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.

319 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I’ve been using DNA painter to map out cousins listed at MyHeritage. On chromosome 15 I noticed 35 cousins starting at 20,004,966 with short matches between 15 – 25 cM. What could that mean?

    • In some cases, they may be accurate, and in some cases they maybe noise. It’s helpful to test other family members to see if they have the same occurrence on the same chromosome which increases the likelihood that it’s accurate.

  2. Hi Roberta, I’ve made some tests at FTDNA (waiting for the BigY now) and I’d like to fully (or nearly) understand all the mechanics of haplogroups and SNPs. I see that there are many groups with many associated SNPs (R1b-M269 has 97 or so). A haplogroup should be defined by one SNP, right? Having so many SNP means that all but one correspond to groups further down the tree that are not yet defined, right? But … 97? It’s a bit confusing to me.
    Can you shed a little light on this subject please? Thanks in advance.

  3. Hi Roberta,
    Your articles have been a recent godsend as I’m quickly learning as much as I can to address a family situation. I’m wondering if you know how accurate transfers from Ancestry DNA to Family TreeDNA are? My father was contacted by a woman who believes he is her father as she matched with his uncle (apparently he matched as her great uncle but this is not yet confirmed) on AncestryDNA. To confirm we had her upload her raw data to Family Tree DNA where my father already had an account and results. According to Family Tree DNA her and my father are 3rd-5th cousins with Shared Centimorgans(cM): 102, and Longest Block(cM): 15. Does this confirm that he is not her father? Wouldn’t they share roughly 3600cMs? This was not sufficient evidence for her, and we are concerned about it being a potential scam(ish) attempt.

    Thank you for any help or insight!

    • Generally, the match would be closer, but the tests at Ancestry after May of 2016 are only about 20% compatible. This doesn’t sound plausible, especially if she tested before that time. If she tested later, on the V4 chip, I would suggest that she retest on the Family Tree DNA platform. I still think it sounds very unlikely.

  4. I am perhaps a bit on the dense side here and think that I will ask what sort of approach would be best in terms of my goals. I have the DNA results, on GEDmatch, for my three siblings and a niece of my father.

    I would like to do two things: 1) combine the DNA of all the children of my parents so that I don’t have to do multiple searches to find matches….as in one stop shopping and 2) separate out the DNA from both parents because my mothers family has been in the country since the colonial days while my fathers line entered the US in 1850. That seems to result in my being swamped with maternal matches….but I am not sure of that. Thus, I want to rule out my maternal line matches all in one fell swoop.

  5. Do you know the name of the program or the website it’s on that let’s you compare two scenarios of how someone is related to you after you enter match details? It tells you the probability between them.

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