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Genetic Traits at Ancestry DNA

Genetic Traits at Ancestry DNA

Get a new perspective on your DNA results with AncestryDNA’s new Genetic Traits feature. For just $10, you can discover how traits run in your family and might even come from ethnic origins, with no additional DNA test needed. It’s a deeper look into what makes you YOU, and it’s a fantastic way to engage non-genealogists in your family to be interested in where they come from.

Share Traits This Holiday Season

While the new Genetic Traits feature from AncestryDNA may not be directly applicable to genealogical research or uncovering brick wall ancestors, it’s the ideal tool to interest the non-genealogist in your family. Your relatives might not be interested in cousin-matching and identifying shared ancestors, but they will love discovering what makes them unique. The Genetic Traits tool provides another vehicle for people to discover their origins and connect with their past in a meaningful way. If you’re giving a DNA test kit as a gift this year, consider gifting the Traits feature as well. And have fun exploring your own traits! Order now at Ancestry.com or on Amazon.

New AncestryDNA Feature: Genetic Traits

November 9, 2018: “Ancestry’s long history of innovation has driven our leadership in family history and, more recently, the emerging field of consumer genomics. Today, we’re proud to introduce a fun and innovative way for you to further explore who you are and where you come from – AncestryDNA Traits. Using science and data to power ongoing journeys of discovery, Traits is a new interactive experience that allows you to discover traits and attributes influenced by your DNA. With AncestryDNA Traits, you can explore up to 18 traits and attributes that you’ve inherited from your ancestors, share with family, and may pass down to future generations.”

Through AncestryDNA Traits, people can:
  • Identify 18 traits (full list below)
  • Compare your genetic markers to your matches via the AncestryDNA mobile app to see who in your family you share certain traits with.
  • Explore an “Around the World” interactive map, where you can see how your traits align with your heritage.
  • New customers can upgrade their AncestryDNA kit to include Traits for an additional $10.00 on Ancestry.com and Amazon. Existing customers can purchase the Traits feature for $10.00 through their Ancestry account.

Identifiable Traits

With AncestryDNA Traits, customers can explore up to 18 traits and attributes including:
  • Finger length
  • Cleft chin
  • Earlobe type
  • Earwax type
  • Eye color
  • Freckles

 

  • Hair color
  • Hair type
  • Hair strand thickness
  • Iris patterns
  • Male hair loss
  • Skin pigmentation

 

  • Unibrow
  • Bitter taste perception
  • Sweet taste perception
  • Savory taste perception
  • Asparagus metabolite detection
  • Cilantro aversion

More About Traits

From Ancestry: “Powered by AncestryDNA, Traits gives you an even deeper look at your personal story through the “Around the World” interactive map. You can explore how your traits align with your heritage and learn whether your green eyes are common in other people with Irish ancestry.

 
Those of you with the AncestryDNA Mobile app will be the first with access to our new Traits Compare feature which allows you to compare your genetic markers that influence your traits with friends, family, or any other AncestryDNA customer who has Traits.
 
Traits is just the latest example of the many tools we’re working on to enable a journey of personal discovery that we hope will enrich your life. As in everything we do, protecting your privacy is our highest priority, so we will continue to place you in control of your data – that means both you and your counterpart must consent to participate in any Traits Comparison.”
Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

U.S. Naturalization Records & More New Genealogy Records Online

U.S. Naturalization Records & More New Genealogy Records Online

U.S. Naturalization Records at MyHeritage top the charts this week for new records collections online. Over 200 million records are available for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Also new this week are German marriages, baptisms, and burials. Britain marriage licenses dating back to the 12th century may also pique your interest and are available online.  

U.S. Naturalization Records

New this week at MyHeritage are over 200 million U.S. Naturalization Records. First is the record index for Northern Illinois, 1840-1950, containing petitions for naturalization filed in northern Illinois circuit court and INS District 9. In addition to Illinois, INS District 9 covered parts of northwestern Indiana, eastern Iowa, and southern and eastern Wisconsin. Data collected prior to 1906 was limited, likely containing just the name of the petitioner, their country of origin, and record dates and numbers. After 1906, you’ll be more likely to see records with not only names, but also addresses, birth dates, witnesses present, and date and place of arrival the U.S.

Also new is the Naturalization Record Index for New England, 1791-1906. This collection is an index of naturalization documents filed in courts in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from 1791 to 1906. The 3X5 inch cards in this collection contain limited information. But the 5X8 inch cards will likely contain the name of the petitioner, petition for citizenship, oath of allegiance, record of previous citizenship, place and date of birth, occupation, place and date of arrival in the United States, name of the ship, place of residence at the time of application, and name and address of a witness to these statements.

