I am a new user to Autosomal DNA, only having my results arrive to me in the fall of 2016, so any time that new information is found by me, it is always new to me, no matter how long it has been out there.
Before you go to any of these sites, you will want to download your DNA and place the files in a folder on your desktop for easy access. Some sites will require that you convert your files to a different format. I have included a few links to get that done as well!
All of the links that I am going to include in this article have been visited and tried out with me. I will provide information about each link below. Bookmark this page!
www.gedmatch.com This site is such a fun site to visit, as well as very informative. If I were to write of all of the features at this 90 percent free site, I would be writing a several page long article.
Here are the basics: You create a profile and upload your DNA files to the site. Allow up to a few days for the site to process the data. Go back and you will have the following information available to you with just a few clicks of the mouse:
One to Many comparison: displays DNA matches found in their database. (If you have completed a DNA test somewhere, you may see some matches that you already know about!) I love this feature because I get to see a lot of people who are related to me who are not in my FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) profile.
X Match: Only displays those who you are an X chromosome match to.
A nice feature of these 2 tables is that when someone uploads data to the GEDMatch site, for the first 30 days, these two tables will reflect that by showing the test number with a green background in the test kit rectangle. The brighter the green, the more recent that it was uploaded. A white background in this field reflects that it has been greater than 30 days since the user uploaded their data.
Admixture Heritage (ethnicity) There are so many variables that you can use on this site to explore this option, I simply don't have the room to list them all here. Check it out, and you may very well find yourself spending a few hours in the Admixture Heritage section.
Are Your Parents Related? I don't know who my biological father is, so to be honest, I was a little bit nervous when I did this test. I was relieved that there is no relation between them, but for certain tribes of Jewish ancestry, this is a common problem. This test will show the answer if you are uncertain and looking for this information. Free.
Archaic DNA Matches. Going back. Way back. You may be amazed at what you find. My thought was "cool".
The GedMatch.com is a great website, and they also offer a pay as you go option called Tier 1 Utilities that gives you access to 7 other features that are not covered in the free option. I have not used them, but I have plans to in the future. As soon as I do, I will update this portion of the article.
GedMatch is an excellent program that provides thousands of dollars worth of tests that are free. Plan to go over there with a pen and paper for all the notes that you will be making as well as printing out some of the beautiful charts and graphs that are free. I am actually considering framing a couple of them because they are lovely and distinctive.
dnagedcom.com I always feel a bit technically challenged when I come to this website because I don't remember how I got to the place on the site to access the information that I am interested in. After a few bad clicks and making notes, I finally will find the place I want to be. I am sure that your experience will vary, perhaps it would be better if I went there a lot more. I wish that I were more enthusiastic about this site, but perhaps with time and practice, which I endeavor to do this summer, my experience with this site will change. I will update as I use it more. The site is free to upload data, free to use.
http://dnaadoption.com/ This is a wonderful site if you are an adoptee or other displaced family member trying to family your family through DNA. I cannot say enough lovely and wonderful things about the wonderful group of people there. If you are on this search, as I am, I wish you nothing but the very best of luck in your search, and when you find your family, I hope that you will contact me here so that we can share the happy news. All of the very best of luck to you!
https://opensnp.org/ This is a place where you are free to upload your information and create DNA phenotype questionnaires as well as answer others. It is funded by donations, and I would strongly urge a donation if you can afford it. People are doing science research on their own as well as contributing to the research of others. Yay, science!
http://www.y-str.org/ This site is the very first site that I ran my DNA through. I was so glad that it was so easy. The creator of the tools that are still on his site for free is no longer working on the DNA project. He has moved his attention to spreading the word of God. I wish him the very best of luck and I urge you to go and have a look at the tools that he has created as they are free. The program files that are there must be downloaded to your hard drive for them to work. Some of the programs are nearly instant in their results showing up. Others, especially those that are processing a lot of information, such as the Parentless Phasing application can take a long time. For free, you can't complain!
www.promethease.com I found Promethease sort of by accident by doing a search for something else that was autosomal related and there was the Promethease site. But I am so very glad that I did. Promethease is chock full of information. If you were to print your results, I imagine that the report would be at least 50 pages long. Promethease IS pay to play. Their rates start at $5.00 and go to $10.00, depending on the amount of information that you are submitting. Save the bookmark when you get your results, or if you have the inclination, print the files, too! My family and I all ran our results through Promethease and the emails flew back and forth that week as we compared the results. It was really cool to nod at one another when we discovered that there was a genetic link to some issues in the family. For others, it can be a jumping point to a discussion with your doctor. After appx. 30 days, your results will be discarded unless you have saved your bookmark.
