14 August 2017

Free Access Week: All Censuses on MyHeritage

MyHeritage ( http://www.myheritage.com/ ) is providing free access to all census records in their collection. This includes U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Canada, and Nordic countries. Here is their announcement:

In celebration of our recent milestone—surpassing 8 billion historical records on SuperSearch—we’re happy to announce that we’re making all of our major census collections from the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Canada, and Nordic countries free for everybody, for one week!

Starting on Monday, August 14, until August 20, no Data subscription will be required to access these documents, and you can search through this treasure trove of census records for free. That’s 94 collections, containing over 1 billion census records! Some of the census records are found exclusively on MyHeritage. This is available to users of MyHeritage as well as people who have never used MyHeritage before.

With our earliest census records dating as far back as 1657, and the latest ones extending until 1940, these records are an excellent way to learn more about the lives of your ancestors and to add details to your family tree.

More information can be found on the MyHeritage blog post which will be published shortly, here:

Best regards

Daniel Horowitz
Genealogy Expert
daniel@myheritage.com | www.myheritage.com
MyHeritage Ltd., 3 Ariel Sharon St., Or Yehuda 60250, Israel

Take advantage of this fabulous offer to see what MyHeritage offers that differs from other subscription census sites and to take a look at those census records in non-USA countries that you may not have access to on other subscription sites. Thank you, MyHeritage.

I have no affiliation with MyHeritage except as a paying customer.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Free Access Week: All Censuses on MyHeritage," Deb's Delvings, 14 August 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

01 July 2017

DNA Data Org Tip: Associate Kit with Name for Downloaded Data

This is a small tip but a great time and frustration saver for anyone who has tested a lot of family members at Family Tree DNA or who uses aliases instead of real names for test-takers at any DNA testing company.

This tip helps me import data into the correct Genome Mate Pro profile. It also helps me ensure that I am analyzing the correct person's data when I am using other tools such as Double Match Triangulator by Louis Kesslerr or David Pike's atDNA Tools. Before I started using this method I had to keep a cheat sheet handy correlating DNA kit numbers with the alias name on the account and the real name of the test-taker.

In order to keep up with new DNA matches we must periodically download the new match list and associated data. For Family Tree DNA I use the DNAgedcom Client to download match lists, chromosome segment comparisons, and In Common With (ICW) data.

Downloaded DNA results for from FTDNA include the kit number and content description, as in 12345_Family_Finder_Matches.csv, 12345_ChromosomeBrowser.csv, and 12345_ICW.csv (where 12345 is the kit number).

When you have all three files for twenty or more family members it can be difficult to find the files for one family member unless you keep a cross reference for kit number and name. For those of us with dozens of family members tested, I came up with a trick to save time in identifying downloaded results and which family member they belong to. I no longer have to keep my cross reference list handy.

I made a folder where I have one empty file for each family member. The file name is what is important, not the contents. The file is named 12345__ALIAS_realname.csv (where 12345 is the kit number, ALIAS is the account name for the kit, and realname is the name I know that person by).

Any time I download DNA test results to a new folder I can copy my empty files into the download folder. The file names sort so that my empty file identifying the person associated with a kit number allows me to easily identify whose data files I am looking at.

These screenshots are from one of my favorite programs, FreeCommander, a great Windows file manager replacement with many features that I love. I use FreeCommander much more than I use Windows Explorer.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Data Org Tip: Associate Kit with Name for Downloaded Data," Deb's Delvings, 1 July 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

I have no interest in any of the companies or tools mentioned here except as a satisfied user and/or customer.

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

30 June 2017

One DNA Analysis Chart Process

Edited 13 July 2017 to add MS Word Smart Art tip from David Williams.

I presented a webinar last month on correlating DNA and documentary evidence using the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The webinar was sponsored by BCG and presented by Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Several viewers contacted me asking how I created the charts I used in the webinar.

Over the last few years I have tried multiple methods. I wrote about some different methods I have used and asked researchers to send me your feature wish list back in March ("Wanted: Genetic Genealogy Analysis Tools Incorporating Family Tree Charts"). I am still collecting ideas for all types of features genetic genealogists would like added to software programs to assist in DNA analysis. Please email your wish list to debbieparkerwayne at gmail dot com or add a comment to this blog post or the "Wanted ..." blog post.

