GRAVES FAMILY BULLETIN

 

Vol. 15, No. 6, May 20, 2013

 

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

 

===============================================

 

Copyright © 2013 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.

 

===============================================

 

CONTENTS

 

** General Comments

** DNA Day Was April 25

** New Pricing Policy From Family Tree DNA

** Different Types of mtDNA Tests From Various Companies

** Importance of Using and Supporting GEDmatch.com

** Training Videos and Other Resources From Family Search

** DNA Testing for Native American Ancestry

** New Tools to Find Irish Roots

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things

 

===============================================

 

GENERAL COMMENTS

 

This issue of the GF Bulletin has more of the miscellaneous articles that I find interesting.  I hope you find some of the information helpful.

 

===============================================

 

DNA DAY WAS APRIL 25

 

According to Wikipedia: DNA Day is a holiday celebrated on April 25. It commemorates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and colleagues published papers in the journal Nature on the structure of DNA. Furthermore, on that day in 2003 it was declared that the Human Genome Project was very close to complete.

 

In the United States, DNA Day was first celebrated on April 25, 2003 by proclamation of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. However, they only declared a one-time celebration, not an annual holiday. Every year from 2003 onward, annual DNA Day celebrations have been organized by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). April 25 has since been declared "International DNA Day" and "World DNA Day" by several groups.

 

The AncestryDNA Blog published the following:

“Happy DNA Day! Once a year, the scientific community takes time out to recognize some amazing achievements in DNA science. Two keystone events are the discovery of the DNA double helix structure in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson and the declaration 50 years later, in 2003, that the Human Genome Project was complete…well, close to complete. Only a few small gaps still remain in sequencing and mapping the entire human genome.

 

We have some additional reasons to celebrate on DNA Day 2013. Our science team has been hard at work on some breakthroughs of their own that we hope to share later this year. They include an update to the DNA ethnicity predictions available to all AncestryDNA customers, even those who have already taken the test.

 

AncestryDNA is growing fast.  As part of our DNA celebrations, we’d like to share some exciting accomplishments AncestryDNA has made with the support of our members in the past year.

·     AncestryDNA has grown its database to more than 120,000 DNA samples since the product’s BETA launch in May 2012.

·     7.7 million ancestors are now available to discover through family trees linked to DNA results.

·     More than 3.3 million fourth-cousin DNA matches have been surfaced to customers, meaning they potentially share an ancestor in the mid-1800s.

·     Over 1 million people have been connected to each other by AncestryDNA, along with a shared ancestor identified from Ancestry.com family trees. This represents the perfect culmination of DNA science and family history research.

 

How you can celebrate DNA Day: Take the AncestryDNA test. Start exploring your family story in your own DNA.”

 

===============================================

 

NEW PRICING POLICY FROM FAMILY TREE DNA

 

The following DNA test pricing update was sent May 2, 2013 by Family Tree DNA to group administrators.

 

“With the end of the DNA Day promotion, we (Bennett and Max), considered how to continue offering the best prices, yet keep control in the lab to avoid delays from high volume. Since demand is directly related to prices, we decided to implement a temporary price rollback whenever lab capacity allows us to do so.

 

Despite an extremely successful sale, we believe that with our increased lab capacity, we are able to continue offering reduced prices on several tests. While the prices are not as low as they were for the DNA Day promotion, you will notice that these temporary reductions are extremely attractive, and should be a real incentive to anyone that did not take advantage of the sale to order now, while the prices are reduced. With this system in place, prices may go up on different tests at any time based on lab volume.

 

Additionally, on April 1st when we permanently reduced the price of the Y-DNA12 to $49, we mentioned that our R&D team was working towards a price reduction for the equivalent mtDNA basic test. Good news! Not only did we manage to achieve this goal, but we did it for the mtDNAPlus test that covers both HVR1 and HVR2. Therefore, we're discontinuing the HVR1-only test. Our basic mtDNA test will now be the mtDNAPlus (HVR1+2) at the $49 price point! We hope that with the basic Y-DNA and mtDNA tests very reasonably priced, a whole new group of people will be tempted to begin their own DNA experience and increase the size of your projects!”  See the full range of prices on their website.

 

The new lower prices include:

Full Mitochondrial Sequence

$199

Family Finder:

$199

Y-DNA37 + Full Sequence

$368

 

===============================================

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF mtDNA TESTS FROM VARIOUS COMPANIES

 

In a recent blog article, Debbie Kennett explains some of the exciting advances in mitochondrial testing, the variety of testing now available, and how the price has continued to drop as the completeness and value of the test has increased.  The article includes many links to references that will increase your understanding of this important DNA test.

 

===============================================

 

IMPORTANCE OF USING AND SUPPORTING GEDMATCH.COM

 

One of the greatest online DNA service providers is GEDmatch.com.  I have discussed many times how desirable it is to upload autosomal DNA test results and GEDCOMS to GEDmatch so that comparisons can be made and common ancestors can be found.  Not only does this website provide many types of analysis not available anywhere else, but there is no charge for using it.  Apparently at least partly because of operating with minimal financial resources, the site has occasionally had problems, as discussed below.  Financial support is needed.

