Saturday, February 9, 2008

Molecular genealogy

Just spent the day at a genealogy conference learning all the latest technologies and strategies for tracing your roots. I was fascinated by the DNA genealogy presentation. By swabbing your mouth and having your DNA analyzed and then compared with a database of other’s DNA and their accompanying genealogy pedigrees on-line, it’s possible to get past brick walls or dead ends in your genealogy searching by finding possible ancestors.

This has been especially helpful for African Americans who because of slavery are unable to trace their ancestors back to their African homelands. As the database is growing, more people are able to match with descendents that share matching DNA patterns to find a common ancestor. For women it is monochronial DNA and only their maternal lines can be traced, but for men it is possible with Y chromosomes DNA to trace both the maternal and paternal ancestry. Amazing that not only do we share blood lines with our ancestors but also our DNA. For more info see


  1. Okay... that truly is interesting, but also kinda creepy. I can lick a toothpick and they can trace my female ancestry on line??? It just sounds wierd!

    So, of course, the women get the short side of the wishbone... AGAIN... We can trace half of our lineage, while men have access to the whole enchilada. Hope the women in my line were all faithful.

    This is all sort of half in jest. It really does sound fascinating. Also sounds extremely cerebral. Even the title of your post, which I may be assuming incorrectly is also the title of your class... sounds so "Einstein". "Molecular Geneology" Maybe I've just been reading to much kindergarten material. "Jan ran. Jan ran to the van. Jan ran to the van to get a pan." My brain may be coming atrophied.
    Can I just ask if you have any idea what the purpose for this ridiculous WORD VERIFICATION is?
    I mean, even someone who's spent the last week and a half doing less than first grade homework can read the screwball letters and type them in a box... so what are they trying to prove? Or who are they trying to eliminate from the bloggers list? I don't get it. There are only a few of us who have sights that even require it.
    Well... got that off my chest.
    Take care!

  2. it isn't that order to match with someone else they would have had to submit their genealogy and match your dna exactly. otherwise no matches. it also doesn't tell you which generation your ancestor match up in, you have to do research or compare data with the matching living person to determine that. it is an amazing development and does boggle the mind. and interestingly enough we are all related if we go back far enough to adam and eve. smile-lin