16 February 2017

Living DNA - New Testing Company

Originally there was one direct to consumer DNA company who stood out, namely Family Tree DNA.  Then came 23andMe and finally AncestryDNA.  These were the three major DNA testing companies for the genealogist and other interested parties for years.  However, new kids are moving to the block, and with a new focus on bio-geographical comparisons (admixtures) and one of those players is Living DNA!

Living DNA, a British company, does have an office in Louisville, Kentucky.  You order a test kit with two swab samples (no fluid) and mail it back to Eurofins Genomics (a partner) in Kentucky.  The testing is done in Denmark.

Testing results is an admixture (those “ethnic” percentages based on your autosomal DNA).  The company also provides the mitochondrial haplogroup and the Y-DNA haplogroup.  Although there is currently no matching feature nor chromosome browser, those will be provided in the near future.

What is unique about this company is that they provide testing to 80 world regions, and their focus is to test enough customers so they can pin-point locations within a country for your ancestors.  It allows you to see percentages and map locations for just your mother’s line, father’s line or both as well as some information on your haplogroup, a migration map and phylogenetic tree for each parent. Of course, this means it will be fine-tuned as more people test.  This test is especially helpful with those who have ancestors in the British Isles and Ireland.  You can view these 21 regions (so far) on their website going back in our ancestor up to ten generations. 

I know 38 of my 64 fourth-great-grandparents (which is 6 generations from me), and I only know about ten of those who are immigrants prior to 1800.  As all but one of my KNOWN ancestors were in the US by the early 1800s and that one arrived in 1838, I know a few general locations from where those immigrants came.  This type of test can help me determine where to search outside the U.S., but there are no guarantees that my ancestor lived in the specific area listed by any company’s bio-geographical comparison until I find that ancestor in the location.  However, it is interesting and may be most helpful to see what detailed variety my DNA sample can show.  I know my admixture will vary over time as more people test and more analysis can be made.

Know that this admixture (being compared with bio-geographical populations) has been the very reason some people test; that is, many who are not necessarily genealogists, but who may become interested in their lineage.  The more detail that a company can provide for the customer, the greater the interest by the public.  The more testing, the more advances we will see in the genetic genealogy field and that will benefit us all.

I always recommend that everyone test with a variety, if not all companies, in order to find matches in different databases.  As soon as this company gets its matching feature and its chromosome browser (to view the individual segments we share with our matches), the more this company will be able to compete with the others.

Click here to order a test.  

Jump in the new gene pool!  You may be my cousin!

Family Tree DNA - Updated Transfers from other companies!

It is always wise to play in more than one gene pool, and Family Tree DNA is making it easier for you to do that by allowing more transfers from other companies.  YEAH!!!!

Customers can now transfer their results from their 23andMe V4 chip and from their AncestryDNA
V2 files in addition to the 23andMe V3 and AncestryDNA V2 files to Family Tree DNA!!!!

In the coming weeks, those who tested at MyHeritage and Genographic will be also able to transfer.

Family Tree DNA still does not accept 23andMe results prior to November 2010.

Those transferring with the 23andMe V3 and AncestryDNA V1 results will receive a full list of matches and the ability to use the Matrix feature at FTDNA FOR FREE.  For only $19, the customer can unlock the Chromosome Browser, myOrgins, and ancient Origins.  (Frankly, all this is definitely worth the $19!!!)

23andMe V4 and AncestryDNA V2 results receive all but the most speculative matches (6th to remote cousins) for free.  If the customer wishes the speculative matches, they will have to submit a sample to FTDNA and have the Family Finder run at the reduce price of $59 (reg. $79).

Matches for transfers would take from one to 24 hours to appear, depending upon the volume of tests waiting to be converted.

More wonderful news....

myOrigins will be updated in the coming weeks.  Until then transfers will include only broad populations.