For all of these these tools, you will need to have a copy of your DNA results on your hard drive. I can only attest to the tools that are for autosomal DNA. I have not had any of the other tests done. At the point I do, however, there will be a post right here to let you know.
Tell me which tools you liked the best in the comments section!
This year, National DNA Day in the United States falls on Tuesday. It is pretty much agreed in the United States that the 25th of April is the day that DNA researchers, scientists, genealogists and others come together to bring forward awareness to DNA research.
We are especially mindful of all of the strides that have been made with DNA and in DNA research, starting with the discovery of the double helix in 1953, and the completion of the human genome project in 2003.
Personally, I am grateful that all of the research being done with DNA is being done in my lifetime so that I am able to benefit from it.
I have learned so much about DNA since my test results have come in, and I am not done learning.
This week, I connected with a cousin of mine (4th cousin) who may be from my paternal side. To say that I am excited and pleased is under expressing how very happy DNA tests have made me.
It is my fervent hope to meet my paternal family, and as I get more tests done, perhaps I will. To all of the fruitless searching that I did before DNA, I harbor no ill feelings. DNA has changed my life and me as a person in terms of how I view myself. I hope to write a very long article about it, once I have sorted all of the emotions that I am still going through!
Have a wonderful DNA day, and reach out to a few of your DNA relatives that you have not met yet!
If you have not completed a DNA test yet, don't forget that Genes For Good, through Facebook is still offering free DNA tests through the University of Michigan!
Some of you have been following my nervousness and excitement about participating in the University of Michigan's DNA project, Genes for Good. You can look them up on Facebook. After you join Genes for Good, it is pretty straightforward to "earn" your test.
Take a week or so, answer some questions and then one day, you will have answered enough questions to be sent a "spit kit" in the mail.
From the time that I started on their website until the time that I got the spit kit was between one and three weeks. From the time that I sent it until I got an email saying it had been received was perhaps another week or two. After that, it was about 3-4 months until I got the results. Every single time that I get new DNA results, I now know that I get really giddy and it prompts me to do a lot more online research about the information that I have received. I have now completed two tests. One from Family Tree DNA and now, this one from Genes For Good. My results have a lot of similarities, of course, but they also offer a look at my current information differently.
I do not have family members to compare to on Genes for Good, and to my knowledge, there is no database at this time to link other participants to one another if they are related. I have written to Genes for Good for an answer and I will update this post as soon as I hear if there are plans for that in the future.
One of my side hustle jobs is taking care of an elderly person for a few hours a week. I really like the person that I care for and she is a lot of fun to be around. Her physical needs are great, which brings me to the idea of getting the most senior or most frail person DNA tested before it is too late. My client has a lot of physical needs.
With the DNA tests that are out there right now to test your DNA results through, especially through Promethease, a person can make a lot of discoveries about themselves for the modest fee of less than ten US Dollars. The test results are available to be downloaded and reviewed at your leisure. Of course, these tests are not a replacement for proper medical treatment and consulting with your doctor, but they are a great stepping stone that allows you to have a baseline with which to compare information when you do decide to go to the doctor.
With the eldest person in your family being tested, you get an additional generation of research and information upon which to stack and build your research. Additionally, some of the information, if run through Promethease, can be searched through in order to see if they have a higher risk factor for diseases, drug interactions and the metabolic rate that certain drugs are processed through.
When I took the test and ran the results through Promethease, I learned that certain medications, I process much more slowly than the average person. I also saw that I have an elevated risk of bladder cancer, but a reduced risk of dementia disorders and diseases.
