Mother’s Day, Mitochondrial DNA and New Series

Mother's Day 2019 sale

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by testing your (or your Mom’s) mitochondrial DNA?

Everyone, males and females both receive their mitochondrial DNA from their mothers, but only females pass it on to both genders of their children.

yline mtdna

This means that your mitochondrial DNA tracks your direct matrilineal line, shown above with the red circles. This is your mother’s mother’s mother’s line – back in time until you run out of mothers that you can identify.

However, your DNA doesn’t stop there and provides you with the story of your ancestors before they have names and are present in your tree.

In other words, mitochondrial DNA can peer behind that veil of time into history plus match you to current people.

Mitochondrial DNA can also break down brick walls. Here’s just one example.

But I Don’t Understand Mitochondrial DNA…

I’m at a genealogy conference this week, as I write this article, and people have mentioned that they don’t understand mitochondrial DNA, how it works, or how to use it.

So, drum roll….I’ll be writing a short series, as follows:

  • Decoding Mitochondrial DNA – how it works, why it works, and what those numbers mean
  • Using Mitochondrial DNA for Genealogy – how to utilize the various tools on your Family Tree DNA personal page
  • Breaking Down Brick Walls with Mitochondrial DNA – taking mitochondrial DNA one step further

So, here’s the deal.

Mitochondrial DNA is on sale at Family Tree DNA for Mother’s Day. They are the only DNA testing company to offer the full sequence test and matching which is the combination you need for genealogy.

If you’ve tested elsewhere and obtained your haplogroup – that’s not enough. You need the mtFull, full sequence test.

A haplogroup test tests a few mitochondrial locations – just enough to assign a base haplogroup.

The mtPlus test at Family Tree DNA is the “toe in the water test” and tests about 2000 locations – enough for basic matching plus a basic haplogroup assignment.

The mtFull test tests all 16,569 locations in the mitochondria. This is the test needed for genealogical matching and for your full haplogroup assignment.

Sale

The Family Tree DNA Mother’s Day sale is in effect now offering 25% off of the mitochondrial DNA, autosomal Family Finder and bundled tests through May 13th.

Mother's Day 2019 sale prices

If you haven’t purchased a mitochondrial DNA test, click here to purchase the mtFull sequence test.

If you have taken the mtPlus test, click here to sign on to your account and upgrade to the mtFull.

I suggest ordering the autosomal Family Finder if you haven’t taken that test or transferred your raw data file to Family Tree DNA from elsewhere.

Using the Family Tree DNA advanced matching tool to compare Family Finder in conjunction with the mtDNA test matches is one of the steps in utilizing the mitochondrial DNA test for genealogy. I strongly suggest that you have the results of both tests available.

Fortunately, Family Tree DNA is offering a bundled package savings for both tests for $198, normally $278. The regular price of the mtFull alone is $199 – so in essence the Family Finder is free when you buy the bundle. That’s a GREAT DEAL!

Be Ready for the Series

I’ll begin the series of articles soon – so by the time your results are ready, you’ll have a roadmap available.

We’re going to have a lot of fun. Who knows what you might discover!

PS – Don’t forget to test your Dad too, or his siblings if he’s not available to test – because you didn’t receive your Dad’s mitochondrial DNA and it holds genealogical secrets of his mother’s line!

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on the link to one of the 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 Day Prices and Vendors’ Best Features

DNA Day always produces great sales at the DNA testing companies. Here’s a breakdown of the prices available this week and the best autosomal feature of each vendor.

Company Regular Price Sale Price Ethnicity Matching to other testers Additional Tools Best Feature
FamilyTreeDNA – Family Finder *1 *2 79 49 Yes Yes Yes Maternal and paternal bucketing of matches without parents testing
MyHeritageDNA *5 79 59 Yes Yes Yes Theories of Family Relativity, triangulation
AncestryDNA *2 *6 99 69 Yes Yes Yes Data base size
23andMe Ancestry *3 99 99 Yes Yes Yes Ethnicity breakdown by chromosome segment
LivingDNA *4 99 59 Yes No *4 No Focus on British Isles

*1 – Family Tree DNA also sells both Y and mitochondrial DNA tests. For information on sale prices for those products, please see this article.

