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Proformat News
No: 129
November 2016
November Seminars & Heritage Walks
2: How to be a successful family historian (3rd of 7 weekly sessions) WEA Centre 6:00 to 7:30pm
9: How to be a successful family historian (4th of 7 weekly sessions) WEA Centre 6:00 to 7:30pm
13: Semaphore Heritage Walk 2:00 to 4:00pm
16: How to be a successful family historian (5th of 7 weekly sessions) WEA Centre 6:00 to 7:30pm
23: How to be a successful family historian (6th of 7 weekly sessions) WEA Centre 6:00 to 7:30pm
27: Glenelg Heritage Walk 2:00 to 4:00pm
30: How to be a successful family historian (7th of 7 weekly sessions) WEA Centre 6:00 to 7:30pm

December Seminars & Heritage Walks
There are no planned activities for December and January.

All bookings must be made with the hosting organisation. All heritage walks are hosted by the WEA.

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

Hello Graham,
I have been a reader of your Proformat News for many years and have found much help and information in your newsletter. It is always a joy for it to pop up in my emails.
This last newsletter echoes, almost exactly my experiences with FTDNA. I have an extensive family tree going back to the 1700s in most cases and beyond in some cases, but my responses from some of my closer matches have been much the same as yours. I am amazed that people spend the money and go to the trouble to do the test with a family tree of 2 people on their connection site!!! I have one very good match and I got an almost immediate reply, not from the person my DNA matches with, but another person who identified himself and said he managed 81 kits!!! He was the independent party who was managing this kit number and he would not guarantee that he would contact my matching person!! I was astonished and stunned.
I am an only child and was hoping to connect with cousins in England, as the majority of my ancestors come from there. No luck at all.
It is some small comfort to know that someone whom I deem to be an expert, is suffering the same treatment as myself, who is probably just a good to medium family history researcher!
I hope that in the future your connections with DNA matches improve, I have been told you can wait up to 3 years!!
With best wishes, and thank you again for your great newsletter,
Jo G

In this issue:
November Seminars
December Seminars

Feature article
Coming to grips with my DNA: 4


Graham Jaunay

Glandore SA 5037

Breaking news: fb

Drafting charts
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Graham Jaunay uses
The Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

Coming to grips with my DNA: 4
In an effort to expand the number of matches I had with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) subscribers, I also transferred my raw data to GEDmatch. GEDmatch is a free to use volunteer website that allows you to upload your atDNA data.

Using this third party website I was hopeful that potential matches who used Ancestry DNA, and 23andMe would have uploaded their results. My thinking was that if they went this extra step they just may be more knowledgeable about their ancestry and more inclined to respond to me. The response by FTDNA subscribers being as I had been advised, relatively poor!

Before progressing I need to clarify what I decided constituted a match and for this I relied on the data provided by The Genetic Genealogist to compare two people...
Q1: Is there at least one 9cM segment? Yes: It is a match. No: go to next question...
Q2: Is the total shared DNA greater than 20cM? Yes: Go to question 3. No: Not a match.
Q3: Is there at least one 7.69cM segment? Yes: It is a match. No: Not a match.

If the shared segment is more than 30cM, the likelihood of a shared ancestor within 6 generations is 90%, 20-30cM - 50%, 12-20cM - 20%, 7.5-12cM - 5%.

Joining GEDmatch is an easy exercise. On uploading your atDNA material you may have to wait some days for a result! In my case it was about 24 hours. The site will provide you with a password which you can change. They will also allocate you a new Kit Number which you cannot change. The Kit Numbers are prefixed with a letter telling subscribers the company that originally undertook your testing: A = Ancestry, T = Family Tree DNA and M = 23 andMe.

GEDmatch allows people to use an alias that I find a trifle annoying when sending emails and scrolling through lists looking for matching surnames. It seems rather strange to not disclose your name on a site that holds your DNA profile when seeking your ancestry! Also the site requires you to answer two questions where the answer no would rather defeat the whole purpose of the exercise. The first of these gives consent to make your data public and the second seeks permission to publicise your contact email. The system will not work if you say no to either question! Clearly if you want to protect your email address then use one from gmail or like organisation.

A word of caution before we go any further. When you work with GEDmatch it is important to read the guides. One of the better third party ones is by Jarad Smith. I was initially caught out by not reading such material and made a simple mistake that caused me issues until I read the manual. If you undertake a 'One-to-many' Matches' you need to remind yourself that the blue bars you see in the graphics are matches to you alone and not between the many! To find out if individuals within the group are related to each other you need to undertake a 'One-to-one Compare'. Thus in the following graphic those listed are related to me but while the first two are related to each other, the third is not. It is just a coincidence that the blue segments in the graphics overlap!


The first thing I noted was that a 2nd cousin on my father's line had tested with 23andMe and posted to GEDmatch. He of course heads up my matches far clear of the second listing. His listing may prove useful in distinguishing some of my great grandfathers' ancestors. Having considered this I have since arranged to test my 96 year-old mother – her results should also help sort out paternal and maternal relationships within the matches. I will keep you posted on the outcome next year.

The top two matches to my 2nd cousin are as depicted above.

Some of the interesting features of the database are readily apparent. Working from left to right the Kit Nbr is your assigned number and the prefix indicates the testing company. The colour green appears on new postings and gradually fades to white so that you can pick up new matches down the track. The column headed Type indicates the type of test taken—F1 & F2 = FTDNA; F1N = National Geographic; V2 & V3 = 23and Me; while C files are combinations of these tests. The column headed List allows you to select that person's listing—a powerful tool to tighten up matching options. The column headed Details under Autosomal facilitates a one to one comparison on Chromosomes 1 to 22 where the green indicates a full matching base pair and yellow a half match. Blue is the longest matching segment. Other colours are used to represent other lesser matches with red being a no match.

