Jim Sims

Making genetic genealogy more understandable...

The numbering scheme for the tutorial is tied to an article I published in Acorns to Oaks 38(1) 2017, 12-18

S1. Phase your autosomal DNA data

Phasing is a computational process to parse a genome into two parts—one part inherited from the father, and the other part inherited from the mother. The data sources are autosomal raw data files.

Vendor: 23AndMe
(Updated 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at 23AndMe. From the Home page, mouse over the Ancestry menu, then click Ancestry Composition in the menu (see red arrow in image below):
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2. Scroll down the Ancestry Composition page until you come to this graphic:

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Phasing at 23AndMe requires that both parents test DNA at 23AndMe. The two parents and a child phasing is the gold standard for phasing, and this version of phasing is also used in a healthcare setting. If your parents have tested, connect your kit to their kits and let 23AndMe do the rest.

Vendor: AncestryDNA
(Updated 09 May 2019)

AncestryDNA performs a statistical kind of phasing on all DNA kits to improve ethnicity estimates. If your parents have tested at Ancestry, attach their kits to your tree at AncestryDNA. In cases where your parent(s) have not tested, the statistical phasing does not lead to matches being identified as either paternal or maternal with respect to the test taker.

Vendor: Family Tree DNA
(Updated 10 May 2019)

Family Tree DNA offers a type of partial phasing, which does not require parents to test. It does require that you have known close cousins or other family member test results in the FamilyFinder database at Family Tree DNA. You will create linked relationships between your kit and the kits of your known family members.

1. Log-in to your kit at Family Tree DNA. Click on the myFamilyTree button (see red arrow in image below):


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2. Use the tree building tools to build out just enough of a tree to include a known cousin (see red arrow in image below), then click on View Profile link in the image (not shown here):

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3. A screen like the one below will appear. Next, click the edit link (see red arrow in image below):

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3. The web site will suggest kits it thinks matches the person you entered in your tree. If they show the correct person, click Link beside their name (see red arrow in the image below):


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4. Then click the done button that appears after the link is established (not shown). At this point, go to your Family Finder Matches Page. The web site will begin re-calculating relationships based on the linked kit.

5. Repeat this process for each of your known close cousins with a kit at Family Tree DNA.


Vendor: MyHeritage

(New 11 May 2019)

If your parents have tested at MyHeritage, link their kits to the tree with your kit.





S2. Filter: X-chromosome matches

Only Family Tree DNA offers a method to filter your matches by shared segments on the X-chromosome.

Vendor: Family Tree DNA
(Updated 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at Family Tree DNA. Navigate to your Family Finder matches page. Use the filter near the top left pdf the page and select X-Match. This will filter your matches showing only those matches that have a shared segment on the X-chromosome.


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S3. Filter: Matches in-common

In-common-with (ICW), shared matches and Relatives in CommonTM are all terms that refer to trios of persons who share DNA. Using A,B and C for the people in a trio, you are person A, one of your matches is person B the in-common-with match, and then C is one or more people in a list of people who all share DNA with A and with B.


Vendor: 23AndMe
(Updated 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at 23AndMe. Use the Ancestry menu, and select DNA Relatives to navigate to your matches list.

2. Locate a match in your list to be the in-common-with match.

3. Click on the name of the kit for the person who is the in-common-with match.

4. Scroll down the page until you come to the section about that match called Relative In CommonTM. All of these people share DNA with both you and your in-common-with match.


Vendor: AncestryDNA
(Updated 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at AncestryDNA. Navigate to your matches page.

2. Locate the person in your match list who will be the in-common-with match.

3. Click on the name of their kit.

4. Click on the Shared Matches tab or Shared Matches link on the page to see all the matches both you and your in-common-with match share DNA with.


Vendor: Family Tree DNA
(Updated 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at Family Tree DNA. Navigate to your Family Finder matches page.

2. Locate the person in your match list who will be the in-common-with match.

3. Click the check box to the left of their name to select that match.

4. Click on the In-common button (see red arrow in image below):

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5. The resulting list will be matches that share DNA with you and with the selected in-common-with match.


Vendor: MyHeritage

(New 11 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at MyHeritage. Navigate to your DNA match list.

2. Locate a match in your list to be the in-common-with match.

3. Click on the button Review DNA Match for the in-common-with match.

4. Scroll down the page until you come to the section of the page labeled Shared DNA matches. These people all share DNA with you and with your in-common-with-match.

