Volume 5, Issue 3
November 12, 2006

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!

Our newsletter contains articles about Genetic Genealogy and keeps you informed of the latest scientific advances in this exciting new field.

Facts & Genes covers information for everyone regardless of your level of experience with Genetic Genealogy, whether you are just beginning to learn about this new tool for genealogy research or have been managing a Surname Project for some time.

If you are a Family Tree DNA customer, be sure to bookmark or add to your internet browser's favorites menu the pages you visit frequently. For example, you can bookmark your Personal Page so that you can reach this page in one click (We recommend that you bookmark the link you receive in a Match email). Group Administrators can bookmark pages such as the main Group Administrator Page, the Member page, and Generate Y-DNA results page. One click will then quickly take you to these pages.

Family Tree DNA provides a wide variety of educational resources to help you apply Genetic Genealogy to your family history research. In addition, email and telephone consultation is available. To begin your education, past issues of the newsletter are available at our web site. Click on the link below:


If you change your email address, be sure to change your address for the newsletter. To change your Email address, go to the link below.


This link is also provided at the end of each newsletter.

Send your comments, suggestions, tips, and feedback to: editor@FamilyTreeDNA.com. 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 Announces the Genomic Research Center

Family Tree DNA's Genomics Research Center in Houston is now operational under the direction of Thomas Krahn.

This state of the art laboratory includes an ABI 3730 sequencer and the latest technology and robotics for extraction, liquid handling, and storage, to ensure fast and accurate operations.

Family Tree DNA now provides all the DNA tests previously available from DNA-Fingerprint.

The Genomics Research Center will process all of these advanced tests, which can now be ordered on your Personal Page by clicking Order Tests and then Advanced Orders.

In addition, the Genomics Research Center will pursue research objectives to develop new tests to benefit the Genetic Genealogy community.

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In the News: Family Tree DNA Announces mtDNA Price Reduction

The utilization of new technology has enabled us to reduce the prices for the following mtDNA tests and upgrades:

mtFullSequence (Mega)

mtDNA follows the direct female line, which is your mother, her mother, and back in time. Both males and females inherit mtDNA, though only females pass on mtDNA. The result for a mtDNA test will identify your differences from a reference sequence, and your major population group, called a haplogroup, and also sometimes called the Clan Mother or Daughter of Eve.

A mtDNA test will tell you about the distant origin of your direct female line. For those interested in genealogy applications, it is recommended that you order the mtDNA Plus test. For those who want to test the entire mtDNA and follow the scientific literature you can order the mtFullSequence test.

To order, if you are an existing customer, click on Order Tests on your Personal Page, and then click Standard Orders. For new customers, either order as a member of a Surname Project, or click on the link below:

Order a mtDNA test

For more information on mtDNA testing, see:

mtDNA: Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS)

Understanding Your Results: mtDNA

Understanding Your Results: mtDNA Matches

Understanding Your Results: mtDNA Haplogroups

Understanding Your Results: mtDNA

mtDNA Results Tutorial


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In the News: Family Tree DNA Announces Advanced DNA tests

Family Tree DNA is please to announce new Advanced DNA tests. These tests were previously available from DNA-Fingerprint.

These Advanced DNA tests are currently available to Family Tree DNA customers, as well as prior customers of DNA-Fingerprint. In the near future, these tests will be available to new customers who haven't taken a test with Family Tree DNA or DNA-Fingerprint.

Existing customers can order these tests by clicking on Order Tests on your Personal Page. A new page will then appear. This new page provides two choices:

Standard Orders
Advanced Orders

The Standard Orders page is where the 12-67 marker Y-DNA tests, mtDNA tests, and the associated upgrades for Y-DNA and mtDNA are available, as well as the Y-DNA Haplogroup chart. (To order a Y-DNA Haplogroup test, click on the tab Haplogroup on the left on your Personal Page, then click the button "Continue for more information" below the last line of text and above the orange bar.)