The family tree charts in the webinar were made with Smart Art in Microsoft (MS) Word where I customized the colors and effects on the boxes. A template for the charts is online at http://debbiewayne.com/presentations/dna/MSWord_smartart_chart_black.docx.

I sometimes use TreeDraw (http://treedraw.spansoft.org/), Progeny Charting Companion (https://progenygenealogy.com/products/family-tree-charts.aspx), and RootsMagic, as well as Microsoft Smart Art to create the charts. Lucid Chart (https://www.lucidchart.com/) is used by some of my colleagues. It has some features you have to pay to access and it is a web-based tool.

Until one of the genealogy or charting programs or third-party utilities automates the process I have settled on the following procedure to create my charts for DNA analysis.

  1. I create a descendant chart (using one of the tools named above) with only the lineages of the DNA test-takers under analysis. When using MS Smart Art I add one extra block at the bottom of each line because, for some silly reason, Word offsets the last block.

    Tip from David Williams added 13 July 2017: Instead of adding an extra block, click on the "Design" ribbon, click on the parent block for the offset block, click on "Layout" in the "Create Graphic" section of the ribbon, select "Standard." This relocates the last block in a straight line with the others. Thanks, David, for sharing this Word tip.

    I found you can also use control/click to select all of the parent blocks before clicking "Layout> Standard" and fix all lines at one time. Also, if you do not see the "Layout" drop-down menu in the "Create Graphics" section of the ribbon, it may be because Word replaces the words with icons when the window is too narrow to display all of the words spelled out. Make your Word window wider or move your mouse over the image of a chart in the "Create Graphics" section and then you should see a popup indicating this is the link to "Organizational Chart Layout." The template has been modified to fix this layout issue. There is no need to add an additional block any longer.

  2. Once I have the chart I want, I grab a screen-shot and save it as an image. I use Snagit by TechSmith, but there are other options including built-in operating system snipping tools.

  3. I then insert that chart image into my image editor (I use Snagit editor) (where I used to remove that offset block, but no longer need to now). I may also fill in background colors or make other changes to the image, sometimes coloring in the block for my focus person.

  4. I insert the modified image into a Word document and enlarge it to fill the page leaving a margin on both left and right.

  5. I create a MS Word table under the image. The table has two columns more than the number of lines in my descendant chart. I then either manually size each table column or use the table properties to have Word automatically size the columns so that each table column lines up under a family line in my chart. The two extra columns are to the left and right. I insert the names of the test-takers into the left column, right column, and the top row of the table so I have a matrix to indicate how all of the test-takers compare to each other.

  6. The document can be printed to allow penciling in of relationships and total amount of shared atDNA,
    atDNA chromosome match segment data (chromosome number, start, end, length in cM),
    Y-DNA STR values,
    or whatever is being analyzed.

  7. Once I am satisfied with my numbers then I enter them into the table in Word and save the document.

For detailed analysis, I use the full chromosome segment start and end values as given by the testing company. In the webinar and the images above I shortened the numbers by using K to represent thousands and M to represent millions. This is to allow more data to fit onto the image for a Powerpoint slide.

The process is more complex to describe than it is to do.

Some genealogists like Excel charting. If you do, you might be interested in the McGuire charting method. See http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2017/03/19/guest-post-the-mcguire-method-simplified-visual-dna-comparisons/. I find Excel's drawing tools more difficult to use than Word, and even Word is not intuitive or easy.

There are many online help sites with info on how to use Microsoft Smart Art. When I want to do something new I usually just try Google and can generally find step-by-step instructions.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "One DNA Analysis Chart Process," Deb's Delvings, 30 June 2017, updated 13 July 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

19 April 2017

National DNA Day Sales 2017

National DNA Day is coming soon—25 April. Sales on DNA kits have already started!

Updates added 21 April 2017.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) starts their sale on April 20, ending at 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, 27 April.

Upgrades on prior Y-DNA and mtDNA tests are not included. Adding a new test to an existing kit will receive the discounted sale price. See all of the current sale prices on this product page once the sale starts. To add a test to an existing kit, login to the account first. To order a new kit for someone without an account, just click on the price button on the product page and follow the instructions on the screen.

