This morning we were honored by a visit from Mayor Ted Gatsas. Conference Chairpersons Pauline Cusson and Gerry Savard joined Mayor Gatsas for a tour of the Expo Hall.
This morning we were honored by a visit from Mayor Ted Gatsas. Conference Chairpersons Pauline Cusson and Gerry Savard joined Mayor Gatsas for a tour of the Expo Hall.
This morning I arrived at 7:00 A.M. to volunteer at the Registration area and found out that I won a prize in the Volunteer Raffle! I won a copy of Historical Timeline: The New England States, which was provided by Mass Researchers of Upton, MA. Thank you for the wonderful prize. I’m always happy to win something but this will be especially useful for me. I love timelines!
After helping out for a while, I was to meet a friend for breakfast. She had to run off to get materials for a last minute presenter change, but the rest of us who had been planning to meet with her had breakfast together anyway. It turns out that one of her friends grew up in Digby, Nova Scotia, a place that is on my “must visit” list. My second lucky happening of the day!
Opening session, “Millhand Migrations to 19th Century Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts,” was presented by my ProGen 13 mentor, Sandra McLean Clunies. Sandy is an amazing speaker. She is organized, pulled together, relaxed, natural, and FUNNY! I just love her. I was so happy to be able to help her as much as I could with getting her things put together after the presentation. The talk gave some background on the role of mills in the Industrial Revolution and then provided case studies of three individuals. What amazing, and sometimes tragic, stories came out of the mill towns. We learned of the Pemberton Mill collapse, which was one of the worst industrial accidents in American history. The five-story building had been filled with heavy equipment, which caused the collapse. Many were trapped in the rubble. Someone accidentally kicked over a lantern and started a huge fire. More than 100 people who had been trapped ended up dying in the fire.
Nora Galvin presented “Special Schedules of the United States Census: Embroidery on your Family Tapestry.” This talk reviewed special census schedules including mortality, social statistics, agriculture, industry and manufacturing, and other schedules such as Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent. Nora did a great job of reviewing each of these types of schedules and pointing out things that people might not know or may not have thought about recently. Prior to 1870, a person listed on the mortality schedule could not be readily placed with their family. However, in 1870, the mortality census listed the number of the family as given in the second column of Schedule 1. This made it possible to ensure that the person on the mortality schedule was indeed the person of interest. In 1880, the mortality census began to ask where the disease was contracted. The government had begun to take an interest in these sorts of things and it was a step to begin trying to figure out how to help people. Some of the items listed may seem quite “off” to us, such as the referral to people as idiots or stupid, but that is how it was then.
“What Exactly is a “Reasonably Exhaustive” Search?” was jam-packed before I arrived! I was lucky to find a seat. Laura Murphy DeGrazia, C.G., gave a very well-planned and presented talk about the criteria of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) that requires a reasonably exhaustive search. She reviewed standards 5, 19, and 32. Through the use of a case study, Laura was able to demonstrate why a reasonably exhaustive search is necessary and also what constitutes meeting this criteria. She encouraged the use of multiple sources and the writing of a proof summary. After sitting through this talk, I felt like ProGen and the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program had both done their jobs. I understood everything that she talked about. I could tell that there were some who were glossing over. I suspect there are those who were thinking that they would never be doing the things that Laura said. I think I was one of those people several years ago. What a difference a few years can make!
I had heard that F. Warren Bittner was a must-see, so I made my way to his “Complex Evidence: What it is? How It Works? Why It Matters?” talk. The large conference room was also very crowded well before the start time. Warren started out with a brief explanation about the Genealogical Proof Standard and evidence evaluation standards. He did a review of original vs. derivative, primary vs. secondary information, and direct vs. indirect evidence. He then presented a case study about his great-grandmother, Minnie Mary Bahre, from New York. The case study was extremely well-developed and just as well-presented. It was riddled with examples of conflicting evidence. Warren wrapped up all of the evidence and tied together indirect evidence in a proof summary to create a strong case. Very nice presentation.
The day wrapped up with the Society Fair, followed by the opening of the Expo Hall. I walked around and visited booths, collected my ribbons, and joined the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council. I was approached by a member of DAR from my state and asked why I had not yet done my application. She had kept my paperwork because she knew I’d be back and she wants me to help with a particular chapter. I guess I’ll have to get that application done. While I’m at it, I mind as well get my BCG portfolio done. I got a nice, shiny ribbon that says “On the Clock.” I am truly eligible for a ribbon that says “still on the clock,” but thankfully they don’t have any of those so I won’t have to do a walk of shame! I spent a while looking at portfolios belonging to Ruy Cardoso and Judy G. Russell. Both were very well done. I will return tomorrow to peruse a couple more if I can. I think I am out of excuses. It’s time to “get ‘er done!”
For now, it is time for bed. I have to be back at the conference hall at 7:00 A.M. for more time at the registration desk and my evening won’t end until 9:30 after leading the DNA Research Special Interest Group. I’d better get some sleep while I can!
NERGC 2013 kicked off today at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. If my count at lunch was correct, about 150 people turned out for this new offering at NERGC. It seems that it was a success!
First to talk today was Stephen P. Morse, best known for his invention of the 8086 processor. Morse gave a talk called “Deep Linking and Deeper Linking: How to get the most out of existing Search Applications.” The purpose of this talk, according to the handout, was “to expose you to the techniques that were used on the One-Step website and give you a better appreciation for what there is and how to use it.” Morse talked about URL editing, using search forms, man in the middle, and complete takeover. He shared how to block deep linking and defeating the deep-linking block. Notes that contain the information from this presentation can be found online at www.stevemorse.org under publications.
The next speaker was Laura Prescott, who presented “Publish Your Genealogy Online.” As always, Prescott was an informative and engaging speaker. She reviewed available genealogy software and gave an introduction to options for building a genealogy website. Genealogy software can be used to make webpages to be uploaded to the internet. Alternately, the webpages can be made online. Ancestry.com offers a solution to put your information online to share if you choose. TNG, The Next Generation of Genealogy sitebuilding builds pages for online sharing by using GEDCOMs that can be created using any genealogy software. Some items to consider when building a website include cost, domain name, publishing options, layout, sharing and control options, and alternatives to viewing online.
Lunch was sponsored by Bright Solid. D. Joshua Taylor, their North American representative, gave a short talk after lunch. He spoke of the innovations of the company and the records available on Find My Past. Bright Solid is a technology company so they can innovate from within. The coolest thing I saw all day was their new website called Family House. The site is free and targeted at children. Kids love video games and we love kids to be interested in family history. Hence, a game that encourages children to take care of their “family” and see real live genealogical documents in the process. Better than sliced bread!
After lunch Stephen Morse presented a talk called “Phonetic Matching: An Alternative to Soundex with Fewer False Hits.” As if inventing the 8086 processor and the One-Step Website were not huge enough accomplishments, Dr. Morse saw the gap in the Soundex code system and, along with Alexander Beider, filled that gap. In 2008 they invented a system called the Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching System, known as BMPM. This system incorporates rules for determining the language based on the spelling of the name and pronunciation rules for common languages. This helps to eliminate false matches, but also helps to eliminate false negatives. As with his earlier talk, notes for this talk can be found online at www.stevemorse.org under publications.
The final speaker of the day was D. Joshua Taylor, who presented “Sharing Genealogy in the 21st Century: Wikis, Blogs, Twitter, and More.” Taylor reviewed best practices. He encouraged attendees not to “be scared” of technology like Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube. He explained the importance of cloud computing, and shared funny anecdotes about sharing information with his grandma and her sister, Aunt Gladys. Some of the websites that Josh encouraged the audience to take a look at include:
Registration was quite busy when the session let out. I jumped in to help out, since I had signed up as a volunteer. Shortly after, the Librarian & Teacher’s Day session finished and another big crowed lined up to get their registration packets, CDs, and conference bags.
After a nice dinner at JDs with a table of great genealogists, it’s back to my room to get ready for the busy day ahead tomorrow.
ISOGG FTDNA Chapter Meeting
Sunday morning at the conference always starts with a meeting of the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) FTDNA Chapter. ISOGG President Katherine Borges reminded everyone that ISOGG is a free support network for genetic genealogists. Upon joining ISOGG, members receive an invitation to the ISOGG mailing list. Katherine reminded everyone that ISOGG is self-supporting and hosts booths. They maintain speakers list. If you speak on Genetic Genealogy, please submit your name.
Alice Fairhurst is in charge of the ISOGG Y-SNP tree. She pleaded with the audience for volunteers to help administrate the tree. There are just a few people who struggle to keep up with everything on a voluntary basis outside of their regular jobs, which often includes engineering and IT positions. Alice shared changes that we can expect, including migrating ISOGG to a more powerful server and utilizing an SQL database. The tree will remain in its current style through 2012 and she is not sure if they will be able to get the new tree up in January. It is still too early to say.
It is going to be very important to learn SNP names, as subclade names may change as new discoveries are found on the Geno project. The new system is going to be parent / child. She said, “The explosion in knowledge in the last two years has been tremendous.” Many universities and students are now using the ISOGG tree and routinely send notes of thanks to the group for all they’ve done and are doing. The ISOGG page that receives the most hits is the Index to Y-DNA SNPs.
Brian Swann, the ISOGG European Coordinator for England and Wales, has a Ph.D. in Chemistry with a specialty in mitochondria. He shared that the UK Who Do You Think You Are conference is the largest in the world, with 11,000 – 17,000 attendees. Wow! FTDNA has sponsored the DNA area at that conference for several years. Typically kits sell out by Sunday and then they have to pass out order forms. This is great for those of us with roots in the British Isles.
Recruiting individuals for projects is always a challenge and Brian gave some tips about how to approach the British. Adverts in journals and bulletin boards sometimes work. It may be useful to cold call. We’re going to have to start doing it if we want to build our projects. Get to know people and build trust and you will improve your recruitment for project participants. Also, make sure that your home page is universal, rather than targeted to an American audience. The Guild of One Name Studies can be a good resource to look for candidates.
Looking at surnames is important. Brian gave some helpful tips for researching in the UK:
One startling statistic sheds some light on a growing problem that is only going to get worse. About half the people in Britain who have children don’t marry. This makes family history more difficult and it’s only going to continue to get worse as this becomes more and more common.
mtDNA Community – A “Copernican” Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from Its Root
Dr. Doran Behar presented a paper that was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics and I will do my best to share, although much of it is over my head. Mitochondrial DNA is not one of my stronger areas. Dr. Behar told us that NCBI currently has 16,214 complete mitochondrial sequences and, of those, about 6,500 can be attributed to Family Tree DNA. Kudos to citizen science. That is outstanding!
Dr. Behar explained that we need a reference sequence to compare results and say in a concise way what is in the result. The Cambridge Reference Sequence has been used and was a landmark study but it was randomly chosen and creates a number of practical problems. The reference is not necessarily “normal”.
There are tools available on mtDNA Community called FASTmtDNA and mtDNAable. You can post your sequence in NCBI because that is an accepted host but sharing on mtDNA community does not upload to NCBI. You can ask mtDNA Community to help you upload your results to NCBI by checking a checkbox.
A Highly Divergent Y Chromosome Lineage: Implications for Human Evolution and the Y Chromosome Tree
This presentation was a collaboration between Michael Hammer, Thomas Krahn, and Bonnie Schrack. Dr. Hammer started out with a teaser, letting us know that they would be revealing a highly divergent Y chromosome lineage. They are now able to sequence a whole plate with the same sequencing primer. The 1,500 wells can all go on the sequencer and get a score for each of the samples. The sequencing machine shoots out sequencing traces and each needs to be reviewed manually for differences from the reference sequence.
Bonnie talked about successes in the A project, which are greatly due to the tremendous financial supporters of the project. Bonnie has been kind enough to share her powerpoint and presentations on her new website here. It definitely explains things better than I ever could!
Thomas Krahn told the story of a Friday when he and Astrid did two Walk the Y tests on parallel and ended up staying until 6am. There were 52 derived markers where the Walk the Y customer matched old African samples from Mike Hammer. These African samples will now be known as A00.
Mike Hammer explained that if they know the root and the time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) and where they’ve been sampled in the natural population, and there are derived lineages in other locations, then they can infer the stories of where ancestors lived in the past. He says that the newly discovered A00 haplogroup is 67% older than anything previously known. He estimates 338,000 years with a 98% confidence level. About 500 years between the Cameroonian A00 sample and the South Carolina A00 sample is in line with the Atlantic slave trade. This discovery will surely bring about lots of new questions!
A Tale of Two Families – Findings from the FTDNA Surname Project VAN TUYL
Retired engineer Rory Van Tuyl, project administrator for the Van Tuyl project, told how he was able to make some discoveries within his project. Records-based phylogeny had identified three Van Tuyl branches. Rory used Monte Carlo Simulation and the Walsh Infinite Alleles Theory to show that there is no constant mutation rate. Rory used Y-Search and put in the ancestral haplotype and then one by one added changes from the ancestral to the Van Tuyl haplotype. He found that the Van Tuyls share a specific set of seven alleles that comprise their family haplotype. He said that using similarities rather than differences is a powerful analytical tool. He was able to do the same for another set of Van Tuyls and, while they exhibited a similar family haplotype pattern, their pattern did not match that of Rory’s family. Rory said that we should not try to estimate TMRCA from Y-STR data.
The moment we’d all been waiting for! Elliott Greenspan got up to speak and the Twitter feed went crazy. Elliott did a quick year in review, talking about added features for General Fund, SNP maps, and third-party data. FTDNA processed 2.33 petabytes of matching data in 2011 including 16.8 million segments.
Some things that Family Tree DNA plans to do include:
I’m happy! There was really so much great news from Elliott!
Question & Answer Session
Q: Are there any plans for Android?
A: FTDNA is a .net shop so it doesn’t work well. If anyone has any idea for an apps, Elliott will definitely listen, whether it’s Android, Apple, etc.
Q: Will Gedcoms that have been uploaded to project participant kids be gone?
A: It will still use a combined Gedcom. There will not be a data wipe so it will still be there but just not displayed.
Q: Can you remove the 5 limit on the chromosome browser?
A: It would be very hard to see colors. As far as segment downloads, we can do it if you want. (Loud applause!!! The people want it!)
Q: Can you make it so that people can do “in common with” without a confirmed relation condition?
A: Yes, it’s coming. (I asked Elliott that last year. Thank you, Elliott! It’s worth waiting for.)
Q: If 4-5cM is the minimum to be taken seriously, then why is there a 7.7cM cutoff?
A: There are currently 1,300 matches that don’t have that large of a block. It has to do with confidence that is based on supporting blocks.
Q: Is a set of APIs going to be available for data mining?
A: NO!!! Bennett is offended. (Audience was pleased with Bennett for his answer.)
Q: Will there be advanced tools for monthly fees?
A: As long as they can, they not have any extra fees. It is one fee for life. However, if the person who asked would like, Max can certainly make special arrangements for that person.
Q: Will you upgrade Y-Search for all DYS markers?
A: Sorry, FTDNA does not have enough resources.
Q: What is FTDNAs source of ethnic data in Family Finder?
A: FTDNA purchased the application from Doug McDonald. The next version will replace current information with lists of countries of known origin of individuals. This information is in the FAQs. Everyone should read them!
Q: What is the best web browser for FTDNA?
A: FTDNA is tested for all browsers. Internally, they use Chrome.
Q: Can you do Y-DNA testing and a Walk the Y on an orangutan and bonobo?
A: Sure, if someone wants to provide the sample and sponsor it.
Q:What is the future of testing for FTDNA at the University of Arizona now that Geno 1.0 has ended?
A: FTDNA has a state of the art lab in Houston. (Do they ever!!!) The University of Arizona is still very connected via Mike Hammer. 97% of the testing now takes place in Houston. Geno 2.0 will be run completely in Houston.
Q: Can you fix the email blacklist?
A: If emails bounced, there is a presumption of spamming. If a company spams enough, they will get blocked by the service provider. This is the reason for the blacklist. If you have inadvertently ended up on it, call or email and it can easily be fixed.
Q: Will 23andMe data be functional in the new features of chromosome browser?
Q: Will lower resolution tests like mt HVR1 and Y-12 be dropped?
A: FTDNA would like to offer just FMS, Y-37, 67, and 111 from the perspective of having the data but there are other considerations, a primary one being purchasing power. Everyone wants the highest number of people in projects but cost would be a deterrent and drive some people out of the market.
To Dr. Behar
Q: Can a project admin see if a member’s FMS is in NCBI?
A: Dr. Behar hopes that an admin can see the number only if it is approved in a transparent manner such as on the website, not via private communication. This is important for privacy.
Q: What is the value of 67 and 111 marker tests?
A: Use the least amount of data you can to get the most. “We try to make sure you don’t spend money that you have.” He did not want to allow the 111 marker test to be purchased without first purchasing the lower marker tests but after much arm twisting, he is finally submitting.
Q: How did you derive the ancestral haplotypes?
A: Do a Google search and an FTDNA page will come up with the haplotypes. List members then filter excel data, sort by subclade, separate by hand with 37 or 67 vertical columns. He determined modal haplotype locus by locus.
Q: Do all chimps or gorillas have identical Y-DNA? Is there diversity like there is in humans?
A: Yes, they all have different sequences. They have looked at lots of chimps and they’re more polymorphic than humans are. Occasionally, the same site might be polymorphic between chimps and humans. It would be best to have 10 chimp Walk the Y samples and not use polymorphic results but not doing this would not ultimately damage the study results.
Q: Are there dates for the 2013 conference?
A: Bennett jokingly asked a staff member to go book November 2-3, 2013, but I sure wouldn’t bet the farm!
The 8th Annual Conference on Genetic Genealogy was held at the Sheraton Intercontinental North Houston on November 9-10, 2012. Bennett Greenspan opened the conference with a welcome speech that included some new information for group administrators. Usually Max does the opening, but his voice was not cooperative so Bennett had the honors this year.
Bennett started by explaining the corporate structure of the company, Gene by Gene. There are four branches: ancestry, health, research, and paternity. The branch most people are familiar with is Family Tree DNA, the ancestry branch of Gene by Gene. The health branch is called DNA Traits. This branch does gene sequencing work for hospitals on a few continents and is a regulated branch. DNA DTC specializes in research and next generation sequencing including the entire exome at 80x coverage and the whole genome. Finally, DNA Findings specializes in paternity testing and immigration.
Family Tree DNA has purchased 1.5 million vials since its inception. The vials have a tethered strap on the lid, which was ultimately causing wrist strain for the lab employees and wasting valuable time and resources. Family Tree DNA discovered a company in Europe with an automatic capper and decapper that will also dispense the proteinase K to the approximately 500 sample tubes processed per day. The new tubes will have a red removable cap. More automation comes to Family Tree DNA!
While waiting for Spencer Wells to join in live via Skype, Bennett answered a question about Geno 2.0. Bennett indicated that National Geographic has decided that all people should buy Geno 2.0 through their catalog and get the nice kit that they have designed. Bennett suspects (but cannot commit!) that by 2013, NGS will allow samples already in the lab to be tested under this particular test. This will be very beneficial for those whose testers have passed away. There will not be any change in the order system during the Christmas rush. Bennett will provide an update to administrators after January 1, 2013. When the option becomes available, it will automatically appear in the upgrade screen.
Geno 2.0 Project Update
Dr. Spencer wells joined the conference live from Florence, Italy via Skype to provide a Genographic Project update. There are three core components to the National Geographic Geno 2.0 project. The field research division is the mission division. They have collected approximately 75,000 indigenous samples from more than 1,000 populations and produced more than 36 publications. For the public participation piece they partnered with FTDNA and approximately 470,000 kits have been sold all together in more than 130 countries. Spencer talked about harnessing the power of the community to gain new scientific insights. Everyone benefits when “citizen science” and the scientific community work together. The Legacy Fund is the grant giving entity within the project that gives back to endangered cultures. So far, $1.7 million in Legacy Grants have been given and they will continue their efforts to preserve culture and tradition. They have also begun a new education initiative, Geno Threads, to connect kids from classrooms around the world. If kids share lineage, the hope is that they will begin to care about other cultures.
The Genographic Project website has been completely redesigned. There are 248 new mtDNA stories and 182 Y-DNA stories. Information is based on approximately 1,000 peer reviewed publications and info from the genetic genealogy community. (Thanks again to Citizen Science!) When you log into the site, you can choose whether you would prefer to proceed anonymously or whether to register. Your Story will appear in 3 sections if male and 2 if female. These sections include “Maternal” for mtDNA, “Paternal” for Y-DNA, and “Who Am I?”, which covers autosomal DNA. Heat maps are provided. You are the center of your universe and this is the place where you can tell your own story and add it as a chapter to the human story.
Now for the important news… we will see GenoChip results in the next couple of weeks!
A couple of other tidbits…
Regulating Genetic Genealogy: Does It Make Sense?
Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, gave a talk about some of the issues facing the Genetic Genealogy community. Judy feels that the FDA probably doesn’t care about what we do with Family Finder or even 23andMe’s Relative Finder. It is medical testing that they are concerned with. Judy reviewed how contract law relates to genetic genealogy. Judy pointed out that the Ancestry DNA consent agreement is voluntary and the way that they go about getting consent for “data analysis that may lead to and or include commercialization” is underhanded. Project members should be cautioned that joining a project will expose some info about them to the group administrator. Be cautious of information shared on the public results page of your projects. It would be wise to get informed consent from project members, but the problem lies with documenting that informed consent. Judy cited the Fox surname project as having a quality page. You can find Judy’s blog post about her adventures in speaking about regulation to a group of genetic genealogists here.
There are plenty of people who like to say that the consumer genetic tests have no biological function and that police will never look in genealogy databases. This is clearly not the case, since we do not know at this time what may be discovered in the future. GINA 2008 (Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008) is not very broad, covering employment and health insurance only. Judy reminded us of the case where genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick got access to certain databases and claimed that a criminal was a Fuller. In order to stop things like this, regulation would be required. Regulation could also protect individuals from things like surreptitious testing. At this point, it is not illegal in most places to take someone’s DNA. Finally, she reminded us that when we make disclosures about ourselves, we should consider who else that impacts – perhaps siblings, children, and other family members who may share genetic information.
Times are rapidly changing and these are definitely things we should all keep in mind going forward. I heard many rave reviews about Judy’s talk, which was relevant and important to the genetic genealogy community. As always, the talk was very well presented.
Getting More Out of DNA Testing with Family Finder Breakout
Cece Moore, Your Genetic Gengealogist, gave a great talk about a subject that is near and dear to her heart — and mine, too! CeCe started with an overview of cellular structure and inheritance patterns and then got down to the good stuff, making speadsheets to sort data. (Uh oh, my nerd is showing.) I don’t want to share the details of making the spreadsheets, because I’m hoping CeCe will do that herself. During this breakout session, four people spent five minutes each sharing their own methods. Jim Barlett suggested that we make a robust tree, write a standardized email, and email every match. Then, use Gedmatch and upload your Gedcom. Analyze place and time matches. Karen Corbeil told of her success with autosomal DNA to find her family. Rob Warthen, the husband of an adoptee and a computer guy, suggested downloading chromosome browser data to CSV files, as CeCe had talked about, and using the “in common with” feature to triangulate. Rob developed DNA Gedcom, which I can’t wait to try out! He also suggested searching for adoption DNA tools at Yahoo groups for instructions. Dr. Tim Janzen wrapped up the session with his very technical and advanced spreadsheet skills. I cannot wait to get some time put some of this great information to work.
Dr. Tyrone Bowes of Irish Origenes came all the way from Ireland to tell us about his work, which uses reoccurring surname matches from Family Tree Y-DNA results to pinpoint geographical locations. Dr. Bowes shared the steps he uses in the process.
Dr. Bowes shared the website for gbnames Public Profiler, a great site that investigates the distribution of surnames in Great Britain.
Question & Answer Session
So many questions and so little time! I will share in bullet point style to get through as many of these as possible.
Q: Are Y-DNA and mtDNA results affected by chemo, drugs, radiation, etc?
A: There is no evidence of that, but someone should wait several weeks after a blood transfusion because a sample could be contaminated while scraping if blood is drawn.
Q: Does FTDNA have Y or M Y-DNA?
A: These are exotic and generally seen in the academic studies and areas of the world where it’s hard to get samples out.
Q: Can the preserved biopsy of deceased parents be used for FF testing?
A: Maybe. There has been poor success if it’s preserved in a parafin block. Blood samples with legal chain of custody in a purple top tube with preservative probably would have good success.
Q: Can we post non-FTDNA Y-DNA results in spreadsheets?
A: Yes, do a transfer for a nominal fee of $19 without upgrades.
Q: Is it appropriate and ethical to market mtDNA for genealogy rather than anthropology?
A: It is valid for genealogical purposes. It can be used to find a shared female ancestor. Max told the story of a Holocaust survivor with no family who found distant cousins and her sense of loneliness went away with one test.
Q: Can you test Y-DNA on a World War II bayonet that has not been cleaned?
A: Thomas said if there is a blood, that could be a good source. Dry blood is good. Theoretically they probably can’t but he would have to see the sample and then decide. Often it is not useful because of sun exposure, wet, etc.
Q: Can the Family Finder sample of a deceased father be used for Geno 2.0?
A: Family Tree DNA does not have the rights to sell the 2.0 chip directly at this time but after the first of the year, they will probably revisit that and it will majivally appear on an order upgrade page when it becomes available. However, Bennett was very clear that THIS IS NOT A PROMISE! It is not his decision.
Q: Will next gen sequencing pick up mtDNA insertions and deletions?
Q: How will Family Finder report if a cousin is 1, 2, or 3 times removed?
A: Twice removed = 2 generation.
Q: Will presentations from the conference be available?
A: If authorized by the authors.
Q: How can females use Y-DNA results?
A: Look for a male and use your charm! (Funny, Max!)
Q: What can we expect to learn from Geno 2.0 that is not already known?
A: mtDNA on the chip will be the closest thing to full mitochondrial sequence. It wouldn’t show private mutations. It’s better than any other means except FMS. On the Y side, finding 100s of new SNPs. For Niall of the Nine Hostages, no less than four new subsets.
Q: Did you exclude AT or CG mutations from Y or mt?
A: Elliott- We coded what it was supposed to be. Build 37 should be out in a month or two. We will add 3,000-4,000 new SNPs to the coparison tool Nost all positions were known. Those will be added and appear in files.
Q: If a wife’s uncle is deceased and there is a 10 year old sample, is a Family Finder test possible?
A: Yes, if the second vial is in storage. There are 500,000 vials stored from past consumers.
Q: What happened to archives.org? Are you next?
Q: What is your success in accepting transfers?
A:FTDNA has accepted many from DNA Heritage, thousands from Ancestry.com and 2/3 have upgraded to 25 or 37 markers, thousands from 23 and me. When Ancestry.com figures out how to make data available, FTDNA expects thousands of transfers.
Q: If more data comes in, can we have a redo?
A: If more markers are added, they will automatically show up. However, if it’s a new chip, it will be a new product.
Q: If someone did Y-DNA, later mtDNA, then Family Finder, are all vials used up?
A: For a while, 3 vials were shipped. If there were 2 at the time you tested, there is probably no unused vial. If 3, then there is probably 1 left. This does not mean that there is no DNA. The freezer stores 500,000 samples of DNA. They simply take your sample out, take enough for the test, and put it back in the freezer. You may send an email to inquire if your vial is in stock. The extraction protocol was changed and a lot more DNA comes from a sample than in the past.
Q: When will you report ISOGG markers?
A: Each STR has a different mutation rate for each micro allele. It depends on the marker. The update will display those. The update will include palindromic markers.
That about wraps up Day 1! I will be reporting Day 2 soon and hopefully a post about an excellent adventure to the FTDNA lab will not be long forthcoming. Please check back!
Congratulations are in order for Bridget Bray of BBNY Group LLC, who did an outstanding job pulling everything together for The Genealogy Event in New York City on October 26th and 27th. The Metropolitan Pavilion was a buzz of activity from just before noon on Friday, when a crowd lined up to enter, until 6pm on Saturday, when everything wrapped up.
The format of the event consisted of 30 minute power learning sessions, with 15 minute breaks in between. I really liked this format. I typically start to get fidgety after sitting in a presentation for a while. With the condensed timeframe, presenters needed to choose their best and most important information, which is obviously beneficial to attendees.
One of the highlights of my visit was an appointment with Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective. Maureen looked at three pictures and confirmed some suspicions I had, as well as gave some great tips and insight. She was able to pinpoint two of the photos to the 1870s and one to 1900. I thought that the two pictures from the 1870s had been taken several years apart, as the woman looked much younger. Maureen said that she had recently learned more about the artists who did these terrible, inaccurate renditions. The tintype, which showed the woman looking older, was probably a better representation of the subject’s actual appearance.
I had the opportunity to speak with Kenny Freestone of Ancestry.com. I was told by their representative that Kenny was a DNA specialist. I asked Kenny about the availability of raw data. He said the same thing we’ve been hearing. Ancestry believes that our raw data belongs to us and they intend to release it in early 2013, It is Ancestry’s hope to provide service such that we will no longer need our raw DNA to go to outside sources. It appears that the intent is to become one-stop shopping for DNA needs. I then questioned Kenny about the questionable population results. He referred me to the paper “The People of the British Isles”. He said that people in the British Isles have a lot more Scandinavian that anyone believes. I am skeptical but I suppose time will tell. Thirdly, I asked Kenny a question about possible persistence of certain segments and he said he did not know. I will admit that I asked the question simply to find out if he could answer it. It appears that he is more of a product manager, as his card states, than a DNA expert. He was quite pleasant and I told him that I’d hold him to his word that we will have our raw data very soon.
Almost all of the presenters did an outstanding job. Among my favorite were:
The best part of the weekend was that I got to spend it with my 4th cousin, Suzanne. We met on a genealogy message board more than 8 years ago and have been collaborating ever since, but had never met in person despite living just two hours apart. We are planning a trip to the New York Public Library together in the near future.
Well, I’ve made it through the first week and I’ve only cried once. Yes, precisely once, when I realized I’d made one REALLY stupid error that brought my nearly perfect transcription to a B+. Traumatizing, I know. My family is waiting for Earth to spin off its axis. I, on the other hand, have been calculating what I’ll need to do to ensure that this transgression does not have a major effect on my final average. My very academic friend tells me that she passed easily and her assignment grades were a mix of “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. How come that doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies?
