• DNA
  • Oct4

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    If you are like me you probably say “Harumph!” alot when you check for new genetic matches to your AncestryDNA test. Scrolling through 83 pages of matches, it gets a little depressing seeing the many, many, many “No family tree” next to the matches. And the many more with only token trees containing a small number of people in them.

    Three of my grandparents were immigrants to the United States, and my fourth grandparent was the son of immigrants. So, unless a lot more Czech and Irish citizens start testing, I don’t think I’ll be seeing any AncestryDNA circles* on my profile. But, I am still hoping that a reasonably close cousin or three from a few of my Irish lines show up to help me figure out where in Ireland they came from. (*waving to Tierney and McDonald folk*)

    Anyway, I know that sometimes things feel worse than they are, so I decided to crunch some numbers and see how bad (or good) I really have it. Using the handy dandy AncestryDNA Helper Chrome Extension, I scanned and downloaded a data file of my matches.

    I found that I have 4,230 matches in the database.
    Of those matches, 2,194 do not have a family tree attached to the DNA profile. BOO.
    But, that leaves 2,036 matches that do have family trees. YAY!

    About a 50/50 split. “But, Wait!”, I said to myself. (I’m an awesome conversationalist.)
    What are the size of these trees? Well I charted it out.

    Number of People in My Matches' Trees

    Chart of Number of People in my AncestryDNA matches’ family trees that also kinda looks like a kitty cat.

    Could be worse. Could be better. About 300 of the matches have less than 10 people in their tree, and 480 have less than 25 people. That’s likely not enough to help figure out 4th and 5th cousin level matches. (Yes, I know some people only put small subsets of their full tree on a profile, but still.)

    However, flipping that around in my brain, about 1,400 people have trees with 50 or more people – that might get us somewhere.
    (And I can’t imagine *ever* my own tree catching up to the one tree with 139,000 people in it. Wow.)

    I think the long term outlook here, is it’s only going to get better, keep your fingers crossed, and rub some rabbits’ feet. (If you can catch them. I never can.)
    Or, for a more succinct statement, as my dear old father would have said, “It’s better than a stick in the eye!”**

    *For more information on AncestryDNA circles, you might want to watch their video Cousin Matches and DNA Circles over on The YouTube.
    **AncestryDNA representatives: you can use “It’s better than a stick in the eye!” in your next ad campaign, but I’d appreciate a few gratis test kits for my trouble.

  • May13

    No Comments

    Chagrin

    Posted in: 23andme, DNA, Fun


    Chagrin

  • Oct28

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    Countries of Ancestry Chromosome ChartUpdated: November 9, 2015

    For anyone who has been a customer of 23andme, their Countries of Ancestry (CoA) has been a terrific tool in the toolbox.
    Alas – it is going away. You have until November 10th, 2015 to use the tool and even more importantly – Download yer data!

    Put it in the calendar folks.

    Today’s the day your 23andme folks should go out and 23andme – Get the latest Countries of Ancestry Data for all of your profiles there. While 23andme is promising new tools, surely it can only help to have this data in your back pocket for later.

    Also, Bonus tip: In addition downloading your own matches at 23andme itself, you can use the DNA Gedcom.com site to download the CoA data for ALL of your matches! (It is a free tool but see Donate button at bottom of page.) The download process can take awhile, as you provide your 23andme login, it reaches out to get all of the CoA files for you, then places them in a download location.

    DNA Gedcom estimates 30 minutes to an hour for the process, but it took about 20 minutes to download the CoA matches for all 3 of my 23andme profiles, so that is a pretty good speed. Especially considering my wife has an Ashkenazi great-grandfather, so LOTS of matches.

    To reiterate: GO GET YER DATA NOW – who knows how many other users are planning to download today? Could be some bottlenecks ahead.

    Below is part of the original announcement from the 23andme community forums:

    As part of the updates and transition to the new 23andMe, many features will be undergoing significant changes. While we are working to transition customers to the new site, some changes will have an immediate impact on the customer experience in the current 23andMe site, including Countries of Ancestry.

