24 November 2017

DNA Test Kit Sales

Soooo many sales on DNA test kits for genealogy now. Black Friday sales and low prices throughut the holiday season. Now is the time to test or order an upgrade.
Family Tree DNA (opinion: the only company that supports DNA Projects, no additional charges for access to company tools)

This is the testing company primarily used by members of the Texas State Genealogical Society's Early Texans DNA Project (see http://www.txsgs.org/programs/dna-project/early-texans/ for more info). Parker Y-DNA Surname Project and Parker FamGroup1 Family Finder Project are also at Family Tree DNA.

Black Friday Sale (ends 27 November 2017 at 11:59 PST) - Family Finder (autosomal DNA test) only $49 USD and standard shipping $4.95 USD per kit. After that time the kit price goes up to $59 with standard shipping, but that price is still a great deal! If you have tested elsewhere you can upload the data to Family Tree DNA for free and pay only $19 for access to premium analysis tools.

Ongoing sale prices include

New Test-takers
  • Family Finder + Y-37 $178 (males only) ($168 only on Black Friday)
  • Family Finder + Y-67 $278 (males only) ($268 only on Black Friday)
  • Family Finder + mtFull Sequence $218 ($208 only on Black Friday)
  • Family Finder + Y-67 + mtFull Sequence $442 (males only) ($427 only on Black Friday)
  • Y-37 $129 (males only)
  • Y-67 $229 (males only)
  • Y-111 $299 (males only)
  • mtDNA Plus $89
  • mtFull Sequence $169

Upgrades for those who have already tested
  • mtDNA to FullmtSequence $119
  • Y-12 to Y-37 $69
  • Y-25 to Y-37 $35
  • Y-37 to Y-67 $79
  • Y-37 to Y-111 $168
  • Y-67 to Y-111 $99
  • Big Y with free upgrade to Y-111 $475

Family Tree DNA customers also receive holiday coupons by logging in to your account and clicking on the "Holiday Reward" button. Each week a new coupon is offered. Many customers are sharing coupons they do not need on Facebook, mail lists, and in a shared Google Docs file at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CgXRKz2TySvRqSInveSIYoslO7yexAc9d-BzpNhaY1c/edit#gid=1193411620.

AncestryDNA (opinion: a large database for matching relatives, but requires an annual subscription for access to all tools)

Ancestry DNA Kit is on sale for $59 and Ancestry.com subscription for first year is 50% Off. Starting 23 November at 9:00p.m. PST to 27 November 2017 at 8:59p.m. PST. (£49 DNA kit in UK, $79 DNA Kit in Canada, $99 DNA Kit in Australia)

MyHeritage/ (opinion: smaller database and waiting for DNA analysis tools and better algorithms for matching relatives)

$49 DNA Kit 21 November to 27 November (Normal price is $99). Free expedited shipping on orders of three or more kits (US only) and free standard shipping on two or more kits. MyHeritage also accepts free raw data uploads from other companies.

23andMe (opinion: the most health-related information to date)

Ancestry + Health is $99 today only at Amazon using the link

Ancestry-only kits are $69 and Ancestry + Health is $149 through 26 November at 23andMe.

LivingDNA (opinion: no matching relatives yet, but gives very detailed British Isles admixture origins)

$89 Black Friday sale price. Sale price of $159 after Black Friday. $199 normal price kit.

National Geographic Genographic Project Geno 2.0 (opinion: for deep, ancient origins and to contribute to scientific research - no matching relatives)

Black Friday sale price $69 at https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/category/geno-dna?code=SR90002&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI77Pu4cLX1wIVDrXACh28EAomEAAYASAAEgICVfD_BwE (normally $199).

Disclaimer: I receive no compensation from any of these companies. I am a satisfied paying customer of all the companies included.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Test Kit Sales," Deb's Delvings, 24 November 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

10 October 2017

Selected References for Math, Biology, and DNA Testing Company Algorithms and Features

My blog post on "DNA Analysis: Random is Most Important Factor" generated a discussion that resulted in some questions on where to find more about probability and the algorithms companies are using when analyzing our DNA data.

I have been working to update and merge my online DNA bibliography and the bibliography I provide to students attending the DNA courses at institutes, but it is still a work in progress. The following list is far from comprehensive, but lists some selected resources that provide useful information.

I tried to find public links for all of these, but some may require you to login to the website to access the papers. All URLs were accessed 10 October 2017.

Any Topic Related to Genetic Genealogy

Whenever I want to learn more about any topic related to genetic genealogy, I check the following sources first. These are all currently active and written by experienced genetic genealogists who also have scientific or engineering backgrounds.

Probability and Statistics

Biology and Genetics

Newer editions of these are available. I wanted it for the basics of biology and genetics so this older version covered everything I needed and was more economical.

  • Robert J. Brooker, Genetics: Analysis & Principles 4th ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012; https://www.amazon.com/Robert-J-Brooker-Genetics-Principles/dp/B008UBBDDY/)

  • Robert J. Brooker and Johnny El-Rady, Student Study Guide / Solutions Manual to accompany Genetics: Analysis & Principles 4th ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2012; not available on Amazon when I checked recently).



Family Tree DNA


And, of course, I recommend the book that Blaine T. Bettinger and I co-authored:
Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, Genetic Genealogy In Practice, published in September 2016 by the National Genealogical Society (NGS).

To order the print version, click here, then click the cover image on the displayed page or go directly to the online store. Price is $30.06 for NGS members, $36.05 for non-members. The print version is best for working the exercises.

For the Kindle version ($9.99), click here.

Note: As an author I receive royalties on sold copies of Genetic Genealogy In Practice. I receive no incentives from any other entities named in this post.

11 October 2017: Corrected spelling of the name of one author.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Selected References for Math, Biology, and DNA Testing Company Algorithms and Features," Deb's Delvings, 10 October 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

09 October 2017

DNA Analysis: Random is Most Important Factor

Correctly analyzing DNA matches for genetic genealogy is much harder than most researchers may think.

What is the most important thing to remember when interpreting DNA matches to determine relationships?

CC0 License, Debbie Parker Wayne, Random DNA Word Cloud

Researchers must remember that random recombination and mutations make it impossible to predict exactly how much DNA, if any, will be shared by two people, in general. The charts giving shared percentages of 50%, 25%, 12.5%, and so on are based on statistical probabilities. Real life seldom ever exactly matches a statistical probability. One exception is that each person does inherit one-half of the autosomal DNA from each parent.

Any reader of a mail list, forum, or Facebook will constantly see questions such as, "I share XYZ% of DNA with personXYZ. What relationship do we share?" And that reader will see tons of responses such as, "You must be XYZ relationship." The more savvy researchers will indicate there are several likely relationships and point to charts such as The Shared cM Project.1 There are also some tools, such as the matrices on GEDmatch.com and the relationship predictions made by the testing companies, that use the statistical shared percentages to predict relationships.

Researchers must remember to use these predictions only as clues and not as a hard-and-fast limit to accurately analyze DNA findings.

The first chart below uses GEDmatch matrix tools to demonstrate how even full siblings can share widely varying amounts of DNA with a DNA match. Four full siblings are compared to a known fourth cousin. One sibling shares only 12.4 cM of atDNA, one shares 19.8 cM, one shares 50.2 cM, and one shares 52.1 cM. The second chart shows that the GEDmatch generations matrix tool predicting the number of generations between the test-takers varies from 4 to over 7. (GEDmatch changes the order of the siblings in the different matrix views.)

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne,
GEDmatch Shared atDNA Matrix, Siblings to 4C

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne,
GEDmatch Generations Matrix, Siblings to 4C

Blaine published "The Shared cM Project" data using a Creative Commons License which gives permission for others to use and adapt the data as long as the adaptation is also made freely available and follows a few other restrictions.

Jonny Perl at DNA Painter adapted the data to create a Shared cM Project tool that highlights relationships that have been shown to share a specified amount of DNA. There are some differences in the highlighted relationships for 12.4 and 52.1 shared cM as shown in the images below.

CC0 License, Jonny Perl,
DNA Painter Shared cM Project Tool, Heading

CC0 License, Jonny Perl,
DNA Painter Shared cM Project Tool, 52.1 shared cM

CC0 License, Jonny Perl,
DNA Painter Shared cM Project Tool, 12.4 shared cM

The moral of the story is, as the Genetic Genealogy Standards indicate, there may be more than one way to interpret DNA test results:
19. Interpretation of DNA Test Results. Genealogists understand that there is frequently more than one possible interpretation of DNA test results. Sometimes, but not always, these possible explanations can be narrowed by additional testing and/or documentary genealogical research. Genealogists further understand that any analysis of DNA test results is necessarily dependent upon other information, including information from the tester, and that the analysis is only as reliable as the information upon which it is based.2

1. Blaine T. Bettinger, "The Shared cM Project," The Genetic Genealogist (https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/). Search the blog posts for the most recent update to the project.
2. Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee, Genetic Genealogy Standards(http://www.geneticgenealogystandards.com/).

