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.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day! And 23andMe Admixture Results

Roberta Estes featured her Y DNA line in her Father's Day tribute post "Father’s Day – Tracking the Y DNA Line." These men represent my Y DNA lines.

My Father Robert John Kapple born in Chicago
My father Robert John Kapple and his father Rudolph Christian Kapple represent the YDNA haplo group  J-M172. This reflects an Eastern European origin. Rudolph Kapple was born in Southern Burgenland, Austria.
Paternal Great Grandfather Rudolph Christian Kapple born in Burgenland, Austria
My Maternal Grandfather Charles Lynn Forgey born in Jackson County, Indiana

My Grandfather and his male ancestors were Y I-126 Haplo. This line has Scottish roots.
Great-Grandfather William Wray Forgey born in Jackson County, Indiana
Great-Great Grandfather Hugh Forgey probably born in Scott County, Virginia
23andMe Ethnicity results-
I received my preliminary 23andMe results this week. I found out I'm 3.1% Neanderthal. I've been reviewing my ethnicity results. I found that 23andMe slipped up on the Eastern European estimate. They only estimated me to be 1.70% Eastern European, which I believe is too low. My Aunt on my father's side is 29% Eastern European according to her myOrigins results. My Grandfather Kapple was born in Eastern Europe. Both AncestryDNA and myOrigins estimated I'm around 7% Eastern European. I believe even that estimate is low. Perhaps the 11% Broadly European may represent Eastern Europe? I was happy to see some French and German admix included in 23andMe's estimates. I believe their estimate should probably be higher also. I believe they also underestimated the Middle Eastern admix. My original Family Finder ethnicity results stated I was 10% Middle Eastern. They cut that estimate in half now. When my Broadly Southern European is added to my Iberian result it comes out to nearly 14%, similar to AncestryDNA. This would represent my Grandmother Graciela Del Castillo's family. It's fairly close to the 12% AncestryDNA predicted. The 3% from myOrigins is definitely too low. MyOrigins agrees with 23andMe giving me an overall 91% European. MyOrigins and 23andMe also agree that my British Isles admix is around 29%, which I believe is closer to correct than AncestryDNA.
AncestryDNA's ethnicity results are very good. They do, however, give a wide range of possibilities for each result. MyOrigins gets some regions correct, but misses large chunks of my admix. 23andMe throws a good percentage of my DNA into "broad European" categories. They won't breakdown the regions to the degree AncestryDNA does.
I'm currently waiting for my match results at 23andMe. I'm hoping some 2nd Cousins show up. I have no 2nd Cousins at Family Tree DNA or AncestryDNA. That cousin level could prove useful in order to separate the segments of DNA I share with more distant cousins.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

SCGS Jamboree 2015 and Global Family Reunion

Just Genealogy in Second Life (an Official site for Global Family Reunion) had presentations in support of Global Family Reunion, and raised money for Alzheimer's

I listened to the Livestream from SCGS's Jamboree, and the Global Family Reunion last weekend. Both events provided interesting information and entertainment. The Global Family reunion was outstanding. Very entertaining. Some great comedy between presentations. They got a jab in at Ancestry. One comedian said it seems like every ancestor, for example, is a whaling captain according to Ancestry's commercials. But someone had to steal the horses too?
Prof. Gates announced he is helping to create a curriculum using DNA testing for middle school students.

You can watch recorded videos from Global Family Reunion here: Free Videos

Video from Jamboree Livestream Free:

Audio Jamboree Pay $11 per session:

Some of the sessions I listened to and my thoughts about them.

Ross Curtis, PhD Ancestry DNA- The Latest Innovations in DNA Technology and Science and What They Mean for You
This session contained some interesting info. A study was done by Ancestry comparing the DNA of cousins to see how often small segments were shared. According to the presenter when you compare the DNA of 3 first cousins they will all share a small 5 cM segment 85% of the time. With 5 first cousins small segments were shared 40% of the time. When they compared 10 first cousins they didn't find that any of these shared the same small segment (must have been a different group?). In the case of the 3rd cousin level small 5 cM segments are shared about 15% of the time (the other scientists in the study couldn't believe it was really as high as 15% of the time. This is the mentality we are dealing with at Ancestry). With 4th cousins it's practically zero percent who share the small segments.