The Advanced Orders page is where the new tests can be ordered. The appropriate tests will appear, depending on whether you are male or female. If you are female, the Y-DNA Panels and Y-DNA Kittler test will not appear on your order page, since these tests apply to the Y chromosome, which is found only in males.

A database is currently being developed for the results for the advanced tests in which you can compare your result with others who test.

The advanced tests include:

Y-DNA Panels
There are five(5) Y-DNA Panels, and you can select individual markers or the whole panel. These markers and panels are valuable for filling in missing markers, re-testing results, and for comparison with external public databases. For those who have tested elsewhere, you can select those markers needed to compare your result to a Family Tree DNA result. Panel 5 is suggested for those who want to learn more about the Palindromic area of the Y chromosome.

Y-DNA Kittler Test
This test result provides the exact order for DYS 385a/b. Typical Y STR tests report the results for this marker in low to high order. This test allows you to see the actual order.

Autosomal Panels
There are two(2) autosomal panels. The first panel includes the 9 Codis markers. These tests examine autosomal DNA, so both males and females can take these tests.

X-STR DNA Panels
There are two(2) X-STR panels available. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, and females have two X chromosomes. Therefore, these tests are available to both males and females. The male receives his X chromosome from his mother, and the female receives one X chromosome from her mother and one from her father. These tests can be used for closely related family testing.

CCR5 is a gene on Chromosome 3. Some people have a major deletion (known as a mutation deletion) in this gene on one or both chromosomes. If your test result is Normal, this means that you have no copies of the deletion. The deletion is believed to be associated with black plague immunity. The deletion is found in up to 20% of Europeans, and rare in 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 in CCR5. This test is available to both males and females.

DNA-FingerPrint customers can now give permission to transfer their data to Family Tree DNA. This data will be added to their Personal Page at Family Tree DNA in about 1-2 months. For DNA-FingerPrint customers who are not Family Tree DNA customers, when you authorize the transfer of your data, a Personal Page will be created for you at Family Tree DNA when the transfer of data is complete. All DNA-FingerPrint customers are encouraged to authorize the transfer of their results and sample to Family Tree DNA. To do this, go to:


Log in to your account, click the selection on the left My Account, then click FTDNA Transfer and follow the directions. If you have a kit at Family Tree DNA, be sure to enter your kit number, and double check the kit number you enter to avoid errors. You must put in your kit number to have your DNA-FingerPrint results merged with your Family Tree DNA Personal Page.

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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 81,000 records in our database of Y-DNA results. We also have over 3,600 Surname Projects, which include over 57,000 surnames. Our mtDNA database has over 35,000 results.

If you are thinking of starting a Surname Project, now is the time to get started. Our educational resources, combined with our 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 experience with family history research can start a Surname Project. We supply the tools and guidance to help 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 a Surname Project, or to discuss establishing a Surname Project:
leahw@familytreeDNA.com for Leah Wark

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Educational Resources: Events & Publications

If you would like to learn more about Genetic Genealogy, we invite you to attend the events listed below. Please see the relevant web sites for registration information.

Educational Articles

DNA Projects: What Are They and What Can You Expect?
Family Chronicle Magazine
September/October 2006 Issue
Available at news stands

Starting a DNA Project
Journal of One-Name Studies
Guild of One-Name Studies
London, England
July-September 2006 Issue
Available from the Society

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Educational Resources: Genealogy by Genetics Video

The Genealogy by Genetics video available from Family Tree DNA is an excellent educational tool.

The Genealogy by Genetics video is available on-line at the Family Tree DNA web site. The video can be downloaded and then played on your computer. The "Genealogy by Genetics" video is a series of interviews with several Family Tree DNA customers, and is an excellent educational tool to learn more about Genetic Genealogy. It is recommended that those interested in starting a Surname Project view the video. Through the interviews you will learn how others have utilized DNA testing for genealogy and what they discovered.

The on-line video is presented in two versions: a dial-up version for those who are connected through a 56k modem, or a broadband version for those with a faster DSL or cable connection. The video is in 4 parts, due to the file size. If you do not have a viewer on your computer, there are links on the web page to get a free viewer.

