Sunday, September 25, 2016

Institute for Genetic Genealogy Conference Next Month in San Diego

I4GG Speakers 2016

Please join us for a premiere Genetic Genealogy event, held in San Diego next month. The DNA Detectives brings back the Institute for Genetic Genealogy Conference (I4GG) for 2016, this time in San Diego, CA on October 22 and 23, with 14 experts presenting 21 genetic genealogy topics.

The presentations will cover all levels of experience, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Headlining the conference are leading genetic genealogy educators Blaine Bettinger and CeCe Moore (me), with special guest Schelly Talalay Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe. We are honored to be able to present the following additional speakers with expertise in a wide variety of areas in genetic genealogy: Carol Rolnick, Michelle Trostler, Kitty Cooper, Kathy Johnston, Leah Larkin, Barbara Rae Venter from DNAAdoption and Junel Davidsen, Kathleen Fernandes, Thomas Krahn from YSEQ, Afton Vechery from 23andMe and Janine Cloud from Family Tree DNA

This event will cover traditional genetic genealogy as well as genetic genealogy methodologies for unknown parentage, with two tracks to choose from each day. Attendees can choose from one of two presentations (in either track), running all day Saturday and Sunday. The tracks on Saturday will focus on 1) Traditional applications for Genetic Genealogy research and 2) Using DNA for unknown parentage/adoption search. Sunday will start out with an exciting keynote given by Blaine about the future of genetic genealogy. During the two tracks on Sunday experts will cover third party tools, endogamy, Jewish DNA, spreadsheets and triangulation, case studies and you will hear from two of the leading companies in the field.

We are very excited that Blaine will be presenting two brand new talks at this conference, Evaluating a Genealogical Conclusion Including DNA and DNA and the Aftermath of Uncovered Family Secrets. His wonderful new book "Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy" will be available for purchase on site. 

Both Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage will have an onsite presence at the event. 

Early registration has been extended until the end of the month (since I hadn't had time to blog about it until now). The cost is $169 for both days or $99 for one (videos will be included with the full two-day conference registration). There is still availability in our room block ($145 + tax until Oct. 4, subject to continued availability) at the Sheraton Mission Valley. 

Please go to to learn more and to register. Watch our awesome video below and at

GENETIC GENEALOGY CONFERENCE i4gg 2016 SAN DIEGO OCT. 22 &23 from The DNA Detectives on Vimeo.



9:00 – 10:00 — Keynote: The Power of DNA, CeCe Moore
Track One
10:30 – 11:30 — Evaluating a Genealogical Conclusion including DNA, Blaine Bettinger
11:45 – 12:45 — Using the Tools at GEDmatch to Find Relatives, Kitty Cooper
2:00 – 3:00 — Getting Started with AncestryDNA, Michelle Trostler
3:15 – 4:15 — Digging Deeper with Autosomal DNA, CeCe Moore
4:30 – 5:30 — Searching for Our Most Distant (Paternal) Ancestors in Cameroon – Y Haplogroup A00, Thomas Krahn
Track Two
10:30 – 11:30 — Basics of Utilizing DNA in Unknown Parentage Search, CeCe Moore
11:45 – 12:45 — Mirror Trees Explained, Carol Rolnick
2:00 – 3:00 — How To Use the X chromosome in Family and Origins Searches, Kathy Johnston
3:15 – 4:15 — DNA and the Aftermath of Uncovered Family Secrets, Blaine Bettinger
4:30 – 5:30 — Cold Case Solved:  Autosomal DNA Analysis Reveals Lisa Jensen’s Real Identity, Barbara Rae -Venter


9:00 – 10:00 — Keynote: The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy, Blaine Bettinger
10:15 – 11:15 — Exploring Ethnicity Estimates, CeCe Moore
Track One
11:45 – 12:45 — DNA Analytics: Using Databases and Spreadsheets to Find Family, Kathleen Fernandes
2:00 – 3:00 — Advanced Third Party Tools, Blaine Bettinger
3:15 – 4:15 — Genetic Genealogy Case Studies, CeCe Moore
4:30 – 5:30 — Ancestry discoveries with 23andMe , Afton Vechery
Track Two
11:45 – 12:45 — When Your Tree Is a Banyan: Coping with Endogamy in Genetic Genealogy, Leah LaPerle Larkin
2:00 – 3:00 — Tracing the Tribe with DNA, Schelly Talalay Dardashti
3:15 – 4:15 — Family Tree DNAStrength in Numbers: Advancing Your Research Through Group Projects, Janine Cloud
4:30 – 5:30 — Practical Applications for mtDNA Testing, CeCe Moore

We hope to see you there!

