Sunday, 15 December 2013

Are you getting the most out of your investment?

The occasional blog posts under this title provide useful links to help you maximise your investment in DNA.

This post (Using AncestryDNA - Steps for Success) shows you how to overcome the current limitations of Ancestry's autosomal DNA test whereby you cannot access your raw data to fully confirm that the matches suggested are indeed genetic relations.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Are you getting the most out of your investment?

The occasional blog posts under this title provide useful links to help you maximise your investment in DNA.

Check out the wonderful resources at the ISOGG Wiki, particularly their beginners guide page.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Holiday sale

Most interested parties will have this information by now, sorry for the very belated notice, been busy analysing FamilyFinder matches!

FamilyTree DNA are having a holiday sale  until the end of December.
Many new kits and upgrades are discounted.
Check their website for the summary of prices.

It's a great time to be in.
Do remember to join an appropriate project to maximise your return on your investment.
The volunteer project admins will be glad to help you.

Should you by any chance end up with a FamilyFinder match to the surnames/places documented in my FamilyFinder project FFLornaHen, do consider getting in touch.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Help explore the earliest human Y-DNA haplogroup

Many of you will already know about the major breakthrough by citizen scientist Bonnie Schrack and the Perry project that resulted in the finding of A00, the earliest human Y-DNA haplogroup.
If you are interested in helping explore early branches of the human tree, do consider helping fund the next step.

The goal is $8000. To help fund this, visit Bonnie Schrack & Matthew Fomine Forka at Microryza.

Thomas Krahn has been working with Bonnie on a system to help focus the sample collection by initial screening for the Y-SNPs of interest and rightly states that every little bit of funding helps with a project that will benefit all of us in our understanding of our genetic heritage.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Summer Sale until July 26th 2013

Thinking about starting to explore your brick walls by using genetic genealogy aka DNA testing?
It's summer sale time at Family Tree DNA.
Be in.
Join those of us who have entered a fascinating new aspect of genealogy.

Dear Valued Customer,
Summer is once again upon us and it is time for our Sizzling Summer event! Our successful summers over the last two years have led us to offer you great values again this year.

We have been working with Illumina to offer our Family Finder autosomal test for only $99 during our summer event. In fact, if we receive enough orders at $99, Illumina may be able to help us keep it at this extremely low of rate of $99!

As you take advantage of our summer event, remember that the permanency of the $99 Family Finder test is actually in your hands!

Beginning on Thursday, June 27, 2013 and running until Friday, July 26, 2013, we will offer the following:
Family Finder was $289 Now $99
mtDNA Full Sequence was $289 Now $189
Y-DNA37 was $169 Now $129
Y-DNA67 was $268 Now $208
Y-DNA111 was $359 Now $308
Family Finder + Y-DNA37 was $368 Now $228
Family Finder + Y-DNA67 was $467 Now $307
Family Finder + mtDNAFullSequence was $398 Now $288
Comprehensive Genome (Y-DNA67, FMS & FF) was $666 Now $496


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Contact Us
+1 713-868-1438 (main)
+1 832-201-7147 (fax)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Transfer your results into Family Tree DNA

There are substantial benefits in pooling DNA results.
One of the main ones being the ability to compare like with like for all interested in whichever project.
For those tested at eg,, Family Tree DNA offers a transfer program with a number of options.
The most basic simply transfers your results into the FT DNA system where you can take advantage of their tools, matches, and all the volunteer administrators who help interpret results and recommend "where to next".
Even better, take advantage of the re-test option which involves a new sample, securely stored, and with the gaps between the prior company test and those offered by Family Tree DNA, all filled in.

Check out the above link for further information, and please do consider this option.

Monday, 24 June 2013

More tidy up

The DNA Surnames site tidy up continues.
This time the Haplogroup side of the site had some overdue attention.

The menu structure has changed slightly in that there are now submenus for the project and haplogroup menus.

The main content change was to expand the haplogroup trees to (sometimes) include the known Patriarch (Y-DNA) or Matriarch (mtDNA) as well as the testee, and to give some haplogroups a separate tree of their own (I and R).

Also a probably vain attempt at getting some of the haplogroup names up to current terminology, using the ISOGG trees as the 'master', and referring to them using their terminal SNP name (eg L21) rather than their branch name (eg R1b1a2a1a1b4).

A few more notes have been included against one or two of the haplogroups, particularly where the names have changed over the years, eg  L21 which 23andme still call R1b1b2a1a2f.
It is unlikely that this tree will ever be completely up to date which such changes, but the branching should give an indication of who shares which branch.
Those listed are only those who belong to projects  shown in the Lineages section of the site.

Please report any broken links using the contact details in the footer of most pages, some are bound to have escaped notice.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Site Update

DNA Surnames has been slightly restructured.
The list of projects have been shifted from the sidebar into submenus.
Some background renumbering may mean bookmarks need re-saving.

