Genealogy Update for Friday, September 28, 2018

Genealogy Update for Friday, September 28th, 2018 featuring genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy

The Latest Genealogy News from Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy via Genealogy Update

Here is today’s Genealogy Update via Alexa Flash Briefing, the Player (below) and the Episode Notes (PDF below):

  • Alexa Flash Briefing: Click HERE to enable Genealogy Update on your Alexa Device. If you need help setting up the Alexa flash briefing for your account, click HERE to learn more about flash briefings and Alexa skills over at Amazon.
  • Player: If you don’t have an Alexa voice-activated device, use the player below to listen to today’s Genealogy Update.


  • Episode Notes: The episode notes for Genealogy Update are available for the hearing impaired and for those who may want to share the information in print format. Click HERE for the current episode’s notes or read below.

Genealogy Update Alexa Briefing
Friday, September 28, 2018

This is Thomas MacEntee with Abundant Genealogy and here are the genealogy and family history-related items you need to know for today, Friday, September 28th, 2018:

Your DNA Is Not Your Culture

Yes, DNA testing seems to be all the craze – still – and there’s a new article this week over at The Atlantic entitled Your DNA Is Not Your Culture that states over 15 million people have had their DNA tested so far with a personal DNA test kit.

One focus area of the article, which in my opinion is well-written and researched (compared to other recent articles that are often lacking on facts and lean towards to “sensationalistic”), is how DNA testing is marketed.

I’ve been tracking the genealogy market for years and The Atlantic article already confirms what I’ve been seeing:

  • A focus on knowing your genes and the health-related issues as well as physical traits that can be better understood using DNA test results (23andMe and now Vitagene; expect an AncestryDNA Health site sometime soon!)
  • Collaboration by DNA testing companies with other ventures covering DNA and music (AncestryDNA has partnered with the online music streaming site Spotify the develop a playlist related to your DNA results)
  • Cross-marketing events that are attractive to Millennials (MyHeritage has sponsored international soccer teams and was just named the Presenter Sponsor for the upcoming Eurovision 2019 event in Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • A focus on DNA and heritage travel including visiting your ancestral homelands based on your DNA results (23andMe has partnered with travel site Momondo and AncestryDNA has partnered with GoAhead Tours)

But are the sales tactics going a bit far? As the author, Sarah Zhang states: “genetic-ancestry tests also tap into the idea that DNA is deterministic, that genetic differences are meaningful. They trade in the prestige of genomic science, making DNA out to be far more important in our cultural identities than it is, in order to sell more stuff.”

What are your thoughts? As genealogists and family historians we often have a different view of personal DNA testing. Have you ever had a friend or family member ask you, “Does that DNA stuff really work?” Have you ever considered how our non-genealogist family members view DNA marketing? And have you seen someone receive their DNA test results and become upset because the results do not align with expectations or family stories as to ethnicity?

What’s On Sale Today at Genealogy Bargains

Are you familiar with Each day they scour the Internet for new deals of interest to genealogists and family historians. Here are some highlights:

  • Save up to 68% on Picture Keeper! Picture Keeper is an amazing device that looks like a simple USB flash drive but it is so much more. Yes, you could buy a cheap flash drive and take the DIY approach but Picture Keeper has an automated system of making sure ALL of your photos are backed up! Right now you can get the 8GB Picture Keeper with 4,000-Photo Capacity, regularly $59.99 USD, for just $21 USD!Sale prices also apply to the 4GB, 16GB and 32GB sizes. Sale valid through Sunday, September 30th.
  • TODAY ONLY! FREE EBOOK DNA Buying Guide: What You Should Know BEFORE You Buy a DNA Test by Thomas MacEntee! “My updated e-book, DNA Buying Guide is a MUST READ before you make any upcoming DNA test kit purchase. I’ve researched all the available DNA tests from the major DNA testing companies and this new guide answers almost every question you may have. Are you sure you’re buying the right test? Learn how to pick the RIGHT DNA TEST and get it at the best price.”


PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

DisclaimerAll prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

Amazon Associates Statement:  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Disclosure Statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

Content and Images: All product content including images have been used by permission from the vendor.

©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.

About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.