Monday, November 3, 2014

Tika & DNA

When I started trying to explain the relationship of DNA research to genealogy research, Tika was skeptical. "Really?" Was her first reaction. And then, "so what?" "

"What do you expect to learn??" she wanted to know. Good question, Tika.

The subject, the relationship of DNA and genealogy, is a vast and quickly-expanding field of information. I have collected a nice fat folder of articles and information on understanding DNA and its applications and implications to the hobby of genealogy.

Mostly, I wanted just to understand. Tika says, "Good luck with that!" Here are the conclusions I've come to.

I do not have to understand the whole subject. I do not need to, nor want to, know how my car works. I just want it to take me places. Ditto with DNA.

There are more books and articles on this subject than I will ever have time to read and thoroughly digest. I will pick one or two sources and that will give me a basic understanding.

I did the $99 Ancestry test. This test looks for matches between my atDNA and others who have their trees on Ancestry and who have taken the same test. Is this the end-all-tell-all test? Hardly. But it is a start.... or was for me.

Now I can upload my DNA test results to FamilyTree DNA (and right now for free). Should I? Why not? This will expose my DNA to a much wider ocean of possible matches..... possible cousins... possible ancestors. So why not?

Lisa Louise Cooke offers four laminated guides: Getting Started (with DNA), Autosomal DNA,  Y Chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA. I bought and studied all four of these guides and now I feel like I have at least a teaspoon of understanding of the subject. (Click to Genealogy Gems Publications,, for ordering information.)

Tika woke up enough to show some interest when I showed her that yes, there are DNA tests for dogs! She really did not care; "I come from Idaho and that's good enough," she sniffed. 

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