On the mitochondrial haplogroup tree of womankind a few of the earliest known ancestors for dna participants have been included as well as the previously included participants.

As noted previously, not all of the haplogroup names have necessarily been checked to see if they are their current names.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Y-DNA Upgrade Sale

FamilyTree DNA have announced a short upgrade sale for Father's Day:
From June 12, 2013 through June 19, 2013, we will reduce the following prices.
Y-DNA 12 to 25was $49Now $35
Y-DNA 12 to 37was $99Now $69
Y-DNA 12 to 67was $189Now $148
Y-DNA 25 to 37was $49Now $35
Y-DNA 25 to 67was $148Now $114
Y-DNA 25 to 111was $249Now $224
Y-DNA 37 to 67was $99Now $79
Y-DNA 37 to 111was $220Now $188
Y-DNA 67 to 111was $129Now $109
To order an upgrade at these special prices you may log into your personal page with your kit number and password. Click on the "Order Upgrade" button located on the right side of the menu bar. Then click on the "Special Offers" button.

So, if you aren't up to at least Y-DNA37 or 67, here's your chance to refine the closeness of your matches.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Caithness (SCT)

No sooner had this Caithness DNA post been posted than an official Caithness-Sutherland DNA project sprang into being.
Those interested in the DNA of either county are encouraged to join the official project to help us all understand the genetic heritage of our Caithness (or Sutherland) ancestry.
Should your surnames match those of interest appearing on the DNASurnames Caithness page, you are welcome to get in touch and be listed there as well.
Further details on the specific families of particular interest are available on Lorna's personal webpages.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Caithness (SCT)

DNA Surnames has been updated.
Main changes are the inclusion of a link in the surname projects list to the MANSON project, and in the Lineage section, the inclusion of a catch all Caithness "project", which contains a MANSON result for my MANSONs - another being searched for to validate the signature.
Another BAIN result has also been included.
The Caithness page is not an official geographical DNA project, merely a convenient place to group those DNA tests for surnames of interest to me, where some may not have a surname project of their own. 
Hopefully there are also a few less broken links as yet more of the background renumbering for easier maintenance has been done.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Y-DNA12 success story

As a project administrator of several Y-DNA Surname projects, whilst welcoming their interest in at least beginning the fun of testing and exploring the history locked inside ourselves, I admit to inwardly groaning when someone who has only tested Y-DNA12 joins.

So although any price reduction is great, the recent drop in prices for the Y-DNA12 tests were met with another inward groan that more time would need to be spent convincing people to upgrade to at least Y-DNA37 IF their interest is in genealogical time frames.

That said, I did actively promote this price reduction to someone who had been teetering over whether or not dna testing was for him.

His story can be read on my personal blog and is a tale of coincidences and lucky finds that has connected him to his maternal grandmother's family, all previously unknown to him, and had identified his potential biological paternal grandfather's family.
However the doubt still existed that he didn't really know if his father's surname by usage from his (step) father, was indeed his biological surname, his grandparents having married in the year following his father's birth.

The price reduction was enough for him to decide that he would begin the journey.
He was cautioned that at 12 markers it was more likely that he would get a number of matches from a variety of surnames, and that it really was only the start of the process, unlikely to be at all definitive.

The Y-DNA12 results arrived today.
How many matches - one.
Surname - his.
Most distant ancestor - the same as that identified in the research of his assumed step-grandfather.

I'm not sure I want to suggest further testing and see this match fade away as the markers increase!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Family Tree DNA pricing update




Dear Group Administrators,
With the end of the DNA Day promotion, we (Bennett and Max), considered how to continue offering the best prices, yet keep control in the lab to avoid delays from high volume. Since demand is directly related to prices, we decided to implement a temporary price rollback whenever lab capacity allows us to do so.
Despite an extremely successful sale, we believe that with our increased lab capacity, we are able to continue offering reduced prices on several tests. While the prices are not as low as they were for the DNA Day promotion, you will notice that these temporary reductions are extremely attractive, and should be a real incentive to anyone that did not take advantage of the sale to order now, while the prices are reduced. With this system in place, prices may go up on different tests at any time based on lab volume.
Additionally, on April 1st when we permanently reduced the price of the Y-DNA12 to $49, we mentioned that our R&D team was working towards a price reduction for the equivalent mtDNA basic test. Good news! Not only did we manage to achieve this goal, but we did it for the mtDNAPlus test that covers both HVR1 and HVR2. Therefore, we're discontinuing the HVR1-only test. Our basic mtDNA test will now be the mtDNAPlus (HVR1+2) at the $49 price point! We hope that with the basic Y-DNA and mtDNA tests very reasonably priced, a whole new group of people will be tempted to begin their own DNA experience and increase the size of your projects!
You are welcome to spread the news, and as always, we thank you for your continued support.

