Monday, June 29, 2015

Keys To 23andMe Success

You can see the additional info the 23++ extension adds

My relative matches came in last Thursday at 23andMe. That was a week after the initial Neanderthal, haplogroup, and ethnicity results. So far I'm enjoying my experience. I love the chromosome browser with its ability to check to see if my matches actually match each other. You can also compare with non matches if you invite them and they accept your invitation. At 23andMe you can't compare in the chromosome browser unless the other person accepts your invitation. So far I've had a good acceptance rate, considering I just started sending invitations a couple of days ago. I sent out at least a couple hundred invitations so far and around 25 people have accepted genome sharing.

I immediately found some matches I'm definitely related to. Three of my first cousins matched me of course. One of them shared a higher percentage of DNA than the average for a 1rst cousin. She shared 18%. She was predicted to be my aunt instead of cousin because of that. I found a 3rd cousin right away also. I already knew her, so it wasn't a surprise. 23andMe predicted her to be a 2nd cousin because she also shares more DNA with me than the average 3rd cousin. She shares 171 cM and 6 segments. I discovered 4 cousins just looking at posted trees.

Forgey Roller? On Chr 20
Moving on from the easy cousin finds I began trying to triangulate using the chromosome browser to compare those who accepted my invitations so far. I did find triangulation between my cousins, and I, and a woman who also has Tennessee ancestry. I discovered she also matched an Andrew Forgey and Anna Roller descendant. We have not found the common ancestral line yet. I don't think her tree is out that far?

Keys to success at 23andMe

  1. Other close relatives need to test with them. I've found it's so helpful that my 1rst cousins have tested with them. It's helping me to determine which side of the family matches match on. I don't think I would have much success without close relatives testing.
  2. The 23++ Chrome browser extension is helping me so much. It's a must have for me. 23andMe matches would be difficult for me to evaluate without the extension. The extension provides you with cM totals. I'm used to evaluating matches based on cM's rather than percentages, plus most everyone outside of 23andMe uses cM's as a measurement. This extension also highlights matches you've invited marking those who have accepted with a green box, and those who have not with a tan box (see top of page).
  3. Downloading and comparing matches. Since you can only compare 5 matches at a time at 23andMe it's good to download matches to excel compare there; or better yet compare with all of your matches from every company at Genome Mate, or create a segment map using Kitty's segment mapper.
The note system they have at 23andMe isn't as easy to use as at Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA. I would like to see a better note keeping tool, which highlights where the notes are.

23andMe, like Family Tree DNA, doesn't have anything like Circles. The only way to find matches in common is to share genomes. The difference between the Circles and using a chromosome browser is you can actually prove a relationship with matches by comparing segments. Circles provide hints to possible relationships only, and these hints need to be verified.

I'm thrilled to be building up a catalog of segments using 23andMe. I appreciate the fact they provide that tool.

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