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

05 November 2016

Nov. 10, 'DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today' at Bear Creek Genealogical Society (Houston, TX)

My last scheduled speaking engagement in 2016 is next week in Houston. The topic will be an introduction to genetic genealogy testing and how to apply the test results to genealogical questions.


1 p.m., Thursday, 10 November 2016, Houston, Texas: GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today – Bear Creek Genealogical Society & Library – Westlake Volunteer Fire Dept. station, 19636 Salms Road. (I-10 West to the Fry Rd. exit; turn right / north and travel about five traffic lights; turn right on Salms Road and immediately see new building on left; turn left into parking lot, drive past building, enter at double doors in front of building, turn right into auditorium. Located in a two story brick building on northeast side of Saums Road after you turn at the Saums Road light next to KF; not the old original metal building across the street.) See also www.bearcreekgenealogy.org.

An introduction to all of the ways DNA can help with genealogical research and the tests available. Covers all four types of DNA (Y, mitochondrial, X, and autosomal) and basic genetics information needed to use DNA for genealogy.

I hope to see many readers and friends there next week. Please stop by and say hi.


To cite this blog post:

Debbie Parker Wayne, "Nov. 10, 'DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today' at Bear Creek Genealogical Society (Houston, TX)," Deb's Delvings, 5 November 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

13 October 2016

Bringing it Together: Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy

My, how times change!

Six years ago I was lamenting that there was little overlap between the people I see at genealogy conferences and those I see at genetic genealogy conferences. The overlap could be counted on my fingers—without using any fingers more than once! I could not understand why many of my genealogy friends did not see how powerful and important DNA test results are to solving our research problems. I could not understand why many of my genetic genealogy friends did not see the need for the Genealogical Proof Standard and thorough research.


In 2012, I got to know CeCe Moore and Blaine T. Bettinger well enough to discuss this mystery. We decided what we needed first was more education in the community. Conference presentations are great, but what you can cover in an hour, or even four, is very limited. I sent CeCe and Blaine an outline for a week-long genetic genealogy course. We all collaborated on changes and additions. We then divided the course outline into thirds. We presented the first course in the summer of 2014 at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) at the invitation of directors Elissa Scalise Powell and Deborah Lichtner Deal.

The number of institute courses have exploded. The number of institute instructors has grown. Today, eight or more different week-long courses have been offered or are planned. The course at each institute is somewhat different than the similar-level course at another institute. Multiple two- to three-day courses focusing on specialties, such as adoption or forensic work, have been offered at the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) Forensic Genealogy Institute (FGI). Angie Bush joined the team for a period when the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) decided to offer both beginner and advanced courses. Patti Lee Hobbs, CG, and Karen Stanbary, CG, joined the team as instructors at GRIP and IGHR. Debra Renard presented a case study and tools sessions at IGHR this year. Paul Woodbury is joining the SLIG team for 2017.

The craving for genetic genealogy education is worldwide and spreads beyond the institutes. For several years before these U.S. institutes started, the U.K has hosted the "Who do You Think You Are? Live" event. Since 2013, there has been a Genetic Genealogy Ireland event. Since 2013, Southern California Genealogy Jamboree has offered a DNA Day pre-conference event in Burbank, California. In 2014, the Institute for Genetic Genealogy (I4GG) offered their first two-day event focused on DNA. Many advanced sessions were offered. This year I4GG seems to be focusing more on basic adoption and unknown parentage research with a few advanced sessions. The University of Strathclyde in Scotland offers genetic genealogy courses. Blaine T. Bettinger teaches an online course at Excelsior College in the U.S. Debbie Parker Wayne developed the online, self-paced course Continuing Genealogical Studies: Autosomal DNA, offered by NGS. And there are an uncountable number of webinars and short courses available online. There have even been genetic genealogy cruises and tons of television shows!

These brief statistics demonstrate how institute education in the U.S. on genetic genealogy has skyrocketed since July 2014.


  • 347 genealogists and adoption searchers have attended DNA institute courses (GRIP, SLIG, IGHR, offering week-long beginner, beginner/intermediate, intermediate, and advanced courses; or CAFG's FGI offering two to three day focused courses)
  • 39 of those students (more than 10% of the total number) are credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, many have attended multiple courses (BCG has additional associates with college degrees in Biology, Biotechnology, and related fields who understand DNA even without attending one of these courses; the number of ICAPgen accredited genealogists who may have attended, if any, is not known)
  • 31 of those students have only attended shorter courses focused on unknown parentage, adoption, or forensic specialties (perhaps because that is the focus of their work, they have not been able to schedule time yet to attend one of the longer and more comprehensive institutes, or some other reason)
  • 232 students have taken only one course
  • 90 students have taken two courses at differing levels
  • 15 students have taken three courses at differing levels
  • 10 students have taken four courses at differing levels
  • 5 students retook the same level course more than once (this is a good thing to do if you miss some sessions the first time, to ensure you did not miss anything important the first time even if you attended every presentation, and to cement those more difficult concepts and techniques)

The genealogy community now understands the importance of genetic genealogy.

I will be even happier when we get the genetic genealogy community to become more a part of the genealogy community. Maybe we will see more DNA speakers who are well-known on the "genetic side" invited to speak at the national genealogy conferences. Studying the Genealogy Standards3 and incorporating its concepts into your DNA presentations is a good start at showing you understand both "sides" of genealogy. It would be fabulous for us all to be one community instead of two, and for all of the conference planners to know who is good at both genetic genealogy and documentary genealogy. Both are needed to be a great genealogist, which is the goal for most of us.



1. OpenClipartVectors, dna-148807_1280.png (https://pixabay.com/en/dna-gene-genetic-helix-rna-148807/ : accessed 26 December 2015). CC0 Public Domain.
2. Fry Library, "Old Library, History Reading Room, 1964," digital image, Flickr Creative Commons (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lselibrary/3925726829/ : accessed 5 December 2011); Fry Library. Photograph taken during the making of a BBC documentary.
3. Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, 50th anniversary ed. (Nashville, TN: Ancestry Imprint, Turner Publishing, 2014).


