DNA education the easy way

YouTube videos

With all the online, video-based learning about genealogy going on these days, it’s no surprise that plenty of good information is available in that same video-based style about DNA testing in general, and for genealogical purposes as well.

What’s a little surprising to The Legal Genealogist is just how much good information there is on YouTube, including channels devoted to all three of the big testing companies — Family Tree DNA, 23andMe and AncestryDNA — as well as National Geographic’s Genographic Project, though offerings on the new Geno 2.0 are lacking so far.

When I think YouTube, I think cute cat videos, kids doing things they should never ever post online where their parents might ever see it, and … well … it’s not exactly where I’d expect to find serious teach-me-about-this videos.

So okay. I was wrong. Sue me.

Here’s what the major players have to offer. Dig in and enjoy.

Family Tree DNA’s YouTube Channel

Family Tree DNA is one of the newer players on YouTube with educational videos, though there are older presentations and interviews scattered around. Its flagship video on its current YouTube channel is this one:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The others currently in the line-up include:

FTDNA – discover the story of you

FAQ 1 Why choose FTDNA?

FAQ 2 How does it work?

FAQ 3 I’m new to this, can you help?

FAQ 4 What could I find?

FAQ 5 I am an adoptee can you help?

FAQ 7 Find specific ancestry.

FTDNA The largest databases in the world!

23andMe’s YouTube Channel

23andMe has been around on YouTube longer generally than the other two, although its educational offerings are limited. It has a number of playlists, but many include very short clips from advertising or videos uploaded by members talking about their own test results.

The flagship offering here is a set of four videos in a playlist entitled Genetics 101. It leads off with this one:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The other three are:

     •  Genetics 101 Part 2: What are SNPs?

     •  Genetics 101 Part 3: Where do your genes come from?

     •  Genetics 101 Part 4: What are Phenotypes?

And 23andMe’s other playlists are:

23andMe Interviews

Member Stories

23andMe: Super Fans

See them spit

Matt takes a Journey with 23andMe

Human Prehistory 101

Journey through your DNA™ (for much a younger crowd).

AncestryDNA’s YouTube Playlist

As the newest entrant to the very popular autosomal testing field, AncestryDNA has the fewest offerings overall, with its flagship being Crista Cowan’s presentation:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Others that it offers are more general. One is a news clip from a California testing company:

     • AncestryDNA Member Makes an Amazing Discovery

The other is an advertisement:

     • Introducing AncestryDNA™

The Genographic Project

It’s a lot harder to dig out the videos on National Geographic’s Genographic Project, and there really aren’t any YouTube videos specifically on the new Geno 2.0 Project yet except this brief introduction:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

But well worth the time and effort are the original piece from nearly five years ago when Geno 1.0 was launched — The Genographic Project, a new video called Spencer Wells Describes Genographic Project, and all 13 parts of The Journey of Man.

And, of course, you can always watch the Genographic Project’s own video on Geno 2.0.

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10 Responses to DNA education the easy way

  1. Linda Vert says:

    We were just talking about this topic Judy and once again you have hit it out of the park! Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and information.

  2. Celia Lewis says:

    Thanks so much for this great aggregation of genealogy videos, Judy. Kimberley Powell did a great intro to DNA on an APG webinar last week, which was excellent. And we thought once we finished school/university we were done learning! Cheers.

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      NEVER done learning, Celia! I learn something new with every blog post I do — and usually more than one thing! As for the APG webinars, there were two of them, both presented by Roberta Estes of DNAeXplained, moderated by Kimberly Powell (APG Vice President and the About.com Genealogy guide), so you can’t get a much better combination than that. What’s wonderful about the APG webinars is that they’re archived and available afterwards in the APG members’ section — a great reason to belong to APG!

  3. This is great, Judy! What a contribution — I’m going to save your URL and watch these before I decide what DNA testing to do. Of course, it would help if some of my long-lost relatives would answer my letters so that I could have other candidates whose DNA I could test. But this is wonderful preparation for the future.

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      There’s a lot of good information online, Mariann, and lots of folks (me included) to ask before you make your final decision on what and who to test!

  4. Julie Tarr says:

    Thanks for compiling this post. This is a topic that is completely foreign to me, but something I’m trying to learn about in hopes of using it with my stepfather’s adoption research. I attended that two webinars that Roberta Estes did for APG last week…they were both great, but I need more info. Will be checking these videos out soon!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Glad I could help, Julie. Understanding how best to use these resources for adoption is tough. I have a (new to me) cousin-by-DNA who’s adopted and I’m so very hopeful that we’ll be able to find our common ancestor… and her roots.

  5. Randy says:

    Thank you for this information. Your webpage is great and has helped me greatly.

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