Category Archives: DNA

A little experiment – MyHeritage DNA Kit completed – abt 5 weeks

The excitement over MyHeritage’s new Theory of Relativity caused me to order their DNA test. I have taken ever other type of genetic genealogy DNA test there is, so I figure one more shouldn’t hurt! The last test I took was a Big-Y at FTDNA and it took about a year to get my results. Since FTDNA does the processing for MyHeritage, I have decided to track the time it takes to get my results.

Apparently MyHeritage is switching to a new chip type, perhaps this will cause a bit of a delay over normal. And I presume the Theory of Relativity has stimulated many new testers besides me. So I am expecting above average turn around time.

Anyway… I put my “biohazard” sample into the mailbox this afternoon, March 13. I am hopeful. I have heard good things about MyHeritage DNA reports and am anxious to see them.

Follow Up
2-28-2019 Ordered
3-13-2019 Mailed Kit
3-20-2019 Sample Received by labs
4-23-2019 DNA Kit Available!

It only took about 5 weeks from the time I mailed the sample. Not bad at all. But, when I attempted to download my raw DNA file, I received this message:

Your DNA sample was processed using a new chip. We are working to support the export of DNA data processed on the new chip, and this will be available soon.

So, good news, bad news. It looks like everything else is there, I am still having fun playing around.

Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential includes Barbara Rae-Venter

The leader and founder of our DNA Interest Group here at MoCoGenSo, Barbara Rae-Venter, was just announced to be one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in 2019“!

You may remember that earlier this year Barbara was selected as one of NATURE Magazine’s “10 People Who Mattered This Year“. This new honor is even more impressive when you realize that only two people are on both lists: Barbara for her work as a pioneer in using DNA to solve crimes and Mr. He Jiankui, the scientist who used CRISPR to edit the genomes of two infants in China. Time Magazine must feel that DNA is on the forefront of fields set to make major changes in our society.

This puts Barbara in the room with Lady Gaga, Jane Goodall, Xi Jinping, Robert Mueller, Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Greta Thunberg, Tiger Woods, Mark Zuckerberg and 90 more!

The full set of the 100 “Most Influential” list can be seen here: TIME 100 for 2019. Or find it by searching for TIME 100.

If you want to see Barbara in person, come to our monthly DNA Interest Group meetings. We are lucky to have Barbara in our group, helping us with our own genetic genealogy puzzles.

Congratulations again, Barbara.

ThruLines Cookie Workaround

Follow-up to our DNA SIG meeting yesterday:

We discussed the Cookie problem when using ThruLines in AncestryDNA. It has been posted in the web that clearing cookies before going into Ancestry will solve the disappearing Thrulines problem. But many people do not know how to clear their cookies! We know AncestryDNA is working on the issue, but they can’t rush a fix since this is their bread-n-butter system.

Suggestions have been made as a workaround that should help those who don’t know how to clear their cookies. In Chrome simply open an Incognito window by clicking on the 3 dots in upper right corner and then click the menu item before going into Ancestry. In Firefox, open a Private window via similar right click menu.  This should work in all OS types, Windows, Apple, Linux.

See Kitty Cooper’s blog for more information about ThruLines in general and the note about the work around.
blog.kittycooper.com/2019/03/ancestrys-new-dna-feature-thrulines.


“The infantry is always ahead of headquarters.” – James Barksdale


DNA Sig Meeting Saturday March 9 @ 10 am


This is a reminder for the MoCoGenSo DIG meeting
 March 9, 2019 at the Seaside FHC at 10:00 am.  

We will meet in the Library.

Schedule for DIG meeting:

10:00 to 10:15   Discussion of future topics of interest/volunteers for future presentations.  Please consider volunteering!  Work In Progress is Fine. 

10:15 to 10:30  An introduction to Genetic Affairs auto-clustering for your matches at 23andMe, Ancestry and FTDNA.  This is a simple to use, fun, efficient and very affordable service that delivers very professional results.  John Light

10:30 to 11:00   Using 23andMe Map to Find Matches.  I found matches near home. I’ll show how.  Also, Demonstration of New Ancestry Tools.  Jim Robeson

11:00 to 11:15  Group Think Adoptee Puzzle:  brainstorming with our group.  Bonnie Hill

11:15 to 11:30  Questions


Third Party Tools for DNA Testing – a video

Heads up folks. Those of you who are interested in DNA and Genealogy should try to watch a new video about third party tools for genetic genealogy. You have to hurry, it is FREE for only 5 more days (as I write this), free until March 12.

The webinar is by Michelle Leonard, a Scottish genetic genealogist. It is provided by Legacy Family Tree Webinars. You will still be able to watch the video after March 12, but a subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars will be required.

It is an excellent, fact filled overview of the main 3rd party tools for DNA testing. It is 1.5 hours long.

Watch it here:
https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=978


The video is long, but it is like attending 2 or 3 of our DIG meetings! Keep a notepad handy.