With any of these tests, the strongest thing that you can do is make sure that you take good notes, note the source and go forward from there.
Here is an example image of one of the test results:
As you can see, the magnitude of knowing that your body takes longer to metabolize medications is something that is very important. I strongly and heartily endorse taking this test as it can point out factors that can change the way that you take medication.
There are so many good tools out there for all of the DNA tests that are out there. I will be reviewing helpful sites and tools on this blog.
Today we are looking at Genealogy Junkie's Very helpful article "Help, I recieved my test results from FTDNA, now what?"
When you first get your DNA, the amount of information can be staggering. In an easy to understand format, the writer walks you through the process of making sense of your DNA and points out ways to make your DNA useful to YOU. I found that although they are still editing the page, the article was very helpful. Click on the link, and if you find it helpful, please let them and me know.
I am in the process this weekend of creating my GEDCOM file. The process can be frustrating, but it is also very helpful because once it is done correctly, the sense of accomplishment is palpable.
Additionally this weekend, I am completing the work on my family tree "error" database. This is where I have been keeping a file of known errors, but I needed to be able to back up the fact that I KNEW they were errors with hard facts. One by one, I have gotten that done, but to be honest, it was a lot of work.
Finally, this weekend, I have been organizing my family research files into 2 separate and important bookmark folders, Genealogy and DNA. Although they are assuredly related, knowing that I won't have to wade through the tons of bookmarks that I have collected will be a huge timesaver. I am also in the process of making subfolders as well for some very specific bookmarks.
What are your tools for organization for your family research?
From Thanksgiving week until now, I have been inordinately busy. Moving from one part of the state to another, starting a new job and personal life events have really taken a lot of my time.
Originally, I was going to only bring a few things, but things changed and I ended up having to pack almost everything in less than eight hours! It was hectic, but it is done now, thank goodness.
One of the good things about moving is that you come across important family or personal documents. I made it a point to take photos of each and every one of the documents that are of any importance to my family and myself. This included my drivers license and social security card as well as my voter registration.
Family Tree DNA allows you to designate a person to get your files and information when you pass away. I have asked several family members who are into genealogy and am currently waiting a response.
This year, for Christmas, I have sent out a questionnaire to all of the members of my family that are old enough to participate 25 questions. I hope to get a lot of fun questions answered that will add a lot of dimension to our family.
Additionally, my aunt got a photo from a family member that she met through Family Tree DNA and we are now enjoying seeing new photos and sharing fun stories with family members that we did not even know existed.
Finally, please click on My Links for some products that you probably already use. The links are all referral, so I get a very small commission and it costs you nothing. Peace on Earth, dear readers.
Hello to all of my readers! The wedding was beautiful, and I left single and came back with a boyfriend in my life. How wonderful is that?!?
I wish that the wedding would have been closer to my home because of the drive time, but then again, I would not have met the gentleman that has me swooning.
While I was getting back here, there was a death in my extended family of a baby who was just shy of three months of age. Of course, that is tragic, I won't downplay that. It is presumed that the baby passed of SIDS. As soon as I know, I will share here.
The passing of this infant got me to thinking about the importance of DNA testing. You never know when life will end. You never know when the person you were just speaking to yesterday will not be here. My grandmother passed away last year in December. The one thing that everyone in the family has lamented has been the fact that we did not get a DNA test done on her. That chance is gone forever to us.
If you are considering getting DNA done in your family, please start with the oldest or the weakest members of your family first. My grandfather was gone long before DNA testing was available to the public. The thought of getting him tested is just a tragedy as it wasn't there at the time. With my grandmother it was, and I don't want my family's regret to be your family's regret. Please, get DNA testing done on your older relatives now.
As you may have read on my blog, I am a participant in the GenesForGood project. After only a week of participation, I reached the point where I was able to request the spit kit/they automatically send it.
I got the email today that says the kit is in the mail, it can take 2 weeks to get here, please make sure that you sign everything when the kit arrives.
I followed everything that was asked of me to do up until this email, which is answer some questionnaires and fill out some items every day so that they know whether or not I will be a good participant once they mail the kit to me.
