New Family Tree DNA Holiday Coupons – And Why Test Y DNA

Y DNA testing carries a great deal of potential – for males. Why just for males? Because the Y chromosome is passed to sons, only, from the father. The Y chromosome is what makes males male. Females receive an X chromosome from their father instead of a Y.

This means that while men can easily test for Y chromosome results, women can’t. Women have to find a male of the surname line they are interested in to test on their behalf. If their father or brothers are living, finding a willing male for their birth name can be fairly easy, but in some cases, one has to go back up the tree a generation or two, and come back down another line to find a living male from your surname line to test.

y-dna-search

In this example, if the female in red wants to test her Estes line, and green cells represent living Estes males, she would have to go up the tree to the third generation, Lazarus, and come back down three generations through son Charlie to find a living male.

Let’s say that living male Estes either can’t be found or isn’t interested in testing. To find another male, she would have to go up the tree another generation to John Y. Estes and come down through son Reagan where there are two generations of living Estes males.

That didn’t work either? Go up another generation and come down through son Jechonas to living male, William.

Why would someone be so interested in testing surname lines?

You can learn a lot.

  • You can confirm that the person who tests actually descends from the expected surname line. Of course, this assumes two things. First, that others from that line have already tested and second, that the tester actually IS descended from that line. Sometimes males who carry the same surname have different ancestral lines. And sometimes, well, surprises are waiting to be found, meaning sometimes people aren’t descended from who they think they are.
  • Testers receive a haplogroup designation which reaches back to ancient times. Haplogroups tell you, for example, if your ancestor was European, Native American, Jewish, African, or Asian. With additional testing, you can discover more specific information about haplogroups, but that requires testing that can’t be performed until after your haplogroup is discovered through regular testing.
  • You receive your matches at each level of testing. If you test at 37 markers for example, you receive a list of matches at 37 markers, at 25 markers and at 12 markers. I recommend testing at 67 or 111 markers if possible, because those tests refine your matches even further.
  • You receive a “Matches Map” that shows the locations of the oldest known ancestors of your matches.
  • You receive a migration map, showing the path your ancient ancestors took to arrive where they are found today in the world.

There are more tools and information too. You can see, below, all of the available information for Y DNA testers on your Family Tree DNA personal home page.

y-dna-options-2

As a female, I can’t test for even one Y line, but I can surely sponsor tests for men who do descend from my ancestral lines. I try to discover the genetic information for each of my lines. You never know what surprises may be lurking.

I have created a DNA pedigree chart where I record the haplogroup information for each of my ancestral lines.

DNA Pedigree

When my cousins test for Y or mitochondrial lines, I also sponsor a Family Finder test, hoping that our autosomal DNA still matches, even though we are some generations removed from each other.

I try to find a male who has tested, or who will test, for each of my ancestral Y lines. You don’t know what you don’t know – and DNA testing is part of the reasonably exhaustive search required by the GPS, the Genealogical Proof Standard.

So, give yourself a gift this holiday season and test your Y DNA. If you don’t have the Y DNA for the line you want to test, find someone who does. Spread the holiday cheer and take advantage of the great sale prices, AND coupons too.

Coupons

It’s Monday, and Family Tree DNA has issued this week’s coupons. As always, first come, first served with the coupons from the kits that my cousin Jim and I manage. A big thank you to Jim for adding his to the list, bringing the total to 80 available for you to choose from.

Click here to redeem the coupons, or to discover the value of your own coupon on your account. If you don’t want to use your coupon, please feel free to list the coupon code and what it applies to in the comments.

