Our quarterly town hall gives employees the opportunity to meet with the executive team and go over new business opportunities, recent growth, and the chance to realign with the company values: One Team, Integrity, and Innovation.

Photos from the myDNA October 2023 town hall at Saint Arnold’s Brewery in Houston, TX

This update includes an overview of product updates and releases, the status of the Y-DNA haplotree, FamilyTreeDNA community involvement, and an overview of DNA news for the last three months.

In the ever-evolving landscape of genetic genealogy, FamilyTreeDNA stands at the forefront, continuously innovating to illuminate the intricate branches of human ancestry. This quarterly update provides a detailed glimpse into the recent advancements and upcoming features, reaffirming our commitment to empowering your journey of self-discovery through the threads of our shared genetic heritage.

Product Releases: Globetrekker, Discover™, and Matching

When it comes to understanding our roots, few tools are as powerful and enlightening as the FamilyTreeDNA test kit. Amidst the sea of genetic testing options, it stands out for its unparalleled depth and precision, painting a vivid picture of our ancestry.

Dive into the recent updates and upcoming features of FamilyTreeDNA, examining the impact of these advancements on our quest to uncover our heritage.

Status of Product Releases

Current Products: Unveiling the Past with Globetrekker
In the third quarter, FamilyTreeDNA unveiled a groundbreaking addition to its repertoire: Globetrekker. This exclusive Big Y feature harnesses the largest Y-DNA tree in the world, providing users with an intricate tapestry of their paternal lineage.

Using advanced phylogenetic algorithms, it not only dives into historical global sea levels, land elevation, and ice age glaciation but also offers a personalized animation spanning 200,000 years of one’s history. Globetrekker’s 48,000 paternal line migration paths cover every populated continent, enriching our understanding of human movement and settlement across the globe.

Additionally, the integration of the Discover platform with FamilyTreeDNA sign-ins revolutionized the user experience. Now, users can upload profile pictures, explore Ancient Connections, and dive into interactive country frequency reports, adding layers of personalization to their genetic exploration.

Upgrades in Q3: Enhancing User Choice and Current Discover Reports

In a bid to enhance user choice, FamilyTreeDNA revamped its onboarding process, separating Matching and IGG Matching, both of which opt out by default for new testers.

Furthermore, the integration with FamilyTreeDNA sign-ins introduced reinvented haplogroup age badges and an interactive country frequency report, fostering a deeper connection with ancestral roots.

Future Products in Q4: Family Finder Haplogroups, Compare Haplogroups Report, and Big Y Matches in the Time Tree

Family Finder Y-DNA Haplogroups: Peering into Deep Ancestry
Looking ahead to Q4, FamilyTreeDNA is set to introduce Family Finder Y-DNA Haplogroups, a feature that dives into major branches on the Y-DNA Tree of Humankind.

This addition promises a deeper understanding of early human migrations, associating haplogroups with specific geographic regions. For genetic males with an autosomal DNA test, this update will add a layer of granularity to their results, tracing their lineage back to the Metal Age.

Compare Haplogroups in Discover: Navigating Genetic Relationships
A new tool named Compare has already debuted within Discover for Q4, allowing users to compare different Y-DNA haplogroups.

This feature facilitates a deeper understanding of genetic relationships, providing insights into the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA), Time Tree, and more.

Big Y Matches in Time Tree: Visualizing Ancestral Connections
The upcoming Big Y matches in the Time Tree feature promises a holistic view of one’s genetic matches, including their names and detailed information. This addition amplifies the sense of connection by visualizing ancestral relationships in a comprehensible manner.

In the realm of genetic exploration, FamilyTreeDNA continues to set new standards, providing users with tools that not only inform but also inspire a profound connection with their heritage. The latest advancements, from the intricate details of Globetrekker to the “Compare” tool and Big Y matches in Time Tree, promise a future where understanding our genetic origins is more accessible and engaging than ever before.

As evidenced by user feedback, these advancements are not just scientific milestones but personal revelations, transforming the way we perceive our familial pasts. With each update, FamilyTreeDNA reaffirms its commitment to empowering our journeys of self-discovery through the threads of our shared genetic heritage.

Y-DNA Tree Update: A Glimpse into the Y-DNA Tree of Humankind

In the ever-expanding realm of genetic genealogy, FamilyTreeDNA stands as a pioneering force, tirelessly working to illuminate the intricate branches of human ancestry. As of September 30, the Y-DNA Tree of Humankind reached a significant milestone, surpassing 100,000 Big Y test results.

This surge was expertly managed, with Michael Sager diligently overseeing the growth, which culminated in an impressive 72,357+ Y-DNA branches, all traced back through a staggering 663,000+ Y-SNPs.

The Current Status: A Snapshot of Progress

The culmination of Q3 saw a flurry of activity within the Y-DNA Tree of Humankind. The aftermath of a massive Summer Sale resulted in a deluge of new Big Y results. Despite the influx, the integration process has been remarkably swift, ensuring that the tree remains a comprehensive reflection of human genetic diversity.