I am really excited and will continue to update everyone of my progress as it happens. Very cool and so happy to be a part of this project!
Genesforgood will let me download a copy of my DNA, which I will be uploading to various sites along with my FTDNA.
Here's hoping to many matches!
I love to do stuff for science when I can. Especially when it benefits me as well. (Selfish? Perhaps.)
Anyway, since becoming a DNA hound, I got an email from a friend of mine that is doing the Genes for Good project. This is through the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
To participate, you must go through Facebook. Participation is pretty easy. You fill out some quick and easy questionnaires about your health. Go back every day for the daily ones. After a week or less of doing this, you can qualify for a spit kit, so that they can have a look at your DNA. You test for free. They let you have your raw data via download, so you can do what you want with it. They will share information with you such as your personal ethnic/geographic range of descendants with you as a thank you for helping. If I did not term that well, hopefully, you know what I mean. They will give you an idea of where you came from.
I hope that if you are on Facebook, you will consider helping out with this project. I think it is awesome, and I am doing it.
The first I heard about it, I went to the link above, read all of the information and from there, followed the link to Facebook. You must give Facebook the permission to run the app. I said yes to everything and begin to answer the questions, it was fun, truthfully. After that, I did the dailies for a few days, and the I qualified for the spit kit, where they send the kit for your precious DNA. According to the site, it could be between 2-4 weeks to get here in the mail, but I will keep everyone updated. If I am not too excited, I will try and remember to make a video or at least take photos of the kit when it gets here.
If you do this, please let me know in the comments below!
This coming weekend, I will be going to the wedding of someone that I love very much. I am really excited to be going and getting to see a lot of people that I care about.
I am also excited because one of the cities that I will be near has a National Archives research center. I don't know if they will be open when I am there, but all of the family research has me making a huge list of questions to ask them when they are open. I thought of almost all of these questions today, a Federal Holiday that I don't observe. (National Oppress Native American Land and Asset day.)
I don't think Columbus and that Spanish Queen were cool. A lot of really crap stuff happened to the Native Americans in the United States, and I really wish that we had a holiday to celebrate Native Americans. I am not Native American, but I think that for a long time, they have gotten the bad end of the stick.
Which brings me to the wedding. Since the DNA test that has been done, I have been the list maker. Lists of various things to do and look up and find. Lists of things to compare and contrast. I feel like I need to not sleep in order to get all of the updating done that I want to do. I have a long list of relatives that I need to remove from my tree. Which brought me to a problem that I finally decided on a solution for.
I now have a problem with my family tree. Years of research is invalid as it is no longer relevant to me. Do I delete all of that information? Do I give it to others? I finally decided that my family tree will remain intact, but I will build a second tree that is DNA accurate. I have named them 2 different things so that there are no mistakes. That way, people who are benefiting from the research I did on a couple of lines that are not mine are still able to access that. I merely pulled the connection to me away.
The second tree is my little tree. All me. All DNA locked down. It is tiny. For now. But it is good because it is accurate.
Going to this wedding, I will be encouraging a few of my friends to get their DNA done because we have a few surnames in common. I am convinced that 2 of my friends and I are actually distant cousins. I am excited about this, because if they do test, if we are related, that will fill in a missing line that was lost around the turn of the 20th century. If we are not related, then they will have the fun that I am having with all of this.
If this was a wedding of a family member, I would be encouraging every single person there to get testing done. Because why not?
I think back to all of the family members that are gone, and I wish that I had gotten some DNA from several people, so that there were no unanswered questions. Too late. Don't regret asking someone to test. I will be putting a page up by Halloween of this year with all sorts of fun links and things to do when you get your test results as well as my reviews of DNA testing.
Have a fun week and tell your family that you love them.
If you or anyone in your life wants to get DNA testing done, please use my link listed in my LINKS tab above. I get a small commission, and every little bit helps. Additionally, if you shop Amazon, please shop through my link. Again, commission, sales, etcetera. Using my links don't cost a single cent more.
My name is Dixie, and this is the blog part of my page, where I write about whatever strikes my fancy. Contact me at: PirateDixie@gmail.com