Monday, June 26, 2017

Get Started on WikiTree Today!

For anyone doing DNA triangulated groups and segment studies who want to find the best tools to verify their paper trail, WikiTree is a must.

Yes, there is a learning curve. If this Blundering Genealogist can do it, so can you.

You can do a partial or full tree on WikiTree and add your GEDmatch number in order to verify your paper trail. Be prepared; you may discover surprises.

It has been my experience as I work with other people and teach them the wonders of WikiTree, you won't be alone for long. Often by the time you enter your second great-grandparents you will start finding cousins (especially if you live in the United States).

That is why I suggest single entries rather than uploading a gedcom. Often adding a gedcom only creates more work. Especially if many of your family members already have profiles.

In the lower right hand corner of the profiles you enter (in profile view, not in edit view), you will find a Research tool. Use it. This link gives you resources with a click of the button. (You will need to re-sign-in .)

Some people have challenges using a collaborative tree. You can set your privacy so others can't change your data. If your data is questioned don't be offended. Other genealogists are trying to help or they may need help. This is your opportunity to collaborate with others to explain why your information is correct. And yes, I have had to swallow my pride more than once and accept when I had mis-information. I am thankful, because I would rather leave a tree to my family and the world that is right and verified by not only paper sources, but DNA as well.

Go for it! Have some fun and try it out. You will be glad you did.

Happy Finding! To get started: Click HERE.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Gedmatch Tool: Genesis

If you are new to DNA and genealogy---Don't worry if you don't "get-it" yet, I just wanted to let people know Gedmatch has added another tool to their arsenal.

Late last night while surfing my numerous Facebook genealogy groups, I happened across a post about a new tool. How had I missed it? I had been working on Gedmatch all day!

I went to Gedmatch and immediately found what everyone was discussing but couldn't figure out.
When I opened the tool this is what I read: 
The Genesis Algorithm

"For several years, GEDmatch has provided genetic genealogists, both beginners and experts, the ability to search for matches among kits in their database without regard to vendor. Also, GEDmatch has provided a rich suite of analysis programs allowing users to dig deeply into the genetic details of their matches, enhance the reports from their vendors, and even pursue their own original research ideas. Our algorithms are evolving to extract the most trustworthy and meaningful matching information possible using the markers common to pairs of kits even though sometimes limited.

Unfortunately, all too often, kits appear to share a DNA segment purely by chance. To combat this confusing phenomenon, we recently have developed a reliability measure that allows users to assess the quality of a matching segment in an intuitively appealing fashion. We also use the measure to guide our matching algorithms as they wring the greatest amount of useful information possible from the markers common to pairs of kits.

If we could assume that marker characteristics were uniform in all regions within chromosomes, we could use a "one size fits all" requirement for matching segments as is sometimes done. Unfortunately, the relevant characteristics vary widely. Some long segments with few markers may be accidental matches. Some marker rich short segments are often discarded although they are profoundly non-random.

Using the characteristics of each and every marker in a segment, we compute the expected number of purely chance matches to it to be found in the database. That number is then used to classify the segment into one of several levels reflecting the likelihood that the random matches may overwhelm the real ones. When a user executes a one-to-many search or a one-to-one comparison specifying a minimum segment length, the display can then include an estimate of validity for each segment found.

One can assume those segments designated to be valid are the result of a DNA inheritance process rather than mere chance. Questions may still remain about how far back shared DNA originates, but a confounding factor has been removed."
An earlier version of this tool was once part of the One-to-One comparison on the free side of the Gedmatch site. It was often overlooked, because people didn't understand it's value. And, it is a valuable tool.

Now, with more people doing triangulated groups, and the growing understanding of identical by descent (IBD-you share a common ancestor) and identical by state or chance (IBS or IBC-false positives) more genealogists are looking closely at the chromosomes of their matches to determine if they are indeed IBD matches.

What you need to know:

1. You need to be a Tier 1 Member ($10) donation for a month of access to Tier 1 tools. Tier 1 provides a wonderful assortment of automated genealogy tools that can save a researcher hours of tedious work.

