This wasn’t exactly how I had in mind to convey these news items, but you know that saying, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans,”? Well, let’s just say it’s one of those weeks/months and years.
So, this article is going to be short and sweet, and I promise a more detailed article in a few days.
However, you need at least some of this info ASAP, so here it is in its rather unrefined raw state.
- Ancestry Tagging Script
- Ancestry Acquisition Update
- Summer Sales
- MyHeritage Sale
- FamilyTreeDNA Sale
- DNAPainter Free Newsletter
- New Ancient Ancestor
Ancestry Tagging Script (to Save Your Sanity)
You might need to be at least somewhat comfortable with computers for this to work and it doesn’t work on a tablet or iPad, but does work on a Mac.
I have the latest version of both Chrome and Edge browsers installed on a relatively new computer with lots of memory. For me, the script works best on Edge and in the middle of the night when Ancestry’s servers are less busy. Still, I can’t seem to get below my 6.2 cM matches without the script or Ancestry bombing. It doesn’t help any that my internet service has been flaky this week too.
The author recommends Firefox. (Update. I’ve installed Firefox and it’s running like a champ.)
Print these out, read them thoroughly, and follow them step by step.
Here’s a link to the script on GitHub: https://github.com/lrf1/ancestry_scripts/blob/master/ancestry_dnsmatches_grouptagger_v2.js
Here’s a YouTube video about how to use the script: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnqGChJL0kw&fbclid=IwAR04iTVzcaKF8YJx2ewX_2rMEXQFaFaNIW5YfPQMlJYG6yfd1U6NvCN47Vc
Individual tweaking is required.
In my case, I have named the group where I want my 6-8 cM matches saved “1saved.” I selected that name because the 1 locates it near the top and I’ll know what’s there.
Following Roger’s instructions, 1saved should be row 3, but I had to enter row “2” in the script to get the matches to save to the group 1saved.
// MODIFY THE FOLLOWING LINES AS NEEDED
var groupTitle = “1saved“;
var groupRow = 2;
Regardless, the script works, and truthfully, all I really care about is that these matches are preserved.
My biggest problem occurs after the script bombs the first few times, and it will – you’ll need to restart it. Until the script manages to work its way to the location in the file, which is increasing further down in the scrolling, where it discovers matches to be tagged, I must re-enter and re-enter the script to reinitiate the searching.
This is by NO MEANS a complaint because I’m very grateful for this free tool. It’s just an observation that I hope will help you too. Having said that, I can’t tell you how many surnames like Bolton, my grandmother’s birth surname, Estes and Vannoy by various spellings, my great-grandmother’s surname I’ve seen scroll past as they are being tagged. There’s gold in those matches.
Furthermore, many people are reporting successes now that they’re actually looking at these smaller matches. If half of these are identical by chance, or false positives, that means half are NOT false and you need to use your analytical skills to figure out which is which.
Someone asked me earlier if I know anyone who will run the script or tag on behalf of someone else. I don’t, but you could ask on any number of Facebook groups, specifically the AncestryDNA Matching group or the ISOGG group.
If you’re NOT going to use the script, I recommend the following methodology to save at least some of your highest quality matches that are most likely to be relevant.
Select both “Common Ancestors” and “Shared DNA.” Enter the levels of shared DNA you want to view, meaning 6-6 or 6-7 or 7-7, which will display all of your matches where a potentially shared ancestor has been identified (ThruLine.)
This won’t save anyplace near all of your 6-8 cM matches, but it will save the potentially most beneficial.
Note that Ancestry has stated they are delaying the purge until “late August,” but I’m seeing multiple people report that their 6-8 cM matches are already gone, so if you want to save them, one way or another, don’t delay.
Ancestry Acquisition Update
Ancestry’s announced acquisition by Blackstone Group, which I wrote about here, has raised questions about privacy. An article this week in Vice quotes both an Ancestry and Blackstone spokesperson on the topic who say that Blackstone will not have access to user data nor will it be shared with Blackstone’s portfolio companies.
Summer Sales Have Arrived
Late summer always ushers in summer DNA sales.
MyHeritage is on sale for $49, here and has a significant customer base in Europe where most of my ancestors originated.
Regardless of where you’ve tested, having family members in the same database makes your own test so much more valuable because many of your matches will match family members too. I’m in all of the databases, and several of my family members are as well.
The MyHeritage DNA kit is on sale right now for $49 and free shipping with 2 or more.
Don’t forget that if you’ve tested elsewhere, you can transfer to MyHeritage for free and pay just $29 to unlock the advanced tools, such as Theories of Family Relativity, or subscribe to the full records package and the unlock is free.
- Click here to order a DNA test.
- Click here to upload your DNA data file from another vendor, or click here for step-by-step transfer instructions.
- Click here for a free trial subscription to the MyHeritage genealogical records package.
Family Tree DNA Sale
Family Tree DNA offers their Family Finder autosomal test, but additionally, they offer Y and mitochondrial DNA testing and matching which provide insights you can’t obtain with autosomal DNA testing alone.
- Y DNA is for males only and tests the direct paternal (surname) line.
- Mitochondrial DNA is for both men and women and tests your direct matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, her mother, etc.
If you’ve already tested at a lower level, you can upgrade.
If you know what you want, go right ahead and order.
Early in the week, I’ll publish an article that shows how to locate people at each testing company who are appropriately descended from your ancestor whose Y DNA or mitochondrial DNA results you’d like to have.
This sale runs through the end of August, so you have time to search out and find people to ask if they’d be willing to test. Of course, if you already know people appropriately descended, by all means, ask them and get a kit on order. I generally offer a DNA testing scholarship so that the $$ factor is removed from my request. It makes it easier for them to say yes. If they agree, I add a Family Finder test too. I believe in striking while the iron is hot.
If you’d like to read about the different kinds of DNA testing, the article 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy is great to share with others as well.
- Click here if you’d like to order or upgrade.
Free DNAPainter Newsletter
I received an email this week from Jonny Perl at DNAPainter, one of my favorite tools, and he’s now offering a free monthly newsletter with tips on how to use DNAPainter. You can sign up here. I certainly did.
I’ve written extensively about DNAPainter, here.
New Ancient Mystery Ancestor
Guess what, you may have a new mystery ancestor. How cool is this??!!
LiveScience reported this week that scientists have detected traces of an earlier human ancestor in Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA. That ancient ancestor existed 200,000-300,000 years ago, in Africa, leaving and intermixing with the Neanderthals then living in the Middle East or elsewhere outside of Africa, but before the move to Europe.
You can read the PLOS article, here.
I don’t know about you, but I find this absolutely fascinating.
Enough news for now, although I’ve probably forgotten something.
Order a DNA test, find an ancestor, subscribe to the DNAPainter newsletter, and enjoy summer, safely.
I’ll see you later this week with an article about how to search for family members, in particular Y and mitochondrial DNA carriers that represent your ancestral lines. You never know what critical information is waiting just to be discovered.
I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.
Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA – ancestry autosomal DNA only, not health
- MyHeritage DNA plus Health
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload – transfer your results from other vendors free
- AncestryDNA – autosomal DNA only
- 23andMe Ancestry – autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software – genealogy software for your computer
- Charting Companion – Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – professional genealogy research