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Bringing it Together: Genealogy and Genetic Genealogy," Deb's Delvings, 13 October 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

12 October 2016

Cost of DNA vs Documents

I keep hearing people complain about the cost of DNA tests. People saying that we cannot champion using DNA for every genealogical relationship problem because researchers cannot afford it.


CC0, 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne
(That is not a word we use often in Texas, but I can't use the word in public you would hear most often in Texas to express this sentiment.)

My last research trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) and the Copiah County Clerk's Office cost me over $800 (gasoline for the car, six hotel nights, meals, photocopy costs because the MDAH still does not allow digital cameras) plus the loss of seven days time when I could have been doing client work or preparing for a DNA workshop. The $800 breaks down to about ten dollars per page for each photocopy I made. In my mind I may think those pages cost me only twenty-five cents each, but the real cost includes the travel costs. I am not even adding in the lost income. And I needed all of those pages, not just one or two, to prove my case to a reasonable level.

On that trip I focused on proving the relationship between one man and his parents.

©, 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne

My Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA (which now costs only $79) gave me much more definitive proof of the relationship I was trying to prove on that research trip. I have multiple cousins on my match list who confirm this relationship using a record that never lies or gets lost or destroyed—DNA.


©, 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne


And the DNA test results also provide evidence for dozens and dozens of other relationships, not just the one I was focused on during my Mississippi trip.


©, 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne

We need both the documentary evidence and the DNA evidence to prove most relationships. But the DNA information cost me a lot less here. We should consider the true cost of research, not the cost to photocopy one page or order one vital records certificate, when making our own cost benefit analysis as to whether a DNA test makes sense for us.

Reasonably exhaustive research using DNA sometimes requires multiple targeted test-takers, but much of your tree can be confirmed by testing only yourself then using the trees and the shared DNA of those on your match list. For me, the DNA test has been well worth the cost, even priceless.



CC0, 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne




To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Cost of DNA vs Documents," Deb's Delvings, 12 October 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

28 September 2016

DNA Helix beaded model

I wanted a DNA helix model to have at my vendor booth at the Texas State Genealogical Society conference where I will be discussing the Early Texans DNA Project and Genetic Genealogy in Practice written with Blaine. I wanted something classier than foam or styrofoam without spending hundreds of dollars.

I came up with this idea for wire and beads. I realized the four colors of beads I picked to represent the GCATs could be called Green, Cyan (blue), Amber, and Tangerine (orange) so the first letter of the color matches the DNA chemical names Guanine, Cytosine, Adenine, Thymine. So I decided to make it a real map of the first rungs of the DNA ladder for my mtDNA sequence. I added small wooden beads to represent the sugar and phosphate binding agents.

I still need to play with the twist but I think I am going to like using this at conferences and maybe even at institute courses! The helix is about three inches wide and twenty or so inches long. The size could be adapted using different sized beads and chains.




Photos and DNA Helix design by Debbie Parker Wayne, September 2016



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Helix beaded model," Deb's Delvings, 28 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


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

27 September 2016

Respect and Rights

I am a genealogist. I have a strong compulsion to know my ancestors. I have given up most other activities to follow this compulsion for years now, giving up even more after becoming obsessed with genetic genealogy. So, I can empathize with someone whose brick wall is with their parents or grandparents, whereas my brick walls are deeper in my family tree.

I also recognize that I am my own person; a product of my upraising and my experiences in life. My genes were passed down by my ancestors, but not their deeds. I am not doomed because of the bad things they did. My karma isn't influenced by the good things they did. I make my own destiny. I know who my father is, but he had little to do with the person I am, having divorced Mom when I was only two-years old. I grew up in a household with no father. I grew up in a house with no grandfather; my grandmother was also divorced. I never felt that I missed anything due to the lack of men in my childhood even though this was a rare circumstance in the 1950s and 1960s. My character was strongly influenced by my mother and my other matrilineal line ancestors in the photo below. They passed on the idea that I should consider the feelings of others as well as right and wrong when making decisions.


Too often today, in all areas of our lives, some have the idea that their way of looking at things is the only valid way and the way of the "truth." But there are no hard and fast rules. Ideas of right and wrong change over time, in different cultures, and with new experiences. My pre-teen and teen years encompassed enough of the 1960s for me to remember the teachings of tolerance and idealism. I may not respect all of the beliefs of others that are different from my own, but I respect their right to have those beliefs. What I can never respect is one person's right to force their beliefs on others.

I recently read Bill Griffeth's The Stranger in My Genes. He says, "If genealogy had taught me anything, it was that when our lives are stripped to the bare walls—no job, no money, no possessions—we are left with a fundamental truth that defines us, and it's family."1 After taking a DNA test for family history purposes, Griffeth discovered that the father who raised him was not his biological father. The story of his path to acceptance and understanding of this truth is a compelling one. Griffeth's brother stated what has always been a truth in my family, too: "No matter what, you're still my little brother."2



Family is so much more than a blood relationship or shared genes.

One thing that impresses me with Griffeth's story is his understanding that our ancestors are people just like us, with shortcomings and imperfections, as well as honor. As much as he wanted to know the story of his biological father, he did not press his mother when he saw she was reluctant to discuss what she saw as a mistake she had made. He had empathy for his mother's feelings.

This struck me as so different from the sentiments I often hear expressed today. While I have sympathy for any person who does not know their immediate ancestors and wants to know, I also empathize with the men who were told no one would ever know they were a sperm donor, the women who were told no one would ever know they gave their child up for adoption, or the women who had a moment of indiscretion or a great love affair that resulted in them giving birth to a child whose biological father is not the one named on the birth certificate. In an earlier time, the accepted cultural mores meant never being "outed."

Yes, things have changed today, but many of us continue to believe in the morals we were raised with (or that we may have tortured ourselves with for years as we explored new philosophies). For those on all sides of the unknown parentage triangle who look forward to contact, I am happy for them. For those who do not, I have trouble accepting that any person should be forced to confess or accept something they may have tried to forget or that may cause them pain.

Knowing your medical history is important. Modern DNA tests can provide a lot of information. All of the health history revealed by my DNA tests just confirmed what I already knew from analyzing the death certificates of family members. Without those death certificates I could learn that information from my DNA test.

