Parent-Child Non-Matching Autosomal DNA Segments

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Recently, I had the opportunity to compare 2 children’s autosomal DNA against both of their parents.  Since children obtain 50% of their DNA from each parent (except for the X chromosome in males), it stands to reason that all valid autosomal matches to these children not only will, but must match one parent or the other.  If not, then the match is not valid – in other words – it’s an identical match by chance.

If you remember, the definition of a match by chance, or IBC (identical by chance) is when someone matches a child but doesn’t match either parent.

This means that the DNA segments, or alleles, just happen to line up so that it reads as a match for the child, by zigzagging back and forth between the DNA of both parents, but it really isn’t a valid genealogical match.

You can read about how this works in my article, How Phasing Works and…

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Mother’s Day – Tracking the Mitochondrial DNA Line

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Just for fun, for Mother’s Day, here is the visual history of my mitochondrial DNA line.  It’s fun, quick to do and a great way to share DNA information with your family!


My daughter.


My son.

me at 5


mom toddler

My mother – Barbara Jean Ferverda (1922-2006)

Edith as a child cropped

My grandmother – Edith Barbara Lore (1888-1960) married John Whitney Ferverda

Nora Kirsch wedding

My great-grandmother – Ellenore “Nora” Kirsch (1866-1949) married Curtis Benjamin Lore

barbara drechsel cropped

Barbara Drechsel – German immigrant – (1848-1930) married Jacob Kirsch

I wish we had photos of Barbara’s mother, Barbara Mehlheimer (1823-1906) who married George Drechsel and immigrated to Aurora, Indiana.  Her mother was Elisabetha Mehlheimer.

Thank you to all of the mothers who came before and contributed their mitochondrial DNA, along with everything else, to their children…and ultimately to my children!

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Proving Your Tree

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

With all the recent discussion about Ancestry’s new “New Ancestor Discovery” feature rollout, and some wrong individuals being assigned as my ancestors, some people have been asking the question, “How do you know your tree is right?”  In other words, how do I know those ancestors are not my genetic ancestors?  As they correctly pointed out, NPEs and adoptions do occur.

And they are right, absolutely right.  It’s a legitimate question, one that every one of us needs to answer for our own trees.

I answered their question briefly by saying that I have a combination of both paper genealogy and DNA for all ancestors through the 6th generation, which is true, but I want to share more than that.  Plus, I wanted to take the time to really evaluate every single line individually to be absolutely positive of what I was saying, and to weigh the evidence. …

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DNA Lectures YouTube Channel

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy


The Who Do You Think You Are? conference in England is over for this year, and once again, we are the beneficiaries.  Family Tree DNA sponsored the DNA Theater at the event, and Dr. Maurice Gleeson and other volunteers coordinated the speakers.  Currently, the videos are being uploaded to a YouTube DNA Lectures Channel so we can all enjoy them and learn.

Here’s the link to the channel:

Currently, there are five new lectures from this year, plus 10 from last year that are still very relevant.  I understand that more lectures will be posted as they finish putting the videos into final format.

Here is the list of lectures that were delivered at the conference this year.

I have not watched all of the available videos, but I have watched the lecture by John Cleary titled, “It’s not just ‘deep ancestry’ – how NGS and Y-STR testing can further your…

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Melissa Etheridge – Who Do You Think You Are – Season Finale

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Compliments of TLC Compliments of TLC

Famed musician Melissa Etheridge is eager to trace the history of her paternal side, having always been very close with her father who passed away. On a family tree that her mother has started, Melissa finds that her dad’s maternal side – The Janises – have deep roots in Quebec City, Canada; so Melissa starts her journey there.

At the National Archives of Quebec, Melissa discovers that her 6x great grandfather Francois Janis was an innkeeper there in the early 1700’s. Searching for him in the archives’ database, Melissa finds a trial record indicating that Francois and his wife sued a man named Jean Dubreuil for seducing and impregnating their teenage daughter Charlotte under the pretext of marriage. The original record shows a dramatic back and forth in which Jean calls Charlotte a streetwalker in court and refuses to marry her. Finally Jean admits to having seduced…

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Milestone 5000

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

double helix band

In our personal lives, we have milestones.  Some milestones we work towards and others happen, whether we do anything or not – like birthdays.

Some birthdays are considered milestone birthdays – like – when I was a kid – 16 – because it brought with it the freedom of driving.

On the night of April 19, 2015, sometime in the darkest hours of overnight (at least here in the US,) the blog reached a blogging milestone of sorts – 5000 subscribers.  And those are just the folks I know about.  Blogging management software tells us how many subscribers via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter we have, but it doesn’t tell us how many people are following us by RSS feeds.  I know there are quite a few, because one of the very first requests I received when I began the blog in July of 2012 was to set up the…

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John Combs (1705-1762), Slave Owner, 52 Ancestors #68

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

John Combs is my most distant proven ancestor in the Combs line.  His daughter Luremia, married Moses Estes about 1762 in Amelia County, VA.

According to John Combs’ deposition given in 1745, he was about 40 years old, so he was born about 1705, probably in Virginia, but we don’t know for sure.  If he was born in Virginia, his father likely did not own property, because there is no Combs, or anything similar, on the list of 1704 Virginia Tax Rent Rolls of land owners.

Furthermore, I believe John had a brother, one George Combs, who was also born about that same time according to a different lawsuit.  Bless those chancery suits.

Most of what we know about John Combs came in bits and pieces and fits and starts and I’ve had to piece it together like a big jigsaw puzzle with no picture and a few strategic pieces missing.

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