GRAVES FAMILY BULLETIN

 

Vol. 14, No. 7, July 18, 2012

 

A Free, Occasional, Online Summary of Items of Interest to Descendants of all Families of Graves, Greaves, Grieves, Grave, and other spelling variations Worldwide

 

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Copyright © 2012 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.

 

Information on how to be removed from the subscription list is at the end of this bulletin.  If you received this bulletin directly, then you are already subscribed.  If you received it from a friend and want to subscribe, send an email message with your full name to ken.graves@gravesfa.org.

 

Click on these links to visit the GFA web site and our Facebook page.

 

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CONTENTS

 

** General Comments

** DNA Testing at Family Tree DNA

** More About the New Autosomal DNA Test from Ancestry.com and How It Compares to Tests from Other Companies

** Changes in Reporting of Mitochondrial DNA Test Results

** How to Figure Out Autosomal Matches and Other Things at FTDNA

** DNA Webinars from Relative Roots

** Home Study Courses From National Genealogical Society

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things

 

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GENERAL COMMENTS

 

This issue of the Bulletin was going to tell you about the special sale of DNA testing at Family Tree DNA.  Since I didn’t get this sent before the sale ended on July 15, the emphasis will be on the importance of taking DNA tests, and some of the ways you can learn more about DNA testing and other aspects of genealogy.

 

You may notice that I have cited the blog of Roberta Estes in 3 articles in this Bulletin.  It is a very helpful resource for those of you who want to be kept up-to-date on some of the latest details in genetic genealogy.

 

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DNA TESTING AT FAMILY TREE DNA

 

The recent offer from Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the first time that they have offered a deal on the 111 markers upgrade since its introduction in 2010.  That test is one way to narrow the possible lineage from a Graves/Greaves ancestor once multiple male descendants of that ancestor have taken the test.  I am sure there will be other special offers from them before the end of 2012.

 

For most of you, DNA testing is the only way to discover which group of Graves/Greaves families you are part of, and to begin to learn more about your earlier ancestry.  You can see on the Charts/Numerical Genealogy Listing page of the website whether any male in your Graves/Greaves family has taken a Y-DNA test.  If they haven’t, it would be extremely helpful to get at least one male with the Graves/Greaves surname to test.  If you live in England, you may qualify to have some or all of your test paid for.

 

In addition, we need more of you to take an autosomal DNA test (Family Finder from FTDNA and Relative Finder from 23andMe).  This is available to both men and women, tests DNA from all your ancestral lines, and may be helpful in connecting unknown parts of related families together.

 

OTHER FTDNA OFFERS

The following information is from the July issue of FTDNA’s Facts & Genes newsletter.

 

Special Family Tree DNA Offers on Facebook

For special Facebook offers click “Like” on our page. Notice of other upcoming sales and announcements will appear on your Facebook home page.

 

Transfer Your DNA to Family Tree DNA

Transfer your third-party DNA results to compare with genetic genealogy's first and largest DNA database! Did you know that Family Tree DNA accepts DNA results from other companies? We currently accept Relative Finder results and Y-chromosome YSTRs tested at Sorenson Genomics labs. Y33 and Y46 can be transferred for just $19. We also offer a combined Y33+ FTDNA's Y25 or a Y46+ FTDNA Y37 combos for $58 which provide additional markers and features like migration map and frequency map, haplogroup origins and more! The price for Relative Finder results transfer is $89. 
THESE PRICES ARE OUR CURRENT PRICES AND NOT A LIMITED TIME OFFER.

Visit the Family Tree DNA website for more details.

 

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MORE ABOUT THE NEW AUTOSOMAL DNA TEST FROM ANCESTRY.COM AND HOW IT COMPARES TO TESTS FROM OTHER COMPANIES

 

Tim Janzen has updated his autosomal DNA company test comparison chart.  It can be downloaded by clicking here.  As I mentioned in my article in the June GF Bulletin, if you have to choose where to get a DNA test, I still recommend Family Tree DNA.  Ancestry.com has a poor record so far for the quality of its submitted genealogies and for its lack of support and tools for the Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing it has previously provided.  However, Ancestry.com (because of its size) will probably have many more test results than either Family Tree DNA or 23andMe.  Therefore, even if the support, the features, and the quality aren’t as good, Ancestry.com will be a desirable place to get tested for autosomal DNA after you test at the other two companies, just so you can get as many matches as possible.  And, who knows, their quality and support may eventually improve.