Not everyone feels the need to force a meeting with biological parents. Griffeth's book describes his acceptance. Some in my own family do not know the identity of their fathers or learned the identity after becoming an adult. One family member who contributed DNA for my family study said, "I don't really care one way or the other whether I learn who my father was. I know who my family is."

Context and empathy are required when researching all types of records. Census, court records, and many others can reveal just as much as a DNA test can reveal about a family secret. Time may lessen the impact of learning of unexpected events in the lives of our ancestors. I am much more careful with twentieth-century court records that reveal children born to unmarried parents than I am of the eighteenth-century "bastardy bonds." I would never apply that terminology to events in recent decades, but it is an historical term that genealogists use without thought for events in the far past. Context. Empathy. Time.

We should be willing to accept that not everyone else believes as we do. In my opinion, forcing anyone to confront an issue he or she is not ready to handle is wrong. Consider the consequences of an action on others before forcing an issue. Good philosophies to follow include the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you;" the silver rule, "do nothing to others you would not have done to you;" and the Navajo saying about "walking a mile in the other guy's moccasins."3 Respect.

My colleague Karen Stanbary, CG, who is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker cautions, "most adoption stories come from a place of profound pain or shame or both for the biological mother, and sometimes the father, too. We all have our own skill sets and defenses against pain and shame. Each person is unique in how much time and support one requires to be ready to take on the risk of additional pain or shame. One size never fits all."



1. Bill Griffeth, The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir (Kindle edition; Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2016), location 1259.

2. Griffeth, The Stranger in My Genes, loc. 421.

3. Bill Puka, "The Golden Rule," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://www.iep.utm.edu/goldrule/).


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Respect and Rights," Deb's Delvings, 27 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


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

19 September 2016

CAFG FGI - Two New Courses in March 2017

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) announced the 6th annual Forensic Genealogy Institute today. While I am excited to be teaching a track using the book Blaine T. Bettinger and I wrote, I am sad that I won't be able to attend the other track!

The beautiful and historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio was also the venue for the 2016 Forensic Genealogy Institute. Some of the rooms are in the original 1850s section of the hotel, with modern conveniences added while keeping the historic charm of the rooms. The restaurant has great selections. The Alamo is right across the street. Plan to come early or stay after the institute to explore the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk.


Announcement from CAFG:

***Save the Date***

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is proud to announce two first-time tracks—unique to CAFG—being offered at the 6th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute to be held March 7-9, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.

The first track, Applying Genetic Genealogy to a Forensic Specialty, will be led by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, and offers a unique focus on genetic genealogy for forensic genealogists. This three-day workshop is based on Genetic Genealogy in Practice, with additional material customized for forensic genealogists. Genetic genealogy is a complex topic requiring practice and study to master. Each student will be required to purchase and have in-hand a print copy of the textbook that will be used in the course: Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, Genetic Genealogy in Practice (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogy Society, 2016); available online at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/home.

The second track, Becoming an Expert: Law and the Forensic Genealogist, will be led by Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, aka The Legal Genealogist. From the standards that govern genealogical research to the rules that govern courtroom evidence, the law requires expertise of the forensic genealogist. In this three-day, hands-on program, current and aspiring forensic genealogists will learn more about becoming that kind of expert, from applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to finding the applicable law to understanding the legal processes that govern expert witnesses in forensic cases.

CAFG is the leader in education for forensic genealogists. Registration will open October 15. http://www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute/





To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "CAFG FGI - Two New Courses in March 2017," Deb's Delvings, 19 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


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

16 September 2016

Upcoming Speaking Engagements - 4Q 2016

I only have two more speaking engagements scheduled for the rest of 2016! That allows me to fit in some research time (travel to Salt Lake City to visit the FamilySearch library) and educational events (a DNA conference in Houston).

First:


The Texas State Genealogical Society Family History Conference (http://www.txsgs.org/) runs from 28–30 October 2016 in Dallas, Texas. The featured speakers are Cyndi Ingle and Judy G. Russell. Many other national and local speakers will also be presenting some of the 72 sessions.

I will present two sessions and plan to have a table in the exhibitor hall to discuss DNA and the Early Texans DNA Project with attendees. My sessions are
  • 5 p.m., Friday, 28 October: X-DNA Inheritance and Analysis

    Learn uses of X-DNA for genealogical research. This lecture uses case studies to demonstrate databases and analysis methods using X-DNA for genealogy.

  • 2 p.m., Saturday, 29 October: DNA Analysis Tools

    Dozens of genetic genealogy analysis tools are available. Some are scientific tools that genealogists can also use. Some are designed specifically for genetic genealogy. Learn to make use of these tools to advance your genealogical research.

See the full conference schedule for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-conference research activities are planned for Thursday, 27 October.

I will have copies of Genetic Genealogy on Practice, co-authored with Blaine T. Bettinger, with me to sell and will sign copies. Payment methods accepted will be cash, check, or Paypal payments (Paypal link will be provided at the conference).



Second:

1 p.m., Thursday, 10 November, Houston, Texas: GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today – Bear Creek Genealogical Society & Library – Westlake Volunteer Fire Dept. station, 19636 Salms Road. (I-10 West to the Fry Rd. exit; turn right / north and travel about five traffic lights; turn right on Salms Road and immediately see new building on left; turn left into parking lot, drive past building, enter at double doors in front of building, turn right into auditorium.) See also www.bearcreekgenealogy.org.

An introduction to all of the ways DNA can help with genealogical research and the tests available. Covers all four types of DNA (Y, mitochondrial, X, and autosomal) and basic genetics information needed to use DNA for genealogy.




I hope to see many readers and friends at one of these events. Please stop by and say hi.



19 September 2016: Added address and directions for Nov. 10 event.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Upcoming Speaking Engagements - 4Q 2016," Deb's Delvings, 16 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


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

12 September 2016

'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics

Added 30 September 2016: Latest updates and order information available at http://debbiewayne.com/ggip/index.php.


We are getting questions about the contents of the newly-released book Genetic Genealogy in Practice written by Blaine and me (not to be confused with the book Blaine wrote alone1).
Genetic Genealogy in Practice is only available at this time from the National Genealogical Society (NGS) (not on Amazon yet).

