Concepts – Genetic Distance

At Family Tree DNA, your Y DNA and full sequence mitochondrial matches display a column titled Genetic Distance.  One of the most common questions I receive is how to interpret genetic distance. Many people mistakenly assume that genetic distance is the number of … Continue reading

Concepts – Managing Autosomal DNA Matches – Step 1 – Assigning Parental Sides

Lots of people have struggled with exactly how to identify and work with autosomal DNA matches, create DNA match groups and triangulation groups, which isn’t at all the same thing. Add to that multiple testing vendors who provide you with different types information … Continue reading

Concepts – Downloading Autosomal Data from Family Tree DNA

In the new Concepts series titled Managing Autosomal DNA Matches, we’re going to be working with your DNA information from several sources. In order to create matching spreadsheets, you’ll need to download your autosomal information from Family Tree DNA. Sign … Continue reading

Concepts – Y DNA Matching and Connecting with your Paternal Ancestor

Recently, I received a question about exactly how and why we can use Y DNA to identify or connect with a patrilineal ancestor. “I do not quite understand how the profiles can be identified specifically to an ancestor since that … Continue reading

Concepts – Parental Phasing

I recently used a technique called parental phasing as part of the proof that one Curtis Lore found in Pennsylvania was the same person as Curtis Benjamin Lore, found later in Indiana.  Given that I’ve already used parental phasing as part of a … Continue reading

Concepts – CentiMorgans, SNPs and Pickin’ Crab

In autosomal DNA testing, you’ll see the terms centiMorgans, represented as cM and SNPs, which stands for single nucleotide polymorphism, combined. These are two terms that are used to discuss thresholds and measurements of matching amounts of autosomal DNA segments. … Continue reading

Concepts – Identical by…Descent, State, Population and Chance

In genetic genealogy, what does it mean when someone says they are “identical by” something…and what are those various somethings? In autosomal DNA, where your DNA on chromosomes 1-22 (and sometimes X) is compared to other people for matches of … Continue reading

Concepts – How Your Autosomal DNA Identifies Your Ancestors

Welcome to the concepts articles. This series presents the concepts of genetic genealogy, not the details.  I have written a lot of detailed articles, and I’ve linked to them for those of you who want more.  My suggestion would be … Continue reading

Big Y-500 STR Matching

Family Tree DNA recently introduced Big Y-500 STR matching for men who have taken  the Big Y-500 test. This is in addition to the SNP results and matching. If you’d like an introduction or definition of the terms STR and … Continue reading