Category Archives: Ancestry.com

July was a busy month for some

Lots of things made the news in July 2020.

<:> Jeff Bezos said he would double any Bitcoin sent to him! So did Warren Buffet, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. A 17 year old kid will probably be found guilty, and then hired since he is obviously well skilled in Twitter tricks!

<:> Gedmatch was hacked so that, temporarily, all kits were eligible for search by police! And unreal kits appeared. Who was hurt? The owners of Gedmatch, Verogen, Inc., were a bit embarrassed. But it doesn’t seem that any real people were hurt. (I doubt we ever figure who was responsible. Hopefully lots of unsolved cases get solved this year!)

<:> MyHeritage users are possibly being targeted by phishing emails. If you get an email from ‘info@myheritaqe . com” instead of “info@myheritage . com” (note the “q” instead of “g”), hit delete quick! This actually could be quite dangerous, do watch out for MyHeritage emails that want you to click on something.

<:> And big noisy news came from AncestryDNA. They are making changes again, some of which lots of people do not like! More on that later.

<:> July was so exciting that the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to wait until August 1st to quietly announce that they are beginning to accept autosomal DNA as evidence of lineage submitted with DAR membership!

CLICK HERE to see the announcement on their Blog. What a deal. Of course, there are gotcha stuff in the details. It only works for the first 3 generations, and only when traditional documentation does not exist or cannot be obtained due to sealed records. I need to be honest, I haven’t read the fine print, but this could be quite exciting news for adoptees and children of adoptees. If you are considering joining the DAR, be sure to read more about this on your own.

SAR has accepted autosomal DNA for a while. When I Googled SAR DNA, I discovered that they require the cM segment size to be 7 cM or more! And you have to have 30 cM or more composed of 7 cM segments! Leave to the SAR to complicate things. Hopefully we will get details from a Daughter or Son on this “quiet” news.

AncestryDNA

First off, if you use Chrome with the extension MedBetter, please uninstall MedBetter. Then Google it to find out why.

The changes:
1) More accurate number of shared segments (goes live in early August)
2) Ability to see the length of the longest shared segment (goes live in mid August)
3) Distant DNA matches must share 8 cM or higher (goes live in late August)

Please note the difference between the SAR and AncestryDNA. They should have discussed their differences first! Not very empathetic of AncestryDNA!


Hopefully some of you will join us at the next DNA Discussion Group and explain these Newsy items more clearly!


” If you place a humidifier and dehumidifier in the same room, you can wirelessly transmit water!” – Reddit


AncestryDNA Changes

AncestryDNA is making some changes to their matching system and will be updating their database in the coming days.  Debbie Kennett, at her scholarly blog called Cruwys news has outlined the changes from her viewpoint. You can visit her blog from the top at

cruwys.blogspot.com

A direct link to this particular post will always be found:

CLICK HERE

Quoting from the end of Debbie’s current post:

“In other news AncestryDNA’s corporate page has been updated to show that they have now tested 18 million people. AncestryDNA now have by far the largest genetic genealogy database in the world. 23andMe is the next largest with a database of 12 million people. MyHeritage have 4 million people in their database, while FamilyTreeDNA have tested over two million people.”


“People began to fixate on individual liberties without understanding that one of the most fundamental civil liberties in the US is the right to health – the right to stay alive.” – Lee Riley


Downloading a GEDCOM from Ancestry and using it elsewhere

Roberta Estes has written a useful post on her blog DNAeXplained about how to download a GEDCOM from your Ancestry.com tree and then uploading it to other sites; includes uploading to FTDNA, MyHeritage and GedMatch.

This is a very good how-to if you have never done this. See the post here:

Download Your Ancestry Tree and Upload It Elsewhere for Added Benefit


Ancestry.com is blocking Genetic Affairs

I finally opened my Genetic Affairs account last week, ran a few Pedigree charts and reported here about it! And then, Ancestry.com told Genetic Affairs to STOP.  My timing is terrible. Seriously, see these excerpts from the email they sent to me.

As some of you may have already heard, last Friday I (Evert-Jan Blom, founder of Genetic Affairs) obtained a cease and desist letter from ZwillGen, the legal representatives from Ancestry. In short, Ancestry wants me to stop offering the AutoCluster analyses that employ Ancestry data.

I was able to get one Auto Cluster run at Ancestry completed before the plug was pulled! I also ran two at FTDNA, but preferred the results from Ancestry.

Presumably Ancestry is unhappy with the things Genetic Affairs provides. Or they are developing something similar themselves.

So, what will happen tomorrow? Or next week. Tune in for more news. If you know more answers, please let us all know.


Things to do: Indexing

Some folks have a bit more spare time these days. Things that have been put off are getting done! That is good news, even if we complain about current events. But there are only so many weeds to pull, only so many socks to knit, only one fence to repair, only so many miles to walk. Some who love to volunteer in the public sector are suddenly missing their need for an altruistic fix.

Here is an idea…. there are still old genealogical records out there that need indexing!