*2 – Sale ends April 25th.

*3 – The 23andme Ancestry plus Health test is on sale here for $169 versus the normal price of $199. Sale ends May 13th. Free shipping.

*4 – Sale expiration date not provided. LivingDNA’s matching has been in a very preliminary stage for months, and while I feel confident that eventually they will have viable matching, today matching should not be considered in a purchase decision.

*5 – Sale ends April 28th. Free shipping with purchase of 2 or more kits.

*6 – Free shipping through Amazon on Ancestry test at this link.

Test yourself and close family members (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.), especially the older generations, to make full use of the tools and matching.

Fishing in all the ponds either directly or by transfer assures that you don’t miss that critical match.

Many of these prices only last 2 more days.

Enjoy!

Family Tree DNA Sale Prices Including Big Y-700 Upgrade

I was attempting to finish an article about the Family Tree DNA conference this past weekend and include special conference sale price information, but it looks like that article just isn’t going to happen right now.

Typically, the conference is held in November, so the Holiday Sale begins the last day of the conference. That’s not the case this year, so Bennett announced a special sale just for conference attendees, project members, and through me, you too! Read on, because these sale prices are NOT available to the general public although you can certainly share with your families.

Thank you Bennett!!!

The good news is that while I realize I just can’t get that article written right now, I’m providing the sale price information which is only valid through month end. These are really good prices.

  • $30 off Family Finder ($49) – Use Code: GGC19FF
  • $50 off Y-37 ($119) – Use Code: GGC19Y37
  • $70 off Y-67 ($198) – Use Code: GGC19Y67
  • $70 off Y-111 ($289) – Use Code: GGC19Y111
  • $200 off Big Y-700 meaning have never taken any Y DNA test ($449) – Use Code: GGC19BIGY
  • $50 off MtFull Sequence ($149) – Use Code: GGC19MTFULL

If have taken one of the Y DNA STR tests, have never taken the Big Y-500 but want to upgrade from an existing 12, 25, 37, 67 or 111 marker STR test to the Big Y-700, here are the upgrade codes:

Upgrade Regular Price Final Price Code
Y12 to Big Y-700 $629 $449 GCC19122BY
Y25 to Big Y-700 $599 $449 GCC19252BY
Y37 to Big Y-700 $569 $449 GCC19372BY
Y67 to Big Y-700 $499 $399 GCC19BYUP
Y111 to Big Y-700 $449 $349 GCC19BYUP

All coupons codes expire March 31, 2019 and may not be used in conjunction with other promocodes, discounts, or offers.

Big Y-700 Upgrade – $179

The greatly anticipated Big Y-700 upgrade is now available.

In addition to the above sale prices for purchases, Bennett is offering the introductory upgrade price to move from the Y-500 to the Y-700 at just $179 through the end of the month. I was actually very surprised to see the price this low since it’s an actual rerun.

Family Tree DNA reviews each order to assure that enough DNA remains for the test. If not, they will reach out to you before processing begins to request another vial. If the tester is deceased, meaning they can’t provide an additional sample, please notify Family Tree DNA so that they can flag the sample for special handling in the lab, if necessary.

I wrote about the Big Y-700 here. If you want to read the scientific nitty-gritty, the Big Y-700 white paper is here. The white paper refers to the Big Y and compared to the Big Y-700. The Big Y is the same test as the Big Y-500, the difference being that Family Tree DNA added the additional STR markers for free (totaling 500) for all testers who had taken the Big Y and renamed the test at that time to Big Y-500.

