Welcome! We meet the second Tuesday of most months at 7pm, virtually via Zoom while we’re still social distancing. Come join us! Watch your GRIVA newsletter for registration links a week or two before each meeting.

November 9, 2021 Meeting: Getting the Most out of Your MyHeritage Results

We’re continuing our series of deeper dives into each of the testing companies. If you’re new to testing or haven’t tried the company yet, you’ll get a good overview. If you have tested, you can get some ideas on how to best use the tools each site has to offer. Up next: MyHeritage! Register at https://tinyurl.com/GRIVADNANov2021.

October 12, 2021 Meeting: Getting the Most out of Your FamilyTreeDNA Results

In October, we talked about the different types of tests done at FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) and features of the website. Here are some handy articles to help you use the site.

September 14, 2021 Meeting: Getting the Most out of Your 23andMe Results

In September, we did a deep dive into the features at 23andMe.

Here are some helpful links – some shared during the meting, and a few additional ones that may be helpful.

First, from the news discussion:

Now, some 23andMe links that weren’t discussed, but may be helpful:

August 10, 2021 Meeting: Getting the Most out of Your AncestryDNA Results

Last month, we spent some time exploring some of the new features at the various testing companies and third-party tools. For the next few months, we’re going to do some deeper dives into each of the testing companies. If you’re new to testing or haven’t tried the company yet, you’ll get a good overview. If you have tested, you can get some ideas on how to best use the tools each site has to offer. We started with AncestryDNA.

Here are some helpful links – some shared during the meeting, and a few additional ones that may be helpful.

July 13, 2021 Meeting: New DNA Features and Tools

FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch have recently redesigned their sites, and Ancestry, MyHeritage, and DNA Painter have added some new features. We explored it all!

Here are links to some articles that explain more about some of the additions and changes we discussed:

Amazon Prime Day Sale is June 21-22!

Amazon is holding its annual Prime Day sale this June 21 and 22. Historically, 23andMe and Ancestry kits have been on sale during this time, so they may be again. It’s certainly worth checking out. Check on both days if you can, whether for DNA kits or anything else, since sometimes items are only on sale for part of the time.

If you’re looking to take advantage of the sale, please consider using GRIVA’s Amazon Smile link (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1258689). If you click your link just before doing your shopping, GRIVA gets a little benefit, at no additional cost to you.

June 8, 2021 Meeting: Father’s Day/Y-DNA

In honor of Father’s Day, on June 8, we discussed Y-DNA, the DNA on the Y chromosome that is passed from father to son.

Before I list links to things I mentioned during the talk, I want to point out a 3-part video series on YouTube from David Vance, talking about Y-DNA. The first in the series can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqSN1A44lYU, and you can find the other two videos from there. If you’re really interested in Y-DNA, he has also written a book: The Genealogist’s Guide to Y-DNA Testing for Genetic Genealogy, which is available both as a paperback book or in a Kindle version. Here’s the link to find it on Amazon – it may be available elsewhere as well: https://www.amazon.com/Genealogists-Guide-Testing-Genetic-Genealogy/dp/B085HQXF4Z

Here are some links discussed tonight:

Remember that FamilyTreeDNA typically runs a sale around Father’s Day. Check their website in a few days or follow them on social media to see if/when they have a sale.

May 11, 2021 Meeting: Mother’s Day

Tracing our female ancestors can be difficult. On Tuesday, May 11, we explored how mitochondrial DNA, X-DNA, and autosomal DNA can help.

Here are some helpful articles:

April 13, 2021 Meeting: Ethics and Privacy for DNA Testing

As genealogists, we’re used to the thrill of the hunt, but when it comes to DNA and the relationships it can reveal of living people, we need to consider that not everyone shares that thrill. We’ll explore ethical challenges, permission, and privacy when it comes to DNA testing ourselves and others.

If you’re purchasing DNA kits for DNA Day or anything else from Amazon, please consider using our Amazon Smile link. Click the link first (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1258689) and then shop to your heart’s content. Your purchase would then benefit GRIVA at no additional cost to you.

Here are some links discussed during the meeting:

The day after our meeting, I learned of a new academic article, “Four Misconceptions About Investigative Genetic Genealogy,” where Blaine Bettinger is one of the authors.

Next month’s meeting will be May 11. Register at https://tinyurl.com/GRIVADNAMay2021

March 9, 2021 Meeting: Sorting, Grouping, and Clustering Your Matches

Shared matches are the most powerful tool we have when working with DNA matches, known or unknown. We talked about what shared matches are and how to make use of them!

