Top DNA Articles for 2018

2018 Top 10

It’s always interesting to look at the most popular articles at DNA-Explained at the end of each year. Out of millions of page views, these are the Top 10 in 2018, with the * indicating articles that were in the 2017 Top 10 list as well. If you missed some, now’s a good time to catch up or to share with friends.

*Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA
*Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages
*Which DNA Test is Best?
Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them is in You?
*Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum
*How Much Indian Do I Have in Me?
Autosomal DNA Transfers – Which Companies Accept Which Tests?
Concepts – Percentage of Ancestors’ DNA
X Marks the Spot
*Mythbusting – Women, Fathers and DNA

Spread the Word – What You Can do to Help!

The purpose of writing articles is to educate people who have taken genetic genealogy tests along with providing motivation for potential testers.

With more and more companies performing tests, and record numbers of people testing – there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation out there.

You can help by spreading the word.

If you see a question and know that I wrote about that topic, you can enter key words into the search box at the top of any blog page to find the article.

You can always share the links to articles on social media, with friends and at genealogy meetings. If you want to share the actual text of the article in more than a summary fashion or relatively short excerpts (with attribution), as in a reprint, please check with me first – but as for links – please share away. You don’t need to ask first. Sharing is the purpose of writing these articles.

Educating others with credible information helps all of us have a better experience.

What Would You Like in 2019?

To some extent, I maintain a list of articles that I’d like to write at any given point in time. My candidate list always seems to be longer than the time I have, but I do try to prioritize the topics based on, in no particular order:

  • Discoveries in my research
  • Industry happenings
  • The need
  • Reader requests

So, given that criteria, what topics would you like to see me cover in 2019? I’m also open to suggestions during the year as well. In fact, this article is in response to a reader’s “wish.”

Please post your suggestions in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!



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19 thoughts on “Top DNA Articles for 2018

    • I had a DNA testing by CRI.
      I understood nothing that they did. Their results made no sense to me.
      For me it was a waste of money.

  1. I would love an article comparing the different 3rd party tools available; what they can do, when to use them to answer what question(s). I find all but GedMatch a bit confusing right now.

    • You’re not alone in that respect. Right now, there are new features being introduced so fast that anything comparative I would write would be out of date in days. I’ve been trying to cover the new tools as they are introduced, but I’ve fallen behind on even that. If they settle a bit, I will do that.

  2. Hi Roberta! I would love to see you write about the partnership between Findmypast and Living DNA. I have a 100% Irish father, and a half Irish, half German mother. I know exactly where the paternal component of my Irish ancestry comes from, and am trying to pinpoint where the maternal part comes from. Findmypast states that they have regional breakdowns available for Irish testers. I took the test at LivingDNA, which makes the claim that their results are the most accurate of all of the testing companies. They are also the most expensive. I have tested at three of the BIG companies, with a family member testing at the fourth. My results from LivingDNA were absurd. I won’t bore you with the details. Also, they had no regional Irish breakdowns, no cousins for me (most of my Irish relatives live in Ireland and England), and claimed they had very few Irish testers, so could not provide regional breakdowns. I am trying to work through this with the two companies. I am just wondering if you or any of your readers have had poor experiences with them. So far, it has been a big waste of money for me.


  3. Can you please review the two supposedly free complete sequencing programs from Nebula Genomics and the NIH Funded All of Us?

  4. Would you ever write anything about health genetics? There is also a big need for education there. Many people use wrong and over-conclude. I try to write something on Reddit, but I don’t think I can write as well as you. I would love to work tigethrr if you are interested.

  5. Those articles had the most age views, I gather. Which had the most comments? Are they mostly the same? Maybe comments reflect a different interest than views. Does one reflect more interest and the other more controversy?

    • Yes, that’s the greatest number of page views. Many comments are questions. Some are educational themselves. Very few are controversial. WordPress does not have a function to be able to see the highest number of comments per post per year, or even the highest number of comments per post over all time, so I really can’t answer that question.

  6. Request for article: The Big Tree at which, despite its Introduction, is apparently no longer limited to R-P312 and R-U106. Have read that the intake side, the Y-DNA Data Warehouse, now accepts yDNA from NGS tests for any haplogroup, not just R. The Tree and the [SNP] Mutation Matrix are helpful when trying to interest others in Big Y or FGC testing.

  7. When I was a DNA genealogy newbie a few years back, lost in the wilderness with that deer-in-the-headlights look, I found an aptly named blog called DNAeXplained and I was off and running with my education in this fascinating subject . I can honestly say that most of what I know about the use of DNA in genealogy I learned here. I will be forever grateful and refer my new matches here all the time to help them begin to understand what DNA testing is all about. I find, though, that over the years the site has grown so much (a good thing!!) that it’s hard to tell them where to start. My suggestion is not so much for a new article, but maybe a “New to DNA?” button at the top of the homepage with links to a collection of your most basic newbie oriented articles. This blog is a gold mine but all that is available is perhaps a bit overwhelming to the novice. A few easy to find gold nuggets in one place to start them on their journey might be worthwhile.

  8. Getting started with organization and workflow routines. What are the different “routine” workflows you have seen for self and others that seem to work really well without getting lost in the trees of the electronic forest?

    What are the main things to do to a “new matches list” when you get that email? Do you keep a csv list updated weekly by company, or all-in-one? What headers seem necessary (besides name, m/p, #, stop, start, cm, snps) on a spreadsheet? Does a certain folder system help? What neat ideas have you heard from others?

    What workarounds does one suggest for the non-GEDmatch matches?
    Any special ideas for dealing with Ancestry matches, as I hear they don’t give out chromosome data?

    To me, structure is important in keeping my mind on track and not to miss clues.

    Next: Yes, tools. With many charging a “small fee”, these can really add up, so knowing the cutting edge items would be great.

    Next: Visual clustering tools we can manipulate and add/remove matches ourselves; a comparison.

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