National Genealogical Society

I’m nervous and excited. I leave for the National Genealogical Society’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan tomorrow.  I’ve signed up for the civil war tour prior to the conference. As luck would have it I was able to visit my 3x great grandfather’s grave who served in the 12th Michigan during the Civil War this past week and it’s made me wonder about those brave relatives that served in that bloody war.

I am eager to find new ways to connect with the past and other genealogists. I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop, where to start? I’m excited to hear from the New York genealogists, I need help tracing ancestors there. Don’t we all have that one spot that we are weak? I’m also excited to hear about the Irish immigration to Michigan.  My husband’s family immigrated to Michigan from Ireland so finding more information about his line and possible records would be helpful.  I can’t wait to possibly find little geeky genealogist items on the trade show floor. I noticed that one vendor is from La Porte Indiana. That’s just down the road from me.

I will be posting from the conference, sharing my enthusiasm for all things genealogy, digging my roots and my loved ones.



23 and Me Upload

Today only 04/25/2018 upload from Ancestry to 23 and Me.  This is a great chance to not wait.  Get your DNA over there.  Fish in the ponds.  Especially if you are looking for relatives, have a brick wall you are trying to break down or just want another perceptive.

Just an Edit to this. they are not allowing relative matching in the download not even for an upgrade fee.  You have to buy a kit, spit and send in.  So, if knowing your ethnic makeup from another source is important have at it.  I can see the advantage for 23 and Me- they have managed to increase there database for the promotions if they choose to use these new uploads in the total numbers of clients.

I uploaded my husband and his ethnicity was off and vague.  It lumped him in UK instead of a more refined Irish which we know through paper trail that he has a large percent. His direct paternal line is from Ireland (Confirmed with Y) as well as both of his maternal 2x Great  Grandparents immigrated from Ireland.

More Testing Sales

IMG_6432Your double helix should be mapped at a bargain price, at least that’s what the sales are saying. After I posted my original post about the sales going on 23 and Me decided to show up late to the party.  They came in with a sale on their Ancestry only kit which is normally $99 for $69, which is available through the 25th of April.

The big three have all chimed in, now that 23 and Me is at the table.  The Ancestry only test does not offer the limited health aspect of the full test they offer for $199, which is also on sale for $139. It does, however,  give relative matches, ancestry composition, maternal and paternal haplogroups, Neanderthal ancestry, and comparison of your DNA family.

Who doesn’t need to know how much Neanderthal is in their DNA? I could put it on my audition for a Geico commercial, right? Well, it is a novelty to say the least. If you are a female you will only receive your maternal haplogroup but men will get both, oh double helix why do you make me test my male relatives to find my haplogroup? The haplogroup groups are just general, to get an in-depth study of Y-DNA or mtDNA you will need to do a specific test like Family Tree DNA offers.

The data base here is smaller and there are not family trees but there are also not additional fees after the fact. The tests, however are only intended for use in the United States, in fact it’s stated at the bottom of the sale page.  They don’t have the international clients that many of the other companies have.  If you think that your relatives might be overseas this might not be the choice for you.

MyHeritageDNA is also on sale for $69. They do accept samples from other countries.  In addition to diversity in matches, MyHeritage has the option of building a family tree and researching records.  There is a fee if you want to join their service for complete access to all of their records for a year. They have a chromosome browser and ethnicity algorithm.

Comparatively I have 1050 matches on 23 and Me and over 4500 matches on MyHeritage.  I should point out that in the past MyHeritage has had issues with its matching algorithm. My top matches I can actually place in my tree and the centimorgans that I share with them are within an expected range for the relationship. I have not went into the depths of my distant matches. MyHeritage also has an option to transfer existing DNA.  If you are searching for a missing family member or trying to solve a mystery or NPE then uploading from another source is an economical way to not miss a DNA connection.

Ultimately DNA testing is a personal choice, the right test should reflect what you hope to achieve.   The results of a DNA test can be more than ethnicity, it can bring unexpected new relatives and shine a light on truths that have been hidden for far too long. Having more relatives is always a blessing.



Of Sales, Money, and Time

Sales, Sales, and More Sales. Yep, that’s right DNA testing kits are on sale!  It’s time to get kits to find long-lost relatives, find ethnicity, break down brickwalls in genealogy research, or just for the heck of it. Maybe this week is the time to get your DNA kit.IMG_6426

Which test is right for you? Well, let’s take a look at what’s onsale.


Ancestry has the largest database available among the DNA testing companies. Statistically a large base of potential relatives would be a good thing to start with right?  $59 dollars is a bargain price to test.   What your $59 will get you is a DNA kit that you complete at home by filling a tube with saliva. The saliva is then shipped to Ancestry’s processing center where your DNA will be extracted. Your 23 chromosomes will then be compared with that large database to determine relatives and ethnicity. Easy, peasey, lemon squeezey.

What doesn’t the $59 give you? Access to the genealogy information available through Ancestry or the family trees of your matches.  You have to pay extra for that.  Ancestry offers monthly fees for those options, which can be down right affordable. For $19.99 a month a subscription to the United States Discovery package is available.   If you are on a tight budget, many libraries have Ancestry available for research.  Reserve time and use the resource, plus they may have a full access package that may get you into 3-Fold (Military Records) also.

Not to be outdone, Family Tree DNA is running a sale beating Ancestry, for just $49 you can use their convenient swab test to find out your ancestry, ethnicity, and they have a chromosome browser to compare matches.  No extra charges after the fact, however, they don’t have genealogy records.

In addition to DNA testing kits Family Tree offers a free upload option for existing DNA kits.  If you have already tested at another company you can upload your result for free into their database. For an additional $19 you can open all of your matches and ethnicity, what a deal!  If that isn’t a sure enough sell, maybe using one of their maternal or paternal testing options might be? Using deep DNA testing can help with brick walls or simply be another way to extend your research. Y-DNA or mtDNA may be just the ticket to find your country of origin or unlock the mystery surrounding your 3x Great Grandfather or Grandmother.

Choosing a DNA test can seem overwhelming on the surface, however, with just a little research the choice becomes much clearer.  I didn’t have the benefit of a sale or research prior to testing.  I jumped in. I tested at Ancestry and transferred to Family Tree DNA. In retrospect I should have waited for a sale then weighed my options to see which was best for me. It would have saved me money, time, and frustration.