Coupon # Good for What
R19ZIUYF3V7J $10 Off MTDNA
R197MY8BNWJN $10 Off MTDNA
R199CLXSRPNT $10 Off MTDNA
R19VU134X7SY $10 Off MTDNA
R19RTA2UG14Z $10 Off MTDNA
R19OPM6ADSDW $10 Off MTDNA
R19TP5E566LK $10 Off MTDNA
R19CHVEGFORJ $10 Off MTDNA
R19IQER6CJP5 $10 Off MTDNA
R19MM1HH68T1 $10 Off MTDNA
R19ORLHXESRQ $10 Off MTDNA
R19JBQ9FLBVP $10 Off MTDNA
R19J486W13PL $10 Off MTDNA
R199QT41S5M7 $10 Off MTDNA
R19CFSQK1EIY $10 off mtDNA
R191BL3UE956 $10 Off MTDNA
R19HWR0EHR8B $10 Off MTDNA
R19SSLCS7KCL $10 Off MTDNA
R19ZGJCGYL5E $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19R4VNQU2VS $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19OHAM8MQQJ $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19UAO87L4UI $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19RYRLJ4NET $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19D9AGHJ2OY $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R192TTQ13K5W $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19Q9HGY7O41 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19ST6EN1Z4Z $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19R3XOJMV5O $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19CO2QP2D6G $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19PE5WPHG53 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R198U4N58UQG $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19IK9PQ8TL8 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19W90R0K8SI $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R192S97QA7QB $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19THF7PT8BG $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19PCRH9LYLJ $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R195PFAG4P5S $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19BL5W5XYST $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19GRCLECO77 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R195249FEKO8 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19LLKGWUW0Q $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R199GT35D7QN $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1915P4KMD1N $20 off MTDNA
R19ZNR916FS6 $20 off MTDNA
R18THPT2WI75 $20 off MTDNA
R19HEK8D5Z1C $20 off MTDNA
R192DEX0FXNP $20 off mtFull
R19TFY99ZX3F $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19O6AOSD1V7 $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19MOU9JF2XZ $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19R6Q914SEJ $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R195O1G80Y0K $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R19M8OVT75US $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R196KRZ6CI1C $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R197LBY38EFJ $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R19BNMBXJC6O $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R1963HTW3L4V $40 Off MTFULL
R19XAW5WBDMV $40 Off MTFULL
R19SBCZHRNET $40 Off MTFULL
R19D5XSEXSSN $40 Off MTFULL
R19MBATF5XGR $40 Off MTFULL
R19X0XP3U5LT $40 Off MTFULL
R19TZ8HI3PXN $40 Off MTFULL
R1901DPR0CXK $40 Off Y DNA 67
R19HCX58PM6V $40 Off Y DNA 67
R19NDO6MSHMU $40 Off Y-DNA 111
R19BC459ZCXZ $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R193MFZ2LUC8 $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R19HMYUP14D8 $5 Off Family Finder
R19AUCQG9HKN $5 Off Family Finder
R19OR90H0JQQ $5 Off Family Finder
R19KV8W6DDJI $50 Off Big Y
R19DX9MOEY30 $50 Off Big Y
R19O6PGTOY5L $50 Off Big Y
R19J4G4FM3IQ $50 Off Big Y
R19XO427F7OU $50 Off Big Y
R19PX9UDPTWS $50 Off Big Y
R19WAP9OLRC9 $50 Off Big Y
R19S7X0EA91E $60 off Y DNA 111

New Family Tree DNA Holiday Coupons – And Why the Big Y

holiday-lights

Each week during the holiday season, Family Tree DNA issues new coupons on Monday. These coupons are redeemable on top of the holiday sale prices, already in effect.

As I’ll be doing each week, I’ve listed my coupons available to redeem from kits that I manage.

But first, want to talk briefly about one particular type of DNA that is tested, and why one might want to order that particular test.

I’ve seen questions this past week about the Big Y test, so let’s talk about this test today.

The Big Y Test

The questions I’ve seen recently about the Big Y mostly revolve around why the test isn’t listed among the sale prices shown on the Family Tree DNA main page.

The Big Y test is not an entry level test. The tests shown on the Family Tree DNA main page are entry level and can be ordered by anyone, at least so long as the Y DNA tests are ordered for males. (Females don’t have a Y chromosome, so Y tests won’t work for them.)

The Big Y test is an upgrade for a male who has already taken the regular 37, 67 or 111 STR (short tandem repeat) marker test. For those who are unfamiliar, STR markers are used in a genealogically relevant timeframe to match other men to search for a common recent ancestor and are the type of markers used for 37, 67 and 111 marker tests.

SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) are used to determine haplogroups, which reflect deep ancestry and reach significantly further back in time.

Haplogroups are predicted for each participant based on the STR test results, and Family Tree DNA’s prediction routines are very accurate, but the haplgroup can only be confirmed by SNP testing. These two tests are testing different types of DNA mutations. I wrote about the difference here.

Different SNPs are tested to confirm different haplogroups, so you must have your STR results back with the prediction before you can order SNP tests.

The Big Y is the granddaddy of SNP testing, because it doesn’t directly test each SNP location, and there are thousands, but scans virtually the entire Y chromosome to cover in essence all known SNPs. Better yet, the Big Y looks for previously unknown or unnamed SNPs. In other words, this test is a test of discovery, not just a test of confirmation.

Many SNPS are either unknown or as yet unnamed and unplaced on the haplotree, meaning the Y DNA tree of mankind for the Y chromosome. The only way we discover new SNPs is to run a test of discovery. Hence, the Big Y.

It’s fun to be on the frontier of this wonderfully personal science.

Applying the Big Y to Genealogy

In addition to defining and confirming the haplogroup, the Big Y test can be immensely informative in terms of ancestral roots. For example, we know that our Lentz line, found in Germany in the 1600s, matches the contemporary results of Burzyan Bashkir men, descendants of the Yamnaya. I wrote about this here, near the end of the article.

Even more amazing, we then discovered that our Lentz line actually shares mutations with ancient DNA recovered from Yamnaya culture burials from 3500 years ago from along the Volga River. You can read about that here, near the end of the article. This discovery, of course, could never have been made if the Big Y test had not been taken, and it was made by working with the haplogroup project administrators. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Sergey Malyshev for this discovery and the following tree documenting our genetic lineage.

JakobLenz Malyshev chart

Our family heritage now extends back into Russia, 3500 years ago, instead of stopping in Germany, 400 or 500 years ago. This huge historical leap could NEVER have been made without the Big Y test in conjunction with the projects and administrators at Family Tree DNA.