If you are attending the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium conference at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts on 26-29 April, the FTDNA crew will be in attendance. Kits can be purchased at special event prices at the conference until the Exhibit Hall closes on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall will be open to the public at no charge 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time on Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

AncestryDNA is offering 20% off—sale price is $79 for the autosomal DNA test. Be aware that if you do not pay a subscripton fee to Ancestry you do not have access to all features (see https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/ka215000000TzydAAC/Accounts-after-Cancellation). When viewed on 21 April 2017, this page indicates that with a guest account you can see ethnicity estimates, DNA matches, Genetic Communities, automatic updates to your ethnicity estimate as updates are released, shared matches, and you can contact matches; you do not have access to New Ancestry Discoveries, DNA Circles, Shared Ancestor Hints, viewing your matches’ trees, or lists of surnames and birth locations that appear both your tree and your matches’ trees.

MyHeritage is offering autosomal DNA tests for $79.

LivingDNA is offering $40 off their test for a sale price of $119. LivingDNA's test is different than what we have been using for DNA and there is no match list (so far). See Roberta Estes' blog post describing her LivingDNA test results for more info.

23andMe has no special listed on their website as of 21 April 2017, 4:30 p.m. CDT.

Have fun analyzing the shared DNA segments and determining how you are related to all of your DNA matches!

If you need to learn more about how to analyze your DNA matches check out our genetic genealogy workbook Genetic Genealogy in Practice, co-written by me and Blaine T. Bettinger.

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "National DNA Day Sales 2017," Deb's Delvings, 19 April 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

01 April 2017

AncestryDNA Genetic Communities

Note: All images are screenshots captured by Debbie Parker Wayne. Where names of living people are include, permission was obtained.

Be aware: Genetic Communities is clearly marked as a "beta" resource. It will change over time and changes have already been seen in the community makeup, names, and assignments since the rollout.

This week AncestryDNA unveiled a new tool for DNA test-takers—Genetic Communities. This tool may clear up some of the widespread misunderstanding of admixture prediction. Admixture predictions are based on where our ancestors may have been thousands of years ago—a period for which few genealogists have documentary evidence. Genetic communities are where our ancestors were within two hundred years (more or less)—a period for which most genealogists have documentary evidence.

Quick! Take advantage of the chance to learn about Genetic Communities for free through until 6 April 2017 by viewing this informative webinar recording. There is a fee to view after that date.

Blaine T. Bettinger, "Exploring AncestryDNA's New Genetic Communities," webinars, Legacy Family Tree (http://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=618).

On March 20th on Facebook Blaine asked each of us to predict what our Genetic Communities (GC) would be. My prediction was Upper South and Lower South:

This prediction is based on the birth states of my ancestors shown in the chart below. A Facebook friend started a meme a year or so ago. He had us creating four to six generation pedigree charts listing only the birthplaces of ancestors and color-coding the blocks. Here is the chart I posted last year (I have filled in a few of the question marks since then with ancestor names). It shows all of my ancestors born in the South back to the early 1800s. Earlier generations are not shown here, but they are in the southern United States as far back as I have traced each line. I have one lone fourth-great-grandfather who was supposedly born in New York in about 1800 and was in Mississippi by 1810 to 1820.

My GCs are exactly what I predicted. The names assigned by Ancestry are not Upper South and Lower South. The expected Southern states are included in the GCs which have been given more descriptive names by AncestryDNA.

So how do these GCs help me with my genealogical research? For me, I get few new clues as to locations of ancestors after the late 1700s. Someone with a less extensive tree may get clues as to which states their ancestors came from.

Clicking the Connections button, I do get some clues as to potential European origins of most settlers in the areas where my ancestors settled in the New World. These clues agree with the family stories that have been passed down of ancestral origins in Germany, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

I see a list of surnames that are found more often in this GC than outside of it. I can use the "View All Matches" button to see which of my DNA matches are also part of this GC.

This match list contains only DNA matches who are also part of this GC. A match with a shallow tree may be able to get some clues from the ancestors in my tree that are in this GC.

Back on the window with the GC Stories, if I click on one Year Span in the community story bar I can see which of my ancestors were in this community during that time span. I can use the left and right arrow keys next to the year span to cycle through all year spans.

I can zoom the map in to see finer detail. I can click on a "pin" on the map to see which ancestors are associated with this pin.

