Thursday, 17 November 2016

Discount time


In the spirit of the holidays, Family Tree DNA has slashed prices on our most popular products. Plus, we’re sending you free Holiday Rewards every week of the sale so you can apply your Rewards to the already reduced prices for a bonus discount!

Best of all, make the season even more special by sharing your Holiday Rewards with friends and family. You’ll receive bonus coupons every time you share, so ‘tis the season to share the joy and get rewards.

With holiday savings this huge, your DNA has met its match. But hurry, this coupon is valid for 7 days only! 

From our family to yours… Happy Holidays.

The Family Tree DNA Team
The discounted prices are visible at the normal product page
and spare coupons available are being added to a communal spreadsheet at 
In addition BigY is $50 off, with coupons providing further discounts.
Which is a great opportunity to place your direct male line of interest onto the tree of mankind AND contribute to the ongoing science of yDNA discovery.

If your pedigree has any of the surnames listed in the top right "related sites", do please join the relevant project to assist our overall understanding of connections between documented lines.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

MyHeritage Cont.

Some links about MyHeritage's planned DNA offerings:
Recent DNA announcements from MyHeritage:
As CeCe Moore (Your Genetic Genealogist) says, you may care to consider uploading your DNA from other companies while you still can.

I have not yet found a way of sharing a DNA match list with anyone, even if they are a member of your site - and have lodged a request that you can do so.
Update 14 Nov 2016:
To which, I received this response, which indicates it is one of the future changes:
As a webmaster (site creator), you are able to upload DNA files for yourself as well as your family members and see only these files.
As a family site member, you can only upload and see your own DNA file. You will also be able to see if there is a file that has already been uploaded by the site webmaster.

In the future, if you choose to participate in DNA matching, you can decide if you want to share your DNA information with potential relatives (users whose DNA information matches yours).

Sunday, 6 November 2016

MyHeritage DNA out of Beta, now live

MyHeritage have announced they've gone live with their (revised) DNA matching:

My 477 matches from the beta are now reduced to 12, with one of them there simply to record that we had been in contact, but is now clearly shown as "Not related"
Sorry though I am to have lost matches, most of whom weren't actually matches anyway,  that does seem rather a drastic drop!

But at least I recognise most of them, and now have much greater confidence that they may well be real matches.

Prior post,. now redundant, about the Beta matching refers.

Cousin Bill now only has 15, 2 of whom are people in contact during the Beta now showing as Not Related.
My maternal Aunt more interestingly has 20, three showing as Not related because of contact during the beta.
Pity that one of the latter is a papertrail relative (4th cousin once Removed) and that the other maternal aunt does match him :)

Friday, 14 October 2016

FTDNA tree change

Something we've been waiting for a long time.

FTDNA have released an update that replaces the hard to navigate "ancestry view" with a quickly viewed landscape pedigree.

Adding that the glitch that causes matches to have the tree symbol activated (in your match list) when they only have their profile created but no tree, is still being worked on. Which is also good news.

If you are a fan of the DNArboretum extension to Chrome to get a quick overview of the pedigree of the match you are looking at, you'll be pleased to know that it works on the new landscape format, with the dates/places available on all as before, even though the pedigree view on the screen hasn't room to show that data at the earlier generations without your clicking on the person concerned.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

MyHeritage DNA "discoveries" - updated - again

Nov 2016 Update - MyHeritage out of beta - problems below fixed
An email arrived from MyHeritage overnight advised me that my DNA matches had arrived for the three kits I'd uploaded there, my usual trio of DNA family guinea pigs: myself, a maternal aunt, one of my closest paternal cousins (2nd, I don't have any closer paternal relatives).

I'm shown as having 477 DNA matches listed under my Discoveries tab from the link in the email.
In comparison:
FTDNA shows me 936 matches
23andme 1719 but the bulk of those are anonymous; only 200 open sharing; 195 previously public, not yet shared with; 359 sharing)
Ancestry too many to count, the VAST majority of them very small matches, although the latter does include some known relatives I've found as a result of a tree search having found them on GEDMatch with reasonable sized segments!

Top of the MyHeritage list are the two known relatives.
Following them the top six matches showed their largest segment match as being over 30cMs, and I only recognized ONE name.
Now I'm a double junkie, dna and genie, and work with the matches on all three companies for myself and a heap of family kits.
So I was (very) surprised.*

The report seems to be ordered by shared DNA in descending order ob cMs within the overall percent (with no immediately obvious way of filtering the report or obtaining a usable summary but I've only just started looking).
More 30cMs+ segments appeared further down the list.

Comparing results with other companies:

My maternal aunt is shown on MyHeritage as
Possible relationship Aunt

Shared DNA
23.7% (1,716.9 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
109.5 cM

FamilyTreeDNA reports my aunt as
Total shared 1642.96
Largest segment 120cMs

Shared 24.3%
Shared segments 49
Largest 124 cM

Looking at the name I recognized
Possible relationship 3C to 3C1R
Shared DNA
0.8% (56.1 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
31.2 cM

Shared 22%
Segments 1
Size 16cM  (Gedmatch 16.5)

Another as I scrolled well down the list for familiar names:
Total 45.73cMs
Largest 16.25 (1 segment)

Shared DNA
0.6% (46.1 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
17.1 cM

so that's comparable between sites.

