WikiTree Uncovers X-Chromosome Ancestral Treasure!
by Peter J. Roberts

WikiTreers who have tested their autosomal DNA (auDNA) with 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder have an often overlooked treasure “buried” in their test information. These DNA results harbor some of their ancestors’ X-chromosome (X-DNA). The inheritance of X-DNA  is relatively complex (see video) and so WikiTree provides a simple tool to uncover which ancestors could have contributed to their X-DNA.

Begin your treasure hunt by registering at and following their instructions to upload your DNA results. This will allow you to uncover X DNA segments you share with your cousins who tested with 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Finder. Then enter your GEDmatch ID to your DNA Tests page in WikiTree in order for you and others to know who has X-DNA (and auDNA) results from those three labs.

If your ancestry is in WikiTree, then click on the link for “X-chromosome” on your DNA Ancestors View page under your DNA tab. This automatically creates a live tree of your ancestors who could have contributed to your X-DNA.  You should then e-mail that link to all your X-DNA matches and ask them, “Please let me know if you have any of these ancestors (or surnames) are in your ancestry.” Your cousins may have information you are missing about your shared ancestors. This also creates an opportune time to invite them to join WikiTree.

Some DNA results can be combined to prune your X-DNA ancestral tree. If you share an X-DNA segment with someone, but your mtDNA does not match their’s, then you can eliminate the ancestors on each your direct maternal lines as the contributor of that particular X-DNA segment. (More)

More adventurous treasure hunters can enter all the known descendants of a particular ancestor. Then click on that ancestor’s X-Chromosome DNA Descendants  to see which persons could have inherited that ancestor’s X-DNA. Test results of those living descendants could be used to “reconstruct” that ancestor’s X-DNA!

Having collaborative  crew members make for more successful treasure hunts, and the question on every seeker’s mind, “Why wouldn’t Mr. Crab share his treasure? A: Because he was a little shellfish.

Peter is an associate professor and archivist at Georgia State University. He has an undergraduate degree in art history from Emory University and a graduate degree in museum education from The George Washington University. He has had an interest in genealogy for about 40 years and has been exploring genetic genealogy for the past 10 years. He is the administrator for the Bahamas DNA Project and three surname DNA projects, namely Roberts, Sasser, and Rustin. He is a past regional coordinator for the Atlanta area for the International Society of Genetic Genealogy.


Greetings fellow WikiTreers!

Welcome to the April 2014 edition of News from the Tree, our monthly report on new features and changes around the site, notes on community leaders, tips, etc.

What’s New?

Merging Improvement for Marriages

This month we released a long-overdue improvement to the merging process. You now see marriage information on the merge confirmation screen. If there is duplicate marriage info — the two people being merged are both married to the same spouse — you’re able to select the marriage dates and location you want to keep. This is also more properly tracked in the Changes.

Easy Welcoming of New Volunteers

You can now view the latest new members who have volunteered to help the WikiTree mission. It can be a lot of fun browsing what new members have to say. If you like their comment and appreciate that they’re joining our project, you can thank them with one click. This is a great way to make them feel especially welcome. Browsing new volunteers is also a great way to find new people who are researching the same surnames as you or who have similar interests.  Check out the Volunteer Feed

Help Index

Our Help Committee worked hard to put together a new Help Index. With this new tool, you can easily find answers to questions you might have.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, let us know! It’s probably something we want to add.

Top 10 Surnames Added in March
  1. SMITH (1,450 new Smiths in March)
  2. LIEBENBERG (1284)
  3. FORTIER (965)
  4. BROWN (738)
  5. WILLIAMS (683)
  6. JOHNSON (664)
  7. JONES (564)
  8. THOMPSON (555)
  9. WILSON (543)
  10. ANDERSON (464)

 Who’s New?

We are pleased to welcome a new LeaderDarlene Athey Hill!  Darlene has been with us since January and is very active in many of our projects including the European Aristocrats, Irish Roots and the Magna Carta Project. She is becoming well-known around the site for writing beautiful biography sections. (Check out her work on Robert De Vere.)

For the past several years, Darlene’s research focus has been on medieval genealogy. She has spent an average of 60+ hours/week researching to learn more than just “dates” about her ancestors and their families from medieval times. It’s been a good history lesson and given her a new passion.

Quick Tips

  • Want to know more about the features and benefits of WikiTree for genealogists who have taken DNA tests? Read all about it on our DNA Features page!
  • When you are on a profile page there is a menu entry, top right, with the ID of the profile. This menu drop down gives shortcuts for all sorts of specific places connected with the profile, experiment with them and find interesting new views.
  • If you are skipping individuals while reviewing your GEDmatches report because the people are already on WikiTree, make a note of the ID of the matches. It makes it a lot easier to find them after the import so you can add them as parent, child or spouse to someone you did import.

Community Accomplishments

Top 10 contributors for March 2014:
WikiTree Club 1000 March 2014

  1. Kirsty Ward (10,632 edits in March)
  2. Bob Tonsmeire (10619)
  3. Grant Glover (8826)
  4. Vincent Piazza (6910)
  5. Mary Hammond (6280)
  6. Ann Johnson (5422)
  7. Jacques Pictet (5275)
  8. Kairen Brooke-Anderson (5101)
  9. Erin Breen (5071)
  10. Michelle Brooks (5054)

Super Star recipients (recognized by a Leader for extraordinary contributions that go far beyond what is normally seen on WikiTree):

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication ~ Ron Norman, Darlene KerrAustin PérezMG PittsVincent Piazza and Kyle Dane!

Join in the Fun!

Several new projects have started up recently  ~ perhaps there is one that catches your interest! If so, contact the project leader and get join in the fun!

  • Descendants of Pocahontas – The purpose of this project is to trace Pocahontas’ descendants, and try to untangle the myths surrounding her family.
  • Magna Carta – The goal of this project is to categorize and improve profiles of the 25 barons who were surety for Magna Carta, and the “illustrious men” named in the preamble, and their immediate families and descendants.
  • U.S Civil War: War Between the States – The purpose of this project is to focus on participants in this conflict 1861-1865.
  • Ambassadors – WikiTree Ambassadors are volunteers who are active in social media and/or blogging and who are dedicated to helping share the WikiTree love!

You can also view the list of all our current projects.

You’re Fantastic

We passed 7,000,000 profiles! We couldn’t do what we do and be what we are without the wonderful and amazing dedication of you, our volunteers.  Thank you for making WikiTree such a fantastic genealogy site and community!

The WikiTree Team and Leaders

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