And I must say, I’m incredibly glad we didn’t wait to order this test, because Mr. Lentz, my cousin who tested, died unexpectedly, just a couple months later. His daughter, when informing me of his death, expressed her gratitude for the test, the articles and shared with me that he had taken both articles to Staples, had them printed and bound as gifts for family members this Christmas.

These gifts will be quite bittersweet for those family members, but his DNA legacy lives on, just as the DNA of our ancestors does inside each and every one of us.  He gave all Lentz descendants an incredible gift.

Purchasing the Big Y

If you or a kit you manage has already tested to 37 markers, you can order the Big Y test as an upgrade.  If they haven’t yet tested to 37 markers, you’ll need to order that test or upgrade first.

Every kit has an upgrade link that you can see in two places on your personal page.

upgrade-link

Click either of these links and you’ll be able to see which tests are available for you to purchase including upgrades.

upgrades-available

The sale prices are reflected on this page. Just click on the Big Y or whatever tests you wish to purchase.

If you have a coupon code, type it into this field where I’ve typed “Coupon Code” and then click on Apply.

upgrade-big-y-checkout

It’s worth noting that there are a couple $100 off coupons for the Big Y and some $75s and $50s too.

Coupons

Now, for this week’s list of coupons. As always, first come, first serve. These coupons expire on 12-4-2016 unless otherwise noted. Dates before 12-4 are a result of bonus coupons issued during the past week as coupons were used.

Please list any coupons you wish to share in the comments to this article.

Please note that these coupons, with the exception of the Big Y test, are for new kit orders only, not upgrades.

Remember to be cognizant of the number 1 versus the capital letter l, and the number zero versus the capital letter O.

Click here to redeem coupon codes below or to see what coupon codes await you on your account!!! Enjoy!

Coupon # Good for What
R186H23O1CJY $10 Off MTDNA
R18UFAYP9YP1 $10 Off MTDNA
R18CM684KFTG $10 Off MTDNA
R18QQOEDDC2W $10 Off MTDNA
R18B6EQTQNZO $10 Off MTDNA
R18N16ONSWUM $10 Off MTDNA
R18T3EGHSFSJ $10 Off MTDNA
R18DK57J883L $10 Off MTDNA
R18ZAODYZ5OS $10 Off MTDNA
R18G3OZQCHBR $10 Off MTDNA
R1859WUSWKWO $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18P6S4FJWOM $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18KOGLXRX7O $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R185G17XWT3R $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18RJ37YR49M $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18KDQDDADVB $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R186LQRI8DS2 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18QSZB7A86T $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18IU4DK5NGW $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18IK8GMDD8C $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18U9XCYU1HO $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18OM4SXOL16 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18AWCHIW45H $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R188VCTO38WC $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18AJXZEZEXC $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R155WBEMG99 $100 Off Big Y
R18HMGLKL4KG $100 Off Big Y
R1834VTG4CIF $20 Off MTDNA
R18TRKWO2MY9 $20 Off MTDNA
R18OUBCTA2KI $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18ZXDH7TAX7 $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18OX18NFXJE $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18AB7JDZ73O $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18XEKCN8GPH $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R18UUAEIVMG9 $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1813Q24LQA7 $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R1853SS3IIQP $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R18BQFEFNWSL $40 Off MTFULL
R18M96WZ4X5F $40 Off MTFULL
R18O73U6Y51O $40 Off MTFULL
R18S53W9HXBC $40 Off MTFULL
R157Y5N3USEH $40 Off MTFULL (until 12-3 only)
R189ZHFFPSU3 $40 Off Y-DNA 111
R18XO6Q76XP{N $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R187Y9BO9ODH $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R18OFGORCM7E $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R189HMHY3N9D $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R18DMEO59OVO $40 Off Y-DNA 67
R15QHJMX45W7 $50 off Big Y
R18MKLR7L32P $50 off Big Y
R15GVYGX51MI $50 Off Big Y (Until 12-1 only)
R18H467ILEKD $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R18AOZQU4XZG $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R18QO8WNQNOZ $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R186Z9BJDZEC $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R18HOPBNDKIL $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R188ODYMOO5P $75 Off Big Y
R15VBANUACFW 20% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R154JXYQPK6F 20% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111

Family Tree DNA 2016 Holiday Sale

An annual event we all look forward to, the Family Tree DNA Holiday sale is here with a new version of weekly gifts for everyone.

ftdna-holiday-2016

First, almost all of Family Tree DNA’s tests are on sale.

