Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Year in Genetic Genealogy: Looking Backward And Looking Forward

Family Tree DNA myOrigins was introduced this year

Happy New Year 2015!

We began the year 2014 with a push to grow our Forgey/Forgy & Forgie Y DNA project. We did grow it by several additional members. We added two additional men to the main grouping, and three are now outside the most common Y haplo group. We need to solve two of these NPE's. Hoping an autosomal test will show a female line of descent for one of these lines?

My Mom and I tested with AncestryDNA this year. I tested in March and my Mom in July. I've found a couple dozen matches through Ancestry. I had a few taken away recently with their new pile up elimination filter. It's going to take a few years before we know how accurate Ancestry's methods really are.

My Aunt Loretta tested with Family Tree DNA. Their new myOrigins ethnicity estimate was very far off for her. The estimates for my Mom and I are closer to correct.

My DNA Personal Highlights 2014:

  1. My Aunt matched an Owens descendant through the George Owens line.
  2. Confirmed a 3rd cousin once removed in my Owens' line. No breaks in our Owens line to William F. Owens b. abt. 1820 & Nancy Hicks.
  3. We triangulated with a Melvin match. Feel confident about our blood relationship to that line now. That takes the confirmed Hicks/Melvin line back to John Melvin b. abt. 1776.
  4. I match a couple of Scrouf descendants and Darrell matches one. If this is a true DNA match it would take us back to John Owens b. abt. 1730.
  5. We confirmed Archibald Forgey is related to everyone else in the common Haplo Forgey/Forgy & Forgie grouping at Family Tree DNA. I also confirmed that my own family had a rare mutation on a slow moving marker that the Archibald line doesn't share.
  6. I found out our Thurman line is descended through a Richard Thurman and Sarah. The Y haplo for this line is the Viking Haplo I-M253.
  7. We still have a Forgey/Roller AncestryDNA match who is a 1st cousin once removed to Archibald Forgey's descendant Christy. Nan, her brother , and Aunt are also matches on the same line.
  8. Another important remaining match at AncestryDNA is with a Descendant of John Forgey son of Andrew Forgey and Margaret Reynolds. This is a very strong match for my Mom. This would confirm the Forgey line back to Andrew Forgey b. 1732 and Margaret Reynolds b. 1741. It's difficult to evaluate the validity to this match at AncestryDNA without seeing the shared segment.
  9. We have a different Samuel Forgy b. 1726 match now (lost a previous one). This seems to point to a relationship at around 7 or 8 generations.
  10. We've had several Moses Wray descendants match at both AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA. I feel this line is confirmed back to Moses Wray b. abt. 1725 and Elizabeth Morris. We've had some Morris matches also, one additional generation back.
  11. I was able to identify a close match that was a mystery for a couple of years. She descends from Mary Magdalene Roller.
  12. We may have matches with a couple of Francis Browning b. 1672 descendants? I believe only my Mom matches these descendants? Her reach is much farther back than mine.
Looking forward to some new AncestryDNA results in the New Year. My 1st cousin on my father's side, Darryl, is testing and a 6th cousin, Forgey line, is testing right now. My cousin Judy is also considering testing and would be able to compare with our Aunt, Darryl and I.  I would like to see a Huvane line cousin test. So far that line is not represented at Family Tree DNA or Ancestry. I would also like to see an Owens male in my line test to at least 37 markers on the Y test. Right now we only have one in my line testing at 25 markers. I will also look into having another Forgey male tested. I'm hoping someone who stated he was previously interested, is still interested?

What I will be keeping my eye on, from this point, is ethnicity estimates and brickwall related matches. Campbell, Owens, Forgey, Browning and Urmey are the names I'm focusing my DNA research on. I'm hoping the AncestryDNA Circles are fixed and expanded to make them more useful.

On a non genetic genealogy note, it was nice to find the marriage date and place for my Kapple grandparents. They had divorced and the date, and place, of their marriage had been forgotten. Found some new family picture posted to trees at Hope to find more pics posted this year.

Our collective Year In Genetic Genealogy and the Year to Come:

New episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?" are due out early this year (beginning February 24). According to the ratings for the last season of this show were down from the previous season. Ancestry also said the CNN special about their anchors' family history stories was very successful. Ancestry also felt the last season of PBS's "Finding Your Roots" was a good investment for them. Expect to see more Ancestry commercials on FOX in the New Year. The FOX audience is a key demographic for them. I'm wondering if the DNA test sales will slow at some point? If they lower the price I believe their sales will continue growing. At the current $100 price I've found most average people aren't interested in testing. When they've had their $49 sales they've had blowout months. AncestryDNA is expanding their testing service outside the US this year, which will bolster sales this year.

We had some wonderful learning opportunities online this year. Spencer Wells gave a fascinating keynote speech early last year at "Roots Tech". Jamboree featured some great DNA presentations. One of the best was "The Future of Genetic Genealogy" presented by the founder of Family Tree DNA Bennett Greenspan (full sequencing and IDing rare SNPs is the future). The International Genetic Genealogy conference (I4GG) also offered presentations online and was, and is, another great opportunity learning. These presentations are still available for purchase. Family Tree DNA and Ancestry also offered several webinars, and livestreams, regarding DNA and interpreting their products. 23andme offered a couple of live hangouts which were also very interesting. Several conferences in the British Isles also featured DNA presentations which are still available for viewing at Youtube. I found these presentations excellent.

I've learned so much from the Facebook group International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) this year. This group is such a good place to keep up with current news about genetic genealogy. You can also ask questions. Sometimes flash DNA sales are announced here. You have to be quick to cash in on some of these sales, as we found out, because they can end as quickly as they are announced.

I'll be listening to "Roots Tech" presentations available online in February. I think it's a mistake to have former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter, Jenna, speak. This should be a non political event. Introducing politics will just cause hostility. What happened to the tech part of "Roots Tech" anyway? The speakers should have some involvement with the Tech community, or at least genealogy.

23andMe and MyHeritage will be collaborating in the new year. If 23andMe gets the green light to resume presenting medical results their database will grow faster again.

AncestryDNA seems to be moving in the direction of reconstructing ancestral genomes, hence the new Circles centered around specific ancestors. This could be a difficult undertaking because of serious errors in some of the Ancestry trees. Many people just copy information from other trees. Everyone in a circle may have information from the same wrong tree. Everyone in a Circle may be related, but not in the way they expected? They may have misidentified their common ancestor. The results of Ancestry's first attempt at this kind of ancestral genome reconstruction were released late this year.

2014 has been an incredible watershed year in genetic genealogy. We'll see if it can be topped in future years?

Family Tree DNA introduced a new tree interface this year

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