Family Tree DNA Updates Matching Thresholds

Family Tree DNA will be updating its matching thresholds in the very near future (QC is currently being run). Here’s a flowchart of the modified matching algorithm:

FTDNA_Matching_Algorithm

From FTDNA’s announcement (modified to indicate that the changes are coming very soon):

You asked for it – we listened!

For several years the genetic genealogy community has asked for adjustments to the matching thresholds in the Family Finder autosomal test.

Currently, the current matching thresholds – the minimum amount of shared DNA required for two people to show as a match are:

– Minimum longest block of at least 7.69 cM for 99% of testers, 5.5 cM for the other one percent

– Minimum 20 total shared centiMorgans

Some people believed those thresholds to be too restrictive, and through the years requested changes that would loosen those restrictions.

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Connections to the Past

As genealogists, we often have the privilege to connect with relatives who have memories that stretch back much further than our own. Sometimes these connections are long-lasting, and sometimes they are very brief. But every one of these connections enrich our understanding of the past, and help keep alive ancestors that live on only in their memories.

Millie

A smiling Millie with her parents Hamilton and Grace (Widrig) Colwell, and her baby.

On June 1, 2002, I had the privilege to meet Mildred “Millie” Leet, who lived 3 hours away in Corning, New York. I’d briefly corresponded by mail with Millie about our shared ancestors, the Colwell Family of Ellisburg, New York. She was the great-grandchild of the immigrant couple Hamilton and Susanna (Stein/Steen) Caldwell/Colwell, my ancestors as well, and she was born just 20 years or so after their death.

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Announcing “Genetic Genealogy in Practice” – A New Book Providing Genealogists with the Skills to Understand and Apply DNA

GGPEDIT: See Debbie’s post here: “New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice” with lots more detail!

May 3, 2016 – Genetic genealogy educators and bloggers Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D., JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, announce Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the newest book in the National Genealogical Society’s Special Topic Series. GGP will be available for purchase in mid-summer 2016.

Genetic Genealogy in Practice is directed to genealogists of all levels, from beginner to intermediate to advanced. For the very first time, GGP offers hands-on exercises in areas of Y-DNA, mtDNA, X-DNA, atDNA, the Genealogical Proof Standard, ethics, and more. Genealogists can test their understanding and expertise in each of these subject areas via 75+ hands-on exercises, and will receive immediate feedback from an answer key that provides detailed explanations for every exercise.

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