 

In support of my comments about the questionable quality of DNA testing at Ancestry.com, Roberta Estes has written an article about the problem in her blog, citing an example with mtDNA testing in which Ancestry.com not only got the haplogroup wrong, but of the 251 exact matches they reported, only 32 were actual matches (a poor 13% correct score).

 

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CHANGES IN REPORTING OF MITOCHONDRIAL DNA TEST RESULTS

 

Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA that is passed on from a mother to her children, but is then only passed on to the next generation through the daughters.  Since mutations don’t happen very often, your all-female ancestry can be traced by a mtDNA test.

 

Those of you who have had your mtDNA tested at Family Tree DNA may have noticed that the mitochondrial part of your personal page on FTDNA has changed.  There are now tabs for rCRS Values, RSRS Values, and mtDNA Community.  rCRS is Revised Cambridge Reference Sequence (usually just called CRS); RSRS is Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence; and mtDNA Community is a site with software to facilitate easy donation of your mitochondrial DNA sequences for scientific research purposes.

 

Barbara Estes has written an excellent series of articles about this on her blog DNAeXplained.  If you go to the most recent article, you can scroll down to read the previous articles.

 

The Cambridge Reference Sequence is the mtDNA test results of the first person to have his entire mtDNA sequenced.  This was done in 1981, and then corrected in 1999 (giving the rCRS, which is still used today).  This was a rather arbitrary standard, but it was all that was available.  Finally, earlier this year, a study by Dr. Doron Behar was published, defining the RSRS (Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence).  This is the genetic composition of the mitochondria of Mitochondrial Eve from whom we are all descended.  The determination of this genetic composition required much testing of living people and a huge amount of mathematical computation, way beyond my ability to explain in a brief article.  (For those of you who may wonder, Mitochondrial Eve is not the earliest human female, just the one from whom we are all descended.  Other lines from earlier females have all died out, leaving only this one.)

 

The significance of all this is that we now have a way to compare all of our mtDNA test results to a meaningful standard.  This allows us to see differences from the standard that are really mutations that have occurred over time, and to better see how closely we are related to other through our maternal lines.  Family Tree DNA is the first testing company to show this new comparison standard, but we hope that other companies will soon follow.

 

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HOW TO FIGURE OUT AUTOSOMAL MATCHES AND OTHER THINGS AT FTDNA

 

Roberta Estes is a blogger and lecturer who has written a number of helpful articles.  You can see some of these on the publications page of her website.  I have also referred to some of her writings in the preceding article about mitochondrial DNA.

 

One very interesting article is called “Who Am I Related To? – Using Family Tree DNA’s Tools to Compare Within Projects.”  After going to your personal page on FTDNA, you can go to the Advanced Matching option available from the drop-down menus of Family Finder, Y-DNA, or mtDNA.  You can find matches on only one type of test at one level or on a combination of multiple tests and levels.  There are also options to match people of a specified name or with an ancestor of a specified surname.  You can also compare to the whole database or to matches only within certain projects.

 

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DNA WEBINARS FROM RELATIVE ROOTS

 

The following information is from the July issue of FTDNA’s Facts & Genes newsletter.  To subscribe to Facts & Genes, go to the Family Tree DNA website and sign up to receive it.

 

Family Tree DNA partners with Relative Roots to offer quality, convenient and affordable Genetic Genealogy education to Family Tree DNA customers!  Webinars (web-based seminars) are an option for our customers to learn more about our tests and your own results.

 

How it Works

Attend our live or on-demand webinars (web-based seminars) from the comfort of your own home! You’ll view the presentation using your own computer and listen to the presenter using your computer speakers or telephone. Attendees of our live webinars are able to ask questions just as if you were attending a presentation in-person. Registrants of our on-demand webinars can access a recording of our live webinars at a time that is convenient for you. Each webinar session lasts 60-90 minutes.

Topics

We're launching our webinars with four topics:

 

Beginner:

   Introduction to Genetic Genealogy at Family Tree DNA

 

Intermediate:

   Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 1: Y-DNA

   Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 2: mtDNA

   Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 3: Family Finder

 

Stay tuned for more topics to be added to the schedule in the coming months!

 

Cost

Introduction to Genetic Genealogy - FREE!

