Welcome! We meet the second Tuesday of most months at 7pm, virtually via Zoom while we’re still social distancing. Come join us! Watch your GRIVA newsletter for registration links a week or two before each meeting.
May 11, 2021 Meeting: Mother’s Day
Tracing our female ancestors can be difficult. On Tuesday, May 11, we explored how mitochondrial DNA, X-DNA, and autosomal DNA can help.
Here are some helpful articles:
- Using X-DNA – https://www.legacytree.com/blog/x-dna-autosomal-dna-inheritance-paths
- Myth of the GD0 – https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2017/11/26/the-myth-of-the-gd0/
- Judy Russell’s “Finding Margaret’s Mother” series:
- Part 1: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/04/28/keeping-that-dna-resolution/
- Part 2: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/05/18/finding-margarets-mother-part-2/
- Part 3: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/05/25/finding-margarets-mother-part-3/
- Part 4: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/06/29/finding-margarets-mother-part-4/
- Part 5: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/07/07/finding-margarets-mother-part-5/
- Part 5a: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/08/10/finding-margarets-mother-part-5-2/
- Part 6: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/11/16/finding-margarets-mother-part-6/
- Part 7: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2021/01/03/finding-margarets-mother-part-7/
- The End: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2021/01/31/finding-margarets-mother-the-end/
April 13, 2021 Meeting: Ethics and Privacy for DNA Testing
As genealogists, we’re used to the thrill of the hunt, but when it comes to DNA and the relationships it can reveal of living people, we need to consider that not everyone shares that thrill. We’ll explore ethical challenges, permission, and privacy when it comes to DNA testing ourselves and others.
If you’re purchasing DNA kits for DNA Day or anything else from Amazon, please consider using our Amazon Smile link. Click the link first (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1258689) and then shop to your heart’s content. Your purchase would then benefit GRIVA at no additional cost to you.
Here are some links discussed during the meeting:
- “A Conversation About Privacy Protections at 23andMe” blog post
- Leah Larkin – “Correcting the Record About Privacy” blog post
- Blaine Bettinger’s “DNA, Genealogy, and Law Enforcement: All the Facts” video
- Brianne Kirkpatrick – “Mental Health Awareness and My Thoughts on ‘Baby Doe’ Cases” blog post
- Brianne Kirkpatrick – “Birth Fathers Share What It Is Like to Find Out They Have an Adult Child They Never Knew About” blog post
- Genetic Genealogy Standards
- Blaine Bettinger – “Informed Consent Agreement and Beneficiary Agreement” blog post and forms
- Also, Debbie Parker Wayne has forms you can also use – see here for a PDF and here for an editable Word document
The day after our meeting, I learned of a new academic article, “Four Misconceptions About Investigative Genetic Genealogy,” where Blaine Bettinger is one of the authors.
Next month’s meeting will be May 11. Register at https://tinyurl.com/GRIVADNAMay2021
March 9, 2021 Meeting: Sorting, Grouping, and Clustering Your Matches
Shared matches are the most powerful tool we have when working with DNA matches, known or unknown. We talked about what shared matches are and how to make use of them!
AncestryDNA and FTDNA Family Finder kits are on sale through St. Patrick’s Day! The tests are on sale through each company’s website as well as through Amazon. If you want to help GRIVA, consider clicking our Amazon Smile link before doing your Amazon shopping. GRIVA gets a small percentage of your sale (on DNA kits or anything else!) at no additional cost to you.
Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:
- Genetic Affairs for AutoClusters of FTDNA and 23andMe matches – http://geneticaffairs.com/
- Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool (formerly Genome Mate Pro) – https://www.getgmp.com/
- Paul Baltzer’s Facebook post (you have to be a member of Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques to see it, but it’s free to join!) with a link to an Excel document for colors that you can use to correlate your Ancestry dot colors to spreadsheets, Lucid Chart, etc. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/geneticgenealogytipsandtechniques/permalink/853403205123381. There is also a comment in the discussion thread from Cyndi Ingle listing the RGB color codes
- And though I didn’t mention it, Blaine Bettinger has a YouTube video about sub-clustering matches, using a similar process that I used to whittle down a large group of shared matches into smaller ones. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ApidzEyA_k
- And I also didn’t mention it, but DNA Painter has a Cluster Mapper tool that will map segments of clusters of matches. The tool is here and you can read more about it here.
