View Full Version : Dna

June Pelo
10-05-05, 03:12
Just saw this in AARP Magazine for Mar/Apr:

The DNA connection

Genetic database companies such as Family Tree DNA
http://www.familytreedna.com perform family or surname "reconstruction projects," comparing DNA sent by people with the same or similar surnames
to see if they share the same ancestors. They can also study two clients' genes to help prove they are related to each other.

And they keep the information in a computer database, so that if you like, you'll be put in touch with anyone else in the database who shares a common ancestor with you.

For information about DNA searches, visit
http://www.cyndislist.com/dna/htm or check out "Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree" (Rodale, 2004).


10-05-05, 16:44
I wonder how that would work for those of us with Finnish ancestors. I mean it would be difficult since they didn't follow the typical pattern of "surnames". My Paavola name only goes back 3 generations and came to be only because the wife happened to remarry. As most know, the farm switching caused name changes as well.

It's a neat concept though, but doubt it's practical for us.

13-05-05, 18:32
Family names in western Finland are often pretty new, but in eastern part of the country family names have normally gone from father to son for several centuries.


June Pelo
13-05-05, 20:08
The family names both of my grandfathers used originated in the 1600s in Österbotten.


13-05-05, 20:38
I guess you learn something new everyday. I stand corrected. ;)

14-05-05, 16:22
You needn't be, Kevin, you are at least partly right. Even though there are family names going back for centuries, like my own, there are several that emanates from farm or village names. Thus the same family can have different family names in different generations. And the same person can have different "surnames" during different periods: From the farm he was born on, the farm where he worked as a farm hand, the farm he married into, the farm he later bought and so on.

And many used only their patronymicons until the law of family names came into effect in 1920.

It was also possible to just say to the vicar what name you wanted to use, and he changed it in the records.

And then we have the case of soldier names, which often also were the names of the soldier's crofts. When one soldier died and was replaced, his successor was given the same name.


16-05-05, 22:48
My husband has participated in a Bartlett DNA test through the Family Tree DNA project. It established his relationship to a Richard Bartlett of Newbury, Massachusetts, who was born in Sussex, England, in 1575. Through the test we were able to find other descendants from as far away as Guatemala. I do see the problem of patronymics and farm names, however.

There are a few things one should know about the tests. I quote from Jim Bartlett, who coordinates the Bartlett project:

Y-CHROMOSOME: This project tests specific markers on the Y-Chromosome, which is only passed from father to son. Therefore, the DNA donor must be a MALE descendant.

DNA SAMPLE: The sampling method uses a cheek swab, rubbing a "stick" (provided) on the inside of your cheek; and then putting the end of the stick in a little vial (provided) and mailing it back in a mailer (provided). No pain, no blood. It's like brushing your teeth, and the kit provides all you need.

FTDNA WEB SITE: www.familytreedna.com. There is some general info on this web site and some links to various articles. Some of the best education can be found at some of the surname web sites. Click on SURNAME PROJECTS and then look up some of these surnames and then click on their linked site:

BLAIR (they have a good article on DNA 101), COOPER, GRAVES, HATCHER, HILL, JORDAN, etc. Just look around their sites. They each have a little bit different perspective and explanation.

MARKERS: FTDNA offers 12 and 25 marker tests. This means they "measure" the DNA at various specific points (markers), and the results can be compared with others. You can get either test, or get the 12-marker test and later upgrade to 25-markers. Most of us in this test have opted to start with the 25-marker test because it provides info that will let you refine relationships more precisely. See below.

RELATIONSHIPS: When DNA from 2 descendants match it means they have a common ancestor, and when it doesn't match, it means they don't. When these results are used in conjunction with the paper researched genealogy trail, we have been learning a lot that will connect or un-connect various lines.

MUTATIONS & THE COMMON ANCESTOR: DNA is expected to randomly mutate over the generations, so the numbers of markers that match between two tests can be analyzed statistically. For instance a 25/25 match would indicate a 50% probability that there is a common ancestor for the two results within 7 generations, while an 11/12 match would indicate many more generations before a common ancestor.

NOT A MALE Descendant?: Females and descendants who are not same surname all the way down a male line, can still participate by finding a brother, or uncle or male cousin who does have an unbroken male Descendant line. That person can provide a DNA sample and "stand in" for you.

DNA STORAGE: FTDNA stores and saves your DNA sample for over 10 years. So it can be used for follow-on studies, or for new studies that may be developed. This is a good idea for some of your more senior relatives - they can provide DNA now which may be available for genealogy testing years from now.