Monday, June 4, 2018

Add Another Kit to the Mix

When it comes to DNA testing, genealogists found themselves advising adoptees to "fish in all three ponds" to find answers. I doubt they suspected that pond would expand to include five major testing companies.

Since I knew I was going to be in the "neighborhood" last week at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, and since I knew test kits might be going for enticing sale prices, I figured I may as well spring for the fifth and final (so far) DNA company's kit. Soon as my kitand my husband's, toomakes its way through the multiple steps in the process, we'll have a UK-centric view of our ethnicity estimates. We won't, however, be adding another column to the data tracker for matches from Living DNA; they don't provide information on matches. Yet.

In the meantime, here's how research progress went for me in the past two weeksthose two weeks full of good things (like genealogy conferences) and not-so-good stuff (like having a Windows update fry my computer and cause me to shell out repair dollars I'd rather have spent on genealogy conferences).

Could I keep up the research pace despite those challenges? How about adding 207 individuals to my mom's tree? And another thirty seven to my mother-in-law's tree? With that, I'm now at 13,342 in my mom's tree, and 15,333 in my mother-in-law's tree. Not bad for that much less computer access in the past two weeks.

Those DNA test matches keep rolling in, too. After the breaking news last month about law enforcement's epiphany about the usefulness of genealogical databases, it seemedbased on online buzz at leastthat many people were going to yank their DNA test results from the various websites. Yet, these past two weeks, things seemed to stabilize, at least from my tiny perspective.

I now have 3,097 matches at Family Tree DNA, 1,018 matches at 23andMe, and 4,688 matches at MyHeritage. For each account, the match count went up: 51 at FTDNA, 115 at MyHeritage, and even nine at the ever-receding 23andMe. Of course, I can no longer measure the increase at AncestryDNA, since they cap the readout at 1,000 matches.

Same thing went for the matches at my husband's accounts. He has 1,970 at FTDNA, 581 at AncestryDNA, 1,028 at 23andMe, and 3,277 at MyHeritage. Only at 23andMe did he lose any matches in the past two weekswhich is unusual for his account, which unlike mine, always seems to increase. Despite that loss of ten matches at 23andMe, he gained twenty seven at FTDNA, eleven at Ancestry, and 77 at MyHeritage.

As far as our foray into the DNA test process at Living DNA, I wanted to see how their ethnicity readout differs from the other companies. Particularly because that company is preparing to roll out regional percentages in places like Ireland, similar to the way they currently handle their ethnicity estimates for people from the U.K., I'm curious to see those future results on my husband's account. Remember, his American-born dad descended from four grandparents who were all born in Ireland. For three of those four, I've already documented their origin in Ireland. It would be nice to see if this more finely-grained test can finger the origin of the fourth grandparent.


  1. Hope you find that piece to the puzzle on that fourth Grandparent!

    1. It may take some patience and a long wait, but eventually, the plan is for the regions of Ireland to be mapped out by Living DNA, so I'm sure we'll know...some day!


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