Volume 8, Issue 1
March 06, 2009

The World's Only Newsletter Dedicated to Genetic Genealogy

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In This Issue

Editor's Corner

Welcome to this issue of Facts & Genes, now in its eighth year of publication.

Facts & Genes provides valuable information about utilizing Genetic Genealogy and keeps you informed about the latest advancements in the field.

If you have been contemplating starting a Surname Project, now is the time to get started for 2009.

The previous issue of our newsletter had an article on Surnames and One-Name Studies. In addition to One-Name Studies registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies, a one-name study may exist which is not registered with the Guild. If you don't find a one-name study for your surname registered with the Guild, try an internet search using both the surname and the phrase, "one-name study," as the search criteria.

Contact our customer support at any time if you have questions or need help. The link below lists our customer service contact options. Using this link, you can direct your question to the appropriate person, which will result in a quicker response.

Please use the link below instead of replying to this newsletter.


Family Tree DNA provides a wide variety of educational resources to help you apply Genetic Genealogy to your family history research, including email and telephone consultation with our customer service staff. To begin your education, past issues of the newsletter are available at our web site. To view past issues, click on the link below:


If you change your email address, be sure to update your address for your newsletter subscription.

Customers should follow these steps to update their email address: Log in to the personal page. Click "Modify Contact Information." Update the email address in the contact information form. Confirm the checkbox to the left of Facts & Genes Subscription is checked. Click "Update."

Subscribers who are not customers should send an email including the original and the new email addresses and a request to update the subscription to: editor@FamilyTreeDNA.com

Send your comments, suggestions, tips, and feedback to:
Dexter Montgomery
We hope you enjoy this issue.
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Past Issues
If you missed any of the past issues, they can be found online at FamilyTreeDNA.com. Click on the link below for the past issues of Facts & Genes:



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In the News: Family Tree DNA Announcements

Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce milestones achieved and new features.

1. The following milestones have been achieved:

Family Tree DNA now has over 234,000 test result records in our database. We have over 149,000 Y-DNA records and over 5,200 Surname Projects, which include over 82,000 surnames. Our mtDNA database contains over 85,000 results.

2. "Who Do You Think You Are" National History Show in the London, England

It is our pleasure to announce that Family Tree DNA will sponsor the DNA Workshop at the "Who Do You Think You Are" National History Show in the London, England, February 27 - Mar 1, 2009. We are looking forward to meeting our customers and fellow genealogists. Be sure to visit our display!

3. Family Tree DNA certified for Safe Harbor

Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce that we have been certified as the first genetic genealogy organization to adhere to the Safe Harbor framework of the U.S. Department of Commerce as required by the European Union's Directive on Data Protection.

For more information:

4. Family Tree DNA launched a new website

Family Tree DNA implemented a new website in December, significantly improving the participant experience. If you haven't visited your Personal Page in a while, be sure to stop by. Visit our home page to log in to your Personal Page in the upper right. Due to improved security, if you have bookmarked your login link, it will become obsolete, and you must log in from the home page.


If at any time you have any questions, visit our Contact Us page. A link is provided at the top and bottom of our website pages.


You will notice improvements to the Contact Us page, as well as a new selection, the Feedback Form. If you review the contacts on the page, and don't find your issue listed, use the Feedback Form. In addition, any website problems, issues, or suggestions should be sent to us using the Feedback Form.

Our new website is a significant step forward in improving the participant experience.

Group Administrators may want to visit their Project Profile Page and their Family Tree DNA public website, to see how the new website design enhances the marketing for projects.

To find your Project Profile Page, search using the link below:


Click on the project name to visit your Project Profile Page. You may want to bookmark your Project Profile Page, if you haven't already. This is the link to send to interested persons to order or to learn about your project. In your Project Profile, click on the website address to visit your website. On the website, be sure to display test results, and try the option to click to enlarge the results window.

Family Tree DNA continues to invest to bring our customers and Project Administrators the best experience available, and to enable them to maximize their benefits and discoveries from DNA testing.

5. Increasing your project numbers by using MyHeritage.com

MyHeritage is an invaluable resource when researching your family history online, and should help add new members to Family Tree DNA Projects. At the same time, here are some of the things that they can offer you, for free:

- Create your own family tree and match it with massive database of more than a quarter billion other names to find relatives you never knew you had.

