I’ve been writing about DNA is every shape and form for approaching 8 years now, offering more than 1200 free (key word seachable) articles.
First, thank you for being loyal subscribers or finding my articles and using them to boost your genealogy research with the power of DNA.
You may not know this, but many of my articles stem from questions that blog readers ask, plus my own genealogical research stumbling-blocks, of course.
DNAeXplain articles have accumulated literally millions and millions of page views, generating more than 38,000 approved comments. Yes, I read and approve (or not) every single comment. No, I do not have “staff” to assist. Staff consists of some very helpful felines who would approve any comment with the word catnip😊
More than twice that number of comments were relegated to spam. That’s exactly why I approve each one personally.
Looking at your favorites, I’ve discovered that some of these articles have incredible staying power, meaning that people access them again and again. Given their popularity and usefulness, please feel free to share by linking or forwarding to your friends and genealogy groups.
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You didn’t realize it, but every time you click, you’re voting.
So, which articles are reader favorites? Remember that older articles have had more time to accumulate views.
I’ve noted the all-time ranking along with the 2019 ranking.
Starting with number 10, you chose:
- Number 10 all-time, did not place in top 10 in 2019: Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum – Published in 2016 – How ethnicity testing works – and why sometimes it doesn’t work like people expect it will.
Ethnicity results from DNA testing. Fascinating. Intriguing. Frustrating. Exciting. Fun. Challenging. Mysterious. Enlightening. And sometimes wrong. These descriptions all fit. Welcome to your personal conundrum! The riddle of you! If you’d like to understand why your ethnicity results might not have … Continue reading →
- Number 9 all time and number 4 in 2019: How Much Indian Do I Have in Me? – Published in 2015 – This article explains how to convert that family story into an expected percentage.
I can’t believe how often I receive this question. Here’s today’s version from Patrick. “My mother had 1/8 Indian and my grandmother on my father’s side was 3/4, and my grandfather on my father’s side had 2/3. How much would … Continue reading →
- Number 8 all-time, did not place in top 10 in 2019: 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy – Published in 2012 – Short, basic and THE article I refer people to most often to understand DNA for genealogy.
Let’s talk about the different “kinds” of DNA and how they can be used for genetic genealogy. It used to be simple. When this “industry” first started, in the year 2000, you could test two kinds of DNA and it was … Continue reading →
- Number 7 all-time and number 9 in 2019: Thick Hair, Small Boobs, Shovel Shaped Teeth, and More – Published in 2013 – These traits found in East Asian people are often found in Native American people as well.
Yep, there’s a gene for these traits, and more. The same gene, named EDAR (short for Ectodysplasin receptor EDARV370A), it turns out, also confers more sweat glands and distinctive teeth and is found in the majority of East Asian people. This is one … Continue reading →
- Number 6 all-time, did not place in top 10 in 2019: What is a Haplogroup? – Published in 2013 – One of the first questions people ask about Y and mitochondrial DNA is about haplogroups.
Sometimes we’ve been doing genetic genealogy for so long we forget what it’s like to be new. I’m reminded, sometimes humorously, by some of the questions I receive. When I do DNA Reports for clients, each person receives a form to … Continue reading
- Number 5 all-time and number 10 in 2019: X Marks the Spot – Published in 2012 – This article explains how to use the X chromosome for genealogy and its unique inheritance path.
When using autosomal DNA, the X chromosome is a powerful tool with special inheritance properties. Many people think that mitochondrial DNA is the same as the X chromosome. It’s not. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited maternally, only. This means that mothers … Continue reading →
- Number 4 all-time, did not place in top 10 in 2019: Ethnicity Results – True or Not? – Published in 2013 – Are your ethnicity results accurate? How can you know, and why might your percentages reflect something different than you expect?
I can’t even begin to tell you how many questions I receive that go something like this: “I received my ethnicity results from XYZ. I’m confused. The results don’t seem to align with my research and I don’t know what … Continue reading →
- Number 3 all-time and number 1 in 2019: Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages – Published in 2017 – With the huge number of ethnicity testers, it’s no surprise that the most popular article discussed how those percentages are calculated.
There has been a lot of discussion about ethnicity percentages within the genetic genealogy community recently, probably because of the number of people who have recently purchased DNA tests to discover “who they are.” Testers want to know specifically if ethnicity percentages are right … Continue reading →
- Number 2 all-time, did not place in top 10 in 2019: Which DNA Test is Best? – Published in 2017 – A comprehensive review of the tests and major vendors in the genetic genealogy testing space. The answer is that your testing goals determine which test is best. This article aligns goals with tests.
