Fold3 Free Access Through May 26 2018

According to Fold3 on Twitter, it is offering free access through May 26, 2018. If it allows you to save records, you may want to save copies to your computer as those records probably won’t be accessible after the free access ends if you simply attach them to your Fold3 or Ancestry account.

From the Tweet:

Enjoy free access to our entire collection from May 24–26th in honor of Memorial Day. Visit this link to get FREE access:

Will try and update the post either tonight or sometime tomorrow, but thought I would get it out there as it’s a time-limited deal. Having intermittent Internet access issues as I get this ready to post.

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GenCove To Discontinue Offering Invidiuals DNA Testing June 15 2018

I found out GenCove was shutting down individual accounts and no longer allowing new accounts after June 15, 2018 when I logged in GenCove a few days ago. Here’s the direct link to the announcement: You still have time (if you read this before June 16, 2018) to upload your raw data from Ancestry DNA, 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), MyHeritage DNA, etc., but I would do it as soon as possible.

Sunsetting Gencove for individuals

We are making some important changes at Gencove.

In the last year, we’ve seen increasing demand for our low-pass sequencing technology from researchers looking for accessible and effective sequencing, and we have been working hard to launch exciting new capabilities for this technology. You can read more about what we are doing here.

But this also means that we have decided to fully focus on our sequencing platform and that we will need to gradually discontinue our direct-to-consumer products. What does this mean for you?

To start, we will discontinue DNA data uploads and kit orders for individual customers as of June 15th 2018. If you are an existing user, you will still be able to access their account and download all your results and raw DNA data for one year, until June 15th, 2019.

After the one year period, we will close all accounts and delete your data permanently. You can always delete your data and account any time before that date through your account settings.

You will also notice that we changed our website to a version that better reflects our new focus. Going forward, to access your account you can go to as usual, and click on “For Individuals” on the top right, or go directly to the new user site:

We want to thank you for trusting us, and we really hope you found our ancestry analysis and other genomic interpretation features useful and fun.

Below, you’ll find information about how to keep your ancestry results and what else you can do with your DNA data.

Please contact us at if you have any questions, or email me directly at

In my opinion, they are making an unwise business decision since they could simply add the new items and allow the present system of direct to consumer (DTC) DNA testing choices to remain. For those not familiar with GenCove, you can either order a kit from them for $59.99 or upload your raw data free from one of the major DNA genealogical testing companies.

In addition to the above blog post from GenCove, there is a second one that goes into more detail as to what its new plans include (I removed some of the information in my copy/paste, but covered what I thought was the relevant portions)

A platform for replacing genotyping arrays with sequencing

tl;dr: Gencove has opened up a platform for low-pass sequencing, available at

About ten months ago, I discussed the arguments for using low-pass sequencing as a replacement for genotyping arrays. The key argument is that sequencing-based technologies (when combined with advances in imputation algorithms) allow one to collect more data at a lower cost than genotyping technologies.

Since I wrote that blog post, sequencing costs have continued to decline, our molecular biology processes have become more efficient, and our imputation algorithms have continued to improve. Indeed, we have been offering low-pass sequencing as a service to leading academic, biotech, and pharma research groups. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we are making this technology broadly available as a platform for scientists in these sectors.

This platform consists of three products — the first two are low-pass sequencing along with imputation at different levels of sequencing coverage. We calibrated these coverages to allow for imputation that outperforms genotyping arrays of comparable prices: 0.4X coverage outperforms the Illumina Global Screening Array and similar arrays across populations, while 1X coverage additionally outperforms the Affymetrix Biobanking Array. Since these are sequencing-based assays, at large sample numbers, both can be used to identify new genetic variants that have previously never been observed.

 The third product additionally includes custom content — we’ve designed a sequence capture assay that allows for the capture of a set of regions (for example, exons from a set of important genes, or a set of known SNPs of interest) in addition to low-pass sequencing from the rest of the genome, while retaining cost-effectiveness. In research applications, this effectively allows a scientist to place a prior on what parts of the genome they expect to be important for their trait of interest.

As an example application of the capture assay, you might imagine research on cardiovascular disease risk: we know that there are many thousands of genetic variants with small effects on heart disease risk that are spread across the genome, along with a few variants of larger effect in genes like LDLR. Commonly-used gene panels are unable to measure the polygenic component of risk, while genotyping arrays do not comprehensively assay the genes of large effect. A low-pass sequencing plus capture assay measures both aspects of risk in a scalable and cost-effective manner.