2. You have to upload your raw data to Genesis because it is on a separate server. You will get an additional Gedmatch kit number specific for Genesis.

What you see:

Select All DNA Matches - you see a match list for everyone who matches you who has uploaded to Genesis, their kit number, user name and contact information. (Like the L button on your regular Gedmatch One-to-Many Page)

You can use Ctl-F, enter your kit number, and find the different people with whom you share DNA. By studying their list of matches you might recognize someone with whom you have already made a connection.

One-to-Many--gives you a list of all the people you match and the information as shown in this header.

As on your regular Gedmatch One-to-Many page, click on the "A" between your matches kit number and their name, and you get a 1:1 comparison of chromosomes 1-22 complete with color graphics. The heading on the page explains how to "read" what you see.

As you scroll though the chromosomes of the person whose DNA you are comparing, you want to see solid green over blue to validate base pairs with a true match.

If you use the Validity Tool and enter your kit against your kit, you will get solid green over solid blue. You match yourself perfectly.

If you compare yourself against a parent, sibling, grandparent or first to second cousins you will find significant segments of solid green over blue in many places.

Areas of yellow over blue denotes a half match; a possible match to either your maternal or paternal line.

You will only know which side they are on by comparing genealogy. (Unless you have done something called Phasing--a whole other post. In this case you will get lavender.)

To verify a common ancestor, especially with smaller segment sizes, you will still need to triangulate with another cousin. You may find that cousin to triangulate with in the results you collected from your Tier 1 Matching Segments tool.

I appreciate the visuals. They help me see exactly where and how I match with others.

Thanks Gedmatch!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tier 1 Gedmatch Matching Segment Search

The tool “Matching Segment Search” on Tier 1 tools loses some of its visual clarity during the process of copying and pasting into a spreadsheet. You get a better visual understanding by being a Tier 1 member. The developers have done a great job to compensate by using color coding to help identify possible match groups on each chromosome.
When the color on the column changes, it indicates a different group of matches who potentially  share a different common ancestor. (This is due to something called recombination. You can learn more about recombination HERE.
This workbook sheet presents matches in order, beginning with chromosome 1 through chromosome 22.

When viewing on the Gedmatch website you see a variation in size of the shared segment on a chromosome. Below, everyone listed in the purple group, match on at least some of the same position on the same chromosome. This visual shows some people share more of this segment with you than others. The worksheet  includes the segment size that is shared. Though not an actual triangulated group, those who show the same color indicate they hold the potential to be a triangulated group.

The picture below is what you see in your copied and pasted workbook spreadsheet. Instead of the narrower and wider graphic, a  big block of the same color indicates you share at least part of common area on this chromosome with everyone else listed with that same color; and thus, the same common ancestor. (There are times you could share this same color simply by accident.) That is why it is important to discover your common ancestor with people who share segments over 15 cM first. (Email them to compare trees.)
The header on Matching Segment Search titles all the pertinent contact information, and the segment start and end location and the size of the segment you share.
As you study your Matching Segment Search page you will also notice a change in the color in the Segments column when you begin a new chromosome.
If you share on more than one chromosome with a match, don't assume the match is for the same common ancestor. It could indicate a different common ancestor. For instance one match may be for a common grandfather, the other match could be for a common grandmother. Or, it might even be for the parent of a common grandparent. You will have to find out who others in the triangulated group share by studying their genealogical trees.
(If you have an adopted person in your group, you can greatly assist them by notifying them of the common ancestor they share with you and others in the group.)

When studying segments think of a triangulated group as you would a three legged table. The table top is the common ancestor; the legs represent descendant lines through three different children.

