Happy Father’s Day 2018

Happy Father’s Day 2018 to all the fathers out there. My father passed away many years ago, but I try to visit his Find-A-Grave memorial on his birthday, death anniversary, Father’s Day, and at other times when I’m thinking of him. He died when I was somewhat young, and his death was unexpected. He’s buried 800 miles away so I don’t get to physically visit his grave often. I also do my best to visit my grandfathers’ memorials on Father’s Day. One’s buried within 10 miles of Dad’s grave and the other is buried several states to the north and east of Dad’s grave.


Posted in Genealogy, Y-DNA | Leave a comment

AncestryDNA Slowly Rolling Out New Percentages

As mentioned various places, AncestryDNA is rolling out new percentages. Exactly when they will roll them out to everybody is anybody’s guess although a few Ancestry Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) reportedly said June 12 was a tentative date, but according to others, that’s more fantasy than fact. From what I have pieced together, they rolled out, or are rolling out, the update to 700,000 members as a beta test. The other 9.3 million of us will have to wait until whenever Ancestry decides to update our results which could be a while.

Don’t rely on the up to date indicator. When I checked mine, it showed the date of when I tested (2013) and only 3,000 reference samples. From others who have been updated, it should be around 26,000. reference samples.

I am looking for an old copy of version 1 AncestryDNA ethnicity results, which I should have a copy somewhere and hopefully it’s not a computer that has some hard drive issues. I always recommend taking regular screenshots, or at least comparing to your last screenshot to what’s showing when you log in. I made the mistake of not doing this when I first started DNA testing. It was only after noticing some things changed that I started doing regular screenshots and comparing before and after results.



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23andMe Anonymous Matches No Longer Showing

On June 15, 2018, I went to 23andMe to check and see if I had lost my anonymous matches since it was Anonymous Match Removal Day according to 23andMe. By late evening, I still had anonymous matches, including my fourth highest match (the first three are a first cousin, and two first cousins once removed who are siblings, but all three have names and I know who they are). The ones I wish they would remove are the ones who have names, but aren’t willing to allow sharing. I checked and my newest matches are mostly sharing with a handful that haven’t accepted my sharing request. I was not seeing any new matches which is odd as I usually have a handful of new matches show up on a regular basis.

Here’s a screenshot I took showing the anonymous female.  She’s the fourth one down. It may appear to be third down as I removed the photo and name of the first cousin. When I checked this afternoon, she was no longer showing as a match. In addition, I went from 1,659 matches to 1,592 matches which includes one new match that was added today or late last night. Some of those match losses could be people who opted out of sharing as the numbers tend to vary a bit on any given day.

23andMe anon Scrn

Should any of the anonymous matches that disappeared later stop being anonymous, I will probably see them unless they totally opted out of being visible. I downloaded a file of the matches several days ago so at least I have a general idea of the genders and amount of shared DNA they have in common with me.


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Lusitania Urban Legend

I was watching a YouTube video on the sinking of the HMS Lusitania, sunk during World War I by a German U-boat. While I watched the video, I read the Wikipedia article about the sinking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_of_the_RMS_Lusitania

In the Wikipedia article, it mentions an urban legend:

One story – an urban legend – states that when Lieutenant Schwieger of U-20 gave the order to fire, his quartermaster, Charles Voegele, would not take part in an attack on women and children, and refused to pass on the order to the torpedo room – a decision for which he was court-martialed and imprisoned at Kiel until the end of the war.[40] This rumour persisted until 1972, when the French daily paper Le Monde published a letter to the editor.[41]

As the video approached the torpedo being launched, I wondered if the video would go with the urban legend version. It did. From my research, it appears that Voegele wasn’t a crew member of U-20 and therefore wouldn’t have been able to disobey the order, much less be court-martialed or put in a Kiel prison. I used a number of sites, including this one – http://www.lusitania.net/hunters.htm as part of my research to determine if the Wiki article had merit and from my research, it appears to be an urban legend.

The above site makes a good observation:

Ralf Bartzke, a student of U Boat tactics in Germany had contacted us about the actual torpedoing of the ship. During our exchanges, we mentioned the Voegele story. Ralf very kindly ran the attack through a computer simulator for us, using two scenarios. One, the attack as we know it and the other introducing an estimated delay of 5 seconds in the firing of the torpedo, caused by Voegele’s refusal and Wiesbach’s intervention. The simulator showed us that if the Voegele story were true, the delayed torpedo would have hit the ship aft of her four funnels, which we know didn’t happen, because of clear evidence to the contrary plus the undeniable fact that the ship sank bows first.

There are a number of other questions about the sinking, but so far many haven’t been proven and some haven’t been disproven. A good example is the second explosion that happened shortly after the torpedo hit. It was unlikely to be coal dust explosion although that was popular for a while. It wasn’t a second torpedo, and one of the most current theories appear to focus on a steam related explosion. Others have claimed it was caused by some of the rather large amount of munitions being transported on the ship. However, surveys of the ship haven’t supported this theory, but given the amount of later damage inflicted on the ship by British warships dropping depth charges around the wreck during World War II, we may never know.