AncestryDNA and FTDNA Family Finder kits are on sale through St. Patrick’s Day! The tests are on sale through each company’s website as well as through Amazon. If you want to help GRIVA, consider clicking our Amazon Smile link before doing your Amazon shopping. GRIVA gets a small percentage of your sale (on DNA kits or anything else!) at no additional cost to you.

Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:

Happy grouping and clustering!

February 9, 2021 Meeting: Correlating Your DNA Matches with Your Tree

We have all of these DNA matches, but what do they mean? We’ll explore comparing your DNA matches and your tree, how to determine when they do and don’t align, and work toward identifying our genetic ancestors.

Here are some links shared during the meeting (plus a few that go with what we talked about!):

January 12, 2021 Meeting: New Year, New Matches

Maybe you’ve got new results, or maybe you tested awhile ago, but most of us will start to get new matches as those holiday sale kits get used. On Tuesday, January 12 at 7pm ET, we’ll explore working those new matches, with some emphasis on basic concepts that can either teach us the first time or serve as a reminder for those who’ve been at it for awhile.

Here are some links shared during the meeting:

I had also recommended availing yourself of everything available at your original testing site before considering uploading elsewhere, though the latter is encouraged once you’re comfortable with the concepts of DNA and matching. Here are the companies’ support and learning sites:

December 8, 2020 Meeting: ThruLines, Hints, and Theories

Hints based on trees can provide great breakthroughs or lead us astray. They should neither be accepted blindly nor shunned without even a look. Join us as we explore these tools and get some ideas for critically evaluating the clues they provide.

Here are some links shared during the meeting:

and a few links about ThruLines and Theories of Family Relativity:

November 10, 2020 Meeting: Chromosome Mapping

This month, we explored chromosome mapping, or the process of assigning inherited segments of DNA to the ancestors from whom we inherited them.

Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:

October 13, 2020 Meeting: Identifying Unknown Ancestors

Building on last month’s topic of “Quick & Dirty Trees,” we talked about using those trees to identify potential common ancestors with our matches.

Here are some of the links shared during the meeting:

October 13 also begins Amazon’s Prime Day sale, which often includes DNA testing kits from Ancestry and 23andMe. Whether you’re shopping for DNA kits or for anything else, please consider clicking GRIVA’s Amazon Smile link (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1258689) and signing in before shopping. This gives GRIVA a small percentage of your purchase, at no additional cost to you. You can help GRIVA just by shopping!

September 8, 2020 Meeting: Quick & Dirty Trees

Genetic genealogists spend a lot of time building trees for their matches. Learn how to use research trees to help figure out how matches fit in your tree… or how you fit in theirs! Here are a couple of recommended videos for additional viewing:

August 11, 2020 Meeting: Targeted Testing

Do you have a difficult research question? We’ll explore how testing specific relatives can help solve some puzzles. How to choose those relatives? We’ll talk about that, too.

July 14, 2020 Meeting: Ethnicity Estimates

The most heavily marketed aspect of DNA testing for genealogy is the company’s biogeographical or “ethnicity” estimates. As genealogists, we’re more interested in our match lists, but the often misunderstood and sometimes misleading ethnicity estimates can still be helpful and interesting. Learn more about how the estimates are calculated, and join us as we explore examples and get ideas of when to take the estimates with a grain of salt and when to pay attention to what they’re telling us! Some handy links we discussed include:

June 9, 2020 Meeting: Father’s Day and Y-DNA

We celebrate Dads in June, and so we will focus on the men who contributed one half of our DNA, and whose Y-chromosome can be a problem solver! A few handy links discussed during the meeting include:

May 12, 2020 Meeting: The Women Who Contributed to Our DNA

Continuing the Mother’s Day celebration, we’ll be talking about using DNA to explore the women in our family, including autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and X-DNA.

April 14, 2020 Meeting: DNA To-Do List items you can do at home!

In keeping with stay at home recommendations, the April meeting will be held ONLINE! If you subscribe to the GRIVA email newsletter, watch for an upcoming email with registration information.

We’ll offer some things you can do while you’re stuck at home. See you then!

March 10, 2020 Meeting: Collaboration

We talked about collaboration. From working trees, evaluating our shared matches, contacting matches, and target testing relatives, there are many ways to collaborate with people.

See https://www.legacytree.com/blog/13-secrets-to-getting-replies-from-dna-cousin-matches for some great tips for contacting matches. And, if you have a subscription to Family Tree Webinars, Blaine Bettinger has a webinar in their library, titled “Begging for Spit” that we highly recommend.

