Monday, June 15, 2015

So you think an ancestor was a Native American?

Many Americans whose families have been in the Anglo USA since the 1600s think they have a Native American ancestor. Photos of my Mother seem to show someone of possible Native American ancestry. Several people in my ancestry are supposed to be NA. However, my DNA analysis at 2 of 4 ancestry DNA companies does not find it. One former consumer DNA company did give me a small amount of NA DNA and one gives me a small amount of East Asian DNA.

This post from Barking Up the Wrong Tree should prove of interest to those of us told someone "looks native" High cheekbones and straight black hair

New Subscription prices at

New subscription pricing at U.S. probably will not meet with approval:

From Barking Up the Wrong Tree

US Discovery            = $19.99 month or $99 for 6 months
World Explorer         = $34.99 month or $149 for 6 months
World Explorer Plus = $44.99 month or $199 for 6 months

See the link above for details on what materials are included at each level.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Posts by Judy Russell on the closing of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation DNA database

See these posts by Judy Russell at :

Of Babies and Bathwater and Facts Matter! on the closing of the SMGF DNA database based on an factually incorrect sensationalist post on police use of the database to clear an accused person of a crime.

Hopefully, will open the database to people who are in it to retrieve their information and matches.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 DNA Day Big Y $100.00 discount through 30 April 2015

Have you taken a Y DNA test at Family Tree DNA?

Family Tree DNA is looking forward to offering many exciting deals beginning summer 2015.  This DNA Day, use coupon code DNADayBigY to take $100 off Big Y.  This coupon is valid from 12:00 AM 4/25/2015 through 11:59 PM 4/30/2015.

2015 DNA Day sale at AncestryDNA

The AncestryDNA autosomal DNA test is $79.00 through the 27th of April, 2015. The announcement is here

Saturday, April 11, 2015

AncestryDNA new features: New Ancestor Discoveries and DNA Circles

Ancestry has a new feature called "New Ancestor Discoveries (NAD)". This is a misnomer since the NAD can be an ancestor or a relative. 

I have one NAD, with the surname of Walker, who married a James Ball. I have James as a 1st cousin 4 times removed and the NAD is listed in my program as his wife but without parents. I'll build this out to see if she and I are related. What I have found is her Walker family was in VA/WVa while mine are from MD to NC to TN and KY.

Earlier Ancestry rolled out DNA Circles consisting of people with DNA connections leading back to the same ancestor or couple. Not everyone in a Circle will have a DNA connection to each other but everyone will connect to someone else in the Circle. I have 24 circles, 5 for GGGps, 10 for GGGGPs, and 9 for GGGGGPs, with the earliest born in 1743; 291 green hints; 502 4th cousins or closer; and 179 pages of matches.

What I would like to do, is to confirm the maiden names and parents of some of my 16 GGGGmothers in Whitley and Pike Co.s, KY; Campbell and Fentress Co.s TN: 

Nancy Ann was wife of Jabez Perkins according to a deed and to the recorded renunciation of his will. Often named as a Creekmore or a White; 

Elizabeth S. was the wife of William Campbell according to the census; 

Who were the parents of Abigail Pennington named as the "consort" of Abraham Strunk in the 1826 divorce of Lucy Strunk and Abraham Strunk. Some call her Abigail Daugherty. Some think she was a sister or daughter of Wells Pennington. Abraham Strunk and Wells Pennington came to Whitley Co., KY together from Ashe Co., NC; 

What is the maiden name of Isabell/a "Nancy", wife of John D. Swain?; 

Who are the parents of Margaret Bagley or Begley, wife of Elias Kidd, married in Tazewell Co., VA?; 

and who are the parents of Susan Hayes, wife of Zorababel Stephens?. So far, none of them have Circles although two of the husbands do. 

In the GGGGGmothers, who are the parents of Elizabeth King, wife of James Harvey May, aka as "Emanuel Mills", in Records of Trials in the Old Bailey; James Harvey May is my most recent know European immigrant ancestor, coming to America from Middlesex Gaol in 1771 on the prisoner ship Justitia. James Harvey May has a Circle.

And I'll repeat myself, AncestryDNA needs a Chromosome Browser!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

23andMe hires former Genentech executive Richard Scheller

From Forbes Magazine, Matthew Herper:

In Big Shift, 23andMe Will Invent Drugs Using Customer Data

23andMe, the Google GOOGL +1%-backed personal genetics startup, will no longer just sell tests to consumers, or genetic data to pharmaceutical companies. This morning, it announced that it plans to start inventing medicines itself.