Happy grouping and clustering!
February 9, 2021 Meeting: Correlating Your DNA Matches with Your Tree
We have all of these DNA matches, but what do they mean? We’ll explore comparing your DNA matches and your tree, how to determine when they do and don’t align, and work toward identifying our genetic ancestors.
Here are some links shared during the meeting (plus a few that go with what we talked about!):
- DNA Painter blog post about the new feature pointing out most distant ancestors – https://dnapainter.com/blog/recent-updates-most-distant-common-ancestors-and-more/
- Press release from 23andMe about their merger and going public: https://mediacenter.23andme.com/press-releases/23andme-merges-with-vgac/
- DNA Painter blog post about using their ancestral trees feature: https://dnapainter.com/blog/eight-ways-you-can-use-ancestral-trees-at-dna-painter/
- Graham Coop blog post “Where did your genetic ancestors come from?” – https://gcbias.org/2017/12/19/1628/https://isogg.org/wiki/Pedigree_collapse
- Diahan Southard blog post “Pedigree Collapse and Your DNA Matches” – https://www.yourdnaguide.com/ydgblog/2019/7/26/pedigree-collapse-and-genetic-relationships
- Paul Woodbury’s blog post about endogamy: https://www.legacytree.com/blog/dealing-endogamy-part-exploring-amounts-shared-dna
- Paul Woodbury’s webinar about dealing with endogamy and DNA – https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1292
- Learn Forever Learn tool for visualizing endogamy – https://learnforeverlearn.com/ancestors/
January 12, 2021 Meeting: New Year, New Matches
Maybe you’ve got new results, or maybe you tested awhile ago, but most of us will start to get new matches as those holiday sale kits get used. On Tuesday, January 12 at 7pm ET, we’ll explore working those new matches, with some emphasis on basic concepts that can either teach us the first time or serve as a reminder for those who’ve been at it for awhile.
Here are some links shared during the meeting:
- Press release announcing FamilyTreeDNA’s merger with Australian health company myDNA – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pharmacogenetic-and-genealogy-pioneers-merge-for-historic-partnership-301202798.html
- MyHeritage announces new Genetic Groups feature – https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/12/myheritage-launches-genetic-groups/
- 23andMe’s recent ethnicity estimates update, originally only given to those with newer V5 kits, is now available for those who tested earlier. Here’s their original blog post explaining the updates: https://blog.23andme.com/ancestry-reports/algorithm-gets-an-upgrade/
- The International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) Wiki’s explanation of centiMorgans – https://isogg.org/wiki/CentiMorgan
I had also recommended availing yourself of everything available at your original testing site before considering uploading elsewhere, though the latter is encouraged once you’re comfortable with the concepts of DNA and matching. Here are the companies’ support and learning sites:
- Ancestry – https://support.ancestry.com/s/. See also their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/Ancestrycom/videos
- 23andMe – https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/
- MyHeritage – Help Center is at https://www.myheritage.com/help-center/en and they also have an Education Center at https://education.myheritage.com/
- FTDNA’s Learning Center – https://learn.familytreedna.com/
- Living DNA – https://support.livingdna.com/hc/en-us
December 8, 2020 Meeting: ThruLines, Hints, and Theories
Hints based on trees can provide great breakthroughs or lead us astray. They should neither be accepted blindly nor shunned without even a look. Join us as we explore these tools and get some ideas for critically evaluating the clues they provide.
