Wednesday, January 10, 2018

DNA Do-Over - January 2018

In addition to taking part in the Genealogy Do-Over, I have also decided to follow along with the new DNA Do-Over

The topic for the first month of the DNA Do-Over is:

"Downloading your DNA Test Results and Uploading to Other DNA Vendor sites"

I have tested with Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA and Living DNA. I have uploaded to Gedmatch and MyHeritage

Before I tested with these companies or uploaded my raw DNA data I made sure I read the terms and conditions and the privacy statements for each site. I strongly recommend that you do the same. 

In my opinion, the benefits of testing with different companies or uploading your raw DNA data to different DNA vendors are:

  • You have access to different databases of testers. A cousin who holds the clue you need to break a genealogy brick wall may have only tested at one company. 
  • You can access different ethnicity estimates. Ethnicity estimates differ between companies as they are comparing your DNA with different reference data sets. 
  • You can access different useful and advanced features. I particularly recommend that people who have tested at Ancestry DNA consider uploading their raw DNA data for free to Gedmatch and/or Family Tree DNA, as both these sites have chromosome browsers and segment data. What is the benefit of chromosome browsers and segment data? They allow you to know where on your chromosomes you match your DNA matches and whether they have DNA matches in common with you on the same DNA segments. When people all match on the same DNA segment we can know that they most likely inherited that DNA from a shared common ancestor. If I match a known cousin (say a third cousin who shares common great-great grandparents -Tom and Jane Surname) and both my third cousin and I share a match with another (unknown) person (A) on the same segment of DNA, my third cousin and I can tell that our Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) with person A is very likely among the ancestors of Tom and Jane Surname. We can contact person A and/or view their family tree, looking for potential clues such as locations and surnames. This process is called 'Triangulation'. Another benefit of a chromosome browser and segment data is that it allows you to potentially create a 'chromosome map', showing the segments you have inherited from ancestors you share in common with your DNA matches who are known cousins. If three or more siblings have DNA tested, chromosome browsers and segment data can potentially be used for an advanced process called 'visual phasing'. Another benefit, in my opinion, is that segment data can be loaded into Genome Mate Pro software, which I find an extremely useful tool for keeping track of all my DNA matches, discovering triangulated groups of matches, and mapping segments to certain ancestors or geographic localities. 
I am looking forward to following along with the DNA Do-Over! 

© 2018. Australian Genealogy Journeys. This post was originally posted at DNA Do-Over logo by Thomas MacEntee. 

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