What I learned from my first DNA experience, and what's next

I've been on an incredible genealogy high this week! And it has everything to do with my first DNA tests. If you missed it, the results of my DNA tests were unveiled, both to me and to a live webinar audience, this past Tuesday. Thousands of you have now tuned in and shared in the amazing discovery. I truly had no idea DNA testing could find what it did.

I'm finally starting to get the hype - this really is the hottest thing in genealogy. It's not that I've been in my own sheltered world trying to avoid DNA because I have been involved in it. In fact, I've now hosted nine full-length webinars (www.familytreewebinars.com/dna) teaching people about its value to our research. But it wasn't until I actually had my family tested that it has become so real. Finally.

Of those that attended the live webinar, 29% had not yet participated in a DNA test. To you I plead - find someone in your family - you, your parents, your grandparents - anyone! and get them tested yesterday! Another poll showed that most were still in the same boat as me:

  • 45% felt they were complete newbies to DNA genealogy
  • 44% have dabbled in DNA genealogy and know a little bit
  • 9% were pretty confident with DNA genealogy
  • 1% felt they were experts with DNA genealogy

So it seems that we still have a ways to go in this field, but it's incredible where we are now.

What I learned from my first test

Here's what I learned from my first test. To clarify, it was my mother's parents who were tested, and it was their autosomal DNA from AncestryDNA that was tested. The easiest part was getting them to spit into the container. The hardest part was waiting the one month and 14 days for the email that said the results were in, and then the additional 1 month and 9 days I waited to explore them with you.

I learned about Grandma's ethnicity - she was 100% from Europe.

Dna1

I learned that I have 15 DNA circles. Circles are created around a particular ancestor and everyone in a circle has DNA evidence that links them to Grandma or to someone else in the group. Here's what the William McCall DNA Circle looks like:

Dna3

I learned that I have 180 DNA Matches of 4th cousins or closer:

Dna4

It was by reviewing these matches that the answer to one of my longest-standing genealogy brick walls was discovered! My 4th great-grandfather, Asa Brown, had four children with his first wife. The identities of children #1 and #3 have been elusive...

Dna5

...yet I've always believed them to be John and Griffin:

Dna6

My theory has been that if Grandma's DNA matched the DNA of a descendant of either John or Griffin, then at least I know for sure that they are indeed related.

Dna7

Diahan, my on-air DNA consultant, suggested that I do a search in my DNA matches for any Brown surnames who were born in Pennsylvania.

Dna8

Of the 60 results, I clicked on the first match, who happened to be in the "4th Cousin" section. Then my heart rate jumped. I looked closely at the details of this John Nelson Brown...

Dna9

...and compared him with the details of my John Nelson Brown.

Dna10

Their names, dates, and places all seemed to match. Then Diahan suggested that I click on the Shared Matches button. This shows DNA matches that Grandma and John have in common. One match appeared. Reviewing it, my heart seemed to beat right out of my body, and I literally began to be light-headed.

Dna11

And here's my Griffin Brown in my Legacy family file:

Dna12

If I understand correctly, here's what all of this means. John Nelson BROWN shares DNA with Griffin BROWN, both of whom also share DNA with my grandmother - Virginia BROWN. Therefore, somewhere, somehow, both John and Griffin fit into the family. And with all of the genealogy research I've already performed, it now looks more likely than ever before that they really are children #1 and #3 of Asa Brown's family. And I thought I'd never find the proof! While DNA will not tell me that "Griffin is the son of Asa" I'm now as excited and energized as ever to continue pursuing this family. I am on the right trail.

Why was this so successful?

Hundreds of you have personally written to me (thanks!) to congratulate me on these findings. Many of the messages have suggested that this discovery was somewhat unusual, even ideal. Maybe it was beginner's luck, but I feel there were some factors that contributed to this success.

  • First, I was fortunate to have my grandmother perform the DNA test. Had I only tested myself, and since I only have 25% of my grandmother's DNA, there's a 50% chance that the DNA which matched John and Griffin wouldn't have been passed to me, and I would not have made this discovery.
  • Second, not only did I have part of my tree at Ancestry, but both the descendant of John and the descendant of Griffin also had partial trees at Ancestry. With the combination of that and our DNA match, we discovered each other. I will continue to keep the master copy of my tree in Legacy for all of the advantages it gives me, but recognize the benefits of having parts of it online.
  • Third, my genealogical research of both John and Griffin was very thorough, which permitted me to recognize the potentially matching names, dates, places, and relationships. Never be satisfied with a partial family!
  • Fourth, not only did the descendant of John and Griffin have a tree at Ancestry, but they also participated in DNA testing.
  • Fifth, the guidance I received from Diahan was invaluable to understanding and filtering through the results. If you've tried interpreting your DNA results on your own, I'd strongly recommend that you visit with her through her consultation services or learn from her via her inexpensive DNA reference guides.
  • Sixth, I must have really good DNA. :)

Next steps

I'm still a little overwhelmed with the results, and this was just my first test! Here's what I plan to do next. If you have other suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.

