This article is the first in a series that William H. Blue, president of the National Blue Family Association (NBFA), invited me to write some time ago about DNA for genealogy. The series is appearing in issues of The Chalice, the NBFA newsletter.
Genetic Genealogy – DNA Testing and You
For those of you who have tried to understand the topic of DNA for genealogy and become overwhelmed, believe me, I understand. You may be relieved to know that I have tried to make it so that this does not happen from reading this article. I am assuming the reader has no knowledge about DNA or DNA testing except what is covered here. Thus, I hope to begin as top level as possible. There is a glossary, and each introduced term will be in copperplate font and will be defined there. Continue reading →
Reading about the possibility of determining your direct maternal ancestor via Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing can be discouraging. “Woman don’t have the luxury of carrying their surnames from generation to generation.” “Common ancestors on mtDNA lines tend to be too far back to be of any genealogical use.” “Mitochondrial DNA testing can determine where in history your direct maternal line is from, but finding cousins and common ancestors had best be left to Autosomal DNA testing.” “It is hard to do.” I have spent my life in HARD and DISCOURAGING and IMPROBABLE, so I am not dissuaded. Continue reading →
My son’s surname is my maiden name, his father’s is THORPE, and then that line goes back a few generations until I just lose it. So I thought a Y-DNA test was in order to join the Thorpe DNA Project so that would settle that, right? Continue reading →
I need to tsk-tsk myself. Last week when I wrote about Thomas and Rachel (JOHNSON) JOHNSON, I briefly discussed Rachel’s father. His name was Strangeman JOHNSON. One thing I have never done is to get too hung up on spelling while hunting for information about an ancestor. I am aware that words were often spelled phonetically and names with many variations. Continue reading →