Today is a big day for DNA-eXplained. I christened this blog on July 11, 2012 with an invitation for the world of genetic genealogy to follow along. Wow, what a ride!
Today, about 5 weeks shy of the blog’s 6th birthday, I’m publishing my 1000th article – this one. I don’t even want to know how many words or pages, but I do know I’ve gone through two keyboards – worn the letters right off the keys.
My original goal in 2012 was to publish one article per week. That would have been 307 articles this week. I’ve averaged 3.25 articles a week. That’s almost an article every other day, which even surprises me!
That’s wonderful news for my readers because it means that there is so much potential in the genetic genealogy world that I need to write often. Even so, I always feel like there is so much to say – so much that needs to be taught and that I’ll never catch up.
I wonder, which have been the most popular articles?
Most Popular Articles
The most popular article has received almost a million views.
I’m not surprised that the article about Native American heritage and DNA testing is number one. Many people want to verify their family stories of Native American ancestry. It was and remains a very large motivation for DNA testing.
- Which DNA Test is Best? – Compares the tests, companies and reasons for testing to help readers create a test plan that will provide them with the information they seek.
- Ethnicity Results – True or Not? – A short article from 2013 that compared my early ethnicity results. A better article today is the one above or Which Ethnicity Test is Best?.
- Mythbusting – Women, Fathers and DNA – Discusses that yes, women can match their father’s autosomal DNA. Some people become confused and think that women can’t match their father’s DNA.
- Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages – Comprehensive article showing inheritance paths from ancestors, discusses inheritance and why your results might not be what you expected.
- What is a Haplogroup? – A basic article for both Y and mitochondrial DNA. Good for beginners.
- 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy – A short overview article with graphics describing Y, mitochondrial, autosomal and X DNA – what they are, why test for them and what they can do for you. This is my basic go-to article and I refer people daily.
- X Marks the Spot – How to use X chromosome matching, including special inheritance charts. Males and females have different X inheritance paths which are very useful genealogically. A good companion article is X Matching and Mitochondrial DNA is Not the Same Thing.
- Thick Hair, Small Boobs, Shovel Shaped Teeth and More – Physical traits associated with Native Americans and their genetic basis.
- Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum – Explains how and why ethnicity testing works – and sometimes doesn’t. This is my ethnicity go-to article and I use it all the time.
- How Much Indian Do I Have in Me? – If I had a dollar for every time I’m asked this question, I could purchase unlimited DNA tests and would be living in the south of France. This self-help article explains how to calculate the percentage of DNA people “should,” on average, carry from an ancestor. And yes, people still ask anyway.
One link I expected to see on this list, but didn’t, is my Help page. Maybe because it’s a page and not an article? Maybe I should publish it as an article too. Hmmm….
What Do These Articles Have In Common?
Four are about ethnicity, which doesn’t surprise me. In the past couple of years, one of the major testing companies has pushed ethnicity testing as a “shortcut” to genealogy. That’s both a blessing and a curse.
Unfortunately, it encourages a misperception of DNA testing and what it can reasonably do, causing dissatisfaction and kit abandonment. Fortunately, advertising encourages people to test and some will go on to get hooked, upload trees and engage.
The good news is that judging from the popular articles, at least some people are researching ethnicity testing – although I have to wonder if it’s before or after they receive their test results.😊
Three articles are specifically about Native American heritage, although I suspect people who discover that they don’t carry as much Native as they expected are also reading ethnicity articles.
Two articles are specifically not about autosomal results, which pleases me because many autosomal testers don’t know about Y and mitochondrial DNA, or if they do, they don’t understand what it can do for them or how to utilize results.
Several articles fall into the research category – meaning an article someone might read to decide what tests to purchase or how to understand results.
Key Word Searchable
One of the things I love about WordPress, my blogging platform, is that DNA-eXplained is fully keyword searchable. This means that you can enter any term you want to find in the search box in the upper right-hand corner and you’ll be presented with a list of articles to select from.
For example, if you enter the phrase “Big Y,” you’ll find every article, beginning with the most recent that either has those words in the title, the text or as a tag or category.
Go ahead, give it a try. What would you like to learn about?
More Tools – Tags and Categories
Tags and categories help you find relevant information and help search engines find relevant articles when you “Google” for something.
If you scroll down the right-hand sidebar of the blog, you’ll see, in order:
- Subscription Information
- Family Tree DNA ad
- Award Received
- Recent Posts
- Archives by date
- Top Posts and Pages
Bloggers categorize their articles, so if you want to view the articles I’ve categorized as “Acadians” or “Art,” for example, just click on that link.
I use Tags as a more general article categorization. Tags are displayed in alphabetical order with the largest font indicating the tags with the most tagged articles.
You can see that I categorize a lot of articles as Basic Education and General Information. You can click on any tag to read those articles.
My Biggest Surprise
I’ve been asked what’s the most surprising thing that I’ve learned.
I very nearly didn’t publish my 52 Ancestors series because I didn’t think people would be interested in my own family stories about my ancestors and the search that uncovered their history.
Was I ever wrong. Those stories, especially the research techniques, including DNA of course, have been extremely well received. I’ve learned that people love stories.
Thank you for the encouragement. This next week will be the 197th article in that series.
I encourage everyone to find a way to tell the story of your ancestors too. If you don’t, who will?
My Biggest Disappointment
I think my biggest disappointment has been that not enough people utilize the information readily available on the blog. By this, I mean that I see questions on Facebook in multiple groups every day that I’ve already written about and answered – sometimes multiple times in different ways.
This is where you can help. If you see questions like that, please feel free to share the love and post links to any articles. With roughly 12 million testers today and more before year end – there are going to be lots of questions.
Let’s make sure they receive accurate answers.
Please feel free to share and post links to any of my articles. That’s the purpose. You don’t need to ask permission.
If you would like to reproduce an article for any reason, please contact me directly.
Most of all, read, enjoy and learn. Encourage others to do so as well. The blog is free for everyone, but any support you choose to give by way of purchasing through affiliate links is greatly appreciated. It doesn’t cost you more, but a few cents comes my way from each purchase through an affiliate link to help support the blog.
I have a few articles in process, but I’d like to know what you’d like to see.
Do you have suggestions? Please leave them in the comments.
I’ve love to hear from you and I often write articles inspired by questions I receive.
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There’s so much available today – it’s a wonderful time to be a genealogist that’s using DNA. There used to be a difference between a genealogist and a genetic genealogist – but I think we’ve moved past that stage and every genealogist should be utilizing all aspects of DNA (Y, mitochondrial, autosomal and X) as tools.
Thank you for subscribing, following or however you read these articles. You’re an amazing audience. I’ve made the unexpected wonderful discovery that many of you are my cousins as well.
Thanks to you, I’ve unraveled mysteries I never thought would be solved. I’ve visited ancestral homelands as a result of your comments and assistance. I’ve met amazing people. Yes, that means YOU!
I’m extremely grateful. I started this blog to help other people, never imagining how much it would help me too.
I love writing for you, my extended family.
Enjoy and Happy Ancestor Hunting!
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