Thursday, February 21, 2013

DNA and me,

DNA testing has become very popular with genealogists in the last few years. I seriously doubt that you can attend a genealogy conference this year that won't offer  a track of sessions on this topic. I personally don't know that much about about DNA testing as it relates to genealogy, but I plan to attend the OGS Conference session on Thursday, Your DNA Fingerprint: The Imprint of Your Ancestors. It looks like a good introduction to DNA testing for genealogy purposes.

My son recently called my attention to 23and Me, a genetic testing company located in Mountain View, California. He had his DNA tested by this group and the results were fantastic. The website guides you through your DNA test results using interactive tools and online tutorials 

I checked out the website to see how user friendly it really is and I was very impressed. It explains genetics in an easy to understand way with loads of information. I suppose you could call it Genetics 101. You could spend at least an hour there learning the basics.  But, what impressed me the most was the cost - $99. You can sign up for a demo account which is free and take a tour of the website to see what it has to offer. 

It has never occurred to me to be afraid of what I might find out from genetic testing. If you have been doing family research long enough you will know there are going to be unexpected surprises. And everyone deals with them in his own way. There are mistakes and, very often lies, in every family tree. DNA results are not immune from this situation. Hopefully you won't let this possibility keep you from exploring you DNA. You just might have to be careful when sharing information with some family members. 

Health issues are a concern and you can either hide your head in the sand or work with your health care professional. If you already have death certificates dating back several generations, any serious health problems within the family are not going to be a total surprise anyway.

There is so much on this website; I definitely recommend that you check it out for yourself. Are Jimmy Buffet and Warren Buffet related? Maybe. Check out the connection between 23andMe and Finding Your Roots on PBS!

Definitely worth the time! Good luck!

Please note: This website offers gift certificates.

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