World Families' Newsletter, Issue No. 2

Welcome to's Newsletter for Administrators - Your Gateway to Genetic Genealogy

Happy Valentine's Day, 2008
Newsletter - Issue No. 2

Sponsorship Programs
Does your project have a "sponsorship program"?  Many projects have found this a great way to get the test results from individuals who are crucial to the project. 

  • The "FTDNA General Fund" is an easy way to set up a Sponsorship Fund for your project.  (See the link on the GAP for your project.)  The advantage of doing your fund this way is that FTDNA will allow the donations to be made with a credit card or a check, and the funds will be held in your General Fund until you tell FTDNA how they are to be used for tests. 

  • Establish your criteria:  minimum markers?, maximum amount for a sponsorship?, sliding scale for different tests?, proof of lineage needed?, requests in writing?, recipient must contribute for future testers?

  • Get help raising funds: Encourage project members to donate on a regular basis.  Suggest that contributions can be made in memory or in honor of a beloved family member.  Have an email-a-thon--Set the time, set the challenge, announce the pledges daily, and solicit matching funds.                       


    * * *

    Keep up-to-date on the latest developments in the world of genetic genealogy: Join ISOGG 
    International Society of Genetic Genealogy

      * * *

    FTDNA reduced-cost tests for non-FTDNA tested persons are available - with no end date.  Don't just bring in the results of someone tested elsewhere -  encourage them to retest at FTDNA - so they get full privileges at FTDNA (and reduce your work) 

    Our link explaining the benefits of retesting at FTDNA

    and FTDNA's link to the order form:

    * * * Home Page  If you haven't checked out the links on our Home Page in a while, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised - as much is new or improved

    * * *
    What do you want to hear about, or to see featured?  Send your suggestions, comments,  nominations, hints, success stories, etc., to Marilyn (Terry's wife)

Genetic Genealogy - changes are coming!

Standards and Results Reporting - We have been blessed with several years of relative stability in reporting standards - leaving us little difficulty in correlating test results from different testing companies and not too much confusion.  Unfortunately, that has changed.  We currently face a number of disruptions:

1. Sorenson Labs (who serves DNA Heritage, SMGF,,  Relative Genetics) jumped the gun last fall and adopted new reporting standards proposed by the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG) before they have been adopted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  This has caused confusion in the correlation of their newly reported yDNA marker results - both to their own earlier reported results and to the results of the other testing companies -  such as Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and the National Geographic Genographic Project. (NGGP)  (Note: WorldFamilies continues to convert all results we report to the FTDNA reference)

2. You've probably noticed how the haplogroup designations are getting longer - due to extensive industry-wide research and as a by-product of FTDNA's own extensive haplogroup testing program.  (FTDNA have promised to provide every test with a valid haplogroup estimate)  The resulting challenge that every project faces is to keep the Haplogroup information in our results tables up to date, as we aren't notified of the updates unless they come from formal testing.  This challenge has been compounded by the differences between what we admins see in the GAP results table and what the individual sees in his personal page.  Hopefully, FTDNA's new website "2.0" will resolve this relatively minor challenge, but still quite confusing issue - later this year.

3. Much more significantly, researchers continue to learn more about the Phylogenetic Tree - causing more detail to most of our reported and/or estimated haplogroups.  FTDNA introduced the "2008 Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree" at their 2007 world-wide meeting.  It is being proposed for adoption and publication as the new Haplogroup standard.  Once this (or something similar) is adopted, it will cause many haplogroups to receive new designations - some quite different and some more modestly different - but all a bit confusing.  (for example, my own R1b1c could become R1b1b2).  (FTDNA has told us that this will be a "one-time" changeover.)

4.  The correlation challenge is further aggravated by some testing companies who report their results to some undefined reference, making their correlation to the other testing companies very problematic.  (GeneBase is an example - and we  aren't accepting their results until they provide a correlation table.)

What will happen?  Hopefully, two things:
1. NIST will soon adopt a rational set of standards for both the y markers and the haplogroup tree
2. All of the testing companies will agree to follow the official standards 

When will it Happen?  We don't know - but are guessing much later in 2008 - and in two stages - one for results and one for haplogroups.                ... More when we know it.