To recap the benefits of a Big Y-700 as compared to the Big Y-500:

  • Big Y-700 provides 50% increase in quality SNPs over Big Y-500
  • Provides quality reads of Y chromosome regions not previously available
  • An additional 200 STR markers bringing the total from at least 500 to at least 700
  • Better coverage meaning fewer no-reads

Note that with the improved sequencing technology, it’s possible that men run on the Big Y-700 platform may not exactly match men run on the earlier Big Y-500 platform. If you’re working with a group of men who you “need” to be on the exact same platform in order to derive family lineages, then you’ll want all of the men on the same platform so you are comparing apples to apples. In the case of the Estes project, I’m hoping that the new technology will further divide my roughly 10 Big-Y men into distinct lineages in order to provide increased granularity.

I know that the price will increase after month-end and I don’t want anyone left behind. With my luck, the man I don’t upgrade will of course be the one with a newly-to-be-discovered mutation that I need.

If you are interested in upgrading from an existing Big Y-500 to a Big Y-700, there is no code needed. Click here to sign in to your account and then click on the upgrade button on your Y-DNA section of your personal page.

Y DNA Upgrade

You’ll then see the Big Y-700 upgrade, but only at this price for a few more days.

Big Y-700 upgrade

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on the link to one of the vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this great 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.

Black Friday Sales and Giving Tuesday – Autosomal Test for $39!

Black Friday sales abound so I’m only covering the ones that affect genetic genealogy directly.

I never thought I’d see an autosomal test for $39 – but here it is at Family Tree DNA!

Family Tree DNA

The Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA is $39, the lowest price for an autosomal test that has ever been offered. Plus, you get an additional $5 off if you purchase a bundle (with Y or mitochondrial), bringing the cost down even further to an amazing $34!

At this price, buy several so that you can take them along when you visit people, to reunions, or during the holidays. At this price, you can’t afford NOT to test everyone.

You can also upload your results to MyHeritage, GedMatch and LivingDNA.

To purchase, click here. Offer ends Nov. 26th.

MyHeritage

The DNA test at MyHeritage is $49 and the shipping is also free if you use the code FREE18 at checkout.

You can also upload your results to Family Tree DNA, GedMatch and LivingDNA.

To purchase, click here.

Legacy Tree Genealogists

Legacy Tree Genealogists is genealogical research firm that combines traditional research with genetic genealogy. I’ve been very pleased with their research reports.

From Nov. 21-28, they are offering $150 off a standard 40 hour research report.

To inquire and receive a quote, click here.

Ancestry and 23andMe

Both are having sales as well for $49. Ancestry has the largest data base, but be sure to actually READ the terms and conditions, because both Ancestry and 23andMe will sell your DNA if you authorize research consent. This may or may not be right for you, so be sure to read the terms completely first.

Neither Family Tree DNA nor MyHeritage sell your DNA.

My Giving Tuesday Choice: DNAAdoption

Giving Tuesday is a day set aside for donating to charity.

The genetic genealogy organization that I’m supporting this year is DNAAdoption, an organization made up entirely of volunteers.

DNAAdoption.com is a 501c3 charity whose focus is genetic education for all, not just adoptees, and the reunification of families.

Aside from their generous educational programs, the aspect of DNAAdoption that I admire is the respectfulness and consideration extended to both the adoptee or person seeking their family and the biological parents. This journey is never easy and DNAAdoption fills a void with compassion and professionalism.

DNAAdoption’s only sources of revenue are donations, their minimal charges for classes and affiliate links with companies listed at the bottom of their webpage.

Please click on the link below to donate. Facebook and Paypal are both matching Giving Tuesday donations, so your donation goes three times as far!

I’ve donated. You can too by clicking here!

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Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

I provide Personalized DNA Reports for Y and mitochondrial DNA results for people who have tested through Family Tree DNA. I provide Quick Consults for DNA questions for people who have tested with any vendor. I would welcome the opportunity to provide one of these services for you.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

Affiliate links are limited to:

Family Tree DNA Holiday Sale – Up to 40% Off

Family Tree DNA’s Holiday Sale traditionally begins this week, so I’m glad to see these prices before Thanksgiving. And guess what, it looks like Family Tree DNA now has a nifty new box that’s much easier to wrap for gift giving.

