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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Geneanet DNA launched as a beta test service

Geneanet has just launched Geneanet DNA, a new beta test service which allows people to upload the raw data of a DNA test kit taken with any company, to compare it to other Geneanet members’ DNA data, and to find members whith whom they share DNA segments. 

The company, based in France, says you only have to download your raw DNA data from the site of your provider and to upload it to their database. They aim to make it very easy and Geneanet has some help tutorials to aid people who want to take advantage of this European service no matter if you have taken a DNA test kit at AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA or Living DNA.

Geneanet claims to deal with the rest of it thanks to powerful matching tools.

On thier website they say:

"At Geneanet, we do genealogy, only genealogy. We think that DNA tests are an additional tool for finding new relatives.

Of course, this new service does not replace genealogy research as we do it for years but it’s an additional way of finding new branches and relatives."

See more at: https://en.geneanet.org/genealogyblog/post/2020/02/geneanet-launches-geneanet-dna

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ITV announce that Ant and Dec's DNA Journey is Coming Soon to TV

ITV has commissioned a two-part special which will see the UK’s best loved duo embark on a surprisingly emotional journey of discovery in Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey

A Voltage TV and Mitre Television co-production, viewers will see Ant and Dec navigate a tougher terrain than the Australian jungle.  Guided by expert genealogists and historians, the pair will follow their maternal and paternal blood lines using their DNA to search their ancestral history.    

As their travels take them to Ireland and the US, including The United Nations Headquarters, the pair will not only delve into their past but will also meet relatives they had no clue even existed, unveiling some truly shocking revelations that only their DNA could unlock. 

Whose great grandfather is a celebrated war hero and whose DNA cousin is a former US female wrestling promoter? Whose ancestors’ bones were deemed ‘of historical importance’ and who discovers that they are a descendant from Royalty?  

As Ant & Dec embark on their journey, viewers will be treated to a rare and personal glimpse into this truly remarkable friendship with their warmth and infectious humour that has not only captured the nation over the years, but has seen them achieve huge success resulting in a multitude of awards and accolades.  

Ant said:

“I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to historical events, so to get the chance to research our family history using our DNA was too good an opportunity to pass up.   What we find out is mind-blowing and nothing either of us could ever have imagined.   It’s something that will stay with us both forever. "

Dec said:

“A huge part of this was to find out my heritage, especially on my dad’s side.   I always thought I knew a fair bit about where I came from but it turns out I was wrong!  Whilst it was incredible to find out about the past, what was hugely overwhelming was to meet relatives neither of us knew we had.  It was a truly amazing experience."

Siobhan Greene, who commissioned the show when she was ITV’s Head of Entertainment Commissioned said:

“This documentary captured Ant and Dec at an intersection in their lives.  I feel sure the ITV viewers will be on the edge of their seats watching twists and turns of their DNA journey unfold, and their honesty and openness, will leave a lasting heart print.”

Kathleen Larkin, Executive Produce from Voltage TV said:

“It’s been a privilege working with such talent as Ant & Dec.  This is a film that celebrates friendship, showing two brilliantly funny best mates making a unique trip of a lifetime to find out about their heritage past and present.   It’s been a passion for all involved and we’ve loved working with the fantastic team at ITV to make something we all believe in.”

Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey is a Voltage TV and Mitre Television co-production for ITV.  It was commissioned by Siobhan Greene when she was ITV’s Head of Entertainment Commissioning and Louise Major Assistant Commissioner, Entertainment, ITV.  The Executive Producers are Kathleen Larkin and Sanjay Singhal and the Director is Iain Thompson, Voltage TV. 


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DNA may be used by court to settle family inheritance

DNA test results may be used in Britain by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to settle a family inheritance dispute. As reported in The Daily Telegraph (11th October 2015) after the death in 2013 of the 10th Baronet Pringle of Stichill, Sir Steuart Pringle who was the Commandant General of the Royal Marines during the Falklands War and survived an IRA car bomb, it was expected that his eldest son Simon, would become the 11th baronet. But the inheritance of the title, by the fifty-six year old insurer from Sussex, has been challenged by Murray Pringle, 74, an accountant from High Wycombe who has claimed that he is the true heir. Murray Pringle's case is based on DNA samples that he had provided for a Clan Pringle project and which had revealed that the 10th baronet was not genetically related to his cousins and to the wider Pringle family while Murray would seem to be descended from a legitimate branch of the family. Experts have suggested that the title should really have gone to the 9th baronet’s legitimate younger brother, Ronald, and then onto Murray. Now The Queen has referred the case to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council who will rule on whether DNA evidence can be used in disputes such as these. It is believed by some that if the Privy Council approves its use as evidence then a whole can of worms may be opened up in other inheritance disputes. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/queen-elizabeth-II/11925101/Queen-intervenes-to-settle-title-feud-opening-way-to-title-pretenders.html

Clan Pringle

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In a new study from Oxford University and published in Nature, researchers have found genetic signatures among  people from Britain that give away their historical roots in particular areas of the UK. It has enabled them to create the finest-scale map of genetic variation yet. The analysis gives us a snapshot of clusters of genetic variation in the late 1800s, when people were less likely to migrate far from their region of birth and so they believe this reflects  the historical waves of migration by different populations into the island that is Britain. “The patterns we see are extraordinary,” says Peter Donnelly, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, UK, who co-led the study published 18 March in Nature. “The genetic effects we’re looking at are the result of, probably, thousands of years of history.” Few people from the British Isles would today have ancestors from just one region of the country, but the researchers were able to find 2,039 Britons of European ancestry who lived in rural areas and also knew that their four grandparents were all born within a short distance of each other. Their findings are that
  • Modern Britain can be divided into 17 distinct genetic groupings
  • The English genomes are 40 percent French, about 26 per cent shared with the Germans, 11 per cent with the Danes and in the region of nine per cent with the Belgians
  • The Northern Welsh have the most DNA from the the original settlers of Briton and differ from the Southern Welsh
  • A clear genetic division between the people of Cornwall and Devon that still persists along the county boundary of the River Tamar which shows for the first time what had been thought for a long time
  • Notwithstanding the long held belief that the Vikings raped as they conquered they have left very little of their DNA behind
Leslie, S. et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14230 (18 March 2015).


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