Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guide to Building Your Family Haplotree


I've been working on a pet project to supplement my genealogical research, and in this deep dive I'm going to share it with you as follows:

I. Intro to Family HaploTree Building
II. Constructing Your Family HaploTree
III. Proving Family Anecdote with HaploTree Building
IV.  Mitochondrial-DNA & Y-DNA Testing Options

As a genetic genealogist I'm keen to know if there are haplogroups in my pedigree that are rare, newly discovered or only found in specific populations and biogeographical regions. I'm also looking to use haplogroups for ancient ancestral research, to help me trace family surnames that have disappeared in the bowels of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as well as the migration paths of my immigrant forebears from their homelands to the Americas. 

Since learning about my own Maternal (or mitochondrial DNA) and Paternal (or Y-chromosome DNAHaplogroups, I'm naturally inquisitive about the ones that I DIDN'T
inherit from my parents and other direct pedigree relatives (grandparents, great-grandparents, 2nd-great-grandparents, 3rd-great-grandparents, etc). 

Based on the unique inheritance patterns of human Mitochondrial DNA (Mt-DNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA), a child only inherits their mother's mt-DNA haplogroup through a direct matrilineal line (ie from his/her mother, her mother, her mother, etc), and if male his father's Y-DNA haplogroup through a direct patrilineal line (ie from his father, his father, his father, etc). 

This means a child (me) never inherits their father's maternal haplogroup nor from their mother's father. Going to the next generation [my 4 grandparents] this leaves four more haplogroups (3 mt-DNA and 1 Y-DNA) that I wouldn't inherit. And even more in the next generation [from my 8 great-grandparents]. 

Yet these are my direct forebears and even though I didn't inherit their haplogroups directly it means that by extension I biologically descend from an ancestor bearing the haplogroup. So it becomes genetically and genealogically relevant for me. [Be sure to read Section III  to learn about an intriguing haplogroup discovery in my family pedigree.]

Ultimately I want to identify, document and trace all of my other direct fore-parents' haplogroups back to their root populations to reveal what stories they tell. ... But how do I find out about these other haplogroups if my forebears are unavailable for DNA testing?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Genetic Genealogy Forums Online Etiquette Guide

Source: http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com/meeting-etiquette.html

Genetic genealogy forums online — Facebook groups; Anthrogenica; 23andMe community, etc — is the layperson's vast laboratory where we hash out our results, research, discoveries, journeys, family heirlooms, difficulties, disappointments and debates. It's a social place were we can obsess over DNA with lusty abandon. 

But sometimes a few bad apples spoil the whole experience. Some people's obtuse behavior in genetic genealogy forums online (GGFO) can be disruptive, offensive and lead to detriment and disaster. So in the interest of fostering better behavior, communication, cooperative collaboration, as well as a safe and objective environment to learn, teach and/or exchange knowledge, I came up with these 50 Golden GGFO etiquette rules (or
suggestions), which is also available on the ISOGG Genetic Genealogy Mailing List: 

[King Genome's Tip: Download a copy (pdf) of Genetic Genealogy Standards and use together with this list.]

1. When you first join a GGFO, BEFORE YOU POST ANYTHING OR COMMENT you MUST take time to (a) read the forum's rules AND (b) review what others post, including topics and comments. If you're unsure of what to post then ask an administrator/moderator for assistance. If you don't agree with the rules of the forum then leave immediately. 

2. If you believe genetic genealogy is a fake science or you have no trust in DNA testing then please do us all a favor and remove yourself immediately. You should know that no matter what you believe, DNA is a real, evolving and advancing science and GGFO are designed to facilitate the progress.

3. Genetic genealogists and traditional genealogists should not wage a war with each other in a GGFO based on which method or field is better. Both are inextricably intertwined and should be used together — along with your collaborative efforts — for the best results.

4.  Absolutely NO political and religious badgering, soapboxing, hate-mongering, race baiting, trolling or any such capricious behavior. GGFO are unequivocally not the place for such discourse and banter. Go blow your steam off somewhere else.

