Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hello Bradys of the World! Who and Where Are You?

Okay, blogs are supposed to reach out to the world, right?

This post is in pursuit of THE Brady who is going to crack some of our family's mysteries that we have been in search of an answer to for a couple of hundred years and hopefully solve a few other Brady mysteries at the same time.

I am a member of the Brady Family Association. (Facebook: Hugh Brady and Hannah McCormick Descendants) We know some of these descendants were at one-time slave owners.

I am, as you might guess, a descendant of Hugh and Hannah Brady.

About a year ago another cousin Elizabeth Brady and I initiated the Facebook Brady DNA Project. It is open to anyone in the world with the Brady surname in their direct line genealogical tree that has taken an autosomal DNA test and has uploaded their DNA to GEDmatch.

(Yes, GEDmatch. We knew how powerful the tools were at this wonderful open-source site before the alleged Golden State Killer was apprehended.)

Four years ago I bought a book from Amazon, Brady Family Reunion and Fragments of Brady History and Biography published in 1909. I wanted to see if I could find any connections to my Brady family. On page 7 I found my great-grandmother, Jemima R. Mott’s name listed as an attendee. Now, I like to pretend I can point to her in the blurry family group photograph that was taken in front of what they referred to in that book as the original Brady homestead. (I think she is the short gray-headed one toward the left front, in a white blouse and black hat with all the girls around her. Some of them may be my aunts.)

Jemima Ruth (Brady) Mott b. 1849 Pennsylvania

I began searching the internet to see if the family still held reunions. I wasn’t finding anything, when lo and behold a cousin contacted my sister via a DNA testing company’s internal messaging system (I manage my sister’s DNA) asking if I was coming to the Brady Reunion. I was thrilled. I was hooked.

In the Brady Reunion book of 1909, the “original” cabin was behind everyone and was clad with siding and adjoined to a house that was built later by one of the descendants. It has since been torn apart and painstakingly and lovingly reconstructed by a cousin, Bruce Lampe who is a building contractor in Florida. (That story can be found in the book The Cabin on the Creek: The History of the Hugh Brady Homestead. If you can find it.)

At our FB Brady DNA Project we have members from Brady branches across the U.S., some from the UK and we have several Brady branches from Australia

We are all in different stages of learning how to track our family trees using autosomal DNA. We are using GEDmatch Tier 1 tools, focusing on triangulation and studying segments. An all-volunteer site, we do our best to answer questions for each other about documentation from different trees and about how to follow our autosomal DNA.

We have contacted anyone we can find with the Brady surname and invited them to join our group. We have sent messages on our testing sites to any Brady we can find through surname searches. We have made announcements on WikiTree and Gedmatch. We have put out the call and we are still looking.

I have combed the Matching segments and One-to-many lists from GEDmatch of friends who I have helped to find their genetic family. Some of my friends have matches who are related to me!

I feel I am missing millions.

With all this Brady hunting we have several different Brady lines searching for relatives on our Facebook Brady DNA Project. We want more!

(It’s not just for Hugh and Hannah, though many members of the group are descendants.)

I want to know is Hannah really a McCormick? No marriage record, so all we have to go on is a statement from a grandson. All the “as told to’s” say so, but we want a paper trail. I will be happy when we have DNA confirmation.

I do have the McCormick surname showing up in my autosomal DNA and it looks like it is leading back to a line going back to James McCormick and Sara Welsh. I have combed every branch I can find for a Hannah b. abt 1710. None. Nada. Zilch. Did she have a different given name and we just haven’t put two and two together? I think perhaps Margaret. After all, there are daughters in various McCormick families born about that time named Margaret.

WikiTree has shown us a couple of branches of Brady lines that look hopeful and may connect to our branch. A sibling of Hugh’s? We haven’t been able to make the connection---yet.

We want Brady lines still in Ireland to get involved too!

Come on autosomal DNA! I’m counting on you!

