Author Archives: dnasleuth

FTDNA Discover – SNPs

This month’s post is short but sweet!

FamilyTreeDNA has just rolled out an enhancement I’ve been holding my breath for! If you too have taken a Big-Y test and have matches in your block tree with the same terminal SNP, and you wonder how far back your common ancestor may be, go to and type in your SNP and see what their new estimate is!

(You don’t need to have a block tree to play with this tool; just a SNP. But the value, for me, is in estimating the time between specific matches, such as we see in a block tree.)

In my Harrigan surname project, we have members under four or five different terminal SNPs. One cluster has a predicted estimate around 200 years ago (plus or minus 150 years). Another cluster’s estimate is 500 years ago; a third is 700 years ago; and one SNP group is 1400 years ago. It will be fascinating to see how accurate other testers believe their results to be.

Be sure you explore all the pages at this site. It will recommend groups for you to join, and much more.

I have a FLYNN kit going through the Big-Y analysis right now — I can’t wait to revisit this website when those results are in!

(c) July 2022, Ann Raymont, CG®


both mom and dad

June is a month when bloggers sometimes find inspiration in Father’s Day. I’m putting a slightly different spin on it this year. I decided to write about the women in my family who found themselves having to fill the role of both parents to young fatherless children. 

I went through the most recent six generations and created this list of women to honor (presented here with their ahnentafel numbers). 

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CIDIG is back

CIDIG is back! The Central Indiana DNA Interest Group, like many organizations, has been hibernating a bit since Covid-19 burst onto the scene. (Someday our descendants–at least the ones interested in family history–will be very interested in how our day-to-day lives changed during this pandemic.) But now it seems we are beginning to emerge, and CIDIG is looking forward to spending time with everyone again!

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AncestryDNA new SideView

Have you explored the new SideView feature at AncestryDNA? Now, in addition to reporting a DNA test taker’s biogeographic origins (Ancestry calls this ‘Ethnicity Estimate’), the DNA Story page now offers a ‘view breakdown’ option to see ‘Your regions inherited from each parent’. Here is mine.

Do I think mine are accurate? Let’s dive in. My results are fairly easy to analyze because my grandparents’ DNA is so distinct.

Parent 1 is clearly my mom. Her mom was 100% Irish (Grandma’s grandparents emigrated to the US between 1840-1855). Mom’s dad was 100% what is now the UK (his ancestors emigrated to the US before 1800, and may include some Scotch-Irish). 

Note that my parents have not tested. I can’t double my Mom’s results and say that if I’m 41% Irish from Parent 1, then Parent 1 was 82% Irish. The 50% of my DNA that I got from Mom might be, say, 30% from Grandma (who’s Irish) and just 20% from Grandpa (who’s mostly not). That could skew my Irish results higher. Or … it’s also possible that more of Grandpa was Scotch-Irish than I expect. (I guess I need to do more research on those 1700’s ancestral lines!) So far, Ancestry’s predictions are not unreasonable.

Parent 2 is clearly my dad. His dad was 100% Irish (Granddad’s father and maternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland between 1840 and 1885). Dad’s mom was 50% German (half of those are from Bavaria, I think, and half actually from Alsace; they all came to the US between 1825 and 1850). Nana’s other 50% came from what is now the UK, but includes a smidge of Dutch. Here, again, with my 31% Irish from Parent 2 and 19% England and Northwestern Europe, it could be that my 50% from Dad was 31% from Grandad (who’s all Irish) and 19% from Nana (who’s not).

Again, these results are not unreasonable. Of course, AncestryDNA doesn’t accurately distinguish my German roots  from more generic Northwestern Europe, but that’s okay. German biogeographic origins, with their ever changing borders, can be challenging!

Do take a look at the Ancestry’s online article on ‘Ethnicity Inheritance’, which explains in more colorful details about the impact random inheritance has on your results. 

It will be *very* interesting to see what Ancestry does next, to perhaps tie this analysis in with genetic communities and even our matches.

Now … off to explore the updated reports on my other family members who tested!

© April 2022, Ann Raymont, CG®

Native American DNA

One question comes up time and again when our Central Indiana DNA Interest Group offers Consultation Days – special events where participants can schedule a free one-on-one 20-minute consultation with one of our team leaders. And that question invariably posed by someone is this:

Do my DNA results prove our family story that we have Native American ancestry?

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Happy New Year! And happy 6-year anniversary to DNAsleuth, too!

Last month I blogged about my genealogy goals, and one is to continue this blog. But look for changes this year.

My original target was to post new content on the 1st of every month—nearly always DNA-related. I’m ready to adjust my expectations now.

For starters, I’m not going to aim for the 1st any more.

And some months I may post more than once. Other months, I may skip. I still have DNA topics I want to explore and share. (I’ve already started drafting a post about Visual Phasing. And then there’s the surprises discovered when I tested a grandchild that I think you’ll find a little amazing!)

But I may post more often about genealogy that doesn’t involve biology, too. Meanwhile, the calendar in the sidebar of upcoming Central Indiana DNA Interest Group programs should still be current.

Hope to see you around!

Happy sleuthing!

© Jan 2022, Ann Raymont, CG®

Don’t forget the present

I do love exploring past generations.

But sometimes I wish they had labeled those old photos better, taken more pictures, left behind letters or diaries…. Wouldn’t those be treasures?

This month, it occurs to me to blog about genealogy for present and future generations. After all, I want to make memories with the family that’s here and now too. And I realize that I might do future generations a favor by preserving those memories.

So, in October 2021 (after multiple Covid delays), our family finally took a long-awaited trip together to Sedona, Arizona. Here are my five grandkids on Submarine Rock at the end of the Broken Arrow Trail.

Raymont cousins, Sedona AZ, Oct 2021, photo by Ann Raymont

It’s the genealogist in me that’s now considering how to produce something tangible and lasting. A photo book with narrative text that tells our story? A video or slideshow, with audio? Will a digitized version of whatever make it more accessible in years to come? Is there some way to engage the grandkids in the creation?

Like our ancestors, we are more than just birth, marriage, and death dates and places. While you’re trying to recapture your ancestors’ stories, don’t forget to create (and preserve) your own! (And please, feel free to tell me about how you chose to do it!)

© Nov 2021, Ann Raymont, CG®