Genealogy discussion

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Genealogy is moving toward genetic testing

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

At Myfamily.com there was a link so you could submit your salvia for free and your tree back about 4 generations and be added in genetically to the research going on. I think its a GREAT idea and one for the future.


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I have seen that on various websites, even Native American. How much is it to run the DNA? I am still gun-shy about using this route for myself.


message 3: by Liz (last edited Oct 31, 2010 01:14PM) (new)

Liz (straea) | 25 comments Robin, it depends on what company you use. There was an excellent article in the most recent issue of Family Chronicle Magazine about autosomnal DNA testing, which is the kind that both men and women can take. At the time of writing, two companies offered it within the USA - FamilyTreeDNA.com and 23andme.com . The author seemed to generally prefer 23andme's test's capabilities, but said that since FamilyTreeDNA is so, so much larger, you have a much higher potential for hits on that site.

For my father's birthday this month, my mother and I got him a test from FamilyTreeDNA, based mostly on the recommendations of the article and of professional genealogists I know. It will be interesting to see how it all goes as I have no prior experience with using DNA testing in genealogy. My father is the kind of person who really likes hearing about family history but has no interest in doing research, so it seemed like a good present for him.


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) it just seems that they do use dna testing in cases of paternity, and although, it is still not conclusive, I don't wish to go that route. I do know that I have Native American bllod, so I don't feel that I need to do it. that is the only website I noticed that had DNA, as for the other ones I am hesitant to use it, they could say that you are descended from a US President, but it still seems inconclusive to me. Without evidence and proof I still do not buy it.


message 5: by Liz (last edited Nov 06, 2010 09:25AM) (new)

Liz (straea) | 25 comments I'm not sure you understand how DNA testing works for genealogy. It doesn't say you're descended from a certain person. It shows how related you are to other people who have taken the same type of test from the same company and have also given their permission to allow the company to match up with others' test results; the closer your results are with them, the more recent your mutual ancestor likely was. It also gives you a general geographic profile (called a 'haplogroup') of where your ancestors in whatever line you had tested (e.g., your male line) are most likely from. Note my regular usage of "likely"; DNA testing for genealogy is a guide, not absolute proof.


message 6: by Liz (new)

Liz (straea) | 25 comments However the usage of the word "proof" in genealogy, period, is something that I am not alone in wishing had not been introduced, since its usage in science and math makes people erroneously think that anything is ever permanently proven in genealogy, when nothing historical can be absolutely proven. Even when using the very highest standards of research, there is still the chance that new records and/or other new information will cause the previous conclusions to turn out to be wrong. That's just the nature of researching historical events and people, be it for genealogy or anything else.


message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Liz wrote: "However the usage of the word "proof" in genealogy, period, is something that I am not alone in wishing had not been introduced, since its usage in science and math makes people erroneously think t..."

That is why it so important to remain open to new information that may change the initial conclusion. The 'proof' standards are higher in genealogy than history in general but you are right that a better term could be used 'argument' perhaps. A 'proof' in mathematics is absolute. A 'proof' in other fields, including science, may or may not.

Sometimes people are shocked that history changes. But, as new sources and perspectives come to light, it is inevitable.


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