Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2002-01 > 1012360373

From: "Bonner, Gregg" <>
Subject: [DNA] Usefulness of DNA matches in genealogical research
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 22:12:53 -0500

Hi Gerald,

Let me start by answering your question with a question. Let's say you find
a family Bible on e-bay which contains a name which is identical to your
g2-grandfather, and whose birthdate was the same, and the Bible is known to
have come from the area where your g2-grandfather lived. How would this help
you? Would you conclude that this is your g2-grandfather, merely by the
coincidence of name and birthdate? What if the Bible also indicated a
marriage for this person to a person whose name was the same as that of your
g2-grandma? Then would you be convinced? What would it take to push the
evidence over from the side of mere chance to that of a determined

DNA is no different. By itself, and in the complete absence of any other
information whatsoever, it probably won't tell you much of anything, except
that you and the other sample donor share an ancestor x generations back, as
you suggest.

Now let us suppose that you find a Bible on e-bay which lists a name
identical to your g2-grandfather, but without date, but carries his line
back another 5 generations, AND you know your DNA matches exactly with
another person who has a proved connection to the names mentioned in the
Bible. Would that suggest anything to you? Maybe it is just chance on both
counts. What if you know your DNA sample does NOT match that of a person
with proved connection to the names shown in the Bible. If these two are not
different in your view (i.e., the DNA evidence does not influence in any way
whether you think you are related to the person named in the Bible (or
whatever other evidence)), then my guess is that you will find DNA testing
to be of limited utility.



-----Original Message-----
Sent: 1/29/02 9:28 PM
Subject: [DNA] (no subject)

Can anyone answer the following:
What is an explanation of how to find unknown ancestors using DNA
What if I did not know who my g g g grandfather was? Nor did a living
relative who matched my paternal line. How would our knowing that we
matching DNA markers, identify the individual we were searching for 5
generations back? The most we would know is that WE were related. All I
see, is that knowing who you matched that was living, might be way of
sharing in that individual's possible knowledge of common ancestors.
that is not "genetic" research. For there is only one sample, those who
currently living. Putting an ad on the net looking for lost cousins,
and if
one responds, calling them up and asking if they know who your g g g
grandfaher was, would be the same thing as matching DNA with some living

relative someplace. Can you enlighten me on this?

Gerald Finnegan

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