Volume 7, Issue 2
April 16, 2008

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.

Established in 2002, Facts & Genes provides valuable information about utilizing Genetic Genealogy testing for your genealogy and keeps you informed about the latest advancements in the field.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted a Surname Project for consideration of an article. The response was overwhelming, and it will be very difficult to choose just a few.

If you haven't yet entered the latitude and longitude for your most distant ancestor, please take the time to do so. You can find the directions in the previous issue of our newsletter in the article titled "Genetic Genealogy: Oldest Known Ancestors for My Maps."


For those who have tested but a Surname Project did not yet exist for your surname, be sure to check periodically. Every day more Surname Projects are being started. The link below allows you to search our Surname Projects. If you find a project has been started for your surname, log into your Personal Page, click on the blue Join button and follow the directions on that page.


At any time, if you have any questions or need any help, contact our customer support. The following link provides several 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. 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. For customers, to change your email address, go to your Personal Page. Click Modify Contact Information. Change your email address and click the box to the left of Facts & Genes Subscription if it does not already have a check mark. Newsletter subscribers who are not customers should contact the following to change your email address: 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 122,000 records in our database of Y-DNA results. We also have over 4,700 Surname Projects, which include over 74,000 surnames. Our mtDNA database has over 64,000 results.

2. Family Tree DNA Announces R1b1c* Refinement Testing

Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce refined SNP testing for haplogroup R1b1c* (SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism). The new SNPs in the test include the U series, known as U106, U152 and U198, and P107. There are 6 SNPs in this branch:

U106, U198, P107, U152, M126, M160

M126 and M160 are included in the Deep R1b Clade panel.

This upgraded panel of R1b SNPs that is now being offered to those who have previously taken our Deep R1b Clade test but were negative for branches 1 through 8 of R1b1c. It is believed that these new U series SNP's will produce positive results for approximately 40% of people. The price for this package is $49.00.

These SNPs will also be included in a newly designed R1b panel that will be offered after the publication in Genome Research of the new YCC Tree. The U series panel will still be available as an upgrade for those individuals who have already had the Deep R1b Clade test.

For more details and information, log onto your Personal Page at Family Tree DNA and click on the Haplogroup tab.

3. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce new markers that are now available from the Family Tree DNA Genomics Research Center.

We have now replicated the last 30 markers offered by our partners at the University of Arizona (the ones included in the upgrade from Y-DNA37 to Y-DNA67) for those who are interested in purchasing them on an individual basis. To order, log into your Personal Page. Click Order Tests and Upgrades. Then click Advanced Orders. These 30 markers are in Panel 6, 7 and 8.

4. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a new marker panel from the Houston Genomics Center.

This panel includes markers tested by Ethno-Ancestry that were not included in any of our previous panels of markers. To order these markers, log into your Personal Page. Click Order Tests and Upgrades. Then click Advanced Orders. Move down the page to Panel 9.

Starting a Surname Project

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 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 a Surname Project, or to discuss establishing a Surname Project:
ashley@familytreeDNA.com for Ashley Coursey

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Educational Resources: Events & Publications

Saturday April 26, 2008
DNA Genealogy Tests
Speaker: Bennett Greenspan
All Day
Brent Auditorium, Jefferson Alumni Hall
1020 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania

May 14-17, 2008
National Genealogical Society Conference
and Family History Fair
Kansas City, Missouri
Visit us at our display.

Educational Articles

Adding DNA to Your Family Tree
Family Chronicle Magazine
March/April 2008 Issue
Available at news stands March 1st

If you have seen a logo next to some Surname Projects on our search results page or their Project Profile, and want to learn more about the Guild of One-Name Studies, see:

The Guild of One-Name Studies
Family Chronicle Magazine
March/April 2008 Issue
Available at news stands

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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.

Since 2000, Family Tree DNA has been providing DNA tests for genealogists. This is our primary business. We have constantly expanded our products and services to bring the latest science and tools to our valued customers. Our track record shows innovation and a commitment to our customers.

