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.

212 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I think that the idea of “Asian” for many people is China and the surrounding areas. They forget that Asia is the largest continent in the world and includes many other areas such as Russia and the Middle East (i.e., Middle East Asia).

    The boundaries of Asia are traditionally determined as that of Eurasia, as there is no significant geographical separation between Asia and Europe. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas.[4] It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

    Here is a list of some of the countries that are in Asia:

    * WEST ASIA – Isreal, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and all other Arabic nations.

    * CENTRAL ASIA – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia.

    * SOUTH ASIA – Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India.

    * SOUTH EAST ASIA – Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indoneisa, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Philippines.

    * NORTH EAST ASIA – Mongolia, Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea.

    As you can see, many of these countries are near, share borders with, or share shipping/trade routes with Europe.

    If you are talking about Y-DNA, you have to remember that goes back further than a paper genealogy trail can go, PLUS, you have to remember that populations of people were not static and moved to find a better life, moved into an area to conquer more land, or had families with natives of areas where there were shipping/trade routes.

    • Wow, thank you for your extensive reply. My paternal great uncle’s Ancestry DNA results showed a trace region of 3% from Caucacus. Could this be where the Haplogroup came from?

  2. So interesting, my relatives come from Central Asia and maybe from Eastern Asia. My maternal grandparents were from Ukraine. I haven’t been on this site for over a year and have my DNA analysis from 23andMe at being Caucasian but I don’t know the percentage and also from Eastern European. Now what Haplogroup is it that you are from, mine is T2b3 and would like to communicate with you..

  3. Hi I’m not sure if my earlier comment posted or not but here it goes again…23 and me DNA report stated I am 36% Native American and my haplo group is C1D. How accurate is this report and is this haplo group extremely rare? Thanks in advance

  4. Hello Roberta –

    I be reading about this because lately I have have been running into “Get relatives tested!”. Unfortunately, i am the only one interested in genealogy alive today, in my family. I am sure my brother and my parents would do it, but unfortunately they have “moved on”. My brother’s ashes are still available (provided the “Wicked Witch of the North” would lend access to them.) I do have two sisters and some cousins and a second cousin (who is into genealogy) but I do not know how much their DNA would offer.

    What would you recommend I do? Have have had all three of mine done for sometime now.

    Thanks, Jim

    • Absolutely test your two sisters and your second cousin. Your sisters will both carry part of your parents DNA that you don’t, so it will help immensely in terms of matching. Your second cousins will too. If you match your second cousin and someone else on the same segment, for example, you’ll know the match came from that line in the family.

  5. Hi–I am trying to help someone get into the DAR. We were wondering if you have a Will for Jacob, son of Henry who married Elizabeth Inksell? I would hope that the will would show son Peter. Thanks in advance! (past Registrar, Major James Kerr Chapter, DAR, Kerrville, TX

  6. I am finding a number of “fairly significant” matches (i.e., 20-30 cM) for which the MRCA seems to be of early German/Dutch ancestry in Albany NY, most of whom were born somewhere between 1615-1630. I have DNA tests results from siblings, first, second, third, fourth cousins — and even a couple of 9th cousins, who also share matches with these people. My only portal to this group is through who I think is my 2rd great-grandmother (this is what I’m trying to establish). Help me make sense of this please!

    Thanks,
    Nancy A

  7. Hi, Roberta, I think i would be useful if you could post, in “About Me,” your autosomal account usernames on 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA, and your kit number on GEDmatch — assuming as I suppose that you have all these.

    In particular, as I have some Millers who were Brethren in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s, there’s always that odd chance. Just for reference, my GEDmatch kit is A213425

  8. I’m posting here because I couldn’t find a email address for you. I’ve just started playing with the new maternal and paternal matching in FTDNA and am wondering what you think of it. I know you wrote a blog entry on it but I don’t recall mention of how good a job you thought it was doing, Its a propitiatory algorithm so I’m wondering if there’s any way to gauge how accurate a job its doing. As I understanding things its basically phasing with first cousins as well as more immediate relatives to form its judgments.

  9. I’m posting here because I couldn’t find an email address for you. I’ve been reading your blog for some time. If you haven’t already read it, I’d like to recommend the 2010 New York Times Bestseller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloots. It reads like a detective novel, but I thought most relevant to you and what I’ve read on your blog would be the discussion in the Afterword talking about the use of human biological materials in scientific research – very necessary, of course, but can there be reform in how people are informed? Of course, things have changed since then, such as the U.S. Supreme Court 2013 ruling that genes can’t be patented (that DNA ”is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated), but much still needs to be resolved.

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