16 April 2018

MyHeritage's DNA Quest - pro bono project helping adoptees - is now global!

MyHeritage gave away 10,000 DNA tests to adoptees and family members trying to find their biological relatives in the US, but they have some left in their 15,000 goal!

The deadline for submission is April 30th, so act now!

As a result, they are going global with the free test which means anyone can still get a free autosomal test if they act quickly.  See:  www.dnaquest.org for more information

More information about the DNA Quest initiative incluidng a detailed FAQ and an application form are available on the project website at:  https://www.dnaquest.org/


So many adoptees wish to find their roots and many who put a child up for adoption wish to find   their child.  Many siblings and cousins have embraced their new relative.

Let's help the world get connected!

Many DNA successes to all!

28 February 2018

Living DNA Added a New Feature!

Press Release from Living DNA

 Innovative family tree and matching system will take the guesswork out of DNA relationships
Living DNA, the global consumer genetics company, has today publicly previewed its new ‘Family Networks’ platform for the first time – set to be the most precise DNA-driven matching service on the market.

Officially unveiled in Salt Lake City in Utah at RootsTech 2018, the world’s largest family-history technology conference, Living DNA’s Family Networks requires no prior user-generated family research, allowing users to build a detailed family tree based solely on their DNA, gender, and age. Living DNA will analyse a user's unique motherline and fatherline DNA data (mtDNA and YDNA), on top of the family ancestry line (autosomal) to deliver matches – something no other company can do.

David Nicholson, managing director and co-founder at Living DNA, comments:
“With Family Networks, we will not only predict how users are related to direct matches, but we can also find and connect people to DNA matches going back up to 13 generations.

“The technology behind Family Networks automatically works out which genetic trees are possible to uncover relations. This new capability offers distinct benefits to a range of users, from avid genealogists and family history hobbyists through to adoptees and others searching for their family members. It will reduce the risk of human error and take away the tedious task of figuring out how each person in a user’s list are related to one another. We’re truly taking the guesswork out of DNA relationships.”

Living DNA’s Family Networks is scheduled to be made available to all existing and new Living DNA users by autumn 2018. The company states that the cutting-edge technology will give all customers – even those who upload from other DNA testing sites – a level of relationship prediction and accuracy that is beyond anything currently on the market.

David Nicholson adds:
“Living DNA’s precise and unique technology processes users’ DNA to identify relatives and define relationships deeper back in time. Through this rich experience, users will even be able to learn how they’re related to people with whom they share no DNA today.

“As we don’t ask for Gedcom files or other user research to build a family tree, Family Networks can be especially useful for adoptees and family searchers who are trying to locate long-lost family members but who don’t have any information on their biological family. Just by using their gender and date of birth in conjunction with their DNA, we will be able to translate their matches into a potential family tree, giving them a clearer place to start from.”

Living DNA breaks down users’ DNA into 80 worldwide regions, including 21 in the UK, more than any other testing company. The company offers a 3-in-1 test as standard: from a simple mouth swab, Living DNA not only covers a user’s family line ancestry, but—unlike most other tests—it also includes the user’s motherline and (if male) fatherline ancestry.

Living DNA’s test itself is run on a custom-built Living DNA Orion Chip. It is one of the first bespoke DNA chips in the world to be built using the latest GSA technology from market leader Illumina, and tests over 656,000 autosomal (family) markers, 4,700 mitrochondrial (maternal) markers and 22,000 Y-chromosomal (paternal) markers.

 About Living DNA
Living DNA is a personalised DNA service designed to help people understand more about themselves and where they came from in unparalleled detail. Developed by world-leading scientists and academics, the Living DNA ancestry test is the most sophisticated product of its kind on the market. It is the only test which can show people a breakdown of their UK, Chinese and Italian ancestry at a regional level, and the first to allow users to view their ‘ancestry family’ at different points in history. In so doing, people can see at what point in the past they were connected to their friends and family through their DNA, and discover how, ultimately, we are all connected. For more information, please visit http://www.livingdna.com/


26 February 2018

SCGS Jamboree 2018

In its 49th season, the Southern California Genealogy Society is having another wonderful conference for genealogy and genetic genealogy held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank.  Early Bird Deadline registration is April 14th and Advance Registration ends May 12th , so save your place now!  This is one of the best conferences you will attend, and there are classes for all experience levels and even for people who are not genealogists.  All days run from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Exhibit Hall opens Thursday, and admission to it is free all three Days!  Find a wide variety of vendors, along with their sales.  (Sometimes I hang out at the Family Tree DNA booth, so drop by.)

This year has over 140 classes with over 85 speakers as well as one-on-one research help.  Three categories will help you in a variety of fields for your family history.  There are three conferences in one!

The 6th Annual Genetic Genealogy Conference, May 31, 2008 (and squeaks into June 1st) entitled Link Through DNA is, of course, my favorite. In these classes you can learn not only the basics of DNA testing, but more advanced techniques from some of the industry's leading speakers.  There are hands-on DNA Workshops as well.