Here are some links shared during the meeting:
- Tom Jones’s “Perils of Source Snobbery” – http://bcgcertification.org/skillbuilding-perils-of-source-snobbery/
- More about the Genealogical Proof Standard – https://bcgcertification.org/ethics-standards/
- The Shared cM Project tool at DNA Painter – https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4
and a few links about ThruLines and Theories of Family Relativity:
- Using AncestryDNA’s ThruLines to Further Your Genealogy Research – article from Legacy Tree Genealogists
- Introducing ThruLines – video from Crista Cowan
- The Theory of Family Relativity for DNA Matches
- If you’re on Facebook, MyHeritage’s Daniel Horowitz recently did a Q&A about the Theories of Family Relativity tool – see https://tinyurl.com/DanielTheories
November 10, 2020 Meeting: Chromosome Mapping
This month, we explored chromosome mapping, or the process of assigning inherited segments of DNA to the ancestors from whom we inherited them.
Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:
- 23andMe’s ancestry composition reports update: https://blog.23andme.com/ancestry-reports/algorithm-gets-an-upgrade/
- DNA Painter: http://www.dnapainter.com
- Jonny Perl’s “An Introduction to DNA Painter” webinar at Legacy Family Tree Webinars: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=955
- Jonny Perl’s upcoming December 2, 2020 webinar, “Four ways DNA Painter can help with your family research: https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1289
- Blaine Bettinger’s “Advanced DNA Techniques: Deductive Chromosome Mapping” webinar at Legacy Family Tree Webinars: Advanced DNA Techniques: Deductive Chromosome Mapping: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1233
October 13, 2020 Meeting: Identifying Unknown Ancestors
Building on last month’s topic of “Quick & Dirty Trees,” we talked about using those trees to identify potential common ancestors with our matches.
Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:
- 23andMe’s new 23andMe+ Subscription offering: https://blog.23andme.com/news/inside-23andme/23andmeplus/
- FTDNA’s myOrigins 3.0 biogeographical estimate update: https://blog.familytreedna.com/myorigins-3-is-here/
- MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity update: https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/09/update-to-theory-of-family-relativity-
- The Leeds Method – color clustering your matches: https://www.danaleeds.com/dna-color-clustering-the-leeds-method-for-easily-visualizing-matches/
- DNA Painter’s What Are The Odds? probability tool: https://dnapainter.com/tools/probability
- Jonny Perl’s webinar with Legacy Family Tree Webinars, exploring the What Are the Odds? tool: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1288
October 13 also begins Amazon’s Prime Day sale, which often includes DNA testing kits from Ancestry and 23andMe. Whether you’re shopping for DNA kits or for anything else, please consider clicking GRIVA’s Amazon Smile link (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1258689) and signing in before shopping. This gives GRIVA a small percentage of your purchase, at no additional cost to you. You can help GRIVA just by shopping!
September 8, 2020 Meeting: Quick & Dirty Trees
Genetic genealogists spend a lot of time building trees for their matches. Learn how to use research trees to help figure out how matches fit in your tree… or how you fit in theirs! Here are a couple of recommended videos for additional viewing:
- Blaine Bettinger – Building Quick & Dirty Trees
- Crista Cowan & Angie Bush – AncestryDNA and Mirror Trees
August 11, 2020 Meeting: Targeted Testing
Do you have a difficult research question? We’ll explore how testing specific relatives can help solve some puzzles. How to choose those relatives? We’ll talk about that, too.