This means that you can order a kit today and have it delivered in time to convince Grandma, Uncle Joe or Aunt Betty to swab just before they eat on Thanksgiving or at family gatherings later in December!

I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t know what Y and mitochondrial DNA are today, given all the ads about ethnicity. That’s somewhat ironic, since this industry cut its teeth on Y and mito before commercial autosomal testing existed.

So, let’s take advantage of the fact that our relatives might have already tested elsewhere or might be interested in ethnicity and buy them a test or transfer their results (with their permission of course.)

After all, they’ll receive something fun and you’ll learn more about your common ancestors. It’s a win-win.

Test or Transfer?

Transfer their results (for free) to Family Tree DNA if they tested at:

  • MyHeritage
  • Ancestry (V1) before May of 2016

Test them at Family Tree DNA if they tested at:

  • 23andMe
  • LivingDNA
  • Ancestry (V2) after May of 2016

The Ancestry V2 kit will transfer to Family Tree DNA, but when Ancestry changed their chip from V1 to V2, fewer DNA locations are compatible. When transferring a V2 kit, you’ll receive your best and highest matches at Family Tree DNA, but not your more distant matches. You don’t want to miss out on those, which is why I recommend retesting for autosomal if you took an Ancestry DNA test after May of 2016.

Then, add a Y or mitochondrial DNA test at Family Tree DNA. Note that if they’ve transferred, they’ll be sent a swab kit for Y or mitochondrial orders.

You’ll be especially interested in testing their Y and mitochondrial DNA if their DNA represents your ancestral lines that you can’t test for yourself. I wrote about creating a Y and mitochondrial DNA pedigree chart here. After you’ve tested yourself, testing specific relatives is exactly how you build that pedigree chart.

The prices are right.

Single Products, Bundles or Upgrades

Want to purchase a single test, a bundle of tests or a upgrade an existing test? There are sale prices for all kinds of combinations!

To take advantage of these great prices and order or upgrade, click here.

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Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

I provide Personalized DNA Reports for Y and mitochondrial DNA results for people who have tested through Family Tree DNA. I provide Quick Consults for DNA questions for people who have tested with any vendor. I would welcome the opportunity to provide one of these services for you.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate.  If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase.  Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay.  This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc.  In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received.  In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product.  I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community.  If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

Affiliate links are limited to:

Family Tree DNA – Summer Sale and Project Changes (Thank Goodness)

In late breaking news, this morning two things happened at Family Tree DNA:

  • The Summer Sale has started with great prices
  • The project defaults are now “Limited Access” when new people join projects

Group Project Changes

I am jumping for joy!!!

Thank you Family Tree DNA for listening to your customers and project administrators!

The project restrictions imposed due to GDPR privacy concerns were strangling administrators’ ability to work with project members and their results. Post-GDPR, when people joined projects, the administrators couldn’t even see who new members matched or their trees, making grouping impossible. I understand the concept behind this restriction, but it also made it impossible, from a project administrator’s position, to work with members.

Furthermore, new administrators will now be granted Limited Access to group participants information as well.

There are still post-GDPR challenges that remain, but for now, this is a HUGE step forward.

The Summer Sale

Everything is on sale – literally everything. New purchases and upgrades too.

Product bundles, already discounted, are now discounted even further during the sale.

The sale ends on August 31st. Now is a great time to buy those kits for your relatives and take them along to family reunions.

Click here to order now!

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Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

I provide Personalized DNA Reports for Y and mitochondrial DNA results for people who have tested through Family Tree DNA. I provide Quick Consults for DNA questions for people who have tested with any vendor. I would welcome the opportunity to provide one of these services for you.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

Affiliate links are limited to:

Great News – It’s Time for the Mother’s Day DNA Sale

Nothing lifts the spirits after a long, and I do mean LONG, cold winter like springtime and along with flowers and warm sunshine, a Mother’s Day Sale.

