Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268479531

From: Raymond Wing <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Are the testing companies being guided to invest in thewrong things for genealogy?
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 03:25:31 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <FBB46A69C034477DB2E43F821688A7A7@PC>

While I understand your concerns, I personally feel quite different about where DNA testing companies should be going. I wholeheartedly agree with you on some of the points you raised regarding how administrators of DNA projects are not able to view all the information. However, I disagree with you on the importance of autosomal & mt DNA testing.

I would love to see more research completed on autosomal DNA and mtDNA. While mtDNA has its limits (due to the relatively few bps it contains), much of the limit regarding mtDNA rests on the shoulders of the genealogy community (rather than the DNA companies). I had found mtDNA to help me research my "umbilical" line as it proved the "paper" genealogies in error in listing the marriages of two cousins with the same name (Phebe Lovejoy).

Even in autosomal DNA research, the onus really is not on the DNA testing companies, but on the genealogical community to discover ways to use the data encoded in our DNA to tease out as much of our ancestry as possible. This will require not only the expertise of statistical analysis, but also an expanded view of how to conduct genealogical research.

What I mean by the last statement is that traditional genealogical research does a relatively good job of tracing the descendants of a family (especially the male-line descent). However, we currently do not do a good job of looking at the ancestry of the spouses and seeing how they form an extended network (ie not only the issue of siblings marrying siblings, but extending that to cousins marrying cousins).

Both the statistical analysis and the expansion of genealogical research require much more effort on the part of the genealogical community. However, it must be recognized that these issues are not related to the DNA testing itself.

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