Links for DNA study group

I need a place to share some links quickly with my friends in our study group so I will post here for now. Note: This list is not comprehensive. I am basically learning as I go and need a place to warehouse my resources.

My focus is autosomal DNA as most of these links will reflect.

Before you jump into the deep end of the gene pool, read this:
Succeeding with autosomal DNA (atDNA) - a rootsweb post


Update from March  21 meeting:

George has shared these weblinks pertaining to yDNA testing with us. We sure appreciate the time he spent sharing with us! 

"Thanks for inviting me to speak with your Genetic-Genealogy SIG last Tuesday evening at the WELL.

During the course of our conversations and questions, I mentioned several different web sites that your members might find useful. I'd like to provide links to those sites to aid your members with their research.  I will group them below in no particular order.

DNAeXplained Blog by Roberta Estes:
Roberta Estes makes regular post to this Blog explaining how she uses DNA tests to help with her search for her ancestors. Roberta is very good at breaking down the often complex ideas behind genetic Genealogy and explaining it in simpler everyday terms (hence, the name)

McGee's Genetic Distance Tool by Dean McGee:
Dean McGee developed this tool years ago for use in his McGee Surname Project and he has made it available to use by the public for free.  There are instructions on the page for how to use it, but in a nut-shell, the user inputs the Y-STR values for 2 or more individuals and then runs the tool. The result is a matrix which provides a graphic display of the likelihood of relatedness between the individual entries, and the approximate time-frame back to their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

I now see that there is also a YouTube Video that explains how to use the tool. I have not actually looked at this video, but here is the link to that video.

DNAAdoption for folks with questions about using DNA to help locate their birth family:
This site, and the guidance they provide for adoptees, has proved very useful lately and has even helped solve a cold case of a girl who was found abandoned years ago by a person who, it turned out, had kidnapped her after murdering her parents. The tool and methods laid out for use by Adoptees can also be used to help figure out cases of NPE's.

Carol Schweitzer, Mentioned in this article, spoke about the Cold Case at the International Genetic Genealogy conference in Houston last November. By the time she finished her tale we were so amazed that you could have heard a pin drop in the room with almost 300 attendees. 

ISSOG The International Society of Genetic Genealogy:
For those who just "geek out" over Genetic Genealogy, this site might be for you."


October 11th Meeting - Spreadsheets for DNA Analysis

Notes from Cynthia's great presentation are available at the DNA SIG page.
They can be accessed from here. You will need your member login. 


September 20th Meeting - Creating and Using Mirror Trees at

How and why to create a Mirror Tree
 NOTE: in the member section of the WCGS website. You will need to log in to view this file. 

Monique B's thoughtful summary of her use and experience with Mirror Trees


Updated 8/15/2016

Blaine Bettinger DNA series offered by Legacy Family Tree Webinars: 

This series was released sometime last week. It is a series of 5 lectures designed beginning student of DNA. It is perfect for those looking for a review or a chance to enhance their basic understanding of DNA and genetic genealogy. I just watched the autosomal lecture (#5) and it dovetails nicely with what he covered on Saturday.

One caveat, this is a subscription site. You can subscribe by the month ($9) or by the year ($49) and watch all the webinars you want. I guarantee that it will be some of the best genealogy money that you spend. I have learned so much watching Legacy Webinars weekly. You can also watch a changing subset for free if you want to see what the site is all about. I think you will find it a useful investment of your time and money. (* Not affiliated, just appreciate the education value.)

From the meeting on August 9:
Autosomal DNA Segment Analyzer Manual from DNAgedcom. Mid-way down the page is an in-depth explanation of the ICW matrix (that colorful quilty looking part in the middle). This should help make its purpose more clear.

Jeopardy game for review

Gedmatch beginners guide

Absolutely charming 2 minute animation on inheritance

Online DNA self study course for beginners

Blog post on Match Groups and Triangulation

Prepare your gedcom for uploading to testing sites


Facebook groups for learning-
If you are on FB anyway, these are good.  If not, these groups may be worth signing up for, so you can follow them. I have learned a lot by reading and following other's dna problem solving.

DNA Newbie


Gedmatch User

Note** these groups are closed groups but that just means that you must request to join. I have had my request approved within the day on every one of these groups.


My favorite posts from Jim Bartlett's segmentology blog:

Getting Started with Autosomal DNA Part I

What is a segment? –Ancestral(true) Segments vsShared(computer) Segments

Measuring Segments–bp(or Mbp);cM;SNP



How To Triangulate:Collect,Arrange,Compare/Triangulate

Anatomy of a TG  (triangulation group - your matches and how you relate to each other)

Jim's ultra in depth spreadsheet he uses to keep track of all his matches. He definitely takes it to the next level here. This is all way above my head and  I am just saving it here for reference. No way am I ready to process this much yet.

-- Thanks, Jim, for reaching out to me for research and being a cousin (even just a little tiny bit.) You have taught me so much in a short time.

My spreadsheet lite instructions (based on what I learned from Jim's How to Triangulate blog):

- download match spreadsheets from testing sites or from Gedmatch*, copy/paste the segment matching list from your comparison into excel.
- clean up and freeze the top line ( under view menu)
- sort by start point, then Chrom #
- you can convert the bps to megabps for easier reading (format cells>number>custom> type "0.00,,"). Do this to start and end columns.
- filter out smaller matches (set filter on cM column to show matches greater than 10)
- add data bars to start and end to show triangulation matching groups  (highlight column > conditional formatting>data bar, choose solid)

*to get a usable chart (for our group purposes) from gedmatch-

-choose your closest (or any close) match and run a "matches 1 or both" search. Your results will generate 3 charts.
-From the chart that matches both, select top 10 to 20 (max) matches.
-Copy/paste the entire resulting chart into excel.
-From this point revert to the 1st set of instructions to complete your excel match spread sheet.


Videos that I found helpful:

Maurice Gleeson - Autosomal DNA: how to use it in practice

MauriceGleeson - Using DNA to solve adoption cases

Other useful stuff :

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