- Use MyHeritage Research to trace your family history from 1,500 different databases, all at the same time.

- Spread the message of DNA testing and your Project to the millions of users of MyHeritage, so that your Surname Project can grow.

- Automatically tag the people in all your photos using advanced face recognition technology.

Visit www.MyHeritage.com, sign up for their services for FREE and invite your members to use it.

6. Family Tree DNA now offers branded merchandise

Many customers have asked us to offer t-shirts, polo shirts, mugs and other items with our logo on them. We are pleased to announce that those items are now available at http://www.cafepress.com/FamilyTreeDNA.

The link to that page is also available from the bottom right side of Family Tree DNA home page, under the link "Family Tree DNA branded merchandise"

7. Family Tree DNA adds new research SNPs to Advanced Orders

New SNPs are now available in Advanced Orders. These SNPs are in the research stage of development and are not yet on the official Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree. Customers interested in advanced haplogroup testing can check their Advanced Orders section to view and order available SNPs. Information about these SNPs can be found here:


8. Family Tree DNA Web Site Updates and Your Browser

As our results database and our groups grow larger, the lists of matches that you see grow longer. Displaying these results places more stress and demand on the internet browser software that you use. We have had a few customers contact us with browser or connection problems since our conversion at the end of last year. Most of these have been resolved by updating to the latest version of the browser software.

For example, if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, make sure you've installed the latest updates. This is important for both security and for performance. The latest version of Internet Explorer is 7.0.5730.

Firefox has a bug that has been present in all x86 versions for the past 5 years. The latest version of Firefox is 3.0.6 and it still contains the bug. You can read about it
here. This bug can affect displaying reports of our largest projects. We're working on a way to get around it as it doesn't look like the Firefox developers will be fixing it anytime soon. The latest Safari is version 3.2.1, though the beta of 4.0 was released today.

For weeks before the site updates we had numerous testers working in all popular browsers but still there was the occasional problem. We continue to work to improve the performance and features of our site and if you are having difficulties, be sure to let us

We've also updated the look and feel of the Forums!

Starting a Surname Project

If you are thinking about starting a Surname Project, now is a great time to get started. Our educational resources and email and telephone consultation help you each step of the way. Feeling confused or overwhelmed will quickly pass, and be replaced with the excitement of new discoveries.

Anyone with some experience with family history research can start a Surname Project. We supply the tools and guidance to help you make your Surname Project successful.

There are just two steps to take to become a Group Administrator of a Surname Project:

1. Find out if a Surname Project exists for your surname. Click on the link below to search our database of Surname Projects:


2. If a Surname Project has not been established for your surname, then use the email contact below to establish or ask questions about establishing a Surname Project:
ashley@familytreeDNA.com for Ashley Coursey

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The Year in Review: 2008

2008 was an exciting year at Family Tree DNA, during which we continued to expand our products and services for our valued customers.

Every day, more genealogists are discovering Genetic Genealogy. As you can see from the size of our database, these genealogists are choosing Family Tree DNA. We have the largest database, with over 228,000 records. Our competitors, if they even provide a proprietary database, do not disclose the size of their database, which is a clear indication of its size.

We started the year with 4,575 Surname Projects, and finished the year with 5,200 Surname Projects!!

DNA testing is the most powerful tool ever to be available to genealogists. Genetic Genealogy is still in its infancy, and the majority of those researching their family history are not yet aware of this new tool and how DNA testing will assist them with their research.

In 2008, we reduced our prices for several Y-DNA tests, to pass on the savings from volume to our customers.

In addition, Family Tree DNA implemented the 2008 Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree. This change in haplogroup nomenclature was based on the latest research directed by Dr. Hammer of the University of Arizona, and published in a scientific paper in Genome Research.

After this haplogroup tree update, Family Tree DNA expanded its Deep Clade test offers. With the launch of these additional Deep Clade tests, Family Tree DNA now offers Deep Clade testing for the following haplogroups:

E, G, H, I, J, N, O, Q, R

We also delivered a major website upgrade at the end of the year. During the year, significant website enhancements also occurred, such as the new Y-DNA Haplotree section, including an interactive Y-DNA haplogroup map. The map displays the migration paths of the major Y-DNA haplogroups. Click on the haplogroups at the bottom of the page to view each haplogroup’s journey. Click on the nodes on the world map to view a brief story about the haplogroup’s journey.

