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Arthur C. Barker
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« on: December 18, 2015, 12:28:07 PM »

I have been thinking about other Forum threads that might be useful for Project Members and if any of you have any suggestions in that regard, please send them to me.  But one idea I had was to have a thread where anyone could post general information they have learned about genetic genealogy or I could use in response to questions Members ask me if these deal with general information that might be of interest to other Members.  In most cases, specific operational questions or problems would not fall under this category unless they are systemic.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 12:38:24 PM »

A Member recently asked me if I knew of any books that would provide a good introduction or background in genetic genealogy.  And it just so happens that William "Bill" Wood, a Member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), recently provided two such suggestions in an online project blog post.

Trace Your Roots with DNA:  Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner

DNA and Social Networking:  A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-First Century by Debbie Kennett and Chris Pomery

Both of these books can be found on Amazon.com.  If any of you know of others, please feel free to post them here or send the information to me and I will post it for you.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 02:56:05 PM »

If you prefer to learn about genetic genealogy through talks, Debbie Kennett, the author of one of the previously mentioned books, has provided a link to the full list of presentations given at the annual Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference for the last three years, which have been posted on YouTube.  Some of these are focused on topics concerning Ireland and the Irish, but others are general in nature and would be of interest to anyone.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHnW2NAfPIA2KUipZ_PlUlw
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 04:55:28 PM »

Another book recommended recently on the Activity Feed of one of the Haplogroup (SNP) projects was Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by Emily D. Aulicino.

Aulicino is a genealogist who has been doing research since 1970 and manages 13 DNA projects.  Over the years she's given numerous talks about the subject at various locations around the world.

The book was published in 2013 and I recently purchased an e-book version from Amazon for $3.03.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2016, 09:19:17 PM »

A SNP Cousin in England has recommended the following presentation by the incomparable Maurice Gleeson given at the Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2015 Conference.  I believe it was included in the previous link to videos on this thread, but I had not viewed it.  But he's right.  This presentation in some ways is better than the one he gave at the FTDNA Conference last year.  It covers some basic concepts, is somewhat less technical, and the pace is slower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFfB-Y3XfCg
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 10:41:25 PM »

A book I have had my eye on for a while is The Horse, the Wheel and Language:  How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by Professor David W. Anthony.  With Administrator Mike Walsh of the R R1b Haplogroup Project continuing to cite passages from it, I decided the day to purchase it was today.

It is fascinating what they have learned about not only human genetics, but also horse and cow behavior and their genetics and the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) mother tongue for many of us.  Even though this book was published in 2010, it still seems to be quite popular as it is currently #7 on Amazon's Kindle list in Prehistory and #8 on their Kindle list in Archaeology.

Unfortunately, it now also costs $3.00 more than last year.  But as the old saying goes, he who hesitates is lost, or at least out another $3.00.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 01:51:36 AM »

Frequent Haplogroup project activity feed poster Donald Berry has recommend a book several times to people who are adopted or are in a similar situation of not knowing their biological ancestry.  It is Richard Hill's Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.

In addition, in answer to a question about Irish genealogical research, where several people have reported difficulties because of record destruction, he recommends checking the following websites he has found helpful:

      https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/

      http://ireland.anglican.org/about/151

      http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie

      http://www.irelandgenweb.com
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 12:33:43 PM »

As you may already know, Family Tree DNA provides an yDNA Haplotree that you can use to not only see where your Kit is located, but also to examine all the other branches that it has reviewed and accepted.  You can access this a couple of ways.  If you have a Y-DNA Haplogroup badge in the upper right corner of your Dashboard page, simply click on that.  Alternatively, you can click on the button (bar) in the Y-DNA section of the Dashboard page that says "Haplotree & SNPs".

Contrary to what some people might assume, there is not one single yDNA Haplotree because there is no overriding authority in this field.  Therefore, you might also want to examine those by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) and YFull:

    ISOGG:    http://isogg.org/tree/index.html

    YFull:    https://www.yfull.com/tree/

The ISOGG page also provides answers to a question sometimes asked by testers:  Where do the SNP designations come from?  If you scroll down that linked page, you will see the list of researchers and laboratories that have discovered various SNPs and the letters they have been assigned.  So, for example, M269 means that was the 269th SNP discovered by and named for Dr. Peter Underhill at Stanford University.

The YFull page, like all their products, is very user-friendly, and provides estimates for when SNPs arose.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2016, 08:31:56 PM »

For those of you interested in the population distribution of your direct male line in Europe, Eupedia has a great website that will show you that.  In some cases, it even has distributions maps of several of the subclades of those Haplogroups.

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/maps_Y-DNA_haplogroups.shtml

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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 01:28:31 AM »

Larry Walker has recommended this excellent introductory talk given by John Cleary at the recent Who Do You Think You Are Live conference in Birmingham, England.  It defines various terms used in STR and SNP testing and how such testing can inform your genealogical research.  This is Part 1 and runs just over 23 minutes.

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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 01:11:10 PM »

This is Part 2 of John Cleary's talk at the Who Do You Think You Are Live conference in Birmingham, England in April 2016.  Although it also runs just over 23 minutes, like Part 1, it is highly technical and focuses on Next Generation Sequencing tests, like Family Tree DNA's Big Y or Full Genomes Corporation's Y Elite 2.1.  Therefore, I would suggest that the people who might be most interested in this will be those Members who have either taken one of these tests or are considering taking them in the future.  In addition, if you do watch this, the density of the material, presented through slides and tables, is such that you might want to be ready to pause or reverse the video in order to give yourself time to read thoroughly the material he presents and try to digest it mentally.  Even then, unless you have exposure to this before, you may need to review it over again in the future as your knowledge about this subject increases.  That said, it is excellent and covers a lot of the questions that people pose in Haplogroup Activity Feeds after they get their NGS results.

