Genealogy Blogging Beat – Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nov 20, 1925. US senator and younger brother of John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the US, was born at Brookline, MA. An assassin shot him at Los Angeles, CA, June 5, 1968, while he was campaigning for the presidential nomination. He died the next day. Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of his murder.
Today is Thursday, 20 November 2014, and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Items of Note

  • Today: Beaujolais Nouveau Released, Great American Smokeout, Robert Kennedy Birth – Anniversary, Name Your PC Day, and Universal Children’s Day.

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Finding Your Roots – Season 2 – Episode 9 – Now Available for Online Viewing

finding your roots

In the new season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, this week’s episode featured Tina Fey, George Stephanopoulos and David Sedaris. The episode is entitled Ancient Roots and can now be viewed online – click here to access the video.

Upcoming Episodes of Finding Your Roots

The tenth and final episode of Season 2, entitled Decoding our Past Through DNA, is scheduled for next Tuesday evening, 25 November 2014, and features Jessica Alba, Anderson Cooper, Valerie Jarrett, Governor Deval Patrick and more. Check the listings for your local PBS station – most stations will air the episode at 8:00 pm.

Here is the remaining schedule for Season 2:

25 November 2014
Decoding our Past Through DNA
Jessica Alba, Anderson Cooper, Valerie Jarrett, Governor Deval Patrick, and more

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

AncestryDNA Launches “DNA Circles”

AncestryDNA DNA Circles

Today, AncestryDNA announced improved DNA Matching including a new feature: DNA Circles. From the website on the DNA tab:

We’ve completely re-written the book on how DNA matches are determined, creating new and improved ways to identify genetic relationships. What this means is that our matching is far more accurate with far fewer low confidence matches.

Here is the full announcement on the blog:

Here is a screen shot of the DNA Circles information which is listed as being in BETA:

Description of new AncestryDNA feature, DNA Circles

DNA Circles

In order to access the new DNA Circles as it applies to your own data, you must be an subscriber and maintain a Public Tree linked to your DNA results. (Note: DNA results that did not require a subscription for before this update, still do not require a subscription – just the new features now require an subscription.)

Sample of DNA Circles at AncestryDNA

Currently, I am not included in any DNA Circles, but I am certain this will change over time as more relatives are tested and data is compiled.

New DNA Matching Algorithm

Other changes include better DNA matching which will result in the number of matches in your DNA tab. If you feel you’ve “lost” matches – DON’T PANIC! This is not the case! I think Blaine Bettinger at The Genetic Genealogist describes it much better than I can – so check out Goodbye False Positives! AncestryDNA Updates its Matching Algorithm for more information.

Old DNA Matches on AncestryDNA

UPDATE: I just heard from that the ability to download old DNA matches is now available! 

Finally, my contacts at have told me that users will be able to download old DNA matches for a limited time.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.