Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ancestry 50% off through Monday

Many sources are announcing this 50% off for Ancestry memberships through Monday for gifts to new subscribers only.  (This is an Ancestry membership, not for DNA tests but you will want one to make the best of DNA test results.)  Contrary to popular opinion, my family tree software company RootsMagic made this announcement.

“Ancestry is offering 50% off gift subscriptions over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend!  And if you are a new subscriber, or if your current Ancestry subscription renews in the next 90 days, you can use the gift subscription for yourself!”

I tried it for a renewal for myself and Ancestry accepted the order with 7 days to cancel if it doesn’t work out.  Here are the details from the RootsMagic announcement.

You can use the gift subscription:
  1. To give an Ancestry subscription to a friend or family member who doesn't already have a subscription.
  2. To give yourself a subscription (if you don't already have one).
  3. To have someone give you an Ancestry subscription (if you don't already have one).
  4. To give yourself a renewal IF your current subscription expires in the next 90 days.  This requires you to: a) turn off auto-renew on your current subscription, and b) set the "membership start date" on your gift to the day after your current subscription expires).
But you better hurry, because this sale ends Monday, November 27, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. So take advantage of this special offer today!"

Give it a try!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Eye-Popping Black Friday DNA Sales

If you have ever considered buying a DNA test kit, now is the time.  The prices are in a race to the bottom with the lowest prices we have ever seen.  I have no fewer than eight bloggers in my email this morning trumpeting the good news.  

I’m sticking with Thomas MacEntee over at  He works diligently to build relationships with vendors and keeps us updated on every possibility year ‘round. 
Today visit his Black Friday post at .

I’m sticking with as my top choice for genealogists at $59 plus ten bucks or so for shipping.  You can try the code FREESHIPDNA but it may not work at this special price.

I still like with their Family Finder autosomal test (same one as Ancestry) at $49 plus shipping.  Good for elderly, tight budgets, and people considering the Y or mitochondrial test later on.

If you are ordering any of the tests or upgrades, check with me for extra coupons.  They are sending weekly discounts to existing customers and I may be able to help you out.

Some experts are recommending Living DNA test for British ancestry.  It’s $89 plus shipping for their 3-in-1 test which is normally around $159.  It’s a little early for me because they are a new service and won’t have matching until next summer.

****Keep your eye on the calendar because many of the offers expire Monday night.
****If you are looking for other genealogy sales over the weekend, Thomas will keep us updated here:

If this is making your head swim but you would like to get started, don’t hesitate to contact me at ferndalegenies at gmail dot com. 

Happy Testing,

Judith Culver

Saturday, November 18, 2017

DNA Excitement, Monday meeting

I am so excited!  This week I was contacted by a DNA match in Vienna.  My match’s family is from a small farming community where my only Austrian great-grandfather grew up.  The town Diepolz has always had 200-400 inhabitants.  We know that our common ancestor lived around 100 years before my great-grandfather but my match and his brother are going to work to figure out my ancestors.  And they speak German!  This is the best it can be: matches who want to research our ancestors for us. 

My DNA contact is so timely.  Our meeting Monday will focus on DNA and our stories with plenty of time to work on other research too.  

I hope you can join us…Ferndale Library 1:00.  We need some people around 12:30 to help setup tables.  Rick is off on the East Coast meeting his newfound relatives and maybe visiting some archives too.

See you there.  Judith

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

DNA Sales Going on Now

Now is the time!  If you have been thinking about purchasing a DNA test kit, this is the best time of year.  There are so many sales with special terms that I won’t attempt to summarize them.  Watch out for their ending dates.  They are mostly between 11/19 and 11/23.  Sales will be continuing but maybe not for the test you want.

Some of the services offer additional discounts on second and third kits purchased at the same time.  People use these to test their parents, aunts, uncles and other relatives.  Others stock up for testing relatives at reunions.  And some just buy when kits are on sale and decide who to test later on.

In my mind the best consolidated site for DNA Bargains is called just that:  This site is authored by Thomas MacEntee and he keeps all the details up to date.

If you want to learn about the tests and the sales start here.  Thomas says look here for strategies for navigating the offers.  Very good advice for beginners.

If you know what test you want, this gives all the sale details and links to the sites:

I will add that Ancestry is $79 with a free shipping code but Thomas says if you are not in a hurry it is likely to go down for Black Friday.