If you have a few hours to spare and the T-V is turning into a radio and your family tree is filled out through six generations of cousins, then maybe you could volunteer as an indexer at either FamilySearch.org or Ancestry.com.

As they say, from the comfort of your own home…. all you need is a computer connected to the internet. You can even choose projects that you prefer, like in Wisconsin, Italy, Guatamala, Georgia, etc. I would like it if some of you who can read German records would help index some of my family’s records! 🙂

Here is a link to the top of FamilySearch indexing project:

FamilySearch Indexing

They also have a need to index records at Ancestry.com.

Ancestry Indexing

Of course, you could start your own blog. That could be my next Things ToDo article ?


”My wife keeps reminding me about some things that need repair around the house. One would think that after six months she’d know I have the list memorized.”


Ancestry.com lays off 6% of its workforce

Ancestry, the largest seller of at-home DNA tests for health and genealogy reports, is laying off about 100 people, approximately 6% of its total workforce. The cuts hit employees across the board, rather than focusing on a specific department, and included workers at all levels. The layoffs affected both its Utah and California offices.

Ancestry confirmed the layoffs and shared a copy of a blog post written by CEO and President Margo Georgiadis that will publish on Wednesday.

——

We just discussed 23andMe laying of 100 employees (14%) of it’s employees at our DNA discussion group today. Then this appears in my news feed. It is like “catching”, I guess.

Interesting Stats:

23andMe, 100 = 14% of 714 employees, leaving 614.

Ancestry, 100 = 6% of 1,666 employees, leaving 1,566.

—–

Who is next?


“Genealogist’s motto: they can hide, but they can’t run.”


“A New Leaf”, A new Television Series by Ancestry® to debut on NBC this Fall

from the Ancestry.com blog:

Hosted by Daisy Fuentes, “A New Leaf” Highlights the Value of Understanding One’s Family History. Set your DVRs and mark your calendars — we have a new television show debuting on NBC. We heard your feedback: You love “Who Do You Think You Are?” – but also want to see everyday people embark on journeys of personal discovery too. So, we bring you – “A New Leaf”!

AncestryDNA and Other Goodies (a test covering this will be given at the DNA Sig)

Ancestry DNA for someone else, like child, parent, etc. who doesn’t want to be bothered with an account:

  • You can create an e-mail account in their name, although you will control it. Any of the free email providers will do.
  • You do not need to purchase Ancestry subscriptions for them, particularly if you already have one for yourself. When you activate the DNA kit, that will create an Ancestry account, but without a subscription. You can then – acting as the third party – grant yourself permission to manage their account.

AncestryDNA has 7 different groups for predicted relationships:

  • Parent/Child
  • Immediate Family (full siblings)
  • Close Family (half siblings, grandparent/grandchild, aunt/uncle/niece/nephew)
  • 1st cousin
  • 2nd cousin
  • 3rd cousin
  • 4th cousin
  • Distant Cousin.

Here are some helpful sites explaining some of this DNA stuff.  Not in any special order.

Understanding Your AncestryDNA Matches –  LegacyTree

https://www.legacytree.com/blog/understanding-ancestrydna-matches

Understanding Your Relationship to DNA Matches After Autosomal Testing–  Colleen in YouTube (a college assignment!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ6yme0t-ZA

First Steps When Your DNA Results are Ready –  DNAeXplained

https://dna-explained.com/2019/08/06/first-steps-when-your-dna-results-are-ready-sticking-your-toe-in-the-genealogy-water/

ThruLines Tidbits by Jim Bartlett at Segment-ology

https://segmentology.org/2019/08/01/how-does-thrulines-work/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/a-few-thrulines-are-false-and-some-are-misleading/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/thrulines-helps-with-y-dna-and-mtdna/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/add-thrulines-info-into-match-notes/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/thrulines-and-clusters-and-snowballs/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/use-match-notes-from-thrulines-to-identify-clusters/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/thrulines-has-x-ray-vision/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/help-thrulines-by-adding-children-and-grandchildren/

https://segmentology.org/2019/07/29/thrulines-finds-your-common-ancestors/

Ancestry DNA Circles going going gone by July 1

We only have 4 more days to preserve their contents.

Roberta Estes of the wonderful DNAeXplained blog has reminded us that DNA Circles are soon going to be a thing of the past.

This is reminder that Ancestry is permanently removing DNA Circles from customer accounts on July 1st. If you have not recorded the information held in your Circles and New Ancestor Discoveries, if you had any, do that NOW.

Circles provide you with information about people who match you that share a common ancestor, but they ALSO show you who else has tested and matches the people you match, but not you. That’s valuable information for numerous reasons. It verifies multiple children of that ancestor genetically and provides you with a genetic network to validate the ancestral connection for all of those people..

See her full posting here: DNAeXplained


” The hard part of standing on an exponential curve is: when you look backwards, it looks flat, and when you look forward, it looks vertical. And it’s very hard to calibrate how much you are moving because it always looks the same.” – Sam Altman