To see the Genealogy by Genetics video, go to:


Once you have seen the video, if you would like a DVD copy to show at family reunions, Genealogical Societies, Family History Centers, and Family Association gatherings, you can order one at no charge at the following link:


Group Administrators can copy the video for their participants and potential participants. For those who are interested seeing the video and do not have a 56k modem or broadband access, use the link above to order a copy of the video.

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Genetic Genealogy: Easy, Safe, Reliable

If you or a relative has been thinking of taking a DNA test, it is typically comforting to know that these tests are easy, safe, and reliable.

A test kit is sent to you in the mail, and you swab the inside of your mouth. The process is painless, and performed in the privacy of your home. The directions provided with the test kit are easy to follow.

The tests are safe. The collection process is not invasive, and does not involve drawing blood.

The test results are reliable and performed to scientific standards. Repeating the same test on the same sample will produce the same result.

Taking a DNA test is an opportunity for discovery and to learn more about your origins. Males can take a Y DNA test and a mtDNA test. Females can take a mtDNA test.

If you take a Y DNA test, you will receive information about your direct male line, which is your father, his father, and back in time up the family tree.

Taking a Y DNA test is an opportunity to discover information on 3 levels:

- Genealogical
- Surname
- Anthropological

The primary use of Genetic Genealogy testing is to provide information which can not be found in the paper records to help you with your genealogy research. The applications of DNA testing for genealogy are as diverse as the problems that can be encountered in your research. For example, perhaps you are trying to bridge the gap of destroyed records, or trying to sort out multiple families with the same surname in a location.

Typically those who take a Y DNA test join a Surname Project, if one exists. A Surname Project has a Group Administrator who is a volunteer who performs a variety of functions including managing the project, recruiting participants, assisting participants in understanding their results, and providing suggestions for further research or testing.

Once you take a Y DNA test, you will be able to determine which other family trees with your surname are related to you.

Over time, the group of participants in a Surname Project will grow. Once the group reaches the point where most or all of the family trees for the surname have tested, it will be possible to draw conclusions about the surname. To draw these conclusions, comprehensive research in early records will be combined with the results of Y DNA testing. The research in early records is important, since drawing conclusions without the associated research will lead to erroneous results. Just as Y DNA testing is combined with genealogy research for your family tree, Y DNA testing of multiple family trees of the surname is combined with genealogy research to draw conclusions about the surname.

A Y DNA test will also provide you interesting information about your distant origins.

A mtDNA test provides information both for genealogy research and about your distant origins. The applications of mtDNA testing to genealogy research are more limited than Y DNA testing, primarily because the surname usually changes for the female in each generation, as well as the fact that mtDNA does not mutate as frequently as Y DNA, resulting in a longer time frame for a match to a common ancestor.

DNA testing for genealogy is a tremendous opportunity to uncover information not found in the paper records, provide information to help you with your genealogy research, contribute to the knowledge about your surname, and learn about your distant origins.

Getting started is easy. If a Surname Project exists for your surname, you can order your test kit through the project. A link is shown below to search the Surname Projects. Otherwise, you can order a test kit at the link below, or send an email to discuss starting a Surname Project.

To search for a Surname Project:

To order a test kit when a Surname Project doesn't exist:

To discuss starting a Surname Project:
leahw@familytreeDNA.com for Leah Wark

If you want to view sample pages, that show what you will receive, visit our demo:

To see an example certificate and report you will receive in the mail, click on the link below:

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Recruiting Participants: Cost Justification

One function performed by a Group Administrator is to recruit participants for the Surname Project. Part of this process will involve addressing the issue of the cost of testing, and discussing how many markers to test.

Genealogy is one of those hobbies where a lot of small costs can add up over time. Since these costs are spent in small increments, they usually are not obvious. There are also larger expenses, including database subscriptions, such as Ancestry.com, and research trips.

