19 April 2017

National DNA Day Sales 2017

National DNA Day is coming soon—25 April. Sales on DNA kits have already started!

Updates added 21 April 2017.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) starts their sale on April 20, ending at 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, 27 April.

Upgrades on prior Y-DNA and mtDNA tests are not included. Adding a new test to an existing kit will receive the discounted sale price. See all of the current sale prices on this product page once the sale starts. To add a test to an existing kit, login to the account first. To order a new kit for someone without an account, just click on the price button on the product page and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you are attending the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium conference at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts on 26-29 April, the FTDNA crew will be in attendance. Kits can be purchased at special event prices at the conference until the Exhibit Hall closes on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall will be open to the public at no charge 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time on Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

AncestryDNA is offering 20% off—sale price is $79 for the autosomal DNA test. Be aware that if you do not pay a subscripton fee to Ancestry you do not have access to all features (see https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000TzydAAC/Accounts-after-Cancellation). When viewed on 21 April 2017, this page indicates that with a guest account you can see ethnicity estimates, DNA matches, Genetic Communities, automatic updates to your ethnicity estimate as updates are released, shared matches, and you can contact matches; you do not have access to New Ancestry Discoveries, DNA Circles, Shared Ancestor Hints, viewing your matches’ trees, or lists of surnames and birth locations that appear both your tree and your matches’ trees.

MyHeritage is offering autosomal DNA tests for $79.

LivingDNA is offering $40 off their test for a sale price of $119. LivingDNA's test is different than what we have been using for DNA and there is no match list (so far). See Roberta Estes' blog post describing her LivingDNA test results for more info.

23andMe has no special listed on their website as of 21 April 2017, 4:30 p.m. CDT.

Have fun analyzing the shared DNA segments and determining how you are related to all of your DNA matches!

If you need to learn more about how to analyze your DNA matches check out our genetic genealogy workbook Genetic Genealogy in Practice, co-written by me and Blaine T. Bettinger.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "National DNA Day Sales 2017," Deb's Delvings, 19 April 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

01 April 2017

AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

Note: All images are screenshots captured by Debbie Parker Wayne. Where names of living people are include, permission was obtained.

Be aware: Genetic Communities is clearly marked as a "beta" resource. It will change over time and changes have already been seen in the community makeup, names, and assignments since the rollout.

This week AncestryDNA unveiled a new tool for DNA test-takers—Genetic Communities. This tool may clear up some of the widespread misunderstanding of admixture prediction. Admixture predictions are based on where our ancestors may have been thousands of years ago—a period for which few genealogists have documentary evidence. Genetic communities are where our ancestors were within two hundred years (more or less)—a period for which most genealogists have documentary evidence.

Quick! Take advantage of the chance to learn about Genetic Communities for free through until 6 April 2017 by viewing this informative webinar recording. There is a fee to view after that date.

Blaine T. Bettinger, "Exploring AncestryDNA's New Genetic Communities," webinars, Legacy Family Tree (http://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=618).

On March 20th on Facebook Blaine asked each of us to predict what our Genetic Communities (GC) would be. My prediction was Upper South and Lower South:

This prediction is based on the birth states of my ancestors shown in the chart below. A Facebook friend started a meme a year or so ago. He had us creating four to six generation pedigree charts listing only the birthplaces of ancestors and color-coding the blocks. Here is the chart I posted last year (I have filled in a few of the question marks since then with ancestor names). It shows all of my ancestors born in the South back to the early 1800s. Earlier generations are not shown here, but they are in the southern United States as far back as I have traced each line. I have one lone fourth-great-grandfather who was supposedly born in New York in about 1800 and was in Mississippi by 1810 to 1820.

My GCs are exactly what I predicted. The names assigned by Ancestry are not Upper South and Lower South. The expected Southern states are included in the GCs which have been given more descriptive names by AncestryDNA.

So how do these GCs help me with my genealogical research? For me, I get few new clues as to locations of ancestors after the late 1700s. Someone with a less extensive tree may get clues as to which states their ancestors came from.

Clicking the Connections button, I do get some clues as to potential European origins of most settlers in the areas where my ancestors settled in the New World. These clues agree with the family stories that have been passed down of ancestral origins in Germany, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

I see a list of surnames that are found more often in this GC than outside of it. I can use the "View All Matches" button to see which of my DNA matches are also part of this GC.

This match list contains only DNA matches who are also part of this GC. A match with a shallow tree may be able to get some clues from the ancestors in my tree that are in this GC.