It’s not just talk. The company has hired Richard Scheller, who led drug discovery at biotech icon Genentech for 14 years before announcing he would retire in December, and who has won some of science’s top awards, including the Lasker Prize, often referred to as “America’s Nobel,” and the Kavli Prize.

“I wanted a new challenge, I wanted a new area of science to learn more about, I wanted to see if we could really take advantage of the full potential of the human genome and thought that this is the best place to do that,” Scheller says. He will start next month with the title of Chief Scientific Officer and head of therapeutics, and could eventually have a staff of dozens.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Why Native Americans are concerned about potential exploitation of their DNA

From the Genetic Literacy Project:

Why Native Americans are concerned about potential exploitation of their DNA
Arvind Suresh | February 2, 2015 | Genetic Literacy Project

Image via Boston Public Library (Creative Commons)Image via Boston Public Library (Creative Commons)

Until the advent of genetic genealogy, knowing your ancestry meant combing through old records, decoding the meaning of family heirlooms and listening to your parents and grandparents tell you about the ‘good old days’. For anthropologists and archaeologists interested in going back even further in time, the only reliable means of understanding human history were trying to interpret ruins or remnants of skeletons or other information uncovered at the site of remains.

DNA testing has changed all that, allowing us to delve far deeper into our past than before and with a much higher degree of accuracy. Although there are many issues stirred by DNA testing, none is more provocative than interpreting our family and tribal ancestries.

Nowhere is this more apparent than among the Native American tribes in the United States. I recently wrote about a large scale genetic analysiss among the American population by personal genetics and genealogy company 23andMe, using its extensive database to begin to decipher the ancestral origins of various ethnic groups in the United States.

(Continued at the link above)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sometimes the answer is a tree in the forest: my paternal mtDNA - U5a1b

In order to find the mtDNA haplogroup of my deceased Father, Denval Perkins, I have been trying to get female line relatives of my Grandmother, Eleanor "Nellie" Walker Inman Perkins, to do either the autosomal test at 23andMe, because it also gives a limited mtDNA haplogroup, or an mtDNA test at Family Tree DNA. Because he and his half and full siblings are all deceased, I have asked his niece, but she has finally decided not to test. I then asked some of my Grandmother's sisters descendants but they also refused to test.

This week I used the Charting program in Legacy Family Tree to go back to my Grandmother's Grandmother, Mariah Moses Manning, and trace her mtDNA descendants. When I examined the chart I realized that two of those female line descendants had already tested at 23andMe and had the mtDNA haplogroup designation of U5a1b. This mtDNA haplogroup is considered one of the oldest European mtDNA haplogroups. It is currently concentrated in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. This location ties into my Fathers's Y DNA haplogroup of R1a1a (R-176.1) which is mainly found in Scandinavia and Scotland.

My Father's known matriline:
Denval Perkins (1921-1974);
Eleanor "Nellie" Walker (1891-1965) - 1) Francis "Frank" Inman and 2) Henry Franklin Perkins;
Rutha Manning (1867-1928 - Andrew J. Walker;
Mariah Moses (1832-1873) - Jacob H Manning;
Martha Richardson (1814-1869) - 1)Edmund DeBerry Moses and 2) William Manning;
Elizabeth Davis (1778-1860-70) - John Richardson.

Locations covered are Whitley Co., KY and McCreary Co., KY. See the US Census reports for 1850 through 1930.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

US National Institute of Health Policy on Genomic Data Sharing

NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy

Genomic research advances our understanding of factors that influence health and disease, and sharing genomic data provides opportunities to accelerate that research through the power of combining large and information-rich datasets. To promote robust sharing of human and non-human data from a wide range of genomic research and to provide appropriate protections for research involving human data, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (GDS Policy) on August 27, 2014 in the NIH Guide Grants and Contracts (available at, and in the Federal Register (available at on August 28, 2014. The GDS Policy and related documents are available at:

The GDS Policy applies to all NIH-funded research (e.g., grants, contracts, intramural research) that generates large-scale human or non-human genomic data, regardless of the funding level, as well as the use of these data for subsequent research. Large-scale data include genome-wide association studies (GWAS), single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) arrays, and genome sequence, transcriptomic, epigenomic, and gene expression data. Supplemental Information to the GDS Policy provides examples of genomic research projects that are subject to the Policy.