Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CeCe Moore's "Do Your Genes Fit?" Seminar Summary - 30 March 2013

CeCe Moore provided an audience of about 80 cheek-swabbers and saliva-spitters with excellent information about DNA testing for genealogy, and how to analyze their results, at the March 30th Chula Vista Genealogical Society seminar at the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course.  The seminar theme was "Do Your Genes Fit?  Discover Your DNA."

In the first hour, CeCe provided an introduction to DNA Testing for Genealogy.  She described the four different types of DNA testing (Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, autosomal, and X-chromosome), and showed what each type provides a person to help define their genealogy.  For instance:

*  Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) testing provides information about the direct paternal "surname" line for males only (but females can have brothers of father's brothers take the test).  A specific Y-DNA test is required to identify a haplogroup that traces back thousands of years, and is defined by specific mutations over centuries.

* Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) provides information about the direct maternal lines (mother's mother's mother) for males and females.  This is passed from mother to child.  A specific mtDNA test is required to identify a haplogroup that traces back thousands of years, and is defined by specific mutations over centuries and millennia,

*  Autosomal DNA (atDNA) provides information about a person's total genetic makeup - all of their ancestral lines.  This test provides clues to the regions of the world where a person's ancestors were thousands of years ago.  Anyone can test, and the percentage of DNA in common with other testers determines relationship predictions.  This test can confirm or refute genetic descent from ancestors determined by traditional genealogy research, can help with brick wall tree problems, and can help with adoption research.  

*  X-chromosome (X-DNA, inherited from mothers by everybody, and from fathers by females) provides information about some of your ancestors, but is not very far advanced at this time.  CeCe did not explore this past the definition.

There are four major DNA testing companies for genealogists:

*  Family Tree DNA ( offers Y-DNA tests (12 to 111 markers, $49 to $359); mtDNA at two levels ($159 to $299); atDNA "Family Finder" test for $289.

*  23andMe ( offers only an atDNA "Relative Finder" test ($99 sale price currently), which also provides haplogroups for mtDNA and Y-DNA (males only), and health risks.

*  AncestryDNA ( offers Y-DNA tests (33 or 46 markers, $149 to $179); mtDNA tests ($179); atDNA test ($99) with matches to Ancestry Member Trees.

*  National Geographic ( offers atDNA (Geno 2.0) test for deep ancestry ($199).

CeCe recommended using FamilyTreeDNA for Y-DNA and mtDNA, and 23andMe for autosomal DNA at $99, then transfer the atDNA results to FTDNA for $89.

In the second hour, CeCe discussed how to use the DNA test results that you have received.  She went through the Y-DNA, mtDNA and atDNA test results on the different web pages, and showed how to find matches with other testers, how to interpret those matches, and how to contact the other testers to share information.  Each test company permits an upload of a GEDCOM file of a person's genealogy, and they all find common surnames between a person and a matching person.  This portion of the talk also showed how to determine which DNA segments are shared with other testers (who have a common ancestor with the person).  

After a delicious lunch, and some door prize winner announcements, CeCe discussed in the third hour how a user can get the most out of their autosomal DNA results.  She discussed working with more distant matches, using spreadsheets for efficiency and accuracy, and using third party software or websites to share your DNA information.  Much of this hour was taken by attendee questions and CeCe's answers about specific tests and results.

In the fourth hour, CeCe showed DNA test results of attendees on the websites, analyzed them as necessary, and provided her opinion of what the tester should do next.  

This seminar went very quickly, and the audience was impressed and appreciated CeCe's knowledge and expertise in this subject.  CeCe is one of the "citizen scientists" around the world who are on the forefront of DNA testing for genealogy, and consults with the different companies on a regular basis.  

The final drawing for door prizes saw Susan Zimmer receive the 23andMe autosomal DNA test and Allet Rodriguez receive the 6-month World Deluxe subscription.  CVGS also had an opportunity drawing for a number of local businesses and entertainment venues, and some genealogical and DNA prizes.  

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1 comment:

Yvette Porter Moore said...

I enjoyed her speaking at the Roots Conference in Los Angeles. I would have enjoyed seeing her on March 30th..however I was out of town. Thank you so very much for this great information...You took excellent notes!!!