Back on the window with the GC Stories, if I click on one Year Span in the community story bar I can see which of my ancestors were in this community during that time span. I can use the left and right arrow keys next to the year span to cycle through all year spans.

I can zoom the map in to see finer detail. I can click on a "pin" on the map to see which ancestors are associated with this pin.

As of now, all of my ancestor pins only narrow the locale down to a region of a state. This may be because my tree on Ancestry does not include county level details for all events. However, if Ancestry plans to extend this GC tool to show us our ancestors and ancestors of our matches in the same or nearby counties, I may be tempted to share more of the details in my tree on Ancestry. (I never had a tree on Ancestry.com until I took a DNA test with them and wanted to use some of the DNA tools that require a public tree. I only took the time to enter a barebones tree with ancestors; no collaterals; basic birth, marriage, death info; and states only for some locations. At least once RootsMagic can sync with Ancestry it will be easier to update an Ancestry tree if I decide to place all of my data online.)

It is helpful to see which of my ancestral lines were in the same or nearby counties at the same time. This is a great by-product of the GC maps. Before now, I had to use other tools to map where my ancestors were at any given time.

For details on the science behind Genetic Communities and how others have used GCs see these resources.

The scientific paper:
Eunjung Han, et al., "Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America," Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14238 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms14238 (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14238).

The Ancestry white paper:
Catherine A. Ball, et al., "Genetic Communities™ White Paper: Predicting fine-scale ancestral origins from the genetic sharing patterns among millions of individuals," Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities/whitepaper).

Blaine Bettinger, "AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities are Finally Here!," The Genetic Genealogist, 28 March 2017 (http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2017/03/28/ancestrydnas-genetic-communities-are-finally-here/).

Leah LaPerle Larkin, "Genetic Communities Are Here!," The DNA Geek, 27 March 2017 (http://thednageek.com/genetic-communities-are-here/).

Leah LaPerle Larkin, "The Science Behind Genetic Communities at AncestryDNA," The DNA Geek, 3 March 2017 (http://thednageek.com/the-science-behind-genetic-communities-at-ancestrydna/).

Roberta Estes, "More About Genetic Communities and Display Problem Hints," DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy blog, 28 March 2017 (https://dna-explained.com/2017/03/28/more-about-genetic-communities-and-display-problem-hints/).

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "AncestryDNA Genetic Communities," Deb's Delvings, 1 April 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

21 March 2017

Wanted: Genetic Genealogy Analysis Tools Incorporating Family Tree Charts

Programmers who are interested in genetic genealogy have provided some great tools for DNA analysis. Testing companies provide some great tools, too. New tools are produced all of the time and I use and love most of them. I WANT MORE. I want some specific features. Few of these tools today correlate the detailed DNA data (Y-DNA STR mutations, atDNA shared segments with start and stop points on a chromosome) with the family tree in an easily understood way. That correlation is essential for the "genealogy" in genetic genealogy.

One of the to-do tasks that keeps getting shoved lower on my priority list is to provide genealogy software developers with a list of what we need to incorporate DNA data into our databases and to create useful output for analysis. Genetic genealogical research has matured to the point where this should become a priority.

If we all pool our ideas, we can come up with a good list to provide to developers so the output is what we want. We need a list of the data we want to store in the genealogy database as well as what type of output reports we need.

So what would your ideal genealogy database incorporate and provide as output for your genetic analysis? Not necessarily the raw DNA data for analysis, but the shared DNA data related to the other test-takers in your database.

Feel free to provide suggestions as comments to this blog post, as Facebook comments if you read this on Facebook, or contact me directly using the email addresses on my website http://debbiewayne.com/ (scroll to the bottom of any page to see contact info).

So what finally spurred me to make this a priority after all this time? (1) I investigated different tree creation tools a few months ago and discussed it on Facebook. I found none of the tools produce exactly what I want for DNA analysis. (2) The McGuire Method of charting several of us saw last summer was published.

Lauren McGuire recently wrote a guest post on Blaine T. Bettinger's The Genetic Genealogist blog, "GUEST POST: The McGuire Method – Simplified Visual DNA Comparisons." This describes the great chart she designed for correlating a family tree and shared autosomal DNA (atDNA) totals for analysis. The chart Lauren uses in the blog post displays total shared centimorgans (cM), percentage shared, and relationship of each person on the tree in an efficient and compact format. I like seeing all of these items at once as all are important during analysis.

