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DNA for Genealogists

K. Farmer

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This publication provides a contextual understanding of DNA suitable for genealogists and discusses the currently available tests that are likely to be of interest to family historians
 

As well as providing information about ourselves, DNA testing allows us to find others who share our ancestors, and also confirm or challenge apparently known relationships. Such tests can provide evidence of relationship even when no documents exist. Previously available only to medical and law-enforcement professionals, commercial testing companies now make genetic testing directly available to anyone who is interested.

 

DNA testing will not replace the more familiar genealogical research techniques of gathering oral and documentary evidence and compiling family trees. Instead it offers entirely new research tools - more information to augment the documents and oral histories - as well as a way of testing family trees, to see if conclusions drawn are confirmed by this new evidence. This book shows you how you can use DNA to harness this exciting new range of genealogical tools.

The amount of scientific jargon associated with genetics can be intimidating. This publication provides a contextual understanding of DNA suitable for genealogists and discusses the currently available tests that are likely to be of interest to family historians, especially those wanting to prove (or disprove) compiled family trees, the connect 'new' relatives by means of inherited genetic material and to draw conclusions about where we fit into the greater human family.

Contents:
Table of figures
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction
About DNA
- Double Helix
- Chromosomes
- Mutations
- Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
- Short tandem repeat (STR)
- Genetic similarity
- Sex chromosomes
- Autosomal DNA
- Dominant / Recessive
- Mitochonrial DNA (mtDNA)
The Process
Interpreting DNA test results
- Y-chromosome test
- X-chromosome test
- Autosomal DNA test
- Mitochondrial DNA test
Why have DNA tested?
- Surname studies
- Regional studies (or clan or caste studies)
- Bridging the documentary gap
- Test family trees
- Identifying illegitimate ancestor
- Lodging DNA for future reference
- Understanding ancient human migrations
Objections to DNA testing
- DNA is not unique
- Tests are expensive
- Privacy concerns
- Ethnic identity
- Flaws in long-accepted lineages
- Insurance risk
- Not all lines are tested
- Media hype
- Unlikely to find a close relative
Commercial DNA testing companies
- Which company?
- Which tests?
- Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)
- 23andMe
- AncestrDNA
- BritainsDNA
- GeneBase
- Genographic Project
- Oxford Ancestors
Glossary
Appendix 1. Testing companies
Appendix 2. Free DNA databases
Appendix 3. Websites for further reading
Appendix 4. Reference books
Index

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Additional Information

Publisher Unlock the Past
Author K. Farmer
Date 2015
Pages 52

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