  • I've ordered another DNA test, this time for my father's 93-year-old father. It should arrive in the next day or so, and then I've got another excuse to make the 3-hour drive to visit him.
  • I'll probably spend most of my time looking for more evidence of John and Griffin. I look forward to that day when I can, with full confidence, link them to their correct places in my tree.
  • I'm more confident with DNA testing now, but I will definitely review these two reference guides by Diahan: Autosomal DNA for the genealogist and Understanding AncestryDNA. I should probably also review Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist.
  • Re-watch the previous DNA webinars in the library (at www.familytreewebinars.com/dna):
    • The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships
    • DNA Research for Genealogists: Beyond the Basics
    • The New Frontier in Genetic Genealogy: Autosomal DNA Testing
    • Genealogy and Technology - State of the Union
    • I Had My DNA Tested - Now What?
    • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy
    • Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History
    • Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA
    • Watch Geoff Live: DNA
  • Import my AncestralDNA results into FamilyTreeDNA. Transferring costs about $39 and from what I hear there are additional benefits by having the results there too.
  • Import the results into GEDMatch. This is free, and provides additional tools such as comparing my results with others who may not have had their tests done with AncestryDNA.
  • Against others' recommendations, I'm going to have myself tested sometime. I've got to prove to my parents that they didn't find me under a rock. And who knows what else I'll find?
  • I'd also like to have my wife's parents tested. I've done a little bit of research on my father-in-law's line, and feel this could help with some of the challenges.

So if you've read this far, and you haven't yet joined this new world of DNA testing for genealogy, I hope I've inspired you a little bit. At the very least, I've now got a summary of what I did and a checklist of where I'm heading - both good practices for genealogy research of any kind.


Watch Geoff Live: DNA - free webinar by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard now online for limited time

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Now that was one of the top highlights of my entire genealogy career! Thanks to Diahan Southard and to all of YOU for being there with me as DNA testing really came through for my genealogy brick wall! If you haven't participated in DNA testing for your ancestors, do it TODAY!

The recording of today's webinar, "Watch Geoff Live: DNA" by Geoff Rasmussen and Diahan Southard is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. 

Webinar Description

Geoff finally did it! He took his first step into the world of DNA and had his two maternal grandparents tested (autosomal tests from AncestryDNA). He recently received the testing results and has waited to explore them – for the first time – in front of a LIVE webinar audience.

You are invited to watch live as his DNA results are revealed. He is hoping that somehow DNA will bring down one of his longest-standing brick walls.

On hand to interpret and explain what Geoff discovers will be DNA expert, webinar presenter, and yourDNAguide.com’s Diahan Southard. Geoff has kept the results hidden from her as well. The result will be a live and unscripted session giving DNA neophyte (like Geoff) viewers a first-hand look at what to expect from their first autosomal DNA test.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 42 minute recording of "Watch Geoff Live: DNA" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

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Use webinar coupon code - dnalive - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, April 25, 2016

AncestryDNAUnderstanding AncestryDNA - Quick Reference PDF Guide by Diahan Southard - 5.95

Thousands have purchased DNA testing through Ancestry.com. Most are left without a clear idea of what to do next. This guide provides answers to the following questions:
  • How can I find my best DNA matches at Ancestry.com?
  • What do the ethnicity results mean?
  • How can I link my pedigree chart to my DNA? Is that something I want to do?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What are the DNA circles?
  • Can I trust the shaky leaf hints?
  • What are my next steps?

Click here to purchase for 5.95.

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  • Fire Insurance Maps - The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli. April 20.
  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
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  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
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  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
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  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
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  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
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  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
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  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
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  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

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Register for Webinar Friday - Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA by Melvin Collier

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With slave ancestral research, one is often faced with direct evidence vs. indirect evidence. Many forms of direct evidence that emphatically prove family relationships, birthplaces, and other happenings are often non-existent because slaves were merely considered “property”. Some researchers have been very fortunate to find rare pieces of direct evidence, in the form of old family letters, diaries, ledgers, Bibles, etc., to positively identify enslaved ancestors. Many researchers often rely on a preponderance of indirect evidence to confirm enslaved ancestors. Collier will present cases where DNA was the direct piece of evidence that identified or confirmed an enslaved ancestor.