Demystified series is - $10 each, or 3 for $25

Starting and Managing an FTDNA DNA Project is $10

 

Family Tree DNA Discount
Webinar attendees will receive a limited-time discount on select new tests and upgrades to help offset the cost of attending the webinar. A coupon code will be provided at the end of each live webinar and will also be available to those who view the on-demand recordings.

 

Webinar Schedule

Our core webinars are currently repeated every month.  Following is the webinar schedule for July & August:

   Jul 26 - Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 2: mtDNA

   Jul 31 - Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 3: Family Finder

   Aug 5 - Introduction to Genetic Genealogy at Family Tree DNA

   Aug 9 - Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 1: Y-DNA

   Aug 14 - Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 2: mtDNA

   Aug 21 - Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results, Part 3: Family Finder

   Aug 23 – Starting and Managing a Family Tree DNA Project

 

Register Today!

For registration, more details about each of the webinars and schedule updates, please visit the webinars page of Relative Roots.

 

About Relative Roots

Relative Roots is a Florida-based genealogy consulting and education company, owned and operated by Elise Friedman.  Elise became a Family Tree DNA customer in 2005 while working on her own genealogy brick walls.  She quickly became a proponent of genetic genealogy as a tool for genealogists, and today she's a volunteer administrator for several surname, geographical and haplogroup projects at Family Tree DNA.  Over the years, she has given presentations on genetic genealogy at a variety of genealogy society meetings and genealogy conferences.  Then earlier this year, Elise took her presentations online and began offering genetic genealogy webinars through her company, Relative Roots.  Family Tree DNA is very pleased to now have Elise as our education partner so we can offer this new educational opportunity to our customers.

 

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HOME STUDY COURSE FROM THE NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY

 

The National Genealogical Society has developed a series of home study courses called American Genealogy Studies.  These are directed toward those who want to learn how to research U.S. records.  However, their most recently announced course, Genetic Genealogy, The Basics, developed by Dr. Thomas H. Shawker, should be of interest to everyone, no matter where they live and research.  The following information is from a recent announcement by NGS.

 

Thomas H. Shawker, MD, is a physician with the National Institutes of Health, a nationally recognized lecturer on genetics, and chairman of the NGS Genetic Genealogy Committee. In 2004 he authored the NGS book, Unlocking Your Genetic History.

 

Now, Dr. Shawker shares his medical expertise in the six-lesson self-paced course Genetic Genealogy, the Basics. Topics covered in the course include

·     the structure of the DNA molecule, how it is organized, how it replicates, and how it functions;

·     human chromosomes and how the Y chromosome is inherited;

·     the two types of DNA markers used in genetic genealogy;

·     haplotypes and haplogroups;

·     evaluation of a Y chromosome surname project and a discussion on how to evaluate the test results of the participants; and

·     the structure of the mitochondrial DNA molecule, how it is inherited, and how it can be used in genealogy. 

 

The course is designed for independent study. Students check their work with an answer key that immediately follows each self-test. Genetic Genealogy, The Basics is available on a PC- or MAC-compatible CD in a PDF format. The tuition is $45.00 for members and $70.00 for non-members. For further information, or to purchase the course, visit the NGS website and click on the Educational Courses tab.

 

Visit the course web page for more information.

 

NGS American Genealogy Studies courses are designed for both beginners and established genealogists who want the convenience of completing their genealogical studies at their own pace in their own home.

 

Other available courses include:

·     American Genealogy: Home Study Course

·     Using Federal Population Census Schedules in Genealogical Research

·     Introduction to Civil War Research

·     Introduction to Religious Records

·     Social Security Sleuthing

·     Special Federal Census Schedules

·     Transcribing, Extracting, and Abstracting Genealogical Records

·     Working with Deeds

 

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

 

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ABOUT THIS BULLETIN:

This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves, ken.graves@gravesfa.org.

 

TO SUBMIT MATERIAL TO THIS BULLETIN:

Send any material you would like to have included in this bulletin to ken.graves@gravesfa.org.  The editor reserves the right to accept, edit or reject any material submitted.

 

TO JOIN THE GRAVES FAMILY ASSOCIATION:

If you do not already belong to the GFA, you can join by sending $20 per year to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website).  Payment may also be sent electronically to gfa@gravesfa.org via PayPal.

 

COPYRIGHTS:

Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted permission, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute part or all to other parties for non-commercial purposes only.