All previously transferred files that have not been unlocked will receive their matches and have access to the Matrix feature for free as long as the release form is signed.  This can be signed online from your personal webpages.  AND...these kits will also be able to unlock the other Family Finder features for $19.  IF the transfer was on a kit with another product where the release form has already been signed, then the matches will appear with not additional action necessary.

The Autosomal Transfer webpage now includes a new image and a FAQ section at the bottom of the page.

If a person tried to transfer the same autosomal file a second time, there will be a message with the kit number of the original kit.

See the Learning Center (bottom of an FTDNA page) and put Autosomal Transfer into the search box to see the most current information.

Know that if you transfer results to FTDNA and you wish to purchase an additional test (Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA), you will need to order a kit, but be sure to use the same kit number you are given at your autosomal transfer.  One person; one kit number ALWAYS!

Hope you transfer...you may be my cousin!

Best wishes,

04 February 2017

2017 SCGS Jamboree Webinars

Although the bi-monthly Jamboree Webinars have already begun (started in January), there are plenty more to come!

These presentations are free when first aired and for SCGS members the 100 sessions are available at any time free.  Register at : http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html
Details can be seen at the Jamboree Webinar website.

For a small taste of those coming soon:
Wednesday, February 15   6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PST
Presented by Denise Levenick, MA

Saturday, March 4   10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST
Presented by Mary Kircher Roddy

Wednesday, March 15  6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PDT
Presented by Diane L. Richards

**Special Webinar rescheduled from 2016**
Wednesday, March 22  6:00 PM - 7:00 PM PDT
Presented by Tessa Keough

AND...does anyone look familiar in that poster?  LOL


02 February 2017

Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree 2017

Jamboree 2017Registration is Open

This year from June 8th to the 11th at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel (Burbank, California), Jamboree is again gathering wonderful speakers and classes.  Jamboree reaches many levels of genealogists and genetic genealogists from the beginners to the advanced. I am again privileged to present classes and a workshop (also a Webinar in early August) for DNA Day on Thursday and a free workshop on Friday.  Of course, this is along with other wonderful DNA speakers.  For the remaining days of Jamboree many well-respected genealogist will give presentations on a wide variety of subjects.

This year’s theme for the “DNA Day is Diving into DNA” which is in its fifth year as an addition to the Jamboree’s genealogical presentations and covers topics for all levels of knowledge from many of the field’s leading instructors.  Several DNA authors will be available to meet and will be selling their books. This event requires a separate fee from the genealogical portion of the event, but as using DNA is the most accurate tool for your genealogy, it is important to understand how it can help you.

I'll be speaking on: 
Thursday 10-11 a.m. - TH010 - How to Convince Relatives and Strangers to DNA Test and Why
Thursday 2-3 p.m. TH018 - ABCs of DNA
Thursday 5-6 p.m. for TH028 Meet the Authors
Friday 8:30 to noon - workshop FR-A I've Tested, but What Now?

Saturday, August 5 at 10:00 am PDT, I will give a FREE webinar entitled:  Using atDNA to Verify and Expand Genealogy.  tinyrul.com/2017-SCGS-Webinars

For the genealogy portion of the event is “Hunting Your Heritage” which includes presentations on the British Isles, Ireland, Armenia and the Caucasus as well as African American Research. In total, Jamboree has 80+ speakers, 155+ class sessions and 15 workshops along with one-on-one research assistance, research tours, banquet and breakfast speakers, and an exhibit hall with vendors and societies.  The Exhibit has is free all weekend. Something for everyone!

Join us!  Register now!


31 January 2017

RootsTech, Feb 8-11 Salt Lake City

RootsTech is just around the corner, and many of you may be going!

I will be speaking this year on writing your childhood memories and family stories as well as on the basics of using DNA for your genealogy.

For those planning to come, here is my schedule.  Stop by and say hello!