July 14, 2020 Meeting: Ethnicity Estimates
The most heavily marketed aspect of DNA testing for genealogy is the company’s biogeographical or “ethnicity” estimates. As genealogists, we’re more interested in our match lists, but the often misunderstood and sometimes misleading ethnicity estimates can still be helpful and interesting. Learn more about how the estimates are calculated, and join us as we explore examples and get ideas of when to take the estimates with a grain of salt and when to pay attention to what they’re telling us! Some handy links we discussed include:
- https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/AncestryDNA-Reference-Panel – describes the reference panels used by Ancestry to calculate its ethnicity estimates
- https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/212169298-23andMe-Reference-Populations-Regions – describes the reference panels used by 23andMe to calculate its ethnicity estimates
- https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/AncestryDNA-White-Papers – scientific white papers elaborating the processes used for Ancestry’s ethnicity estimates, genetic communities, and matching in general. UPDATE: the ethnicity and matching white papers have both been updated between June and September 2020
- https://dna-explained.com/2020/02/28/sneak-preview-familytreednas-myorigins-version-3-0/ – blog post from Roberta Estes including photographs of slides from FTDNA’s RootsTech 2020 presentation about its upcoming MyOrigins 3.0 estimates
- https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/06/myheritage-ceo-gilad-japhet-reveals-exciting-new-developments-during-keynote-talk/ – talk from MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet giving a preview of MyHeritage’s upcoming ethnicity estimate updates
June 9, 2020 Meeting: Father’s Day and Y-DNA
We celebrate Dads in June, and so we will focus on the men who contributed one half of our DNA, and whose Y-chromosome can be a problem solver! A few handy links discussed during the meeting include:
- https://ytree.morleydna.com/extractFromAutosomal – allows you to upload your Ancestry autosomal raw data and get a high-level Y-DNA haplogroup estimate
- https://cladefinder.yseq.net/ – another haplogroup estimator, can also use MyHeritage autosomal data
- https://tinyurl.com/YSTRResults – Blaine Bettinger’s “Examining Y-STR Ranges for Known Relationships” project, aiming to collect Y-STR genetic distance values for known relationships in hopes that the big data can be as helpful for Y-DNA as the Shared cM Project is for autosomal DNA
May 12, 2020 Meeting: The Women Who Contributed to Our DNA
Continuing the Mother’s Day celebration, we’ll be talking about using DNA to explore the women in our family, including autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and X-DNA.
April 14, 2020 Meeting: DNA To-Do List items you can do at home!
In keeping with stay at home recommendations, the April meeting will be held ONLINE! If you subscribe to the GRIVA email newsletter, watch for an upcoming email with registration information.
We’ll offer some things you can do while you’re stuck at home. See you then!
March 10, 2020 Meeting: Collaboration
We talked about collaboration. From working trees, evaluating our shared matches, contacting matches, and target testing relatives, there are many ways to collaborate with people.
See https://www.legacytree.com/blog/13-secrets-to-getting-replies-from-dna-cousin-matches for some great tips for contacting matches. And, if you have a subscription to Family Tree Webinars, Blaine Bettinger has a webinar in their library, titled “Begging for Spit” that we highly recommend.
February 11, 2020 Meeting: Tools
We talked about tools to help us in analyzing and organizing our DNA test results. First, we talked about tools at the testing company websites, such as Ancestry’s ThruLines and Common Ancestor hints or MyHeritage’s Theories of Family Relativity. Some of the third party tools we discussed included:
- DNA Painter’s Shared cM Tool
- The DNAGedcom Client
- Genetic Affairs
- DNA2Tree for iPhone and iPad
- DNA Painter‘s other tools, including its chromosome painting tool, its trees, and the What Are the Odds probability tool
- Genome Mate Pro
September 10, 2019 Meeting: An Introduction To Using Chromosome Browsers
This month, we’ll be talking about chromosome browsers and DNA segments and how we can use them to help with our genealogy.
DAYTIME DNA SIG Meetings: July 29, August 12, and August 19, 2019!
To accommodate those interested in attending the DNA meetings but unable to attend Tuesday evenings, we’re going to hold a few daytime DNA SIG meetings! They will be at NOON at the John Rolfe Commons Publix.
Enter Publix through the door opposite the YMCA end of the store. Grab some lunch (hot bar, cold bar, deli, etc) then wind your way around to the right and find the elevator or take the steps up to the community room. Enjoy your lunch and friends. The program will start around 12:30. See you there!
June 11, 2019 Meeting: Tips & Techniques for Working with Ancestry DNA Matches
At our next meeting, we’ll be discussing AncestryDNA. It will be part review, part catching us up to the newest features, and some tips for working with matches who have no trees, or small trees, or private trees. See you there, 7:00pm at the LDS Church on Monument Avenue!
GEDmatch Genesis and GEDmatch Legacy have now merged into one site, accessible at https://www.gedmatch.com. No more confusion about two sites – there’s only the one, with all of the capabilities we’ve been getting used to at Genesis.