We don’t know the ship they sailed in on but suspect it may have landed around Delaware. Well, we find a Hugh Brady who had land transactions there and we know some of their children were born there. I haven’t ruled out landfall in Canada. But for all we know it could have been around Louisiana. I just have a hard time getting my head around immigrants landing in the Gulf and trekking all the way to Pennsylvania to settle near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, British Colonies in the 1740’s where the original log home has now been preserved.

Historical records report Hugh was born in 1709 in Ireland. He is a Son of the American Revolution. But who for sure is his father? Did Hugh arrive in the colonies a lone Brady? And did other family join him in the colonies after his arrival? I have some people who appear to be the missing link but they have not DNA tested---yet.

Autosomal DNA appears to be drawing us closer to answers and we continue to search for that one connection that is going to break down this brick wall. We have some small segment matches with Brady lines in the UK and in Australia, but we need one of those
wonderful 15 cM segments that will point us in the right direction and span the gap to fill in the blanks.

If you are a Brady or descended from any Brady, have done autosomal DNA and are on GEDmatch,  please consider joining the FB Brady DNA Project. We will do our best to find you connections to your Brady family---whoever they may be. And please, share this post with all of your friends who do DNA and genealogy!

If you are a known descendant of Hugh Brady and Hannah McCormick, we have a family reunion the first of June at the old homestead. (Details at the FB Hugh and Hannah Descendants page. Tell them Barbara sent you.

Happy Finding!

I am still having a blast!

Friday, May 11, 2018

For DNA Painter Enthusiasts: A Personal Interview with Jonny Perl

I know many of you have fallen in love with the online tools at DNA Painter. It has taken the genealogy community by storm. I know several people have said on different forums they have become addicted to the Painter tool.

The site has several other tools I have become addicted to. Jonny made the cM Relationship Chart developed by Blaine T. Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, interactive. And with the addition of The DNA Geek, Dr. Leah Larkin’s probability calculations you can’t get much better at narrowing down how you relate to your matches. 

These tools are a must for people who want to knock down brick walls in their tree and for those who are adopted and are using DNA to find their biological families.

(Big hint here: keep an eye on the DNA Painter site. Jonny has more new tools in the works that are going to blow everyone away.)

I wanted to know Jonny better (he's from the UK) I also wanted to know how popular genealogy testing is in the UK. I thought you might want to know too. Jonny graciously accepted my request for this interview. 

How popular is pursuing genealogy in the UK? Does interest in it seem to be growing?

There’s a long-standing interest, with TV shows like ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ helping to boost it in recent years.  I’m not sure if it’s growing or not – I’m in so deep that it’s hard to get a perspective! I know two new family history conferences were announced today, so I guess that says something!

What about attitudes about DNA testing? Would you say the number of people testing in the UK is increasing?

It’s reasonably widely known but I wouldn’t say it’s mainstream yet. While the market is far less evolved than in the US, there are lots of TV ads, and I’m sure many kits are being sold. 

Are their many UK based testing companies?
No; the big international players – Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and 23andme – still dominate, but Living DNA is UK-based and have also made great advances in a short time with their more targeted ethnicity estimates.

When did you first get interested in genealogy?
Comparatively recently!  I was always fascinated by history in general, but my interest in family history just clicked about 11 years ago. Almost overnight I was up until the early hours every day researching ancestors.

What areas in genealogy excite you the most?
Like many others, I enjoy the thrill of the chase, and that amazing feeling when all the evidence comes together to prove a theory.  I love to visit physical locations that related to my ancestors (not just graveyards!). On a personal level I’m excited about producing online tools that will help people in their research.

Do you have any ancestors that stand out as “special” to you?
I’m fond of the ancestors (and other relatives) who share my passion for genealogy. My father’s cousin is one of these, and he showed me some photos and papers collated by my great-aunt.

