Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2002-04 > 1019711747

From: "Orin R. Wells" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Relative Genetics/ results
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 22:20:08 -0700
References: < message <>
In-Reply-To: <JCHBN.020424.224348.RC0@CUVMB.CC.COLUMBIA.EDU>

At 10:43 PM 4/24/2002 -0400, John F. Chandler wrote:

>But we do know what is possible and what is not possible. They are
>collecting samples from a cross-section, not from coordinated groups of

I will submit my thoughts on their study from a limited understanding of
what the project is all about.

Collecting samples from groups of cousins is not a deliberate move. But
they ARE collecting such information as a lot of the people who participate
are in fact related and this will come out in the wash. But that is NOT the
objective of their study. If you will recall they have indicated that when
they are done they will be able to advise those who submit samples for
matching what surnames they connect with and, given a specific time frame,
where their DNA pattern was commonly found. Keep in mind they are not JUST
using mtDNA and/or y-chromosome DNA. We have heard numbers such as 250
markers come over the wall. We can assume from this that they are probably
looking at additional nuclear DNA markers from other chromosomes. We don't
have any clue what or why at this juncture and we probably will not find
out until the project is finished and published (another 4 years I
think). The outcome of this project should provide methods that all
genealogists can utilize for using DNA to trace the ancestors other than
their direct line males and direct line females.

>With only a 4-generation pedigree from each participant, they cannot
>construct any deep-rooted studies.<<

Again, not directly. But they have picked up some of these studies in the
special cases they ran through the project. In addition a lot of people
submitted far more than 4-generation pedigrees. One may submit a gedcom if
they wish. The 4 generation chart (actually includes 5 generations
counting the participant) was never meant to be a tool in this case to get
back to the 1600s. They are looking at a shorter and more recent time
frame because they are interested in seeing how the 250 markers can be used
to show how allied families connect. I would say don't write them off
just because you don't understand fully what their research project is all

I believe the creation of Relative Genetics and BYU's involvement with them
came as a bit of an accidental consequence of the realization a lot of
researchers are interested in being able to have their Y-chromosome DNA and
mtDNA tested for their genealogical research. I don't think that was the
intended outcome of their project. But, I could be wrong on that.

Also there is a misconception as to name usage in the project. While they
do not identify the specific participants, the ancestors ARE included in
their data - at least on the surname level. And I do not believe they
strip out the names as you suggest. If they were going to do this, why
would the pedigree pages require the entry of the names? If they did not
include that information they would never be able to achieve one of the
objectives of being able to tell people at the end of the project what
surnames their DNA appears to connect to.

Orin R. Wells
Wells Family Research Association
P. O. Box 5427
Kent, Washington 98064-5427
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