Let’s use Hugh Brady b. 1709 as an example. I discovered I match with a descendant from his daughter, Mary; and a descendant from his son, Ebenezer on the same chromosome and segment. Together we are a triangulated group. Our most recent common ancestor (MRCA) is Hugh Brady. Hugh is our common link. Everyone else who shares this same segment/color grouping on the same chromosome should also  have this same Hugh Brady in their tree. This segment of DNA can be identified, Hugh Brady b. 1709.
If your testing company is AncestryDNA, you may have noticed there are times when your ancestor hint you share with a match provides more than one ancestor with whom you share your DNA. This could be because someone doesn't have their tree filled in correctly. OR, it could mean you need a third person to triangulate with, to determine who your common ancestor actually is. There has to be at least 3 people, not too closely related to have a triangulated group.
On the Matching Segment Search you can have more than three people in your triangulated group (same color, same chromosome, share somewhere on the same segment) and their genealogical trees should all include the same common ancestor.
Email them to find out who it is.
Hint: To more quickly identify your shared segments to a specific surname in your tree; do a surname search on your testing company's matches page. Try to find descendants from different lines where you have a common set of ggg (or more distant) grandparents. Use matches beyond second cousin range. Get their Gedmatch Kit Number. Do a one-to-one match on Gedmatch and identify the chromosome where they match you. Find them on your Matching Segment Search page.  Email the other people who are in the same color group. Check their tree and confirm the same common ancestor. Insert a column in your spreadsheet and write the name of your common ancestor for this color group. Now, when a new match appears, and matches you in the same location, you instantly know who your CA is  by looking on your Matching Segment Search page.

Happy Finding!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gedmatch Segment Triangulation Bar Chart

This is pretty simple.
Across the top of your chart you have header

You can see all the contact information for those in your possible triangulated groups.

I recommend you add one column to your spreadsheet so you can enter the name of the common ancestor you share with your match.

The segment bar chart (as the tree graphic) include only a portion of the people you match. (This is a Beta tool.)

Pretend you are looking at a ruler with a segment laying on top. This ruler is divided into centemorgans (cM). The "from" and "to"  is the position where you and your matches measurement starts and ends.
To get a better idea you can reduce the view size of your page.
 Fig. 1

Every Match with overlapping segments in a TG will have a Common Ancestor – an ancestor who passed the DNA segment to each of them. Which ancestor you all share is determined by genealogy.-Jim Bartlett

The gray areas indicate a break where a new chromosome begins.

Where you see well aligned bars indicates common ancestors. 

If you are new to triangulation, you should focus on those matches who share a 15 cM size or larger.
You often share different segments on different chromosomes with matches as you "climb" your trees. Each shared segment will represent a different common ancestor or set of grandparents. 

Contact those who overlap and share trees. Collaborate if you see who they need to add to connect with you.

When combining triangulation with a specific surname project, triangulation becomes a process of elimination. You confirm other branches of your tree as you search for those in your surname project. It is beneficial for everyone within the surname project to compare their Gedmatch Kit numbers to see where (if at all) they relate to others in the project. Not all cousins will match each other. Some will.

An example might be if you share atDNA with a cousin who descends from a common couple.

As an example I will use my fifth great-grandparents,  Hugh and Hannah (McCormick) Brady.

One match may descend from their daughter Mary and another may descend through Samuel, another through Ebenezer. Your most common ancestors with whom you share DNA is going to be Hugh or Hannah. Three cousins from different children's lines who match on the same place on the same chromosome confirm Hugh and Hannah as your common grandparents using atDNA. 

Now, do a surname search at your testing company, in this case search for McCormick. Can you find a McCormick who matches you and a known Brady cousin on this or another segment? This will help you figure out what piece of a chromosome is from Hugh and which part is from Hannah.

Begin sending emails to those people whose segments overlap yours and find out who your common matches are.

Happy Finding!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Gedmatch: Something Every Adoptee Should Know and Great Hint for Triangulation Groups

Administrators of Multiple Accounts on Gedmatch Are Important

A great way to find administrators: On your One-to Many page, click on the up/down arrows at the top of the email column, this will sort email contacts in alphabetical order. You will be able to identify administrators immediately. They will be tied to multiple kits and all will have the same email address.