Genetic Genealogy in Practice (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2016) by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne contains these chapters and topics
  1. Basic Genetics
    • Basic Genetics
    • Structure of the DNA Molecule
    • Y Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA)
    • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
    • Autosomal DNA (atDNA)
    • X Chromosome DNA (X-DNA)
    • DNA Match
    • Genetic Distance
    • Haplogroups
  2. Genetic Genealogy, Standards, and Ethics
    • What is the GPS?
    • How Genetic Genealogy Relates to the GPS
    • Advantages to Using DNA
    • Types of Genealogical Problems for Which DNA Can Provide Applicable Evidence
    • How Much DNA Evidence is Needed?
    • Importance of Tree Accuracy and Depth
    • Unexpected Findings Resulting from DNA Testing
    • Genetic Genealogy Standards and Ethical Issues
    • Considerations When Asking a Person to Participate in a DNA Study for Genealogical Purposes
    • International and Jurisdictional Considerations
    • Conclusions
    • Chapter 2 Exercises
  3. Genealogical Applications for Y-DNA
    • What is Y-DNA?
    • Y-DNA Inheritance Pattern
    • Advantages and Limitations of Y-DNA
    • Test Strategies for Y-DNA
    • Types of Y-DNA Testing
      1. Y-DNA STRs (including Y-STR Testing and Analysis and Adoption and Misattributed Parentage)
      2. Y-DNA SNPs (including haplogroups and Large-Scale Y-SNP Projects)
    • Chapter 3 Exercises
  4. Genealogical Applications for mtDNA
    • What is mtDNA?
    • mtDNA Inheritance Patterns
    • Advantages and Limitations for mtDNA
    • Test Strategies for mtDNA
    • mtDNA Tests
    • mtDNA Test Results
    • Haplogroups
    • Heteroplasmies
    • Hot Spots
    • Match-List Thresholds
    • Private or Family Mutations
    • Distance to Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)
    • mtDNA Analysis
    • mtDNA Tools
    • Applications for mtDNA analysis
    • Chapter 4 Exercises
  5. Genealogical Applications for atDNA
    • What is atDNA?
    • atDNA Inheritance Patterns
    • Recombination
    • Finding and Classifying Genetic Matches
    • Reporting Genetic Matching by the atDNA Testing Companies (23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA)
    • atDNA Tools for Genealogists (23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA)
    • Third-Party Tools
    • Test Strategies for atDNA
    • Genetic Matches and Genetic Networks as Hints for New Research
    • Chromosome Mapping and Triangulation
    • Limitations of chromosome mapping and triangulation
    • Ethnicity Predictions (including Third-party calculators, Limitations of ethnicity estimates, and Using ethnicity estimates)
    • Chapter 5 Exercises
  6. Genealogical Applications for X-DNA
    • What is X-DNA?
    • X-DNA Inheritance Patterns
    • X-DNA Inheritance Charts
    • Advantages, Limitations, and Test Strategies for X-DNA
    • X-DNA Tools
    • Applications for X-DNA segment analysis
    • Chapter 6 Exercises
  7. Incorporating DNA Testing in a Family Study
    • Incorporating Multiple Types of DNA Testing (including a brand new table "Examples of situations employing two types of DNA tests" describing how multiple types of tests can be used in a family study)
    • Supporting or Refuting a Paper Trail with DNA
    • Chapter 7 Exercises
  8. Incorporating DNA Evidence in a Written Conclusion
    • The Genetic Genealogy Standards
    • Privacy Concerns
    • Sharing DNA Test Results
    • Citing DNA Test Results
    • Proof Argument Elements and Process
    • Examples Incorporating DNA Evidence in Genealogical Writing
    • Chapter 8 Exercises
  9. Conclusion
  10. Appendices
    • A. Charts For Exercises
    • B. Glossary (phrased in a manner that should be understandable without a biology degree)
    • C. Reading and Source List
    • D. Exercise Answers



1. Blaine's book written alone is The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy available at http://www.shopfamilytree.com/guide-to-dna-testing-and-genetic-genealogy. Blaine says, "the Family Tree Guide is better suited for people who have no DNA experience, while the NGS book, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, is better suited for people who want to gauge and expand their DNA knowledge."


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics," Deb's Delvings, 12 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

06 September 2016

Early Texans DNA Project at Texas State GS


TxSGS has formed the Early Texans DNA Project. The goals are to:
  • Study the DNA of descendants of early settlers to discover information that can contribute to Texas history including
    • Determine which admixtures are found in living Texans today
    • Link those admixture results to early colonies or settlements
  • Learn which segments of DNA are shared with other descendants of early settlers of Texas
  • Facilitate applicants for TxSGS certificate programs – DNA matches support claims of descent from a common ancestor and can provide clues as to where to locate documentary evidence
  • Many more exciting projects in the future

Descendants of settlers who arrived in Texas by 19 February 1846 are one focus of the Early Texans DNA Project. Descendants of those who arrived later are also invited to join the project to help us learn more about the DNA of our ancestors who came to Texas.

If you tested at Family Tree DNA please
  • login to your account
  • hover over "Projects" then click "Join a project"
  • scroll down to "Search by Surname"
  • change the "Equals" drop-down box to "Contains"
  • in the search box enter txstategs
  • click on "TXStateGS" under "Matching Projects" when the search results are displayed
  • click on the "Join" button and follow any additional instructions displayed
  • you can include additional information (TxSGS heritage certificate numbers or request for a form to provide the lineage if you do not already have a certificate) with the join request or e-mail it separately as described below

Lineage Information

To send the additional information via e-mail, contact dna@txsgs.org letting me know you wish to have your DNA analyzed as part of the Early Texans DNA Project. If you already have a TxSGS Heritage Certificate (Texas First Families, Gone to Texas Pioneer, West Texas Pioneer, Greer County Texas Pioneer, Descendants of Texas Rangers) please include the certificate type and number so I can access you lineage information.

If you do not have a heritage certificate, use this fillable PDF form for your lineage information. You will need similar proofs to what is required for the certificate programs, but do NOT SEND THE PROOF DOCUMENTS. There is no fee for the DNA Project at this time. The form can be e-mailed to dna@txsgs.org or mailed to Debbie Parker Wayne, PO Box 397, Cushing, TX 75760.