If you’re reading this article, congratulations. You’re a savvy shopper and you’re doing some research before purchasing a DNA test. You’ve come to the right place. The most common question I receive is asking which test is best to purchase. There is … Continue reading →
- Number 1 all-time and number 2 in 2019: Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA – Published in 2012 – How to prove Native American heritage remains the single most frequent question I receive.
Every day, I receive e-mails very similar to this one. “My family has always said that we were part Native American. I want to prove this so that I can receive help with money for college.” The reasons vary, and … Continue reading →
Five articles ranked in the top 10 in 2019 that aren’t in the top all-time 10 articles. Two were just published in 2019.
- Number 8 for 2019: Migration Pedigree Chart – Published in 2016 – This fun article illustrates how to create a pedigree charting focused on the locations of your ancestors.
Paul Hawthorne started a bit of a phenomenon, whether he meant to or not, earlier this week on Facebook, when he created a migration map of his own ancestors using Excel to reflect his pedigree chart. You can view … Continue reading →
- Number 7 for 2019: X Chromosome Matching at Family Tree DNA – Published in 2014 – This initial rollout article about Family Tree DNA’s X matching should be read in conjunction with the article, Who Tests the X Chromosome which provides additional information.
Just as they promised, and right on schedule, Family Tree DNA today announced X chromosome matching. They have fully integrated X matching into their autosomal Family Finder product matching. This will be rolling live today. Happy New Year from Family … Continue reading →
- Number 6 for 2019: Full or Half Siblings – Published in April 2019 – Want to know how to determine the difference between full and half siblings? This is it.
Many people are receiving unexpected sibling matches. Every day on social media, “surprises” are being reported so often that they are no longer surprising – unless of course you’re the people directly involved and then it’s very personal, life-altering and you’re … Continue reading →
- Number 5 for 2019: Ancestry’s ThruLines Dissected: How to Use and Not get Bit by the ‘Gators – Published in March 2019 – Instructions for using ThruLines, a tool released by Ancestry in February 2019.
Ancestry’s new tool, ThruLines has some good features and a lot of potential, but right now, there are a crop of ‘gators in the swimmin’ hole – just waiting for the unwary. Here’s help to safely navigate the waters and … Continue reading →
- Number 3 for 2019: Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them is in You? – Published in 2017 – Want to know how much of great-grandma’s DNA you carry – and why you might or might not carry that exact amount? This article is for you.
One of the most common questions I receive, especially in light of the interest in ethnicity testing, is how much of an ancestor’s DNA someone “should” share. The chart above shows how much of a particular generation of ancestors’ DNA … Continue reading →
Taking a look at a summary chart is interesting. From my perspective, I never expected the “Thick Hair, Small Boobs” article to be so popular.
“Which DNA Test is Best?” ranked #2 all time, but not in the 2019 top 10. I wonder if that is a function of the market softening a bit, or of fewer people researching before purchasing.
I was surprised that 5 of the top 10 all-time were not in the top 10 of 2019.
Conversely, I’m equally as surprised that 3 of the older 2019 articles not in the all-time top 10.
I’m very glad these older articles continue to be useful, and I do update them periodically, especially if I notice they are accessed often.
|Article||All-time Top 10||2019 Top 10|
|Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum||10||0|
|How Much Indian Do I Have in Me?||9||4|
|4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy||8||0|
|Thick Hair, Small Boobs, Shovel Shaped Teeth, and More||7||9|
|What is a Haplogroup?||6||0|
|X Marks the Spot||5||10|
|Ethnicity Results – True or Not?||4||0|
|Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages||3||1|
|Which DNA Test is Best?||2||0|
|Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA||1||2|
|Migration Pedigree Chart||0||8|
|X Chromosome Matching at Family Tree DNA||0||7|
|Full or Half Siblings||Published in 2019||6|
|Ancestry’s ThruLines Dissected: How to Use and Not get Bit by the ‘Gators||Published in 2019||5|
|Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them is in You?||0||3|
What Would You Like to See in 2020?
Given that your questions are often my inspiration, what articles would you like to see in 2020?
Are there topics you’d like to see covered? (Sorry, I don’t know the name of your great-great-grandfather’s goat.)
Burning questions you’d like to have answered? (No, I don’t know why there is air.)
Something you’ve been wishing for? (Except maybe for the 1890 census.)
Leave a comment and let me know. (Seriously😊)
I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2020 and hope you’ll come along!
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Thank you so much.
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