Have you tested your Mom’s DNA yet? How about your father’s Mom? Did you know you can test your father’s mother (if she can’t test) through your father?

Matrilineal Line – Mitochondrial

Women give their mitochondrial DNA to all of their children, but only female children pass it on!

In the pedigree chart below, you can see that the daughter’s mitochondrial DNA is inherited from her mother, on up the pink line. A son would inherit his mitochondrial DNA from his mother just like the daughter.

The father received his mitochondrial DNA (heart) from his magenta mother, on up that line. Follow the heart color for the mitochondrial lineage.

You and your Mom share the same mitochondrial DNA (except for an occasional mutation,) so if you’ve already tested yourself or a maternal sibling for mitochondrial, you don’t need to test Mom too.

Autosomal DNA – Finding Cousins

However, that’s not the case for autosomal DNA. Testing both or even just one of your parents makes a world of difference in your own test results, especially at Family Tree DNA where your matches are “bucketed” into maternal and paternal match lists, when possible.

See my 644 maternal matches automatically bucketed below? Those are possible because my mother has tested her autosomal too. Not only that, but if my mother wasn’t available, I could still receive maternally bucketed matches by testing other relatives as distant as third cousins on my mother’s side and linking their test results on my tree.

Everyone Loves Sale Prices!

With the Mother’s Day Sale, it’s a great time to purchase a DNA test for Mom, grandma, aunts or other relatives in to learn more about maternal DNA and genealogy. I often purchase DNA kits for family members to learn about specific ancestors – and this would be a great time to do just that for one of your female lines.

At Family Tree DNA, the mitochondrial full sequence test is on sale for just $149, and the Family Finder autosomal test is just $59, or you can purchase the two together and save another $9 for the bundled price of $199.

To order a new test for someone, just click here!

Order now and you can have a swab party on Mother’s Day, May 13th. That would certainly be unique.

Want to Upgrade?

Have you already purchased the lower level HVR1/HVR2 mitochondrial DNA test and would like to upgrade and expand your DNA horizons? That’s wonderful, because upgrades aren’t often on sale, and right now the upgrade to full sequence is just $99, no matter which lower level you’ve already taken!

To upgrade, you’ll need to click here to sign in to your account and click on the blue “upgrade” button.

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Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

Affiliate links are limited to:

Best DNA Day Sale Prices

DNA Day, April 25th, isn’t a national holiday, at least I don’t think it is – but in the genetic genealogy community, DNA Day is anticipated with as much fervor as the holiday sales.

For weeks now, people on social media have been commenting that they are waiting for DNA Day Sales.

Wait no more – the sales are here…and we have a “lowest price” winner!!!

The lowest price for an autosomal DNA test is…..drum roll….

Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test is $49 through April 28th

Wow, just wow.

If you can’t wait one more minute to order your $49 Family Finder test, just click here.

Other companies are having sales too:

  • MyHeritage who is doing a lot of testing in Europe is $69 through the 25th – click here to order
  • Ancestry is $59 through the 29th
  • 23andMe is 30% off through the 25th

That’s Not All

In addition to the Family Finder test, Family Tree DNA is offering lots of other products on sale as well for up to 40% off.

Not sure who can test for what? The short article, 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy explains.

If you’re wondering about the new “Y 500,” it’s a FREE UPGRADE that was released just yesterday for everyone that has purchased a Big Y test. This is pretty amazing for a company that doesn’t charge you a subscription, for anything. Purchased Y DNA tests provide customers with up to 111 markers, but the Y 500 guarantees you an additional 389 STR values that you will be able to compare with other testers soon. Way to go Family Tree DNA!

Stay tuned. I’ll be covering the new Y 500 in an article in just a couple days!

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Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

Affiliate links are limited to:

DNA Love and Your “Big 8” – Plus Valentine’s Day Sales!