 

 A recent notice on their website said: “Please support our effort to purchase additional backup equipment.  Donations are appreciated and may be sent to

GEDmatch, c/o Curtis Rogers,

710 First Avenue South,

Lake Worth, FL 33460,

or by clicking the ‘Donate’ button below.”

 

Features have been added to GEDmatch, including help features, and a login requirement which provides a profile and personal information for each user.  Although GEDmatch was not accepting data uploads for several weeks, the site appears to be functioning again. It would be very helpful for everyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test, including tests from Ancestry.com, to upload their test data results to GEDmatch.

 

===============================================

 

TRAINING VIDEOS AND OTHER RESOURCES FROM FAMILY SEARCH

 

Through its new website and millions of new records constantly being added to the site, FamilySearch is a resource that can provide much help to genealogists.  They recently announced that they have reached a major milestone of one billion records indexed and arbitrated since the launch of FamilySearch indexing in September of 2006.

 

To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, view the FamilySearch projects page.

 

According to their website, “FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations.

 

Learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are — creating a family bond, linking the present to the past, and building a bridge to the future.

 

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services each year to learn more about their family history. FamilySearch provides:

·     Free, A service to all at no cost.

·     3 Billion Names from all over the world.

·     4,500 FamilySearch Centers worldwide.

·     Free expert phone support 24/7.

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often called the LDS or Mormons) is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life.

 

FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, which was founded in 1894, is dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. Our purpose is simple—help people connect with their ancestors through easy access to historical records.

 

We gladly join and partner with others who share this vision. We pioneered industry standards for gathering, imaging, indexing, and preserving records. Advances in technology and the emergence of our digital world now provide an opportunity for us to share these resources with the world.”

 

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter for 22 April 2013 published an article about some learning videos from Family Search.

 

The FamilySearch Blog has announced some great tools that illustrate how to use the new services recently added:

FamilySearch is rolling out new product videos in conjunction with the launch of the new FamilySearch website. These videos are less than 3 minutes long and show how a new user can have success using each of the new features of the site. The videos are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Look for these videos at their Learning Center.

·     FamilySearch.org Video Tutorials and Guides

·     Getting Started Videos

 

===============================================

 

DNA TESTING FOR NATIVE AMERICAN ANCESTRY

 

Many of those in the U.S. and Canada are very interested in finding whether they have Native American ancestry.  Many families have stories about such ancestry, some of which are true, some partly true, and some false.  A summary of some of what is known and some of the DNA research that is being done is in a recent blog article by Roberta Estes.  The posting is called “Announcing the Native American Haplogroup C DNA Project.”

 

The article (referring to Y-DNA in men) says: “Native American males who descend from direct paternal ancestors who crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia some 10,000+ years ago fall into one of two haplogroups, or genetic clans.  One is haplogroup Q and the other is haplogroup C.  Since both haplogroup Q and haplogroup C are found among Asians, not everyone with these haplogroups in the Americas are Native Americans – only certain subgroups identified by specific mutations that occurred shortly before, during or shortly after the migration process.”

 

“Native Americans who carry haplogroup C are indeed quite rare and are identified by a special mutation, a SNP marker, known as P39, within haplogroup C.  This haplogroup subgroup is also known by the name C3b.  We would like to invite all men who are haplogroup C and carry mutation P39, or anyone who is haplogroup C and has a family history of paternal line Native ancestry to join the project.”

 

It further states: “Genetic advances and discoveries relevant to Native history and genealogy are regularly covered on my blog.  It’s searchable -- just enter the word “Native” into the search box.  In addition, I maintain a historical focus on the Native people through the Native Names project which is focused on extracting the earliest names of Native people found in colonial documents.  To date, they number over 30,000 individuals and over 8,000 surnames.  Adventures in this project and a wide range of Native history are discussed on my [other] blog.”

 

===============================================

 

NEW TOOLS TO FIND IRISH ROOTS

 

Ireland Reaching Out (Ireland XO) wants to find the most local person in Irish communities, defined as the person in the community who has the highest number of great-, and great-great-grandparents in the area.

 

That person could be the key to developing the parish Diaspora worldwide. In cooperation with its USA-based DNA partner, 23andme, Ireland XO is developing a database of Irish DNA which will allow anyone abroad to find out what part of Ireland they come from, without ever stepping on Irish soil.  The Irish Central website has this story and more.

 

The “most local person” is by default, a biological summary of all the blood types and genealogies in an area and is a “marker” of the DNA of the local people. By simply matching your DNA with the national Irish database, your own mix of DNA will pinpoint to where your people most likely originated from. Using DNA is a third way, in addition to genealogical research and oral history, that Ireland XO is using to find out the parishes from where the Irish Diaspora worldwide came.

 

 Another related story is about the Irish Genetic Homeland Finder website.  According to their site, this “is a set of online tools for enhancing genealogy research by geographically pinpointing the latitude and longitude of historical records and events. If you would like to learn the specific geographical place where your ancestors came from, try our web applications which enable you to generate data maps in real-time to see the spatial relationship between multiple surnames and datasets.  Beyond just geographically plotting historical records like tax rolls and censuses, we are also digitizing and geocoding non-traditional locations like castles, clan histories, and Y-DNA signatures. “

 

===============================================

 

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.