In past issues of Facts & Genes, we have covered several key points to vendor selection:

- The vendor you select will determine the success of your project
- The size of the vendor's database impacts your ability to find a match
- Select a vendor where DNA testing for genealogy is their only business, not an add on product to generate additional revenue

How does Family Tree DNA compare:
- DNA testing for genealogy is our only business
- Founded in 2000, we are the first vendor to bring tests to the Genetic Genealogy community
- The largest database of results
- The only vendor to disclose the size of our database
- Our database has participants from 190 countries
- The largest number of Surname Projects
- The only vendor to disclose the number of Surname Projects
- Full transparency in our search of surnames tested. We don't require a minimum of 3 characters to search. The 3 letter search approach is used by others to hide the small size of the surnames tested. At Family Tree DNA, you can search just a letter of the alphabet to see all our Surname Projects.
- The only vendor with a proprietary database of lab results. We don't support a mixed database of user results combined with lab results, resulting in lack of data integrity. Instead, we also provide Ysearch and mitoSearch, to which customers can easily add their data with a click of a button. Some vendors do not provide a proprietary database or even a mixed database.
- Family Tree DNA has constantly expanded our products and services to bring the latest science and tools to our valued customers. Our track record shows innovation and a commitment to our customers.
- Other vendors have come and gone, and we continue to innovate and grow.

The above list is just the beginning of differentiating vendors. In this issue, we will look at some participant features:

- match emails
- control your search criteria
- control your match criteria

Match emails are a very important component of the participant experience. Every day, new test results are added to our proprietary database. The instant a record is added that matches your result, you are sent a match email. You don't have to periodically go and search - we provide notification.

Along with Match emails, you can choose your search criteria and match criteria on your User Preferences page. Log into your Personal Page, and click on User Preferences.

Your search criteria can be set to search within your Surname Project or to search the entire Family Tree DNA database. You can change this search criteria at any time. The search criteria determines what you see when you click the Match selection, as well what match emails you receive.

The surname establishes a genealogical limit for matches, and for this reason many people limit their searches to their Surname Project. When you have a match, and the surname is a match or variant, you are typically looking at a relationship since the adoption of surnames. Upgrading to additional markers can confirm the relationship, as well as refine the time frame of the match.

Matches outside your surname typically aren't relevant, unless you have an event in your direct male line, such as adoption, illegitimacy where the male child took the mother's surname, or voluntary name change. Matches with other surnames are typically those to whom you are related prior to the adoption of surnames.

If you want to get an idea of how many people you match with other surnames, some of whom have their search criteria set to search only within their Surname Project, click on Recent Ancestral Origins. This will show you all those who you match who provided a country of origin. They had to know their origin to appear on this report.

If you select the option to look for matches in the whole database, you will see your matches within your Surname Project, as well as any matches with others not in your Surname Project who are also set to match with the entire database.

You can also control your match criteria. Log into your Personal Page, and click on User Preferences. Move down to "When displaying matches only show (you can check more than one box." Then click the appropriate boxes.

12-marker matches/close matches
25-marker matches/close matches
37-marker matches/close matches
67-marker matches/close matches

Often, if your haplogroup is R1b, and you are set to search outside your Surname Project, you will get a large number of matches with many other surnames. For this reason, either set your search criteria to search only inside your Surname Project, or set your match criteria to 25 markers or higher, or do both.

Your match criteria determines what appears when you visit your Y-DNA Matches section and determines what match notification emails you receive. In addition, the match criteria of those you match plays a role. If someone you match sets their preferences to match only 25 markers and above, you will not see them listed as a match at 12 markers; you would only see them listed at 25 markers and above.

Family Tree DNA understands that it is often difficult to differentiate vendors when you are getting started. Issues like a proprietary database, no proprietary database, or a mixed database aren't clearly evident. Other features, such as match notification emails, or the lack of match notification emails, are even more difficult to determine.

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?

For additional information, please see prior articles in our Vendor Selection Series.



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Genetic Genealogy: Genographic Project Update

Over 275,000 people have joined the Genographic Project to date.

Since the start of the Genographic Project in April 2005, Dr. Spencer Wells, the Genographic Project Director and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, has traveled to more than three dozen countries. These include Chad, Tajikistan, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, and French Polynesia, where he has worked with the global research team, met with indigenous and traditional community leaders, and expanded Genographic's scientific database.

Nearly all native South Americans and most native North Americans are descended from haplogroup Q3, marker M3, which arose 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Interestingly, while this defining marker arose in the Americas, it is also found at low frequencies in the Russian Far East in populations that have had more recent contact with Native American populations, probably via maritime connections from Alaska.

In its second year, the Genographic Legacy Fund has funded 20 projects, which span five continents and total nearly $900,000. Communities are leading critical projects that focus on revitalizing languages and cultural heritage.

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.

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.

