28 September 2016

DNA Helix beaded model

I wanted a DNA helix model to have at my vendor booth at the Texas State Genealogical Society conference where I will be discussing the Early Texans DNA Project and Genetic Genealogy in Practice written with Blaine. I wanted something classier than foam or styrofoam without spending hundreds of dollars.

I came up with this idea for wire and beads. I realized the four colors of beads I picked to represent the GCATs could be called Green, Cyan (blue), Amber, and Tangerine (orange) so the first letter of the color matches the DNA chemical names Guanine, Cytosine, Adenine, Thymine. So I decided to make it a real map of the first rungs of the DNA ladder for my mtDNA sequence. I added small wooden beads to represent the sugar and phosphate binding agents.

I still need to play with the twist but I think I am going to like using this at conferences and maybe even at institute courses! The helix is about three inches wide and twenty or so inches long. The size could be adapted using different sized beads and chains.




Photos and DNA Helix design by Debbie Parker Wayne, September 2016



To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Helix beaded model," Deb's Delvings, 28 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

27 September 2016

Respect and Rights

I am a genealogist. I have a strong compulsion to know my ancestors. I have given up most other activities to follow this compulsion for years now, giving up even more after becoming obsessed with genetic genealogy. So, I can empathize with someone whose brick wall is with their parents or grandparents, whereas my brick walls are deeper in my family tree.

I also recognize that I am my own person; a product of my upraising and my experiences in life. My genes were passed down by my ancestors, but not their deeds. I am not doomed because of the bad things they did. My karma isn't influenced by the good things they did. I make my own destiny. I know who my father is, but he had little to do with the person I am, having divorced Mom when I was only two-years old. I grew up in a household with no father. I grew up in a house with no grandfather; my grandmother was also divorced. I never felt that I missed anything due to the lack of men in my childhood even though this was a rare circumstance in the 1950s and 1960s. My character was strongly influenced by my mother and my other matrilineal line ancestors in the photo below. They passed on the idea that I should consider the feelings of others as well as right and wrong when making decisions.


Too often today, in all areas of our lives, some have the idea that their way of looking at things is the only valid way and the way of the "truth." But there are no hard and fast rules. Ideas of right and wrong change over time, in different cultures, and with new experiences. My pre-teen and teen years encompassed enough of the 1960s for me to remember the teachings of tolerance and idealism. I may not respect all of the beliefs of others that are different from my own, but I respect their right to have those beliefs. What I can never respect is one person's right to force their beliefs on others.

I recently read Bill Griffeth's The Stranger in My Genes. He says, "If genealogy had taught me anything, it was that when our lives are stripped to the bare walls—no job, no money, no possessions—we are left with a fundamental truth that defines us, and it's family."1 After taking a DNA test for family history purposes, Griffeth discovered that the father who raised him was not his biological father. The story of his path to acceptance and understanding of this truth is a compelling one. Griffeth's brother stated what has always been a truth in my family, too: "No matter what, you're still my little brother."2



Family is so much more than a blood relationship or shared genes.

One thing that impresses me with Griffeth's story is his understanding that our ancestors are people just like us, with shortcomings and imperfections, as well as honor. As much as he wanted to know the story of his biological father, he did not press his mother when he saw she was reluctant to discuss what she saw as a mistake she had made. He had empathy for his mother's feelings.

This struck me as so different from the sentiments I often hear expressed today. While I have sympathy for any person who does not know their immediate ancestors and wants to know, I also empathize with the men who were told no one would ever know they were a sperm donor, the women who were told no one would ever know they gave their child up for adoption, or the women who had a moment of indiscretion or a great love affair that resulted in them giving birth to a child whose biological father is not the one named on the birth certificate. In an earlier time, the accepted cultural mores meant never being "outed."

Yes, things have changed today, but many of us continue to believe in the morals we were raised with (or that we may have tortured ourselves with for years as we explored new philosophies). For those on all sides of the unknown parentage triangle who look forward to contact, I am happy for them. For those who do not, I have trouble accepting that any person should be forced to confess or accept something they may have tried to forget or that may cause them pain.

Knowing your medical history is important. Modern DNA tests can provide a lot of information. All of the health history revealed by my DNA tests just confirmed what I already knew from analyzing the death certificates of family members. Without those death certificates I could learn that information from my DNA test.

Not everyone feels the need to force a meeting with biological parents. Griffeth's book describes his acceptance. Some in my own family do not know the identity of their fathers or learned the identity after becoming an adult. One family member who contributed DNA for my family study said, "I don't really care one way or the other whether I learn who my father was. I know who my family is."

