Friday, September 2, 2011

DNA fits very well into the rhythms of the ancestor search

I am having so much fun looking at  DNA matching that I have to write about it again. DNA testing fits so well into the genealogy search.

I knew it would be interesting to get some DNA results when I first did the testing. But my fear was that the results would lose their novelty. That is where I had such a pleasant surprise. The testing works incredibly well as an interactive process, and the potential for that type of searching is only going to increase.

Especially with autosomal DNA tests, you can look at gedcoms of matches, and work on matching the paper trail. You can check back against the chromosome matches. The more matches you have who overlap in one area, the  more chances of finding a common ancestor there. It is just fascinating, and  when you run into dead ends, new matches come along (well, honestly, not usually quite that punctually, but still, often enough). You can contact your matches and collaborate with them if they are so inclined., which is free, offers wonderful options for looking at all your chromosome matches visually, to see where there are overlaps (chromosome browser) and the triangulation utility can show you who matches your matches (a great feature, especially for the non-communicative matches). And then there is the comparing on HIRSearch and its companion page on facebook, and then there are all the Y-DNA projects to check out as well. Finding distant cousins is not easy with this method, but it does work, and is extremely rewarding.

I have already identified the common ancestors of several of my distant cousins (as identified by the testing company), and look forward to the fun of tracking down more.

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