At our meeting next week on the 20th we will be covering some DNA basics and answering your questions.  If your sale is expiring before then and you’re not sure, contact me personally or at ferndalegenies at gmail dot com. 

Judith Culver

PS. Are you wondering why I spelled out the email address above?  It’s so the trolls won’t pick it up as an email address and start spamming the Ferndale Genies

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ends Saturday... 50% for new subscr; ideas for current subscribers

Ends Saturday, Nov 11.  One day left.

Go here:

For new subscribers, 50% off is the best deal there is. One-month and six-month options.

For renewing members, blogger Thomas MacEntee suggests calling Ancestry and asking for a discount.  Genie Rick was successful doing this and I've been jealous ever since.

Act now.

Judith Culver

Thursday, November 9, 2017

So Much DNA News!

Just when I was thinking that every DNA testing company was stepping up their game, fantastic blogger and programmer Kitty Cooper summed up recent news in this blogpost.

In addition to Kitty, Debbie Cruwys blogs about Living DNA’s new project One Family One World and the start of transfers from other testing companies, announcing DNA matching in Summer 2018. announced 6 million testers, an increase of 1 million in the last 3 months. exceeded 3 million. Other companies have fewer but are announcing changes that will bring more customers to their services.  And Kitty points to news from a number of third-party sites. 

Don’t get overwhelmed…keep reading.  

For people new to DNA testing, read some of the DNA articles in the left menu of our website  Also come to our meeting on November 20 where I will give a mini-intro to DNA and you will hear a bunch of DNA stories from the members.  We will answer your questions there.

For people new to genealogy, I don’t suggest that everyone needs a DNA test.  DNA results go hand-in-hand with traditional DNA research.  Test if you want to for fun but know that a family tree is needed to take advantage of the matching relatives you are provided.

My DNA testing recommendation remains essentially the same.  Start with unless you have a special case of adoption, unknown parentage, or elderly tester.  Ancestry has by far the most possible matches and there is no way to transfer your raw DNA to Ancestry from another testing service.  You can transfer your raw DNA data from to MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA and GedMatch.

There will be numerous discounts between now and the end of the year.  Kitty gives a couple and many are coming.  I advise…don’t go for the cheapest test.  Figure out what test and company you want to use and wait for the holiday discount. 

There are so many improvements and new companies that I can’t keep up with it all.  If you try any of the new capabilities, we will all be eager to hear about your experiences on November 20th.

Judith Culver

Monday, November 6, 2017

November Events and other educational opportunities

We can tell November is here.  What a change in the weather!  I hope you are all staying warm.

Genealogy events follow the seasons.  We have had many conferences and seminars through September and October but with the start of the holiday season there are only a few.  Time to focus on our local meetings, webinars and snuggling down with a few TV shows.

From the Events Page of our blog, here are our favorites. 

Featured:   Ferndale Genies Monthly Meeting:  Join us Monday, November 20 from 1:00-3:30 at the Ferndale Library. The holidays bring lots of DNA test discounts and we’re getting new people all the time.  We’ll have an overview of companies, tests and bargains with lots of time for questions of all sorts.  There will be time for hands-on work. Come prepared question computing device or plans to borrow one.  And passwords, of course.  

Next meeting December 18.

Whatcom Genealogical Society:    Whatcom Genealogical Society is always 2nd Monday at 2:00 pm at the Bellingham Elks Lodge, 710 Samish Way, Bellingham WA. Park around back and enter on the lower level (unless you have a big truck or an RV).

November 13th – Jill Morelli, “Changes at Family Search”
Visitors welcome! Contact: 360-733-8300

New Blaine Genealogy Class.  Still promoting this weekly opportunity to learn.  Great for beginners.  Sharon Neem, a long-time Whatcom Gen Society member, has a weekly Genealogy Class at the Blaine Senior Center. It meets every Tues. from 10:30 – 11:30 am.  It started Oct. 10.  They would enjoy having anyone interested join them.  The classes are free, but you have to join the Blaine Senior Center to participate.

Online: Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars  Click on the highlighted link for a multitude of classes and archives.  Sign up to receive notice of future months.  For the most complete November 2017 list, click here.

TV:  Finding Your Roots on PBS Tuesdays at 8:00.
Long Lost Family on TLC on Mondays at 8:00.

Judith Culver