From my user panel, I can access the following items: (you will need to be logged into your GenCove account for it to work)
Explore your ancestry
Relative Radar
Available through GenCove, including 3rd party companies.
Discover your microbiome (GenCove) – Not Available as of May 24, 2018
My Genome (GenCove) – appears to be DNA.Land (? ordered raw data just in case)
How happy are you? (USC Behavioral and Health Genomics Center)
GenePlaza (Insilico Genomics SA/GenePlaza)
Sleep (GenCove)
YouGenomics India (YouGenomics) – *register for $48 or use your GenCove data until it’s no longer available
GenCove Mobile App (GenCove)
Open Humans (Open Humans) –
Genetics of Personality Type Research – have to agree to consent to view it on GenCove
iobio ( – not in the main page, but listed on a separate section, ( * link above so I didn’t make this one active since it redirects to if I click on the app)

We’ve used a method called imputation to fill in blanks in your genome, which means some blanks may be filled incorrectly. Please read this great article ( by to learn more about it. This is one of the reasons data in your Gencove account should only be used for research or educational purposes. Study (Personality Genie)

View story at

Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, DNA, FamilyTree DNA, GenCove, MyHeritage DNA | Leave a comment

B-29 Doc Adds 3 New Summer 2018 Tour Stops

Doc, one of only two flying B-29 bombers added three new tour stops to its Summer 2018 calendar. Doc is based in Wichita, Kansas and the full 2018 tour list can be found at You can learn more about Doc on Doc’s website or on Wikipedia. If you are interested in supporting Doc, there is a Donate section the website as well as a volunteer contact if you live near Wichita and have spare time to help out through volunteering.

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

New Feature On 23andMe – Root for Your Roots

Received an e-mail about a new feature on 23andMe – Root for Your Roots (Note: you will need to be logged into your 23andMe account for the link to work). You are given three choices, but can load more choices. Some of the top choices will be based on your DNA results, but some will be random choices. In my case, my top three choices are England, France, and Belgium with England being the only showing as a Strong Match. There are five labelled as Matches. two labelled as Distant Matches and another 24 labelled as Wild Card matches.

The e-mail from 23andMe doesn’t give many details:

Kick off this summer’s biggest sporting event with a new
feature in your account that shows you which participating
countries are connected to your DNA. There are 32 teams in
the field and your personal connections are based on the
strength of your genetic results relative to each
participating country.

Looking for a team to support? It could be in your DNA.
Discover your connections, Root for your Roots, and spread
the word!

I chose a team (Iceland which was a Wild Card choice) as my first choice wasn’t in my list of 32 teams. The list included a wide variety of ethnicity choices ranging from Argentina to Uruguay and covering North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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Alaska and DNA Testing

I noticed a while back that MyHeritage has a restriction against DNA testing if you live in Alaska. It took me a while to find out why as my favorite and several least favorite search engines failed me. However, as I was looking for something else a few minutes ago in a Facebook group, I found a couple of links (one required a log-in that I don’t have, but the other didn’t) – (at least it didn’t require a log-in when I tried it).

Will be interesting to see how the lawsuit turns out. In general, courts dislike overly vague laws. I don’t know if a court will determine this particular law is too vague, but I expect we will find out in a few years. A faster solution would be for the Alaska legislature to re-write the law in less vague terms and have the governor sign off on it. Personally, I don’t have a problem with states having DNA privacy policies as too many people assume they can upload a relative’s DNA sample anywhere and everywhere without bothering to ask the person. If I ever manage somebody else’s DNA, I would want a signed (as in an actual signature on a piece of paper and not simply an e-mail agreement or a scanned PDF of a signature). Blame my excessive caution on working for several federal and county agencies where you needed a signature on a piece of paper.

From the above link, here is the law in question:!22genetic+testing!22/doc/%7b@1%7d?firsthit – text included in the quote box below:

Sec. 18.13.010. Genetic testing.

(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section,

(1) a person may not collect a DNA sample from a person, perform a DNA analysis on a sample, retain a DNA sample or the results of a DNA analysis, or disclose the results of a DNA analysis unless the person has first obtained the informed and written consent of the person, or the person’s legal guardian or authorized representative, for the collection, analysis, retention, or disclosure;

(2) a DNA sample and the results of a DNA analysis performed on the sample are the exclusive property of the person sampled or analyzed.

