May 2019

Be Informed About Your DNA Options 

  I have long advised clients to upload their raw data to GEDMatch, to find matches who have tested with other companies. In the past year, law enforcement officers (including the FBI and state and local police departments) have used some of these databases to solve violent crimes, both cold cases and crimes that happened recently.
   GEDMatch is their primary tool for finding the ancestry of violent criminals and tracing forward to the present to discover the perpetrator. GEDMatch just recently set all their kits to automatically opt-out of Law Enforcement matching. If you want your kit opted-in, you will need to sign in to GEDMatch, read and follow the directions.
   You can read more about this on the following blog posts:

Facing DNA Privacy Concerns Head-On with Informed Consent, by Blaine Bettinger

GedMatch Implements Required Opt-In for Law Enforcement Matching, by Roberta Estes

How a DNA database's new policy is changing police access and could hinder solving cold cases 

The Choice That Really Isn't (how Law Enforcement can work around the kits that are opted out), by Judy Russell

And this statement from CeCe Moore:
I am not interested in debating GEDmatch's decision to go to opt-in and the reasons behind it. I will say that it is easy to sit on one's high horse and pass judgement, arguing semantics, very narrow interpretations, and privacy extremism, when it is not you and your family who are victimized. There are no real victims created by GEDmatch. As always, my focus is on the families who are searching for answers. "Whatever one thinks about this decision, it is inarguable that it is a setback for justice and victims and their families."

What I've Been Doing
*    Working on a revised and expanded editions of my first two books, Genealogy Offline and Searching for Your Ancestors in Historic Newspapers
*    Writing two articles for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, based on problem-solving in my own family research 
*    Planning a possible research trip to Michigan this fall
*   Taking breaks from researching, writing and reading to work outside in the front yard

What I'm Reading
Genealogy Standards is now in its 2nd edition, published in March and for the first time includes standards for using DNA in genealogical research. Not just for professional genealogists, this book is for everyone who wants to excel in genealogical planning, execution and documentation.

Special Offers
  • New Clients: 12 hours for the price of 10 (save $100)
  • Returning clients: 6 hours for the price of 5 (save $50)
  • Consulting service: help with your most pressing problem; 2 hours for $95 (for example: help with your DNA results, help with Ancestry family trees, advice on further DNA testing, suggestions for research in local archives to find records that are not online, suggestions for other databases besides Ancestry)
Upcoming Presentations
My newest presentation, "I Did the DNA Test: Now What Do I Do?" was a big hit at the Auburn library last month! If you'd like to attend this (or any of my other presentations), let your librarian know!

See the complete list of my lectures on my website here.

In the News

DNA test proves former care worker can inherit English estate

Facebook has a new group: The Genealogy Squad, with Drew Smith, George Morgan, and Cyndi Ingles as administrators. Members range from beginners to professional, ready to tackle your problems!

Legacy FamilyTree Webinars subscription is 50% off - available to new subscribers through May 28

DNA test uncovers D-Day love story

Leonardo's hair to be DNA tested

"Who Do You Think You Are?" is returning to NBC

New book release: The DNA Guide for Adoptees, by Brianne Kirkpatrick

MyHeritage announces new Health+Ancestry DNA test

Beyond Romantic Advertisements: Ancestry, Genealogy and White Supremacy
Genetics in Action: Third cousin look-alikes!
On the left, my cousin Kim's granddaughter Annabelle, age 4; on the right is our granddaughter Summer, age 19 months
Read my past newsletters (July 2016 - April 2019) here
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