News from World

New WorldFamilies site Coming Soon!
Our long-promised new site is now in Beta Testing.  If you would like to join the Beta Test, contact Terry directly to let him know. (terry AT

The new site will allow you to edit your projects at-the-page, eliminating SiteBuilder. (yea!)  The new structure pulls the project pages, information pages and Forum all together, improving navigation and reducing the number of links you and your project members have to manage.  With our new program, you'll be able to 

  • Choose the project pages you want to include
  • Manage the project's name, "tagline", administrrator's info, etc, through the new "Administrator" Tool 
  • Edit your pages to provide your custom message, use our Default Text, or use a combination of both
  • Post results easily and quickly - using our new Optional HTML Upload feature 
  • Post pedigrees easily and quickly - using our new Optional HTML Upload feature
  • Add links and other information that are specific to your project  

New navigation features on the website: 

1.  WorldFamilies Navigation Bar that unifies our sites (dark gray) 
2.  Project Navigation Bar on each of the project website pages (light gray)
3.  Forum links in the Navigation Bars
4.  Website Navigation Bar on every page of the Forum; easier navigation from Forums to website!
5.  "Track Project" tool allows you to navigate directly to your project from any page on the website
6.  "Search" Box on every page of the website finds the projects - or use as an "Any word"  search
7.  "Surname Projects" page makes it easy to find a project by alphabetic listings and go directly to project ordering page at FTDNA or to the project page ( or elsewhere) 
8.  "Order Test" takes you directly to your project's order page at FTDNA to automatically enroll the testee in the project and give him the project test rate
9.  The left sidebar on most pages includes a navigation menu that helps find pages under specific categories, providing links to every page on the website
10. "Tell a Friend" features allows you to send an email directly to family members or fellow researchers to invite them to view the website
                                                  Take a peek:

* * *

Do you have Ancestral Surnames that aren't being served by a Surname DNA project?
WorldFamilies will set up a new surname project in our system if you'll either:

1. Agree to take a leadership role in the project - a role that initially may be in encouraging researchers with the surname to join in, while we handle the "heavy" chores of pedigrees and results.
2. Arrange an order to kick off the project - this makes the project "visible". 
(If you didn't know - projects don't show up in FTDNA's alphabetic listing until they have a member)

Featured Administrators - The Nolan Project

Bill Bateman and Glenn Nolen have been project administrators for the Nolan Surname Project beginning in September 2005.  They do a wonderful job of keeping their project members up to date.
Project Statistics - 36 members (35 active - 2 are ladies) and three known Clans/septs. Modern surname variants represented: Nolan, Nolen, Nolin, Noland, Nowlan, Nowlen, Nowlin, Nowling.
Favorite Learning - thinking I had made a mistake, and learning that I was wrong

Proudest Moments
- having some success in helping members with their genealogy research 
Biggest Frustrations - thinking I had made a mistake, and learning that I was right.  Attempting to contact a member who never returned his test kit, and failing to get a rep
ly. Trying for hours to get the Results Chart to display in my browser (Firefox) like I wanted it, before stumbling onto the fact that it would display properly in Internet Explorer but that it was never going to do so in that version of Firefox
Little Known - ancient Irish surnames giving rise to the modern variants: Houlihan, O'Huallachain, O'Hologhan, O'Nolan

Favorite Learning -
DYS #385a and 385b at 11,17 is unique to R1b males
Proudest Moment
- Linking ancient Nolan genealogical data to modern genetics

Biggest Frustrations - Bad genealogical data and genetic analysis skewed to support personal theories
Little Known - Until late last year, the Nolan Clan Association disavowed Nolan Irish heritage except for those few who could link to Carlow Clan O'Nolan

* * *
[Send your nominations for featured administrator to Marilyn ]

Featured Tools - #3

Use the FTDNA Resources most effectively.
Learn to use the GAP (Group Administrator's Page) at FTDNA  (See their GAP Quick Reference Guide )

  • Make sure your contact information is listed correctly by clicking on "Modify Contact Information" on your GAP. 
  • Learn more about understanding and interpreting test results by clicking the GAP Interpretation on your GAP. 
  • Encourage your project members to make full use of their Personal Page at FTDNA to get the most from their testing.

* * *
Featured Tools - #4

Help your new project members become better informed about genetic genealogy. 
Genetic Genealogy is such a new field that most project members have lots of questions and concerns. 