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Join us and Melvin Collier for the live webinar Friday, April 8, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

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About the presenter

MelvinCollier-144x144A native of Canton, Mississippi, Melvin J. Collier is the author of:

His books have been used by genealogical and historical scholars as great reference sources for genealogical methodologies.

Melvin is a former civil engineer in corporate America for nearly 10 years. His passion for African-American history and historical preservation led to a major and fulfilling career change in the Archivist profession. He is a former archivist at the Archives Research Center of the Robert W. Woodruff Library – Atlanta University Center, where he has worked on the Morehouse College Dr. Martin Luther King Papers, the Maynard Jackson Administrative Papers and Photographs, the Dr. Asa Hilliard III Papers, and other collections, 2006-2013. Currently employed by the federal government, Melvin has been conducting historical and genealogical research for over 20 years, starting at the age of 19. He has given numerous workshops and presentations on historical and genealogical subjects. He appeared on the NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are, as one of the expert genealogists on the Spike Lee episode (2010). Melvin maintains a genealogy blog, Roots Revealed, atwww.rootsrevealed.com. He earned a Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies, Clark Atlanta University, in 2008, with additional graduate coursework in Archival Studies from Clayton State University, 2010-2012. He was the recipient of the 2012 Marsha M. Greenlee History Award by the National Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS).

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We look forward to seeing you all there!


My DNA Results Are In! To be unveiled to the world in this LIVE webinar

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You inspired me. I did it. The results came back. And now I want YOU to be there!

I'm talking about my first DNA test of course. A few months back I asked for your advice about which DNA test to order. With your help and encouragement I did it. In fact, I ordered two tests - one for each of my mother's parents. And just recently I received an email with this subject line:

Your AncestryDNA results are in!

I clicked on the link and browsed around a bit. Before I looked too closely, however, I closed it down. Not because I didn't like what I saw, but because I thought I would invite YOU to be with me - LIVE! while I explored my results. What I briefly saw looked interesting, and I think it could help with one of my brick wall problems, but I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. So I invited DNA expert, Diahan Southard, to join me to interpret the results in a brand new Watch Geoff Live: DNA live webinar on April 19, 2016, where we will discover together what this DNA test is all about.

Register

The result will be a live and unscripted session giving DNA neophytes (like me, and maybe some of you) a first-hand look at what to expect from a DNA test. I'd love to share this experience with all of you, so please register for the live webinar here. Previous Watch Geoff Live! webinars have been wildly successful and I expect this one to be no different. Well, unless my DNA explains I was found under a rock like my Dad used to tell me.


My DNA Dilemma - what would YOU do with these DNA kits?

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I've finally ordered a DNA kit. Two of them in fact. Now I'm wondering, "what now?"

I guess I'm late to the DNA-genealogy game. It's been the talk of the community for years now, yet I've not felt compelled to jump in. I've learned a lot about DNA from our DNA webinar series and I've heard your stories of how DNA testing helped has helped you.

I've finally given in to your peer-pressure:

  • "What, YOU haven't had your DNA tested Geoff?"
  • "Just do it Geoff - everyone's doing it!"

and so when Ancestry's DNA kits went on sale recently I did it. I placed the order. I'm almost a genea-DNA-peep like the rest of you.

Now I face my first DNA dilemma. Who should I test? The best answer is probably, "well, what are you hoping to find? What are your goals?" My current response is, "I'm not really sure." But I still have three grandparents with me (age 92, 81, and 81) and something tells me I should work with them before much longer. I'd also be interested in having myself tested. Why? Because I'm interested in the results. 

I also have an old genealogy case where I think Y-DNA testing would help. Asa had four children in his first marriage.

Dna1

I THINK that child #1 is Griffin:

Dna2

and child #3 is John:

Dna3

but I don't know yet. While I know there's more research that can/should be done on these two children, it's been difficult. And so I'm wondering if DNA would tell me if I'm on the right track. Here's what I'm thinking:

  1. IF I can locate a living male BROWN-surnamed descendant of one of the two known children (Nathan or Lorenzo)
  2. AND I can locate a living male BROWN-surnamed descendant of Griffin or John
  3. AND I can convince BOTH of them to take a DNA test
  4. AND their DNA matches

Would this suggest that Griffin and John do belong in the family and that I should use my efforts to continue the quest?

Legacy's DNA Chart, the "Male Y-DNA, Carriers Only" chart

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should make it easier to know which of these descendants would carry the right Y-DNA, right?

