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…

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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…

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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 account…

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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…

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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 OSX version of FTB.…

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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 with MyHeritage I…

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