Friday, August 27, 2021

Wading in Unfamiliar Waters - DNA Painter


Taking a look at a couple of new (to me) things. New tools for my toolbox. I’m just beginning to give them a try. I wonder if they’ll be useful for me. Part I discussed WikiTree. Here's DNA Painter.

DNA Painter   

It’s been just a few days since I discovered DNA Painter. I’ve only scratched the surface, but I love it. DNA Painter is free. Here’s a quote from a Google search for DNA Painter: 

“DNA Painter is an easy-to-use tool that helps genealogists make sense of DNA testing. By mapping segments of DNA to chromosomes, we can begin to see which ancestors gave us which pieces of DNA, and thus how new matches are related. ... “This is the most user friendly, easy to use mapping tool.”

Your DNA testing site will show you where your matches fit onto your chromosomes. You may upload data from any DNA site that has your data. This is how a first cousin matches me.

Bringing that data into DNA Painter will show an identical map.

Then you can bring in other DNA matches that will be added to your chromosome map. Here’s an example of a portion of my chromosome map after adding a few more matches:

The different colors indicate which ancestor (or ancestors) is the source of that DNA segment.

The very many available tools permit analysis and give an opportunity to make valid inferences about matches where you do not know the ancestral source of the DNA. Although this is free, there is a subscription option that includes more tools.

I don’t yet know enough about it to be able to explain further, but a Google search will find many sites with information and help.  Here are a few links:

DNA Painter review – Is it the best tool for DNA visualization?

 I’m Hooked on DNA Painter. You Should Be, Too.

DNA Q&A: Do I Need DNA Painter?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Wading in Unfamiliar Waters - WikiTree


Taking a look at a couple of new (to me) things. New tools for my toolbox. I’m just beginning to give them a try. I wonder if they’ll be useful for me.


Community family trees have always been off-putting for me.  While I love Family Search, my tree there is just a stub because I don’t like the idea of others being able to make changes without my approval. WikiTree, however presents itself as a collaborative world tree. My present understanding is that I “manage” the people I put there and others cannot make changes at will.

It is labor intensive because each person must be added individually – a pain if you’re doing manual entry, but it is also time consuming if you upload a large GEDcom file.

That’s what I did. Uploaded a GEDcom with more than 2,000 people. WikiTree then scans its database to find who in your file matches someone they already have. So I ended up with a HUGE table of names from my tree that did not have a match. 

The good news is that you can add people from your file, and all of the information from your GEDcom is added to WikiTree.  At first glance, I could not figure out how the entries in the table were sorted. It seemed to be alphabetical, but there were areas that seemed out of place. I did a lot of scrolling up and down the pages of the table.

In the end, I added my tree up to and including my great grandparents. My patience had evaporated by that time.  I do intend to go back and add my great aunts and uncles

Friday, August 20, 2021

Ancestry DNA Test – finally


Finally doing an DNA test. I’ve resisted doing a DNA test from because I didn’t think that it would give me any better information that I have from the 23andme and My Heritage tests. I’ll be surprised if it does.

I did 23andme when I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I wanted some idea of my daughter’s vulnerability.

A few years later I did the MyHeritage test because the protocol was newer and I’m hoping to find cousins in Poland. MyHeritage has a huge presence in Europe.

I am not now actively pursuing my Polish heritage. I think that I’ve traced my ancestors as far back as is practical for Polish peasants – the late 18th century. So I’ve moved into a different phase – finding more cousins and learning about them.

That brings me to the Ancestry DNA test. There seem to be many trees that list my known relatives but are posted by people I don’t know. My hope is to find dozens of matches that will introduce me to more distant cousins.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ancestry’s newest revenue stream: Your photos and documents.


This is old news by now. claims ownership of every image on your family tree. This includes photos of people or images of documents that you’ve uploaded, such as letters or personal documents. They reserve the right to use our images for whatever purpose they choose.  

·       Advertising

·       Promotion

·       Educational videos

·       Anything else they want to do with our images.

While I doubt that any of my photos would ever have any commercial value, I resent that they would be appropriated by an organization that has no connection or interest in them other than producing revenue.

I have deleted all photos of people in my tree on Ancestry.

But here’s the thing: If others have added your photos to their trees, those images are still available to Ancestry unless they’ve also been deleted from those other trees.

Several blogger have written about this, but I  think that the best is from Dear Myrtle "

The Sky is Falling, Or Is It? #Ancestry TOS Challenges

Just plain greed.