Thursday 12 December 2019

This week only: MyHeritage new transfers advanced tools free forever

Be in quick.
For this week only, Dec 11th to 18th 2019

The free transfer of your DNA from other companies into MyHeritage usually has a $29US one off cost per kit to unlock the more advanced, and very useful, additional tools available.

The basic free set provides your match list, ability to contact your matches and any shared surnames between your trees.

The advanced tools include:
Chromosome Browser
Shared matches
Viewing family trees and pedigree charts of your DNA matches
Auto Clusters
Theory of Family Relativity

All of the above bring in the value of the science of the DNA and allow you to be much more certain of where a new match might "fit" on your pedigree, which for smaller matches in particular may not be where the hints from trees tell you.

Read more at the MyHeritage blog:

Then you can have fun putting all this newfound knowledge to use painting your chromosomes to show you where you really got each bit of your DNA from (

If you don't know how to transfer your file from the other companies, don't panic. When you select Upload your DNA at MyHeritage there are fully instructions available.

Monday 20 May 2019

GEDMatch LEM. changes to opt-out default

And the LawEnforcement Matching (LEM) fallout continues.
Here are two of the more balanced and explanatory posts on the topic.

Your data on GEDMatch is now opted out of LEM by default.

NB WikiTree links from GEDMatch may also have been changed as part of this update.
Seems to be those that were set to Enable even if alias have now been set to Disabled. 

Sunday 19 May 2019

More on LEM (Law Enforcement matching)

Some more thoughtful thoughts on Law Enforcement matching using the databases of those who tested their DNA for genealogy:
From  Maurice Gleeson

Saturday 2 February 2019

FTDNA Terms of use changes

I feel obliged to bring this Terms of use change at FTDNA to your attention as, disappointingly, it happened without any notification to customers.

There will be a lot of reactions, informed and un-informed, on the various boards.
Read and weigh in with your comments there.

All DNA testing exposes us to matches to "cousins" who have submitted their DNA.
"Cousins" come in many flavours: genealogists looking for validations of their family tree, people looking for their birth parents/medical history, and more recently we've begun reading about cold case Joe and Jane DOEs.

Those on our match lists have to have come from a submitted DNA Sample.
You see what they see.

I will add that none of this is easy.
It takes a lot of work to get from a match to a defined place in a previously unknown family.
We all may learn things we did not expect.

If I manage a kit for you and you have concerns, do contact me to discuss.

The actual  FTDNA Press release

Friday 21 December 2018

Haplogroup chart changes

An early Christmas present yesterday, two long awaited BigY results, one rather anxiously as we hoped that there was enough sample.

The impacted branches and surname projects are in the Recent changes list, mainly being the families of James SINTON of Abbotrule / Southdean, Roxburghshire (a second BigY result to refine his branch of the yDNA tree - see the SintonDNA project diary for specific links/info), and Joseph ROWE of Bere Ferrers, Devon (our first result for this branch, another to come).

As a result, the DNASurnames Haplogroup section has been republished, but not, as yet, the Lineages and analysis portion.
An earlier update for another of the I1 FAIRBAIRNs is included as well, but having only just finished yFull processing not yet been further analysed.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Transfer to MyHeritage NOW, before 1 Dec 2018

Two significant announcements from MyHeritage, and further information on them, from:

The first announcement being that you can now transfer in your LivingDNA or the more recent 23andme tests to MyHeritage.
Both use different testing chips from the other main companies (FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and Ancestry) and have only been able to be compared across companies by using GEDMatch Genesis up until now.

The second, understandable, announcement is that the free transfer program will end on 1st December.
So, if you have tested elsewhere, and want to "fish in a different pond" (recommended) get in quick.
MyHeritage have excellent tools for working with your DNA matches, particularly the notifications of when your shared matches triangulate, and thus definitely you, your match and the shared match, all do share a common ancestor somewhere who gave you all that bit of DNA.

As the message from MyHeritage below explains, those uploading prior to 1 Dec will continue to receive the DNA tools for free after 1 Dec.

Hi Lorna,
I'm happy to announce another industry first from MyHeritage! We now support the upload of 23andMe v5 and Living DNA data files, in addition to supporting data uploads from all major DNA testing services, including Ancestry, 23andMe (prior to V5) and Family Tree DNA (Family Finder).
Since 2016, MyHeritage has allowed users who have already tested their DNA to upload their DNA data from Ancestry, 23andMe and Family Tree DNA. They receive DNA Matches and ethnicity estimates on MyHeritage for free. However, previously MyHeritage did not support the upload of tests based on the chip called GSA (Global Screening Array), now being used by 23andMe (v5), and by Living DNA. Recent improvements to our DNA algorithms now allow us to support DNA data processed on GSA chips, and so we now support uploads of 23andMe v5 and Living DNA data files.
Uploading DNA data to MyHeritage is fast and simple. For users that upload now, we offer full access to DNA Matching, Ethnicity Estimates, our industry-leading chromosome browser, and more, for FREE.
Upcoming changes
As of December 1, 2018, our policy regarding DNA uploads will change: DNA Matching will remain free for uploaded DNA data, but unlocking additional DNA features (for example, ethnicity estimate, chromosome browser, and some others) will require an extra payment for DNA files uploaded after this date. We will announce the full details of the new policy once it is finalized, closer to December 1st. All DNA data that was uploaded to MyHeritage in the past, and all DNA data that is uploaded now and prior to December 1, 2018, will continue to enjoy full access to all DNA features for free. These uploads will be grandfathered in and will remain free.
So, please advise your readers and followers to upload their DNA data to MyHeritage now, while all the DNA features are free (and they will remain free for those that upload now). 
And if they haven't tested their DNA yet, we invite them to order a DNA kit today.
Please see the full blog post here:
Kind regards
Daniel Horowitz
Genealogy Expert
MyHeritage Logo Trans 208

Sunday 2 September 2018

Revised Haplogroup tree etc

Although the haplogroup trees (only R and I) on DNASurnames is a highly selective extract of branches that are of particular interest for the surnames and kits I monitor, I do try to keep it relevant - not always in a timely fashion.

The tree has now been updated.

Other general updates include:
  • additions to most of the Surname Project pages to include a link to WikiTree for any yDNA tests recorded there for each surname, which also includes their ancestors as propagated via the WikiTree DNA "smarts"  .
    If you are comfortable recording that you have DNA tested on a collaborative public tree, do consider WikiTree.
  • a note against all the now obsolete links to WorldFamiliesNetwork project pages
Surname/haplogroup specific updates of note:
  • R-S7361 and it's hierarchy has had a few branches added between it and R-S691 in preparation for a new project that has been requested on FamilyTreeDNA  that for R-BY3127 (BigTree link: which may be of interest to Henderson, McWhannell, Anderson, Alexander and several other surnames
  • The Andrews tested line tracked back to 1679 West Buckland, Somerset, England has jumped down the I1 haplogroup tree from I-BY15565 (some 4000 years ago) to I-Y28228 (some 700 years ago) as there is now a BigY match - with an earliest known ancestor John Taylor, b 1795 Virginia-Indiana
  • The Wight line from Bowden, Roxburghshire has been advanced down the R1b tree to  R-BY31019, with no matches even back up to ZZ12_1; On Big Tree at