2008 also saw the destruction from Hurricane Ike, which included damage to our office building and therefore a temporary relocation. From the beginning, disaster planning and preparation has been at the core of the business strategy of Family Tree DNA. As a result, our website continued to function properly, with no loss of data, servicing our customers during the hurricane. Our disaster planning includes a high security data center for our servers, with remote backup at another secure location

Hurricane Ike caused us to reschedule our 5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators, which will be held in March of this year.

In 2008, we promised an aggressive plan of developing new features and products for our customers. We hope you will agree that our 2008 results met that commitment.

For 2009, we renew our commitment to our valued customers: We will implement an aggressive plan of new features and products.

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Educational Resources: Events & Publications

February 27 - Mar 1, 2009
"Who Do You Think You Are" National History Show
Olympia, London, England
Visit our display and/or attend a DNA Workshop


March 14-15, 2009
5th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy
for Family Tree DNA Group Administrators
Houston, TX

June 26-28, 2009
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree
Marriott Hotel and Convention Center
Burbank, California
Speaker: Bennett Greenspan, President and CEO, Family Tree DNA
Visit our display

Educational Articles

Discoveries for One-Name Studies from DNA Testing
Journal of One-Name Studies
Guild of One-Name Studies
London, England
October-December 2008 Issue
Available from the Society

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Genetic Genealogy: The Genographic Project

On your Personal Page, you have an opportunity to participate in the Genographic Project, a real-time scientific study. Click Genographic Project on your Personal Page to participate.

The Genographic Project is a real time effort to map how humankind populated the earth. It is a five-year research partnership between National Geographic and IBM with support from the Waitt Family Foundation, and public participation through Family Tree DNA.

As a Family Tree DNA customer, you can join the Genographic Project without having to order a new kit and perform a new test. You will be asked to agree to the Project's consent terms, and contribute a nominal fee of $15 USD. Proceeds from this fee will be directed to the Legacy Project which will support local education and cultural preservation efforts to benefit the participating indigenous populations.

The Genographic Legacy Fund has supported 34 projects, which span six continents and reflect over $1.2 million dollars in grants. You can visit the newly-expanded Genographic Legacy Fund webpage to read more about how communities are revitalizing languages and cultural heritage.

The Genographic Project scientific consortium uncovered a new piece of Phoenician legacy, which is detailed in their latest publication in the American Journal of Human Genetics on Oct 30, 2008. Genographic scientists developed a new analytical method for detecting the subtle genetic impact of historical population migrations. Its first application has been to reveal the genetic legacy of the Phoenicians, an intriguing and mysterious first-millennium B.C. trading empire.

Read more about the new paper at the Genographic Project website

When you join the Genographic Project, your 12 marker Y-DNA or your mtDNA HVR1 result will be uploaded to the Genographic Project. A Genographic Personal Page will be created for you where you can find educational material and keep track of the progress of this fascinating project.

You can also submit your Genographic results to be part of the ongoing scientific research project. Once you access your results on the Genographic website, you can choose to submit your results to be part of the Genographic database by clicking "Contribute Your Results." Your results will still remain anonymous and personal to you, but you will be asked some basic questions about your lineage. You can update the results questionnaire at any time, but you must fill it out in full each time for the information to be captured.

The Genographic Project is an ongoing experience, and we encourage you to visit the Genographic website on a regular basis to learn of developments related to the overall project and possible refinements to your own specific haplogroup story.

Sign up for the email newsletter from the Genographic Project. You will be kept informed about the latest news on field research, Genographic stories and highlights from the Genographic Project Web site. To subscribe to this newsletter, click on the link below, and page down until you see the Genographic Project.


To learn more about the Genographic Project, click on the link below:


If you have already joined the Genographic Project and want to complete the survey and submit your results to be part of the research project, log into your Personal Page at the Genographic Project using the following link:


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Genetic Genealogy: Join a Project

If there was no Surname Project for your name when you originally tested, be sure to check periodically to see if one has started. Joining a Surname Project can increase the benefit you receive from your Y-DNA test. Every day more Surname Projects are created. Use the link below to search the project listings. To join a project, log in to your Personal Page, click Join Projects on the left below Project Groups, and follow the instructions on the website.

To search for a Surname Project without logging into your Personal Page, use the link below:

Some Surname Projects also welcome female members who have tested mtDNA.