The Family History Writers Conference, May 31 entitled Love Your Family Legends includes presentations on writing, publishing and preserving your genealogy along with reaching into the next generation to assure your work will continue.  The speakers will also cover the tools you need to finish your work.

The 49th Annual Genealogy Jamboree, June 1-2, will help you Unlock Your Lineage with some renown speakers in the field.  Learn the basics along with many tips and tricks, and explore how to break through those brick walls.

See the Jamboree website for the full schedule.  A mobile app is available.  There are discounts for SCGS Members and for multi-event registration.

HINT:  Notice anyone familiar on the advertisement above?  Yes, I am speaking and would love to have you attend my classes so I can meet you!

My topics:
Finding Answers through Your Autosomal DNA Test  (Thurs, May 31st, 8:30-9:30)
Comparing Testing Companies and Understanding DNA Tests (Workshop, Friday, June 1st 8:30 to 12:00)
I will be on the Ask the Experts about DNA and Genealogy panel (Friday, June 1, 5:00 to 6:00 pm)

I do hope to see you there!

13 February 2018

Grab your Sweetheart's Heart (and DNA) for Valentine's Day

Multiple companies have their DNA tests on sale for Valentine's Day...

Family Tree DNA
Family Finder Test - only $59 plus shipping

MyHeritage Test - $59 when ordering 2 kits plus shipping and...
All MyHeritage marriage records will be free for Valentine's Day!
From now through February 15, all MyHeritage marriage records will be free to view, for MyHeritage users and for guests without an account. 

AncestryDNA Test - $69 plus shipping

23andMe offers 20% off and free gift wrapping (plus shipping)


29 January 2018

MyHeritage Chromosome Browser

Let me start with a few things I like about MyHeritage; there is more, however.
1.  It is world-wide
2. They allow transfers of your raw data
3. You can manage more than one kit with the same membership
4. They allow you to have pedigree charts
5. They notify you via your email if there are new updates to your DNA matches and to help you with your pedigree chart records
6. The horizontal pedigree charts on the Review DNA Match page for each of your matches are much easier to read than the pink and blue vertical charts they still have.
7.  The new addition of a Chromosome Browser is their best feature!

It is wonderful to see that MyHeritage now has a chromosome browser…the most important tool for comparing matching segments!

To find the browser (sadly, it is not on the drop-down menus), follow these steps.

1.  Log in to your account and click on DNA Matches
2. Click on the match’s REVIEW DNA MATCH in the lower right of their section
3. Scroll to the top of the Chromosome Browser which is the last item on this long page
4. At the top right of the browser, click on Advanced Options, then click on Download Shared DNA Info
5. The file is downloaded and shows in the lover left side of the screen (for a PC, at least)
6. Click to open this CVS file

VERY sadly, you must download one match at a time.  I have over 4,690 matches and spent many hours today just downloading the first 20 pages.

Once you download one file, you can copy and paste the other matches’ files into the first one as long as you do not make any changes to any of the files.  That is no columns or row sizes can be changed.

Be sure to add the new information at the end of the previous information.

Once you have downloaded all your matches, save the file as is and make a new working file that you can manipulate.  This working file can be adjusted to see the information easily as well as adding columns you wish to use.

I hope you have more time than I have to download all your matches’ segments, and I dearly hope you will contact MyHeritage to request that they allow the download of all segment matches into one file in one download. Family Tree DNA and 23andMe allows this.  Remember, it took me several hours to do 20 pages (10 matches per page) and I have over 400 pages of matches. I’m sure many other testers have more.

The phone in the US for MyHeritage:  1-800-987-9000.  You must have your account ID, however.  You can find this by going to their Home page and use the drop-down menu under HELP.  Then click on CONTACT.  Your account ID is just above the list of phone numbers for anywhere in the world.

THANK YOU for the Chromosome Browser!!!!

Best wishes,

23 January 2018

Southern California Geneal. Society's Jamboree

This announcement just arrived. View the website for many great classes and world-class speakers!

The Southern California Genealogical Society is pleased to announce 
Three Great Conferences in One Place!

Jamboree 2018 Conference

 Unlock Your Lineage
June 1st & 2nd

This two-day Jamboree conference features over 55 speakers; 100+ class sessions; JamboFREE sessions Thursday; in-depth DNA workshop (space limited, additional fee required), research tour; Thursday dinner banquet; Friday breakfast and dinner banquets, and Saturday breakfast banquet.  

Our exhibit hall will be packed with vendors,  and one-on-one research assistance will be provided by members of the Southern California Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists.

Genetic Genealogy Conference 

 Link Through DNA
May 31st

The Sixth Annual Genetic Genealogy Conference provides a unique opportunity to hear the top leaders in the field of genetic genealogy, with topics suitable for all levels of experience using DNA for genealogical research.

The Genetic Genealogy Conference is separate from Jamboree, and a separate registration fee will apply.

Family History Writers Conference

 Love Your Family Legends!
May 31st

The Family History Writers Conference will help you bring your family stories to life. You can finish, polish and publish your work.  This provides a unique opportunity to learn from some of the top leaders in the field of writing and publishing, for all levels of writing, to help you get it done.