If you took the autosomal test at 23andMe

23andMe instructions for the "new experience" in 2016 will be added at a later date. For pre- and early-2016 experience see this blog post with instructions on how to download your raw atDNA data. If you know how to download your raw data, do so, then follow the instructions on the GEDmatch website to upload that data to GEDmatch.



If you took the autosomal test at AncestryDNA

  1. Login to Ancestry.com
  2. In the top navigation bar, click on "DNA" then "You DNA Results Summary"
  3. On the right, click on "Settings"
  4. Click on "Download Raw DNA Data"







  5. Enter your Ancestry.com password and click that you understand the data files on your computer cannot be protected by Ancestry.






  6. Click the "Confirm" button.






  7. The next screen confirms to which e-mail address your raw data message is being sent.






  8. Once the confirmation message arrives in that e-mail account, click on the "Confirm Data Download" button.







  9. This opens a page on Ancestry (if you are not still logged in, you will need to enter the login information), click "Download raw DNA Data" button.






  10. In the Windows "Save As" popup window, navigate to a folder where you want to save the file. Remember the name of this folder and the file as you will need them later. I have a folder where I save all of the DNA data for all of my family members. I name the file something like AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_DATE_INITIALSofTestTaker.zip (AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip) so I know whose DNA data it is and when I downloaded it.






This has saved your data on your computer from the Ancestry server. Now go to the section titled "Uploading to GEDmatch" to place the data on the server where others can compare to the data.
Uploading to GEDmatch Be aware that once your data is on the GEDmatch server all other GEDmatch users will be able to see the data and compare it to their data. The only way we can use DNA for genealogy is by sharing the data. But if you are concerned about privacy you cn enter an alias as the name of the test-taker. If you are concerned about people seeing your e-mail address you may want to set up a Gmail address (or other e-mail address) you use only for genetic genealogy. Most of us use our real e-mail addresses, but some people prefer not to use their real names. You decide how much infomration you wish to share publicly. For the GEDmatch privacy policy see https://www.gedmatch.com/policy.php.
  1. If you are not yet registered on GEDmatch, click "Not Registered, Click HERE" and follow the instructions to create your free account.
  2. Login to the newly created account.
  3. In the "File uploads" section and the "Raw DNA file uploads" sub-section, click on the "AncestryDNA.com."
  4. In "Name of DNA Donor," insert name of the person who was tested. Enter an "Alias" if you prefer not to display the real name of the test-taker. Select the "Sex of donor" - the gender of the test-taker. Skip the mitochondrial haplogroup or Y haplogroup questions.
  5. Click on "Yes" to allow your data to be used for comparisons.
  6. Click on the "Choose File" link. Navigate to the folder where you saved the raw data file from Ancestry. Selected the filename (such as AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip). Click "Upload." It takes up to several seconds for the file to be uploaded, depending on the speed of your connection. A new message is displayed as the file is processed.
  7. DO NOT LEAVE THIS SCREEN until the processing is completed. The processing will likely take 30 minutes or so, depending on the load on the GEDmatch server. A message will tell you when this is complete. Chromosome numbers will change at the bottom of the screen as the data is processed.
  8. Write down the kit number assigned (such as T123456 or A781234). This number is very important so we can find your DNA data to compare to others in the Parker FamGroup 1 project to learn more about our shared ancestry.

After uploaded your data to GEDmatch, please go back and follow the instructions above labelled "Lineage Information" to send us your lineage information for the test-taker back to the Texas settler.

Edited 9 September 2016: fixed link to PDF app and removed instructions to send proof documents with the app.
To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Early Texans DNA Project at Texas State GS," Deb's Delvings, 6 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

"Genetic Genealogy in Practice" is HERE!

Added 30 September 2016: Latest updates and order information available at http://debbiewayne.com/ggip/index.php.


Finally!! The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces Genetic Genealogy in Practice is available. A "Learn more" information link at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/home leads to the order page which is now working.

I am so excited!

I hope this book helps genealogists use DNA to solve genealogical problems as much as we believe it will. This is the book I wish I had when I started learning genetic genealogy.

Bettinger, Blaine T. and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2016.


Working with Blaine T. Bettinger was a fantastic experience. It was amazing how often we agreed on exactly how to handle each topic and unanticipated event during the writing, editing, and production process. Being in agreement with Blaine always boosts my confidence level in a conclusion. Each of us wrote some chapters then we passed the chapters back and forth making changes until we were both happy with the end-product. We had well-known genetic genealogists review the text and exercises then worked with a fabulous editor. The analysis techniques and methodology in the book should remain valid for a long time. Only a few items may change in the near future, such as when one of the testing companies changes their match algorithms or thresholds. The basic techniques will remain valid by incorporating any modified information.

We worked diligently to include all of the information needed to get started with genetic genealogy, expand your knowledge beyond the beginner level, and test your understanding using exercises based on real-life cases. The answers are in the back of the book along with an explanation of the reasoning leading to that answer. We integrate the genetic analysis with genealogical analysis. Some of the information is beginner level, some is more difficult to challenge intermediate and advanced practitioners. Some concepts have not been written about much until now.


You can learn more about the book and the process from our interview with Jane Wilcox of the "forget-me-not hour" podcast.

My initial post announcing the book: New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice. This post contains a list of topics covered in the book.

See Blaine's posts: Announcing “Genetic Genealogy in Practice” – A New Book Providing Genealogists with the Skills to Understand and Apply DNA.

See the initial NGS announcement at COMING SOON from NGS -- Genetic Genealogy in Practice #NGS2016GEN.



Edited 9 September 2016: order link is now working. Removed note that there was an issue with the link on 6 September.

Added 12 September 2016: For a list of chapter titles and topics see 'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics.

Edited 14 September 2016: changed publisher place to Va.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Genetic Genealogy in Practice is HERE!," Deb's Delvings, 2 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

27 August 2016

Family Tree DNA Sale Ends in Five Day

Family Tree DNA's (FTDNA) Sizzling Summer Sale ends at midnight (CST) on Wednesday, August 31st. Act now to get these great sale prices!