5. Stop misusing socio-cultural ethnic labels and antiquated racial social constructs as genetic genealogy and population genetics terms for ethnicity. There is NO such thing as "African-American DNA" so avoid using the term. You should not be referring to African-Americans as Negroes except in a historic context. Also do not use Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid to make racial distinction between populations or ethnic groups. Yes, it is opprobrious. GGFO are not breeding grounds for racism, prejudice, bigotry miscegenation, superiority complexes, or ignorance. 

6. Never romanticize or minimize slavery, the Holocaust, Trail of Tears, or other horrific historic events because it's offensive. If you have a reasonable inquiry or discussion point around these events, be sure to carefully think about what you post before you hit that "Submit" button. 

7. If you're in a private, secret or closed GGFO, do NOT publicly share or post on social media other people's posts, photos, DNA results, comments or any personal information, etc, without that person's expressed permission  —  actually you shouldn't even ask. Private, secret or closed GGFO privacy settings are that way for a good reason. 

8.
NEVER discuss living people's personal identifying information (ie name, address, city, birthday) within or outside of a GGFO. There are many crazy people and identity thieves lurking around, and we don't need you helping them out.

9. If someone reveals that he/she is an adoptee, foundling, foster child, donor, etc in a private, secret or closed GGFO, please refrain from revealing any of this information or "outing" the person publicly. Further if the this person posts information or photos about a non-biological relative, it's NOT up to you to discuss their relationship or adoption status, nor make any biological distinction between their relatives. It's tacky, spiteful and frankly none of your business.


10. If someone reveals that he/she is adopted or looking for a biological relative in a GGFO do not insert yourself into the situation by playing match-maker unless you're a qualified professional or search angel. Your heroic efforts may actually cause irreversible detriment to the situation.

11. If a GGFO member posts something about their new relatives/genetic matches, you must refrain from asking this GGFO member about contacting their new relative/genetic match, or to provide you with the relative/match's name, GEDmatch kit number, or any information that the GGFO member did not provide in the original post. Your overzealous behavior is meddlesome and could scare off people new to the world of genetic genealogy. 

12. Respect copyright, trademarks and ownership rights of images, content and resources when posting in a GGFO.  Give credit and recitation where necessary or as mandated by law for any content you post. You could get in a lot of legal trouble for infringing upon someone's ownership rights. 

13. Do not inundate GGFOs with a whole bunch of posts about yourself, your family, or your DNA results. Also don't make everyone else's topic about yourself, your family or your DNA results. Doing so makes you appear either rude, narcissistic or psychotic. The hard truth is people are usually tired of you, your family and your DNA results after you initially post about them. 
Also keep posts about your family, DNA results, photos, genetic relative matching information and related inquires confined to ONE topic. And while you're at it, do NOT highjack other people's threads by making totally irrelevant comments.

14. Do not join a GGFO with the expectation that its members or administrators will solve your mysteries, or act as a personal genetic genealogy servant for your every question. In general this behavior turns others off. No one is obligated to help you. 

15. Do NOT volunteer the services of those with genetic genealogy expertise nor refer people to them without first contacting them for availability via private or business e-mail. If you do refer someone please be sure their inquiry is clear, they provide any valid evidence to buttress their claims, and perhaps most importantly if the expert is available and charge fees. 

16. Do not attempt to chastise an administrator or moderator publicly. If you have any feedback or concerns about the GGFO or the way a GGFO is run, please send the administrator or moderator a private email or message. 

17. Make sure your questions and inquiries are well thought-out and expressed clearly. Do not write in a vague, nondescript or rhetorical manner. Think before you post dammit. 

18. Do NOT "shout-out"  members in a GGFO (ie tagging their name in a post)  especially administrators, moderators, possible relatives, genetic genealogists, scientific experts, etc. It comes across as demanding, pushy and rude. It's more proper to contact the person by private message or e-mail first. If you don't get a response then you must realize that some of these people are extremely busy. Just be prepared to get no response at all and to find your answers another way. 

19. If you post other people's DNA results in a GGFO, please REDACT the person's name, photo images, and GEDmatch kit number unless you have expressed permission to do otherwise by the owner of the results. You MUST respect people's privacy. 