As of now, all of my ancestor pins only narrow the locale down to a region of a state. This may be because my tree on Ancestry does not include county level details for all events. However, if Ancestry plans to extend this GC tool to show us our ancestors and ancestors of our matches in the same or nearby counties, I may be tempted to share more of the details in my tree on Ancestry. (I never had a tree on Ancestry.com until I took a DNA test with them and wanted to use some of the DNA tools that require a public tree. I only took the time to enter a barebones tree with ancestors; no collaterals; basic birth, marriage, death info; and states only for some locations. At least once RootsMagic can sync with Ancestry it will be easier to update an Ancestry tree if I decide to place all of my data online.)

It is helpful to see which of my ancestral lines were in the same or nearby counties at the same time. This is a great by-product of the GC maps. Before now, I had to use other tools to map where my ancestors were at any given time.

For details on the science behind Genetic Communities and how others have used GCs see these resources.

The scientific paper:
Eunjung Han, et al., "Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America," Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14238 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms14238 (http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14238).

The Ancestry white paper:
Catherine A. Ball, et al., "Genetic Communities™ White Paper: Predicting fine-scale ancestral origins from the genetic sharing patterns among millions of individuals," Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/cs/dna-help/communities/whitepaper).

Blaine Bettinger, "AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities are Finally Here!," The Genetic Genealogist, 28 March 2017 (http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2017/03/28/ancestrydnas-genetic-communities-are-finally-here/).

Leah LaPerle Larkin, "Genetic Communities Are Here!," The DNA Geek, 27 March 2017 (http://thednageek.com/genetic-communities-are-here/).

Leah LaPerle Larkin, "The Science Behind Genetic Communities at AncestryDNA," The DNA Geek, 3 March 2017 (http://thednageek.com/the-science-behind-genetic-communities-at-ancestrydna/).

Roberta Estes, "More About Genetic Communities and Display Problem Hints," DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy blog, 28 March 2017 (https://dna-explained.com/2017/03/28/more-about-genetic-communities-and-display-problem-hints/).

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "AncestryDNA Genetic Communities," Deb's Delvings, 1 April 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

21 March 2017

Wanted: Genetic Genealogy Analysis Tools Incorporating Family Tree Charts

Programmers who are interested in genetic genealogy have provided some great tools for DNA analysis. Testing companies provide some great tools, too. New tools are produced all of the time and I use and love most of them. I WANT MORE. I want some specific features. Few of these tools today correlate the detailed DNA data (Y-DNA STR mutations, atDNA shared segments with start and stop points on a chromosome) with the family tree in an easily understood way. That correlation is essential for the "genealogy" in genetic genealogy.

One of the to-do tasks that keeps getting shoved lower on my priority list is to provide genealogy software developers with a list of what we need to incorporate DNA data into our databases and to create useful output for analysis. Genetic genealogical research has matured to the point where this should become a priority.

If we all pool our ideas, we can come up with a good list to provide to developers so the output is what we want. We need a list of the data we want to store in the genealogy database as well as what type of output reports we need.

So what would your ideal genealogy database incorporate and provide as output for your genetic analysis? Not necessarily the raw DNA data for analysis, but the shared DNA data related to the other test-takers in your database.

Feel free to provide suggestions as comments to this blog post, as Facebook comments if you read this on Facebook, or contact me directly using the email addresses on my website http://debbiewayne.com/ (scroll to the bottom of any page to see contact info).

So what finally spurred me to make this a priority after all this time? (1) I investigated different tree creation tools a few months ago and discussed it on Facebook. I found none of the tools produce exactly what I want for DNA analysis. (2) The McGuire Method of charting several of us saw last summer was published.

Lauren McGuire recently wrote a guest post on Blaine T. Bettinger's The Genetic Genealogist blog, "GUEST POST: The McGuire Method – Simplified Visual DNA Comparisons." This describes the great chart she designed for correlating a family tree and shared autosomal DNA (atDNA) totals for analysis. The chart Lauren uses in the blog post displays total shared centimorgans (cM), percentage shared, and relationship of each person on the tree in an efficient and compact format. I like seeing all of these items at once as all are important during analysis.

I immediately loved Lauren's chart when I first saw it. She and I obviously think the same way about what we want to see when analyzing DNA information.

