More and more people are having autosomal DNA tests done-- the "Family Finder" test at Family Tree DNA, the "AncestryDNA" test at Ancestry, or "DNA Relatives" at 23andMe. These tests look at portions of all 23 pairs of autosomal chromosomes, can be taken by both men and women, and reflect a person's total ancestry-- unlike the Y-DNA test, which is restricted to men and traces back the direct patralineal line.
You get half of your DNA from your mother, and half from your father. Your parents got half of their DNA from their mother and half from father, etc., so you basically get 1/4 your DNA from each grandparent, 1/8 from each great-grandparent, 1/16 from each great-great-grandparent, etc. The further back a specific ancestor is, the less likely that his or her DNA made it down to you. But a chunk from a specific ancestor four, six, or more generations back may have made it down to you, or to a sibling, and there's a better chance that a chunk made it to a parent, and even more likely, to a grandparent.
If you're not familiar with autosomal DNA testing or how it can be used in genealogy, here are some helpful links:
Since you're reading this, you probably have a Slaven/Slavin/Slevin/etc. ancestor, and you'd like to connect with your (perhaps distant) cousins. However, that can be a complicated process. Perhaps you were tested at Family Tree DNA, but the potential distant cousin was tested at Ancestry. Perhaps you and/or the cousin don't have a gedcom on file where you were tested. (I'm guilty of that one...)
So to help put cousins together, I'm starting the Slaven Cousins DNA Registry.
Unlike Y-DNA test results, where participants have a manageable number of results to display and compare, an autosomal test's result is a huge file of data that would not be possible to display in a simple table here at slavens.net. And most people don't deal with that big file of results. They just care about the lists of the other customers that they match, and how distant the match is. If they're really into it, they may use a tool on the testing company's website that will graphically display where on each chromosome that they match a specific person. Building such a tool into this website, so that people tested at different companies could compare results, would be a major undertaking-- and it's unnecessary! There's an independent website that has that tool and more: (GEDmatch, which we'll talk about later.
Instead, the Slaven Cousins DNA Registry will be a simple table listing information about the person tested, to facilitate comparison and contact.
Name or handle: Optional. I'd encourage people to include their name and/or email, since the whole purpose of
testing and the project is to make connections with cousins to determine shared ancestors.
Email address: Because of concerns from a couple people about spammers harvesting their email address from the table, this field has been removed. People who tested at the same company or who are on GEDmatch can contact matches through those interfaces. If you have not been tested-- or have been tested at a different company-- and wish to contact someone in the registry, email me and I'll put you in touch.
Testing company: Where you have been tested; if you've been tested multiple places, you can have multiple entries in the table.
GEDmatch ID: If you've uploaded your results to GEDmatch (more on that later), the kit number assigned.
Ancestors: Briefly, your Slaven/Slavin/Slevin/etc. background. You can list several generations if known, and the married name of your ancestor if your line goes through a Slaven/Slavin/Slevin/etc. daughter. For a fictious example, "Moses Slavin, b. 1750 Massachusetts, Noah Slavin b. 1780 New Jersey, Hannah Slavin Smith b. 1805 New Jersey."
To be listed in the autosomal results table, please email me with the information above.
Since distant cousins may have chosen different companies for their autosomal DNA test, how can they compare their DNA? They can do so through tools at GEDmatch.com. You can download your raw results from your testing company-- there are good instructions at GEDmatch about how to do so-- and upload them to GEDmatch. You can also upload a gedcom file. Having a gedcom available can be a big help in figuring out how you connect to your matches!
Once you have a uploaded your results at GEDmatch, you can compare your DNA against everyone else who's submitted their results, regardless of which companies did the original testing. You can search gedcoms for full or partial names, birth and/or death place, include parents, etc. This can help you find a cousin who is so distant that you no longer have any matching DNA.
Do you have an idea to make the autosomal project more useful? Let me know!
Copyright © 2017 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.