The costs for family history research could involve any or all of the following:

- Magazines
- Books
- Society memberships
- Cost to attend society events (Travel and entrance fee)
- CD purchases
- Genealogy software
- Pay per view sites
- Database subscription sites
- Certificates and documents: birth, marriage, death certificates, wills, etc.
- Conferences
- Copies (print outs at your FHC or library)
- Professional Researcher
- Research trips

You can get a Y DNA test for 12 Markers cheaper than a color copy of an A0 piece of paper from the PRO, UK.

A DNA test can save you time and money. In addition, the DNA test will continue to provide a return, for years in the future.

Often Group Administrators encounter a price objection from a potential participant. If the potential participant is an active genealogist, then beyond surfing the net, costs are incurred as they pursue their hobby. The potential participant may not realize that all the small costs throughout the year add up to more than the cost of a DNA test. Those on a budget may want to start with the 12 Marker test, and upgrade to the 25 Marker test at a later date. Perhaps some of their genealogy expenses, such as subscriptions or memberships, can be skipped for a year, and the funds applied to the DNA test.

DNA testing is much less expensive than research and can be much more valuable.

For more information on dealing with the issue of cost, see:

Recruiting Participants: The Cost of Genealogy Research

Recruiting Participants: Cost Justify the Price

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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
I have just started a Surname Project, and wonder how many people need to test to get a fair representation of DNA. I am studying the family name in the USA and UK.


The answer to this question involves taking a look at the number of family trees for your surname and variants, the variants selected for the project, and the distribution of your surname worldwide.

The number of family trees of the surname is the critical factor. From your research, you have probably identified family trees. Lets assume, for our example, that you have identified 34 family trees, each of which goes back to a different progenitor.

Ideally you would want two distantly related males from each family tree to participate. The second male validates the result to their common male ancestor. Hopefully, the common male ancestor is the progenitor or close to the progenitor. Trees that span multiple centuries, or have a large number of sons in one or more generations can benefit from testing each major branch.

In our hypothetical example, with 34 family trees, the issue is the number of trees tested, not the number of males who participate. The number of males who test will vary for each family tree.

In one case, you could have tested 30 men, representing 15 family trees. In this case, you have tested almost 50% of the family trees.

In another case, you could have tested 30 men, which represent only 11 trees, since multiple branches of 3 trees tested. These participants would represent less than 33% of the family trees.

In another case, you could have tested 30 men, representing 30 family trees. The trees aren't validated, though you have close matches between some trees. You have 10 results that that do not match anyone, so further investigation is needed. In this case, you have tested a large number of trees, but have more issues to resolve, since the validation step was skipped.

The number of trees for the surname, and the number of trees tested tell you the percentage of trees tested.

Another factor to consider is the distribution of your surname worldwide. You mentioned that you are studying your surname in the USA and UK. Often, for these type of studies, it is helpful to see if the surname is found in other countries, particularly those countries that were destinations for migration from the UK, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Republic of South Africa. Including all occurrences of the surname in your Surname Project and research will usually help significantly. For example, perhaps you have a DNA result for one tree in the USA that doesn't match anyone, and you are leaning towards calling this result a non-paternity result. Including Australia in your project could lead you to the discovery that this result is also found there, where the family proliferated. If there was a non-paternity event, it would have to have occurred before the common ancestor of these trees in the UK.

The variants you select for your project are also important. The more variants you include, the wider the scope of your project will become, and there will be more family trees to test. There is also the risk, with a large number of variants, that you include a variant that arose from a different prior surname from a different country. The important factor is the variants selected, not the number of variants. If you have a surname consistently recorded the same through the generations, you probably wouldn't have many variants. If you have a surname from an area with a dialect, you may have many forms evolve over time, especially with migrations.

Each family tree that tests is an opportunity for discovery. You can monitor your progress by the percentage of trees tested.

It is a good idea to wait until all the family trees have tested for a surname or variant, before drawing conclusions about the surname.

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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, as well as suggestions for future articles. If you are a Group Administrator and can help others with tips or suggestions, please contact: editor@FamilyTreeDNA.com

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