Context and empathy are required when researching all types of records. Census, court records, and many others can reveal just as much as a DNA test can reveal about a family secret. Time may lessen the impact of learning of unexpected events in the lives of our ancestors. I am much more careful with twentieth-century court records that reveal children born to unmarried parents than I am of the eighteenth-century "bastardy bonds." I would never apply that terminology to events in recent decades, but it is an historical term that genealogists use without thought for events in the far past. Context. Empathy. Time.

We should be willing to accept that not everyone else believes as we do. In my opinion, forcing anyone to confront an issue he or she is not ready to handle is wrong. Consider the consequences of an action on others before forcing an issue. Good philosophies to follow include the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you;" the silver rule, "do nothing to others you would not have done to you;" and the Navajo saying about "walking a mile in the other guy's moccasins."3 Respect.

My colleague Karen Stanbary, CG, who is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker cautions, "most adoption stories come from a place of profound pain or shame or both for the biological mother, and sometimes the father, too. We all have our own skill sets and defenses against pain and shame. Each person is unique in how much time and support one requires to be ready to take on the risk of additional pain or shame. One size never fits all."



1. Bill Griffeth, The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir (Kindle edition; Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2016), location 1259.

2. Griffeth, The Stranger in My Genes, loc. 421.

3. Bill Puka, "The Golden Rule," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://www.iep.utm.edu/goldrule/).


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Respect and Rights," Deb's Delvings, 27 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

19 September 2016

CAFG FGI - Two New Courses in March 2017

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) announced the 6th annual Forensic Genealogy Institute today. While I am excited to be teaching a track using the book Blaine T. Bettinger and I wrote, I am sad that I won't be able to attend the other track!

The beautiful and historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio was also the venue for the 2016 Forensic Genealogy Institute. Some of the rooms are in the original 1850s section of the hotel, with modern conveniences added while keeping the historic charm of the rooms. The restaurant has great selections. The Alamo is right across the street. Plan to come early or stay after the institute to explore the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk.


Announcement from CAFG:

***Save the Date***

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is proud to announce two first-time tracks—unique to CAFG—being offered at the 6th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute to be held March 7-9, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.

The first track, Applying Genetic Genealogy to a Forensic Specialty, will be led by Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, and offers a unique focus on genetic genealogy for forensic genealogists. This three-day workshop is based on Genetic Genealogy in Practice, with additional material customized for forensic genealogists. Genetic genealogy is a complex topic requiring practice and study to master. Each student will be required to purchase and have in-hand a print copy of the textbook that will be used in the course: Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, Genetic Genealogy in Practice (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogy Society, 2016); available online at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/home.

The second track, Becoming an Expert: Law and the Forensic Genealogist, will be led by Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, aka The Legal Genealogist. From the standards that govern genealogical research to the rules that govern courtroom evidence, the law requires expertise of the forensic genealogist. In this three-day, hands-on program, current and aspiring forensic genealogists will learn more about becoming that kind of expert, from applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to finding the applicable law to understanding the legal processes that govern expert witnesses in forensic cases.

CAFG is the leader in education for forensic genealogists. Registration will open October 15. http://www.forensicgenealogists.org/institute/





To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "CAFG FGI - Two New Courses in March 2017," Deb's Delvings, 19 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

16 September 2016

Upcoming Speaking Engagements - 4Q 2016

I only have two more speaking engagements scheduled for the rest of 2016! That allows me to fit in some research time (travel to Salt Lake City to visit the FamilySearch library) and educational events (a DNA conference in Houston).

First:


The Texas State Genealogical Society Family History Conference (http://www.txsgs.org/) runs from 28–30 October 2016 in Dallas, Texas. The featured speakers are Cyndi Ingle and Judy G. Russell. Many other national and local speakers will also be presenting some of the 72 sessions.

I will present two sessions and plan to have a table in the exhibitor hall to discuss DNA and the Early Texans DNA Project with attendees. My sessions are
  • 5 p.m., Friday, 28 October: X-DNA Inheritance and Analysis

    Learn uses of X-DNA for genealogical research. This lecture uses case studies to demonstrate databases and analysis methods using X-DNA for genealogy.

  • 2 p.m., Saturday, 29 October: DNA Analysis Tools

    Dozens of genetic genealogy analysis tools are available. Some are scientific tools that genealogists can also use. Some are designed specifically for genetic genealogy. Learn to make use of these tools to advance your genealogical research.

See the full conference schedule for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-conference research activities are planned for Thursday, 27 October.