I immediately loved Lauren's chart when I first saw it. She and I obviously think the same way about what we want to see when analyzing DNA information.

My own charts started out with printed trees - either created in an image editor, Microsoft Word SmartArt, RootsMagic genealogy software, Progeny Charting Companion, or, more recently TreeDraw. Lauren and many others use Excel. Some use LucidChart and other online charting tools (find more info on these tools with a Google search). None of these tools provide an easy way to create a tree that only includes the DNA test-takers, much less incorporate the DNA data with the tree. And often my DNA data is handwritten at the bottom of the printed chart. If I want to make it look prettier then I spend a lot of time getting a Word table to line up under the family tree.

My own charts have evolved over the years. I started by creating an image of the tree and Y-DNA STR differences in an image editor:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Image, Debbie Parker Wayne

That evolved into a Word table that was easier to modify:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Table, Debbie Parker Wayne

Then into Word SmartArt which was better to show in a presentation:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art, Debbie Parker Wayne

For autosomal DNA triangulation I started with Word SmartArt and hand-written shared segment info:

atDNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art with Hand-written Notes, Debbie Parker Wayne

That evolved into simplified trees with a Word table showing shared segment info:

atDNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art with Shared Segment Table, Debbie Parker Wayne

I use a similar table when I am analyzing total shared DNA against the tree relationships.

What other formats have you found useful? What would make your DNA analysis process easier?

In my opinion, tree charts are most useful when each test-taker's lineage is shown in a column and each generation is contained in a row. The DNA data for a test-taker can be shown below in the same column as the lineage. The rows allow for easy calculation of relationships - which the software could do for us and include in the chart.

A chart including only the people in the DNA study is essential. I have been creating additional RootsMagic databases including only the DNA test-takers and their ancestors, but this takes a lot of time. The pared down database is input to one of the charting programs, but I still sometimes have to remove spouse boxes when I am only interested in the men for a Y-DNA study, for example. Creating a chart from my full database and then deleting the people I do not want takes even longer.

The DNA data to incorporate into our genealogy database varies for Y-DNA, autosomal and X-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA. Autosomal DNA analysis requires total shared DNA or shared segment information. Y-DNA analysis requires notation of differing Y-DNA STR and SNP markers. Mitochondrial DNA requires listing the locations that differ from a reference sequence and/or between test-takers. For Y-DNA and mtDNA we may want to include haplogroups. Even though we all know the admixture estimates vary depending on the reference population and algorithm used, we might want to record the estimates and which portions of which chromosomes match which reference populations.

Send me your ideas and I will compile a list we can prioritize and provide to the genealogy software developers. This new list will not be specific to any testing company or software, but a list of data we want to track in our DNA analysis and provide in reports we use for our analysis and publications. There may some overlap between the list I compile and the ISOGG Wiki wish lists for the testing companies:
https://isogg.org/wiki/AncestryDNA_wish_list, and

If you are on Facebook, these discussions relate to this issue although you may not be able to see the posts depending on Facebook settings

March 21: Added a cropped portion of the McGuire chart with permission of creator, Lauren McGuire.

March 22: Image added to illustrate reply below to nut4nature22 dated March, 2017 05:43:

RootsMagic Relationship Chart Sample, Debbie Parker Wayne

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Wanted: Genetic Genealogy Analysis Tools Incorporating Family Tree Charts," Deb's Delvings, 21 March 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

20 March 2017

Different View of Shared cM Project Data

A while ago Blaine T. Bettinger gathered data (and is still collecting more data) for the Shared cM Project which he published. His charts fit on one page and shows the estimated average, and more importantly, actual minimum and maximum amount of shared cM reported between two test-takers with a known relationships.

I love Blaine's chart because all of the data fits on one page, but for visual learners the overlap in the minimum and maximum numbers is easier to see in a bar chart format. Since Blaine published his data under a Creative Commons "CC 4.0 Attribution License" others can adapt the data and publish changes under the same license.

So I reformatted Blaine's data in a bar chart format. One complete chart is available which should be printed on 11x17 paper in landscape format to be easily readable. The chart is also split into four parts with some overlapping relationships to allow the data to be printed in a more readable format in four pieces. To me, this is easier to show someone so they can see that sharing, for example, 100 cM, could fall into any of nine relationships shown on the chart. And the chart does not even include all of the potential double, half, and removed possibilities for cousins. I hope these are as useful for other researchers as they are for me.