(b) The prohibitions of (a) of this section do not apply to DNA samples collected and analyses conducted

(1) under AS 44.41.035 or comparable provisions of another jurisdiction;

(2) for a law enforcement purpose, including the identification of perpetrators and the investigation of crimes and the identification of missing or unidentified persons or deceased individuals;

(3) for determining paternity;

(4) to screen newborns as required by state or federal law;

(5) for the purpose of emergency medical treatment.

(c) A general authorization for the release of medical records or medical information may not be construed as the informed and written consent required by this section. The Department of Health and Social Services may by regulation adopt a uniform informed and written consent form to assist persons in meeting the requirements of this section. A person using that uniform informed and written consent is exempt from civil or criminal liability for actions taken under the consent form. A person may revoke or amend their informed and written consent at any time.

Sec. 18.13.020. Private right of action.

A person may bring a civil action against a person who collects a DNA sample from the person, performs a DNA analysis on a sample, retains a DNA sample or the results of a DNA analysis, or discloses the results of a DNA analysis in violation of this chapter. In addition to the actual damages suffered by the person, a person violating this chapter shall be liable to the person for damages in the amount of $5,000 or, if the violation resulted in profit or monetary gain to the violator, $100,000.

Sec. 18.13.030. Criminal penalty.

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful DNA collection, analysis, retention, or disclosure if the person knowingly collects a DNA sample from a person, performs a DNA analysis on a sample, retains a DNA sample or the results of a DNA analysis, or discloses the results of a DNA analysis in violation of this chapter.

(b) In this section, “knowingly” has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900.

(c) Unlawful DNA collection, analysis, retention, or disclosure is a class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 18.13.100. Definitions.

In this chapter,

(1) “DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid, including mitochondrial DNA, complementary DNA, and DNA derived from ribonucleic acid;

(2) “DNA analysis” means DNA or genetic typing and testing to determine the presence or absence of genetic characteristics in an individual, including tests of nucleic acids or chromosomes in order to diagnose or identify a genetic characteristic; “DNA analysis” does not include a routine physical measurement, a test for drugs, alcohol, cholesterol, or the human immunodeficiency virus, a chemical, blood, or urine analysis, or any other diagnostic test that is widely accepted and in use in clinical practice;

(3) “genetic characteristic” includes a gene, chromosome, or alteration of a gene or chromosome that may be tested to determine the existence or risk of a disease, disorder, trait, propensity, or syndrome, or to identify an individual or a blood relative; “genetic characteristic” does not include family history or a genetically transmitted characteristic whose existence or identity is determined other than through a genetic test.



Sec. 18.15.010. – 18.15.050l Infectious and contagious diseases. [Repealed, Sec. 2 ch 63 SLA 1972].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 18.15.060. – 18.15.110l Physical examination of nonresident employees. [Repealed, Sec. 1 ch 130 SLA 1976].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 18.15.120. – 18.15.137l Tuberculosis. [Repealed, Sec. 12 ch. 54 SLA 2005].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 18.15.138. Penalty. [Repealed, Sec. 13 ch 73 SLA 1995].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 18.15.139. – 18.15.149l Court authorization of detention; title to and inventory of equipment allotted to private institutions; religious treatment for tuberculosis; screening of school employees; limited immunity; definitions. [Repealed, Sec. 12 ch. 54 SLA 2005].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 18.15.150. Taking of blood sample.

Each licensed physician and in the absence of a licensed physician each licensed graduate nurse who attends a pregnant woman for conditions relating to the pregnancy during the period of gestation or at delivery shall take, or have taken, a sample of the blood of the woman at the time of the woman’s first professional visit or within 10 days after the visit, unless the serological test is contrary to the tenets or practice of the religious creed of which the woman is an adherent. The blood specimen shall be submitted to an approved laboratory or clinic for a standard serological test of syphilis. Any other person permitted by law to attend pregnant women but not permitted by law to take blood samples shall have a sample of blood taken by a licensed physician, or on order of a licensed physician, and shall submit the sample to an approved laboratory or clinic for a standard serological test for syphilis.

Sec. 18.15.160. Test for syphilis.

For the purposes of AS 18.15.150 – 18.15.180 a standard serological test is a test for syphilis approved by the department and shall be performed in a laboratory or clinic approved by the department. On request the laboratory test required by AS 18.15.150 – 18.15.180 shall be performed without charge at the laboratories of the department.

Sec. 18.15.170. Report of birth.

In reporting a birth and stillbirth, the physician and other person required to make the report shall state on the certificate whether a serological test for syphilis has been made upon a specimen of blood taken from the woman who bore the child and the approximate date when the specimen was taken. A birth certificate may not state the result of the test.