I will have copies of Genetic Genealogy on Practice, co-authored with Blaine T. Bettinger, with me to sell and will sign copies. Payment methods accepted will be cash, check, or Paypal payments (Paypal link will be provided at the conference).



Second:

1 p.m., Thursday, 10 November, Houston, Texas: GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today – Bear Creek Genealogical Society & Library – Westlake Volunteer Fire Dept. station, 19636 Salms Road. (I-10 West to the Fry Rd. exit; turn right / north and travel about five traffic lights; turn right on Salms Road and immediately see new building on left; turn left into parking lot, drive past building, enter at double doors in front of building, turn right into auditorium.) See also www.bearcreekgenealogy.org.

An introduction to all of the ways DNA can help with genealogical research and the tests available. Covers all four types of DNA (Y, mitochondrial, X, and autosomal) and basic genetics information needed to use DNA for genealogy.




I hope to see many readers and friends at one of these events. Please stop by and say hi.



19 September 2016: Added address and directions for Nov. 10 event.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Upcoming Speaking Engagements - 4Q 2016," Deb's Delvings, 16 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).


© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

12 September 2016

'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics

We are getting questions about the contents of the newly-released book Genetic Genealogy in Practice written by Blaine and me (not to be confused with the book Blaine wrote alone1).
Genetic Genealogy in Practice is only available at this time from the National Genealogical Society (NGS) (not on Amazon yet).

Genetic Genealogy in Practice (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2016) by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne contains these chapters and topics
  1. Basic Genetics
    • Basic Genetics
    • Structure of the DNA Molecule
    • Y Chromosome DNA (Y-DNA)
    • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
    • Autosomal DNA (atDNA)
    • X Chromosome DNA (X-DNA)
    • DNA Match
    • Genetic Distance
    • Haplogroups
  2. Genetic Genealogy, Standards, and Ethics
    • What is the GPS?
    • How Genetic Genealogy Relates to the GPS
    • Advantages to Using DNA
    • Types of Genealogical Problems for Which DNA Can Provide Applicable Evidence
    • How Much DNA Evidence is Needed?
    • Importance of Tree Accuracy and Depth
    • Unexpected Findings Resulting from DNA Testing
    • Genetic Genealogy Standards and Ethical Issues
    • Considerations When Asking a Person to Participate in a DNA Study for Genealogical Purposes
    • International and Jurisdictional Considerations
    • Conclusions
    • Chapter 2 Exercises
  3. Genealogical Applications for Y-DNA
    • What is Y-DNA?
    • Y-DNA Inheritance Pattern
    • Advantages and Limitations of Y-DNA
    • Test Strategies for Y-DNA
    • Types of Y-DNA Testing
      1. Y-DNA STRs (including Y-STR Testing and Analysis and Adoption and Misattributed Parentage)
      2. Y-DNA SNPs (including haplogroups and Large-Scale Y-SNP Projects)
    • Chapter 3 Exercises
  4. Genealogical Applications for mtDNA
    • What is mtDNA?
    • mtDNA Inheritance Patterns
    • Advantages and Limitations for mtDNA
    • Test Strategies for mtDNA
    • mtDNA Tests
    • mtDNA Test Results
    • Haplogroups
    • Heteroplasmies
    • Hot Spots
    • Match-List Thresholds
    • Private or Family Mutations
    • Distance to Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)
    • mtDNA Analysis
    • mtDNA Tools
    • Applications for mtDNA analysis
    • Chapter 4 Exercises
  5. Genealogical Applications for atDNA
    • What is atDNA?
    • atDNA Inheritance Patterns
    • Recombination
    • Finding and Classifying Genetic Matches
    • Reporting Genetic Matching by the atDNA Testing Companies (23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA)
    • atDNA Tools for Genealogists (23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA)
    • Third-Party Tools
    • Test Strategies for atDNA
    • Genetic Matches and Genetic Networks as Hints for New Research
    • Chromosome Mapping and Triangulation
    • Limitations of chromosome mapping and triangulation
    • Ethnicity Predictions (including Third-party calculators, Limitations of ethnicity estimates, and Using ethnicity estimates)
    • Chapter 5 Exercises
  6. Genealogical Applications for X-DNA
    • What is X-DNA?
    • X-DNA Inheritance Patterns
    • X-DNA Inheritance Charts
    • Advantages, Limitations, and Test Strategies for X-DNA
    • X-DNA Tools
    • Applications for X-DNA segment analysis
    • Chapter 6 Exercises
  7. Incorporating DNA Testing in a Family Study
    • Incorporating Multiple Types of DNA Testing (including a brand new table "Examples of situations employing two types of DNA tests" describing how multiple types of tests can be used in a family study)
    • Supporting or Refuting a Paper Trail with DNA
    • Chapter 7 Exercises
  8. Incorporating DNA Evidence in a Written Conclusion
    • The Genetic Genealogy Standards
    • Privacy Concerns
    • Sharing DNA Test Results
    • Citing DNA Test Results
    • Proof Argument Elements and Process
    • Examples Incorporating DNA Evidence in Genealogical Writing
    • Chapter 8 Exercises
  9. Conclusion
  10. Appendices
    • A. Charts For Exercises
    • B. Glossary (phrased in a manner that should be understandable without a biology degree)
    • C. Reading and Source List
    • D. Exercise Answers