Only $69 for the autosomal DNA test (Family Finder) plus great discounts on bundles—multiple tests for the same test-taker.


See https://www.familytreedna.com/sale.aspx for details.

Note: Test-takers with ancestors who settled in Texas by 19 February 1846 (whether taking advantage of this sale, already tested, or test in the future) can become part of the Texas State Genealogical Society's Early Texans DNA Project where we will:

  • Study the DNA of descendants of early settlers to discover information that can contribute to Texas history including
    • Determine which admixtures are found in living Texans today
    • Link those admixture results to early colonies or settlements
    • Learn which segments of DNA are shared with other descendants of early settlers of Texas
  • Facilitate applicants for TxSGS certificate programs – DNA matches support claims of descent from a common ancestor and can provide clues as to where to locate documentary evidence



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Family Tree DNA Sale Ends in Five Day," Deb's Delvings, 27 August 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

03 June 2016

Join an Autosomal DNA Project (AncestryDNA, GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23andMe)

The following instructions are tailored for the "Parker FamGroup 1" autosomal DNA (atDNA) project. These instructions can be used for other projects by substituting the other project name. Whether you tested at Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, or 23andME, these instructions will help share your DNA data with autosomal cousins who tested at any company by sharing on GEDmatch.

The steps below were confirmed on 3 June 2016. If the website changes their procedures the exact steps needed may differ from those shown here, but will likely be similar.


Parker FamGroup 1 atDNA Project
A while back we started a DNA project so we can compare the shared atDNA of family members who are part of the Parker Surname Y-DNA project group 1 or who would be if there was an eligible Y-DNA test-taker. This allows us to compare the DNA other than Y-DNA that we all may share whether we are male or female.

Family Tree DNA currently only makes public the Y-DNA and mtDNA data for project members, based on each test-taker's privacy selections. The project administrators can also see and analyze the autosomal DNA data of project members. This helps confirm links to our Parker lines, both providing links for lines with no Y-DNA test-taker and confirming the links where the Y-DNA is not conclusive alone.

Joining the project also allows you to filter the DNA matches in your list to only those who are also in the project. This can help you zero in on those in your match list who are related through this Parker line.

The autosomal DNA project page is at:

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/parker-fam-group-1/dna-results

The Y-DNA project page is at:

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/parker/dna-results


To Join the Parker Family Group 1 autosomal DNA Project follow the instructions below. If you tested at Family Tree DNA all you need to do is join the project on their site. If you tested elsewhere, you need to download your raw atDNA data from the testing company server then upload the data to GEDmatch.com so we can gather the information on the shared DNA segments.





If you took the Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) or have already uploaded results from another testing company to FTDNA
  1. Login to FTDNA.

  2. On the top navigation row, move the mouse over "Projects" then click "Join a Project."

  3. If "Parker FamGroup1" is displayed in the list, click on it. If "Parker FamGroup1" is NOT displayed in the list, scroll down to the "Search by Surname" option, change "Equals" to "Begins with," enter Parker in the box, click the "Search" button. When the list is displayed, scroll down to the line
    Parker FamGroup 1
    This is a Family Finder project for the Parkers who are related through Family Group 1 in the Parker Y-DNA Surname Project. Men and women who are related to those in Parker Family Group 1 can join ...
    and click on "Parker FamGroup 1."

  4. On the next screen you can enter information on your Parker line, enter a link to an online family tree, or let me know you will send a tree by e-mail. Then click the "Request" button.

  5. It will take some time for the request to be handled and for the project to appear in your list of projects. Once it does, you can use this in your search filters to view only DNA matches who should be related on our Parker Family Group 1 line. This may help us in analyzing the DNA results to try to link our end lines to their parents and help confirm our research on later ancestors is correct.
Please! Be sure to share your Parker lineage or a link to a public online tree. Correlating the family tree information with the DNA information allows new discoveries to be made. Neither DNA not documentary research will solve all our problems. Using them together, we may find a solution. If you have a tree on a site like Ancestry.com, please access your tree then copy the URL from the browser address bar and send that to me. It is easy to locate a tree using the URL. It is sometimes difficult or impossible to locate the tree when you send the name of the tree or your Ancestry user name.




If you took the autosomal test at 23andMe
23andMe instructions for the "new experience" in 2016 will be added at a later date. For pre- and early-2016 experience see this blog post with instructions on how to download your raw atDNA data.





If you took the autosomal test at AncestryDNA
  1. Login to Ancestry.com

  2. In the top navigation bar, click on "DNA" then "You DNA Results Summary"

  3. On the right, click on "Settings"


  4. Click on "Download Raw DNA Data"

  5. Enter your Ancestry.com password and click that you understand the data files on your computer cannot be protected by Ancestry.

  6. Click the "Confirm" button.

  7. The next screen confirms to which e-mail address your raw data message is being sent.

  8. Once the confirmation message arrives in that e-mail account, click on the "Confirm Data Download" button.
  9. This opens a page on Ancestry (if you are not still logged in, you will need to enter the login information), click "Download raw DNA Data" button.

  10. In the Windows "Save As" popup window, navigate to a folder where you want to save the file. Remember the name of this folder and the file as you will need them later. I have a folder where I save all of the DNA data for all of my family members. I name the file something like AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_DATE_INITIALSofTestTaker.zip (AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip) so I know whose DNA data it is and when I downloaded it.
This has saved your data on your computer from the Ancestry server. Now go to the section titled "Uploading to GEDmatch" to place the data on the server where others can compare to the data.





Uploading to GEDmatch

Be aware that once your data is on the GEDmatch server all other GEDmatch users will be able to see the data and compare it to their data. The only way we can use DNA for genealogy is by sharing the data. But if you are concerned about privacy you cn enter an alias as the name of the test-taker. If you are concerned about people seeing your e-mail address you may want to set up a Gmail address (or other e-mail address) you use only for genetic genealogy. Most of us use our real e-mail addresses, but some people prefer not to use their real names. You decide how much infomration you wish to share publicly.

For the GEDmatch privacy policy see https://www.gedmatch.com/policy.php.

