Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2001-01 > 0980396615

From: Wanda Shepherd <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Using the mtDNA Concordance???
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 23:23:35 -0500
References: <> <>

Hi Orin,
Do you believe if enough families participate, that a person could tell what
their Birth family is? Or their birth father? Would it tell if you had genes
matching another family, that would give help in finding out your father's
surname? I'm new at this and tho' I undertand what I read, I want to know more.
Also about Melungeon ancestry. Wanda

"Orin R. Wells" wrote:

> At 10:39 AM 1/24/01 -0500, Al Bell wrote:
> >>Note to Alan Savin and Orin Wells: This is the kind of thing
> >>I had in mind when I wondered if what happens will be
> >>genealogy or some other discipline. How say you now? <g>
> Let me cite an example of why I think there is value in the current
> technology and promise for near term improvement and why I think it is, and
> will become even more so, a valid genealogical tool and therefore the
> results can be constured as genealogy.
> On of the reasons that the DNA testing is not able to do a more precise job
> of identifying specific ancestors is that the organizations have not had
> sufficient samples to REALLY figure out what can and can not be used to
> accomplish this objective. Assuming I am not unaware of some major study
> which is quite possible. In most studies they have not had a broad sample
> of identifiable related individuals to work with in the studies. In the
> cases that have been cited here there were under 100 individuals who were
> not necesarrily closely related. The testing facilities used were more
> focused on earning the fees than in research and whatever revelations were
> pretty much confined to "you are apparently descended from a common
> ancestor". While interesting and certainly may have answered some
> questions, it does not do much to further genealogical research.
> As some of you are aware, the Wells Family Research Association is working
> on a special study under the BYU Molecular Genealogy Project. I will not
> comment on what the primary project of the BYU research is. You can read
> this on their website. But I would like to comment on what I think may be
> the result of our study.
> Over the years I have established a database of some 6,000 researchers of
> various Wells families. We know that there were at least 20 separate and
> apparently unrelated Wells founders of American families in the Colonies
> from as early as 1620. Others came later and they continue to migrate even
> today. Many of these families have been well researched and we have family
> trees from the earliest immigrants down to present descendants. In some
> cases these families have been traced back to their roots in England into
> the 1500s. Many of these families got their names from different sources.
> Some lived by the Well in a village, some corrupted from other spellings
> such as Welles, Wyllys, Wills, Wales Wels, Welz etc.
> There are similar groups in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
> Since we have such a wide base of researchers who each have extended
> families we have an opportuntiy to bring to the table/research study
> samples from possibly thousands of focused descendants. My personal goal
> is 1,000 participants. I am sure we can easily achieve this. I do not
> know if it will exceed this but there is a lot of interest.
> What I feel confident we will be able to do is identify markers that are
> specific to the "major" Wells lines and will be able at the outset to
> identify these specific families and determine if there is any relationship
> between any of them. If this is found we already have success in that some
> will lead us to the right English records and possibly English families
> where we will get the benefit of the cross research from both sides of the
> "pond" to add to the knowedge fo both groups.
> Of even more import is that there are many researchers in the US and
> elsewhere who are absolutely stuck at some point in the 1800s or 1700s. It
> appears as though their ancestor was somehow dropped by a passing alien
> space ship. If we can match their family members up with known trees we
> give them a place to extend their research in focused direction without the
> shotgun approach of wondering where to look next. These are the ones who
> will benefit most at the start.
> As we get deeper into the research we will be able to match the DNA up from
> descendants of various branches of the families and I am hoping the
> research in the BYU primary project will yield the tools to narrow the
> identification of specific ancestors in a given tree. This will greatly
> assist in both identifying likely specific ancestors for some researchers,
> but to also dispell some errors that currently exist. There are some
> situations where various researchers are in total disagreement on certain
> ancestors. I hope by careful analysis we will be able to resolve some of
> these.
> The results won't be perfect, but there will be usable results. Some of the
> participants will receive no help while others will gain new insights into
> their ancestry. These results are specficially focused on application to
> genealogical research. As such, yes I believe it is another tool for
> genealogy.
> Orin R. Wells
> Wells Family Research Association
> P. O. Box 5427
> Kent, Washington 98064-5427
> <>
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