1. Blaine's book written alone is The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy available at http://www.shopfamilytree.com/guide-to-dna-testing-and-genetic-genealogy. Blaine says, "the Family Tree Guide is better suited for people who have no DNA experience, while the NGS book, Genetic Genealogy in Practice, is better suited for people who want to gauge and expand their DNA knowledge."


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics," Deb's Delvings, 12 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

06 September 2016

Early Texans DNA Project at Texas State GS


TxSGS has formed the Early Texans DNA Project. The goals are to:
  • Study the DNA of descendants of early settlers to discover information that can contribute to Texas history including
    • Determine which admixtures are found in living Texans today
    • Link those admixture results to early colonies or settlements
  • Learn which segments of DNA are shared with other descendants of early settlers of Texas
  • Facilitate applicants for TxSGS certificate programs – DNA matches support claims of descent from a common ancestor and can provide clues as to where to locate documentary evidence
  • Many more exciting projects in the future

Descendants of settlers who arrived in Texas by 19 February 1846 are one focus of the Early Texans DNA Project. Descendants of those who arrived later are also invited to join the project to help us learn more about the DNA of our ancestors who came to Texas.

If you tested at Family Tree DNA please
  • login to your account
  • hover over "Projects" then click "Join a project"
  • scroll down to "Search by Surname"
  • change the "Equals" drop-down box to "Contains"
  • in the search box enter txstategs
  • click on "TXStateGS" under "Matching Projects" when the search results are displayed
  • click on the "Join" button and follow any additional instructions displayed
  • you can include additional information (TxSGS heritage certificate numbers or request for a form to provide the lineage if you do not already have a certificate) with the join request or e-mail it separately as described below

Lineage Information

To send the additional information via e-mail, contact dna@txsgs.org letting me know you wish to have your DNA analyzed as part of the Early Texans DNA Project. If you already have a TxSGS Heritage Certificate (Texas First Families, Gone to Texas Pioneer, West Texas Pioneer, Greer County Texas Pioneer, Descendants of Texas Rangers) please include the certificate type and number so I can access you lineage information.

If you do not have a heritage certificate, use this fillable PDF form for your lineage information. You will need similar proofs to what is required for the certificate programs, but do NOT SEND THE PROOF DOCUMENTS. There is no fee for the DNA Project at this time. The form can be e-mailed to dna@txsgs.org or mailed to Debbie Parker Wayne, PO Box 397, Cushing, TX 75760.





If you took the autosomal test at 23andMe

23andMe instructions for the "new experience" in 2016 will be added at a later date. For pre- and early-2016 experience see this blog post with instructions on how to download your raw atDNA data. If you know how to download your raw data, do so, then follow the instructions on the GEDmatch website to upload that data to GEDmatch.



If you took the autosomal test at AncestryDNA

  1. Login to Ancestry.com
  2. In the top navigation bar, click on "DNA" then "You DNA Results Summary"
  3. On the right, click on "Settings"
  4. Click on "Download Raw DNA Data"







  5. Enter your Ancestry.com password and click that you understand the data files on your computer cannot be protected by Ancestry.






  6. Click the "Confirm" button.






  7. The next screen confirms to which e-mail address your raw data message is being sent.






  8. Once the confirmation message arrives in that e-mail account, click on the "Confirm Data Download" button.







  9. This opens a page on Ancestry (if you are not still logged in, you will need to enter the login information), click "Download raw DNA Data" button.






  10. In the Windows "Save As" popup window, navigate to a folder where you want to save the file. Remember the name of this folder and the file as you will need them later. I have a folder where I save all of the DNA data for all of my family members. I name the file something like AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_DATE_INITIALSofTestTaker.zip (AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip) so I know whose DNA data it is and when I downloaded it.