Videos of the event will be offered for sale at a future date. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

23andMe Introduces Ancestry Standalone Product For $99

Click here to order. 

23andMe has just released a new option for customers in the U.S., offering the ancestry features of the test for only $99. This means that the health results will not be included with this product, but the portions of the test that are important to most in the genetic genealogy community will be - Ancestry Composition admixture percentages, DNA Relatives matching and the haplogroup assignments, plus the raw data. Customers will have an opportunity to upgrade to include the health portion later for $125, if desired. The same chip is used and all new testers will be compared against the existing database, so this is not a separate product. 

If you have been waiting to test at 23andMe, now is the time. Order here

New Commercial:

This is the first commercial that specifically talks about relative matching instead of just ancestral origins. I think that is really exciting!

Press Release:

23andMe Offers $99 Genetic Ancestry Service

Mountain View, Calif. – September 21, 2016 – 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, is now offering its genetic ancestry service as a standalone product for $99. The service features 23andMe’s pioneering Ancestry Composition analysis, enabling customers to trace their lineage to 31 populations worldwide through their DNA. The service also includes DNA Relatives, an optional tool matching willing customers with close or distant relatives based on shared DNA. Customers purchasing the new ancestry service have the option to upgrade to 23andMe’s flagship health and ancestry product which includes an additional 60+ genetic reports on carrier status, wellness and physical traits.
“Our ancestry service is often the source of some of the most life-changing discoveries for our customers,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe. “Through the many stories our customers share with us, we see the incredible power of our science to connect people and expand their sense of self — redefining how they see their ancestry.”
The $99 genetic ancestry service analyzes genetic variants across all chromosomes to provide a breakdown of global ancestry by percentages. The average customer can trace their DNA to at least 5 different populations from around the world. Customers will also have their 23 pairs of chromosomes “painted” — a color-coded digital sketch unraveling your DNA, detailing the amount, or length, of specific ancestry on each chromosome.
Additionally, customers will have access to 23andMe’s DNA Relatives tool, allowing them to share and compare their DNA to that of other 23andMe customers, if they opt-in to do so. Ninety-five percent of 23andMe customers participating in DNA Relatives connect with a third degree cousin or closer relative. And for customers interested in ancient ancestors, our Neanderthal report tells people how much Neanderthal DNA they have.
“The story of human history is captured in our DNA,” said Joanna Mountain, Ph.D., 23andMe senior director of research.  “Our ancestry service unlocks that information, and helps you better understand who you are and where you came from. It also allows you to connect with relatives you may not have known, no matter where they are.”
Customers who purchase the ancestry product have the option to upgrade to 23andMe’s full health and ancestry service for an additional $125.

The company is also launching a new national television ad showcasing the ancestry experience. The $99 ancestry service is only available at

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading personal genetics company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has more than one million customers worldwide, with over 80 percent consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at

Media Contact(s)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Family Tree DNA Summer Sale Starts Now!

Family Finder autosomal DNA testing is on sale for only $69! This is a terrific price. 
Summer in Houston means relentless heat. Ruthless sunshine punctuated by the occasional thunderstorm. The hum of air conditioner compressors is the season’s soundtrack.
You know what else it means?
Yep. You got it. It means the Sizzlin’ Summer Sale is about to launch!
This summer the focus is on bundles that include Family Finder: Y37 + Family Finder, Y67 + Family Finder, FMS + Family Finder, and Comprehensive Genome (FF+Y67+FMS). The prices are in the chart below.
But wait - there’s more!
The heat must have gotten to Bennett because the only individual test he’s reduced pricing on is Family Finder, which will be $69. You read that right. $69 US DOLLARS!
(For those of you who are new and may not be aware, Bennett Greenspan is the founder and president of FTDNA.)
Not only has he set the Family Finder price ridiculously low, but he’s not giving us an end date for this sale. It could last a few days or a few weeks - we don’t know and he’s not telling!
So what we’re saying is, take advantage of these great prices while they’re hot!
Here’s the pricing
Retail Pricing
Sale Price
Group Price
Family Finder
Y37 + Family Finder
Y67 + Family Finder
Comprehensive Genome (FF+Y67+FMS)
FMS + Family Finder
**Please note - these bundles must remain bundles. If you buy at the sale price for future use, the entire bundle must be used on one tester. Canceling tests from the bundle will cause tests to revert to regular price.**
Order here

