Thursday, January 26, 2012

Genetic cousins.

Not so long ago, I entered the world of DNA and this is one of the most exciting thing I have done during my 30 years in genealogy!

I have been looking for this several years, but I have not felt that it would be of any real use in my genealogical research to know about my deep ancestry that you can get from taking the Y-DNA or mtDNA tests that have been available for some years now.
Of course it is interesting to find out what haplogroup you belongs to and be able to match against others, but in short it turns out that we all are related to each other if we get way back in time.

As a genealogist I have the drive to know HOW we are related and since the timeframe that are possible to verify and do actual genealogical research is limited to the last 500 years it was not that interesting for me to get information that I match someone that share a common ancestor in say, 50 000 years ago...

But now things have drastically changed with the autosomal DNA tests that have arrived!

With an autosomal DNA-test its possible to find whats called "genetic cousins" and that means the matches you get, share an common ancestor in the range between present time and back for about 300 years, or 5-8 generations! So its absolutely within the timeframe that is possible to verify with traditional genealogical research!

Some people even call this a genealogical revolution and I tend to agree! This is really amazing and very exciting!

If this had been available when my grandparents had been alive, I had done whatever possible to have their DNA tested with an autosomal DNA-test. Because every generation some of the inherited and traceable DNA get lost...

I have already tested my fathers DNA and now I am just about to get the test done for my mother also. I use Family Tree DNA that are totally dedicated to genealogical DNA testing. Their autosomal DNA test is called Family Finder.

So my search for my genetic cousins have started and I have already got some very interesting matches that we started to figure out how we are related, and thats genealogy!

Some people are thinking that taking a DNA-test would "spoil the fun" from doing traditional research, but they are strongly mistaken since working with DNA in your genealogy is NOT presenting you with a complete family tree. It only gives you a new dimension to your genealogy and without traditional genealogical research its quite useless.

As a professional genealogist, I have also included DNA in my "toolbox" and I am following the technical progress with great interest.

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