Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 DNA Round-Up

2017 DNA Round-Up - www.newenglandgenealogy.netI took my first DNA test in 2006 and have been fascinated by the science for so long, that it's exciting to see it considered an important tool in "reasonably exhaustive research" for genealogy. After starting with Family Tree DNA and uploading results to GEDMatch for myself and my ex-husband, I decided to delve further into DNA testing.

In an effort to work on various brick walls, I took the plunge and tried Ancestry DNA in 2017. It's interesting to me to see the various, current stats from them!


Goal - using DNA to work on my Emma Anna Murphy brick wall, among others.

Fourth Cousins or Closer - 704

Shared Ancestor Hints - 267

Starred Matches - 272 (people I've marked and noted as knowing how we're related)

DNA Circles - 11

Ethnicity - 6 regions (all of which I don't take as perfectly accurate, but a potential guideline; I've found that averaging it with my results at other providers is useful)


Goal - Emma Anna Murphy is dad's great-grandmother. As he's closer to her genetically, I wanted to ensure I had his DNA tested. My mother, maternal grandmother, maternal uncle, two maternal first cousins, and one paternal first cousin have all tested on their own.

Dad also has a brick wall on his maternal side, so once he completes the FTDNA test I sent him, I hope to upgrade it to both Y-DNA and mtDNA in 2018.

Fourth Cousins or Closer - 467

Shared Ancestor Hints - 339

Starred Matches - 305

DNA Circles - 5

Ethnicity - 4 regions


Goal - brick walls! My husband has mostly recent immigrant ancestors and DNA via my husband's first cousin, once removed (his father's first cousin) has already proven a connection back to the family's Callahans in Ireland, where they've lived for hundreds of years. So that's pretty nifty!

Fourth cousins or closer - 248

Shared ancestor hints - 36

Starred matches - 32

Ethnicity - 7 regions


Goal - Figure out who Mr. Hawksley, father of John Goodwin Hawksley, is and where he was from, and work through Goodwin loyalist ancestor brick wall.

Fourth cousins or closer - 1000+

Shared ancestor hints - 376

Starred matches - 356

DNA Circles - 26

Ethnicity - 8 regions

All kits are on GEDMatch and MyHeritage, and I'm giving DNA.Land a try for myself, especially since they are doing the breast cancer study. If I can contribute in some way to medical science, then that is a plus.

I keep separate spreadsheets for each kit, and each spreadsheet has tabs for close matches, Ancestry, FTDNA, GedMatch, MyHeritage, and ethnicity comparisons. At this time, I do not incorporate matches below 30 centimorgans into my spreadsheets, though I do consider those between 20 and 30 in my overall research.

Finally, I create a 6 generation fan chart for each person whose DNA kit I manage, and I mark each ancestor confirmed by DNA. That gives me a visual so I can see at a glance who remains unconfirmed. I can use this, along with shared matches and my paper trails to narrow down how one of us might be related to mystery matches.

In 2017, DNA gave me a strong possibility for breaking through one brick wall, so I hope to see it come to fruition in 2018.

Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan

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