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Analysis: Random is Most Important Factor," Deb's Delvings, 9 October 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

28 September 2017

DNA Analysis Consent Forms

Over the years there have been several discussions about sample consent forms a genealogist might use when asking a person to take a DNA test. Recently, Blaine T. Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, posted a sample beneficiary form on a Facebook group. Blaine's example and several others are linked from the ISOGG Wiki page on "Project consent forms."

Catkin, "Consent," CC0 Creative Commons License,

Blaine's form is specifically written to name a beneficiary to manage a DNA sample after the death of a DNA donor. Because Blaine assigned a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, others have permission to share and adapt the document. I have made two adaptations of Blaine's document.

The first adaptation is for use with my family members who take a DNA test: naming me as beneficiary to manage the kit after death of the test-taker, indicating preferences for sharing the information, whether a legal name or an alias should be used when sharing, ensuring the test-taker knows about the Genetic Genealogy Standards, and that I cannot ensure anonymity no matter how hard I work to do so. Blaine included space for a notary public to witness the signing of the document which would definitely give the document more standing if legal proceedings are ever involved. Most of the time when I am getting a sample from a family member we will not be able to easily access a notary. I changed this section to have two others present sign as witnesses; this is a more viable situation for most of us on a day-to-day basis. You will have to decide if you want a notarized document or if witnesses are an acceptable alternative if you want to do something similar.

jarmoluk, "form," CC0 Creative Commons License,

The second adaptation is for a project member indicating the same preferences and giving me permission to analyze their DNA test results, but not naming me as a beneficiary. No witnesses are requested for this document as I expect it will normally be provided to me through electronic means and I will not be present when the test-taker signs it.

Feel free to take these and adapt them further for your use. PDF and Word 2010 versions of both documents are available on my website Quick Reference Links.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Analysis Consent Forms," Deb's Delvings, 28 September 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

16 September 2017

Further Your DNA Research and Help Hurricane Harvey Victims at the Same Time

Updated 5 October 2017: Much appreciation goes to Family Tree DNA and its customers who ordered kits in September. This banner on the website shows over thirty-five thousand dollars are being donated to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Thank you all.

Original post:

There are still two weeks during which you can help yourself and others at the same time.

Family Tree DNA is located in Houston, Texas, where many have lost homes, jobs, and everything they owned due to floods caused by Hurricane Harvey and the release of waters from the local reservoirs. For all sales and upgrades of DNA tests and paid data transfers made in September, Family Tree DNA is donating a portion of the proceeds toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The banner on their home page today shows $14,882 has been collected so far. That is almost $1,000 per day!

Please consider ordering more DNA tests from Family Tree DNA before the end of September if you can do so. You win and you help the thousands and thousands of people who have been devastated by this disaster.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Further Your DNA Research and Help Hurricane Harvey Victims at the Same Time," Deb's Delvings, 16 September 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

DNA Workshop, Southwest Tennessee, 28 October 2017

I have been invited to teach an all-day DNA seminar in a workshop format in Germantown, Tennessee, on 28 October 2017. This will include hands-on analysis of autosomal DNA segments and correlating the DNA and documentary evidence.

Gingerbread family recombination,
©2016, Debbie Parker Wayne

The original event space in Germantown sold out, but there are spaces available in the larger venue now reserved. This will be my last workshop this year (my other scheduled events have been cancelled due to damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma). I am looking forward to spending time in Germantown, Memphis, and southwest Tennessee. I hope to see many old friends there and make some new friends.

Registration is available at http://www.tngs.org/event-2556801.

Date: Saturday, 28 October 2017

Time: 8:00am to 3:00pm

Place: Germantown Church of Christ, 8723 Poplar Pike, Germantown, TN 38138

Sessions include
  1. DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today: A brief review of DNA inheritance and basic genetic information, company tools, and third-party tools
  2. Y-DNA and mtDNA Analysis: Match list analysis, project advantages, using Y-DNA and mtDNA to prove Native American ancestry and to link to a common ancestor through DNA matches
  3. Autosomal DNA (atDNA) Analysis: Match list analysis, shared surname, and family tree analysis; genetic networks: shared matches, In Common With (ICW), DNA Circles; and triangulated groups
  4. Correlating DNA and Documentary Evidence: Apply DNA and documentary evidence to answer genealogical relationship questions
A family tree and documents will be used for hands-on activities to confirm (or refute) links in a tree, determine if a newly found DNA match belongs in the same tree, and whether documentary evidence correlates with the DNA evidence to support or disprove a hypothesis.

