Volume 5, Issue 4
December 05, 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, the only publication devoted to Genetic Genealogy.

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

With the Holiday season approaching, family gatherings are a wonderful opportunity to interview relatives, as well as to share with family members the exciting discoveries from DNA testing and recruit participants. A DNA test is a gift of discovery, which will continue to provide discoveries in the future.

You may also want to consider raising donations to provide test kits for participants who are critical to your research.

Family gatherings are an opportunity to recruit the relative that you need to take a DNA test. A festive setting combined with a simple, non-technical explanation of the test will go a long way to overcome fears and concerns.

Each year the postal mail system slows down, so test kits are taking longer to reach participants as well as to be returned to Family Tree DNA.

If you are going to place an order for delivery by the holidays, please note that we can not guarantee delivery by the postal service. For postal mail delivery, we suggest placing your order early in December. For orders placed after December 15th, we recommend that you request Next Day Air delivery.

For orders sent by Next Day Air to arrive by the holidays, please place your orders by noon December 20 for domestic delivery and by noon December 18th for international delivery.

For those looking for unique gifts beyond a DNA test, consider the following:

- A donation to the General Fund of a Surname Project.

- Y DNA Haplogroup or mtDNA Haplogroup pins, from www.DNApin.com.

- Ancestral Roots ware from www.DNAhaplogear.com

- The Genealogy by Genetics video. You can make and distribute as many copies as desired by either downloading the video to CD, which is played on a computer, or ordering a free DVD and making copies. For more information,


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 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 82,000 records in our database of Y-DNA results. We also have over 3,700 Surname Projects, which include over 57,000 surnames. Our mtDNA database has over 36,000 results.

2. The 3rd International Conference on Genetic Genealogy was held November 3-4, 2006 in Houston, Texas. The Conference was both oversubscribed and considered by many as the best Conference held to date. This years Conference featured leading experts in the field making presentations on a variety of topics related to the use of DNA testing for family history and deep ancestral origins. Additionally Family Tree DNA invited an ethicist, Dr. Josephine Johnston, to attend and address the gathering. More than 225 participants came from all over the United States (including Hawaii), Canada and England. It was covered by the Voice of America, and a short video of the coverage can be seen here: It was covered by the Voice of America, and a short video of the coverage can be seen here: http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-11-24-voa49.cfm.

3. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce the "SNP Assurance Program."

If your Y DNA Haplogroup can not be predicted with 100% certainty, Family Tree DNA will provide our Backbone SNP test for free.

Our SNP Assurance Program provides our customers with the highest level of haplogroup confidence in the industry. This new program will also enable us to refine our prediction system for the future, and may also help resolve any ambiguous predictions for samples tested in the past.

After a few batches are processed under the SNP Assurance Program, Family Tree DNA will look at all the past "unresolved" SNP predictions, and will gradually test them for free to further refine our prediction system until all unconfirmed Haplogroups can be 100% predicted.

An unambiguous Haplogroup prediction is one for which the Y DNA matches in the Haplogroup database are either an exact match or 11/12 match and only one Haplogroup is predicted by the database for both all 12/12 matches and all 11/12 matches.

The following depth of haplogroup prediction or confirmation will be guaranteed for all new Y-DNA tests beginning with batch 173:

A, B, C, D, E, E3a, E3b, F, G, H, I, J, K, K2, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, R1a, R1b, R2

The SNP Assurance Program will resolve any ambiguous Haplogroup predictions that previously prevented customers from joining the Genographic Project.

For more information, see:


4. The Genographic Project announces the ability to add additional information to your test record, and participate in their real-time research project.

Both those who ordered through the Genographic Project and Family Tree DNA customers who joined the Genographic Project are encouraged to visit your Personal Page at the Genographic Project and complete the new questionnaire. Answering the optional questions and approving the inclusion of your data in the research project will assist the Genographic Project achieve their goals.