These included some hand-written documents from my Great-Great-Grandfather Charles Richard Jones (1828-1917) dating from the 1890s. Charles worked first for his father, a printer and publisher, and then as a bookseller. In these papers, he lists out birth, baptism and death information for many of his parents’ ancestors and their siblings. He wrote down absolutely everything he knew, even if it was uncertain or incomplete. This helped me knock down a brick wall that led back four more generations! What’s more, he and his wife had a charming and very helpful tendency to give their children middle names corresponding to an ancestor’s distinctive last name. Without all this I would have struggled with my research. I have a few photos of Charles and I bet I have a fair few of his genes too!

Who are your “brick walls?”
I’m half-Irish, so there are a few! I’m missing the names of three different great-great-great grandmothers on my maternal side: the wives of James McBride in county Monaghan, Joseph Marshall in county Tyrone, and Hugh Mathews in county Down. These are women who married around 1800-1830. In the absence of any paper records, I’m relying on DNA sleuthing.

In the U.S. there are loads of people who love finding connections with the Royal Family, is that popular in the U.K. too?
Well, we’re all descendants of Charlemagne! I’m sure royal connections are a driving force for some, yes (I don’t need any force to drive me!).

I do have a connection to the British Royal Family, but not an ancestral one: the brother of my 4th-Great Grandmother was a doctor called Sir Isaac Wilson who was in charge of the delivery at the birth of Queen Victoria!

The U.S. is keen on identifying Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution any thoughts on that?

In general, my interest in genealogy has improved my knowledge of US history.  I do have experience of DAR; I was able to trace the lifecycle family of Irish cousins, starting from a wedding not far from where I now live in London; the death of the father in 1837, the immigration of his family in 1845, and then the subsequent success of a descendant, Katie Putnam, who was a famous actress in the 1870s-90s, and who also identified as a DAR.

When did the idea come to you to develop the interactive cM Relationship Finder? Was it hard to write?
The idea came to me the day when Blaine Bettinger released the updated shared cM numbers in August 2017. The code isn’t complicated and I wrote it one afternoon shortly afterwards.  I then sat on it for a few weeks - I wasn’t really sure how useful it would be.  On a whim, I posted it to a Facebook group one day and it took off very quickly. Lots of people had some great suggestions that have helped make it better.

When did you decide to develop the Painter tool?
In March 2017, not long after I got my test results back, I realized that I was looking for something that didn’t exist – a simple web-based tool that I could use to store and visualize segment data, returning whenever I got a new match. 

I created an early version very quickly, but it was just a static page.  It took me a few months to get my head around the task; together with the learning curve for DNA and genetic genealogy, the programming challenges were a lot to take on.  By July I’d got things working well enough to invite some beta testers. I still wasn’t quite sure when to put it out there. I ended up casually mentioning it in a Facebook comment, and everything grew from there.

What new projects are in the works?
I am currently hard at work on a new release for the main DNA Painter site. This will aim to streamline the flow of the application and will hopefully make it more enjoyable to use. I’ll also be rolling out several new features over the next few months, including the ability to bulk-import segments and matches into your profile.

I’m also working on a new project with Leah LaPerle Larkin (aka The DNA Geek) that uses multiple relationship probabilities.

Is there a way we can offer a thank-you contribution for providing the world such a fantastic tool?

I will be adding a paid tier to the site in the new release, so those who would like to support the site and its future development will be able to pay a small membership fee in exchange for access to some new tools.

What are some of the pastimes you enjoy when not focusing on code writing (is that what you call it?) and genealogy? 

I spend a lot of time with my children! I also sing and play guitar regularly at an “open mic” night here in London, and occasionally DJ.

Tell us some of your favorite things. (Music, food, movies, TV shows)
I’m a big music fan and have quite eclectic taste with a heavy bias towards the 50s, 60s and 70s. I love spinach and I rarely get a chance to watch TV!

Thank you so much for this interview, Jonny. 