Click the links below to access full size images.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Different View of Shared cM Project Data," Deb's Delvings, 20 March 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

28 February 2017

Audio Version: Richard Hill's Finding Family

Richard Hill just announced that his book, "Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA, is available as an audiobook. This is great for those of us who listen to genealogy lectures and books as we drive to those remote conferences and institutes. For more information see Richard's website with a link to a three-minute sample:


See my prior posts on this great book:

"Review: Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 29 August 2012 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2012/08/review-finding-family-my-search-for.html).

"Free Preview: Richard Hill's Finding Family," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 11 February 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2016/02/free-preview-richard-hills-finding.html).

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Audio Version: Richard Hill's Finding Family," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 28 February 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

19 January 2017

CFP: Texas State 2017 Conference

Call for Papers from the Texas State Genealogical Society:

Texas State Genealogical Society
2017 Family History Conference
Call for Presentations
Deadline for Submissions: March 18, 2017

18 January 2017—Austin, Texas—The Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS) announces a Call for Presentations for their 2017 Family History Conference. This year’s conference will be held 20-22 October 2017, in Houston, Texas. The deadline for proposals is March 18, 2017.

About the Proposals

We are looking for dynamic, enthusiastic presenters! If you feel passionate about your area of expertise and would like to teach and inspire other genealogists, this is the venue for you. Seasoned speakers and speakers new to the genealogical lecturing arena are encouraged to submit presentations.

Submission Ideas

The areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Basic genealogical topics (How-To or Getting Started).
  • Methodology and problem-solving techniques.
  • Ethnic research topics (African-American, Hispanic, German-Texan, Czech-Texan, etc.).
  • Adoptee challenges.
  • DNA.
  • Researching in record groups (land records, probate records, etc.).
  • Texas and Southern-focused research.
    Submission Requirements

Presentations should be one hour in length. This includes any question-and-answer period the presenter may want to allow.

Presenters may submit proposals for as many as five lectures.

What to Include

Please send proposals in the following formats: Microsoft Word, PDF, or Rich Text Format (RTF). File names should include your last name and title of lecture (example: Smith – Understanding DNA Results).

Presenters should send a genealogical resume or biography in addition to your proposals. Please include any prior speaking experience.

Be sure to submit the following information for each lecture you propose:
  • Your full name.
  • Contact information (mailing address, email address, and phone number).
  • A lecture outline or summary (not more than one page).
  • Audio-visual requirements (projector, screen, etc.). TxSGS will provide a projector, microphone and stand.
  • Target audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional).

Email your individual proposals as file attachments to the TxSGS 2017 Conference Chair at conference@txsgs.org. Please send one proposal per email.

Proposals must be received no later than 18 March 2017.

Additional Requirements for Selected Presenters

Selected presenters will also be required to provide the following information and materials for marketing purposes and for the syllabus:

  • Photo.
  • Brief biography.
  • Camera-ready handout for each lecture.

Specific guidelines for the above media items will be sent out with your notification of acceptance.


Selected presenters will receive an honorarium of $100 for each one-hour lecture.

Additionally, a $25 bonus per lecture, will be awarded to the those presenters selected for submitting syllabus materials by the syllabus material deadline. All required dates will be outlined in the acceptance letter sent to the selected presenters.

In addition each speaker will also receive a $150 stipend as reimbursement for expenses as well as a free registration to the conference. No other expenses will be provided or reimbursed. Meals that are included as part of the conference registration will be provided.

Proposal & Syllabus Timeline

  • 18 March 2017: Proposals due
  • 1 May 2017: Notifications of acceptance sent out
  • 1 September 2017: Syllabus materials due


If you have questions, please contact the TxSGS 2017 Conference Chair at conference@txsgs.org.

For more information see http://www.txsgs.org/conference/ and https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=texas%20state%20genealogical%20society.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "CFP: Texas State 2017 Conference," Deb's Delvings, 19 January 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

14 December 2016

DNA Chromosome Map Poster for Grandkids

Being a genetic genealogy nerd, I wanted to do something related to DNA for my grandkids for Christmas. Most of my grandkids do not have all four grandparents living. However, all of them have at least one maternal and one paternal grandparent living.

We know the grandkids get one copy of each autosomal chromosome from each parent. We know those chromosomes are a recombined mixture of the DNA the parent inherited from the grandparents. When one maternal grandparent has tested, we know which segment of DNA the grandhild inherited from that grandparent. We also know the maternal DNA not shared wth the tested maternal grandparent came from the untested maternal grandparent. The same logic can be applied to the paternal line shared DNA.

