Announcing the Genetic Genealogy Standards

Today, at the first annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Colloquium, the final draft of the Genetic Genealogy Standards were officially announced and released!

The standards are the work of a wonderful group of people, and have been in the works for over a year (see “DNA Standards and Certification – A Response to an NGS Quarterly Editorial” and “Announcing the Creation of Genetic Genealogy Standards“). Thanks in large part to a very productive comment period in May and June of 2013 in which more than 75 comments were provided, the document has been fine-tuned and we believe it is an excellent source of guidelines.

There will be lots more to come, including guidelines for Y-DNA and mtDNA testing and interpretation, as well as some guidance for citing DNA test results in reports, scholarship, and in general. Stay Tuned!

The Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee
CeCe Moore
Blaine Bettinger
David Bachinsky
Traci Barela
Katherine Borges
Angie Bush
Melinde Lutz Byrne
Shannon S Christmas
George T. Cicila
Michael Hait
Tim Janzen
James M Owston
Ana Oquendo Pabón
Ugo Perego
Steven C. Perkins
Ann Turner
Debbie Parker Wayne
Jennifer Zinck










12 Responses

  1. Nathan W. Murphy 10 January 2015 / 2:57 pm

    One question — why is so much space dedicated to what DNA can’t tell you (limitations)? Are people misusing the information?

    • Blaine Bettinger 12 January 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Nathan – that is correct. There is a lot of bad instruction and information given to new and potential test-takers about what DNA will or won’t be able to do for them. Since the benefits of DNA are so commonly over-promised, we felt it was necessary that all genealogists and test-takers understand the limitations of DNA testing.

  2. Bonnie 10 January 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Congrats, I know how challenging it is to develop standards! I’ve worked at developing and writing standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for over 20 years. Has the genealogical community ever considered having their standards under the ANSI umbrella?

    • Blaine Bettinger 12 January 2015 / 6:16 pm

      Bonnie – thank you! As far as I know, no one has considered that. It is an interesting idea.

      • Bonnie 12 January 2015 / 8:11 pm

        Thanks, it would be a way for the U.S. to document a standard and move it forward to become an international standard. Worldwide genealogy consistency!

  3. Debbie Kennett 11 January 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Well done to everyone involved. You’ve done an excellent job.

  4. steve musgrave 12 February 2015 / 4:00 pm

    this is a much needed standard there are some really poor companys out there that give ridiculous results for whatever reason. By that I mean on eor more companies show a dna origion in ine with the erson genealogy and history,while thye come up with something out of left field
    Recently or fun I sent my DNA to prosapia dna the company that claims it can find your exact point of dna combination.
    “GPS finds a point of origin for an individual, such as a village, town or country, where one’s DNA was formed by combination of several gene pools from populations coming together and creating a genetic line that would eventually lead to the individual being analyzed. Historic examples of such population mixing events in Europe are most commonly found in the early Middle Ages”

    Any way according to them I am 32 % African Pygmy. I have no African gees save Mitochondrial Eve ,and three other tests nat Negro,Ancestry 23 adn em show British Isles and a little scandi/low Dutch etc. When I asked them about this they responded an error your algorithm. No offer of re due or refund just that. Sorry we screwed up thanks for the money.

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