This has saved your data on your computer from the Ancestry server. Now go to the section titled "Uploading to GEDmatch" to place the data on the server where others can compare to the data.
Uploading to GEDmatch Be aware that once your data is on the GEDmatch server all other GEDmatch users will be able to see the data and compare it to their data. The only way we can use DNA for genealogy is by sharing the data. But if you are concerned about privacy you cn enter an alias as the name of the test-taker. If you are concerned about people seeing your e-mail address you may want to set up a Gmail address (or other e-mail address) you use only for genetic genealogy. Most of us use our real e-mail addresses, but some people prefer not to use their real names. You decide how much infomration you wish to share publicly. For the GEDmatch privacy policy see https://www.gedmatch.com/policy.php.
  1. If you are not yet registered on GEDmatch, click "Not Registered, Click HERE" and follow the instructions to create your free account.
  2. Login to the newly created account.
  3. In the "File uploads" section and the "Raw DNA file uploads" sub-section, click on the "AncestryDNA.com."
  4. In "Name of DNA Donor," insert name of the person who was tested. Enter an "Alias" if you prefer not to display the real name of the test-taker. Select the "Sex of donor" - the gender of the test-taker. Skip the mitochondrial haplogroup or Y haplogroup questions.
  5. Click on "Yes" to allow your data to be used for comparisons.
  6. Click on the "Choose File" link. Navigate to the folder where you saved the raw data file from Ancestry. Selected the filename (such as AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip). Click "Upload." It takes up to several seconds for the file to be uploaded, depending on the speed of your connection. A new message is displayed as the file is processed.
  7. DO NOT LEAVE THIS SCREEN until the processing is completed. The processing will likely take 30 minutes or so, depending on the load on the GEDmatch server. A message will tell you when this is complete. Chromosome numbers will change at the bottom of the screen as the data is processed.
  8. Write down the kit number assigned (such as T123456 or A781234). This number is very important so we can find your DNA data to compare to others in the Parker FamGroup 1 project to learn more about our shared ancestry.

After uploaded your data to GEDmatch, please go back and follow the instructions above labelled "Lineage Information" to send us your lineage information for the test-taker back to the Texas settler.

Edited 9 September 2016: fixed link to PDF app and removed instructions to send proof documents with the app.
To cite this blog post: Debbie Parker Wayne, "Early Texans DNA Project at Texas State GS," Deb's Delvings, 6 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

"Genetic Genealogy in Practice" is HERE!

Finally!! The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces Genetic Genealogy in Practice is available. A "Learn more" information link at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/home leads to the order page which is now working.

I am so excited!

I hope this book helps genealogists use DNA to solve genealogical problems as much as we believe it will. This is the book I wish I had when I started learning genetic genealogy.

Bettinger, Blaine T. and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2016.


Working with Blaine T. Bettinger was a fantastic experience. It was amazing how often we agreed on exactly how to handle each topic and unanticipated event during the writing, editing, and production process. Being in agreement with Blaine always boosts my confidence level in a conclusion. Each of us wrote some chapters then we passed the chapters back and forth making changes until we were both happy with the end-product. We had well-known genetic genealogists review the text and exercises then worked with a fabulous editor. The analysis techniques and methodology in the book should remain valid for a long time. Only a few items may change in the near future, such as when one of the testing companies changes their match algorithms or thresholds. The basic techniques will remain valid by incorporating any modified information.

We worked diligently to include all of the information needed to get started with genetic genealogy, expand your knowledge beyond the beginner level, and test your understanding using exercises based on real-life cases. The answers are in the back of the book along with an explanation of the reasoning leading to that answer. We integrate the genetic analysis with genealogical analysis. Some of the information is beginner level, some is more difficult to challenge intermediate and advanced practitioners. Some concepts have not been written about much until now.


You can learn more about the book and the process from our interview with Jane Wilcox of the "forget-me-not hour" podcast.

My initial post announcing the book: New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice. This post contains a list of topics covered in the book.

See Blaine's posts: Announcing “Genetic Genealogy in Practice” – A New Book Providing Genealogists with the Skills to Understand and Apply DNA.

See the initial NGS announcement at COMING SOON from NGS -- Genetic Genealogy in Practice #NGS2016GEN.



Edited 9 September 2016: order link is now working. Removed note that there was an issue with the link on 6 September.

Added 12 September 2016: For a list of chapter titles and topics see 'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics.

Edited 14 September 2016: changed publisher place to Va.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Genetic Genealogy in Practice is HERE!," Deb's Delvings, 2 September 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved