Ancestral Haplotypes

I just answered a researcher's question about how to “... identify the apparent haplotype of the MRCA”. 

In case you don't know what the ancestral haplotype is - it is the marker values that the ancestor would have had in order for his descendants to have the values they have  - which must be mostly the same as the ancestor's values - but possibly with one or more random mutations mixed in. ... Read more

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago - the Barton DNA Project was in its very beginning stages.  We just missed being the surname group with "free tests" who were working with the same lab as us, but we had still negotiated a very attractive rate - $85.  We didn't know how many markers we would get tested.  (the answers I recall were "more than 12", "at least 15", "probably more than 15" ...)  We were working on a "batch" basis, with the Lead Administrator, Leo Barton, responsible for gathering all of the names, addresses, pedigrees and mon ... Read more

Joseph Smith Mystery

There is an interesting story in the Deseret News about Joseph Smith - founder of the Church of Latter Saints (often called the Mormon Church)  Here's a sentence from the article:  ... Read more

Who's in the Tree?

The women in my life sometimes gang up on me!  Two days ago, my daughter (who lives in NYC) sent me an article out of the New York Times - titled "Who's on the Family Tree?" - which is discussing the confusion that comes from adoptions, sperm donors, surrogate mothers, same sex parents, etc.  She thought it deserved mention in my blog.  (I thought I was too busy!)  And then, last night, my Mother (who lives near Houston) brings up the same subject while we are discussing gay rights - an issue where we have had some spirited disagreements and an area where t ... Read more

Don't Count Mutations

I regularly run into researchers who are looking for more precision from yDNA matching than is possible.  I often share my own personal experience - which is a bit unusual to dramatically show how misleading it can be to simply count mutations to determine who is more closely related.

Sorenson Labs test

- My Uncle Bob and I are 41/43. ... Read more

NPE insights

NPE - "Non-Paternal Event" - If you are involved in the use of DNA to further your genealogy research, you are most likely aware of the term "NPE"  - the most common term for describing the different possibilities for why your surname is different from the other men you match.   Another term that is more descriptive, but too complicated for common use is "Surname Discontinuity Event".  I'm sure there are other terms used in polite company - and a few folks may snicker and use some non flattering term - which really isn't fair - because it assumes the worst case ... Read more

Upload your GEDCOM

If you have been around genealogy any time at all - you've heard this term - GEDCOM.  A GEDCOM is a standardized file format specification that allows different genealogical software to share data.  You can import your own GEDCOM into your new genealogical software when you are getting started and you can share your gedcom with someone who you want to have all of your info (such as a cousin).  The GEDCOM manages the basic info very well.  It is also being using by companies and genealogical sites - where you are encouraged to "Upload your GEDCOM". ... Read more

25 Marker Matches

Many researchers are unsure what to do with their matches - being especially puzzled by which are relevant.  Matches at 12 and 25 markers are particularly problematic - as they really aren't at a high enough resolution.  Here's a real world correspondence from an admin I support (wiith identifying info removed):
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In Memory

One of the saddest parts of getting older is losing friends.  And, one of the realities of Genetic Genealogy is that most of the early leadership has come from those who have "graduated" from the working world.  Inevitably, we lose another good friend and research buddy.  Often, we have had the privilege of meeting them face to face, but in our world of Genetic Genealogy, the internet is our meeting place and we work closely with many whome we never get to meet face to face. ... Read more

When a Project Participant dies

One of the more difficult challenges that DNA researchers face is the death of a project participant - or sponsor.  Here are a number of issues and my thoughts.  I welcome you to add yours in the comments section

1. Who "owns" the test ? ... Read more

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