Tag Archives: dna

FamilyTree DNA Sale Today and Tomorrow

National DNA Day (April 20, 2012)

Today is National DNA Day, and in honor of this FamilyTreeDNA is having a sale on all its new testing kits, and many of their upgrade kits. If you’ve been holding of getting started with genetic genealogy, or on getting an upgrade on one of your tests, this is your chance to do it a little cheaper. To find out more about how to get started, see my discussion of the topic in an earlier post titled Thinking about trying genetic genealogy?. I also wrote a much more detailed description of Y-DNA (patrilineal) and mtDNA (matrilineal) in my post Using DNA for Genealogy: Y-DNA and mtDNA. For those of you hoping there would be a discount on the Y-DNA 111 test, or the upgrade to it, unfortunately it does not seem to be discounted. No coupons are needed, all the prices are automatically discounted until the end of the day tomorrow.

Discounts in the current sale:

New Kits
Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
mtDNA $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $238 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $249
Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA $179 $118
FF + Y-DNA 12 $339 $258
FF + mtDNA $339 $258
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67) $797 $657
Upgrades
Y-DNA 12 $89 $59
mtDNA add-on $89 $59
Y-DNA 12-37 Marker $99 $69
Y-DNA 37-67 Marker $99 $79
Y-DNA 12-67 Marker $199 $148
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence add-on $289 $219
Family Finder add-on $289 $199

So check out the sale and get started.

FamilyTreeDNA 2011 Holiday Sale

I’ve discussed genetic genealogy a few times before (in this introduction to a previous sale, and in an article on Y-DNA and mtDNA). If you’ve been interested in trying it out, you can take advantage of FamilyTreeDNA’s Holiday Sale through the end of December. Examples of price reductions include:

Y-DNA37 for $119 instead of $169 ($50 off) – men only
Y-DNA67 for $199 instead of $268 ($69 off) – men only

mtDNAFullSequence for $239 instead of $299 ($60 off) – men and women

FamilyFinder for $199 instead of $289 ($90 off) – men and women

FamilyFinder + Y-DNA37 for $318 instead of $438 ($120 off) – men only
FamilyFinder + mtDNAPlus for $318 instead of $428 ($120 off) – men and women
FamilyFinder + mtDNAFullSequence for $435 instead of $559 ($124 off) – men and women

SuperDNA (Y-DNA67 + mtDNAFullSequence) for $438 instead of $548 ($110 off) – men only
Comprehensive Genome (SuperDNA + FamilyFinder) for $627 instead of $837 ($210 off) – men only

No special coupon is needed. Just go to the Products page and the price reductions should already be shown.

If you’ve successfully used DNA testing to further your genealogy research, post about it in the comments.

Perceptions of Relationship

In a project I’m working on I have been giving some thought to how we relate to others, but also how we perceive we relate to others. These are not necessarily the same. Certainly it’s possible to be closer socially with cousins that are more distantly related than other cousins, but that’s a choice. What I am thinking about is how we actually perceive we are related to others, and are we right? How would we judge that in any case?

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the traditional ‘cousin calculator’ chart, such the the one below (click to enlarge):

Traditional Cousin Calculator Chart

For those of you unfamiliar with how a cousin calculator works, you take two people and determine their common ancestor. You move in one direction (i.e. along the top) from the common ancestor until you reach the relationship of the first person to the common ancestor. You then move in the other direction (i.e. down along the side) until you reach the relationship of the second person to the common ancestor. The box where those two lines merge is the relationship between the two people. For example, if you are the great-grandchild and someone else is the grandchild of a common ancestor, you move along the top to the third column for great-grandchild, and down to the second row for the grandchild, and the box that is in the 3rd column and the second row is 1st Cousin, Once Removed.

If you take a close look, you’ll notice I’ve color-coded the chart how I think we normally perceive relationships. Essentially, our sibling and parents are one degree away, our nieces/nephews and 1st cousins are two degrees away, and so forth. A second cousin is generally perceived as one degree further away from us than a first cousin. A first cousin, once removed is, at least to me, in the same category as a second cousin, and that’s what this chart shows.

Now how can we actually determine how closely we’re related? One simple method is by how much DNA we share. If we add in the percentage of DNA present between any two relatives to the chart it looks a bit different (click to enlarge):

DNA Cousin Calculator Chart

Note in the above chart that I’ve changed the color coding to match the percentages of shared DNA. The colors no long take a box shape around the common ancestor, but instead move out in the straight line. What we can see by looking at the numbers is that actually the degree of relationship is moving twice as fast as we perceived before. From a first cousin to a second cousin, the amount of shared DNA is one quarter, not one half. We perceive the second cousin as being twice as distant a relative as a first cousin, but from the perspective of DNA, they are actually four times as distant!

I know one of my 5th cousins, and we share just 0.049% DNA. That’s a half of a tenth of a percent. Not very much. Anyways, this was just an attempt to create some kind of objective view of family relationships. Of course, nothing having to do with family is really objective, right?