Sec. 18.15.180. Penalty.

A licensed physician or licensed nurse attending a pregnant woman during the period of gestation or at delivery, or a representative of a laboratory or clinic who violates AS 18.15.150 – 18.15.180 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $500. However, a person attending a pregnant woman during the period of gestation or at delivery, who requests the specimen in accordance with AS 18.15.150 , and whose request is refused, is not guilty of a misdemeanor.


Sec. 18.15.200. Screening for phenylketonuria.

(a) A physician who attends a newborn child shall cause this child to be tested for phenylketonuria (PKU). If the mother is delivered in the absence of a physician, the nurse who first visits the child shall cause this test to be performed.

(b) The department shall adopt regulations regarding the method used and the time or times of testing as accepted medical practice indicates.

(c) The necessary laboratory tests and the test materials, reporting forms, and mailing cartons shall be provided by the department.

(d) All tests considered positive by the screening method shall be reported by the screening laboratory to the physician and to the department. The department shall provide services for the performance of a quantitative blood phenylalanine test or its equivalent for diagnostic purposes. A confirmed diagnosis of phenylketonuria shall be reported to the physician and to the department. The department shall provide services for treatment and clinical follow-up of any diagnosed case.

(e) When presumptive positive screening tests have been reported to the department, it shall provide, on request, either the true blood phenylalanine test or subsidize the performance of this test at an approved laboratory.

(f) A licensed physician or licensed nurse attending a newborn or infant who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $500. However, a person attending a newborn or infant whose request for appropriate specimens from the newborn or infant is denied by the parent or guardian is not guilty of a misdemeanor. The fact that a child has not been subjected to the test because a request for appropriate specimens has been denied by the parents or guardian shall be reported to the department.

(g) In this section, “physician” means a doctor of medicine licensed to practice medicine in this state, or an officer in the regular medical service of the armed forces of the United States or the United States Public Health Service assigned to duty in this state.

Sec. 18.15.210. Testing for certain other heritable diseases.

The department shall administer and provide services for testing for other heritable diseases that lead to mental retardation and physical disabilities as screening programs accepted by current medical practice and as developed.

Article 03. HEPATITIS B

Sec. 18.15.250. Vaccination program for volunteer emergency personnel.

(a) The department shall establish a program under which hepatitis B testing and vaccination is reasonably accessible at no charge to all volunteer emergency medical and rescue personnel in the state who provide an emergency medical or rescue service primarily within an unincorporated community or within a municipality that does not provide funding for the service.

(b) A municipality that has the power to do so shall establish a program under which hepatitis B testing and vaccination is reasonably accessible at no charge to all law enforcement officers and all volunteer or employed emergency medical and rescue personnel who provide service to the public within the municipality. The department shall, upon request, assist a municipality in establishing a program required under this subsection.

(c) The Department of Public Safety shall establish a program under which hepatitis B testing and vaccination is reasonably accessible at no charge to all officers of the state troopers. The Department of Health and Social Services shall, upon request, assist the Department of Public Safety in establishing a program required under this subsection.

(d) In this section,

(1) “emergency medical and rescue personnel” means a trauma technician, emergency medical technician, rescuer, or mobile intensive care paramedic;

(2) “employed” means that the person is a paid employee of a first responder service, a rescue service, an ambulance service, or a fire department that provides emergency medical or rescue services as part of its duties;

(3) “law enforcement officer” means a member of the police force of a municipality;

(4) “volunteer” means that the person is an active volunteer of a first responder service, a rescue service, an ambulance service, or a fire department that provides emergency medical or rescue services as part of its duties.



Posted in DNA, Facebook, FTDNA, MyHeritage, MyHeritage DNA | Leave a comment

MapS Phasing DNA Analysis

Update: It finally downloaded and am in the process of trying to get it to run. My Anti-Virus program keeps running a scan and finding nothing, but so far hasn’t let me do a lot with it yet. It may be a while as I try and figure out how to use it effectively.

I saw a Facebook post about MapS Phasing DNA Analysis. The post mentioned the download working with MyHeritage DNA, 23andMe, and Ancestry DNA. Since MyHeritage uses FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA) to do the actual DNA testing, I would think it should work with those who tested directly at FTDNA. Once the download finishes (91.9 MB, but I was originally on a very slow Wi-Fi connection so it’s going to be a bit – update first few download tries failed, retrying using a much faster Wi-Fi connection and I think it’s an issue on MapS side and not my Internet connections as I used several different locations and even on one of my faster Wi-Fi connections, it’s saying 30 – 40+ minutes and I have regularly downloaded on this particular Wi-Fi larger files that took a lot less time to download), I will try the different kits I have (23andMe, Ancestry, FTDNA) and see what it comes up with.