Y-DNA Descendant Carriers Only of Asa Clark Brown

On the other hand, my mother's mother, age 81, is a descendant of one of my brick wall ancestors. Below, Grandma's mother's mother's mother's mother's parents are unknown. Would testing Grandma with a mtDNA test be of value here?

Dna5

What should Geoff do?

My dear genea-DNA-peeps - I've got two AncestryDNA (autosomal) kits sitting on my desk. Should I:

  1. Test Grandpa Rasmussen (Dad's father)
  2. Test Grandpa Larsen (Mom's father)
  3. Test Grandma Larsen (Mom's mother)
  4. Test Dad
  5. Test Mom
  6. Test myself

And which other tests should I obtain?

  1. y-DNA test for the Browns
  2. mtDNA test for Grandma Larsen

If my budget were not an issue I know I should do 'em all. Or should I just keep these tests on my desk for now?


New! DNA Quick Reference Guides

You've probably heard that DNA testing is a big deal in finding our ancestors these days. Maybe you've completed the DNA test, but are now left with more questions than answers. If you need help understanding your results, the differences between the testing companies, or just need help understanding where DNA fits in with your genealogy research plans, I recommend taking a look at Diahan Southard's new Quick Reference Guides. Seven are available for 5.95 each, or the 7-pack bundle is available for 29.95 (save 11.70).

1Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist

Do you want to use DNA to further your genealogy research? This guide will help you select the DNA test (and testing company) that is right for you. It's never been easier to get started. Let Your DNA Guide show you the way! This guide provides answers so you can test with confidence:

  • Explains what DNA can and can't do for your research
  • Identifies who in your family should be tested
  • Explains privacy measures
  • Provides a comprehensive flow chart that identifies the right test for your research
  • Helps you choose the right testing company for your test and genealogy research
  • How to take the test
  • A Quick Glossary Guide to help you navigate terminology easily

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

2Y Chromosome DNA for the Genealogist

This guide will walk you through each aspect of YDNA testing and help you identify your next steps to finding or extending paternal lines. You'll receive clear and concise explanations of:

  • How to determine if the YDNA test is right for you and your research
  • What the YDNA test can tell you
  • Haplotypes and Haplogroups
  • How many markers you should have tested
  • How to get tested step-by-step
  • The best company for YDNA testing
  • What the testing company can tell you
  • How to get the most out of the testing company website tools

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

Mitochondrial DNA for the Genealogist

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) carries with it an indestructible record of your direct maternal line. This guide will cover the basics of mtDNA testing, and how to harness its power in maternal line research. This guide will fully explain the different kinds of DNA tests, and importantly, how to use the results of testing to further your genealogical goals.

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

4Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist

Autosomal DNA is being touted as one of the hottest genealogy tools available, but it leaves many with more questions than answers. Turn to this quick guide for answers to these common questions:

  • What exactly is autosomal DNA testing?
  • Who can be tested?
  • What testing companies provide this testing?
  • What will the results tell me?
  • What are the maps with all of the ethnicity percentages?
  • What do those maps have to do with my genealogy?
  • How do I organize my DNA matches to make the most of the testing?
  • Use this guide to gain knowledge and confidence in this exciting field of research.

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

5Understanding AncestryDNA

Thousands have purchased DNA testing through Ancestry.com. Most are left without a clear idea of what to do next. This guide provides answers to the following questions:

  • How can I find my best DNA matches at Ancestry.com?
  • What do the ethnicity results mean?
  • How can I link my pedigree chart to my DNA? Is that something I want to do?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What are the DNA circles?
  • Can I trust the shaky leaf hints?
  • What are my next steps?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

6Understanding Family Tree DNA

Many have begun to explore autosomal DNA testing with Family Tree DNA but aren’t sure how to navigate the website and make genealogical connections. This guide provides answers to the following questions:

  • How can I find my best matches at FTDNA?
  • What do the MyOrigins results mean?
  • Do I need to add my pedigree chart to the website?
  • What do the relationship ranges, like 2nd-4th cousin, really mean?
  • What is a cM and why is it listed on my match page?
  • What is a Chromosome Browser? How do I use it in my genealogy?
  • How do I use the In Common with tool to find genealogical connections?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

7Understanding 23andMe

Over 1 million people have had their DNA evaluated by 23andMe. This website has powerful family history tools and this guide will answer the most pressing questions like:

  • How can I control how much information is being shared with others?
  • How can I enter my genealogical information?
  • How do I know when I have a good match?
  • Is the YDNA and mtDNA information they give the same as what I see at other places?
  • What is the best way to use the ethnicity results presented?

Purchase for 5.95 for immediate download delivery.

DNA Reference Guide 7-Pack PDF Bundle

All 7 DNA reference guides at a discounted price!

