GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-12 > 1135627085
From: Robert Stafford <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] What DNA testing can and cannot tell you
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 11:58:05 -0800 (PST)
We have found DNA evidence to have a limited, but unique, value for family genealogy research, if the research is carried out methodically. I summarized the technique in this post:
It is no substitute for courthouse research. However, it can eliminate a lot of wasted research by disproving connections to unrelated lines..
As an example, we found one branch that was not related, even though there was an old biography that "proved" a connection through the person's great grandfather. We were fortunate that a minister had described an out-of-wedlock birth in his memoirs. They were published in a newspaper in 1895, 150 years after the event happened. Needless to say, they was a lot of denial among researchers, including many attacks on the minister's integrity.
DNA testing quickly showed the ancestor was unrelated (two lines were tested to eliminate a false paternity). A test of a descendant of the ancestor's brother (according to the memoirs), who had used the biological father's surname, showed a match to the Blanton group, whom we now call the Womack-Blantons.
We were fortunate in our choice of Relative Genetics, which emphasizes using documented family genealogies as the basis of testing (the old BYU methodology). Although the methodolgy is obvious to those of us with a background in scientific research, it is not so intuitive to those without scientific backgrounds.
I suspect our project coordinator would have been totally lost (and bored) without the intensive help from out RG analyst. Yet, she ended up with an excellent project with many new genealogical insights. Our project members are very happy campers, especially one who had spent 15 years with a brick wall that we quickly smashed with a DNA test and our Blanton database.
"James A. Honeychuck" <> wrote:
Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.
It is dawning on me that my frustration at finding no matches, no
relatives, and no definite origins through Y-DNA testing is probably due
to my initial lack of understanding about the purpose of the tests. I
think I now understand correctly that Y-STR and Y-SNP testing are
basically to determine deep ancestry and relatedness among living
people; that is, information about way back when and about very recent
times. And if I understand Thomas Krahn correctly, autosomal testing is
basically for whatever you think it might mean, with no claim that it
will reveal origins of any age.
So as for determining where your Y-line ancestors were a thousand years
ago, no form of testing can do that, right?
View and search Historical Newspapers. Read about your ancestors, find
marriage announcements and more. Learn more:
|Re: [DNA] What DNA testing can and cannot tell you by Robert Stafford <>|