Articles Comments


Ancestry is Putting You in Charge of Your Searches!

Ancestry’s New Search Sensitivity Adjustment Slider Choices This week revealed that they are adding the ability to let users choose how loosely or tightly the search algorithms adhere to the keywords you’ve entered. The problem with any search engine is that if you narrow the search to tightly match a keyword, you will eliminate the inevitable errors that lie in records created by human beings, variations in name spellings, typos in birth dates, or paperwork that is misfiled. On the…Read More … Read entire article »



Extended families often meet at family reunions. Pictured are the Armagost family reunion in 1901. What is a Cousin? Most of us have one or more in our modern nuclear families. We generally think of them as our aunt’s or uncle’s child. Some of us even are familiar with a second cousin who is the grand child of our grandparents but is not our sibling. But genealogists talk about more distant cousins and it’s often hard to distinguish what genealogists mean…Read More … Read entire article »

23andMe – Show Close Relatives Button

The first time you visit the DNA-R page you will see blue text that says, “Show Close Relatives”. Select that text to see your closer relatives on your DNA-R list. Show Close Relatives The main reason adoptees and genealogists buy a DNA kit from 23andMe is to find relatives, preferably close relatives, to help them recreate or verify their family tree. Genealogists are generally trying to either break through brick walls — ancestors whose parents aren’t known — or verify that…Read More … Read entire article »

My Tale of Adoption in the Detroit Free Press

Me at a young age with my adopted mother, Mary Thelma (Kim) (Smoyer) Jarvis on upper left. Myself and my mother’s father Grampa Smoyer upper right, lower left is me and my adopted father Maurice Edward Jarvis and with his mom Laura (Chabot) Jarvis and a dark haired lady I can’t identify.   I Started Out as a Small Adopted Child I got very lucky and met a reporter who was interested in my adoption story and in searching for my birth…Read More … Read entire article »

23andMe Ancestry Composition V3

New Ancestry Composition at 23andMe Recently, 23andMe came out with their third ethnicity calculator. As DNA mavens know, Ancestry DNA came out with a new version of their Ethnicity calculator this year and it broke down the African continent – something 23andMe has been promising for a long time. Finally in response, 23andMe has presented it’s breakdown for the African Continent. Congrats to those that are helped by that!I don’t know enough about non-European genealogy to even guess how accurate it…Read More … Read entire article »

Parent/Child DNA Profile vs Siblings

Parents and Children match continuously across the chromosome.   There has been a question about what a parent child DNA profile looks like vs siblings. Here are two example shots. Be aware that the parent child example here also has a blue segment that is in common with me. I share no DNA with the siblings so there are no blue segments there. Even if a siblings shared exactly 50%, it would not be distributed the same as a Parent/Child is….Read More … Read entire article »

23andMe Site Makeover – Color That Site! Will Save Your Aching Eyes

New 23andMe Home Page Middle 23andMe Site Make Over 23andMe’s new site makeover has given me a headache — literally! After months of negative feedback, 23andMe has gone ahead with it’s ill-thought-out site make over. Not only is this a waste of effort compared to things that have needed fixed for years (Hello — the email system is 98% Neandertal!) but the gleaming white background has made yours truly unable to even fairly review the changes because within minutes my eyes…Read More … Read entire article »

23andMe Site Redesign – Where Is the Site Search Function?

Search Link for 23andMe For my reader’s convenience, I’m putting the link to a search page at the top of the story: Click Here to Search 23andMe New Design Despite feedback from ‘experienced’ users that they didn’t like the new beta site, 23andMe has rolled it out to everyone. I have to admit, I’m not fond of it. For one, it now overrides my background settings forcing me to look at a bright white screen. I work on my computer 12 hours or more…Read More … Read entire article » Raw DNA — Hint: Is It Phased!?

Ancestry Raw DNA File shown by Allele Starting today customers of’s DNA service can download their raw data. As predicted by yours truly, (over the objections of the DNA police) it’s build 37 and Phased! What does this mean to you? Download How To Download Ancestry Raw DNA – Settings Page First, go to your ‘Your DNA Homepage’ on the DNA drop-down at Once there, click ‘Manage Test Settings to the right of the orange ‘View Results’ button. Then click,…Read More … Read entire article »