Thursday, June 11, 2015

Another AncestryDNA Update - Testing Available in Australia

In a post earlier today, I mentioned that Ancestry has opened up AncestryDNA (autosomal) testing in Canada. Now that is extended to Australia. From a post on the Ancestry blog we have the following:

AncestryDNA is now available in Australia and Canada. The AncestryDNA database has grown to more than 850,000 people, and now that the test is available in Australia and Canada it will grow even faster, with new possibilities for discovering cousins on both sides of the world. Here are four reasons to be excited about these new international launches of AncestryDNA and what they can mean for you―even if you don’t live there.

Two more melting pots of connections. Both Canada and Australia have been destinations for millions of immigrants over the centuries. And those immigrants came from places far beyond the United Kingdom. Your link to Germany, Ireland, Italy, or even China may pass through Canada or Australia.
  1. Opportunities for more cousin connections. With this expansion to these additional countries for cousin matches, who knows where your research might lead you. Sometimes the paper trail gets lost on the shores of the Atlantic—or the Pacific. Maybe you haven’t been able to find the records that get you back to the old country, maybe they were destroyed, or maybe they never existed. But the genetic record that has continued in your family both here and there might allow you to pick up that trail again, give you new places to look, or connect you with someone who knows the story of the family.
  2. French Canadian Ancestry. As I mentioned earlier, your bridge across the Atlantic doesn’t have to reach back to Great Britain. If you’re among the millions of Americans with French Canadian or Acadian ancestry, you might have cousins—and family stories—waiting just over our northern borders.
  3. Have family in Canada or Australia? Now they can take advantage of all the insights that come from AncestryDNA. If you haven’t tested other family members yet because they live outside the U.S., now is the time to have parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even cousins get their DNA tested to preserve that family information. Every family member is unique and carries different DNA, so testing as many family members as possible will help you capture your genetic heritage and make more connections.

Every new country opens a whole new pool of opportunity for DNA testing. Who knows, I might just find out a branch of the tree sprang up in the Land Down Under. I’ll share any new discoveries I have here, and if you find a cousin who helps you make a new discovery, share with us on Facebook or below in the comments. Connect to your cousins around the world now.

Ancestry Launches Autosomal DNA Testing Service in Canada

Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource, today launched AncestryDNA(their autosomal DNA test-LVH) in Canada. AncestryDNA allows individuals to learn about their genetic heritage and discover new family connections in Canada and around the world.

When coupled with Ancestry’s database of more than 16 billion historical records, AncestryDNA will enable family history enthusiasts and novices alike to discover even more about their own past, including the ability to find entire new cousin matches around the world.
“Historical records on provide an insight into one’s recent past, but usually go around 200-300 years, so it’s incredibly exciting to be able to offer DNA testing that takes your family history experience back many hundreds and even thousands of years,” said Christopher Labrecque, Country Manager for Ancestry Canada. “AncestryDNA enables users to learn more than ever about where they came from and discover new family lines and relatives. It really is the ultimate family history experience.”
AncestryDNA details the breakdown of one’s ethnic origins, predicting the likely locations of a person’s ancestors across 26 worldwide populations, providing a glimpse into one’s ancestral past that goes back to a time before historical records began to be kept.
The service also introduces users to new family members through DNA member matches which identifies unknown relatives pulled from more than 850,000 people who have previously taken the test. Many users can expect to be connected with 3rd and 4th cousins, allowing them to further grow their family trees and discover family members they may not have known existed.
In a recent survey, more than three-quarters of Canadians stated they would consider having their DNA tested to discover more about where their ancestors came from. Many said they know very little about their own family history, with 42 per cent indicating that they do not know where their grandparents were born, and 30 per cent stating they do not know where their ancestors lived before coming to Canada.
How AncestryDNA Works
The test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing to look at more than 700,000 locations across an individual’s entire genome through a simple saliva sample. The AncestryDNA approach provides a much more detailed look at one’s family history than other existing Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests that only look at specific branches of a person’s family tree.
AncestryDNA kits are now available for purchase for $149 plus shipping at
ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource with more than 2 million subscribers across all its websites. More than 16 billion records have been added to the sites and users have created more than 70 million family trees containing more than 6 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, the company operates several global Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands, including,,, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry International DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

So You’re Related to Charlemagne? You and Every Other Living European…

Couldn't pass this one by posted by fellow ham radio operator Dick Eastman in his Daily Online Newsletter at Thanks for sharing Dick.

Adam Rutherford is a former geneticist, now a science writer and broadcaster. He is on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science, and his most recent book, Creation (Viking 2013), concerning the origin of life, and genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

Rutherford thinks a crystal ball might be just as good as direct-to-consumer genetic testing when it comes to the ‘genetic astrology’ of linking the DNA of modern humans to their famous ancestors.

He writes, “This is merely a numbers game. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. But this ancestral expansion is not borne back ceaselessly into the past. If it were, your family tree when Charlemagne was Le Grand Fromage would harbour more than a billion ancestors – more people than were alive then. What this means is that pedigrees begin to fold in on themselves a few generations back, and become less arboreal, and more web-like. In 2013, geneticists Peter Ralph and Graham Coop showed that all Europeans are descended from exactly the same people. Basically, everyone alive in the ninth century who left descendants is the ancestor of every living European today, including Charlemagne, Drogo, Pippin and Hugh. Quel dommage.”

Rutherford obviously doesn’t think much of DNA testing companies that claim to decode your ancestry back to ancient times. He writes, “The truth is that we all are a bit of everything, and we come from all over. If you’re white, you’re a bit Viking. And a bit Celt. And a bit Anglo-Saxon. And a bit Charlemagne.”

There is a lot more to this interesting article at