We’re approaching Valentine’s Day, and I’m reminded just how much I love genetic genealogy. I already loved genealogy before the genetic portion emerged. Since DNA has been added to our toolbox, I’m head over heels.

I can’t even begin to count the number of breakthroughs I’ve had using DNA. On EVERY LINE.

In order to further my own genealogy, I’ve purchased countless (I don’t want to count, truthfully) kits and tests for other people. I don’t regret any single one of those dollars, because they all helped ME. Yes, even kits that didn’t match helped me.

Why? Because they might have matched. Some did match. Some provide haplogroup information for my ”Big 8” meaning for all of my 8 great-grandparents.

Click to enlarge

As you can see, I still need to find test candidates for two of my great-grandparents to complete the “Big 8.”

My now-deceased aunt tested for the Margaret Claxton/Clarkson line before mitochondrial full sequencing was commercially available. When I wanted to upgrade her test to full sequence and autosomal, I couldn’t because the archived DNA quality was too poor. Now, I need to find another testing candidate to discover her full haplogroup aside from the rather generic H. Lesson learned – now I just order the whole shebang out the gate!

A second mitochondrial test that I need is for Evaline Miller, my Brethren great-grandmother.

Do You Qualify For a Free Test?

Shameless plug – If you descend from any of the following women through all females to the current generation, where testers can be either males or females, I have a free mitochondrial AND autosomal test for YOU at Family Tree DNA. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Margaret Claxton (1851-1920) Hancock Co, TN
  • Elizabeth Speaks (1832-1907) Hancock Co., TN
  • Ann McKee (1804/5-1850/50) Washington Co., VA, Lee Co., VA
  • Elizabeth, wife of Andrew McKee (1766-1814) Washington Co., VA
  • Evaline Miller (1857-1939) Elkhart Co., Indiana
  • Margaret Elizabeth Lentz (1822-1903) Montgomery Co., Ohio, Elkhart Co., Indiana
  • Fredericka Reuhle (1788-1863) Beutelsbach, Germany, Montgomery Co., Ohio
  • Dorothea Katharina Wolfin (b 1755) Beutelsbach, Germany
  • Dorothea Keubach (1729-1790) Endersbach, Germany, Beutelsbach, Germany

Let’s say you want to do the same thing, find people who are candidates to test for specific lines.

Finding Test Candidates

How might you find these people? Trees of autosomal DNA matches are a good choice. I mine my DNA matches at all vendors to see who might match me in the direct line needed to carry the Y or mitochondrial DNA of the desired ancestor. If someone has already DNA tested, they at least understand the subject and you’re not introducing the topic of DNA testing from scratch.

The three main testing vendors (along with GedMatch) each have a variety of tools to help find candidates.

  • Ancestry: Green leaf hints DNA+Tree Matching
  • Family Tree DNA: Phased maternal and paternal “bucketed” match results, trees and in-common surnames
  • MyHeritage: DNA+Tree Matching called SmartMatching
  • GedMatch: Search all GEDCOMs and GEDCOM 1 to All

As luck would have it, all three vendors are having Valentine’s Day DNA Sales too.

Valentine Day Sales and Testing Strategy

Now is a great time to test and transfer your autosomal DNA results for maximum matching.

Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA is having their “Sprinkle Some DNA Love” sale where the Family Finder autosomal test is on sale for $59.

If you want the option of Y, mitochondrial and autosomal, Family Tree DNA is the vendor to select, as they are the only vendor performing Y and mitochondrial testing and matching. You can purchase the Family Finder test today and add any of the other tests, either now or later. $59 is the least expensive price of all the vendors this holiday and you can transfer to MyHeritage and GedMatch for free!

MyHeritage

MyHeritage is on sale for $69 (or $59 if you purchase 2.) You can transfer Family Tree DNA kits to MyHeritage and vice versa without losing any quality or matches because Family Tree DNA’s lab runs the tests for MyHeritage. In fact, this is a great approach because transfers are free and you can fish in both ponds. Both vendors have advanced tools. MyHeritage tends to have European testers not in other data bases, so whether your transfer or test, you’ll want to be there if you have European heritage.