BTW, Jonny stays busy answering questions on Facebook DNA Painter page as well. (Join and let him know this Blundering DNA Genealogist sent you.)

So, if you haven't tried these wonderful tools yet, go for it!

Happy Finding!

I am still having a blast!

P.S. My new book has been released. It is available in both eBook and paperback. Amazon hasn't linked them together yet. The eBook is cheaper and it is the same book. You can download a free Kindle app to your computer, tablet or phone to read it. The paperback is 8.5 x 11 so it will lay flat next to your keyboard. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

WikiTree: Another Bell to Whistle About! Compare

I love WikiTree.

Agreed, this single entry One-World tree can be a bit daunting at first. That’s because it has so much to offer. (And if you are challenged, there are volunteers at the ready to show you the ropes. Just ask under HELP.)

What do I mean by a single entry?

There is only one entry for an ancestor and everyone who has this ancestor in their direct line tree links to that ancestor’s profile. Think about it. When a fifth (or however distant) great-grandparent had a slew of children, the number of descendants today is going to be enormous. 

When those descendants have taken a DNA test they are listed on the right of the ancestor’s profile page. Many of these cousins have their DNA information available for comparison. (You control your own privacy settings.)  

Hannah McCormick is an example. You can see a list of everyone who has her in their tree by clicking this link.

New Compare Feature

WikiTree automatically adds your DNA information to all of the ancestor profiles in your direct line.

WikiTree has now added a new “Compare” feature for those who have linked their GEDmatch kit to their personal profile. 

A glance at your ancestor’s profile shows you when a new cousin links to this ancestor in their tree. 

When you see a list of cousins who share this ancestor you can work your way down the list comparing yourself to them. (You can also compare each of them to each other!)

Click on the word "compare" next to their GEDmatch kit number and this little window opens up:

This takes you to GEDmatch and provides a visual in blue where you match.

If DNA is a passion, you will want to find out if they are genetically linked. (Cousins are still cousins but only a few will be genetic cousins—sharing DNA.)

The new "compare" links to GEDmatch users who have made their information available. Now it is easier than ever to see WHERE on WHICH chromosome you match. Find a third cousin in the list who is not too closely related (beyond 2nd cousin) who matches on the same chromosome in the same position and you may have a Triangulated Group and be able to verify this distant relative using DNA!

(Make sure you don’t share more than one grandparent couple with your match.)

To compare with the next person in the list, click on that tiny X next to the kit number so remove the previous person from your comparison.

You might want to send a "Welcome to the Family" message to your new found relative. They are family after all. (They might have some pictures and sources to share.)

Happy Finding!

Still having a blast.

(If you have any genealogist family or friends who have done DNA tests and they just happen to have the McCormick surname, please share this post with them. There are a bunch of us looking for Hannah's parents.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Simple Online Search Can be a Goldmine!

Some of the most fantastic finds are the easiest.

Simply do an online search for your ancestor by providing a name, date and location. You can also add the abbreviation "obit" before the name. Be sure and read the obituary. It may not be for the person whose name you entered but the name may be listed as a survivor or as someone who preceeded them in death.

One of my favorite "goldmine" searches is using a surname and the word genealogy. Example: "Prichard Family Genealogy", "Simonton Genealogy," "McCormick Family Genealogy," This will often yeild books that are now free to download online that were written by researchers more than a hundred years ago. The frosting on the cake, many of these books also list allied lines. (Branches from the main tree.)

Have a brick wall? Try doing this and see what happens. If you have done an autosomal DNA test, you may find a whole slew of names you have been finding in your tree searches and have been wondering who the heck these people are. 

Simple can be awesome.

Happy finding!

