The Latest in DNA Tools
Did you take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to purchase a DNA test? If so – or even if you’ve already tested – you’ll love this week’s workshop. We’ve revamped Analyze Your DNA Results with the latest information you’ll find on the DNA tools and strategies you can use to find your ancestors. With all the people getting kits for the holidays, there’s going to be new matches – so why not get ready with these tips from the workshop?
There are two types of trees: Genealogical vs. Genetic. Because not all DNA gets passed down – you receive approximately 50% from each parent, who received approximately 50% of their parents, and so forth. Even close relations, like an uncle and nephew, might have different DNA because the nephew got 50% of his DNA from his other parent. The more distant the relationship, the less it will reflect in your genetics.
One thing you can do that will help make your DNA test results easier to manage: Attach an online family tree to your DNA test results. Even if it’s a skeleton tree, having some information available allows your matches to take advantage of all the DNA tools offered by the site.
Take Advantage of the Technology
The company you test with will provide DNA tools so you can analyze your results, but there’s no reason to limit yourself to only using what they offer. There is a wide variety of third-party websites that allow you to download your raw results, and most of them have great functionality that is either free or for a very low fee. GEDmatch, the most popular, offers plenty of tools for free and you can take advantage of matches from testers using other companies as well. For a small fee, you can also access their tier one tools such as the Lazarus utility and ‘My Evil Twin’ Phasing.
Third-party sites can also offer great comparisons and the advantage of prospective matches who’ve tested with another company. You wouldn’t want to miss Cousin Bella simply because she tested with Family Tree DNA and you tested with Ancestry.com DNA, would you?
Take a Strategic Approach
Triangulation establishes a relationship by helping to determine who the most recent common ancestor was for several different people. Phasing compares three or more people who have a common ancestor by comparing each person to the others and helps determine what DNA base pairs you got from each parent. If those strategies sound daunting, don’t worry — GEDmatch and some of the other sites have DNA tools that do both of those things, and instructor Shannon Combs-Bennett provides detailed videos and explanations that will make it more clear. She’ll also be on hand to answer questions and help you out during the workshop.