February 11, 2020 Meeting: Tools

We talked about tools to help us in analyzing and organizing our DNA test results. First, we talked about tools at the testing company websites, such as Ancestry’s ThruLines and Common Ancestor hints or MyHeritage’s Theories of Family Relativity. Some of the third party tools we discussed included:

September 10, 2019 Meeting: An Introduction To Using Chromosome Browsers

This month, we’ll be talking about chromosome browsers and DNA segments and how we can use them to help with our genealogy.

DAYTIME DNA SIG Meetings: July 29, August 12, and August 19, 2019!

To accommodate those interested in attending the DNA meetings but unable to attend Tuesday evenings, we’re going to hold a few daytime DNA SIG meetings! They will be at NOON at the John Rolfe Commons Publix.

Enter Publix through the door opposite the YMCA end of the store. Grab some lunch (hot bar, cold bar, deli, etc) then wind your way around to the right and find the elevator or take the steps up to the community room. Enjoy your lunch and friends. The program will start around 12:30. See you there!

June 11, 2019 Meeting: Tips & Techniques for Working with Ancestry DNA Matches

At our next meeting, we’ll be discussing AncestryDNA. It will be part review, part catching us up to the newest features, and some tips for working with matches who have no trees, or small trees, or private trees. See you there, 7:00pm at the LDS Church on Monument Avenue!

GEDMatch News

GEDmatch Genesis and GEDmatch Legacy have now merged into one site, accessible at https://www.gedmatch.com. No more confusion about two sites – there’s only the one, with all of the capabilities we’ve been getting used to at Genesis.

In addition to the merge, GEDmatch has now changed how your kit is accessible to law enforcement. For the past year, everyone who uploaded a kit to GEDmatch and made it public would have their DNA available to law enforcement agencies looking to solve cold cases. Now, they’ve opted everyone out of law enforcement matching (but still available to fellow genealogists!). You can opt your kit(s) in to law enforcement matching if you want your DNA to be available to law enforcement, or do nothing if you do not want your DNA used in this way. You’ll see more information as you log in to GEDmatch.

May 14, 2019 Meeting: Using Multiple DNA Testing Companies

Thanks to everyone who joined us in May! We talked about using clues from matches at more than one company to solve a puzzle, pulling together some of what we’ve learned earlier in the year.

April 25 is DNA Day!

April 25 commemorates the announcement of the discovery of DNA. The DNA companies typically celebrate by having sales and promotions, so watch the web pages for AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and Living DNA on the 25th.

Sometimes, the sale prices are honored at Amazon.com. If you purchase DNA kits (or anything else) from Amazon, please consider using GRIVA’s Amazon Smile link. Simply click the link first, then eligible purchases at Amazon will benefit GRIVA, at no additional cost to you! The link is:

April 9, 2019 Meeting: Clustering our DNA Matches

Thanks to everyone who came to the April 9 DNA SIG meeting! We had fun talking about the different methods and tools for DNA match clustering!

Here are some blog posts and videos explaining and demonstrating some of the ways of clustering. The tools are essentially doing the same thing – grouping our matches, often visually, to help us see patterns that we might not see in a list of names. Just in preparing for this lecture, I found a cluster of people I have no idea how I match, and that cluster may hold the answers to some brick walls.

Clustering in general:
https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2017/01/03/clustering-shared-matches/ https://segmentology.org/2019/04/04/clustering-programs/

Genetic Affairs:
Genetic Affairs manual: https://www.geneticaffairs.com/images/Manual_Genetic_Affairs.pdf
Blaine Bettinger’s video describing Genetic Affairs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYRCK8ogW1k
Blog posts:

Ran Snir’s webinar recorded Apr 9: https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=1052
Blaine Bettinger’s video describing MyHeritage’s AutoClusters and Theories of Relativity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Fk6h8-vv5o

Video from RootsFinder showing how to use the DNA tools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0fUnBNSe2M


Clustering for hire – pay for professionally done clusters:

GRIVA DNA SIG Meetings are 7pm at the LDS Library on Monument Ave. 
2nd Tuesday of each month
May 14, 2019
June 11, 2019

March 12, 2019 Meeting – New Features from AncestryDNA and MyHeritage

Thanks to everyone who came to the March 12 DNA SIG meeting! We had fun talking about the new features at AncestryDNA and at MyHeritage.
Here are some blog posts and some videos with more information about the new features.
And, as I said multiple times during the presentation, and as Blaine says multiple times in his videos and lectures, tools are great at creating hypotheses, but they are NOT producing ready-made conclusions. It is up to us to research and verify what we find in any tool or any record. Here’s a blog post from Judy Russell on that: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2019/03/03/no-magic-wands/