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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 01:23:25 PM »

This is Part 3 of John Cleary's excellent talk at the Who Do You Think You Are Live conference in Birmingham, England in April 2016.  Unlike the first two parts, this one only runs just over 18 minutes.  Furthermore, this part is really for everyone as John integrates SNP and STR testing with traditional genealogical documentation to reconstruct both surname and genetic family trees.  This is the core message of what can be done with modern genetic genealogy IF you test enough people in the right ways.  I think most people will enjoy how John shows how to solve genealogical dilemmas through the use of genetics.

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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2016, 04:22:12 PM »

A distant genetic cousin in England wanted to alert people to the issue of Convergence by directing attention to this article on the ISOGG Wiki:


Because Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) mutate in a different way from Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), it is easier for them to mutate backwards -- 13 repeated sequences drop to 12, but then sometime later go back to 13.  This can cause the famous "Stewart Problem".  But how much of an issue it truly is, is unknown.  And I do think it tends to get confused with another issue, which is lack of STR differentiation at lower testing levels.  The number of R1b men is enormous and there has not been sufficient evolutionary time to differentiate them.  As a result, a large minority are genetically identical or very similar at the lower testing levels.  Since surnames were adopted after most of these STRs arose, this causes genealogical confusion because Kit holders see many matches on numerous pages with men who do not have the same surname.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2016, 06:01:35 PM »

My distant genetic cousin in England also recommended the following presentation by James M. Irvine, who gave this talk about "Lessons from a Large yDNA Project" at the 8 April 2016 Who Do You Think You Are Live conference in Birmingham, England.  It runs just under 1 hour, 6 minutes.


It is extremely difficult to review this for you because it runs from simple, but fascinating, descriptive statistics, to complex aspects of Next Generation Sequencing tests.  Irvine, at the age of 75, has taught himself how to do BAM file analysis from such tests, which absolutely amazes my distant genetic cousin.  I am amazed that he is still giving such presentations.

Because of the rich data sample they have now obtained, some of their statistics answer questions that are often raised from people about why they do not have any matches.  They also build into a wonderful table on page 37 that clearly shows that they have discovered through genetics that their family originated in southwestern Scotland, move in large numbers to Northern Ireland, and from which most Americans, the vast majority of testers, came.

Another interesting point is shown when he compares a fantastic family history, written long ago, with what modern genetics shows.  It turns out this beautifully written story, is, in Irvine's words, "rubbish".  They did not all originate from some patriarch from historical and surname time.  Instead, their common direct male ancestor was far before that.

He provides great information on surname evolution, which as a meme, mutates just like any kind of genetic information, such as STRs and SNPs.  He also has the best summary of the different types of situations that produce men who have different surnames, but matching genetics, or vice versa, that I have seen.

On page 54, he connects traditional genealogical records with STR and SNP genetic data and shows in an elegant chart that they are very close to closing the gap.  In fact, one or two lines already have.  This is, of course, the goal that such groups strive for if they are willing to commit the time and money to gather this amount of data.

As difficult as it is for me to characterize this talk, it is equally difficult for me to recommend who might benefit from watching it.  If your primary interest is in genealogy over the past five generations or so, then I think this presentation is not for you.  But if you are interested in where you came from and have a genealogical brick wall, then give this a try and do not worry that some of it will make no sense to you.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 02:00:50 AM »

Awhile back, I also became a Co-Administrator of the "Norman" Project.  It's official name is England GB Groups eij (Norman), but I just call it the "Norman" Project.  This is a history project instead of a surname, Haplogroup or geographic project.  It focuses on the men who were with William the Conqueror when he invaded England in 1066 and the "eij" part of the official title signifies that they think most of these men were in yDNA Haplogroups E, I and J.  The word Norman is itself a contraction of Norse Man and they were Norwegian and Danish Vikings who had settled (conquered) the Normandy area of France.

I know.  So, what is a descendant of the Yamnaya horse riders from the Pontic Steppe doing with Vikings?  Well, believe it or not, I'm their technical adviser with regard to SNPs and SNP testing.

In any case, one of my fellow Co-Administrators linked Members to this wonderful set of European "tribal" (really Haplographic) maps and I wanted to share the link with you.

http://www.abroadintheyard.com/maps-of-europes-ancient-tribes-kingdoms-and-y-dna/


I love the starting picture, which shows the Earth, probably as seen from the International Space Station, but seemingly out the window of an old cottage.  Then, they have maps from about 9,000, 4,000, 1,000 and 800 years ago, showing how the various Haplogroups have spread throughout Europe during that period of time and then have become mixed.  The maps are a little light for my taste, but you can enhance their boldness by clicking on them.  Once you do that, you can also zoom in on any area you choose.
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Arthur C. Barker
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2017, 05:30:34 PM »

Another book you might be interested in is The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger, who writes the blog posts for The Genetic Genealogist (http://www.TheGeneticGenealogist.com).  It's recent, having been published on 13 October 2016, and is currently #15 at Amazon under Genealogy and #8 in the Kindle Store for both the Genealogy and the Genetics categories.
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