And, I am still having a blast.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

FTDNA Offers Free Transfers! A Few Basics for Everyone Especially Adopted People

Family Tree DNA offers free autosomal transfers. You will find more matches. The beauty of using FTDNA is you don't have to pay a subscription.  If you really want to have fun on this site, pay that $19 ONE time for the use of their awesome tools. (You'll be glad you did.) You will be able to see which chromosome(s) and the locations where you share. This way you can learn how to "read" your DNA.

It's kind of like being a tracker who learns the difference between a deer print and a rabbit print, and how long it has been since the animal was on the path. For us, how long it has been since our ancestor was around.

If you are an adoptee who has discovered one parent but not the other and know someone on the "known side" who will also do the free transfer, this can help you "divide" your maternal from paternal lines.

Here are some basics to get you started. Log in and you will find the landing page.

There is a place called "About Me" under the heading "Manage Personal Information" where you can tell your matches about yourself. If you put nothing else here, add your GEDmatch kit number. You can also say something like, "I need all the help I can get." There are some people who will.

This landing page is also where (if you took your test here) you can download your raw data for transfer to other sites. It is also where you find the Matrix tool (I'll get to it). 

If you don't have a tree make one; even if it just shows you, and bio mother unknown or bio father unknown. Times have changed and most of your matches are willing to help. This is a nice way of asking for it. 

Click on the "My Family Tree" tab to fill it in. If you have a gedcom you can upload it by clicking on the gear and uploading. It's that easy.

You can click on the Matches tab to view all your matches. Your closest ones will be at the top of the page. 

At the very top of the page on the right, you will see the most common surnames among your matches. This can be a little deceiving if someone has added a bunch of one surname in their tree or have the surname listed in the place where you can fill in their list of surnames. It can also act as a clue to what your paternal surname might be especially if it is not a common surname like Smith, Brown, White or Jones. A bunch of Shoff surnames would be unusual. You know your match has a tree if the little tree icon is blue.

When you search surnames your match page changes to show people with that surname identified somewhere in their tree or their surname list. 

Next, try selecting the person at the top of your match page by checking the box next to their name and select "in common with". Select the first four people that come up on this "in common with" page and click the chromosome browser. (You can look at five people in the browser at the same time but only add four right now.)  Give the browser a minute to populate. 

Look at the chromosomes and see if there is a colored coded stack of people who share on the same chromosome and overlap in the same position. 

Now, on the left of the chromosome page in the "Filter by matches" box use the pull down menu and choose Name. Enter the name of the person who you checked for "in common with" and click their box that will be next to their name. Does that person show up in your stack? Once you have some people stacked up in the same place and chromosome write down their names. Check the rest of the people on the "in common with" page to see where and how they stack up with each other. You might end up with a couple of others who stack up on a different chromosome. That's great.

Now go back to your landing page where you find the link to the Matrix tool. It may take a minute for your match list of names to show up. When it does scroll down to find the people's names you wrote down who stacked up. Click on their name and choose add. If you get a blue box with a check it means they all match each other. This highly suggests a triangulation which means you share a most recent common ancestor (MRCA). You can adjust the names up and down in the Matrix until you get a neat square of matches. Some people may match most but not everyone; that's okay. It could be where their DNA recombined, but you want at least three who match each other. If the don't have a tree up write them to see if they have a tree. (You can tell them how many matches they have with you and how many matches would probably contact them just from your match page alone.) 

You can click on their profile picture or icon to see their email address. 

The little note pad with pencil is where you can add notes. Be sure to save because the notes will dissappear if you don't.

Using DNA Painter in conjunction with FTDNA is great. I keep it open in another tab when I am using FTDNA. I use the cM tool V4 because it gives me best odds of how we match. 

Enter the total amount of cM in the little box on DNA Painter. (Round it to an even number.)

Look at the grandparent umbrella to see which generation of grandparents you most likely share. The boxes will light up for your most likely relationships. If your match has a tree (remember it will be blue) click on it and in the upper left click on pedigree view then count back back from their parents to grandparent, to great grandparents to great-great grandparents or however far and write down the names (I do screenshots and use microsoft paint to add my matches name and amount of cM's they share with me) of the grandparent level my relationship on DNAPainter says I should share. (Also a good time to make a note on their profile as to suggested grandparent generation.) 