Purchase for 29.95 for immediate download delivery (savings of 11.70).

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Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy - free webinar by Diahan Southard now online for limited time

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The recording of tonight's webinar, "Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy" by Diahan Southard is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time.

In this one-of-a-kind lecture we will discuss various methods for keeping track of your DNA matches- especially your autosomal DNA matches. We will first discuss what kind of information you need to keep track of, and why. We will cover the basics of Excel, Word, email folders and correspondence. We will talk about some alternative tools like Evernote, and Kustumnote that can help you streamline and standardize your organization. We will even cover some visual tools that will help you including Google Earth. This webinar will leave you armed and dangerous, ready to identify your best autosomal DNA matches and begin to move forward with the real genealogy business of making connections.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 38 minute recording of "Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - dna4 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, November 16, 2015.

Dna7packDNA Reference Guide 7-Pack PDF Bundle

All seven DNA Reference Guides!

  • Getting Started: Genetics for the Genealogist
  • Y Chromosome DNA for the Genealogist
  • Mitochondrial DNA for the Genealogist
  • Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist
  • Understanding AncestryDNA
  • Understanding Family Tree DNA
  • Understanding 23andMe
Sold separately: 41.65
Bundle Price: 29.95
 

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 277 classes, 415 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,216 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
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  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
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Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. December 18.

Click here to register.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


DNA Testing Kits now available from the Legacy Family Tree online store

Mtdna Most genealogists have heard a little about how genetic testing can help prove, verify, or even disprove a pedigree or difficult research problem. Thanks to Dr. Ugo A. Perego's webinar yesterday, we all now know a lot more about what to expect from a DNA test. And thanks to a new partnership we've recently made with Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and GeneTree.com, these DNA kits are now available to purchase from our online store.

Two different types of tests are available. The Y-DNA test helps you learn about your paternal line and the mtDNA test helps you learn about your maternal line. Here's the extended descriptions:

Enhanced Paternal Lineage Test (Y-DNA 46 marker)

Testing your Y-DNA is an ideal way to learn more about your direct paternal line (the lineage connecting you to your father, your father to his father, and so on). You receive your Y-DNA profile of 46 markers and a Y-DNA haplogroup prediction. Use your haplogroup prediction to discover the early origins and migrations of your paternal ancestors. Use your Y-DNA profile to find DNA cousins in GeneTree’s genetic-genealogy database. Any person you find with a matching Y-DNA profile is your paternal relative, some distant, some recent. By contacting and collaborating with your DNA matches, you can investigate, verify, and discover more information about your paternal line. This test is available to males only. Price: $179.

Click here for more information or to purchase.

Enhanced Maternal Lineage Test (mtDNA HVR-1,2,3)

Testing your mtDNA is an ideal way to learn more about your direct maternal line (the lineage connecting you to your mother, your mother to her mother, and so on). You receive your mtDNA profile and mtDNA haplogroup prediction. Use your haplogroup prediction to discover the early origins and migrations of your maternal ancestors. Use your mtDNA profile to find DNA cousins in GeneTree’s genetic-genealogy database. Any person you find with a matching mtDNA profile is your maternal relative, some distant, some recent. By contacting and collaborating with your DNA matches, you can investigate, verify, and discover more information about your maternal line. This test is available to males and females. Price: $179.

Click here for more information or to purchase.

Is Griffin Brown part of MY family?

Some of you think I talk about my Brown families too much. I probably do, but I've learned more about genealogy by studying the Browns then by any other way. And now I hope to use DNA testing to solve a brick wall.

Asa Brown had four known children by his first wife, Elizabeth. I know who children two and four are, but children one and three are still a mystery. I believe that child three is Griffin Brown, but have not yet proved it. The way I see it, I have two choices. First, I can continue with traditional research methods to prove or disprove his position in the family or second, I can use genetic testing to prove or disprove his position in the family. Let's say that through genetic testing I learn that Griffin does NOT belong to the family. Case closed. Now I can use my resources to try to find the real child number three. I suspect, however, that the tests will show that Griffin does belong to the family. So while the price of a DNA test seems a bit high, it could save me years (and hundreds or thousands of dollars) of chasing after the wrong guy.

So this is my plan. I need to identify a living, male, Brown descendant of either child #2 (Nathan ) or child #4 (Lorenzo) and have his Y-DNA tested. Then I would compare that DNA with that of a living, male, Brown descendant of child #3 (Griffin). If the DNA matches up, then I know that Griffin does in fact belong. Make sense?

Dna4

I'll let you know what I learn. And if you see a guy dancing in the street, it just might be me doing my latest Genealogy Happy Dance.