This scientist said you can't use segments of DNA to find a common ancestor? Actually that is what they are doing. They are using trees, plus shared DNA to form the Circles. He also said specific segments cannot bring people together? So what are the Ancestral Discoveries about?

If I were there I would have asked more hard hitting questions than the audience did. Some of the softball questions regarded things like profile photos not displaying properly? The only possible hope of getting something out of  Ancestry Circles would be if they added more features so we can analyze the quality of the matches. He didn't sound confident about providing any more information. I would at least like to know the size of the segments I share with someone, plus how many segments we share, at the very least.
If we test every relative we meet we can strengthen the Circle matches (plus empty our pockets). Not interested. He also stated that when they create Circles each person is given a score based on the likelihood they share the Circle ancestor. They look at the information shared in common on the trees. They also look at how complete the trees are. If a person doesn't have a very complete tree, containing enough identifying information they won't likely have many, or any, Circles. One reason for this is that Ancestry has discovered something many of us have, we can share more than one family line with a match. When Ancestry's analysis finds more than one possible relationship to members of a Circle they can't place you in a Circle; no way to know which Ancestors you got the DNA from. If your tree is mostly empty they can't evaluate whether you could be related another way, so this could keep you out of Circles too. This is all complicated, and leaves many people out of the Circles. I would say the Circles I have are correct for me. The Ancestry Discoveries are all cousins, or in-laws.

Listening to the Ancestry spokes holes is pretty aggravating. Of course the presenter, who developed the Circles, has 73 Circles (he did say the fact he developed them has something to do with that). Some of his Circles are weak, so he is not certain if he is really related the way some of the Circles imply. The best way to confirm that is with traditional research, instead of testing more relatives.

The way this Ancestry scientist was talking they don't believe anyone who tests with Ancestry is capable of understanding the science of genetics. At one point he said I hope I didn't lose you? Maybe I'm pretty stupid to have tested with them? He may be right.
Thank god the photo issue is being worked on (he's a scientist so that's no his job, as he told the audience member). He also didn't know whether maintaining a subscription was required to keep access to the DNA results (odd he didn't want to talk about the particulars of that).
I've tested with 23andMe recently and hope to get better results over there.

Kathy Johnston, MDC
Adventures Around the World with X, Y, and Mitochondrial DNA

This was an interesting presentation. I'm interested attempting to figure out family migrations using DNA also. She demonstrated that the X chromosome can be useful.

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Debunking Misleading Records

Really made me think about the quality of my sources. We really have to consider whether documents we are basing conclusions are the best sources with the most accurate possible information. Also we need to consider whether a document may have been tampered with? Of course clerks were prone to mistakes, like all of us, so even official records contain wrong information. Informants providing information on documents often provide some wrong details.. All of this means you can't rely on any one document alone.

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Can A Complex Research Problem be Solved Solely Online?

Fascinating case study was presented to demonstrate what can be done online. Can a complex problem be solved solely online? "Yes but..."

Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD and Paul Woodbury
Genetic Genealogy and the Next Generation
Interesting presentation. They presented research regarding testing trends. Trends reflect immigration patterns. Interesting they found nearly half of the young people who test for ethnicity find they are more interested in another aspect of their results.

Lisa Louise Cooke
Update: Google! Everything New that You Need to Know for Genealogy
This was an interesting presentation. I learned Google Earth Pro is now Free. It has extra features which you can use to create tours of ancestral areas. Someone asked a question about operators used to narrow a search with Google search. They asked if phrases such as OR must be capitalized. The answer was yes. When I tried capitalizing using AND with search I got some different results than when I  just used the +. I found a Nicaraguan library with a digital collection which should be helpful.

Dr. Michael D. Lacopo
Methods For Identifying the German Origins of American Immigrants

Interesting presentation packed with information on how to find the Church and Civil boundaries of areas our German ancestors lived in. You can't find the records unless you know the jurisdictions. He also talked about reading the records, which look pretty difficult to decipher. But, like he explained, you get used to the handwriting style of the clerk and certain phrasing for birth, death , marriage, name, are repeated so you'll know exactly what is being referred to. I found, with the Austro Hungarian records, once I got used to the structure of the Church book entries I could understand what was being conveyed, even though I didn't know the language.