I also use MS paint to draw a circle or box on the screenshot around the grandparent level so I can study these sheets and know where to look when I am comparing screenshots of matches for a most recent common ancestor (MRCA). A MRCA can be a pair of grandparents. I know. I thought it shoud be MRCAs for a long time, but sometimes it ends up being only one grandparent (people die and remarry or they sometimes mate outside of marriage).

When in Family View on the tree tool you can click on "show details" which will reveal birth and death dates as well as locations. (If only they all did.) 

Please, everyone upload your raw data to GEDmatch and invite your matches to do the same. If you do have a triangulation you may find more from other testing sites and grow your triangulated group.

Finally, when contacting your matches, if you find someone who is adopted, be sure to let them know who the most recent common ancestor is that you share in your group. People who are adopted can help you by searching their match list to see if they can find more information by searching these surnames among their matches.

Finally when you find or know a most recent common ancestor build your tree back (if you are adopted you can enter private for either parent back the distance to the MRCA (it doesn't matter that you don't know which side they are on at this point (you can rearrange later if you need to) and add your match's tree branch all the way to your match. Then click on the link tool. It brings up your match as you enter the name. There is a little chain link you click on to link them.  If you add the branch on your maternal side FTDNA's program will light up a bunch of trees with a red icon for maternal side. If you add and link them to your paternal side it will light up most the matches that match your matches with blue. Just remember we don't know yet if this is maternal or paternal. (Unless you do--which is fantastic!)

If you are adopted and are a female and you get lucky and find a female match with over 1330 which is a possible half-sibling (DNA painter will give other odds on other possible relationships) and you share 196 cM of X, you share a common father.

Still having a blast.

Happy Finding!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Why Having More Than One GEDmatch Kit Uploaded Can Be Slowing You Down

If you have your raw data from more than one testing company uploaded to GEDmatch you could be hampering your best chance to find matches.

GEDmatch is a case where one is enough.

First, GEDmatch only shows you your top 2000 matches. If you have more than one kit for yourself uploaded you are cutting down your own matches on your One-to-many page for each additional kit you add. You are always going to match you! Not only that, you will be your highest match.

Study your One-to-many page to see how many of your matches have done this. The easiest way is to sort your emails by clicking the up arrow. As you scroll down the page it is easy to see repeated email addresses. (This will also bring to view matches you've never seen before.)

I did a random check on five One-to-many-pages.

An average of 17 people had two kits uploaded with the same name and results. 
An average of 11 people had three tests posted with all the same results.
An average of 4 people had four kits uploaded with the same results.  

There are many people who will spend money and test at more than one company. That used to be considered a good thing because if you're adopted you want to "fish in all the ponds." That is great if you have your results at multiple sites.

Today it's not necessary to test at all the sites and a waste of money. (It really is.) 

FTDNA, MyHeritage, GEDmatch all accept FREE transfers from other companies and that puts you in nearly all the ponds---and GEDmatch is the ocean. 

Yes, transferring your raw data to another company is not as good as testing at it. Testing may give you a few more distant matches, but distant isn't necessarily what you're looking for if you're adopted. Transfering WILL show your closer matches. 

What's with all those email address that are the same?

A family historian is doing the work for loads of family members and is SERIOUS about tracking their family tree.

Someone is under the mistaken impression that having more than one kit will help them make more connections. Nope, it doesn't work that way.

Some people think their DNA will change over time and re-taking a test will help them find new matches. This is not true.

When you make people aware it is unecessary your are helping not only them you are also helping a lot of other people.

Many serious genealogists triangulate to study their matches. 