These are people you want to be on good terms with. They often (not always) manage kits for people that share the same ancestor. It is always important to make sure you provide a kit number and user name when communicating with them, as well as results you have made of one-to-one comparison for the kit. (You can copy and paste this comparison information into an email.) Administrators are busy; if you don’t provide this information, they may not reply. They are very focused people. AND they are often people with answers.
Many people who administer multiple accounts are already working with adoptees. Don't be afraid to let them know if you are adopted. They may add you to their comparison lists. Who you relate to could be the break they need to solve multiple mysteries.
Genetic genealogy is how some of them earn a living, so time is money. Avoid chit-chat in your communication. On the other hand, they may be a relative managing for family. They will often let you know in their email reply. Then-- you can chit-chat.
Also, if you conduct a Ctrl+F search and enter the letters DD in a search box, you will find people who have DD at the beginning of their user name. (Skip the Eddies.) This means they are either a seasoned DNA Detective, or they are relatively new to genetic genealogy, and learning. Many are adoptees who WELCOME any assistance you can provide. DD's are always Adoptee Friendly.
Don't hesitate to contact DD's with any information you have as soon as their DD username turns up in a triangulation or segment analysis. 
Adoptees will benefit by offering to check suspected common ancestor names by testing them in their Mirror Trees. If they don't offer ask them to help by doing this. (They will know what you mean even if you don't)
Always share your trees with DD's.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Game Your Tree with Facebook and Ancestry

The term game means to do something fun and challenging.

I've really been thinking about how the DNA testing companies will soon find ways to more accurately link genetic cousins within well researched trees.

A major stumbling block is the sincerely believed, but wrongly sourced data. Next, are the challenges with adoption, not parent expected, foundlings and donors. How does a company solve these problems to reach that goal?

Ancestry, in a brilliant marketing move, is already doing just that.

The We're Related application released a few months ago, can be played on cell phones and tablets. The game checks to see if and how your are related to movie, music, sport, and political celebrities. And, Ancestry has linked with Facebook to make it an even more dynamic game.

Some people worried that the game would perpetuate the copying of bad trees. Indeed, there were some discouraging reviews. Unless Ancestry isn't as smart as I think it is, We're Related is designed to do exactly the opposite.

I theorize, the game is designed to help Ancestry target incorrect data within their database with the help of the genealogical community.

I have no doubt once a line is thumbed down a few times, Ancestry will no longer use that particular line to make game connections. The information gathered will help refine their atDNA match algorithms at the same time. The more refined both the Ancestry and AncestryDNA's database, the better connections for everyone.

Test my theory by playing along and checking back at a later date to see if your "bad" link to a certain person has changed.

The game will actually assist you in finding more cousins. You use it to your benefit.

How-to Play

Download the application (HERE)
  1. Enter two to three generations of your direct line. (You can keep it private, but others don't benefit from studying your linage.)
  2. Play the game
  • If the line they provide is one of those "bad ones," Give it a Thumbs Down 
  • If your line is personally well sourced, and the line they provide matches with yours, Give it a thumbs up.
  • Link to your celebrity match. I can assure you, if Ancestry is using celebrities, they have made sure of their evidence. If you feel you must, the sourcing of celebrities. If you agree the line is valid, add the celebrity to your tree. (What fun when others want to look at your tree!)
  • To Benefit YOU: Your are often provided clues that will take your tree lines back further than you currently have them built. 
  • Don't give a thumbs up or thumbs down. Study the clues Ancestry has provided, and see if you can find verified sources to validate. 
  • Only give it a thumbs-up once you have sourced and validated the information they offer.
  • Add these new ancestors to your tree.

Because Ancestry has linked with Facebook, you can also find out if you are related to people in your Facebook friends list. Many of my "friends" are already listed as relatives.

Again, follow the same steps and add your Facebook friends to your tree once you verify they are related to you.
Today the game offered me a cousin match to someone I very recently met. We have several things in common, among them, wanting to learn more about the tools available to find ancestors using atDNA. 
I envision a time in the not too distant future when Facebook expands your relationship choices beyond only family, to a finer subset, be it grandparent, parent, child, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, half-sib, or box in which you can enter: 7c1x.

Perhaps once we recognize .....

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Understanding Gedmatch: One-to-Many Matches

In my opinion, (I have watched many), the following link will take you to the best explanation of the what you are looking at on the Gedmatch "One-to-Many" page. This video also shows clues about determining relationship based on amount of shared DNA. Time to watch, 3 min 44 seconds. Click here.