My own charts started out with printed trees - either created in an image editor, Microsoft Word SmartArt, RootsMagic genealogy software, Progeny Charting Companion, or, more recently TreeDraw. Lauren and many others use Excel. Some use LucidChart and other online charting tools (find more info on these tools with a Google search). None of these tools provide an easy way to create a tree that only includes the DNA test-takers, much less incorporate the DNA data with the tree. And often my DNA data is handwritten at the bottom of the printed chart. If I want to make it look prettier then I spend a lot of time getting a Word table to line up under the family tree.

My own charts have evolved over the years. I started by creating an image of the tree and Y-DNA STR differences in an image editor:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Image, Debbie Parker Wayne

That evolved into a Word table that was easier to modify:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Table, Debbie Parker Wayne

Then into Word SmartArt which was better to show in a presentation:

Y-DNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art, Debbie Parker Wayne

For autosomal DNA triangulation I started with Word SmartArt and hand-written shared segment info:

atDNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art with Hand-written Notes, Debbie Parker Wayne

That evolved into simplified trees with a Word table showing shared segment info:

atDNA and Tree Chart as Smart Art with Shared Segment Table, Debbie Parker Wayne

I use a similar table when I am analyzing total shared DNA against the tree relationships.

What other formats have you found useful? What would make your DNA analysis process easier?

In my opinion, tree charts are most useful when each test-taker's lineage is shown in a column and each generation is contained in a row. The DNA data for a test-taker can be shown below in the same column as the lineage. The rows allow for easy calculation of relationships - which the software could do for us and include in the chart.

A chart including only the people in the DNA study is essential. I have been creating additional RootsMagic databases including only the DNA test-takers and their ancestors, but this takes a lot of time. The pared down database is input to one of the charting programs, but I still sometimes have to remove spouse boxes when I am only interested in the men for a Y-DNA study, for example. Creating a chart from my full database and then deleting the people I do not want takes even longer.

The DNA data to incorporate into our genealogy database varies for Y-DNA, autosomal and X-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA. Autosomal DNA analysis requires total shared DNA or shared segment information. Y-DNA analysis requires notation of differing Y-DNA STR and SNP markers. Mitochondrial DNA requires listing the locations that differ from a reference sequence and/or between test-takers. For Y-DNA and mtDNA we may want to include haplogroups. Even though we all know the admixture estimates vary depending on the reference population and algorithm used, we might want to record the estimates and which portions of which chromosomes match which reference populations.

Send me your ideas and I will compile a list we can prioritize and provide to the genealogy software developers. This new list will not be specific to any testing company or software, but a list of data we want to track in our DNA analysis and provide in reports we use for our analysis and publications. There may some overlap between the list I compile and the ISOGG Wiki wish lists for the testing companies:
https://isogg.org/wiki/AncestryDNA_wish_list, and

If you are on Facebook, these discussions relate to this issue although you may not be able to see the posts depending on Facebook settings

March 21: Added a cropped portion of the McGuire chart with permission of creator, Lauren McGuire.

March 22: Image added to illustrate reply below to nut4nature22 dated March, 2017 05:43:

RootsMagic Relationship Chart Sample, Debbie Parker Wayne

To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Wanted: Genetic Genealogy Analysis Tools Incorporating Family Tree Charts," Deb's Delvings, 21 March 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

20 March 2017

Different View of Shared cM Project Data

A while ago Blaine T. Bettinger gathered data (and is still collecting more data) for the Shared cM Project which he published. His charts fit on one page and shows the estimated average, and more importantly, actual minimum and maximum amount of shared cM reported between two test-takers with a known relationships.

I love Blaine's chart because all of the data fits on one page, but for visual learners the overlap in the minimum and maximum numbers is easier to see in a bar chart format. Since Blaine published his data under a Creative Commons "CC 4.0 Attribution License" others can adapt the data and publish changes under the same license.

So I reformatted Blaine's data in a bar chart format. One complete chart is available which should be printed on 11x17 paper in landscape format to be easily readable. The chart is also split into four parts with some overlapping relationships to allow the data to be printed in a more readable format in four pieces. To me, this is easier to show someone so they can see that sharing, for example, 100 cM, could fall into any of nine relationships shown on the chart. And the chart does not even include all of the potential double, half, and removed possibilities for cousins. I hope these are as useful for other researchers as they are for me.

Click the links below to access full size images.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Different View of Shared cM Project Data," Deb's Delvings, 20 March 2017 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2017, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved