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Genealogy Blog

30 May 2013

AfricanAncestry.com Rolls Out New and Improved myDNAmix Admixture Test as Part of its 10th Anniversary Celebration

African Ancestry, Inc., the pioneers of genetics-based ancestry tracing for people of African descent, today announced new product enhancements to its myDNAmix Admixture product offering.

myDNAmix determines various ancestries included in one's genetic make-up from five distinct populations: Indigenous Americas (Native American), East Asia, West Sub-Saharan Africa, West Europe and India Subcontinent.

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21 May 2013

Mysterious Minoans Were European, DNA Finds

The Minoans, the builders of Europe's first advanced civilization, really were European, new research suggests.

The conclusion, published today (May 14) in the journal Nature Communications, was drawn by comparing DNA from 4,000-year-old Minoan skeletons with genetic material from people living throughout Europe and Africa in the past and today.

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All Europeans Are Related If You Go Back Just 1,000 Years, Scientists Say

A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn't have to go back much further to find that everyone in the world is related to each other.

"We find it remarkable because it's counterintuitive to us," Graham Coop, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, told NBC News. "But it's not totally unexpected, based on genetic analysis."

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10 May 2013

Genomics Recapitulates History in Europe

Most of us know our families back a few generations but, beyond that, have little idea who our ancestors were or where they lived. Jumping further back, all of us alive today likely share most of our ancestors from 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

What happened between then and now? We've pieced together a broad picture of human kinship based on disciplines from archeology to linguistics to history. In Europe, for example, several relatively recent migrations have helped shape links and gaps amongst today's populations.

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8 April 2013

Boy, 17, Builds DNA Testing Machine in His Bedroom To Find Out Why His Younger Sibling Has Ginger Hair

With Fred's straight brown hair and Gus's curly ginger mane, the teasing the Turner brothers got from their friends was rather predictable. Less predictable, however, was Fred's response to it.

After putting up with endless jokes about the boys having different fathers, 17-year-old Fred settled the matter once and for all – by designing his very own DNA testing machine.

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8 March 2013

1st African American Man Dates Back 338,000 Years

A miniscule bit of DNA from an African American man now living in South Carolina has been traced back 338,000 years, according to a new study.

The man’s Y chromosome — a hereditary factor determining male sex — has a history that’s so old, it even predates the age of the oldest known Homo sapiens fossils, according to the report, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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25 February 2013

Black Celebrities Trace Slave Ancestors

Samuel L. Jackson is amongst the personalities whose ancestry is discovered in a new series of the US programme Finding Your Roots.

The American version of the popular British show Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots premieres in the UK this Sunday (February 24) and episode one traces the ancestral backgrounds of Jackson, along with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons, president of America’s prestigious Brown University.

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19 February 2013

DNA Tests Reveal Last Medici May Not Have Died Of Syphilis As Believed

In 1743, the last member of the family that had ruled Florence for almost 300 years died a slow and painful death. Historical documents suggest that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici suffered from syphilis or breast cancer. But a first look at samples of her bone suggests that syphilis may not have killed her.

In 1966, the tombs of the Medici family were swamped in mud during severe flooding of Florence, which many feared had damaged the bodies. But Anna Maria Luisa's skeleton was found to be mostly intact when it was exhumed last October.

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18 February 2013

DNA Testing Helps With Family Histories

As she swabbed the inside of his cheek, Patt Heise assured her 84-year-old father that she wasn't crazy, just curious.

She mailed off the saliva sample and waited for results. Her dad died a month later, too early to find out what DNA testing had revealed — a list of potential relatives from all over the world and a migration chart dating back to Adam.

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6 February 2013

Richard III's Face Revealed

Advanced CT scans and wax modeling have revealed the face of King Richard III. Showing a hint of a smile, a prominent chin, and slightly arched nose, the facial reconstruction is based on a skull found along with other bones just 2 feet beneath a car park in Leicester, UK, last September.

The reconstruction follows confirmation that the skeleton was that of the king killed in battle more than 500 years ago.

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4 February 2013

How Canadian DNA Is Helping Solve The Mystery of King Richard III’s Bones

Researchers in Leicester, England, are hoping they have finally solved a 500-year-old mystery thanks to modern technology and some Canadian-born DNA.

On Monday, a team at the University of Leicester is set to reveal the results of DNA tests on a skeleton found underneath a local parking lot last summer. The bones are believed to be those of King Richard III, who died in 1485 during a battle roughly 25 kilometres away in Bosworth Field.

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24 January 2013

Genetic Evidence For The Colonization of Australia

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome and, more recently, genome studies from living people have produced powerful evidence for the dispersal of modern human populations.

The prevailing model of global dispersion assumes an African origin in which Australia and the American continents represent some of the extreme regions of human migration, though the relative timing of dispersal events remains debatable.

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The Genomic History of Denmark

Researchers from GeoGenetics in close cooperation with collegues from the National Museum of Denmark and institutes at the University of Copenhagen will make Denmark the first country in the world to map its evolutionary, demographic and health history - from the earliest settlers through to modern times.

DNA and proteins extracted from a Danish collection of archaeological skeletons from the Older Stone Age (5000-3000 BC) will be analysed in order to learn more about the Danish cultural heritage and health history.

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5 December 2012

National Geographic Unveils New Phase of Genographic Project

The National Geographic Society today announced the next phase of its Genographic Project — the multiyear global research initiative that uses DNA to map the history of human migration.

Building on seven years of global data collection, Genographic shines new light on humanity's collective past, yielding tantalizing clues about humankind's journey across the planet over the past 60,000 years.

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3 December 2012

Native Americans And Northern Europeans More Closely Related Than Previously Thought

Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that Northern European populations —including British, Scandinavians, French, and some Eastern Europeans— descend from a mixture of two very different ancestral populations, and one of these populations is related to Native Americans.

This discovery helps fill gaps in scientific understanding of both Native American and Northern European ancestry, while providing an explanation for some genetic similarities among what would otherwise seem to be very divergent groups.

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