Category Archives: basics

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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Managing multiple kits – and the new AncestryDNA change

 

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.

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Negative Evidence: genealogy methodology and DNA

Genetic genealogy, like documentary genealogy, can result in negative findings and negative evidence. What’s the difference? (It wasn’t that long ago that I was confused about that too!)

You start with a research question and a source. ‘Negative’ means the information you’re looking for in the source isn’t found. A negative finding doesn’t help you answer your research question. Negative evidence does. You may have to understand the context to know which one you have. Some examples, with document-source genealogy and DNA-source genealogy, may help.

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