RootsTech 2019 DNA

RootsTech 2019 is drawing to a close. The word is that it was another success. One of these years, I may have to attend, but I hate cold weather! They videotaped some of the sessions for the world to watch anytime, which is a great resource for us all. You can watch the taped presentations here:

www.rootstech.org/video-archive Look in the section called Rootstech Sessions.

I have made a list of the “DNA topical” sessions below. This special list is not meant to suggest the other programs are not good. Rather, this list is to help our DNA Interest Group figure what to talk about next! 🙂

As an aside, I got all excited and ordered a MyHeritage test kit after hearing about all the new things they just announced! Color me sucker. PS., I really do love AncestryDNA’s new ThruLines too. I am going to be busy this year!

DNA Oriented Videos

Connecting Your DNA Matches

Diahan Southard takes you through your DNA match list and explains the Shared Matches tool. Learn how to create and employ a number of tools to boost your confidence in your genetic genealogy skills.

What You Don’t Know about Ancestry (Sponsored by Ancestry)

Join Crista Cowan (the Barefoot Genealogist) and preview Ancestry’s cool new tools that are geared to improve and accelerate your family history research.

Essential Considerations for DNA Evidence

Blaine Bettinger will explain how to use DNA evidence correctly and correlated with documentary evidence. In this session he will examine some of the considerations, limitations, and pitfalls we should consider when using DNA evidence.

Getting the Most Out of Billions of Records on MyHeritage SuperSearch (Sponsored by MyHeritage)

One of the best ways to maximize MyHeritage is to host your tree at MyHeritage, where the systems will automatically help you find new records, fill gaps in your existing tree, and provide matches that can help you efficiently discover new ancestors and family members. In this session, Mike Mansfield will help you learn how to move your tree from online tree systems to MyHeritage and how MyHeritage works with your tree to find new and additional information that you can easily evaluate and add to your tree.

Examining Your DNA Matches with DNA Painter

DNA Painter is a website that can help interpret and demystify your autosomal DNA results. Using practical examples, Jonny Perl will demonstrate how DNA Painter can be used for a variety of activities including chromosome mapping and relationship prediction for unknown DNA matches.

Leading with Science at 23andMe (Sponsored by 23andMe)

In this session, Sarah Lashkey will walk through how research works at 23andMe and how you can contribute to scientific discoveries.

Recorded Classes

Descendancy Research: Another Pathway to Genealogy

Presenter: Michael Lemar Strauss. This session will be recorded and available to view on demand after the conference.

You Can Do DNA

Presenters: Christi Lynn Jacobsen, Dana Leeds, Diahan Southard. This session will be recorded and available to view on demand after the conference.


“We must remember that impossible is not a fact, it’s an attitude.” – Christiana Figueres, Nature


23andMe Maps

Honestly, I don’t hang out in the DNA testing sites as much as you might think. And when I do go to a site, I usually have a purpose, so I don’t try out new stuff that often. 23andMe has a new feature I just noticed a couple of days ago called MAPS. It is located in the DNA Relatives section, under either Ancestry or Family & Friends. Today it is highlighted in bright orange. I wasn’t expecting much as Maps at other sites are usually pretty boring. But I needed to try it.

When you see a match, you can click on it and it shows you the person’s name, relationship and city. Clicking on that display links to the DNA Comparison section with you and that person compared, which includes the segment comparison. It is slick indeed.

The MAP covers the world, wherever 23andMe has customers. I saw a few matches in Northern Europe, cool. Perhaps they can help me with some brick walls.

I decided to look around my local area, the Monterey County section, where much to my amazement, there are two 4th cousins showing! I was flabbergasted. Neither surname is known to me. But they are real 23andMe customers who are related to me somehow and they live just down the road. I am going to have to contact them.

Of course, my first email has to be gentle. I don’t want them to think I am stalking them! I need to locate some of those “recommended introductory” email examples that are floating around. I might even invite them to come to the FHC to meet me!

Then I stopped to think: “Could they see me all this time and have never contacted me?” Humm. Remember, I don’t know how long the MAP feature has been around. That thought led me to wonder about my own personal Profile in 23andMe. The current City was showing for people in my MAP, so that meant the Profile had to allow current location to be visible to everyone. Humm again. I had setup my profile so long ago that I couldn’t remember what it said. So I decided to check it, because I want my relatives to be able to find me!

I went to Settings under my name, clicked Edit under Personal Information and found Current Residence. It was blank! Darn…. I quickly changed it and am now waiting for someone to find me!

My recommendation to you, if you are a 23andMe customer, is to try the MAP. Look around, look where you were born, look where you live now, etc.. Then, if you like what you see, check your Profile too. Make sure you have Sharing allowed and Current Residence filled in. And then send your own “recommended introductory” emails.

And if you get an introductory email from a cousin, answer it!


”Artificial Intelligence is the New Electricity.” – Andrew Ng ==> then plug me in