Family Finder and Bundles Regular Price Sale Price
Family Finder (for males and females) $79 $59
Family Finder + Y37 (males) $268 $188
Family Finder + Y67 (males) $367 $278
Comprehensive Genome (males) – Family Finder + Y 67 + mtDNA full sequence $566 $451.50
Family Finder +mitochondrial full sequence (males and females) $298 $228
Paternal (Male Only) Tests  
Y37 $169 $139
Y67 $268 $229
Y111 $359 $319
Big Y (Upgrade Only from Y Tests) $575 $525
Matrilineal (Male and Female) Tests  
MtDNA+ (HVR1+HVR2) $79 $79
mtFull Sequence (complete test) $199 $179

Additional Holiday Reward Coupon Savings

Second, there are additional “Holiday Reward” coupon savings e-mailed to every customer sometime after midnight Sunday Central Standard Time (meaning sometime on Monday) that provide additional savings on specific products. You can use these coupons on top of the sale prices to receive additional discounts – beginning with an extra $10 off.

If you don’t receive the e-mail right away, you can sign on to your account to see your coupon, at the top of your personal page with the green background that says “Holiday Reward.”  Be sure to check other accounts you manage as well.

ftdna-holiday-coupon

If you’re not going to use your coupons, you can share them by listing the amount and what they can be applied towards in the comments to this blog or by directly sending to someone via e-mail from your account.

Here’s my coupon for this week, and the first person to use it is welcome to the savings!.

ftdna-11-22-coupon

Furthermore, it gets better yet, because if you share your holiday rewards coupon, you will receive another coupon that may be better than the first one, depending on what you want to purchase – according to the e-mail from Family Tree DNA, below.

ftdna-second-coupon

Your personal page provides a second way for you to share your coupons in order to receive a second coupon before the following Monday. However, you will receive a second coupon regardless of whether you share through your account or by just giving someone your code (like on the list below.)

ftdna-coupon-sharing

Please feel free to list any coupons you may want to share, and what they are for, in the comments to the blog, like we have done every year. I will be listing my coupon codes available for usage each week as well.  Feel free to use the ones below and beware the difference between zero (0) and the letter capital O, and the number one (1) and the letter capital I.

Click here to use the coupons below or to see what coupons await you!!!

Coupon # Good for What
R16IYQIC4FZD $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16IW5OVTB52 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MIX3DXOYJ $40 OFF Y67
R16LQMMYCZOD $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16RCMN3BJN6 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16I85RHI8QC 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R163H7YVXHOK $50 Off Big Y
R16OS1AX7X8I 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R165K78FBHMY 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16UC39OU5F $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MD7L3UG3Q 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R163SVXYBR9A $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16ZX1JNQDTQ 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1685DXE53D9 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16L9CDAN31Z $20 Oiff MTDNA
R16J7VI9OFWN $20 Off MtDNA
R16U55JS9S2D 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16TPNKGFKHK $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R162B6TXJYMB $10 Off MTDNA
R16163G75WQ1 $40 OFF Y67
R16QAKWBYB0O 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16JYOR77GEO $100 Off Big Y
R16A4A69Y5A5 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16GOOWFAOON $10 Off MTDNA
R16W4JTXHOX6 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1643WY7WOQN $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16SZDSTDH9A $20 Off MtDNA
R16H1H6KOTP7 $20 Off MtDNA
R16LKDOQG3UF 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16POHVJ97YB $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R168OCU8PR14 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16UNAZTG2ZE $75 Off Big Y
R16OFCKVHOWY $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16K9YZRTYA8 $10 Off MTDNA
R16TL78JDKMS $20 Off MtDNA
R16O9JV4OTN6 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16EW3O2ZHYC $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MVKTAVKY8 $40 off MTFULL
R16O3HF22OQH $10 Off MTDNA
R161SAUW7VX3 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16BTUFHPM1F $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16457PON7BE $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1667JIWJJRS $40 OFF Y67
R16DO4G9UF8L $50 Off Big Y
R165VL2OLBIZ $40 off MTFULL (used)
R162OJ2Y1CM6 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16R8O4M6F5U $50 Off Big Y
R164CHEXU2U9 $20 Off MtDNA
R167SSQG2SZK 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1672CFZN7KB $20 Off MtDNA

Happy Holidays and thank you, Family Tree DNA!

Conferences, Reunions and Flavors of Family

riddell

Jim Brewster (FTDNA), Gail Riddell (New Zealand), me with Linda Magellan peeking over Jim’s shoulder at the ISOGG reception at the 2016 FTDNA conference. Photo courtesy Gail Riddell.

What do you call an event where you’ve seen the same folks for a dozen years? An event that brings people from the far corners of the earth, literally? A conference that feels far more like a family reunion.

What do you call those people?

Family.

New family.  Old family.  Family of heart.  Sisters or brothers by another mother maybe.  Friends you just haven’t met yet.  And sometimes…real, honest to blood cousins.

The 12th annual international family reunion, er, I mean International Genetic Genealogy Conference sponsored by Family Tree DNA occurred this past weekend in Houston.  I’m still on the road, typing on a tiny keyboard, and I really can’t do it justice just yet but I want to take this opportunity to send you a couple teasers and just to say how wonderful it was to see everyone again.

Sadly, some were missing.  Hopefully we’ll see them next year.  Unfortunately, a few have passed over to where genealogists get to meet all of their ancestors, so we have to cherish their memories and hope they will help out by sending us answers from their current location.

