About Me

Roberta Estes has been a professional scientist and business owner for 25+ years, (BS Computer Science, MBA, graduate work in Geographic Information Systems), as well as an obsessed genealogist since 1978. 

In 2005, reflecting her interest and expertise in genetics for genealogy, she formed DNAeXplain, a company providing individual analysis of DNA results and genealogical assistance.  Please visit the web site at www.dnaexplain.com

In 2009, DNAeXplain and Family Tree DNA teamed to jointly offer Personalized DNA Reports for customers.  http://www.dnaxplain.com/shop/features.aspx

In 2000, thanks to FamilyTreeDNA, the infant scientific field of DNA for genealogy emerged, allowing DNA to be used to trace individuals to common ancestors.  With traditional genealogical records already researched to no avail, and several brick walls needing to fall, Roberta was one of the early DNA surname administrators and pioneer adopters of DNA analysis for genealogy.  

Roberta manages over 20 surname projects and is the founder of the Lost Colony DNA research projects.  Her regional Cumberland Gap Yline and mitochondrial DNA projects have several thousand participants.    She also co-administers several Native American and African DNA projects and serves in an advisory capacity for the Melungeon project and other groups. 

Roberta speaks and writes widely about DNA and genealogy, including the Native Heritage Project at www.nativeheritageproject.com.

129 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Yes, she did test at FTDNA, and since she also posted that she was desperate to break down one of her brick walls, you would think that she might have put her e-mail onto the site, but she didn’t. I have contacted FTDNA to see if they can get a message to her, but haven’t heard back. Just thought this might be a resource….thanks, m

  2. When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a
    comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same
    comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

    • All of the known Estes lines in the US descend from the Estes family of Kent, England, except for undocumented adoptions and such, of course. So, I would assume indeed that Phredonia Estes was one of the Kent line descendants.

      • Indeed, she did descend from the Kentish line, & named her son Carey Estes Kefauver. I’m a TN Estes, & they are cousins, as is the founder of Estes Park, CO.

  3. Hello I was wondering if you guys can help me out with what tribute I come from I’m adopted I just know my dad Indian Can you please help me thank you

  4. Hello, Roberta,
    I enjoy your blog posts very much. Until yesterday, I never was able to connect my 6th great grandmother, Rachel Estes (1762 – 1802) and her parents, Abraham Estes (abt 1729-1788) and Keziah Ferguson (1728-1787) to your line of Estes going back to Kent. I finally found the information I needed on David Powell’s website, which link you provided. Thank you! I now know I am descended from them through Abraham & Barbara’s son Elisha. Who is our MRCA?

  5. Roberta, I just read your 2009 paper on Beechland and your analysis of Tyrrell County census information. I am trying to understand the relationship of my Armstrong line to 3 “free people of color” family surnames in Tyrrell County: Hill, Bryan and Rousom. My GGGgrandfather, William G. Armstrong;, his brother, Bennett; his cousin Jones D.; his father Holloway and Holloway’s widow, Charlotte — all, at one time or another, had members of those families living with them. Twice — in the case of Micajah Rousom and Jack Bryan– they were in apprentice relationships, but there is no explanation for the presence of others. My GG grandmother, Mary Ann Armstrong Parisher, appears to be mixed (interestingly, her father, William G. was a slaveholder) and I am wondering whether she was somehow related to those families. (her picture is at http://www.goingdownhome.blogspot.com). Any tips on how to research the relationship of these free people of color to the “white” households where they were documented by the 1850 and 1860 census?

  6. Pingback: Last Call | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  7. Just a note to thank you for all of your leg-work on a subject (i.e., genealogy) that is dear to my heart as well. I am still endeavoring to unlock all of the roadblocks that lead back to my deep English ancestry.

  8. Q: As an adoptee, I have the ethnic history of my mother but not my father. If I do DNA testing, would I be able to attribute new info to my birth father? That is, if Filipino or French ethnicity shows up – could I assume that was from Pop? Would DNA testing show info at those levels? We remaining siblings (5 of 9) are thinking about DNA testing as a way to get better info on our parentage. Pls resp to my email. THX Y Lyon

  9. Doesn’t the Gedmatch program only consider you a match if you use 700 SNP which is the default and Minimum and you use segment 7 cM which is also the default. Here is a quote on their page “Estimates of ‘generations’ are provided as a relative means of comparison, and should not be taken too literally, especially for more than a couple of generations back.” and “Autosomal results with a largest segment less than 7 cM are usually not considered a ‘match’.
    Leave the default values if you are unsure.” and “To qualify as a ‘match’ in the genealogical time frame, results must have a largest Autosomal segment that has at least 700 SNPs and be at least 7 cM.
    It must have BOTH”

  10. having tested with Nat Geo geno 2. what other information would I received or how much clearer would it be from Family Tree DNA. such as I have Neanderthal 3.2 % which I have no idea what that means were my Grandmothers in Germany having a good time ? I am thinking of the $199.00 kit mtdna
    I appreciate your help

    • You receive matches from Family Tree DNA and you also receive several tabs that include various types of data about your haplogroup and matches. Look at the article titled “Working with Mitochondrial DNA.”

  11. Hello :) On 23andme a match at 30% and half-sister came up .. I sent the contact but no response – is there any way to tell if it was received or if the email bounced? If it was read and ignored? Or if it was sent and delivered successfully to their email but just not read yet? Is there any avenue to help with the contact? (I have been tokenized and pending batch processing on GEDmatch for a one to many in the hope of an email address there). Any help or suggestions much appreciated. I am adopted so this was very excited, totally ok if they chose no contact, but if its that we dont connect due to being sent to spam or an old email that is a shame. Thank you for any help.

    • No way at 23andMe to know. You can send a second request but after 2, I think that’s the limit. If you have not done so, contact the DNA Adoption group. Look under the help tab at the top of the blog for their link.

  12. Roberta, do you have any Apache info, are you interested in Apache info ? I have a lot of Apache info.

  13. Love finding your blog! It has been so interesting to read. I descend through the line of Joshua Warren Brock, Jr who parents were Frances Estes and Joshua Warren Brock, Sr.

  14. Gershom Hall, jr.:
    Dear Roberta,
    Thank you for all the help you have given people through your blog and through the various groups on FB.

    I believe the Gershom Hall you mentioned in your recent blog post is the son of Gershom Hall and Mary Hanks. I am not a direct descendant of the elder Gershom, I am a descendant of Gershom Sr.’s Parents, James Hall and Mehitable Wood, via Gershom Sr. ‘s sister Mary (1717-1778). Mary Hall is my 6th great grandmother.
    The line is via my Father’s side (Mary is his 5th great grandmother). I don’t know if this will proven useful to you, but I really hope it does – it would make me happy to know I helped you in even a small way, after all you have done for me.
    Andrea Noyes

  15. hi Roberta,

    I’m a beginner in the field of genetics my ydna is R1A1 and my mtdna is L2A1C, my FFresult are completed last friday which is as follows;

    African: 60%
    -west Africa :38%
    – Eeast central Africa 22%

    Middle Eastern: 36%
    -Eastern middle east: 21%
    -North Africa:15%

    European: 04%
    – Southern European:04%

    my question is that this result can be compatible with my YDNA AN MTDNA haplogroups or is it that there’s something that does not correct in this result ?

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