Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-01 > 1104889974

Subject: Kerchner's Genetic Genealogy Dictionary Review
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 20:52:56 EST

Aid for the Aimlessly Adrift.
I once attended a Kodak seminar that very graphically displayed that the
limiting factor for the future would be the resistance or inability for humans
to change. (is it in our DNA?) They showed a film clip that lasted about 5
minutes. It contained a series of fast moving slides of snapshots from the
beginning of time to present in chronological order. The slides were of the
discoveries, inventions and accomplishments of mankind. At the end of the clip
they reviewed the timelines from the discovery of fire to the wheel…if
memory serves me correctly it was over 9/10 of the timeline!
Then they showed that the place in time of the beginning of the industrial
revolution to present day represented a very small amount of time at the end
of the timeline. All squeezed together at the end were slides of man's major
milestones of technology, from the inventions of the cotton gin and the
telephone to slides of man in space.
I was very impressed by how much knowledge had been acquired in such a small
time frame. And it was easy to see that they were right in their assumption.
That was about 25 years ago…..before the days of home computers and Genetic
DNA testing.
Those of us genetic genealogists who have barely survived the changes in the
language of computer technology have been faced with another overwhelming
amount of new verbage to sift through in the world of Genetic DNA testing.
DNA testing for family tree research has brought many disciplines together.
We are like a ship setting sail, every sailor with his expertise all with
one common goal to chart the unchartered waters. It took the culmination of
many disciplines to bring together the discovering of the Americas.
map-makers, traders, explorers, Columbus studied astronomy, history, arithmetic and
geography. Their would have been no ship without the financier (the King),
and the Captain who was there for leadership. The chartiers, helmsman, sail
makers, boat swains, knot tiers, and cooks were all there to fulfill their
The Genetic DNA ship has brought together genealogists and family historians
statisticians, computer programmers (MRCA calculators), archeologists,
laboratory and other scientific professionals, each with their own set of highly
disciplined languages. All of these technical professionals have manned the
ship and sailed into the unchartered waters and are documenting the journey
with maps and journals that we project managers and participants are left to
There are turbulent storms to be sailed through such as the SNP whirlpool ,
understanding MRCA, How many markers is enough, Accidental mismatches, we
even have our own Bermuda Triangle in triangulation.
And as the ships mates chart one set of papers for publication, soon another
one follows and before one set of acronyms are nailed down, a new paper is
published with a new design and brand new nomenclature to boot!
In this sea of nomenclature and perpetually changing verbage that is so
foreign there is a lifesaver being thrown to those who have felt like jumping
overboard into the sea of lack of understanding. It is Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
’s “Genetic Genealogy DNA Testing Dictionary. It is refreshing to find a
resource that has the unique ability to speak in common terms for the layman.
Thank you Charles, I have just received my copy and I am finding it very
useful. It is comprehensive and easy to understand.
You can get the dictionary at the following website.

Kathi Bobb

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