It’s hard to believe it has been a dozen years now.  The first conference was in 2004 – a one day event in Houston.  Little could we know or dream what the next decade+ would bring.

Another thing I find amazing is just how many people in this group of 230 or so people I am related to in one way or another.  All of these, bar none, were discovered via DNA testing.  Whoever would guess that in a room of 230 random people you would find several cousins? Certainly makes you wonder looking around the bus, at the people at work or in a restaurant.  How many share your ancestors?

I’m still on the road and will be for a few days, so you’ll get an article to do the conference justice when I get home.  In the mean time, I encourage you to read Jennifer Zinck’s wonderful summary articles on her blog, Ancestor Central.  Jen can type much faster than I ever could and she is able to listen at the same time too. The bad news is that there were several breakout sessions that ran concurrently and Jen can only be in one place at a time.  We have not yet defied the laws of physics.

Jen and I discovered that we have Mayflower ancestors in common, in addition to being friends – having met at this same conference years ago.  There just might be another ancestor trip in the planning stages….just saying.

Speaking of Jen, she contributed the photo below.  Many thanks, Jen.

We had a once-in-a-lifetime special event at the conference this year. Max Blankfeld and Bennett Greenspan were presented with rather unique Lifetime Achievement Awards by the genetic genealogy community.  Max and Bennett were both very grateful, not to mention….nearly speechless, a second once-in-a-lifetime event!

img_7231

Left to right: Linda Magellan, Roberta Estes (talking), Max Blankfeld, Bennett Greenspan, Nora Probasco and Katherine Borges. Photo courtesy Jennifer Zinck.

As many of you may know, I’m a quilter and yes, I made the double helix quilts.  I asked Katherine Borges, Linda Magellan and Nora Probasco to help me with the presentation process since I could not hold up 4 corners of two quilts by myself….and these ladies have attended all 12 conferences as well.  Not to mention, they are quilters – so they were glad to be co-conspirators.

We were all very honored to present these awards and want to thank Janine Cloud at FTDNA for clandestinely working us into the schedule without raising suspicion!  While that sounds easy, believe me, it wasn’t.

I will be writing an article about Max, Bennett and the awards shortly, and a separate article about the quilts themselves.

Until then, I’m still basking in the glow of two days of hugs, meals with friends, collaboration, and newly discovered information and opportunities. I encourage each of you to find a reunion or conference to attend so you can have the same wonderful experience.  There is just nothing better than family, regardless of which kind of family you have – of blood or of heart – or maybe yet-to-be-met!

Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup Y

Pam, a lady with very interesting mitochondrial DNA, recently asked me about mitochondrial haplogroup Y1, and if it had ever been found in the Native American population. The answer, as best I knew, was a resounding “no.”

Pam told me that she had only found about 15 people who were of that haplogroup and most of them are East Asian. Her most distant matrilineal ancestor is from Slovakia as is her full sequence exact match at Family tree DNA. A more distant match’s most distant ancestor was born in Istanbul, but immigrated there from someplace in Europe, possibly the Ukraine or Slovakia. A third match’s immediate family was from the Ukraine near Belarus from the 1880s.

The migration map provided by Family Tree DNA tells us the following about haplogroup Y:

ftdna-mtdna-y

Given that this haplogroup is primarily eastern Asian, Pam wondered if there was any possibility that this was a “sleeper” haplogroup and had been found in the Native American population since the most recent papers had been published.

Good question. Let’s take a look.

The History of Mitochondrial Haplogroup Y

Haplogroup Y evolved from haplogroup N9 that evolved from haplogroup N that evolved from haplogroup L3, which was African.

  • L3
  • N
  • N9
  • Y
  • Y1

As a National Geographic Genographic Affiliate Researcher, I decided to take a look at what information the Genographic Project might reveal about mtDNA haplogroup Y. For starters, the Genographic project provides a nice compact tree in their research database.

nat-geo-mtdna-y

I created a chart combining the subgroups of haplogroup Y, the age of each group, the standard deviation for each subgroup, the defining mutations as provided by the Genographic project (Phylotree Version 16) and the oldest maternal birth locations for haplogroup Y subgroup participants in the Genographic Project. The age should be read as “most likely 24,576 but the range would be from 17,493-31,659 years ago.” I would simply say that haplogroup Y was born about 25,000 years ago. If you think of a bell shaped curve, 24,576 would be the top of the bell and the tails, which are increasingly less likely would extend 7,083 years in both directions.

Haplogroup Age per Dr. Doron Behar Standard Deviation (+-) RSRS Defining Mutations (Genographic V 16) Genographic Oldest Maternal Birth Locations Other
Y 24,576 7,083 G8392A, A10398G!, T14178C, A14693G, T16126C, T16223C, T16231C China (2)
Y1 14,689 5,264 T146C!, G3834A, (C16266T) Slovakia, Czech, Poland, China, Korea (2)
Y1a 7,467 5526 A7933G, T16189C! None
Y1b 9,222 4,967 A10097G, C15460T

 

None
Y1b1 G15221A Russia, Korea
Y1b1a C9278T none
Y2 7,279 2,894 T482C, G5147A, T6941C, F7859A, A14914G, A15244G, T16311C! Simonstown, Western Cape, South Africa “coloured”
Y2a 4,929 2,789 T12161C Philippines
Y2a1 2.488 2,658 T11299C Philippines (8), Sumatra Indonesia, Spain, Malaysia, China, Ireland
Y2a1a C2856T, G13135A none
Y2b 1,741 3,454 C338T none

Unfortunately, there is no mitochondrial haplogroup Y project at Family Tree DNA, so I can’t do any comparisons there.

