Category Archives: tools

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®


Automated note updates with Shared Clustering

Year-end is a great time to take a look at our DNA matches and our organization/analysis tools and maybe do a little cleanup. I’ve begun playing with a free Windows-based utility by Jonathan Brecher—the Shared Clustering tool.

Now, there are a lot of clustering tools out there for those who are ready to try that—and not everyone is ready to rumble, I mean cluster. What I really appreciate about Shared Clustering right now is the automated [Note Update] function, which you can do with or without clustering. I can make my Ancestry match notes more meaningful and consistent and then bulk upload those same notes to other kits I manage too. I’ll walk you through the steps I took, and maybe you’ll get some ideas of how to tweak the process to be helpful to you.

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DNA2Tree app for iOS: review

Time for another guest post! David Neal has introduced a new iOS app that has particular value for those trying to decode birth parent searches. I am not an Apple person, so I have asked my teammate at the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group, Steve Frank, to offer a review of this new product. Take it away, Steve!

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Clustering Tools for DNA matches

This month I am passing the baton! Last time I wrote about 10 Tips to Trial a Tool, and I decided that despite the temptation, I didn’t have time yet to explore the new clustering tools. Fortunately, Andrea Ackermann, one of my fellow team leaders at our Central Indiana DNA Interest Group, has taken the plunge. So I’ve invited her to share her thoughts on clustering tools here as a guest blogger. Welcome, Andrea!

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10 tips to trial a tool

Every January I spend a little time brainstorming my genealogy goals for the New Year. Genetic genealogy is such a fast-evolving field—exploring new tools will probably always be a worthwhile addition to my annual To-Do List. It’s certainly on my radar for 2019. But I haven’t decided which tool to try next. Why not?

There are so many factors to consider! Here are ten tips to consider when choosing a tool to try.

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