German Marriages

Genealogy Giant website Ancestry.com has a new collection of Eberswalde, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936. Within these records, you can find a wealth of information, including names, occupations, birth date, parents, witnesses, and more. Each document has a front and back and are displayed one after the other. Additional events from the life of the couple were sometimes recorded later on in the margins, but these notes are not indexed. In addition to these civil registers, complementary alphabetical directories of names may also have been created. These directories may tell you the names of the bride and groom, occupations, residence, and cross-reference to the marriage register.

Ancestry has also recently partnered with FamilySearch to provide free access to Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1971. From the collection description: “This collection contains parish registers from numerous Protestant communities and military garrisons found in former or modern German territories. The records are largely organized according to historical regions and church districts that may differ from current affiliations. These parish records primarily contain information about births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths and burials.” It’s important to note that this collection is in German, so you may want to reference the German Genealogical Word List on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Britain Marriage Licenses

If your ancestors were married in England, you’ll want to explore this great collection of Britain Marriage Licenses at Findmypast. Fifteen English counties are represented including London, Lancashire, Suffolk, Exeter, Lincoln, Yorkshire, and more, and records date back as early as 1115! These marriage licenses may be able to tell you the couple’s names, father’s name, and the marriage location. The collection consists of a mixture of more than 536,000 handwritten and typed record books from 1115 until 1906 provided by the College of Arms, Anguline Research Archives, and Gould Genealogy.

Reconstruct Your Ancestors’ Stories

When records have been destroyed, or simply remain elusive, you can still put the pieces together to discover your ancestors’ stories! In the new Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Video, instructor Sunny Morton will show you how to reconstruct fascinating experiences from your own family history by combining clues from your family’s knowledge, documents from genealogy websites, good historical research and Googling to fill in the gaps. All while learning the riveting story of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. Members can watch right now by clicking here. Not a member? Sign up today!

 

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

Recalibrating DNA Ethnicity Estimates

Recalibrating DNA Ethnicity Estimates

Genealogy testing companies have been hard at work recalibrating your ethnicity calculations based on new and better data. Here’s the latest from Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard. 

Family History DNA Pie Charts and Percentages

Remember that the pretty pie charts and percentages are based on fancy math and reference populations. The initial reference populations released by our testing companies were a great start, but many categories lacked sufficiently high numbers of people to represent all of the facets of a population. In the 10+ years since their release, many updates have been made. But the fancy math that is used to produce our percentages can only be as fancy as the numbers you give it. The numbers have been hard at work at Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA and 23andMe in the past couple of months with the result being a major overhaul in the way our ethnicity results are reported.

23andMe chart ethnicity updates

Image 1

23andMe

We recently reported about the update at 23andMe and their increase from 31 reference populations to 150. However, for me, the totally 100% European me, there wasn’t much excitement. As you can see in the 23andMe chart, I had a couple of numbers move up or down slightly, but not anything to write home about. However, I am certain those with South American, or Eastern European ancestry have a much different story. 23andMe added many new reference populations to better represent these underrepresented areas of the world, a move which has likely made a big difference for the ever diversifying pool of individuals who have taken a DNA test.

AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA also released their latest Ethnicity update in September, boasting an additional 13,000 reference samples to their database. They not only upgraded their numbers, but also shifted some of their categories around based on this new data. They seem to not be quite sure what to do with Ireland, as in early 2017 it was its own category, later moving in with Wales and Scotland, and now appears in this latest update as simply Ireland and Scotland. My previous numbers from AncestryDNA seemed to at least loosely reflect my heritage (meaning that I do actually have people in my genealogy chart from a few of these places).

Image 2

But the new DNA numbers? Big Changes.

I have one set of great grandparents from Germany, but it looks like nearly all my German was sucked into England, but miraculously, they seemed to have precisely found my Swedish 2X great grandmother, with the 7% that I should have from that area.

With the new update, though I am sad to see my German go, AncestryDNA is now more fully in line with the results I have received from 23andMe, LivingDNA, and MyHeritage, all of which put my England/British Isles count up around 90%. If I compare my results from various companies and combine any subcategories into one England/British Isles category, indicate Scandinavian, and then lump everything else together, the results from the four companies are actually quite similar (I don’t have my own results at Family Tree DNA, only my parents).

My Family History DNA Results

Company DNA Ethnicity Comparison 2018

Image 3

Here’s how my results currently stack up at each of these websites. (Image 3)

Which DNA Testing Company to Choose

So which company is the best at all of this? Well, I usually say that if you test everywhere, your “true” answer is likely somewhere in the middle. But really, you can determine which company is best for you by examining their reference populations, and determining which company is most likely able to meet your goals.

In the end, it is always good to remember two things:

  1. Your DNA does not fully represent your family history, so your ethnicity results can’t possibly tell you everything about your heritage.
  2. This technology is purposefully titled as an estimate. So be sure you treat it that way.

Learn More about Genetic Genealogy

Recommended reading at Genealogy Gems: Understanding DNA Ethnicity Estimates

Get Diahan’s quick reference guides including Autosomal DNA for the Genealogist at the Genealogy Gems store.

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