This article at WikiPedia provides a chart of where mtDNA haplogroup Y has been found in academic studies, along with the following verbiage:

Haplogroup Y has been found with high frequency in many indigenous populations who live around the Sea of Okhotsk, including approximately 66% of Nivkhs, approximately 38% of Ulchs, approximately 21% of Negidals, and approximately 20% of Ainus. It is also fairly common among indigenous peoples of the Kamchatka Peninsula (Koryaks, Itelmens) and Maritime Southeast Asia.

The distribution of haplogroup Y in populations of the Malay Archipelago contrasts starkly with the absence or extreme rarity of this haplogroup in populations of continental Southeast Asia in a manner reminiscent of haplogroup E. However, the frequency of haplogroup Y fades more smoothly away from its maximum around the Sea of Okhotsk in Northeast Asia, being found in approximately 2% of Koreans and in South Siberian and Central Asian populations with an average frequency of 1%.

Its subclade Y2 has been observed in 40% (176/440) of a large pool of samples from Nias in western Indonesia, ranging from a low of 25% (3/12) among the Zalukhu subpopulation to a high of 52% (11/21) among the Ho subpopulation.

Summary

Given that the Native people migrated from far eastern Asia, in Siberia, sometime between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago, we can see that Y1a, for example, is too young to be among that group – given that this haplogroup was born in Asia only around 7,500 years ago. However, it could be possible to find Y1 or Y or even a subgroup of Y not found in Asia or Europe in the Americas, but alas, to date, that has not materialized, nor have any pre-contact burials been found in the Americas that include mitochondrial haplogroup Y or of any subgroup.

How did haplogroup Y, an East Asian haplogroup, come to be found in eastern Europe?  Probably the same way my Lentz male Y DNA came to be found in Germany, as well as within the Yamnaya ancient remains found north of the Black Sea in Russia from some 3,500 years ago.  We can very probably thank the repeated invasions of what is now Europe from what is now Asia for bringing many of the haplogroups found in present day Eastern Europe – including Y1.  This map of the Genghis Kahn empire and troop movements in the 1200s might provide clues.

genghis khan map

By derivative work: Bkkbrad (talk)Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg: historicair 17:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC) – Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4534962

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank:

Increasing “In Common With” (ICW) Functionality at Family Tree DNA

You know how Murphy’s Law works, right?

Right after I wrote the article Nine Autosomal Tools at Family Tree DNA, as in minutes later (Ok, that’s probably an exaggeration), Family Tree DNA made a change and the ICW (in common with) tool functioned differently.  Murphy lives at my house, I swear!

I initially thought perhaps this was unintended, but it may well be a design change since additional functionality was provided and three months have elapsed.

So regardless of whether or not this change is permanent or will change minutes after I publish this article, I’m providing instructions on how this feature works NOW. If it changes or works differently in the future, I’ll let you know!

In all fairness, it’s the addition of the combination searches, I think, that has caused the confusion. Combo searches are great features and powerful, if you know how to use the functionality correctly for what you want to accomplish.

Let’s take a look at how to utilize the various kinds of searches, individually and in combination, step-by-step.

Example One – Regular “In Common With” Matches

The ICW feature shows you who your matches match in common with you. I’ve signed on as my mother for these examples to illustrate this feature since she is a generation more closely related to these folks than I am.

First, let’s do a normal “in common with” search between my mother and her cousin, Donald.  The results of this search will show us everyone that matches mother and Donald, both.

icw-donald-arrow

In this example, I’ve done the following:

  1. Selected Donald (who appears on mother’s match list, above) by clicking on the box to the left of his name, which you can see in the “Selected Matches” box at the bottom left indicating he has been selected.
  2. Click on the “in common with” function button above the list of names.

icw-donald-results-arrow

After clicking on the “in common with” button, what I see (above) are all 91 people that match mother in common with Donald, meaning that mother and Donald both match all 91 of these people. This does NOT mean mother and Donald both match them on the same segment(s), only that they do match on at least one segment over the matching threshold.

As you can see, Donald’s name appears now in the “In Common With” box at the top left, along with a total of 91 people who match Donald and my mother both.

To clear any search, meaning all options, at any time, just click on the “reset filter” blue button, located to the right of the “not in common with” function button.

There are multiple features that work together for “in common with” matching and surname searching. Let’s take a look.

Example Two – Surname Searches Plus ICW, Combined

Now, I’ll enter the name Miller in the search box at the upper right. This shows me everyone who has name of Miller, or Miller appearing in their ancestral surnames, who match my mother.