  1. If you are not yet registered on GEDmatch, click "Not Registered, Click HERE" and follow the instructions to create your free account.

  2. Login to the newly created account.

  3. In the "File uploads" section and the "Raw DNA file uploads" sub-section, click on the "AncestryDNA.com."

  4. In "Name of DNA Donor," insert name of the person who was tested. Enter an "Alias" if you prefer not to display the real name of the test-taker. Select the "Sex of donor" - the gender of the test-taker. Skip the mitochondrial haplogroup or Y haplogroup questions.

  5. Click on "Yes" to allow your data to be used for comparisons.

  6. Click on the "Choose File" link. Navigate to the folder where you saved the raw data file from Ancestry. Selected the filename (such as AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip). Click "Upload." It takes up to several seconds for the file to be uploaded, depending on the speed of your connection. A new message is displayed as the file is processed.

  7. DO NOT LEAVE THIS SCREEN until the processing is completed. The processing will likely take 30 minutes or so, depending on the load on the GEDmatch server. A message will tell you when this is complete. Chromosome numbers will change at the bottom of the screen as the data is processed.

  8. Write down the kit number assigned (such as T123456 or A781234). This number is very important so we can find your DNA data to compare to others in the Parker FamGroup 1 project to learn more about our shared ancestry.





Want to learn more about DNA analysis for Genealogy?

I have several DNA articles linked from my website if you are interested in learning more about genetic genealogy.

http://debbiewayne.com/presentations/gatagacc_biblio.php



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Join an Autosomal DNA Project (AncestryDNA, GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23andMe)," Deb's Delvings, 3 June 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

26 May 2016

mtDNA Match Fix for Genetic Distance at Family Tree DNA

For some time now there have been some odd matches, or lack of matches, in the mtDNA match list of many genetic genealogists due to the way genetic distance is calculated.


Family Tree DNA, as part of other hardware and software changes, has fixed this problem. The fix will soon begin showing up in our match lists. This was announced along with the recent changes made to the algorithms used for Family Finder matches.
Some of you may have dealt with mtDNA results that had some issues with genetic distance. The fix for the root cause of that problem was released awhile back, but we had to wait until all the hardware installations were complete and integrated before re-running those kits affected prior to that fix. We’re in the process of deploying that update now!

Over the next few days, those affected will likely see differences in genetic distance of some matches as the corrections are implemented. Those who have tested after the fix whose mutations were correct may see an increase in matches to existing testers. That’s to be expected.

Everyone who has taken an mtDNA test should check the match list in the coming days in case your list has changed. Here is wishing all of us see some exciting new DNA information with this change.



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "mtDNA Match Fix for Genetic Distance at Family Tree DNA," Deb's Delvings, 26 May 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

Updated Threshold Values for Family Finder

I remind researchers in my presentations that we are still at the cutting edge of DNA technology and genetic genealogy, or the bleeding edge as my techie friends phrase it. As we learn more, we change algorithms and techniques to incorporate the new knowledge. I don't expect the advances in genetics to slow down for quite some time so, as Bette Davis said in All About Eve, "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Although for us it won't be just a night, it will be months and years. Most of the bumps should also be major improvements, as is the one discussed below.

Experienced genetic genealogists and test-takers have been asking Family Tree DNA to modify the thresholds used to determine DNA matches in the company database.
The company delivers on those changes with this announcement.
You asked for it - we listened!

For several years the genetic genealogy community has asked for adjustments to the matching thresholds in the Family Finder autosomal test. After months of research and testing, we have implemented some exciting changes ...

Currently, the current matching thresholds - the minimum amount of shared DNA required for two people to show as a match are:
  • Minimum longest block of at least 7.69 cM for 99% of testers, 5.5 cM for the other one percent
  • Minimum 20 total shared centiMorgans

Some people believed those thresholds to be too restrictive, and through the years requested changes that would loosen those restrictions.

... the following changes will have been implemented to the matching program.

  • No minimum shared centiMorgans, but if the cM total is less than 20, at least one segment must be 9 cM or longer.
  • If the longest block of shared DNA is greater than 9 cM, the match will show regardless of total shared cM or the number of matching segments.

The entire existing database has been rerun using the new matching criteria, and all new matches have been calculated with the new thresholds. Most people will see only minor changes in their matches, mostly in the speculative range. They may lose some matches but gain others.

We're excited about this update and hope you will be, too. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Additional information was included in a message to all group administrators.
Until now the amount of shared DNA required for two people to show as a match was a minimum of 20 total centiMorgans of shared DNA with a minimum longest block of at least 7.69 cM for 99% of testers, 5.5 cM for the other one percent.

With the adjustment, if two people share a segment of 9 cM or more, they will show as a match regardless of the number of total shared cM. However, if there’s not a block that’s 9 cM or greater, the minimum of 20 shared cM with a longest block of 7.69 cM applies.

We also slightly altered other proprietary portions of the matching algorithm that will, to a small degree, affect block sizes and total shared centiMorgans. These changes should have only marginal effects, if any, on relationships, generally in the distant to remote ranges.

There’s a separate proprietary formula that is also applied to those with Ashkenazi heritage, but you can, of course, expect to have more new matches than those not of Ashkenazi heritage.

The entire existing database has been rerun using the new matching criteria, and all new matches have been calculated with the new thresholds.

Please keep in mind this change will not affect close matches, only distant and speculative ones. Some matches will fall off, others will be added. Most people will likely have a net gain of matches.

Your myOrigins results may change slightly with the rerun, but we have not updated or changed myOrigins yet. We’ll let you know when that happens.

Blaine Bettinger's post includes a flow chart illustrating the changes:

Blaine T. Bettinger, “Family Tree DNA Updates Matching Thresholds,” The Genetic Genealogist, 24 May 2016 (http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2016/05/24/family-tree-dna-updates-matching-thresholds/).

Other bloggers who have posted about the change include:

Rebekah Canada, "Coming updates from Family Tree DNA! 25 May 2016," Haplogroup (http://www.haplogroup.org/coming-updates-from-family-tree-dna-25-may-2016/).

David R. Dowell, "More Family Finder Matches?" Dr D Digs Up Ancestor, 24 May 2016 (http://blog.ddowell.com/2016/05/more-family-finder-matches.html).

