What’s new at GEDmatch and i4GG
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
1M ago
Every year genetic genealogists gather in San Diego in February for the i4GG conference founded by CeCe Moore and Dr. Tim Janzen. This year is the tenth anniversary and I am honored to be one of the presenters again. Click here for the i4GG web site. In past years I have talked about the new features at GEDmatch. In 2022, this was a particularly dense lecture. (click here for the slides), as there were so many new and enhanced features. Clustering was taking the community by storm and GEDmatch has two versions of that, one of which even includes tree building. This year, I will talk abou ..read more
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Much Ado About DNA Hacking
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
3M ago
The recent panic about hacking at 23andme in the press seems overblown to me. What exactly would someone do with my DNA? There is nothing in there of any monetary value nor do I have health risks that need to be private. Perhaps knowing which celebrities are Jewish or Chinese might be of use to some bad actors. The fact is that those lists are for sale on the dark web. Click here for an interesting article about that. We have all been advised to guard our online privacy but our DNA is not our social security number nor our credit card so I am not worried about this yet. The hackers were able t ..read more
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BigY700 and the Search for my paternal line
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
6M ago
My Dad’s Norwegian great great grandfather, Lars Monsen, was originally from the Bergen area we had been told. He left his ship to marry a girl from Farsund and then settled in Kristiansand. My cousin Dick and I tried to find records about him, but this name was quite common in Hordaland (think Tom Smith). There were 10 candidates for our Lars in the Bergen area, so I used Y DNA testing to figure out which one he was. This is discussed in several previous blog posts (click here and here) Kristiansand Boat Basin 2015 Sigmund, a friend in Norway, found a paternal line descendant of Ole Mo ..read more
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Don’t be fooled by Ethnicity
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
9M ago
Many people who see that their ethnicity estimate from a DNA test is way off, think that they cannot trust the other findings from that testing company. That is a false assumption. When you are shown people who share DNA with you, aka DNA matches, they really are your relatives, although some can be quite distant. What the relationship actually is may not be predicted very accurately, as many relationships share similar amounts of DNA. Examples of that are a grandparent and an aunt or a 2nd cousin and a first cousin once removed. Thus you are usually shown a range of possible relationships. Fi ..read more
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Make Ancestry Find the Relationship
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
11M ago
Did you know that Ancestry can figure out how you are related to a DNA match if you both have trees linked to your DNA tests? You do not have to have anyone further back than your parents if other relatives have more extensive trees on Ancestry that include your family, So how do you link your tree to your DNA? First log into Ancestry.com. Then click on DNA Result Summary in the pull down menu under DNA. Next click the gear on the far right that says Settings next to it as shown in the image below. Once you are on the Settings page, scroll down to the words DNA and family tree linking ..read more
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Using Segment Sizes in DNA Relationship Predictions
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
11M ago
Segment sizes matter for predicting the closeness of a relationship. That is because inherited DNA chunks get divided up with each generation’s recombination, becoming smaller over time. It has often puzzled me that none of the DNA relationship calculators take that into account. The total centimorgans (cM) can be similar for lots of different relationships. Click here for my post on telling half siblings apart from aunt/uncle/niece/nephew relationships by using segment sizes. Click here for Ancestry’s explanation of how they predict relationships and here for the article at 23a ..read more
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How Related Are Ashkenazim?
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
1y ago
Eight of the ten fully Jewish kits I have access to showed related parents in the “Are Your Parents Related”  (AYPR) tool on GEDmatch. I am wondering if this level of relatedness (about a 4th cousin) is generally true among Ashkenazim and other endogamous populations. Or perhaps the GEDmatch parameters need some tweaking? Sample related segment from a Jewish kit in AYPR Also a number of married jewish couples I know have discovered that they share a DNA segment. Personally I share 11 cM on the X with my late husband even though I have only one Jewish grandparent. Most testing companies ..read more
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Genetic Genealogy Fiction
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
1y ago
Aloha from my Hawaii cruise. Apologies to all of you for not getting any blogging or work done while at sea. My brain kept telling me I was on vacation! One thing I like to do when cruising is to read fiction by the pool or at night. My new favorite mystery author is Nathan Dylan Goodwin who has a series about a forensic genealogist as well as a wonderful new series about a fictional genetic genealogy company called Venator. I read the second Venator book first, The Sawtooth Slayer, which Nathan was kind enough to send me for a review. It stood up well, even though out of sequence. I then lent ..read more
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Ancestry Now Divides Your Matches by Parent
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
1y ago
Even if you haven’t been carefully assigning sides and relationships to your DNA matches, Ancestry will now try to assign sides for you! As with the recent Sideview feature (click here for that blog post), it uses Parent 1 and Parent 2. However you can use the blue Edit Parent link to change them to Paternal and Maternal, if you can figure out from the matches or communities which is which. If you click on DNA Matches in the DNA menu as shown above you go to a new page like the one for my matches that I show to the left here (click it for a larger version). It separates your matche ..read more
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This Blog Began Ten Years Ago Today
Kitty Cooper's Blog
by Kitty
1y ago
On this date, ten years ago, I started this blog. I used to write a new post once or twice a week but I have slowed down since the death of my husband in 2020, to about once a month. At least I am still blogging. I started this blog as a way to keep track of my own genealogy and DNA research so that I no longer needed to bombard my cousins with emails. Also I was hoping to teach them how to use DNA to assist their own genealogy research. My first post was about my Dad’s Y DNA test results. Sample extract of my compact chromosome mapper at GEDmatch It turned out that my articles were often he ..read more
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