Next, I want to select someone from that Miller match list to see which other people on the Miller match list they match in common with mother. Hey, let’s pick Donald!!!

To utilize a surname search (Miller) and ICW (Donald) together, do the following:

  1. Enter the surname Miller in the search box on the upper right and click enter or the search (blue magnifying glass) icon. Donald appears on the Miller match list, as well as 90 other people.  This means that Donald has Miller appearing in his list of ancestral surnames, since his surname is not Miller.
  2. When the match results are returned, select Donald by clicking on the box to the left of his name.
  3. Then click on the “in common with” function box above the list of matches.

icw-work-arrows

I selected Donald, as you can see, by clicking the box beside his name, and his name now appears in the “Selected Matches” box in the lower left hand corner of the page, indicating that he has been selected. However, note that the name Miller still appears in the search box in the upper right hand corner.

Next, I click on the ICW function button, above the list of matches, and I see the following 22 matches that all share the Miller surname or Miller on their list of ancestral names AND match Donald and mother, both. I’m NOT seeing all of mother’s 91 Miller matches, but ONLY her Miller matches that are ALSO “in common with” Donald.  This immediately gives me a list of people that are very likely descended from this same ancestral Miller line, and some of them will likely triangulate by utilizing the chromosome browser and other tools described in the Nine Autosomal Tools article.

icw-combo-results-arrow

This combination search is a wonderful feature, but this isn’t always what people want to do. Sometimes you want to first see the Miller matches, then select someone from that match list to run the full ICW tool and see ALL of their matches, not just the ICW Miller matches. This is the functionality that works differently than previously, but it’s actually very easy to accomplish.

Surname Search, Then ICW to Person on Match List, but not Combined

Often, you’ll find someone in the ICW Miller match list, for example, and you then want to see ALL of the ICW matches to that person, NOT just the ICW matches with Miller. Said another way, you want to utilize the name of someone found in the Miller search, but not limit the ICW results to just the Miller surname.

In this case, simply follow these steps:

  1. Run the Miller search as in Example One.
  2. Select Donald from the results by clicking on the box beside his name – step #2 in Example Two.  Do NOT click on the ICW button, yet.
  3. REMOVE Miller from the search box at upper right. After removing Miller, you will see the full match list load again (replacing the Miller match list), but Donald remains selected in the “Selected Matches” box in the lower left corner.
  4. Click on the “in common with” function button to see the full ICW match list for the person selected.

Once again, you will see the full match list of 91 people between mother and Donald, as if Miller was never selected.

What Doesn’t Work

One function doesn’t work that worked previously, and that’s the ability to search for a location, meaning those locations in parenthesis in the ancestral surnames.  This type of search is particularly important to people with Scandinavian ancestors whose surnames are patronymic, meaning they derive from a father’s first name, such as Johnsson for John’s son.  These surnames changed generationally and locations are often more reliable in terms of genealogy searches.

This is probably a function of a feature that was being utilized by users in a way never imagined by the designers.  Regardless, a bug report or enhancement request, depending in your perspective, has been submitted, but there is no known work-around today.

Assassin’s Creed and Family Tree DNA Collaboration

“See, hear and feel the memories of your ancestor…”

This is really exciting, both the movie itself and the new testers this collaboration will bring forth.

And maybe, just maybe, some of my ancestors are portrayed in this movie.

I know my ancestors were warriors.  Am I???

The Warrior Gene and Family Finder tests will be bundled at $89 and that price also includes a findmypast subscription and a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.  At this link, click on “learn more” to see details and order – and scroll down for the trip entry form.

10-25-2016 Update – Press Release

Family Tree DNA and 20th Century Fox Team Up for Historical Adventure

Genetic genealogy pioneers announce exciting partnership with the theatrical release of Assassin’s Creed.

Houston, Texas — October 25, 2016:

In association with the upcoming theatrical release of the epic adventure film ASSASSIN’S CREED, in theaters December 21, Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a new partnership with 20th Century Fox and Findmypast, which features the Assassin’s Creed DNA Testing Bundle and Assassin’s Creed Sweepstakes.

Loosely based on the popular video game franchise of the same name, and starring award-winning actors Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the movie’s main character Callum Lynch—through a revolutionary technology called the Animus—travels deep into the past to discover that his genetic ancestor, Aguilar, was part of a mysterious secret organization, the Assassin’s, in 15th Century Spain. The action-adventure follows Callum as he relives Aguilar’s memories in present day.

As pioneers in the direct-to-consumer DNA testing industry, Family Tree DNA was tapped by 20th Century Fox to be the exclusive testing partner for the film. The company’s premier suite of DNA tests along with the world’s most comprehensive matching database enable users to trace their lineage through time, explore ancestry and connect with relatives across the globe.

Family Tree DNA Director of Product Development, Michael Davila, noted that “The opportunity to partner with 20th Century Fox on the release of Assassin’s Creed is not only exciting but serendipitous. The storyline of Callum Lynch connecting to his ancestral past ties in completely with what our company does in helping people discover their origins and explore family history,” said Davila.