The Tier 1 tools make the job easy. These tools, however, limit the number of matches (depending on the tool they use). This means you are triangulating against yourself and in doing so, you could very well be eliminating one of your own triangulated matches that you need to make an important connection. 

Serious genealogists collaborate with those in their triangulation groups. 

When you are in one triangulation group you are often in another. If the person doing the triangulation is a close match to you, and you share a large number of segments with them, you could be costing yourself and them more triangulation groups.

If you share 21 segments with a second cousin and have more than one kit, you will triangulate with yourself and bump out matches who could be key for identifying a common ancestor FOR YOU. 

Now you understand why you are defeating your own efforts to find your family by uploading more than one kit. It is a simple process to remove kits from GEDmatch. The place to do this is on your landing page under Your DNA Resources.

A note to adoptees. 

Times have changed. Don't be afraid of letting people know you are adopted, especially on GEDmatch. There are tons of people willing to help. Put up a tree (Gedcom), again I recommend WikiTree. Don't give the excuse you don't have one. You can link it directly to GEDmatch. If your tree says nothing more than your name and place of birth (or adoption) and bio father unknown and bio mother unknown, that will help others help you. 

If you are adopted you can add your profile to Wikitree and link your GEDmatch kit number to it so others can find you. Be sure to add pictures of yourself at various ages in your life. You never know when a grandparent may be searching. (Wikitree also has an Adoption Angel Project and people willing to teach you how to find your family.)

If you have identified one line and not the other, please show what you do have. (It is always important to list living people as private. WikiTree does this automatically.)

Recently while working with someone I studied a tree of their match while doing triangulation groups. Their match had a tree and only the maternal branch It was a very good one too. Loaded with twigs and leaves.

As we closed in on the match for the person I was helping, I wrote the person with the maternal line tree and suggested they search a certain surname line the person I was working with and I discovered while studying the triangulated group. 

I received a reply back explaining they didn't have any lines by that name in their tree. 

I explained I realized that because I had studied their tree. If they pursued the names I provided, they might have a good start on building the paternal branch of their tree. I provided the kit numbers that linked to trees in the triangulated group they were in.

When you help a researcher by having a tree that indicates you are looking for your biological family, many professionals will be considerate enough to contact you when they find your shared common ancestor. 

The really astute researchers will enlist an adopted person's help. If you are in a triangulation group they are working on and they have a list of possible common ancestor matches, they may contact you and request you to conduct a surname search at your testing site and tell them the amount of cM's the site shows you share with your match who shares that surname. If it fits the right amount of cMs for the distance, you could be instrumental in helping them find the most recent common ancestor for the entire triangulation group as well as yourself!

Happy Better Finding!

Still having a blast!

Monday, December 25, 2017

DNA Painter Gets Even Better!

I love it when I am researching and blunder into a new enhancement of a tool. Not that long ago I happened on web developer, Jonny Perl's interactive DNA Painter, which is a new spin of ISSOG's Blaine T. Bettinger,  Shared cM Project data.

I love this so much I keep a laminated copy of this relationship chart close at hand.

When actively working with matches, I now keep the DNA Painter open in the background on my computer. By entering the number of the total shared cM's with a match, this chart provides an enhanced view of predicted relationships. Here is an illustration using a total1350 cM's shared and suggested possible relationships with DNA Painter's cM comparison tool. (This isn't the only wonderful tool on Perl's DNA Painter site.)

Today I discovered DNA Geek, Dr. Leah Larkin's newest contribution that takes the DNA Painter shared comparison tool a step further and provides statistical analysis which shows how correct the prediction will be. What a great holiday gift!

The higher the amount of total cM's shared the closer your relationship. This new enhancement shows the higher cM's shared, the better the odds of the predictions as well.

My sincere appreciation and thanks to Blaine T. Bettinger, Jonny Perl, and Dr. Leah Larkin for their contributions to those learning about genetic genealogy and for providing such awesome tools. 

Happy Finding made easier!

I'm still having a blast!