Roberta Estes, "Family Finder Matching Thresholds Changing at Family Tree DNA," DNAeXplained, 24 May 2016 (https://dna-explained.com/2016/05/24/family-finder-matching-thresholds-changing-at-family-tree-dna/).

Debbie Kennett, "New match thresholds for Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test," Cruwys news, 24 May 2016 (http://cruwys.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/new-match-thresholds-for-family-tree.html).

Judy G. Russell, "FTDNA changes matching system," The Legal Genealogist, 24 May 2016 (http://legalgenealogist.com/blog/2016/05/24/ftdna-changes-matching-system/).


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Updated Threshold Values for Family Finder," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 26 May 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

06 May 2016

Mother's Day DNA Sale at Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA sent the notice below about a great sale that includes the full mtDNA sequence that I have been recommending in my presentations. With the $99 regular price for Family Finder, this sale means the full mtDNA sequence is only $129. This is a great deal, especially considering this test alone cost $850 a few years ago.

Family Finder is the autosomal DNA test that can find cousins on all of the test-taker's ancestral lines. The mtFull Sequence finds others who share the same matrilineal line—the line from the test-taker to his or her mother to her mother to her mother and so on back to mitochondrial Eve.



Contact Family Tree DNA for more info:
Happy Mother's Day!

We are excited to begin our 3-day Mother's Day Sale!

In honor of all of the Mothers around the world, we want to show our appreciation by celebrating this holiday with a special promotion on our Family Finder + mtFull Sequence (mtDNA) bundle – two genealogy DNA tests that focus on mom – for only $228!

Our Mother's Day Sale will continue through Sunday, May 8, 2016 (11:59 PM U.S. Central).

In the chart below, each person with an "m" and a pink shade inherited mtDNA from the mother of the woman labelled as number 2. Other colors indicate mtDNA inherited from women who married into the family. Determine who to test by starting with the focus woman of interest, then following the daughters to a living person. The living person can be male or female but must have a line of only females back to the focus person.



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Mother's Day DNA Sale at Family Tree DNA," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 6 May 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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

03 May 2016

New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice

Added 30 September 2016: Latest updates and order information available at http://debbiewayne.com/ggip/index.php.


Added after initial post: See Blaine's post at http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2016/05/03/announcing-genetic-genealogy-in-practice-a-new-book-providing-genealogists-with-the-skills-to-understand-and-apply-dna/ — Announcing “Genetic Genealogy in Practice” – A New Book Providing Genealogists with the Skills to Understand and Apply DNA. See the NGS announcement at http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/2016/05/coming-soon-from-ngs-genetic-genealogy.html.


I am excited that I can finally talk publicly about the newest genetic genealogy book which was announced today at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The book will be available for purchase in mid-summer so please wait patiently for the printed and electronic versions to be available. I will post again once the book can be ordered. The book is
Bettinger, Blaine T. and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2016.


This is the first genetic genealogy workbook. This book covers the biological basics, types of DNA testing that are useful for genealogy, and analysis techniques needed for successful genetic genealogy. No matter which company a person tested at or which tools are used for data collection and analysis, the information in this book will help a researcher correlate DNA evidence into a family study.

After presenting the concepts of genetic genealogy and the techniques used to analyze the test results, each chapter concludes with typical genealogical questions as exercises. An answer key provides immediate feedback to the reader as to whether he or she arrived at the expected conclusion and what concepts, evidence, and analysis techniques should have been considered while working the problem. Readers will be able to apply the knowledge gained to their own family history to make credible conclusions using DNA test results.

This extracted paragraph explains why all genealogists need to understand DNA, even if you aren't yet using it yourself (but why aren't you?!).
The current generation of genealogists faces a new challenge, namely incorporating the discussion of DNA evidence into genealogical writings. Genealogists must understand how to correlate DNA evidence with documentary evidence to analyze a genealogical question, and they must also understand how to present DNA evidence as one of the elements supporting a conclusion. Genealogists who are not yet using DNA in their own writings must grasp enough of the subject to be able to evaluate the writings of peers who are incorporating DNA.
DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time. The researcher who is new to genetic genealogy may want to come back to the book and review more advanced concepts after gaining some experience with the basic techniques. The amount of time you can devote to studying is limited only by yourself, not a conference or institute schedule. And you can do it all from home.

Topics covered include
  • an introduction to biology basics and DNA inheritance patterns, only as much as needed for genetic genealogy
  • ethics and standards (the Genealogical Proof Standard as applied to DNA and Genetic Genealogy Standards)
  • Y-DNA STR and SNP tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • mtDNA tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • atDNA tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • X-DNA test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • useful tools for analysis (tool usage and access information, not transitory step-by-step guides)
  • incorporating multiple types of DNA into a family study
  • supporting or refuting a paper trail with DNA
  • incorporating DNA into a written conclusion
  • exercises testing understanding of the concepts covered and application of those associated techniques to answer real genealogical problems
  • an answer key to give the reader immediate feedback on the exercises
  • a glossary explaining the terminology in plain language
  • a list of references for additional study

Blaine and I have been planning for and working on this book for almost two years. After our week-long genetic genealogy courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), students want more hands-on time to practice what they have learned. Teaching important concepts limits the time available to devote to exercises. This book provides new and real genealogical problems those students, and all researchers, can practice on at their own pace. After mastering an application, the knowledge can immediately be applied to your own family history project.

We think this book brings together the genetic and the genealogy concepts and techniques needed to solve family history problems using DNA as one more tool in the genealogy toolbox. We hope you enjoy the book and learn more about genetic genealogy. Our goal is to see more researchers effectively using DNA in a family study and publishing those findings for all genealogists to learn from.

P.S. An aside for my family, the middle photograph on the book cover is Allie Perry Richards and Emma Everette Johnson (Granny and Pappy to me) on their wedding day, 23 June 1912. The Johnson family lived in Angelina County; the Richards family lived in Nacogdoches County; and the marriage took place in Sabine County, Texas.

Added 12 September 2016: For a list of chapter titles and topics see 'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics.

Edited 14 September 2016: changed publisher place to Va.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 3 May 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

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