“We are excited to be partnering with Family Tree DNA,” said Zachary Eller, Senior Vice President, Marketing Partnerships, 20th Century Fox. “They provide a fantastic opportunity to bring the central themes of Assassin’s Creed to a real world application by allowing consumers to actually discover their past.”

With the purchase of the special limited-time Assassin’s Creed Bundle, customers will be mailed a sample collection kit which, when processed, will provide both Family Tree DNA’s signature Family Finder test and the Warrior Gene DNA test. They will also receive a free one-month premium subscription to Findmypast’s online genealogy service.

According to Belinda Hanton, Global Head of Partnerships at Findmypast, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Fox and Family Tree DNA to promote family history research and genetic genealogy. It’s partnerships like this that allow us to speak to completely new audiences and help spread the word that anyone can start exploring their heritage at the click of a mouse. The lives of our ancestors are not only recorded in historical records, but are also written in our DNA and it is now easier than ever before to unlock the incredible stories hidden in our families’ past.”

Using a simple cheek swab and step-by-step instructions, users return the sample collection test kit by mail, in a provided envelope, directly to Family Tree DNA. Results typically take four to five weeks and are delivered through a private customer dashboard with email notification. Unlike other testing companies, Family Tree DNA results are kept completely confidential and secure privacy settings put users in control of how much information they choose to share.

Family Finder is an autosomal (non-sex) DNA test that finds matches within five generations and includes myOrigins, a powerful mapping tool that provides a detailed geographic and ethnic breakdown of personal genetic ancestry. The Warrior Gene test determines whether a person carries the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) gene variant, dubbed the “Warrior Gene,” which some researchers say may cause certain carriers to engage in more risk-taking behaviors and be able to better assess their chances of success in critical situations.

Together with the Assassin’s Creed DNA Testing Bundle is the Assassin’s Creed Sweepstakes and a chance to win a Grand Prize trip for two to Las Vegas for an Assassin’s Creed-themed adventure. The experience includes a series of high-octane Assassin’s Creed-inspired activities like a master parkour class, nighttime zip lining and an electrifying sky jump from the tallest tower in the city.

Although no purchase is necessary to enter the contest, purchasing the Assassin’s Creed Bundle earns customers ten additional entries into the Sweepstakes for a greater chance to win a trip to Las Vegas as well as other prizes. Followers will also have the opportunity to earn bonus entries by sharing Sweepstakes social posts on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

With the exclusive DNA Testing Bundle and Sweepstakes movie tie-in, Assassin’s Creed fans everywhere will be able to jump back in time, embrace their inner warriors and unlock their genetic memories.

“The partnership between Fox’s Assassin’s Creed and Family Tree DNA is a perfect fit,” Davila said. “Test-takers get to find out if they carry the “Warrior Gene” in their DNA, and while they’re at it, will be able to delve into the exciting world of genetic genealogy and discover their own family histories…all through DNA. Everyone has a story to tell…so it’s an absolute win-win scenario.

To learn more about the Assassin’s Creed DNA Testing Bundle and Sweepstakes, visit: https://www.familytreedna.com/assassinscreed

About Family Tree DNA:

Since pioneering the field of direct-to-consumer DNA testing for genetic genealogy in 2000, Family Tree DNA has grown to become the most trusted source for providing beginners, enthusiasts, to serious genealogists with innovative ways and powerful tools to break through conventional barriers in unlocking their family histories. The company’s premier suite of DNA tests along with world’s most comprehensive ancestry database are what set Family Tree DNA apart, and led to their being selected as the official testing provider for the Genographic Project launched in 2005 by National Geographic and IBM. Located in Houston, Texas, Family Tree DNA is the only company in the industry with its own state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center. By offering the widest variety of DNA tests to help determine genetic relationships and ancestral origins, Family Tree DNA has continued to experience unprecedented growth and success worldwide. To learn more, visit www.familytreedna.com.

About Assassin’s Creed:

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. Directed by Justin Kurzel, Assassin’s Creed stars Academy Award® nominee Michael Fassbender and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard. The film is distributed by 20th Century Fox and opens in theaters worldwide on December 21st, 2016. 

About 20th Century Fox

One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation. 

About Findmypast:

With an ever-expanding collection of over 2 billion historical records from around the globe, Findmypast is the world’s best resource for researching family history and documentation. Censuses from as far back as 1790 help identify long-lost relatives, the world’s largest collection of Irish records reveal unknown connections to the Emerald Isle, while US military data going all the way back to the American Revolution prove if a person is descended from war heroes. Users can fill in blanks in their ancestors’ stories by searching millions of newspaper records going back to 1710.  http://www.findmypast.com

For further information, please contact:

Elena Collot, Product Marketing Manager – Family Tree DNA, a division of Gene by Gene, Ltd.

elenac@genebygene.com

(832) 691-7282

 

Leslie Sachnowitz Meimoun, Senior Writer-Marketing|Communications –

Family Tree DNA, a division of Gene by Gene, Ltd.

lesliem@genebygene.com

(832) 877-0683