Category Archives for Blog

Contacting your matches after a DNA ancestry test

How to Reach Out to DNA Matches (Without Being Annoying)

Taking a DNA ancestry test is the easy part. There are plenty of excellent options to choose from and the process is fairly quick.

Then comes the hardest part; trying to connect the dots.

The results can only tell you so much. You’ll have to contact the matches to be sure you are connected and get more details that might prove helpful in your own search.

Many DNA testing services offer ways to contact your matches. Most use an internal messaging system but others like Family Tree DNA allow you to contact matches directly via email.

However, getting a response … Read the rest >>

Using family records (in addition to an FTDNA or test) to research your family history

5 Ways to Research Your Family History (In Addition to getting a DNA Test)

Researching your family is like solving a large complex puzzle. An FTDNA, 23andMe or test may fill a lot of missing pieces but it won’t tell you the whole story.

If you are serious about researching your family history, you’ll have to do more than just get a DNA test. You’ll need to expand your search and find more sources to fill in the missing gaps.

Here are five ways you can do that.

1. Talk to Your Family Members

Family stories can be surprisingly informative. The trick is to know how to draw them out.

Start with your … Read the rest >>

The best books on genetics and best DNA test advances

The 5 Best Books on Genetics and Genetic Testing

Whether you want to learn more about genetics or discover the best DNA test technologies, here are five books for genetic enthusiasts and amateur geneticists.

They are not exactly the deep highly-technical kind of stuff a professional would appreciate but they are perfect if you are just looking for some general knowledge. It includes books on both DNA ancestry testing as well as genetic health screening.

You can find all these books on Amazon. Most of them are available in multiple formats including Paperback and Kindle.

1. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

DNA testing is … Read the rest >>

Ancestry DNA online genetic testing kit

Five Things You Should Know Before Buying a DNA Genetic Testing Kit

DNA genetic tests are all the range these days. But don’t get one without knowing exactly what you are getting into. These powerful ancestry-tracing tools and enormous family finder databases can have unexpected results; some good, some not so much.

Before you get a DNA test from 23andMe, Family Tree DNA or any of the other genetic testing companies here are five things you should know.

1. It Could Break Your Family

Most people get a DNA test out of simple curiosity.

They want to find out their ancestry and see if they have some second or third cousins out … Read the rest >>

AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FTDNA use centimorgans to compare DNA matches

What Are centiMorgans and How Do You Use Them to Find DNA Matches?

When you get an autosomal DNA test whether from AncestryDNA, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA, you can use the results to find possible DNA matches.

All genealogical DNA testing services use centiMorgans to estimate (emphasis on ‘estimate’) how close you are with someone else. Depending on the number of centiMorgans across your shared DNA segments they could be close family members such as a parent or grandparent or a relative further away such as a second cousin.

So what exactly is a centiMorgan (abbreviated as cM) and how do you use it to find and analyze DNA matches.


A … Read the rest >>

Older fathers pass on more mutations & a 23andMe health review will not show these potential mutations

Why Men Should Father Children Earlier to Avoid Passing on Genetic Mutations

When is the best time to have kids?

For many people it depends on a wide variety of factors including career trajectory, health and culture. But science generally recommends doing it earlier.

For women fertility is obviously a major reason for doing it when younger. There is also the increased risk of complications like ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and miscarriage.

But it’s not just women who should be worried about getting kids later in life. Men too have a ticking biological clock.

Scientists already know that older fathers have a higher risk of bearing children with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, … Read the rest >>

Who are the genetic Adam and Eve - can't be traced via Family Tree DNA

Tracing Human Geneology: Who Are The Genetic Adam and Eve?

Genealogy testing services like Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA can only get you so far into the past. Autosomal DNA testing for instance, the most popular type of DNA test, can only trace your ancestry up to your second cousins.

To study the human lineage much father back tens of thousands of years ago researchers have had to use more advanced methods like genome sequencing and restriction mapping.

In 1987 they struck gold.

They analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of 147 people drawn from five different populations around the world.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to son and … Read the rest >>

DNA is a vast and complicated structure

Common Questions on DNA Genealogy Testing (FAQs for Beginners)

What is the best DNA test? What will a genealogy DNA test tell me? Can I find my relatives using a DNA test? Here are quick answers to common questions on DNA genealogy tests for those who want to trace their ancestry and find family matches.

Click on the + sign to expand an answer.

Read the rest >>
23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data

An Online DNA Database Helped Capture the Golden State Killer. Should You Be Worried About the Privacy of your DNA Data?

A decades-long search for the Golden State killer finally led to the arrest of a suspect with the help of an online DNA database. But it raises many questions on how much privacy we are giving up when we use genealogical DNA testing websites like and AncestryDNA.

Police suspect he has raped more than 50 people and killed at least 12. Dozens of bulgaries have also been linked to him. But for over four decades, Joseph James DeAngelo also known as the Golden State Killer, managed to elude investigators.

A break in the case came when one of the … Read the rest >>