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Archiver > APG > 2009-04 > 1240525687

Subject: Re: [APG] DNA information needed
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 18:28:07 EDT


Helen Leary demonstrated quite clearly almost eight years ago how to
integrate documentary and DNA evidence, with no further theory or background than
was available at that early date:

Helen F. M. Leary. “Sally Heming’s Children: Genealogical Analysis of the
Evidence.” National Genealogical
Society Quarterly 89 (Sep 2001):165-207. The article masterfully
illustrates the integration of documentary and genetic evidence.

Since there is seldom enough documentary data to subject it to statistical
analysis, a statistical model would be of scant help in integrating DNA
evidence into an overall evaluation of genealogical evidence.. Whatever
numerical confidence levels we can apply to DNA data through statistical analysis
must necessarily be incorporated into the non-quantitative assessment of our
other data.

I agree that published case studies have not yet exhausted the potential
for applying DNA data to genealogical problems, but that is far from stumbling
in the dark.
Donn Devine, CG, CGL
Administrator -- Devine, Baldwin and J2Plus Y-DNA Studies
Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Devine Surname DNA Study:_
Baldwin Surname DNA Study:_
Y-Haplogroup J2Plus Study:_

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are
service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under
license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is
registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office


In a message dated 4/23/2009 5:31:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

I think this is an area that does need more theoretical or background work,
maybe involving a mix of experts to establish how DNA testing can be
employed as a tool in genealogical research. There are statistical models
that could be employed, similar to those used to establish the error margin
in polling results, for example. Right now we're largely stumbling around
the dark when it comes to really understanding the potential offered by

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