Week 1 down. Only 14 to go.
I never thought that I would refer to a book about DNA as riveting, but the time has come. Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA by Richard Hill is a well-written tale of a man who spends many years searching for his biological family and eventually, through the use of DNA and genetic genealogy, is finally able to solve the mystery of his birth.
From the first page, the reader is drawn into the plight of a young man who discovers that he is not who he thought he was. Over the course of more than forty-five years, Richard Hill searches to find the true identity of his parents. Hill uses some conventional and some less well-known techniques for obtaining information. There is much to be learned from both the successes and the problems that Richard encountered.
This gripping true story is an absolute page turner. Whether you are an adoptee, a genealogist, or someone who likes a good story, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA is worth every minute. Both those who are just starting their journey and those who have many years of experience will likely come away with a couple of new tricks up their sleeves. Once you open the book, don’t plan to do anything else until you’ve reached the final page.
Trade Paperback, 260 pages
Published August 2012
ISBN 13: 9781475190830
Historic Map Works is a database containing more than 1.5 million full color digital maps, with thousands more being added monthly. For members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, access to this database is now included. Members can access Historic Map Works by going to the NEHGS American Ancestors website. On the “Search” tab, click on “External Databases” and then scroll down to find Historic Map Works.
The location of the building now known as the Henry Whitfield Museum, said to be the oldest stone house in the United States, can be seen on this 1868 map of Guilford, Connecticut.[i] At the time of the survey, it was the property of Mrs. H.W. Chittenden. Mary, wife of Henry Ward Chittenden, had inherited this property from her mother, Mrs. Sarah (Brown) Grifling, said to be one of the wealthiest women in Connecticut at the time.[ii]
March 4, 2012 at 1:11 PM (General)
Tags: 1940 Census, Census, DNA, Enumeration Districts, Genetic Genealogy, Indexing, Maps, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, MSOG, NARA, National Archives, Naturalization, Waltham
For some, a visit to the National Archives is routine but for those of us who don’t live nearby, it is a special treat. Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit NARA in Waltham, Massachusetts, attend a 1940 Census Workshop sponsored by the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, see some old friends, and make some new ones. All in all, a great day in genealogy land!
When I walked in, the guard said, “It’s 8:01! I wondered who was coming in the parking lot at this hour. You don’t mess around.” No, Sir, I don’t. By 8:10 I had my coat put away, my belongings in a locker, and was learning the ropes. The staff is extremely nice and, since I came prepared with a list, I was able to do my lookups pretty quickly.
Once I had my list, one of the staff assisted me to complete an application for researcher identification and showed me how to complete the Reference Service Slip. Since it was a busy day, they asked if it would be ok if they gave me copies at no charge. That was certainly fine with me, although I can see that it’s going to be a little trickier for me to come up with proper source citations this way.
By the time I finished my lookups, people from MSOG started coming in. Pat Stano-Carpenter, President of Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, gave me her I <3 Indexing pin. Thank you, Pat! I love goodies! It was great to see everyone.
Jean Nudd, NARA Archivist, gave a presentation about the 1940 census. I can’t wait to dig in and read the instructions to the enumerators. They are lengthy, but I think they are certainly worth the read. The Abridged Instructions to the Enumerator and the Complete Instructions to the Enumerator can be found online at www.archives.gov. In 1940, the government was trying to measure the effects of the Depression on the nation and the questions reflect that. One key thing to note is that in 1940, for the first time ever, the information provider will be noted. This is of great importance because, for the first time, the census record will now become a primary document.
Thank you to Rick Wetmore of MSOG for the demo about map overlays. I have used that technique to convert geocache information to orienteering (compass) maps and overlay with park maps to determine trail routes, but I hadn’t thought to use it for enumeration districts. There are so many Scout skills that come in handy being a genealogist!
It was wonderful to meet Michael Maglio of Origin Hunters and have a great DNA conversation. We are still a rare breed, so it’s nice to find a new Genetic Genealogy buddy!
At the end of the day, I walked away with several new friends, a few goodies, and six naturalization records. A stellar first visit to a repository! The weather did not cooperate so I could not go to the Mt. Feake Cemetery in Waltham to locate my third great-grandmother May Wilson Armstrong, so I will definitely be back!
© 2011-2013 Jennifer Zinck All Rights Reserved