The transfer is free to Family Tree DNA, but there is a charge to unlock their advanced tools, so the best testing strategy would be to test at Family Tree DNA (where the test is less expensive) and transfer to MyHeritage. Total cost – $59 at Family Tree DNA where the total cost of testing first at MyHeritage and transferring to FTDNA is $88 (or $78 each if you purchase 2 kits.)

Ancestry

Ancestry’s test is also on sale for $69. You can transfer the Ancestry results to Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage, but the Ancestry test only covers about 25% of the same test locations as either Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage. As a result, at Family Tree DNA, you only receive your closest 20-25% of your matches and at MyHeritage, they utilize imputation to compensate for the shortcoming. Ancestry’s matching data base is quite large and their tools, though not as comprehensive as elsewhere, are easy to use.

You cannot transfer any results TO Ancestry, so my recommendation if you’re going to test at Ancestry would be to also test at Family Tree DNA and transfer your results to MyHeritage.

Of course, all three of these tests provide the much-sought-after ethnicity estimates.

Testing (and Money Saving) Strategy

Of the four vendors who provide autosomal matching, the comparative costs during the Valentine’s Day sale are as follows:

  • If you’re only going to make one purchase, you can purchase a kit for $59 at Family Tree DNA, have it available for upgrades and transfer to both MyHeritage and GedMatch for free.
  • You can test at Ancestry and Family Tree DNA, both, and transfer to MyHeritage and GedMatch for a total cost of $128 and be swimming in all the best ponds!
  • If you’re an adoptee or seeking an unknown parent, you’ll want to test at 23andMe as well. Their Ancestry Service kit is on sale for $79 now, but 23andMe has dropped to a distant 4th in terms of genetic genealogy.

How about buying a genetic genealogy valentine bouquet for someone you love!

Click here to “sprinkle some DNA love” at Family Tree DNA.

Click here to purchase at or transfer files to MyHeritage.

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Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 900 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

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When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

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Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA, or one of the affiliate links below:

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Unlock Transfer Results at Family Tree DNA for $10 – 2 Days Only

Just a very quick note to my readers to let you know that Family Tree DNA has lowered the price of their unlock for autosomal transfers from other companies to just $10 through January 28th.

Transferring your DNA from the following vendors to Family Tree DNA is free, as is matching.

  • Ancestry
  • MyHeritage
  • 23andMe (V3 and V4 only at 23andMe meaning kits tested before August 2017)

If you want access to the more advanced tools at Family Tree DNA, you need to unlock those tools which normally costs $19.  The $10 price is a great value and it’s a one time cost – not a subscription.

Tools you’ll receive access to with the unlock include:

  • Chromosome Browser
  • myOrigins (ethnicity estimates)
  • ancientOrigins

Savings Code

Click here and use code ATULJAN18 during checkout to reduce the unlock price to $10!

Transfer Instructions

If you thought about or started the transfer process before but never finished, now is a great time to upload and save.

Having difficulty or need some help?  Here you go!!!

Downloading from Ancestry

If you need instructions for downloading your Ancestry raw data file, click here.

If you are having trouble uploading your Ancestry raw data file to Family Tree DNA, you can use the free tool here to fix file compatibility issues.

Uploading If You Already Have a Family Tree DNA Account

To upload an autosomal DNA file from another supported vendor, if you have an account at Family Tree DNA already:

  • Click here to sign on
  • Click on the “DNA Tests” button at the top of your page
  • Click on Autosomal Transfer and follow the instructions

Uploading If You Don’t Have an Account at Family Tree DNA

  • Click here
  • Click on the DNA Tests button at top left
  • Click on Autosomal Transfer and follow instructions.

Don’t forget to unlock your results once your transfer is complete!

You just never know what big genealogy fish might be swimming in this pond! Just this morning, I received a new close match and I hope one is waiting for you too.