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.
Happy Birthday, Nancy Agness Ann Jameson, born 10 Oct 1810!
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?
One year ago was a milestone accomplishment in my genetic genealogy: I published an article in the Sept 2016 issue of the Indiana Genealogist, which is the quarterly publication of the Indiana Genealogical Society.1 It’s titled “Identifying James Dorsey’s Father: a Case Study Incorporating DNA Evidence.”2
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.
There has been lots of brouhaha in the genetic genealogy community this week! AncestryDNA just announced some dramatic changes coming July 18th for people who want to manage multiple kits. In a nutshell, AncestryDNA kits that are registered on that date or later must have their own unique Ancestry account, with its own unique email. This can be a free account, and we can still manage those other kits, but it involves a bit more effort, especially initially.
I have some relevant links that I’d like to share here, in two sets. Before we think about the AncestryDNA policy change, we need to think about some implications of managing other people’s DNA results in general. So that’s the first set. And then we can learn more about the specific impact of Ancestry’s announcement and how to deal with those changes—for that, see the second set of links.
Last time I posted about negative findings and negative evidence, in traditional document-based genealogy and in genetic genealogy. Link here.
Now for the fun stuff – a cool use of negative evidence in *autosomal* DNA. For this exercise, the research question is: from which grandparent did the DNA segment in question originate?