Of Mirroring And Shared Ancestors: Exploiting AncestryDNA To Find Biological Families


What we aim to accomplish in this post:

  • Provide definitions and an overview of methods for finding biological families of those who don’t know one or both biological parents, using tools at AncestryDNA.
  • Discuss possible future methods that may be helpful in reaching the same goals.

    Edit 10 May 2016: The May […] Continue reading

    Genealogy and Autosomal DNA Matches: Common Errors in “Proving” An Ancestor, and the Allure of Easy Gateway Ancestors


    What we aim to accomplish in this post:

  • Illustrate a common misconception in the use of autosomal DNA in genetic genealogy; namely, assigning a single shared chromosome region to a specific common entry in two pedigrees, an ancestor, presumed to be the source of the shared DNA common to […] Continue reading
  • Chromosome Pile-Ups in Genetic Genealogy: Examples from 23andMe and FTDNA



    What we aim to accomplish:

  • Dissuade people from chasing after small autosomal DNA segments by
  • demonstrating too-common matching in particular regions of chromosomes;
  • emphasizing the pitfalls of half-identical matching;
  • briefly reviewing linkage measurements, emphasizing chromosome region lengths (in centiMorgans) as approximations.
  • Illustrate the need that AncestryDNA had for redesigning their matching system to […] Continue reading
  • Surnames, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA: Making the Most of Match Counts and “Enrichment”


    The questions we hope to answer are these:

    Can we use the surnames provided (either in lists or pedigrees) by our DNA matches to:

  • Discover the names of ancestors about whom we have no a priori knowledge?
  • Confirm the name of ancestors about which we may have doubts?

    This is […] Continue reading

    MyHeritage’s Family Tree Builder – Not Ready For Primetime

    Not to continue to rain on the MyHeritage parade, but I discovered something today about their home-computer-hosted front end, otherwise known as “Family Tree Builder” (FTB), (which is a not-priced download from MyHeritage), that I think is important to highlight.

    On 22 Dec 2014 I downloaded the latest […] Continue reading

    Reasons Why I’m Not Picking MyHeritage Even Though 23andMe Tried

    Over the past year I’ve played with a few items on MyHeritage, always looking for online resources besides ancestry.com by which I can make progress on my difficult branches of my family tree.

    As a customer of 23andMe, as part of a new promotion they are doing […] Continue reading