Genetic Genealogy – DNA Testing and You

This article is the first in a series that William H. Blue, president of the National Blue Family Association (NBFA), invited me to write some time ago about DNA for genealogy. The series is appearing in issues of The Chalice, the NBFA newsletter.

Genetic Genealogy – DNA Testing and You

For those of you who have tried to understand the topic of DNA for genealogy and become overwhelmed, believe me, I understand. You may be relieved to know that I have tried to make it so that this does not happen from reading this article. I am assuming the reader has no knowledge about DNA or DNA testing except what is covered here. Thus, I hope to begin as top level as possible. There is a glossary, and each introduced term will be in copperplate font and will be defined there.
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Earl Lawrence TRAUTMAN (1893-1964) : “Auto Salesman Arraigned in Hit and Run” or How my Grandfather Got into the 1940 Census Twice – 52 Ancestors (Ancestor 4)

Earl Lawrence TRAUTMAN (1893-1964) : “Auto Salesman Arraigned in Hit and Run” or How my Grandfather Got into the 1940 Census Twice – 52 Ancestors

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How to Use AncestryDNA and Stay Sane

sparkle-the-rainbow-unicorn-queenSo now that many of us have had our say about AncestryDNA’s failed “New Ancestor Discovery” feature, let’s take a look at what we can do with AncestryDNA. (But PLEASE, continue to have your say about the “New Ancestor Discovery” feature!)

First, I’ll remind you of what Ancestry claims this new feature does (in case anybody questions whether or not it is a failed feature).

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AncestryDNA Has Now Thoroughly Lost Its Mind

I, like I’m sure many users of AncestryDNA, today received an email saying that they found me a new ancestor. Oh boy! That sounded promising. Or exciting. Could they really do that?

Yes, they could if they knew which segments on which chromosomes are inherited from which ancestor, and if they matched that from my matches to my DNA data. And, technically, their database could be big enough to figure that out if they did some really good triangulation. If it were possible to know via DNA things that can only be found through genealogical research, then yes, they could do that.

But, I was doubtful.

The email looks like this.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.34.02 PM

Okay, cool. So Obadiah Pierce (1774-1836) is my “new ancestor.” I clicked on “Show Me,” and got this. Continue reading

DNA Saturday

Nope. I’m not starting a new trend of writing about DNA on Saturdays. I’m neither consistent enough nor important enough to do something like that.

I’m nearly over the flu but have a bad earache, and I haven’t been able to sleep all night. So I’ve been working on a spreadsheet. I was inspired to try to be successful creating and using a DNA Master Spreadsheet, which I named “MASTER_DNA_DO_NOT_MOVE_OR_DELETE.xlsx”, in case I forget what it is. That could happen within 72 hours if I get sidetracked.

My inspiration came from the DNA-Explained post yesterday “Demystifying Autosomal DNA Matching.” Fabulous article.

I’ll make it even easier for you. Go ahead and read the blog post, but then you supply the DNA, and I’ll do all the Hocus Pocus.

wabbit