The Family History Writers Conference is separate from Jamboree, and separate registration fees will apply.

Workshops 2018 - June 1st
Four intensive DNA workshops will also be offered to provide an opportunity for in-depth study of genealogical research techniques (additional fees required, workshops overlap with some Jamboree sessions. Visit the website for registration requirements).

Conference Discounts!

Special pricing discounts are available for those who are registered for both Jamboree and the Genetic Genealogy Conference, or Jamboree and the Family History Writers Conference as well as discounts for SCGS members for each event. To get the discounted rates, please join, renew, or reinstate your membership before you register.

Membership Registration

 Register Now

Workshops are expected to fill up early, so register NOW!
Jamboree Registration

 Register Now

Schedule of Events

Keep up with Jamboree!
Stay in touch with Jamboree to learn more about the speakers, exhibitors, and special activities.
To get all the news about Jamboree delivered right to your email inbox, subscribe to the Jamboree blog. Like and follow the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @scgsgenealogy with #2018Jamboree. Jamboree takes place at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank, California, Thursday through Saturday, May 31st, June 1st, and June 2nd, 2018. 

Southern California Genealogical Society
49th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
Genetic Genealogy 2018

I'll see you there!  Sign up for my classes!

Emily Aulicino

21 December 2017

Finding Family

Mike sent this wonderful story of finding his family.  How wonderful to know your roots.  Thank  you so much for sharing as it no doubt will inspire others.

My father passed away in 1971 when I was 18. His absence from my life led me to want to learn more about him and his ancestors through genealogy research. Working with a group of other Moon researchers, we ran into a road block in 1771 with Abraham Moon. There were different spellings such as Mohn, Moon, Mohun, etc., and we could not find conclusive documentation to connect the lines.

In the early 2000s, DNA testing was becoming popular for genealogy purposes. Therefore, a group of us Moon researchers decided to take a DNA test to see if we could triangulate our names to hopefully make a connection with other Moon lines that were more established. 

Initially, I had a 12 and 25 marker YDNA test through Family Tree DNA. Those test results basically showed my male line matched to thousands of men throughout the world but no Moons. It wasn’t until I had a 37 marker YDNA test that I started matching to one particular name, Dunn. However, I could not figure out how a Dunn entered my Moon gene pool. I continued with the testing in hopes that the next level of DNA test would prove something more definitive. With the 6- marker test, I matched more Dunn’s but no Moons. Same with the 111-marker test. 

By this time, I was working with other Dunn’s and/or Dunn line administrators on what kind of tests to have and what the results meant. My mother was still living, and she made it clear that she didn’t like that I was doing the testing. She said she feared I might find some dark family secret. I laughed it off and assured her that it was far back in the Moon ancestry where the Dunn line came into our gene pool. 

Working with the Dunn administrator, I was advised to test my closest known male relative and with each match, find another male ancestor to be tested. Therefore, I had my brother tested first. Mom had already passed by that time (2006), and when I received my brothers YDNA test results, it showed that we didn’t match on any male ancestors. Which meant, we were not full brothers. I was shocked, as was everyone in our family. I was 55 at the time, and everything I thought I knew about my life was wrong. 

To make sure the results were right, FTDNA retested my sample, and it was the same as the first. We then had my brother (two and a half years older than me) and my sister (six years younger than me) tested with FTDNA’s autosomal tests. Their test results were clear, they were full siblings to each other and only half siblings to me.

Through much effort, my brother, sister, and I concluded that mom and dad split up for a short time after my brother was born in 1951 and got back together three months before my birth. We don’t know if they separated because mom cheated or that I was conceived while they were separated. Either way, my dad never made any difference in the way he treated me.

After the shock of the test results wore off, I decided to continue looking for my biological father and his family. I had the Big Y test done through FTDNA and then their autosomal test. However, none of the results proved anything, and I almost gave up because I’d spent a lot of money on all the family tests.

Then in 2015, I tried Ancestry.com’s autosomal test and the results were the same there. I matched some people connected to Dunn lines but no Dunn’s themselves and no one matched close enough to be even a fourth cousin. Then I received a message through Ancestry from a woman who asked how I was related to her daughter whose results showed she was a second cousin to me. We talked at length, and she agreed to be tested. Her results came back showing she was my first cousin. We knew by then this was my line, but we needed her uncle (one of five but only two still alive) to be tested. He was in a nursing home in Ohio, but we got him to submit a sample and his results came back as my uncle. My first cousin and I went through all the uncle’s pictures and agreed that I only looked like one of her uncles. She knew of the man, but the family wasn’t that close. She thought the one uncle had a daughter. I finally tracked her down, and at first, she was very resistant to doing the test. Finally, she agreed, and we both watched every day for the results to come back. Finally they did. I was driving in Florida when she called and said, “hello brother”.

Our dad died in 2010 but we are alike in a lot of ways. At least now I know she is my sister and that I have other nieces and nephews.  

                   Mike                                                             His dad, Sammy

Best wishes,