If any of the shared matches have the symbol that is marked with a red arrow in the image below, you, the in-common-with match and that person all share DNA on at least one chromosome at an overlapping location. Such segments are called triangulated segments. When genetic genealogist encounter triangulated segments, confidence increases that for that segment, all three people share because of a single recent common ancestor.

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S4. Ancestry DNA Circles

Vendor: AncestryDNA
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your AncestryDNA account.

2. Click the DNA menu item and click Your DNA Summary. On the right side of this page will be a panel titled ThruLinesTM Beta. In the panel is a link (see red arrow in image below) to AncestryDNA's DNA Circle feature.


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2. Scroll through the page(s) of DNA Circles you have. Click on one of the graphics to view more information about the circle.

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2. In this example, the graphic for Evelina Belmont Hill was clicked on, and the image below shows how your Family Group shares DNA with other family groups in the the DNA Circle.

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The orange lines show which Family Groups your Family Groups shares DNA. In the image above, the Henry David Sims group is selected. You can click on other Family Groups to change which lines in the image are orange (shared DNA between Family Groups) and the more transparent lines. In the image above the Henry David Sims Family Groups shares with five other Family Groups in the DNA Circle. It does not share DNA with two Family Groups.

3. The image above is the Relationships view of a DNA Circle. Click on the List tab next to Relationships to see the List view of the DNA Circle, like that shown below:

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In this example, only a portion of the page is shown in the graphic above. To see the exact relationship to the person at the bottom of the image (red arrow), click the View Relationship button.

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S5. Ancestry Hints

Vendor: AncestryDNA
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at Ancestry and navigate to your Matches page.

2. Click the Hints filter (see red arrow in image below). This will filter your match list to show only matches with hints. To have such a hint, you and the match must (a) have an active subscription to Ancestry, (b) share DNA, and (c) have at least one ancestor in a tree spelled the same way. You can have hints for kits with private, searchable trees and for kits with public searchable trees. A hint is just that, a hint. Hints can be used for form a hypothesis about which ancestor(s) you and your match share. Hints are often not answers to questions.

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S6. Filter Surnames

Vendor: 23AndMe

(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your account at 23AndMe. Navigate to your DNA relatives page.

2. Type the surname to search in the Search text box (see red arrow in the image below). In this example, the search criteria was the surname Medlock, one of Jim Sims' maternal ancestral surnames.


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2. Type enter or return to perform the search.


Vendor: AncestryDNA

(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your account at AncestryDNA. Navigate to your DNA matches page.

2. Click the Search Matches button (see red arrow in image below).

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2. Type in the surname of interest into the text box. In this example, the search criteria was the surname Medlock:

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3. Then click the green Search button (see red arrow in image above).


Vendor: Family Tree DNA
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at Family Tree DNA. Navigate to your Family Finder Matches page.

2. Click the Advanced Search text link (see red arrow in the image below).

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3. Next, type in the search criteria in the lower search text box. In this example, the surname Medlock was the search criteria.

4. Next, click the blue search button (see red arrow in the image below) to initiate the search.

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Vendor: MyHeritage
(New 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at MyHeritageDNA. Navigate to your DNA Matches page.

2. Click the magnifying glass icon (see red arrow in image below) to display a text search box.

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2. Type in your search criteria. In this example, the surname Medlock was entered.

3. Click on the magnifying glass icon (see red arrow in image below) to initiate the search.

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S7. Sort DNA matches


Vendor: 23AndMe
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at 23AndMe. Navigate to your DNA Relatives page.

2. Click the text next to Sort by to see the sorting options (see red arrow in image below). Click the sort of your choice.

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Vendor: AncestryDNA
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at AncestryDNA. Navigate to your DNA Matches page.

2. The default sort is by Relationship (from most shared DNA to least amount of shared DNA). Ancestry also allows you to sort by Date of match, which brings the most recent matches to the top of the list.

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Vendor: Family Tree DNA
(Updated 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at Family Tree DNA. Navigate to your Family Finder Matches page.

2. All of the column headings on the matches page are clickable. Click any column heading to sort your match list.

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Vendor: MyHeritage
(New 12 May 2019)

1. Log-in to your kit at MyHeritageDNA. Navigate to your DNA Matches page.

2. Click the Sort icon (see red arrow in image below) to display the sorts MyHeritage offers. Click the sort of your choice.

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