch for the latter, my newly found 3rd cousin used the fix successfully.

AncestryDNA has reached 6 million testers!

There are also important changes to understand so please read Debbie Kennet’s report:

Randy Seaver has done an excellent post on the changes to the ethnicity presentation at Ancestry:

Soon I will have to do one for my family.

There is a new triangulation tool for Family Tree DNA results

Here is Roberta Estes’ report:
and Rebekah Canada has some detailed tutorials:

Personally I am dubious as I do not see how you can get true triangulation unless you can compare all three people which Family Tree DNA does not let you do. Several of my lines are endogamous, so the in common with (ICW) matrix is useless for me and cannot be used to triangulate.

For true triangulation I use the Double Match Triangulator which works beautifully. It requires that your match send you their chromosome browser results file, a CSV downloaded from the chromosome browser page that has all your segment matches. A post on the DMT tool is another item on my pending blogs list and I will evaluate this other triangulator then too.

The DNA matching at MyHeritage is much improved

See their blog post about the new match review features:
and this one about ethnicity

New Relationship Calculator

There is an extremely easy to use new relationship calculator based on Blaine’s charts at the DNApainter site:
While it may not use as many parameters as the DNAadoption calculator, it is much more intuitive. DNApainter also has a chromosome mapping tool. If no one else does a blog comparing it to my mapping tools, I suppose I will (Rebekah? Roberta?).


GEDmatch has a new feature, you can now look at a single chromosome in the Tier 1 “Matching Segment Search” function. They also have a second site for the companies using the new chip, LivingDNA and 23andme called Genesis. You can upload your other kits there as well for comparison.

Rockstar Genealogists

In the yearly genealogy rockstar voting, John D. Reid has done away with the category genetic genealogy because it turns out over half of the voting USA genealogists considered themselves genetic genealogists! Thank you all for voting me into the top ten again this year.

And that’s my round up of genetic genealogy news, some of which I hope to blog about more extensively soon, after I catch up on my gardening …


UPDATE 5 Nov 2017: No sooner had I written this post than I heard about another great new tool, a chrome addon called Pedigree Thief that will collect ancestry tree data into an ahnentafel list: and of course once you have an ahnentafel, you can make a gedcom from it with my tool:

6 thoughts on “So Much Genetic Genealogy News!

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  1. As for the Triangulator, the consensus among experienced Genetic Genealogists was that it was doing true triangulation by using an api to utilize features not normally accessible. However FTDNA perceived a potential privacy risk which they closed, and the tool is not working at the moment. The Dnagen team is working with FTDNA to resolve this issue.

  2. Yes, the Triangulator was using the match lists of your own DNA matches, so that (back on 10/21, for example, when I first used the tool), I was able to see that match A and match B were aunt/niece (which I had not been aware of earlier) and how they matched each other on all their chromosomes, not just on the one segment I was interested in, and the tool gave me the option to download the relationships and the respective match lists for the people I was testing triangulation on. Not their full match lists, but their matches on all chromosomes to those i had selected for testing triangulation. So, it was a big security gap and needed to be closed. Perhaps it can be fixed, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it can’t.

  3. DNAPainter has had no fewer than 3 postings by Israel Pickholtz, but his use has been atypical of others. Why has no one else posted? Perhaps because it is still in beta. And because several blogs have provided links to the website, which has quite a detailed description. I am still waiting for some way of downloading the graphical output. A room full of DNA genealogists loved the display, but would really like to be able to take the results with them, rather than leaving it on someone else’s website. Piece by piece entry is easy, but changing colour on a segment is difficult.
    When I presented this as a news item, I was conscious that different people prefer different ways, and presented your painting tools as an alternative that some might prefer.

    • Thanks Christopher for the summary. My tools were developed for a cousin and myself. I did use the help of a color blind reader to get the colors so he could tell them apart. Also Angie Bush requested the ability to specify the colors so that was added. I really don’t mind if a better mapper comes along. I like my tools because I can save them as web pages and preserve the mouse overs.

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