Notable Additions: A Glimpse into the Past

The scope of discoveries within the Y-DNA haplotree expanded exponentially in Q3. Amidst the whirlwind of updates, the FamilyTreeDNA team dedicated time to dissect groundbreaking ancient DNA studies.

From Stone Age Eurasia to the liberated Africans of St Helena, from the enigmatic cultures of Pannonia to the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands, these studies have enriched our understanding of human migration and history. Notably, the first-millennium Poland study added a monumental layer to our knowledge base.

Notable Testers: Famous Finnish Folks and Michael Jackson

In the pursuit of unraveling the threads of ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA welcomed a plethora of notable testers into the fold. Within the Finnish project, dedicated administrators dove deep into the roots of their ancestry, unearthing connections that added renowned Finnish figures to the ever-growing database. In a significant revelation, the patrilineal ancestry of the iconic Michael Jackson was unveiled through the meticulous process of Big Y testing, further highlighting the power of genetic genealogy in bridging gaps across time and space.

The Future: A Glimpse Beyond the Horizon

As we move forward, the landscape of genetic genealogy promises even more exciting prospects. Anticipate updates within the Discover Y-DNA reports, specifically related to Family Finder haplogroups.

Although these reports are best experienced with a Big Y haplogroup, a Family Finder haplogroup still offers a comprehensive understanding of one’s genetic heritage, from the broader strokes of human migration to the intricate details of individual lineages.

In the grand tapestry of human history, the Y-DNA haplotree at FamilyTreeDNA serves as a beacon, guiding us through the ages. With every test conducted and every discovery made, we inch closer to unraveling the profound story encoded within our genes. As the branches of the Y-DNA haplotree continue to multiply and intertwine, the mysteries of our shared ancestry gradually unfold, reminding us of the intricate web that binds us all.

Events: Illuminating Genealogical Journeys

Embarking on a journey through the intricate tapestry of genealogy, FamilyTreeDNA stands as a guiding beacon, illuminating the path with our advanced tools and unwavering passion. In the ever-exciting realm of genealogical events, our team’s presence was not just marked by attendance, but by the transformative power of FamilyTreeDNA genealogical research tools.

From the bustling corridors of London to the serene landscapes of New Zealand, these events in Q3 were not mere gatherings; they were opportunities to showcase the potential of cutting-edge genetic exploration.

Events from Q3: Bridging Continents with Genealogy

IAJGS Conference, London (July 30 – August 3): Our enduring partnership with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) bore fruit in London. Meagan Marwitz, Janine Cloud, and Haplotree Specialist Michael Sager transcended geographical boundaries, meeting customers in person and fostering connections that bridged continents.

Auckland Family History Expo, New Zealand (August 11-13): In the heart of Auckland, Gail Riddell, our Group Project Administrator, graced the Family History Expo. Her talk, titled “The Surname Test on Y-DNA,” resonated with the audience, leading to brisk sales and enriching discussions.

NIFHS DNA Summer School (Week of August 21): Supporting the North of Ireland Family History Society, Janine Cloud took the virtual stage with her enlightening talk, “Big Y and Discover.” The event witnessed a surge in DNA test sales, marking a significant stride in genetic exploration.

Släktforskardagarna, Sweden (August 26-27): Sweden’s national genealogy celebration, Släktforskardagarna, embraced the spirit of discovery. Mats Ahlgren, Peter Sjölund, and other passionate volunteers captivated audiences with talks that dove into diverse genealogical realms, while FamilyTreeDNA’s tests found new homes.

Friends of the Clayton Library (September 7): Product Owner Katy Rowe-Schurwanz embarked on a virtual journey, sharing invaluable insights during her talk, “Three Ways to Break Brick Walls with DNA.” Her expertise illuminated pathways for attendees, fostering a community of knowledge seekers.

SCGS DNA Special Interest Group (August 30): Jim Brewster, our esteemed speaker, stirred minds with his virtual presentation, “Add some Might to Your Research with Mitochondria!” The discussion sparked intellectual fire, encouraging attendees to explore the depths of mitochondrial DNA.

Upcoming Events in Q4: Navigating Promising Horizons

Your DNA Guide’s “Ask the Experts” Series (October 2): Katy Rowe-Schurwanz, our beacon of genetic wisdom, took the spotlight, guiding enthusiasts through the intricacies of DNA research. The event marked the beginning of Q4 with a flourish of expert knowledge.

East Coast Genetic Genealogy Conference, Baltimore (October 6-8): Janine Cloud, Katy Rowe-Schurwanz, and Courtney Eberhard’s presence at the East Coast Genetic Genealogy Conference added luster to the event. Her talk, “Discovering and Connecting to Paternal Lineages with Big Y,” unveiled the mysteries of paternal ancestry, leaving attendees enlightened.

Jefferson County Library, Missouri (October 7): Jim Brewster continues his enlightening journey, presenting at the Jefferson County Library with a talk titled “Using DNA Testing for your Research.” His expertise will illuminate the path for attendees, offering invaluable insights into the world of genetic exploration.

