Category Archives: basics

Can DNA prove your hypothesis?

Can DNA prove your hypothesis?
 
I love using DNA to help my genealogy! But let’s talk about how (autosomal) DNA works when I’m trying to find/prove the parents of a brick wall ancestor.

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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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Using cM counts to help find the common ancestor: part 3 of 3

What if your analysis of your match doesn’t match the shared cM chart?

Most people are able to find their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) when they share over 90 cM of matching DNA. Below that, it begins to get a little more challenging. In this February 2017 series of blog posts, I’ve been focusing on identifying the MRCA with people who share more than 60 cM with us, projected to be 4th cousins or closer. You may not have much in that range and have chosen to work with matches who share 45-60 cM with you. That’s okay. There are a few key reasons why we want to focus on this group.

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