“Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses.”
DNA seems to be getting a lot of publicity around the area of Paternity Testing and some very large statistics are being thrown around that would seem to indicate that for all our effort in recording family history… we’re almost definitely wrong about our bloodlines. I myself accept that for all my good intentions and with whatever supporting documents or sources I can find, the tree is still riddled with errors.
So is DNA going to be the genealogist or family historian’s downfall or saviour?
Will we get caught in a never-ending battle to prove our linage, or will we change our approach and embrace DNA as a deciding factor in questioning the accuracy of paternal lines?
I have my first potential case for using DNA to help prove a line in my direct tree. After a number of years working on a family mystery about one of my great grandfathers being raised to believe his grandmother was his mother, and with his mother now correctly identified with birth records and a newspaper article that points to a potential father… DNA seems to be the only real way to prove or disprove a connection. I have tracked down the family that I believe are descendants from what would be my great, great grandfather and they also feel it’s a good possibility. They have agreed to a test and I have spoken to some of my family about how they feel about it.
Now the fun starts…
I need to get more info and also need to encourage the right person to have the test.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…
… but for now I’ll keep reading and learning about DNA
Interesting article opens up a lot of questions:
Genetic Time Capsule: South Carolina Man’s DNA Shows Male Ancestor 338,000 Years Ago
Published 1, March 7, 2013
A South Carolina man, Albert Perry, recently died and one of his relatives decided to submit a DNA sample to a company called Family Tree DNA to help detail their genealogical tree. The company however was confused because his Y-chromosome did not appear in his family tree. Later analysis by Michael Hammer, a geneticist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, found that Perry’s Y chromosome showed that his male lineage probably separated from all others about 338,000 years ago. Before Perry, all men could be traced to a genetic “Adam” who lived between 60,000 and 140,000 years ago. Now we have a man with a link that goes back almost 200,000 years earlier. Of course, that does not quite fit with creationists who believe the Earth is only 5000 to 6000 years old, but for the rest of humanity it is a pretty interesting discovery.
The results of this research were published recently in a study by the The American Society of Human Genetics.
Perry’s chromosome shows that the last common male ancestor down the paternal line of our species is over twice as old as we thought. The chromosome is a type of genetic time capsule that may reflect the interbreeding between Neanderthals and Denisovans. Hammer’s team looked at an African database of nearly 6000 Y chromosomes and found similarities between Perry’s and those in samples taken from 11 men, all living in one village in Cameroon. That may be the very village that Perry’s ancestors came from.
That is very cool.
Source: New Scientist
TED video I found very interesting:
Spencer Wells builds a family tree for humanity
Published June, 2007
All humans share some common bits of DNA, passed down to us from our African ancestors. Geneticist Spencer Wells talks about how his Genographic Project will use this shared DNA to figure out how we are — in all our diversity — truly connected.
and for a later version uploaded on 23 Jan 2012…
National Geographic Live! – Spencer Wells: The Human Journey
See the Project at:
National Geographic’s Genographic Project
Geno 2.0: The Greatest Journey Ever Told
So are we ready for this massive change in Family History Research?
Checkout the Brady Family Tree in Western Australia
its riddled with errors that need your help!