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Don't Miss "Your Genetic Genealogist" on 20/20 Friday night!

Tomorrow, Friday May 6th on ABC, 20/20 will cover a story that I have been working on for the last few months. 

Unbelievably, three babies were found abandoned within a five mile radius of each other over a five year period of time and DNA testing at AncestryDNA revealed that they all share the same mother. (More details are here.) See them reunite below.

Then, through testing the foundlings at 23andMe, we made another major discovery. Don't miss the entire story on 20/20 Friday night on ABC (check your local listings).

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DNA Day Sales at AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA

In honor of DNA Day, both AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA are offering discounts on their DNA kits. The sales have already started and will go until April 26. 

Family Tree DNA's autosomal DNA Family Finder test is only $79 ($20 off) and the Y-67 test is only $199 ($69 off). If you have been holding off on Y-DNA testing, now is a great time to do it. Also, if you have older family members that have not yet been tested at FTDNA, you may want to take the opportunity to purchase Family Finder in order to get their DNA into storage for future testing. FTDNA is the only company that guarantees access to our stored samples for future testing (although they cannot guarantee it will be viable). Upgrades on existing tests will go on sale in June, so if you already have a Y-DNA or mtDNA test and want to upgrade to a higher resolution, you will have an opportunity to do so then.  For those of you considering a Y-DNA test, you may want to start with Y-37 (on sale for $129) and see what you get as far as matches. Then, if your results are back in time and you need to narrow it down further, you could upgrade to Y-67 during the later sale. Click here to order.

AncestryDNA's kit is now $79 ($20 off) plus free shipping (use code FREESHIPDNA). With the free shipping, this is an especially good deal! Ancestry's database is huge now (well over 1.5 million!) and growing fast, so do not miss out on all you could discover by testing there. If you are ordering multiple kits, you may want to do so separately to take full advantage of the free shipping (works for only one kit per order). Click here to order.

AncestryDNA is also on sale for Canadians - $109 CAD plus $20 shipping ($40 off). Click here to order. 

**Update - 23andMe just sent me an email for $50 off up to three tests ($149 each) for Mother's Day, good through May 8th. This is apparently a targeted sale, so check your email to see if you received one.

Enjoy and best of luck on your research!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Don't Miss the Incredible Story DNA Uncovered for LL Cool J on "Finding Your Roots" Tonight

Tonight on "Finding Your Roots" the power of genetic genealogy will be showcased through LL Cool J's discovery that his mother was adopted and the search for her biological family.  When I first started working with his DNA over a year ago, it was clear that there was a story to be told and, finally, we are telling it. I will be appearing on the show to discuss some of the DNA analysis and our findings. Check your local PBS listings and don't miss it!

Dr. Gates and I discussing the DNA on tonight's episode
LL Cool J, me and Ondrea Smith (his mother)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Finding Your Roots, Season Three Premieres Tonight on PBS

Don't miss out, Season Three of "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr." premieres tonight on PBS (check your local listings) and will run every Tuesday night for ten weeks. The first episode features actor Ty Burrell, artist Kara Walker and author/political analyst Donna Brazile. I have written an article on some of the DNA analysis used for the show that should be posted in the next couple of days on the PBS site.

Read this great review of the series by Cal Thomas from the Washington Times. He writes, "Next to 'Downton Abbey,' which is again pulling large audiences for its sixth and final season, Mr. Gates' program (premiering Jan. 5th) is the best and most compelling television you will ever see."

I also have a new public Facebook page here. Please follow me there for more updates if you are on Facebook.