Author Archives: dnasleuth

Is it a maternal or paternal DNA match?

One of the first things we ask about a new DNA match is this: is this a match on Mom’s side, or Dad’s?
 
We all have two copies of each autosome (i.e. chromosome 1 through chromosome 22): one copy in each pair comes from Mom and one from Dad. Unfortunately, the testing company can’t tell by looking at our DNA if a segment that matches someone else is on our maternal copy of that chromosome, or our paternal copy.
 
We need to compare our DNA to known relatives who have tested; then we can begin to figure out how our new matches fit in our family trees.
 
If you’ve had both of your parents take an autosomal DNA test at the company where you and your new cousin match, it’s easy to tell maternal or paternal. But what if you don’t have DNA tests for both parents?
 
GEDmatch.com has some tools to help us.

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10 tips to get more out of DNA in 2018

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Giving Thanks (DNA Painter)

In the United States, we celebrate a day of thanks every November. So, this month’s post deals with something I am thankful for in the genetic genealogy community. There are SO MANY people here who deserve our gratitude: citizen scientists, search angels who help adoptees, folks who answer newbies’ questions on social media, kin who graciously agree to take a DNA test… it was hard to pick one.

In the end, I decided to write my thanks to someone who has recently developed and shared an amazing (and free!) new DNA tool: Jonny Perl and his DNA Painter.

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Applying DNA to a genealogy brick wall: getting started

10-10-10                     

Happy Birthday, Nancy Agness Ann Jameson, born 10 Oct 1810!

birthday-cake-public domain

That’s a fun date to remember—and a lot of given names for a little lass born in Kentucky so long ago. I wish I knew more about her. She appeared seemingly out of nowhere in Greene County Ohio in the summer of 1832, when she married James Hammond. By 1840, they had relocated to Holmes County Ohio, and around 1850 their growing family moved to DeKalb County Indiana. Nancy spent the rest of her life there and died a widow in 1888. My search for her parents reached a dead end pretty quickly.

Could DNA help me find her mom or dad?

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I made up a new acronym! MDIDS

One of the fun things about managing your DNA matches in a spreadsheet is that you can choose to log whatever matters to you. I just added a new column to mine, and I invented a new acronym to go with it! It’s MDIDS (I pronounce it M-dids); and I use it alongside MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor), because sometimes MRCA isn’t quite what I want.

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