[Send your handy tool story to ]

Reader's Tip #2   Keep in touch with your project members.

In an effort to serve our projects better, we have recently begun notifying project administrators when we post new pedigrees or results on their project website, so that he/she can let project members know of the activity, and if there is no project administrator for a project, we have been sending the emails to the project members ourselves.  Many of you have been doing that, and more, for a long time.  From feedback from administrators, we have learned some of the ways they successfully communicate with project members.  Here are some of the ideas they have graciously agreed to share:
Scott Simon (Seger Project Administrator):  "I have been notifying every member of our project [of new developments in the project].  I also have been assisting them with their genealogies in an effort to help explore their connections to their lines."

Doris Wheeler (Worden and Willour Project Administrator):  "I usually evaluate the results in various ways, post them in a customized format at WorldFamilies, then send personalized emails to those who are affected, i.e., who match or have similar pedigrees, etc. I also compile haplotypes from other data banks and incorporate them into my Results chart, adding further analyses using Leo Little's utility. Periodically, I send out bulk emails to everyone in the project to bring them up to date."

Rick Saunders (Short Project Administrator): "For the SHORT DNA participants, I have not been bulk mailing the members through the FTDNA site.  I created a SHORT-DNA mail list with Rootsweb, and encouraged the participants to join. I have posted regular updates on the Rootsweb SHORT-DNA list of new members testing, tests in process, new results, etc., basically anytime there is something new.  This allows participation not only by the actual SHORT testers, but by all the non surname SHORT persons descended from those lines that have an interest in all the above. I know it has created interest in persons descended from SHORT lines to locate living SHORTs descended from their line that would be willing to test."
[Send your Reader's Tip  to Marilyn:]

yDNA - When a project member has no matches....

One of the hardest questions a project administrator is asked by a project member is:  "I don't match anyone.  What do I do now?"  Here is how Terry usually answers that question:

  • Upgrade, if needed, to at least 37 markers  (The mutations may be in the first markers.) If the project member has only 12 markers, this is the most obvious step, but even at 25 markers, it may be helpful.
  • Test your most distant known cousin to prove that your DNA is the same as your most recent common ancestor.
  • Test a known descendant of the family you think you should match.
  • Join your Geographic and Haplogroup Projects  
  • Be Patient.  The person who will match you and help unlock your genealogy may decide to be tested at some point in the future.  When he does, your results and pedigree will already be available and ready to help you make the connection you desire!  

    * * *
    We are seeking individual yDNA success stories. 
    [Send your story to Marilyn:]

mtDNA - If you are mtDNA Haplogroup T ...

You have to be very excited about the new T_FGS research project that started last month.  It should greatly improve the definition of the T Haplogroup and its subclades.

It is open to all who already know that they are mt Haplogroup T.  There is a release form - as this is a research project.  I signed on without hesitation, as this benefits me with both parents.  My Dad and Mother are both T1 - with some differences.  There is a nice discount for the Full Sequence Genome (FGS) test - which is also good news - as this is not a cheap test.  Details at T_FGS

Data Acquisition will continue at least through July 2008. 

Sorry - I have not heard of similar research projects for any of the other mtDNA Haplogroups

* * *
We are seeking individual mtDNA success stories. 
[Send your story to Marilyn:]

Helpful Links for Admins: SiteMap Admin Guide

Project Administrator Information

FTDNA GAP Tools Quick Reference Guide

FTDNA Quick Interpretation Guide - Results

FTDNA SiteMap Reference Info

[Send your helpful link to ]

Success Stories!

Debra Nowell, Project Administrator for the Dunbar Project, has some interesting success stories on the project website.  Here's one: 

'The Dunbar Y-DNA Project has its second 67/67 "exact" marker match. The first 67/67 match was between two Robert of Hingham, MA 1693, USA descendants. The 2nd exact match….Both men have completely different pedigrees…one ancestor immigrated to Canada…..the other to America. We'd have never put these two men together if not for DNA testing. Plus, due to extensive Ireland research by one of these Participants, we may have found a descendant of the brother of their ancestor. Both Participants are scrambling to prove that connection. To top it off, we may have found the whereabouts of a third brother."

For more, check out Dunbar Y-DNA Success Stories.

[Send your success story to Marilyn ]

Copyright © 2008 World Families Network --  All Rights Reserved.