20. If someone in a GGFO refers you to a valid study, blog or link, please take time to read the information before responding again, unless you've questions about the material. Otherwise you're really being unfair to everyone else, and people will soon be unwilling to help you. In genetic genealogy, reading and studying is fundamentally required. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty Releases


August 1, 2017, renowned, award-winning culinary historian & chef Michael Twitty's memoir, THE COOKING GENE (HarperCollins), released to the world. His work explores historic African and African-American culinary traditions, intertwining with it his own personal genetic ancestry story. 

I'm proud to report that Michael Twitty allowed me to interpret his family's DNA results and am thus featured in his amazing testimony (see sample below from Chapter 8, pg. 131-132):


THE COOKING GENE  has garnered Michael Twitty even more national attention, with great reviews by New York Times, Economist, Washington Post, etc. He has an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, and has been featured frequently on TV shows (Bazaar Foods), news programs, as well as old plantations (including Colonial Williamsburg).

Please join me in supporting the enigmatic Michael Twitty by purchasing your copy of  THE COOKING GENE  today. And you get to read the rest of our conversation!!! ... Available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKindle, etc. 


Sizzling Summer DNA Kit Sales

August 2017 — Summer is in full swing here in the U.S.A. and sizzling hot DNA kits sales are back by AncestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA. I will update this blog as new summer sales occur so check back often.  ... But now is a good time to stack up 'em up like pancakes. 

(1) AncestryDNA announced it has largest consumer DNA database with now 5 MILLION customers. In honor of this major milestone, they're celebrating with 30% off AncestryDNA kits thru August 15! That's $69 (excluding taxes and shipping). 


TIP: If order using this AncestryDNA Link it will benefit the Kits For Kindness program sponsored by Facebook group DNA Detectives

(2) FamilyTreeDNA heats up Summer 2017 with it's Friends & Family Sale, featuring scorching hot price reductions on new tests, add-ons and upgrades. And the Big Y is now only $395, the lowest it's ever been. So now's the time to stock the genetic genealogy chests chock full of tests now. And if you're a male and been waiting to take the Big-Y now'ss the time to do it. Well actually you have from August 1 until August 31, 2017Here is the menu (and you can order here):

Saturday, June 3, 2017

AncestryDNA Fathers Day Sale




AncestryDNA is having a Fathers Day Sale ... 20% off (or $79) thru June 18, 2017 ...

More good news: I've joined AncestryDNA's affiliate sales program! So if you purchase your kits using the banner above or the link below I will get a small commission. NOTE: the banner above will go to your AncestryDNA's country of origin so for U.S. customers it is still 20% off of $99 = $79.

You can also purchase your kits using this link: AncestryDNA Father's Day Savings

Thanks so much for your support.

Monday, May 22, 2017

23andMe MtDNA Haplogroup report gets facelift

Just when I was beginning to get thirsty for something, anything, new, upgraded and/or exciting in DTC DNA testing product features, I logged onto my 23andMe account this evening and spotted a "new report" for my Maternal Haplogroup. Did 23andMe finally update its antiquated genomic build for maternal haplogroup assignments?

I liked the old-version format of 23andMe for haplogroups  the haplogroup assignments for all shares were arranged on two separate pages (one for mtDNA and one for Y-DNA); we could conveniently see the haplogroup assignments of our DNA relatives next to their names, and we could easily find 23andMe online forum topics related to our haplogroups. 

This "new" report is yet another 23andMe attempt to reorganize the way our information is displayed  like its other recent offerings (see my "Explore Your DNA Family" blog here). It's much more visually stimulating than the last 23andMe haplogroup report but offers nothing substantive. Essentially a mirage. I'm still thirsty. But take a look anyways:

The next few screenshots show the migration timeline of my maternal haplogroup:
By clicking on the "L1" tab (left) shows another screen of my maternal haplogroup's probable migration route: 


There is another section featuring a historic highlight about how my maternal haplogroup migrated along with the Bantu Expansion: 
The last section shows an illustration explaining the genetics of Maternal Haplgroups (and course you can click on the "Scientific Details" tab at the top of the page to see more information):
By clicking on the tabs to the left reveals two more screenshots: 

