Monday, June 24, 2013

DNA Drive for Genealogy

"Old Settlers Picnic--July 15, Du Page County Centennial,
 Roselle," between 1936 and 1939. 
Family Gatherings for Family History
Summer family reunions, 4th of July picnics and Labor Day barbecues are all great opportunities to enroll family members to participate in a family DNA Drive.

Who: Calling all cousins - especially those looking for Native American ancestry, African American and Jewish heritage, slave roots, biological kinships, and for those wishing to identify or pinpoint ancestry origin. Oh...and let's not forget those who wish to chart family medical genealogy and those looking for unknown living cousins (forensic genealogy). Know that your results may shock you, but the science is accurate. Remember, some will want to keep their DNA private. That's ok, they will join the DNA party when they are ready.

What: The objective is to sign up volunteers to submit DNA samples for family analysis.  A DNA family drive is not the solution to your brickwall, but it will definitely provide clues. Well, at least give hints and confirm or help define a research plan. So the DNA drive will lead the researcher to a more effective family analysis.

When: All family gatherings are opportunities to share and explain the importance of collecting members' DNA. Popular drives include family genealogy presentations paired with the importance of DNA to advance family history research. Our successful DNA drive resulted in over 20% of family member participation. Perfect for a surname or group DNA study. Know that DNA results must be supported by a thorough genealogy papertrail.

Where: Your research challenge will determine not only which company kit is needed, but who should be tested; followed by an effective analysis. At a3Genealogy we only use reliable tests of FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.

Why: A DNA Drive will benefit families who have not yet proven family folklore: Do you have Native American blood? From where did your ancestors originate? Did your ancestors change the spelling of their surname? You may be able to verify/identify adoptions, slave holder relationships to slaves, and other kinships. So, if you want to gather hints to a stubborn research project, a DNA may be your next step.

May your DNA Drive, Summer 2013, be successful.
(Excerpt from a3Genealogy presentation "Spit or Swab? DNA for Genealogist")

Kathleen Brandt
Professional Genealogist/Consultant