In addition to the merge, GEDmatch has now changed how your kit is accessible to law enforcement. For the past year, everyone who uploaded a kit to GEDmatch and made it public would have their DNA available to law enforcement agencies looking to solve cold cases. Now, they’ve opted everyone out of law enforcement matching (but still available to fellow genealogists!). You can opt your kit(s) in to law enforcement matching if you want your DNA to be available to law enforcement, or do nothing if you do not want your DNA used in this way. You’ll see more information as you log in to GEDmatch.
May 14, 2019 Meeting: Using Multiple DNA Testing Companies
Thanks to everyone who joined us in May! We talked about using clues from matches at more than one company to solve a puzzle, pulling together some of what we’ve learned earlier in the year.
April 25 is DNA Day!
April 25 commemorates the announcement of the discovery of DNA. The DNA companies typically celebrate by having sales and promotions, so watch the web pages for AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and Living DNA on the 25th.
Sometimes, the sale prices are honored at Amazon.com. If you purchase DNA kits (or anything else) from Amazon, please consider using GRIVA’s Amazon Smile link. Simply click the link first, then eligible purchases at Amazon will benefit GRIVA, at no additional cost to you! The link is:
April 9, 2019 Meeting: Clustering our DNA Matches
Thanks to everyone who came to the April 9 DNA SIG meeting! We had fun talking about the different methods and tools for DNA match clustering!
Here are some blog posts and videos explaining and demonstrating some of the ways of clustering. The tools are essentially doing the same thing – grouping our matches, often visually, to help us see patterns that we might not see in a list of names. Just in preparing for this lecture, I found a cluster of people I have no idea how I match, and that cluster may hold the answers to some brick walls.
Clustering in general:
Genetic Affairs manual: https://www.geneticaffairs.com/images/Manual_Genetic_Affairs.pdf
Blaine Bettinger’s video describing Genetic Affairs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYRCK8ogW1k
Ran Snir’s webinar recorded Apr 9: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1052
Blaine Bettinger’s video describing MyHeritage’s AutoClusters and Theories of Relativity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fk6h8-vv5o
Video from RootsFinder showing how to use the DNA tools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0fUnBNSe2M
GRIVA DNA SIG Meetings are 7pm at the LDS Library on Monument Ave.
2nd Tuesday of each month
May 14, 2019
June 11, 2019
March 12, 2019 Meeting – New Features from AncestryDNA and MyHeritage
- Video from Blaine Bettinger demonstrating the new features from AncestryDNA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6FpqIQATms
- Crista Cowan’s talk about AncestryDNA’s new features at RootsTech: https://www.rootstech.org/video/what-you-dont-know-about-ancestry-crista-cowan
- https://memoriesintime.co.nz/blogs/news/5-tips-for-using-ancestry-dna-custom-groups has some suggestions for using the new custom groups
- Roberta Estes’s suggestions for archiving your DNA Circles: https://dna-explained.com/2019/03/06/archive-ancestry-dna-circles-and-new-ancestor-discoveries-now/
- Roberta Estes’s post about ThruLines: https://dna-explained.com/2019/03/11/ancestrys-thrulines-dissected-how-to-use-and-not-get-bit-by-the-gators/
- Kitty Cooper’s post about ThruLines: https://blog.kittycooper.com/2019/03/ancestrys-new-dna-feature-thrulines/
- Webinar from MyHeritage’s Ran Snir explaining their new features: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1051
- Video from Blaine Bettinger demonstrating the new features from MyHeritage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fk6h8-vv5o
- AutoClusters blog post from MyHeritage: https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/02/introducing-autoclusters-for-dna-matches/
- Theories of Family Relativity blog post from MyHeritage: https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/02/introducing-the-theory-of-family-relativity-a-genealogy-game-changer/
- UPCOMING (April 9, 2pm) webinar from MyHeritage that will be discussing AutoClusters – see https://familytreewebinars.com/webinar_details.php?webinar_id=1052 for more information and to register to attend