Tag: DNA genealogy (Page 1 of 2)

Friday Finds 16 June 2017

Blogs/Articles

Media and Education

New and Updated Resources

  • Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has the new and updated lists for Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org
  • FindMyPast’s new and updated records include:
    • England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935
    • Rhode Island Births & Baptisms 1600-1935
    • Rhode Island Deaths & Burials 1628-1930
    • Rhode Island Church Records 1671-1899
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Review: NGS Autosomal DNA Course

Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Zephyris at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks ago, I gave a review on the National Genealogical Studies Continuing Genealogical Studies class called Genetic Genealogy, the Basics. I took this course in preparation for the Autosomal DNA course, which I had wanted to take since I saw it’s announcement. I have to say that the Basics course became invaluable when it came to the autosomal course! Having that basic understanding really did help me prepare for what I’d learn about autosomal DNA testing.

The Goals and Cost of the Course

The course’s author is Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL. It’s for beginner-intermediate level students and has no prerequisites BUT in the first module, it does state that the course is designed for someone who has a basic understanding of DNA. They recommend the CGS Genetic Genealogy, the Basics course or reading books and blogs for getting that basic information.

The objectives of the course are roughly:

  • learning the basics of autosomal DNA – how it recombines and is inherited
  • learning how to read atDNA results and how to use a few of the tools out there to analyze your results (knowledge of Excel is helpful here)
  • learning how to identify a likely genetic cousin and the common ancestor you share
  • learning about the other tools and websites out there that can help a genealogist with the atDNA test results

There are seven modules for this course and all end in a quiz that you must pass in order to move on to the next module. The quizzes range from three to eleven questions, and you can take the quiz up to three times. The course should be completed within six months but there is a one-time three month extension available if needed.

This course is done completely online through the NGS Canvas System. There are two prices, which is usual for NGS: $60 for members and $85 for non-members.

Pros

  • Because I have done atDNA testing through FamilyTreeDNA, I was able to do many of the analysis the course discusses while I was learning about the process.
  • Although there is a section dedicated to other websites you could use to analyze your data, the course also goes over a simple Excel sheet to use for analysis.  It also discusses how to do specific analysis like triangulation to confirm how you are related to a match.
  • Learning how DNA recombines and is inherited makes the case for why you should get as many relatives tested as you can (and the further back in generations, the better).
  • I really like how it emphasized using DNA research WITH your own thorough research.
  • The course also discusses admixture results and how those can vary

Cons

  • Like with the last course, I have an issue with the quizzes. Whatever you get incorrect, the answer is supplied once you hit the completed button. You can then retake the quiz with that answer in mind. Of course, people are taking this course to learn. I wouldn’t understand why someone would pay for the course and then lie through the tests – but it makes the quizzes feel irrelevant.
  • This course does get technical. I haven’t had a biology class that discussed DNA since early college. It’s been a long time and although I know I’ve heard of some items before, I still needed to go outside the course for a better understanding. Having taken the Genetic Genealogy, the Basics course helped, but I still used the ISOGG Wiki quite often.

Overall Review

I’m sure you can tell by all the pros compared to the cons but I LOVED this course! I learned SO much from it and feel so much better prepared to go through my atDNA results and actually get somewhere with them. I am very excited to really get into the data now that I have a much better understanding of HOW to do it as well as WHAT to do with that data.

I will say that this course did take a lot more time for me to complete. Doing one module per day or every other day is a great way to get through the course if you can dedicate your time to that schedule. The cost did make me pause before taking the course, seeing how I felt about the last one, but I feel the cost this time is right for what you get from the course. I don’t think I can recommend it enough!

 

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Friday Genealogy Finds June 20th-26th

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary! Here’s to many more in our wonderful life together 🙂


Wedding Anniversary

 

Blogs/Articles

  • Online Map Keeps Tabs on the Lay of Juneau’s Cemetery” – A grant was given to map the graves of the cemetery digitally! Very neat!
  • Genealogy Lady posted another fashion blog post: “Madeleine Vionnet” – Madeleine Vionnet was a French fashion designed who was famous for her ‘bias cut’ dresses. A great read!
  • The American Civil War Then and Now” – an amazing photo collection of what a place looked like during the Civil War and today.
  • Crinolinemania 1857-1867” – an interesting fashion period. I am incredibly thankful that I did not know this time!
  • Who Do You Think You Are returns July 26th! Here is the listing of celebrities for this season on Geneabloggers
  • The UK Who Do You Think You Are is also returning! Check out their lineup here.

Webinars/Videos

Resources

 

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Tuesday’s Tip: DNA webinars from FTDNA

Yesterday I posted about the FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) tests I sent to my grandparents. I was able to transfer my AncestryDNA to FTDNA and I’m anxiously waiting for that to finish up. While I’m waiting, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the tools that FTDNA has to offer by going through their webinars. Specifically those on the FamilyFinder, the tests I sent to my grandparents and the one I transferred.

FTDNA webinars

The videos are about an hour and a half long a piece and I’m taking as many notes as I can while I’m watching. I also have a list of books I plan on getting from the library on DNA too! GRIP is having a DNA course this summer (still open by the way!) and although I can’t quite manage the cost this year, I looked at the course and noted the pre-reading recommended for the course:

Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by Emily D. Aulicino

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA by Richard Hill

DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-First Century by Debbie Kennett

Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner

I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What? by Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD and Matt Dexter (the link is to the PDF version)

So those are now on my to-read list.

So those books, along with the webinars I mentioned should help make me better at interpreting the DNA tests once my grandparents send them in! If you’re interested in learning about using DNA in your genealogy, I highly recommend checking out the free webinars on FTDNA and checking out as many books as you can on the subject! Lucky for me, this was my favorite topic in science so I hope that I will be just as interested now as I was then. 🙂

Any other suggestions for learning about DNA (cost effective is always a plus!)? Leave a comment below!

 

Happy hunting!

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