Tag Archives: genetic genealogy

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?

36 Hour FamilyTreeDNA Sale

Celebrating reaching 15,000 fans on Facebook, FamilyTreeDNA is having a 36-hour sale on their genetic genealogy tests. FamilyTreeDNA has previously had sales when they reached 5,000 and 10,000 fans. Unlike those earlier sales, there is no special code needed for this sale. Discounts are as much as $200 (for the Comprehensive Genome bundle).

I’ve previously written about using genetic tests for genealogy, first briefly when FamilyTreeDNA had their 10,000 fan sale, and then again in more detail in my article Using DNA for Genealogy: Y-DNA and mtDNA.

The sale ends midnight on Tuesday, September 27th (Central Time).

Their official announcement:

Thank you for helping us reach 15,000 LIKES on our Facebook page! To show how much we like you too we’re offering a 36-HOUR SALE! Please help us spread the word!*

Start: Monday, September 26 (TODAY) at 12:00pm CDT
End: Tuesday, September 27 at 11:59pm CDT

For NEW customers:
Y-DNA 12 . . . $59 (was $99) (via projects only)
mtDNA . . . $59 (was $99) (via projects only)

Y-DNA 37 . . . $129 (was $149)
Family Finder . . . $199 (was $289)
mtFullSequence (FGS) . . . $229 (was $299)

Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA . . . $118 (was $179) (via projects only)
Family Finder + Y-DNA 12 . . . $248 (was $339)
Family Finder + mtDNA . . . $248 (was $339)

Family Finder + Y-DNA 37 . . . $328 (was $438)
Family Finder + mtFullSequence . . . $398 (was $559)
Comprehensive Genome (Family Finder + mtFullSequence + Y-DNA67) . . . $597 (was $797)

Upgrades & Add-Ons for CURRENT customers:
mtDNA add-on $59 . . . (was $89)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $269)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $239)
mtFullSequence add-on . . . $219 (was $289)
Family Finder add-on . . . $199 (was $289)

Prices will be automatically adjusted on the Family Tree DNA website — no coupon code needed! Important: Promotional orders need to be paid for by the end of this sale. Visit us at http://www.familytreedna.com/ to order now.

We hope this limited-time sale will give you yet another reason to “LIKE” us!

Thank you for your support!

Family Tree DNA
___________________________________

This offer ends TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, 2011 11:59pm CDT.

* You do not need to be a member of Facebook to take advantage of this offer. Payment must be received at the time of your order. Valid only on products listed. No substitutions. No adjustments will be made on previous purchases. This promotion is not valid in combination with any other promotions. Family Tree DNA reserves the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized or ineligible use of discounts and to modify or cancel these promotional discounts due to system error or unforeseen problems. Subject to change without notice.

Have you used genetic tests for genealogy from FamilyTreeDNA or other companies? What has been your experience, good or bad? Have you made connections to cousins using genetic genealogy? Share your experiences in the comments.

FamilyTree DNA Upgrade Sale (June 15-22)

For those who have already purchased tests from FamilyTree DNA, they are offering a sale for the next week when ordering upgrades to those tests. For example, if you had a 12-marker Y-DNA test, you can receive a discount for ordering the upgrade to 25, 37, or 67 markers. No discount on the 111-marker test it seems, but I guess that’s to be expected since it is so new. The biggest discount is on the Family Finder test, which is $199 instead of the normal $289.

The upgrades that are discounted include:


Family Finder Was $289 Now $199
Y-DNA 12 to 25 Was $49 Now $35
Y-DNA 12 to 37 Was $99 Now $69
Y-DNA 12 to 67 Was $189 Now $148
Y-DNA 25 to 37 Was $49 Now $35
Y-DNA 25 to 67 Was $148 Now $114
Y-DNA 37 to 67 Was $99 Now $79
mt to FMS Was $269 Now $229
mtPlus to FMS Was $239 Now $199



The sale runs from June 15 through June 22. To get these prices, you must log in to FamilyTree DNA using your kit number and password, and then click on the ‘Special Offers’ link on the left-hand navigation bar.

If you’re new to genetic genealogy and want to get a discount for a new test, I suggest ‘Liking’ FamilyTree DNA on Facebook. They offered one-day discounts when they reached 5,000 and 10,000 followers, and have promised to do the same when they reach 15,000 followers. As I write this they’re currently at 12,208 people who like their page, so it will probably be sometime in the next month or two that they will reach 15,000. If you use Facebook, then Like FamilyTree DNA and watch the Like count so you will know when they announce their sale (which will be on their Facebook page).