If you haven't yet joined the Genographic Project, go to your Personal Page at Family Tree DNA, and click the tab labeled Genographic Project. There is a small fee of $15.00 USD to join the Genographic Project. Proceeds from this fee will be directed to the Genographic Legacy Fund which will support local education and cultural preservation efforts to benefit the participating indigenous populations.

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

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 so your Surname Project is 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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Genetic Genealogy: Share The Journey

Another way for someone to get started with DNA testing is to participate in the National Geographic's Genographic Project.

Whether it’s for a family member who holds a different piece of your family’s ancestry or a friend for whom it’s impossible to shop, send them on their own genetic journey by giving a Genographic Project Participation Kit as a gift. If you’ve been thinking about participating in this real-time scientific study, purchase a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit for yourself as well.

The link to order your Participation Kit is

And remember, net proceeds from the sale of Public Participation Kits go to the Genographic Legacy Fund to support indigenous and traditional culture conservation efforts.

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Genetic Genealogy: Join a Project

For those who have taken a Y DNA test, and a Surname Project didn't exist for your surname at the time, we suggest that you periodically check to see if a Surname Project has been established. Joining this project should increase the benefit you receive from your Y DNA test.

To find out if a Surname Project exists for your surname, click the Blue Join button on your Personal Page, and enter the surname in the search box. If a project is now set up, you can follow the directions to join the Surname Project.

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

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Genetic Genealogy: Advanced Tests

If you have been thinking of exploring the new Advanced tests now offered by Family Tree DNA, the CCR5 test may be a place to start.

CCR5 is a gene on Chromosome 3. Some people have a major deletion (known as a mutation deletion) within this gene on one or both chromosomes. If your test result is Normal, this means that you have no copies of the gene with the deletion.

The deletion is believed to be associated with plague immunity. The deletion is found in up to 20% of Europeans, and rare in Africans and Asians. The deletion of 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. This test is available to both males and females.

To order the CCR5 test, log into your Personal Page. Click Order Tests to the right of the blue Join button, and then click on Advanced Orders, and select the CCR5 test, which is about half way down the list of advanced tests available.

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DNA-Fingerprint Customers: Transfer your Data

If you are a DNA-Fingerprint customer, you will want to complete the easy process to give permission to transfer your data to Family Tree DNA.

This data will be included on your 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 you data, a Personal Page will be created for you at Family Tree DNA when the transfer occurs in the future. 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, and then click the selection on the left My Account, and 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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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

In our Surname Project, we have three men with the same surname who are 37/37 matches, and a fourth man in the project who is a 36/37 match. Their direct male lines go back into the 1700s in VA, NC and SC to about 8 generations. These folks cannot find an ancestor-in-common. Are they related?


These men are related since the adoption of surnames. Their common ancestor may have occurred in the USA, or farther back in time. Mutations are random events, estimated to occur about every 500 generations per marker, on average. Some markers are faster than other markers, and some markers are slower than this average.

It is possible that no mutations have occurred for three of the men since the adoption of the surname.

It is also possible that the men share one or more mutations as compared to the result of the progenitor of the surname. If the men share mutations since the adoption of the surname, they have a more recent common ancestor.

For the fourth man, who is a 36/37 match, you want to validate the result for his tree. Perhaps his mutation occurred within the documented generations of his family tree, and therefore the result for the progenitor of his tree is a 37/37 match to the other men.

As your Surname Project grows, and more family trees test, you will be able to calculate the ancestral result for the progenitor of the surname. Some mutations found in participants results may identify major branches off the ancestral tree. To calculate the ancestral result at the time of the adoption of surnames, you will need a large number of participants representing a variety of family trees.

Once the result is determined for the progenitor of the surname, you will know if these men match this result, or if they share any mutation(s), representing a more recent common ancestor.

When you get back to a period of inconsistent written records, you may not be able to find the documents connecting two men. You have still learned valuable information about your surname, and more information will be uncovered as more men with your surname participate.

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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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