Max Blankfeld
Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA

Full Mitochondrial Sequence:
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Y-DNA37 +
Full Sequence:
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Friday, 19 April 2013

Family Tree DNA Sale April 18th to 25th (CDT)

Family Tree DNA have advised that they are having a "DNA day" sale which originally finished 11:59pm 22 April 2013 CDT.
It has been extended to the 25th April, with the following explanation:
This year we began our commemoration of National DNA Day on April 19th. This coincides with the celebration by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's partnership to celebrate the 1953 discovery of the double helix and the 2003 completion of the Human Genome Project, which was April 19th.

However, DNA Day is celebrated worldwide on April 25th. Therefore, we've extended our sale! The usual conditions apply - orders must be made and paid for by 11:59 p.m. CDT on Thursday, April 25th. 
Great time to be in.
Excellent Family Finder & mtDNA full sequence pricing, and news of Y-DNA upgrades being available on Father's Day. Here's the original notification, with the prices:
From their advice to administrators:

"While the special pricing features all the major tests, we’re placing particular emphasis on the Full Mitochondrial Sequence and Family Finder. We’ll offer Y-DNA upgrades during a Father’s Day sale and will give you those details at that time.
By carefully choosing the sale options and limiting the length of the sale, we will be better able to focus our resources on processing the tests efficiently and avoiding delays in delivering results.
We are proud to announce we have successfully moved our mtDNA Full Sequencing line from Sanger DNA sequencing to what is called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). This gives us much greater capacity to process tests, to reduce costs without sacrificing quality, and to ensure shorter turnaround times.
We must run the entire sequence every time we process an mtDNA full sequence test, even for upgrades. However, in recognition of your prior investment- and National DNA Day – we’re offering our lowest price ever for the FMS and upgrades.
Rather than the 8-10 weeks first generation sequencing required, we expect results to be completed within 5-6 weeks. This does depend on the number of orders received though. If their DNA is already at our lab, those who order first may expect even shorter turnaround times.

For a limited time we will be selling the FMS for $189 and whether you’ve tested HVR1 or HVR1+2, you’ll be able to upgrade to the Full Sequence for just $129!
In addition, we are also lowering the Family Finder to $169 for this sale!
Here is the list of all tests under the promotion:
Full MtDNA Sequence…. $189
Upgrades to FMS….$129
Y-DNA37 (new and add-on)…. $119
Y-DNA67 (new and add-on)…. $199
Y-DNA37 + Full MtDNA Sequence…. $308
Y-DNA12 + FF…. $218
Y-DNA37 + FF…. $288
Y-DNA67 + FF…. $368
Family Finder.... $169
Family Finder + Full MtDNA Sequence…. $358
SuperDNA….$388 (Y-67 + FMS)
Comprehensive DNA…. $557 (Y-67 + FMS + FF

The sale will begin tonight, April 18th, at 6PM CDT and will conclude at 11:59PM CDT on Monday April 22nd. All orders must be placed and paid for by the end of the sale to receive the promotional price.
There will be no need for a coupon - all prices will be automatically adjusted on the website."

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Site update

DNA Surnames has been updated.

The main visible changes will be to the Y-DNA haplogroup tree where some participants have been undergoing SNP testing and thus are advancing down assorted branches.

Background tidy-ups include some more of the person/page renumbering for easier maintenance, so some bookmarked links may no longer work. These will mainly be in the FAIRBAIRN and their ELLIOT(T) subgroup.

As always, check individual project diaries for surname specific changes.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Y-DNA12 still down in price

As per this earlier post the Y-DNA12 entry level test for males is still on offer at $39US plus P&P.
This price applies to either direct orders or to those ordered via your surname project of choice.

Be in. Start the voyage of exploration NOW.


DNA Surnames and the sub site DNA Lineages have both been updated/reloaded.

The main changes were to the SINTON project pages which should now all reflect the current genetic distance calculations used by Family Tree DNA after their recent-ish changes, and include more of the updated nomenclature for the haplogroups and shortened names.

The feedback form in the signature has been replaced by a link to a contact form with a captcha code.
Sorry folks, but the spam needed to stop!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Heavily discounted entry level Y-DNA test

Family Tree DNA have announced a heavy promotional discount for their Y-DNA12 test.

This is an excellent price for this entry level test for males to begin exploring their direct paternal line, ie the DNA each male inherits from his father and he from his father, back to Adam.

Be in and begin an exciting journey - particularly as there is no indication how long the discount will last.

Once you have your results, use your kit number and password to join the project for your surname of interest.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Find family

Discounted Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA available via Geni.
I note that at least some of the other kit prices offered there are the project discounted prices, readily available via your project of interest, but this is a good price for Family Finder.
So, if you are interested in exploring relationships within 4-6 generations, and genetically challenged by being female (Y-DNA tests are of no use to you), this is great news as it tests the autosomal DNA (atDNA) that all of you have inherited from all of your direct ancestors, not just your direct paternal or maternal lines.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Check out the Lineages section recent changes index for some updates to the RICHARDSON project (which doesn't have a project diary of its own) - we have another matching lineage.