My events:

Feb 9, Thursday, 12:00 - MyHeritage Lunch at 355B

Feb 10, Friday, 1:00-1:30 - The DNA Q&A at MyHeritage booth, RT17

Feb 10, Friday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., (GS9546) Writing Your Childhood Memories and Family Stories, Room 155D

Feb 10, Friday night - The After-Party at the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom

Feb 11, Saturday, 3:00-4:00 p.m., (RT9542) Supercharge Your Research with DNA, Room 150

I will have a few copies of my book with me, but I must sell them outside of the conference.  Please designate which book is of interest:
     "Memoing" Your Memories:  A Simple Technique for Writing Your Family Stories
     Genetic Genealogy:  The Basics and Beyond

You can email me to bring one for you, also.  This way I'm selling it here and just delivering it to you.  My email:  aulicino (at sign) hevanet (dot) com

AND...MOST IMPORTANTLY, youo can download the schedule and all the handouts for free by adding the RootsTech 2017 app to your smart phone.  (Just scroll to the bottom for the app or find it at the App Store on your phone.

Hope to see you there!

14 November 2016

 Family Tree DNA’s Holiday Sale is HERE!

Not only will testers get weekly coupon savings, common to the two previous years, but this year you can send those coupons to friends and family.

The Family Finder test is an autosomal test that provides matches with relatives within at least 5 generations of your pedigree chart (some times more if your line is endogamous) and with this you get your ethnic percentages.
The test is regularly $79, but on sale for the Holiday Season for $59

The Y-chromosome 37 markers test is bundled with the Family Finder test.  The Y-37 tests 37 markers on the Y-chromosome (all-male line) and only males can take this bundled test.

The regular price is $248, but on sale for $188

Male-specific bundle with all the bells and whistles! Family Finder plus our 67 marker Y-DNA test.  The regular price is $347, now on sale for $278.

The mtFull Sequence tests then entire mitochondria and can be take by both males and females to get matches on their all-female line (mother’s mother’s mother’s, etc)

The test is regularly $278, but on sale for $228.

More individual Y-chromosome tests on sale:
Y-37 was $169                        Now $139
Y-67 was $268                        Now $229
Y-111 was $359                      Now $319

More mitochondrial tests
HVR1+HVR2 (not on sale) $79
mtFull Sequence (entire mtDNA) was $179              now $79

Comprehensive Genome Test which includes:
Family Finder, plus a male specific Y-chromosome test and a Full Mitochondrial Sequence
The most comprehensive and highest resolution mtDNA test. Results identify the ethnic and geographic origin of the maternal and paternal lines.

Was $546                    now $457

Do test...I want to see if we are cousins!!!


06 October 2016

New Genetic Genealogy Books

There have been several books written on genetic genealogy since 2014, and the most current is Blaine Bettinger’s Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy published by Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, Ohio.  He is also the co-author with Debbie Parker Wayne of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, published by the National Genealogical Society, Arlington, Virginia. 

Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy covers the basics of genetic genealogy, misconceptions, ethics, the four major tests, third-party tolls for autosomal DNA, ethnicity, analyzing complex issues using DNA, help for adoptees along with the future of genetic genealogy and a glossary.  The appendices include a comparison guide, research forms and various resources such as books, blogs, forums and mailing lists. The context is easily understood, and the added color which can add greatly to the cost of any book is most appealing to the eye. This book is a must for your library.

Genetic Genealogy in Practice is the first known workbook for genetic genealogists.  This is an exciting new concept for this field and should be quite helpful.  Each chapter presents a topic and ends with exercise questions to help you check your understanding of the material.  The book covers basic genetics, genetic genealogy standards and ethics, applications for all four of the major tests and how to use DNA testing for a family study and to integrate DNA evidence in a written conclusion.  Of course the answers to the exercises are in the appendix along with a glossary, reading list and various charts.

I recommend reading a variety of books on genetic genealogy as each author delivers the information in a slightly different way, and in doing so, you may find the method that helps you learn best.


Emily D. Aulicino