When you join the Genographic Project, your 12 marker Y-DNA or your mtDNA 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.

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Genetic Genealogy: Advanced Tests

This month's featured Advanced Test is the Y-STR DNA-FP Panel 3 (Extended resolution Y-STR panel).

This Advanced Test contains markers for comparison with external public databases. These markers also make haplotypes tested elsewhere compatible to Family Tree DNA standards. We only recommend these panels for filling missing markers or for re-testing inconsistent results. DNA-FP panels are set up to continue the compatibility for former DNA-Fingerprint lab clients.

To order an Advanced Test, on your Personal Page, click "Order Tests and Upgrades" and then click "Advanced Orders." Go down the page until you find the Y-STR DNA-FP Panel 3.

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Success Story: Montgomery

Our Montgomery family has been well researched and documented from John and Margaret Montgomery, who were among the earliest setters of Lawrence County, Alabama in 1819, until the present. John's earlier ancestry, however, was confused with another Montgomery family who, after coming to America, lived in almost identical places as did John's. There were many similarities of the ages and names of their children. Our family had long believed John descended from one of these families, but the cumulative genealogy evidence and DNA results proved he was from the other.

With so much inaccuracy within previously written papers, the best available means to prove that our cumulative genealogy conclusions were accurate and to separate our family from the others was through DNA testing. The Montgomery Surname DNA Study Project offered us that tool.

Our study proved the following:
1) Long held family beliefs of John's ancestry were not correct.
2) John and Esther Houston Montgomery, through their son Alexander, was likely our John's ancestral family.

A complete discussion of the genealogical/technological approach that was used to resolve the issues about his ancestry is posted on our web site:

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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 had a test done last year and receive emails saying I have a 12-marker, 25-marker, or 37-marker match. I have NO idea what I should do about it.


First, you want to take a look at your search criteria. On your Personal Page, click User Preferences. You will see that your are set to search the whole Family Tree DNA database. You are also haplogroup R1b. Therefore you are getting a lot of matches with other surnames. You are most likely related to these people PRIOR to the adoption of surnames, and not in a genealogical time frame, unless your direct male line has an event such as adoption, illegitimate male birth who took the mothers surname, or a voluntary name change. Your first step is to change your search criteria to within your Surname Project. Click on the circle to the left of "I want to restrict the display of matches only to my Surname Project". Then click Update at the bottom of the page.

Your match notification emails and the matches displayed when you visit your Y-DNA Matches section will now only be those in your Surname Project, so they will share the same surname or variant.

Your next step is to review and investigate your matches on your Y-DNA Matches page. Perhaps some of your matches are in your family tree and you know who they are. After this step, look at your 37 marker matches next. These matches will start with exact matches and then show those with a genetic distance, starting at a genetic distance of 1. An exact match is what it says: exact. A match with a genetic distance of 1 is very close to you, and differs due to a mutation on one marker. Mutations are random events and cause no harm.

To the right of your matches you may see two symbols. The first symbol, which looks like a fork in a family tree, takes you to the FTDNATiP utility. The second symbol, which contains the letters FT, enables you to see your match's pedigree chart if your match has uploaded his family tree. The second symbol only appears if your match has uploaded their family tree.

Click on the FTDNATiP icon. This utility will give you the probability of the time frame for when you are related to your match. If you know how many generations have occurred in which you are definitely not related, input this information and recalculate.

The FTDNATiP information can be a guide as to whether you should contact the match. Consider this information as well as their family tree, if provided.

The closer the relationship, such as an exact match or low genetic distance, plus the higher the FTDNATiP probability of relatedness in a nearer timeframe, such as 99% in 7 generations, the more likely you are to find a paper connection. You then probably want to contact your match or your Surname Project Administrator for guidance. If pedigree information is provided on the Surname Project web site, you would also want to review this information.

At first glance, the probability issue can seem confusing. This is because mutations are random events. You could be an exact 37 match to your father, yet a genetic distance of 1 to your brother if he has a mutation. This doesn't occur often, though it does happen. You can also be an exact 37 marker match to someone when your common ancestor is hundreds of years ago. In this case, a mutation has not occurred in either direct male line.

With a little experience and by reviewing the information on our web site about matches, it will become much clearer. On your match page, towards the top, click on the educational selections, or click on the links below:

Understanding matches with different surnames
Understanding genetic distance
Understanding the FTDNATiP

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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:
editorFG@FamilyTreeDNA.com for Dexter

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