Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Mother Knew All Along

I have uploaded the raw data from my DNA test to, which lets me find matches with others who have taken DNA tests from a variety of companies. It also gives me tools for genealogy and DNA analysis. 

To get the following numbers, I used one of those tools--an admixture (heritage or ethnicity) utility using the project Eurogenes-13. This is my approximate heritage, as my DNA test revealed. I do like that touch of Siberian!

For a good description and explanation of different Gedmatch admixture utilities, see Finally! A Gedmatch Admixture Guide on the Genealogical Musings blog. 

Eurogenes K13 Admixture Proportions

Eurogenes K13 4-Ancestors Oracle

Looking at the results, I think it's a wonder I don't have a Scottish accent. It pleased me to watch the BBC Scotland crime drama Shetland last night, as the Shetlands are the group of islands just 158 miles from the Orkneys. However, despite my DNA, I still had to turn on the captions to understand the old timers of Shetland.

The map shows how possible historical migrations might have affected the mixture: The Orkney Islands of Scotland ("Orcadian" on my list) lie between Norway and Scotland, so that could be where the Scandinavian part comes in, as ancient populations moved down into Scotland.  By the way, the modern map I've shown implies that one may drive between the islands. I am assuming the mileage-counters are depending on the local ferries.

If you need further proof of my Scottish heritage check out my outfit in the class photo below. It was designed and sewn by my teacher mom, who always remembered picture day and apparently knew all about my ancient ancestral past well before most folks knew much about DNA.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

DNA Testing: What To Do With the Results

Chromosome Painting: Silk panel studio installation by Geraldine Ondrizek 
at the University of Washington, 2012

I ordered and received my DNA test, spit into the tube, followed the directions to seal it up, mailed it back and have received the results. I was so excited to finally be able to view my DNA matches--in Safari, not in Chrome, as I discovered. For some reason using Chrome as a browser on a Mac for Ancestry DNA results results in a lot of blank screens.

Now what? At first I thought I wasn't seeing any great surprises, but that is because I didn't really understand what I was seeing. For me, DNA might just stand for Don't kNow Anything. I needed some basic genealogical genetics education.

First thing: I watched some instructional videos on YouTube. Just search there for "DNA for genealogists" and you'll find plenty to learn about. has lots of information on its own YouTube channel, with an introduction here:

Next: I joined several groups on Facebook:
Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques 
DNA Newbie User Group

Because I'm so new to this, I often have no idea what they are talking about, but every once in awhile there is a glimmer of understanding and a good hint that I can apply, even at this early stage.

I plan to go through the Beginner's Guide at the Family Tree DNA Learning Center; and How to Interpret Your Ancestry DNA Test Results at The Genealogy Guide.

I just saw this list of useful DNA tools this morning from Tim Janzen on Facebook. It's part of the syllabus for his upcoming 2018 RootsTech presentation on autosomal DNA tools. I am putting it here on this blog so that I can work my way through the list.

3. ADSA program by Don Worth at and other tools at DNAGEDCOM such as Gworks. 
4. Andreas West is developing a website at 
5. Louis Kessler’s program Double Match Triangulator at 
6. David Pike’s website at 
7. Genomemate Pro 
8. The DNA Genealogy Experiment at 
10. Felix Chandrakumar’s tools
11. Jeff Snavely’s AncestryDNA tool called AncestryDNA Helper. 
Chromosome mapping:
          12. Jonny Perl’s chromosome mapping tool at
13. Kitty Cooper’s chromosome mapping tool at
Visual phasing: 
14. Steven Fox’s visual phasing tool downloadable as an Excel file from…/visualphasing/345860632514023.

I only knew about GEDmatch, the first item on the list. Here is a description from Your DNA Guide:
Gedmatch can be a great place to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others. 
It is a FREE (yes, FREE!) service provided by very intelligent and motivated genetic genealogists. Anyone with genetic genealogy test results from 23andMe, (the Family Finder test), and [can compare results]. 
One last thing: You can read an interview with Tim Janzen (who wrote the above list) here:

I have so much to learn!