Learning about Genetic Genealogy

I just received my copy of a new book recently published called Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies edited by Debbie Parker Wayne.  My reason for ordering it was that the more I learn about DNA research in genealogy, the more I realize I don’t know.   Previously, I read Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne and The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine Bettinger.  Those two books helped me understand the basics of using DNA in genealogy.  Then I joined a Facebook group called “Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques,” which helped me understand more advanced subjects such as pile up regions and phasing.

For me genetic genealogy is both fascinating and frustrating.  It takes hours upon hours to sort through matches, sometimes with not much in the way of results.  But it has also helped me solve some previously unsolvable ancestor situations.  My Swedish ancestors prior to immigration were pretty much lost to me until one match contacted me to solve his own Swedish family history.  In the process of corresponding back and forth he found the parents and grandparents of my Swedish great grandfather who immigrated to Michigan in 1871.

My husband’s ancestors are all from New England and in the process of sorting his matches, I came to realize that New England is an endogamous  community (where people inter marry within a small group of families)  It is here I found a pile up region ( a large group of people who all match on the exact same segment of a chromosome).  These regions are said to be very old and passed down in tact through the years.  From what I’ve read, I’m not sure the common ancestor to that group of people can be found, but I’m hoping this new book will help me understand.

Recently I have been helping a friend find her previously unknown maternal grandfather.  Since it involves an out of wedlock situation, there are is no paper trail to follow, so DNA is the only proof of what happened.  I hope to write a blog about it one day when our research is done.

But what really fascinates me is mapping chromosomes.  Originally I tried to do this using Excel, until if found out about a site called DNA Painter.com.  This lets you color in various segments of your chromosomes that can identify which ancestor they came from.

If all of these terms and ideas are foreign to you, you’re never too old to learn.  Join and follow along on the Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Facebook group or order one of the books mentioned above.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s