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DNA doesn’t lie!

… or does it? It’s one of the most-commonly-repeated statements in genetic genealogy: “DNA doesn’t lie.” It’s usually coupled with: “Families do.” And The Legal Genealogist isn’t going to take on either of those. But — as with...

The 23andMe class action

Opt in or opt out Yes, it really is for real. No, it’s not a scam. Yes, you will need to act to get the maximum benefit from it. “It,” in this case, is the settlement of a class action lawsuit against 23andMe that was handled by way of arbitration through the...

Confirming Isabella

Confirming Isabella Another solid X-match It’s always comforting when the DNA evidence matches the paper trail. Especially when you’ve spent as much time researching a paper trail as The Legal Genealogist has spent on her second great grandmother, Isabella...

Helping Houston

…while helping ourselves Sometimes it just takes that little extra something to push us over into pulling the DNA testing trigger. That little additional nudge that says: Now. Now is the time. Go ahead. Do it. And being able to help others, particularly those so...

DNA at FGS2017

One day to go for DNA It’s conference time again, and hundreds of genealogists are already on their way to or happily ensconced in Pittsburgh for the 2017 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. There are events today for librarians, and Society...

Help with DNA for adoptees

Legal and DNA resources She is 68 years old, and was born in Virginia. Her mother, as far as she knows, is her biological mother. But the man named on her birth certificate is not her biological father. She was adopted by him, and her birth certificate amended to...

Estate planning for DNA

Designate a beneficiary “Test the oldest generation first” is the standard advice everyone — The Legal Genealogist included — gives when it comes to DNA testing. It only makes sense, particularly in the context of autosomal DNA testing, when every...

The truth will out

Before the now-adult child tests “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” — Edward Fitzgerald, Omar Khayyám There is one unavoidable...

Whence the DNA differences?

Why results aren’t always the same Reader Michelle Schohn found herself confronting a fairly common conundrum with her autosomal DNA test results. “I took DNA tests in 23andme and Ancestry, and uploaded the results to gedmatch.com,” she wrote. “The tests are not...

That YDNA lament

No matches? No testers! It’s a common complaint in one very common group: “I don’t have any close YDNA matches!” The speaker in this case, as in so many cases, is German-American. Roughly one in seven Americans has some German ancestry,1 though a far...