    To provide some context for this change, we wanted to share a number of key principles behind the updates to the 23andMe site and features, including:

    * Simplifying the features and site experience
    * Adding new tools to help customers get the most out of the service
    * Reducing barriers to customer engagement, connection, and communication
    * Maximizing trust and participation by ensuring that users clearly and explicitly opt in to all information sharing

    In consideration of these principles, while some aspects of the feature will be incorporated into the new site, Countries of Ancestry will not be available as a standalone tool in the new 23andMe. The following features of Countries of Ancestry are being removed:

    – The ability to view and download the segments you have in common with members you are not directly sharing with, including public or anonymous DNA Relatives matches.
    – The ability to select any profile you are sharing with and then view and download this same information for that profile.

    In order to conform to our stance on customer privacy, starting on November 11, 2015, Countries of Ancestry will no longer be available. Up until this date, customers may continue to access the web interface and download.

     

     

  • Jun12

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    Busy, busy, busy lately, so here’s a lazy post on my part, because 23andme did all the work already… Interesting.

    So far my son has inherited my ability to wiggle his ears, although it took some practice and many hilarious facial expressions before he got it.)

    23andMe Genetics: Paternal Connections

    by 23andMe.
    Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
  • Feb14

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    I was playing around with massaging my 23andme me DNA match data at lunch, and always find it interesting how far flung we all end up. I have 1,053 matches in 23andme’s “Countries of Ancestry” tool (previously aka Ancestry Finder), which is populated with answers your DNA matches provided on the location their grandparents came from

    Of the possible 4,212 grandparents, 1,508 locations were “Not Provided”, and 891 were listed as “United States.” The cousins range from 3rd to Distant.

    My maternal grandparents both came from small towns near to each other in Czechoslovakia, my paternal grandmother came from County Offaly in Ireland, and my paternal great-grandparents also came over from Ireland. All ended up in New York City.

    I can take the paper trail back to the early 1800s on most of my ancestral lines, so it is interesting to see various hotspots in some countries. Obviously, people travel, so my having one match with 4 grandparents from Iran, for example, doesn’t mean I have Iranian ancestry – someone in my line (or a descendant) could have traveled in that direction in the distant past.

    But, I am left wondering with so many Russian, Ukranian, and Scandinavian grandparents listed – did someone head down to the Czech Republic from there, or the other way around. Vikings? (One can hope.) Hopefully one day I’ll find out!

    In any case, the real reason for my post – below is a fun way to view these matches using Batchgeo mapping. I created a spreadsheet that counted up all the grandparent countries, then pasted the data into their page. After a few tweaks of the advanced settings – Voila! A map of the locations using color to indicate the grandparent counts by country.

    View Ancestry Finder Grandparent Country Matches in a full screen map

    Interestingly, when I mapped my wife’s matches in this way, I noticed that she has more matches with grandparents from Poland and Russia than she does the United States! Considering she has no known Polish ancestors at this point, and all of her emigrant ancestors are at great-grandparents and several beyond that, that is kind of interesting. (As I mentioned, I have 3 emigrant grandparents, and 2 emigrant great-grandparents, yet I have more US grandparents in my matches by far. ) Are her Ashkenazi matches from her Russian great-grandfather’s inherited DNA skewing the results?

    I also am wondering if 23andme has published just how many people have been tested with listed ancestry from each country when looking at their entire database. If, say, many more people have been tested in Russia than in Croatia, is that large number of Russian grandparents in my matches’ results showing up because of the larger testing pool in that location, or via a true ancestral connection in my DNA? Hmm. To be continued, I suspect.

    Finally, one thing I noticed with the BatchGeo mapping tool – the grouping of results by color is kind of skewed, and there is no way I see to change it. For example, the lowest color coded grouping is “1-3” and my highest is “124-891” – I would like to even out those groupings to make it more honest to the eye.

    My wife’s map, below:

    View Map of 23andme Match Grandparent Countries – LT in a full screen map