Category: Ancestry

Dancing with 23andMe

The dance is sort of a gnome-like jig — all knees and elbows and no hint of cool — but where Matt Harding gets you is in his pure unabashed release of happiness. As you watch, a smile creeps across your face. You can’t help yourself. For almost a decade, Matt has cobbled together the most unlikely of ...

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s Distant Cousins

Editors note: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the name of Mrs. Obama's maternal great-great grandfather. The correct name is Henry Wells Shields. A story in Sunday’s New York Times about first lady Michelle Obama’s distant white relatives echoes some of what we’ve seen more and more of ...

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23andMe at the Genealogy Jamboree

With assorted schwag in hand, our team of elite 23andMers headed to Burbank last weekend to pass out a few free kits, some t-shirts and mingle with some of the most committed genealogists on the planet. Mike Macpherson ready to answer a few ancestry questions. This year’s Southern California Genealogy ...

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Three Degrees of Genetic Separation

(Click to enlarge) While the PBS series Finding Your Roots made only passing reference to connections between guests, the truth is that each guest is separated from each other guest by at most three degrees -- genetically. What the graph above shows is a simplified view of just some of the connections ...

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A Sneak Peek at 23andMe’s New Ancestry Features

Over the next three days, a crack team from 23andMe will be at the annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, to inject even more fun into the event while also offering tips on using genetics in genealogical searches. Most exciting for us is that the team is offering a sneak peek ...

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Make That Three Degrees of Separation

Check out this post to see an illustration of the three degrees of separation between guests on Finding Your Roots. When we learn about our ancestors, who they were and where they came from, the discoveries become part of how we define ourselves and how we understand ourselves to be unique. The PBS series ...

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Who Were the Parents of Jacob Youngman?

During the series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  on PBS, The Spittoon  featured posts from 23andMe’s Ancestry Ambassadors. This is the last of their own stories about using DNA to dig into ancestry. By Tim Janzen, M.D. For over 30 years I have been trying to determine the ancestry of my ...

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The “Uniqueness” of Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry is Important for Health

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have ...

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DNA USA

Bryan Sykes, the evolutionary geneticist at Oxford University and the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve, is adding to his oeuvre of popular work on genetics with his new book, DNA USA, A Genetic Portrait of America. As with his previous work, Sykes breaks down some of the complicated aspects of genetics ...

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Zero in on Mexican Ancestry on Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo. This day commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France in the Battle of Puebla (not Mexican independence day as is commonly believed), but is more widely observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. There are different ways to celebrate ...

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