Of course I'd much rather 23andMe work on: 
  • updating its Ancestry Composition tool and Haplogroup predictions, including the outdated genomic build platforms (23andMe is on Build 7 while Build 17 was released February 2016), and really all DNA companies should be offering full mitochondrial sequence tests only; 
  • restoring our ability to see the Chromosome Paintings of people with whom we're sharing;
  • implementing an in-house family tree utility; 
  • adding an "Ethnicity" segment element to the chromosome browser/mapper tool where customers can see displayed the location, size AND ethnicity(s) of shared DNA segments. 
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

23andMe new Explore Your DNA Family coming soon


On or about April 24, 2017, DTC personal genome company 23andMe began advertising yet another "ancestry tool, "Explore Your DNA Family," scheduled to be released in near future. The new announcement is on the  23andMe products/ services page (which you can view here). Currently there's no timetable on the tool's release but it's "Coming Soon" according to 23andMe. New testers will reportedly receive the feature with their results, and I assume the rest of us will be updated shortly thereafter. [See new **UPDATE APRIL 28, 2017 below.]

23andMe's "Explore Your DNA Family" apparently allows customers to see an anonymous list of their genetic relatives (who also tested at 23andMe) plotted on a map of regional origins. According to 23andMe, the tool encourages users to Opt-In to DNA Relatives (the actual list of your genetic matches) to fully explore the ancestry shared with their "genetic family." This new tool has the potential to be extremely helpful for adoptees and those looking to find and/or piece together their biological genealogy.

The only two graphics shown so far are the first (above) and last screen-shots utilized for this blog. I can't really glean anything from them in terms of functionality of the new tool; supposedly there was a blog post but 23andMe allegedly removed it.

At this time it's unclear if "Explore Your DNA Family" will entice 23andMe's customers to join DNA Relatives. It has been problematic wooing them in the past because 23andme's rather cumbersome invitation system requires customers to Opt-In to participate in DNA Relatives; a sizable portion of 23andMe's customers are primarily interested in health, and customers with a strong interest in genetic ancestry rarely take the extra effort to invite relatives to share test results or to contact them for any reason.

Even now with DNA Relative's "Open Sharing" feature — 23andMe testers can automatically see and compare their genetic ancestry reports and overlapping DNA segments with all of their DNA relatives (read more at here) — customers rarely take advantage of it. Perhaps customers participating in Open Sharing will be shown in an  "Explore Your DNA Family" display of matches. [See new **UPDATE APRIL 28, 2017 below.]


Of course I'd much rather 23andMe work on: 
  • updating its Ancestry Composition tool and Haplogroup predictions, including the outdated genomic build platforms (23andMe is on build 7 while Build 17 was released February 2016); 
  • restoring our ability to see the Chromosome Paintings of people with whom we're sharing;
  • implementing an in-house family tree utility; 
  • adding an "Ethnicity" segment element to the chromosome browser/mapper tool where customers can see displayed the location, size AND ethnicity(s) of shared DNA segments. ...  For example: bring back or incorporate the outstanding Countries of Ancestry (CoA) tool, but just limit the customer's view to the DNA Relatives with whom they are sharing; previously we could see the CoA's of all our relatives and any 23andMe customer sharing profiles with us. Here's a screen-shot of the now retired CoA tool:

**UPDATE APRIL 28, 2017
From the 23andMe's Forum Moderator: 
Hi everyone,

As some of you have noticed, we’ve released a new report, Your DNA Family, to a small number of customers. Those of you who do not yet have access to this feature will see it under the Reports tab in your account shortly - I’ll post an update once everyone can view their DNA Family report. 

Using Your DNA Family, you can see:
- Where your relatives are located around the world.

- How many of your relatives have ancestry from a particular region. For customers who had results on the old website experience, this is similar information to what was shown in Countries of Ancestry.

- See what traits your relatives are likely to exhibit compared to other 23andMe customers. 



Let's see what the future holds...
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