Pictured: Graham Jaunay's Chromosomes 1 to 7 matched against Philip B a known 2nd cousin..

The column headed Details under X-DNA facilitates a one to one comparison on Chromosome 23.
Pictured Graham Jaunay's Chromosome 23 matched against Tom T.

Incidentally in this example the longest match with Tom T is on the X chromosome—what does that mean?

Gedmatch has a number of other features apart from matching and one to one comparisons. One I found intriguing was the eye colour prediction—I received a perfect result!

The top matches in GEDmatch revealed the importance of using this site. Just two listed on FTDNA appeared on my top 30 matches and the top X chromosome match, although tested with FTDNA, did not appear on FTDNA at all!

X chromosome matches
An X-DNA test looks at markers on your X chromosome(s). Males have one X chromosome that they inherit exclusively from their mother. It seems to me that this field has been largely overlooked if material on the web is any indication and yet, if my thinking is correct, a male finding a person with a significant X chromosome match could prove helpful as there are limited ancestors given that this chromosome passes down the female line. It is a little murky because fathers have an X chromosome too and while they pass their share to their daughters, their daughters only pass one to their sons! Therefore on my mother’s line we reduce the potential number significantly!

There is an important caveat that is not helpful—although males pass the X chromosome largely unchanged to their daughters, females will usually pass a mixed X chromosome to their child—a mixture of the X chromosome they received from their father and mother. However, a child is unlikely to receive an X chromosome from their mother that is 50% from their maternal grandfather and 50% from their maternal grandmother – it will most likely be a random amount between 0% and 100%.  Thus, an ancestor can be under or over-represented in an actual -chromosome.

My mother’s line – X chromosome with Ahnentafel Numbers and estimated DNA percentage
gparents ggparents gggparents ggggparents
6 Johnson 50%
12 Johnson 0%
24 Johnson 0%
48 Johnson 0%
49 ? 0%
25 Cannell 0%
50 Cannell 0%
51 Larner 0%
13 Westbury 50%
26 Ward 25%
52 Ward 0%
53 ? 0%
27 Westbury 25%
54 Westbury 12.5%
55 Wall 12.5%
7 Harris 50%
14 Harris 25%
28 Harris 0%
56 Harris 0%
57 ? 0%
29 Summerhayes 25%
58 Summerhayes 12.5%
59 Hudson 12.5%
15 King 25%
30 King 12.5%
60 King 0%
61 ? 12.5%
31 Grummitt 12.5%
62 Grummitt 6.25%
63 Saunders 6.25%
See also: thegeneticgenealogist

Generally I experienced the same poor response level with FTDNA, although those that did respond seemed far more interested. Again whilst I shared my pedigree with them and have a full tree on site, none shared a pedigree with me allowing me to undertake a closer search and most had not posted a GEDCOM either! This has to be my greatest issue with the process and overwhelmingly frustrating to think one is potentially so close but the other parties lack the enthusiasm!

Being proactive I have been trying to determine matches myself by analysing where matches are occurring in an effort to determine from where in my ancestral lines these matches may have emerged. This is a lengthy slow process on a par with chasing up paper records and the like and to date has not progressed my family knowledge.

Case 1: The respondent indicated a match with the name HUDSON in my maternal line – a 3g-grandmother from Bristol. However, HUDSONs in my family are also a remote family on my paternal line – an 8g-grandfather’s daughter married a HUDSON. I know this because my grandfather’s sister’s grandson (2C) also has HUDSON matches. GEDmatch suggests the common ancestor is 6.4 generations back. My family lived in North Yorkshire and so did respondent’s HUDSONs.

Case 2: My second cousin and I have a significant match on chromosome 20 that also is a good match for ‘S’ and ‘K’. Our most recent ancestor with these two is estimated to be 4.4 generations. Therefore the match is on my paternal line somewhere and I can narrow it down even further in that my 2nd cousin and I share JAUNAY and CAWLEY ancestry. Since 4 generations ago the JAUNAYs were French it seems to me that the most likely matches will be found somewhere on my CAWLEY line.

Case 3: 10 people testing with FTDNA share the same long segment with me and my 2nd cousin. This needs to be pursued by undertaking 'One-to-one Compare' with each of theme to determine if they do indeed share our JAUNAY / CAWLEY origins.

  1. Very few testing with Family Tree DNA place their results on GEDmatch.
  2. Little chance of listed matches replying to enquiry emails although those aware of GEDmatch appear to be more likely to respond.
  3. Those that reply to emails are doing so out of courtesy as they rarely supply or seek information.
  4. Supplying significant information in an enquiry email does not lead to reciprocation.
  5. Testing companies should consider ways of providing subscribers with information on how the matches are linked.
  6. While the use of aliases by people in DNA projects is understood, it is not helpful when researching matches.
  7. Contributors to DNA projects who have not undertaken prior extensive family history research, of not only their ancestry but all their ancestors’ descendants, are unlikely to be helpful in determining matches.

Tests for atDNA will reveal many matches with no indication of linkages and at this stage there may be very little chance of progressing family history research unless the match is a close one and/or the match is a family history enthusiast.

I remain sceptical at this time but intend to continue approaching matches down the lists and start contacting X-DNA matches. I will also undertake a similar quest with my wife’s matches. I will keep readers informed. In the meantime I would be interested to hear of your experiences.

In the meantime if you are considering embarking on the DNA quest as a quick answer to those barriers in your family history—think again. If the subject of your search is a rarer surname line or from outside of the UK and USA then the chances of matches dwindle significantly!
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