From their Facebook page,

MapS Converter now also converts the start and end positions of your MyHeritage and 23andMe match lists as well as the 23andMe Ancestry Composition report automatically without any manual entry from build 37 to build 36 for greater comparability.

I will publish this post once I get a download to work and have a chance to “kick the tires” on it. This may take a while if I can’t find a quicker way to download the file.


Posted in 23andMe, AncestryDNA, DNA, Facebook, FamilyTree DNA | Leave a comment

BillionGraves Updates Its Privacy Policy

Something that’s become common to my e-mail Inbox lately is a growing number of updated Privacy Policy notices due to the EU’s new GDPR privacy policy that goes into effect on May 25, 2018. If you aren’t familiar with the changes, you can look at a number of bloggers (for example: The Legal Genealogist – who has given several blog posts recently covering GDPR) who are covering the topic. Considering the substantial fines if the EU determines your company violated the new policy, it’s no wonder many have updated their privacy policies or require you to opt in. Here’s the basics of the new privacy policy that goes into effect on BillionGraves (I am using it as an example because it was one of the first e-mails I received about a new privacy policy resulting from GDPR):

By now, you’ve probably read dozens of emails exactly like this one, so we’ll keep it brief.

We’re updating our privacy policy in preparation for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to make our data collection process more transparent. This will give you more control over the data you share with us and how you let us use it.

Our Privacy Policy also explains how you can make choices about your data and provides details of how to contact us if you wish to exercise your rights.
For the full scoop, you can review our updated privacy policy here. It takes effect May 25th, 2018. By using BillionGraves on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to the changes. If you have questions about these changes, feel free to reach out to us at here.

The BillionGraves Team

Updated BG Privacy Policy


This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for BillionGraves. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and associated mobile applications.

You may use the website free and anonymous for personal research purposes. If you desire to add, edit or interact with any data then you must register for a free account.

During registration a user is required to give certain information (such as name and email address). This information may be used to contact you about the products/services on our site in which you have expressed interest. At your option, you may also provide demographic information (such as gender or age) about yourself, but it is not required.

What personal information is collected about you?

  • All data collected about you can be viewed, modified or deleted by logging in to and navigating to settings.
  • All activity by you on the website can be viewed by logging in to and navigating to profile.

How is the data used?

  • Your personal email and password are used to identify you to the website, enable certain functions such as adding, editing and interacting with BillionGraves data. It is also used to ensure the security of data added, modified or deleted from the website.
  • Your personal email may also be used for communications with BillionGraves about the following. You may opt in/out of any of these communications at any time.
    • Events in your area.
    • Photo requests in your area.
    • Communication with other users.
    • General news and educational information.
    • Promotional events that may benefit your research.
    • Changes to this privacy policy
  • If you contact us, we will use your information to respond to you regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request.

Is your data ever shared?

  • Any personally identifiable data is NEVER sold, rented or shared with other entities.

How long will the data be stored for?

  • Your personal data is stored only as long as you maintain an account with BillionGraves. You may delete your account by logging in to and navigating to settings

What security procedures are in place to protect the misuse of your information?

  • The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.
  • We have in place appropriate physical, electronic, technical, operational and managerial procedures to protect all personal data both online and offline.
  • We use encryption of data at rest and in transit (https) to protect ALL personal data.
  • Our servers are accessible only to minimal authorized personnel.
  • All data access policies are based on a principle of least privilege.
  • Computing best practices are reviewed regularly.

Optionally, you may purchase access to our premium service BillionGraves Plus. We request information from you on our order form. To buy from us, you must provide contact information (like name and email address) and financial information (like credit card number, expiration date). This information is used for billing purposes only. We DO NOT store any financial information. All financial information is stored by our billing partners Stripe and Paypal. If we have trouble processing an order, we’ll use your email address to contact you.

We use “cookies” on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on your hard drive to help us improve your access to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to login with a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.

This website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

From time-to-time our site requests information via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and you may choose whether or not to participate and therefore disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as zip code, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site.

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via the Contact Us Form.

Standard disclaimer: This is not intended to be, nor should it be construed to be, legal advice. If you have legal questions, hire an attorney who specializes in the type of law you need advice on.


Posted in BillionGraves, GDPR | Leave a comment