15th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy, Houston (November 3-5): A monumental event awaits as Group Project Administrators convene for the first time since 2019. Hosted by FamilyTreeDNA, the conference promises a hybrid experience, featuring illustrious speakers like Bennett Greenspan, Miguel Vilar, Peter Sjölund, Dave Vance, and Roberta Estes. Topics will span from Ancient DNA to the intricacies of GAP, the Group Project Administrator interface.

Texas State Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference (November 6-11): FamilyTreeDNA’s sponsorship illuminates the all-virtual event hosted by TxSGS. Katy Rowe-Schurwanz and Jim Brewster, our seasoned experts, will share their knowledge, and our virtual booth on the Whova app will serve as a hub for enthusiasts eager to explore the world of genetic genealogy.

As we stride into the promising horizons of Q4, FamilyTreeDNA remains committed to enhancing the genealogical journey with our powerful arsenal of tools. With each event, from virtual talks to hybrid conferences, our aim is not just to participate but to elevate the experience.

Through the lens of FamilyTreeDNA genealogical research tools, every discussion becomes profound, every insight becomes enlightening, and every connection becomes meaningful. Together, armed with knowledge and technology, we venture forth, navigating the intricate paths of genetic exploration, bound by the shared passion for unveiling the secrets of our ancestry.

Unveiling Ancient Secrets: DNA Discoveries from July to September 2023

In the realm of ancient DNA analysis, the past few months has witnessed a series of groundbreaking discoveries that have reshaped our understanding of human history and genetics. These revelations, spanning from July to September 2023, illuminate the intricate tapestry of our ancestry, unveiling stories of ancient civilizations, diverse ancestries, and the interconnectedness of human populations across millennia.

July 2023: Unraveling Ancient European Social Structures

In July, researchers explored the Gurgy ‘Les Noisats’ site in modern-day France, unveiling the social structure of ancient communities from the Neolithic era.
Through advanced DNA analysis, scientists deciphered patrilineal patterns and stable reproductive partnerships, shedding light on the lives of prehistoric people and providing invaluable insights into their social organization.

August 2023: Reimagining Ötzi and Coastal Mediterranean Connections

August brought forth intriguing revelations about Ötzi, the Iceman, challenging conventional depictions of ancient Europeans. Genetic analysis disclosed his Anatolian ancestry, dark skin tone, and predisposition to baldness, painting a more accurate picture of this ancient individual.

Later in the month, researchers explored the ancient coastal cities of the central Mediterranean. The study of ancient individuals from Tunisia, Sardinia, and central Italy showcased a mix of local and non-local ancestries, emphasizing the interconnectedness of different populations during the Iron Age.

September 2023: Tracing African Roots and Multicultural Communities

September dove into the heart of Africa, unraveling unique genetic stories from the Angolan Namib desert. Scientists discovered distinct Pre-Bantu ancestry in Kwadi speakers and marginalized Namib communities, shedding light on the region’s deep genetic history.

Another discovery last month; a study revisited the stories of liberated Africans brought to St Helena, tracing their origins to West Central Africa. This research not only honored their legacy but also provided essential insights into their ancestral connections and the often-overlooked history of marginalized communities.

Navigating the Ancient Genomic Tapestry

As we reflect on these discoveries, it becomes evident that ancient DNA analysis continues to reveal the rich diversity and complexity of human history. From unraveling social structures in Neolithic Europe to reimagining the physical traits of Ötzi and tracing the roots of African communities, these findings offer profound glimpses into our shared past.

Each revelation serves as a testament to the interconnectedness of human populations throughout history, underscoring the importance of studying our genetic heritage to truly comprehend the depth of our shared human story.

Analyze the Past and Look to the Future

In closing, this quarterly update from FamilyTreeDNA underscores the importance of understanding our genetic heritage. Every discovery, every event, and every new feature enriches our shared human story, emphasizing our interconnectedness throughout history. As we move forward, let’s continue this exploration together, embracing the profound mysteries encoded within our genes.

Key Takeaways:

    • FamilyTreeDNA remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of genetic exploration, unveiling the richness of human ancestry with groundbreaking tools and research.
    • The quarterly update highlighted significant advancements, from the detailed insights of Globetrekker to upcoming features like Family Finder Y-DNA Haplogroups and the Compare tool, promising an engaging and enlightening genetic journey.
    • The interconnectedness of human populations across history, revealed through ancient DNA analysis, emphasizes the depth of our shared human story.

Stay Engaged

Explore the wealth of information and resources available on our website. Dive into your genetic heritage, connect with your roots, and unearth the profound story encoded within your DNA. Stay updated by subscribing to our blog, ensuring you never miss the latest developments in the world of genetic genealogy.

Embark on this enriching journey with FamilyTreeDNA. Together, let’s uncover the secrets of our ancestry and celebrate the vast tapestry of human history that binds us all.