Announcing ‘Side Study’ Blog Category

While this website is primarily focused on the Goals of the Peter Staple Heritage Group, sometimes we get distracted. A necessary component of Genetic Genealogy is of course Genealogy, where it’s easy to spend time diving down the other (non-paternal) branches of the family tree. In fact, many people may get their first interest in genealogy by that Ancestry.com commercial or the hand written scroll given to you by your uncle.

Side Study blog posts will serve as general information related to genealogy – not specifically to the study of Y-DNA. They may be personal lessons learned along the way, methods to push us to acting more like professional genealogists, or interesting discoveries.

In the end, genetic genealogy teaches us that it’s all related. There are things to learn in the practice of genealogy that will be helpful when studying genetic genealogy.

Have you come across something interesting that could help others? Want to contribute your own Side Study? Comment below!

PSHG and GDPR

You may be aware that a new European Union Regulation related to General Data Protection (referred to as GDPR) goes into affect on Friday, May 25, 2018.  I have done my best to analyze the PSHG Group Administrative functions with respect to GDPR and presented the findings, along with some changes that have already taken place, and some more changes that will come to the PSHG Membership.

In general, I believe the PSHG’s risk level of being non-compliant or facing any kind of penalty for non-compliance is very, very low.  The EU has aimed GDPR directly at big companies like Facebook, Google, etc. to comply or face financial risk.  However, companies like Ancestry and FTDNA must also comply since they service European Union Citizens (and for the sake of this topic, the UK has it’s own similar legislation and is so far covered under the EU).  The protections offered by GDPR are manageable for a small group like ours and make common sense.  For example, you have a right to know what personal information is held by group administrators and you have a right to be forgotten (data removed).  While most of the membership are American Citizens (and not directly impacted by GDPR), we do have, and continue to seek and welcome EU/UK potential cousins in order to further the goals of the PSHG.  Therefore, it makes perfect sense that we make some minor adjustments and do our best to comply with GDPR.

The report sent to PSHG Members included more information about GDPR and what the PSHG has done and will do to prepare:

  • Definitions and possible interpretations
  • Rights of DNA project members
  • FamilyTreeDNA Announcement & Changes
  • PSHG Privacy Statement
  • DO’s for DNA Project Admins
  • DON’Ts for DNA Project Admins
  • Personal Data Held by Administrators

Please visit our Goals & Membership page to see our new privacy statement.

Please contact the Group Administrator if you have any questions related to GDPR and the PSHG.

References:

  1. https://dna-explained.com/category/gdpr/
  2. https://isogg.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation
  3. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/reg/2016/679/oj
  4. https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/pshp/about
  5. https://peterstapleheritagegroup.com/

FTDNA New Sign In Page & Backbone SNP Pack

FamilyTreeDNA.com made a couple of announcements this past week.

First, a new sign in page.  You shouldn’t notice any difference in behavior.  For Project Administrators it clarifies that either a Kit Number or GAP Username can be used to login.  If you have a bookmark or favorite saved, you might need to update it to: https://www.familytreedna.com/sign-in

FTDNA Sign In

There were also some changes to their Password settings:

  • The Password Reset will send a link to the kit’s primary email address.  If you have any issues with this, contact an administrator.
  • While the password qualification still between 5 – 25 characters, passwords are now case sensitive.

The second announcement came in a new product offer – “R1b-M343 & M269v2 Backbone SNP Pack”.  Since PSHG members belong to the upstream haplogroup R1b-M343 (which includes R-M269) you may have received an email about about the new product.  Since PSHG members first test for the downstream SNPs FGC13609/FGC13605, this new SNP pack will probably not provide you any benefit.

For members interested in their SNPs downstream from FGC13609/FGC13605, the BigY test is recommended.

Celebrate DNA Day with Discounts!

April 25 is National DNA Day!  What better way to celebrate than to buy DNA Tests – ON SALE!

FamilyTreeDNA is offering sales on all of their products:

2017 DNA Day Sales

PSHG Members will have already ordered the Y111 test – so Y37, Y67, SNP Backbone, and SNP Packs may not be of much interest.  However, if you’re interested in your SNPs downstream of FGC13609 and FGC13609, now is a great time to order the BigY!  I heard it reported from others that the BigY test has never been this cheap without a coupon code.

Stock up on Family Finder for Autosomal DNA testing or mtFull Sequence for mitochondrial DNA testing.  Rumor has it that AncestryDNA (autosomal) tests will also be on sale, but I have not seen this yet (US market).

Don’t miss this one.  We’ll have to wait and see if there will be sales around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, late Summer, and Christmas.

Happy testing.

Mutating DNA

DNA Mutates.

The fact that it does mutate, slowly over time (generations) allows genetic genealogists to determine Genetic Distance between samples and also estimate change over the ages.

The International Society of Genetic Genealogists defines Genetic Distance as, “the term used to describe the number of differences or mutations between two sets of Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA test results. A genetic distance of zero means that there are no differences in the two results and there is an exact match.”

Measuring a member’s Y-STR111 results against the PSHG Modal Haplotype provides clues for how DNA has mutated among the different member branches.  This basic analysis depends on the property mentioned above, slowly occurring mutations.  But what happens when DNA is changed by external forces like scientific advancements in gene replacement, or from prolonged time in outer space?  What’s the effect on the results of autosomal or Y-DNA tests that we are familiar with today?

These articles don’t address the questions from a genetic genealogy perspective; but, I couldn’t help wonder – and think about the future.

Time’s The CRISPR Pioneers – http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2016-crispr-runner-up/

And, as reported from many news sources, long term space travel changes DNA – https://www.google.com/#q=dna+changes+in+space&safe=off&tbm=nws