Archive for November, 2008 and DNA


-Special thanks to David Rheins, Chief Marketing Officer, for this article-

We launched our first social network application, Family Tree, in June of 2007 to help people build their family trees on Facebook and quickly realized the increasing trend of how people yearned to be social with their family connections.

Seeking to continue to serve this increasingly evident trend, we built our Family Tree applications to help people foster family interactions and explore their genealogy in social and collaborative environments on all the major social networks online, including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, and Hi5.

By offering our users Family Tree applications within their existing social networks, we removed a major adoption barrier of having to convince one’s relatives to register for an entirely new website.

We also helped people understand that genealogy can be fun — and not a chore done in the basement of a town hall record room or on an online genealogy service that concentrates on drawing lines into the past.

Familybuilder prides itself on how people are making connections with real-live relatives they can actually interact with — a major departure from researching deceased relatives alone.

Over the last 15 months, our model has proven itself: we have seen over 21 million relatives added to our applications by over 4.5 million users.

Familybuilder’s DNA kit, the lowest-priced genealogy DNA test on the market at $59.95, an ideal complement for our FamilyTree social network application.



Is the only genealogy service to run a family tree application on all the
major social networks: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, and Orkut.

Maintains over 21million family tree profiles built by its users.

Has been very successful in leveraging viral growth to build out an
extensive user base, including over 5 million users on Facebook alone.

Is one of the top 50 applications on Facebook (out of 38,000) according
to Adonomics (08/08).

Is the only genealogy service to bridge together family trees across
The multiple online social networks so people can find & track family
members no matter where they may dwell online.

Is the only genealogy service to offer DNA services across multiple
social networks.


Familybuilder offers both paternal (YDNA) and maternal (mtDNA) tests:

Familybuilder’s YDNA test is a 17 marker test (compare to FamilyTreeDNA’ s 12 markers)

Familybuilder’s mtDNA test analyzes 420 base pairs of the HV1 region

Familybuilder provides results online, and by email

Familybuilder’s DNA test is the most affordable on the market, priced at
only $59.95 for both YDNA and mtDNA tests

Current pricing for DNA products:

YDNA test $129.00
mtDNA test: $159.00

FamilyTree DNA
YDNA test: $149.00
mtDNA test: $129.00

Ancestry DNA
YDNA test: $149.00
mtDNA test: $179.00

YDNA $399
mtDNA tests $399.00

Familybuilder DNA
YDNA: $59.95
mtDNA: $59.95


November 25, 2008 at 3:22 pm 1 comment

Feeling Inspired By Those I Am Researching

I enjoy doing research. The satisfaction is there whether it is my own family, friend or a client. But, on that same thought, the frustration over a brick wall is just as great. It seems when I am about ready to give up on a research project, something happens or “shows” up in my eyesight, which lets me know I should keep going. These “signs” inspire me and give me reason to believe someone on the other side wants me to try harder to discover them and their family. To some it may seem like nonsense or silliness, but to other researchers that I have shared this with, they understand my feelings and voice similar inspirations. Here are a few things that happen to me personally that send shivers down my spine and keep me going back to that brick wall.

An example that happened to me today is from a license plate. I am doing a research on a family from Yalobusha County, Mississippi. I reside in Germantown, Shelby County, Tennessee. I was feeling very frustrated because I could not find this couple- that I am pretty sure are in this area. I was feeling like calling it a day and start on something else. As I was driving down the road, I noticed a car in front of me with what I could not believe – a car with license plate of Yalobusha, MS! I have not seen one of those in my life as far as I can recall, so image how I felt when I saw it directly in front of me. So, of course, I honestly feel this family does not want me to give up, and I will not let them or my friend down; I will keep looking. In the past, this has happened to me several times with different counties.

I have worked on families and then I see their surnames on billboards or the side of trucks. During the time I am doing the research, I almost always meet new people that just happen to have the same surname or have family in that same county. This is not through genealogy research, but happens when I am walking in a store, sitting at a doctor’s office or visiting with a neighbor. I recall once I was working on a family and feeling very much in despair. I was ready to give up and tell my friend I could not find their ancestor. I was driving and contemplating this as I waiting for a red light to turn green in a neighborhood I don’t travel in much. As I looked up, I immediately noticed the street sign; I was next to Perkins Street, which was the family surname I was having trouble with.

Another example that happened to me this week was an article sent to me. It was through a blog I belong to that mentioned an article about surnames beginning with Mac and Mc. Well, I was happy to read it as I started working, just this week, on a surname of McKinna from Yalobusha. Another clue, along with the license plate, that this family wants to be remembered.
I admit this does not happen to me on every person or family I research. But, it does seem that those times I am most passionate about a family or feeling very frustrated, I will usually have something happen, such as the above examples. It gives me the inspiration and dedicated to continue researching, and usually I do find more information to finally break that brick wall.

Do you need help with your genealogy? Check out Getting Started in Genealogy

For more genealogy articles by Tina Sansone, please visit Genealogy@Bellaonline

November 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm 1 comment

DNA Genealogy Sources

DNA and Genealogy is a topic that many are gaining an interest in.  I am learning right along side my readers.  If you discover a great book or internet site please share this information with me. I recently attended a seminar and Genealogy & DNA was one of our topics. Here is a portion of what I learned.

DNA is basically a long molecule that contains coded instructions for the cells. Everything the cells do is coded somehow in DNA – which cells should grow and when, which cells should die and when, which cells should make hair and what color it should be. Our DNA is inherited from our parents. We resemble our parents simply because our bodies were formed using DNA to guide the process – the DNA we inherited from them.

We may resemble our parents, but we are never exactly like them. This is because each child gets only some of the DNA each parent carries. About half our DNA comes from our mother, and half comes from our father. Which pieces we get is basically random, and each child gets a different subset of the parents’ DNA. Thus, siblings may have the same parents, but they usually do not have exactly the same DNA (except for identical twins). (University of Michigan: DNA Sequencing Core)

A great internet site I recommend to gain a better understanding is The Genetic Genealogist. The Genetic Genealogist examines the intersection of traditional genealogical techniques and modern genetic research. The blog also explores the latest news and developments in the related field of personal genomics. Genetic genealogy is another tool for the genealogist’s toolbox. It is the use of genetics to study genealogy, the relationship between individuals. There are at least four types of genealogical DNA testing, including Y-chromosome, X-chromosome, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA test. 

Here are some other internet sites that can help you understand more about DNA and how it can possibly help you in your family research.

Major DNA Testing Services (for informational purposes only; no endorsement implied); Familybuilder DNA;African Ancestry;Ancestry DNA;DNA Heritage;DNAPrint Genomics;DNA Solutions Ltd;DNA Testing Systems;Ethnoancestry;Family Tree DNA;Genebase Systems,Inc.;Genlex Corporation;Genomac International, s.r.o.;Igenea;GeoGene, Inc.;Oxford Ancestors Ltd;Roots for Real Genetic Ancestry
DNA Database Websites;DNA List;ybase;ysearch>Sorenson Database; National Geographic Genographic Index

DNA Books

Forensic Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick

How to Interpret your DNA Test Results for Family History & Ancestry by Anne Hart, Writers Club Press, 2002

Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore your Family Tree by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner, Rosedale Press, 2004

The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes, Norton, 2001

Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project by Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society, 2006

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells, Princeton University Press, 2003

For more articles by Tina Sansone visit Genealogy@Bellaonline

November 13, 2008 at 10:46 am 4 comments

Genealogy Chat November 9, 2008

The Bellaonline Genealogy Chat will be on the 2nd and 4th Sunday at 6:00 PM EST. The first one was held on November 9th. Here is the link to that chat:

Genealogy Chat Log

The next chat will be held on November 23 and you are invited to join us!

November 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

Oh Baby! – Give Us a Smile!

Michael Before Blessing

This is my 21 year old son Michael.  This photo was taken right before we left to get his baby blessing. He was so cute.  I still have this little outfit that my other two kids wore on their blessings.

November 10, 2008 at 3:40 am Leave a comment

I am thankful for (fill in name) because….

I am thankful for my grandmother for all the meals she made while she was alive.  She always had 3-4 meats, several veges, all kinds of pies and cakes and much more.  The smell of breakfast cooking will remain with me all my life.  I’ve never tasted gravy as good as hers, but my cousin Jill almost has it down for which I am thankful.  My grandmother would wake up early to cook and go to bed late getting ready for the next day.  Oh, and her fried chicken was sooo good. 

So, my thanks goes to Mamma, Sarah Bonnie Murphy Smith (1915-2002)

November 2, 2008 at 1:53 pm 1 comment