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Genetic Genealogy: Vendor Selection

Selecting a vendor for your DNA test or Surname Project is a very important step. Often, the vendor selected will determine the success of your project. If you are a participant, the vendor selected may determine whether you find matches and whether you maximize your investment in DNA testing, based on the size of the vendor's database.

In the past six articles in our series about vendor selection, we have examined multiple important issues. These articles are available online:







Every day, people and Surname Projects switch to Family Tree DNA. We understand that there is an additional cost to be re-tested, which is required to maintain our database integrity. A discount is provided to those who have tested elsewhere to make it easier for them to join Family Tree DNA, the leading vendor in Genetic Genealogy.

Click on the link below to order if you have tested at another vendor.


Would you trust your project to a vendor when Genetic Genealogy is not their primary business?

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For Group Administrators: Project Administration

Recruiting a co-administrator for your Surname, Geographical, or Haplogroup Project is an important goal. The role of the co-administrator varies depending on the project. At a minimum, the co-administrator would be available to take over in case of emergency or the inability of the Group Administrator to continue with the project. There is also tremendous value to a co-administrator who can share the duties on a day to day basis.

We encourage all Group Administrators to recruit a co-administrator so that there is a person available to take over the project if the Group Administrator has an emergency or can no longer act as Group Administrator. Since the co-administrator will be listed in the project, it will be easy for them to assume the duties.

We also encourage Group Administrators to consider sharing the duties with a co-administrator. It is usually easy to work out an arrangement that suits all parties, their interests and skills, and the project. One successful approach is to divide recruiting efforts among co-administrators by country.

Once you have recruited one or more co-administrators, enter their information into the Project Contact page. Go to your Group Administrator Page (GAP). Click Modify Contact Information below Quick Links towards the top of the page. Enter the name(s) on the Co-Administrator line, separated by commas. Enter the email addresses on the Co-Administrator email line, separated by semi-colons.

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Genetic Genealogy: Advanced Tests

This month's featured Advanced Test is the CCR5 test.

CCR5 is a gene on Chromosome 3. Some people have a major deletion within this gene on one or both chromosomes. If your test result is “normal, normal,” this means that you have no copies of the gene with the deletion. A result of “del32, normal” means that you have one copy of the gene with the deletion; a result of “del32, del32” means that both copies of your CCR5 gene contain the deletion.

The deletion is believed to be associated with plague immunity. The deletion is found in up to 20% of Europeans, and is rare among Africans and Asians. The deletion in CCR5 is widely dispersed throughout Northern Europe and in those of European descent.

This test is an opportunity for those who want to discover whether they have the deletion of one or both copies of CCR5. Both men and women can take this test.

To order an Advanced Test, from your Personal Page click "Order Tests and Upgrades" and then click "Advanced Orders." Go down the page until you find the CCR5 test.

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Case Studies in Genetic Genealogy

In each issue of the newsletter, we present a situation which you may encounter as you utilize Genetic Genealogy testing for your family history research, followed by our recommendation.

Case Study
Do your tests determine the presence of Native American ancestry? If so, which test? In my family tree, there is a rumor of Native American ancestry.

Results from such a test would help us to prove or disprove such a rumor.

Both a Y-DNA test and a mtDNA test will indicate if there is Native American ancestry in the direct line tested, either the direct male line or the direct female line.

The typical problem is that the Native American ancestry has crossed a direct line. For example, your father's mother's father is the direct male line for Native American ancestry. In that case, if your father's direct male line or direct female line was tested, neither would show Native American ancestry, unless these direct lines had unknown Native American ancestry.

To test the Native American lineage from your father's mother's father, you would need to find a direct male descendent of this man, such as from his sons or his brothers.

If it is not known which direct line is Native American for your father's mother's father, testing both his direct male line and his direct female line would tell you if either were of Native American ancestry.

Native American ancestry is determined by the haplogroup of the Y-DNA or mtDNA test results, and represents the ancestry of either a direct male line (Y-DNA) or a direct female line (mtDNA). Both males and females inherit mtDNA, though only females pass it on. Therefore, a male will have his mother's mtDNA.

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Next Issue

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Facts & Genes. Please feel free to contact the editor with your comments, feedback, questions to be addressed, or suggestions for future articles. If you are a Group Administrator and can help others with tips or suggestions, please contact:
editorFG@FamilyTreeDNA.com for Dexter

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