So far, this has not imbued me with confidence that this will be a useful site, but it has to be said these are early days, and on the positive side, I could simply not have noticed all those new closer matches - well close by my standards outside the known relatives recruited to test :)

I do find MyHeritage trees completely and utterly unnavigable.
At least Geni has a pedigree view, as does FamilyTreeDNA although the latter does need the DNArboretum Chrome extension to be readable
And there's always with it's wonderful array of DNA focused charts.

Kitty Cooper has also blogged about MyHertiage DNA matches:

* Updated 7th Sep 2016
I started again at the top looking at the matches I didn't recognize, searching my projects and match data for anyone who may match them (I manage several projects and manage many kits).
First 2, not recognized anywhere.
The third, supposedly a 3C to 3C1R and sharing

Shared DNA
0.8% (56.3 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
31.9 cM 

with me might be someone who matches some of my matches on 23andme but hasn't appeared in mine unless anonymous there - which they can't be as that data came from the old CoA report with segment data.
Next is the first known match above, 31cM on MyHeritage 16cM on 23andme/GEDMatch
Then 3 not found anywhere, or insufficient information to determine if the same person
Then another 3C - 3C1R

Shared DNA
0.7% (52.8 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
24.8 cM

Where a match could be found on FTDNA identified by the trees attached on both MyHeritage and FTDNA. But the match on FTDNA is to one of my distant cousins, not me.
Lowering my search criteria from 10cM to 7 brought up a kit I help with, not related to me, but still no match to me.
Next 2 couldn't find.
The next might be a 26cM match to a distant cousin of mine on FTDNA but no candidates presented themselves for me and no tree was attached to confirm the id.
Next 6 couldn't be positively identified
We're still at 20 cMs and up here.
Then a
Shared DNA
0.7% (51.4 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
25.6 cM

looked to be found on FTDNA - but again as a match to another person, not known to be related to me.
Next couldn't be found, but the next looked promising.
Shared DNA
0.7% (51.2 cM)
Shared segments
Largest segment
30.7 cM

Name unusual enough to be the one showing up on FTDNA as a match around 13cMs to three of my 2nd cousins. But no match to me there down to 7cMs
No tree on MyHeritage but a match on Ancestry (via GEDMatch) to one of the above cousins.

I gave up checking at this point, rather disillusioned about the discrepancies/accuracy of the "match" criteria on MyHeritage - but on the plus side, will follow up on this last match, even though only 13cM on FTDNA/16cM on GEDMatch, as anyone matching that set of 2nd cousins always shows promise to chip away at some of the brickwalls that got me into DNA testing in the first place.

** Updated 9 Sep 2016
(as I posted to the DNA Newbies list)
as saying that they're taking all data, whatever build, from whichever company, to the same base set of data, imputing the bits that they haven't received from the kit you've uploaded.
(so given a choice you should upload the one from the company with the most tested SNPs)

Surely if you've tested on all three companies, and can't find the top matches in any of your match lists, the imputations of the missing bits to this common standard for comparison of eg your FTDNA test uploaded, can't be correct if it doesn't match the values from your independent test at ancestry or 23andme.

I'll keep looking further down my "match" list to see if I get any better hit rate of recognition.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Info on Timber

No, I've not joined the logging industry, I'd rather climb the trees :)

For those of you still struggling to understand why GEDMatch shows you some large ancestry matches that you then cannot find in your match list at Ancestry, have you heard about their timber algorithm?

Debbie Kennett posted on the DNA Newbies list a link to a blog post about it by an Ancestry employee so I thought it timely to mention it here.

What is actually most interesting about it are all the comments along the lines of stop making decisions on our behalf and give us our data, warts and all, AND a chromosome browser so that we can make up our own minds.

The usual advice holds, if you are interested in your autosomal DNA results, make the most of your investment, regardless of company, and upload the appropriate file to GEDMatch - full instructions available there once you've registered and clicked the appropriate file upload link.
This cartoon explains why you should, particularly if you tested on Ancestry.
Even if you aren't that interested in your matches, think of those of us that are.
In my experience (I've heaps of kits there), you wont be swamped by enquiries if you are worried about lack of time to respond.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

FTDNA Summer Sale

FTDNA's Sizzling Summer Sale starts now!
View this email in your browser
Summer is the perfect time for sun, fun and family…so jump into the gene pool now with sizzling hot savings from Family Tree DNA!


Lowest Price Ever!

Sort Your Paternal and Maternal Matches!
All of our DNA tests are designed to deliver superior results with the most advanced technology to tackle any genetic genealogy challenge. Plus, our new parental phasing tool allows users to further refine DNA matches like never before. The more matches the better, so be sure to tell family and friends and take advantage of this incredible offer.

For even more bundle specials, check out our Sizzling Summer Sale! With savings this hot, what better way to discover, match and connect more dots on your family tree! All that, and no subscription fees! For more information, visit

The Family Tree DNA Team
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