Illinois Ancestors: List of DNA testing companies online

Illinois Ancestors: List of DNA testing companies online

In response to a researcher's request, Dick Eastman, in his Online Genealogy Newsletter, has provided a list of DNA testing companies. Whether one wishes to undergo such a test for genealogy, a health-related issue, or some other reason, this list could be a starting point for one's personal use.

The list, created by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, can be found at and also includes a list of DNA testing companies "no longer trading."

The website includes each company's "specialty" (e.g., deep ancestry, ethnicity, paternity, etc.) and comparison charts of these companies. The list "does not imply recommendation or endorsement by ISOGG."

For example, the Autosomal DNA Testing Comparison Chart compares some features of four of the companies, including the primary purpose for which the test was designed; date the product was launched; price; method for collecting DNA sample; DNA sample storage; website (and link); address; phone number; email address; etc.

"Our Universal Royalty"

Carl Zimmer has written an interesting National Geographic article, "Charlemagne's DNA and Our Universal Royalty," which can be read at He cites the 1999 study made by Joseph Chang, a statistician at Yale, who concluded that "all individuals who have any descendants among the present-day individuals are actually ancestors of all present-day individuals."

There is a link to Chang's study, "Recent Common Ancestors of all Present-Day Individuals," (or go directly to Chang's article includes an extensive bibliography, which would be helpful for anyone wishing to study this subject further.

Indiana library's workshops

The Willard Library, 21 First Ave., Evansville, Ind., will conduct genealogy workshops June 17-22. The event will include daily workshops conducted by specialists in their fields, "Midnight Madness" (extended library hours 9 a.m. to midnight), and a tour and luncheon at the Reitz home.

All workshops are free and open to the public; the tour and luncheon costs $20. Reservations are requested, but not required. Register online at and select "June," call 812-425-4309 or email Learning Center

As one who does not have a subscription to but has used library editions on occasion, I nevertheless highly recommend this organization's online Learning Center, where one can read/download free research guides. Visit and click on "Research Guides."

The guides that are available include Getting Started (e.g., Ancestry Anne's Top 10 Search Tips; and Creating Timelines That Produce Answers); Ethnic Research; Immigration; Census (e.g., 10 Census Questions That Lead To More Answers); Military; and Miscellaneous.

Genealogists need to take advantage of any and all advice and help that is made available. One never knows if that single clue will lead to a "whole new world" of data.

Another newsletter awaits

The most recent issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society's newsletter, (May/June 2013) is now available online free. Visit and click on "ISGS Newsletter" and then "current issue: May 2013," or any previous issue back through 2008.

Be sure to read about the ISGS 2013 Fall Conference, "The Way They Were," to be held Oct. 25-26 at the Timber Creek Inn & Suites and Convention Center in Sandwich. Give your Illinois research a boost by joining this prestigious society!

By the way, did you know the ISGS website provides a listing of the over 3,700 persons who have been documented by descendants as Prairie Pioneers? Visit to see the list of names, with county and date settled.

On a personal note, I am proud that my great great grandmother, Sarah Ann (Hunt) Porter Layden Bush, has been recognized as an Illinois Prairie Pioneer.

Queries, genealogical questions from researchers and genealogical materials readers would like to share will be printed in this column free. Joan Griffis may be reached via email at or by sending a letter to Illinois Ancestors, c/o The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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