For my grandkids where I have tested a grandparent on both the maternal and paternal side I made a chromosome map to add to their Christmas gifts. This is how I did it. You may add your own enhancements and make alternate color choices. I may make some of these text boxes a little snazzier, but you get the idea. If you have a good idea for an enhancement please let us know in the comments.

At Family Tree DNA I have access to the shared segment data and I like the shapes they use on the chromosome browser. You could do something similar with data from 23andMe or GEDmatch.com. It will look a little different, but would still be a unique educational gift.

  1. Login to grandchild's account
  2. Display chromosome browser (CB) with shared DNA to a maternal grandparent
  3. Grab a screenshot - SnagIt scrolls the web page to capture the entire CB display
  4. Display CB with shared DNA to a paternal grandparent
  5. Grab a screen shot as in step 3
  6. Display the Family Finder Matches list of the grandchild
  7. Divide the amount of total shared DNA between the grandchild and paternal grandparent by 68 to calculate the approximate percentage of DNA shared
  8. Subtract that shared percentage from 50 to calculate the percentage of DNA that was inherited from the other paternal grandparent
  9. Divide the amount of total shared DNA between the grandchild and maternal grandparent by 68 to calculate the approximate percentage of DNA shared
  10. Subtract that shared percentage from 50 to calculate the percentage of DNA that was inherited from the other maternal grandparent

    In an image editor (I used SnagIt editor) make the changes below, frequently saving the image so nothing gets lost. You need to understand how to use an image editor to complete this part. Numbers on the image here correspond to the steps below. Click on the image to see a larger version.

    [15 Dec 2016 addition: Next time I do this I think I will add the grandchild's name to the top as a title (maybe "Grandchild-name's DNA Map") instead of placing it in several smaller text boxes as shown here.]

  11. Open both screenshots and crop out the area around the CB display
  12. Double the canvas size of one of the images horizontally - I used the paternal CB screenshot and chose placement options so it would be on the left of the final image
  13. Copy the second image into the new canvas and visually align the CB displays so the same numbered chromosomes line up (both chromosomes 1 are horizontally aligned, and so on)
  14. Save the merged images to a new filename
  15. Choose a different color for each grandparent - I used red for paternal grandmother, blue for paternal grandfather, yellow for maternal grandmother, green for maternal grandfather
  16. On the paternal CB image, use color fill to change the color marking the shared DNA segments - my CB display is for the paternal grandmother so I changed the default shared DNA color used by Family Tree DNA to red
  17. On the paternal CB image, use color fill to change the navy color marking unshared segments to bright blue
  18. On the maternal CB image, use color fill to change the color marking the shared DNA segments - my CB display is for the maternal grandmother so I changed the default shared DNA color used by Family Tree DNA to gold
  19. On the maternal CB image, use color fill to change the navy color marking unshared segments to green
  20. Add a small gold circle to indicate the mtDNA that was inherited from the maternal grandmother and text box indicating the mtDNA is from Mom's Mother
  21. Add text boxes with the grandchild's name, a color key for the maternal / paternal lines, a color key for the grandmother / grandfather in each line
  22. Add a text box listing the percentage of DNA shared with each grandparent (calculated in steps 7 through 10 above
  23. Include whether X, Y, or mtDNA was inherited from that same grandparent
  24. Add a short summary of DNA inheritance
I also made the X chromosome smaller in size by drawing a selection box around it then moving the box edges to squeeze the chromosome horizontally so it became smaller. Technically, it should be about the same size as chromosome 7, but I wanted more space to include text on the percentage shared with each grandparent.

Print the resulting image on heavy paper used for certificates or awards; my paper has pretty gold curlicues in each corner. I selected to scale the image to leave borders on all edges so I could frame the image. On my printer, I have an option to print in draft, normal, or best mode. For these, I selected best mode to get the highest quality prinout my printer will make.

I framed the images and printed a second copy that would allow siblings to hold the papers next to each other to easily compare which DNA each inherited from each grandparent.

I am planning to add some additional explanatory text to send along with the images. And, of course, I will refer them to the appropriate pages in the copy of Genetic Genealogy in Practice for more details. After all, I did give a copy to all of my kids and some other family members once the book was in print. I might as well give them a reason to read it.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Chromosome Map Poster for Grandkids," Deb's Delvings, 14 December 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved