mitoYDNA, THE new Y-DNA and mtDNA Database

mitoYDNA, THE new Y-DNA and mtDNA Database is here. What is mitoYDNA? How can it help the genealogy community? And many more questions, answered.

What is a Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA database and why do we need it?

Y-DNA – is the DNA for males that follows the patrilineal line back, father to son, for a very long time – thousands of years.

mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) – is the DNA that follows the matrilineal line back, mother to her children, which is passed on by only her female children to their children, for a very long time – thousands of years.

For years anyone who tested their Y-DNA and mtDNA could post their results to the databases YSearch and MitoSearch to do comparisons, matching and analysis. If you had a Y-DNA or a mtDNA test you could compare and match with people from various DNA testing companies. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) caused FTDNA to make the decision to close these two databases – time and money to get each and every person in the former databases up to the new privacy standards was too expensive and time consuming to attempt.

How and why did mitoYDNA get started?

I spoke with FTDNA in 2017 about YSearch and mitoSearch and its future since there were lots of rumors floating around regarding it’s possible closure. I was told that indeed the sites would be closing.

As someone who uses DNA daily in my own business, and having used YSearch and MitoSearch for my own family mysteries – especially using mitochondrial DNA to solve an adoption mystery (or tale of adoption) in my own family – I knew firsthand how important having a free and accessible Y-DNA and mtDNA database was to my research. I know how important a third-party Y and mtDNA database is to DNA researchers in the genealogical community.

Over the course of 2017, a team came together to build and create mitoYDNA.org.

Our Mission

mitoYDNA.org is a website for uploading Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA to create a YDNA and mitochondrial DNA database. The site also offers DNA matching, analysis and tools to help our users/volunteers further their genealogical research. mitoYDNA is:

  • Crowdsourced – www.mitoYDNA.org is volunteer driven.
  • Free – www.mitoYDNA.org’s use will be at no cost to the users/volunteers, though donations are encouraged to defer hardware, facility and administrative costs.
  • Accessible – www.mitoYDNA.org will be accessible to all.

501(c)3 non-profit company

mitoYDNA Ltd., the 501(c)3 non-profit company behind the design, implementation, and ongoing upgrade and maintenance of mitoYDNA.org, is a group of collaborative genetic genealogists who believe genealogists can have access to a YDNA and mtDNA database which includes Y and mtDNA testing from all available companies today and those of the future. mitoYDNA Ltd. is based on the principles genealogical collaboration and continues to work to keep mitoYDNA:

  • Straightforward
  • Current
  • Expanding

mitoYDNA Home Page

Registration

Using the menu bar for navigation, click on Register.

mitoYDNA reg

Fill in all of the fields (password help is listed below the password fields) and be sure to read the TOS/Privacy Statement and click the checkbox at the bottom of the page to verify you have read them – they are very important.

Once you have registered “Kits” and “Tools” will be added to the navigation menu at the top of the page.

Create 

Click Kits on the Menu Bar and it will take you to the Kits You Manage Page. From there click on the create button to create a kit. When you create a kit, you will download your results in a CSV file for YDNA, from your testing company to your computer then upload it to mitoYDNA. For mtDNA you will download a chrome extension (for Google Chrome) which will download your mtDNA results from your testing company to your computer then you can upload it to mitoYDNA. For more on how to download your Y-DNA and mtDNA and upload to mitoYDNA please visit our FAQ/Help page.

What Files does mitoYDNA take?

The Y-DNA files are the Short Tandem Repeat (STR) marker values (alelles) and represent your Haplotype (the set of DNA alelle values; not to be confused with Haplogroup) . mitoYDNA does not process Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) data! 

Data Processed

The chart below shows the current status of data processing capability for each company at mitoYDNA.   Click on the Company name to get instructions on how to get the files you need to upload to mitoYDNA (if currently processed).   Abbreviations: 

  • CSV – Comma Separated Values
  • Ch. Ext. – Chrome Extension

Company – Help File

mtDNA Y-DNA
 FASTA CSV HVR1/2 CSV Ch.Ext. Manual  CSV  Manual
FamilyTreeDNA      
Ancestry      
YSEQ        
Sorenson            
Genebase            
Oxford            
NatGeo            

WikiTree Integration

mitoYDNA ID’s appear in WikiTree and can be used to view comparisons on mitoYDNA.

WikiTree Integration

Instructions for Y-DNA and WikiTree
Instructions for mtDNA and WikiTree

Full Launch

We rolled-out all the tools, matching and comparisons we have planned for phase I of mitoYDNA.org and are ending a very successful beta testing run.

Since we are crowdsourced, we are getting suggestions and input from our facebook users group about the future of mitoYDNA.

Have fun, join the conversation and let us know if you need help, either in the Facebook Users Group, or via info at mitoYDNA.org.

DNA Raw Data to Gedmatch

I noticed a post today about auDNA Raw Data File upload to GEDMatch. The comment that struck me was the idea that people, in general, are nervous, overwhelmed, uncomfortable with the process of downloading their raw DNA data from their testing company and uploading to GEDmatch.

Well, to calm those nerves – we aren’t talking about brain surgery. Not talking about a 120 story tight rope walk. We are not talking about a trip to Mars.

Ir’s just downloading a file to your computer, then uploading the file to GEDmatch. It is exciting, there is no denying that. First time working with DNA results is incredibly exciting. You do all the file portation and in 8 to 24 hours you are connected to people from ALL the Genealogy Testing Companies – not just the company you tested with.

The Process

Get your DNA Tested for Genealogy

No you can’t upload a paternity test using DNA to a Genealogical Testing Site or to GEDmatch. Get a DNA test from one of the Genealogical DNA testing Companies:

FTDNA Family Finder 
AncestryDNA
23andMe *
MyHeritageDNA

You can transfer from other testing companies, like LivingDNA, but until GEDmatch gets the Genesis database merged into the main database you may miss many, many matching opportunities with Genesis.

“23andMe is now using the GSA chip for their new V5 raw DNA file results. This format is not compatible with the regular GEDmatch upload, but can be used with the GEDmatch Genesis upload.”

Register at GEDmatch

Register for a GEDmatch Account

This one is easy AND you can protect your privacy by providing an Alias. Though I am not all that fond of Aliases. One of the first things I do when searching for matches is scan the one-to-many result for a kit to see if any of the known surnames appear in the list (this is easy using your browsers “find” feature). An initial (any initial) and LNAB (last name at birth) can be enough to protect privacy (in my opinion). 

Download your Raw Data File to Your Computer

Here are the links to directions for downloading your Raw Data File:

FamiyTreeDNA Family Finder – Build 36 Raw Concatenated
AncestryDNA
23andMe
My Heritage
LivingDNA

You can download your raw Data from other companies and upload them into GEDmatch Genesis – Google it – “Download my raw data from _____.”

Make sure you know where the file ends up on your computer. When you download the file make sure it goes to your desktop or downloads folder. If you download it and have no idea how to find the downloaded file, then the anxiety can kick-in. If you can’t find it go back to your browser and click on Downloads in the browser to see where the file might have ended up.

Upload your Raw Data file from your computer to GEDmatch.

GEDmatch Notes
Gedmatch Communicates about current information on your profile page.

GEDmatch posts pertinent information about it’s site for users at the top of your profile page. Note the information about the 23andMe chipset and it working in Genesis?

GEDmatch upload link (GEDCOM upload Link too).Once you are on your Profile page you will see the above box on the right of your page. Click on the Generic upload and it will take you to:

GEDmatch Upload Instructions

Upload For FTDNA
Upload For Ancestry
Upload For MyHeritage
Upload Generic (this includes 23andMe and LivingDNA and more)

You’ll get your GEDmatch ID on the Screen at the end of the upload – Write it Down and share it if you are really interested in finding genetic cousins.

It is not all that hard and shouldn’t be anxiety producing. I would equate the feeling of joy with uploading your Raw DNA Data file to Gedmatch. But then again I am such a DNA geek…

Slavery In The US Southern Colonies/States and DNA

Accessory Tether Bonds Prison Shackles Lake Dusia

It’s a controversial topic, Slavery In The US Southern Colonies/States and DNA. Well, I don’t know if DNA is all that controversial but I don’t shy away from discussing it either. It is my heritage, slavery and slave ownership. That my family(s) were a part of this wide ranging, “it’s what they did back in the day”, thing is not something to be proud of, but I am also not hiding it away. My Family, most every limb, at one time or another owned slaves.

Resources, information and a listing of owners.

My part as the descendant of slave owners, is to add any information I find regarding the ownership, sale, gift of a human being to another, to the work I am doing. Mainly on WikiTree, where the US Southern Colonies has a Project on Slavery.  As WikiTreers add profiles of Slave owners, and transcriptions of wills or other documents to WikiTree, they can also add the category, Slave Owner. There are other categories for each state and one for all of the US. Searching these categories for the names given to Slaves is a boon to helping those searching for their ancestors. These categories create an incredible resource for people trying to find and identify the place where their ancestor lived and worked.

The DNA

Today I was looking into something we are working on in the DNA project regarding triangulation (using DNA from three matches that share DNA on the same segment of the same chromosome, used in confirming the genealogical paper trail). I drifted to my own DNA trail when I got an email from a Gaulding/Gaulden cousin in reference to the Y-DNA of her brother – which matches my dad back many, many, many generations to our MCRA.

The haplogroup that caught my attention

I headed over to the FTDNA Gaulding/Gaulden Portion of the Golding DNA project. The results page is cumbersome (a table within a table and two scroll bars) so the page often sits or takes a while to scroll. Sitting there waiting for the screen to catch up with my mouse I realized I was staring at people in the project who had a Nigerian/Camaroonian Hapogroup – E-M2.

I had been staring at it for so long that when it dawned on me who I was looking at I felt a burst of energy. Really. There in the midst of all these DNA results were people whose ancestors were, in all probability, slaves. They listed as their MDA (most distant ancestors) as people living in the US south prior to 1864.

Slavery DNA Project

My next question is, is there a DNA Project specifically designed to help identify people whose ancestors were slaves? Googling Slavery DNA Project returns hits with people. like me, writing articles or Blogs about Slave related DNA Projects. FTDNA has an African DNA Project and  23andMe has the African Genetics Project, but no one has a Slavery DNA Project.

Check your surname DNA project

Because of the way Slaves were named, very few carried their original name, they were given the name of a master, or of many masters. Then the masters listed them in the bills of sale or their wills by first name only or by the diminutive “boy” or “girl” or just “negro”.

I know there are Gaulden’s out there who are of African descent. Already done a shout out to try and connect with Lydia Gaulden (mother of Raven-Symoné – someone has to know how to get me in touch!). There’s a college football player with Gaulden emblazoned across his Jersey as well. I know that every single person out there with the name Gaulden is related to me to some degree, no matter the amount of melanin we have.

Find Your Surname DNA Project

Go check out all the DNA Projects associated with the name your family was given and look for the African haplogroups in the DNA. Better yet, get your DNA tested and add your results to a DNA project. Other people may find you and have some answers for you.

Great Canadian Genealogy Summit

I’ll be talking more about slavery as it relates to the US and Canada in my presentation, An African Canadian Family History Mystery on Sunday October 15th at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit in Halifax. 

 

LiveCast on the 30th

The US Southern Colonies Project will be the focus of the the WikiTree LiveCast comping up on the 30th, live from the BIFHSGO Conference 2017.

Further Reading

Check out this in-depth article, Locating Afro-Diasporan haplogroups within Africa on African Slave DNA from Tracing African Roots Blog.

Give me a shout

If you ended up with my last name (any of my last names) or any derivative shoot me a note. I will gladly try to connect you further back along your in your heritage if I can.

Shout out from me

Thanks to my childhood friend Cynthia for sharing your finding of your heritage story with me. Your wonderful work and your family inspire me everyday.