Posted in Military History, World War I, World War II | Leave a comment

FamilyTree DNA Story On Dateline June 17, 2018 6 PM US Central Time

I noticed on FamilyTree DNA’s (FTDNA) website they are to be featured on Dateline tomorrow (June 17, 2018) 6 PM U.S. Central Time. You can learn more about it at https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/dateline-sunday-preview-father-s-day-1254755907951.

A woman from Washington State takes a DNA test, hoping to learn more about her family history. A remarkable discovery would change her family forever – and send her father halfway around the world to confront a past he thought he left behind. Harry Smith reports Sunday, June 17 at 7/6c on NBC.

I won’t be able to see it when it airs, but hope to get to see it later. This is a different story than the MyHeritage DNA post I made earlier today.  With an estimated 15 million people who have DNA tested at the different companies (AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FTDNA, MyHeritageDNA, Living DNA, etc.) I believe we will be seeing more of these kinds of stories. The 15 million number is based on an estimate of unique testers. For example, over 10 million have tested with AncestryDNA, over 5 million at 23andMe, over 1.4 million (around 20% were transfers from other companies) at MyHeritageDNA, over 850,000 at FTDNA, and an unknown number at Living DNA. It doesn’t include the 903,000 (about 230,000 of whom tested with Geno 2.0 or 2.0 Next) who have tested with National Geographic’s Geno Project since many of them haven’t transferred their raw data to any of the companies that offer matching. The above numbers include a fair number who tested at one or more of the companies which is why some of the experts estimate 15 million unique testers instead of 17+ million. The above numbers also don’t include those who have tested at Helix, TribeCode, or other DNA testing companies. It also doesn’t include those who tested at DNA companies that are no longer doing DNA testing like MyDNA which used to be known as BritainsDNA.

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FamilyTree DNA, Geno 2.0, Geno 2.0 Next, Helix, LivingDNA, myDNA, MyHeritage DNA, TribeCode, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MyHeritage DNA Test Helps Adopted Daughter Find Her Birth Father

It’s something I mention when people are considering a DNA test – “expect surprises.” In this case, Sarah knew she was put up for adoption by her mother. Her father was unaware of her before the DNA test. While Sarah was able to find her birth father, I let people, especially adoptees, know there is no guarantee you will find birth parents. I also let them know a fair number of people who have come across close family members don’t have positive responses from the close family members. It can range from denial, rejection, DNA is wrong, etc. It can also turn out positively like it did for Sarah, but I tell people: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. One thing you won’t know for sure involves the circumstances of the pregnancy. It could have been consensual, result of an affair on the part of one or both parents, rape, incest, and in some cases, the story is passed down as being one of the above reasons when it was for another of the above reasons.

Here’s the link to the story: https://www.today.com/parents/adopted-woman-41-meets-her-biological-dad-first-time-father-t131059.

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Blog Post Number 400

Initially started this blog post so it would be #400 (currently it will probably show up as a bit later if anybody is keeping track).

This achievement happened faster than I anticipated as my blog posting has been more frequent of late. It’s hard to quantify in some ways because while this will  be my 400th official blog post, it doesn’t count the first post that WordPress ate instead of actually posting; that was before I learned that WordPress saving doesn’t always mean it saved a copy. It also doesn’t include 54 blog posts that are in Draft form and haven’t been posted. It also doesn’t include a handful of Drafts that were deleted.

I hit blog post #300 on January 17, 2018 and you can read it at: 300th Blog Post. I have focused a lot on DNA in the last 5 1/2 months, but have also tried to include other topics as they come up. For example, BillionGraves (BG) is running its annual Million More in May Contest with 554,777 images uploaded and 806,256 records transcribed (as of a few minutes ago) and the contest ends May 31, 2018 (later today at about 6 or 7 P.M.). I hit 500 transcriptions to claim the 6 months free BillionGraves Plus. I will be working on some World War II posts as D-Day (June 6th) isn’t that far away. In a nod to a cemetery I stumbled across during my BG transcribing, I will blog about it.

I have a few blog posts coming up that will highlight other blogs as I find there are plenty of blogs out there that cover many, probably all, of my general topics I usually focus on.

I stuck with BoostMobile even though I initially planned on cancelling with them after the major changes to their rewards program back in February 2018. So far, they have at least made some positive changes to the program to offset the negative changes from earlier in the year which is hopefully a result of feedback from customers who weren’t happy with the changes. The new changes have done a fair amount to offset the reductions made back in February, but it’s still a far cry from what it was before in some ways. On a bad month where I don’t earn many points, my total bill  is around $22 – 25 and on a great month, it’s only $10. Not bad for unlimited minutes and texts with 3 GB LTE (with unlimited 3G once the LTE runs out).  Good news is the points earned for different activities have increased, still not as good as they used to be in several categories, but they have offset it somewhat by offering regular higher point chances in a couple of categories (installing and using apps).

I will be updating the Father’s Day DNA Sales as many DNA companies offer some kind of DNA sale during this time. I plan a focus on cemeteries and genealogy related stuff as I have been doing a lot of both lately in my life. I expect to include more Facebook group and page posts as there are some good groups and pages on Facebook.



Posted in BillionGraves, Blog Specific, Boost Mobile | Leave a comment