My Family Chromosome Map: Kitty Cooper Chromosome Mapper,
©2017, Debbie Parker Wayne

My Family Y-DNA Correlation, ©2017, Debbie Parker Wayne

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Workshop, Southwest Tennessee, 28 October 2017," Deb's Delvings, 16 September 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

25 August 2017

Free (for some) atDNA Analysis Workshop

Genetic Genealogy, using DNA to answer genealogical questions, is one of the hottest topics in genealogy today. Every professional researcher, really every researcher of any kind, needs a basic understanding of using the different DNA tests available, analysis tools, and writing about DNA analysis to incorporate it into research reports or essays. Researchers must understand how to correlate DNA evidence with documentary evidence to analyze a genealogical question, and they also must understand how to present DNA evidence in a format understandable by novices as one of the elements supporting a conclusion. A hands-on workshop helps understand the necessary skills.

Lone Star Chapter of APG is sponsoring a four-hour Autosomal (atDNA) Analysis Workshop at the upcoming 2017 TxSGS Family History Conference. Attendance will be free to all Lone Star Chapter of APG members. Non-members of the chapter must pay a registration fee ($50) to attend this limited-space workshop. The workshop will be on Saturday afternoon, 21 October 2017. The current schedule lists a 1:30pm start time, but the start time may change to 1:00pm. Check your conference schedule once you arrive.

This workshop is for researchers with high-beginner to intermediate level DNA knowledge and professional genealogists adding DNA clients. Topics covered in the workshop include a brief review of DNA inheritance and analysis tools for the match list, family trees, and DNA test results. A case study will illustrate DNA analysis, applying documentary and genetic evidence, and writing and reporting the results.

Lone Star Chapter members, or those who wish to renew or join the chapter to get this member benefit, should contact Treasurer Michael Belcher at mikeandvickib@mac.com. Michael can supply you with the code to enter during conference registration to get free registration for this four-hour workshop and he can assist with joining the chapter if you are not already a member. You must first be an APG member before joining the Lone Star Chapter.
(Note: the chapter website was not available at the time this blog was written.)

Conference and workshop registration is through the TxSGS website at http://www.txsgs.org/conference/registration/. Do not forget to enter the workshop code (obtained from Michael Belcher) or you will be charged for the workshop registration.

This workshop is presented by me. For those who may not know my background, I am co-author (with Blaine T. Bettinger) of the popular, first-ever genetic genealogy workbook, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS); author of the online, self-paced course Continuing Genealogical Studies: Autosomal DNA, offered by NGS; coordinator of the first DNA courses presented at all four of the major genealogy institutes (GRIP, SLIG, IGHR, CAFG FGI); and the DNA Project Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society and the Early Texans DNA Project. Other publications include a column on using DNA analysis for genealogical research in NGS Magazine from 2013 to the present, many DNA articles in TxSGS journal Stirpes, articles in the APG Quarterly, and other regional journals. More information and archived versions of many of these articles can be found at http://debbiewayne.com/pubs.php.

The Texas State conference is one of the biggest annual conferences in the area with many fine speakers known nationally, regionally, and locally. Check out all of the other informative sessions available from conference headliners J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Dr. Michael Lacopo as well as the many sessions presented by Deborah A. Abbott, PhD; Susan Ball; Andrew Carroll; Henrietta Martinez Christmas; Deena Coutant; Schelly Talalay Dardashti; Patti Todd Gillespie; Sara Gredler; Colleen (Robledo) Greene; Tony Hanson; Susan Kaufman; Andrew Lee; Devon Noel Lee; Janice Lovelace; Bernard Meisner; Kelvin L. Meyers; Betsy Mills; Jeannette Piecznski; Diane Richard; Mary Kircher Roddy; Michael L. Strauss, AG; Cari Taplin, CG; Lisa Toth Salinas; Angela Walton-Raji; and Eric Wells.

We hope to see you all there at this must-see event in Texas, 20–22 October 2017 in Katy (just west of Houston).

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Free (for some) atDNA Analysis Workshop," Deb's Delvings, 25 August 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]). © 2017,
Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark, and the designations CG, CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

The ICAPGenSM service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® registered marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. All Rights Reserved.