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DNA AND GENEALOGY:

UNDERSTANDING EXACTLY HOW TESTS REINFORCE FOLK IDEOLOGIES

Tom Tinney, Sr.
Who's Who in America, Millennium Edition [54th] - 2004
Who's Who In Genealogy and Heraldry, [both editions]
Genealogy and Family History Internet Web Directory

Genealogy and Family History Internet Web Directory


DNA testing for Genealogy
The tests are not yet accurate enough to prove 100% the exact generation in the family tree. By using average (or soon, individual) marker mutation rates it is possible to compare two profiles and back-calculate how long ago their most recent common ancestor lived. This method
is derived from anthropological science and although of some use, has a margin of error that reduces its usefulness in individual family history studies.

DNA Testing for Genealogy by Ian Kennedy

Showing Who They Really Are: Commercial Ventures in Genetic Genealogy
[Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting November 22, 2003, by Deborah A. Bolnick, University of California, Davis
[Ph.D. Candidate, UC Davis (Biological Anthropology), Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin.]

"Over the past decade, a number of private companies have been established that make genetic testing available to the general public. At least 17 such companies currently exist in the United States and Britain, and additional ones can be found elsewhere in Europe. These companies provide a wide array of services and products, but the most common are genetic tests for reconstructing one's personal genealogical history. These genetic genealogy tests will be the focus of my paper today. After briefly describing the variety of tests available, I will discuss three specific examples in more detail to illustrate how such tests reinforce a number of folk ideologies about the structure of the human gene pool."

[They oversimplify and misrepresent the pattern of human genetic variation, and they suggest that genetic units are more congruent with racial and cultural ones than they actually are.]

Showing Who They Really Are: Commercial Ventures in Genetic Genealogy by Deborah A. Bolnick

Native American DNA? Tests: What are the Risks to Tribes?

The science of Native American DNA testing. . .The tests can fail to detect Native American ancestry in individuals with Native American ancestors, and incorrectly identify it in others who do not have such ancestors.

Native American DNA Tests: What are the Risks to Tribes?

Genealogy and DNA Limitations


". . . the limitations of the genetic technology. Two main techniques are currently being used: mapping polymorphisms on the Y chromosome to trace paternal ancestry and on mitochondrial DNA to trace maternal lines. . . . Both techniques take advantage of the fact that some genetic material is passed down unchanged from parent to child-in the case of the Y chromosome, from father to son; and in the case of mitochondrial DNA, from mother to child (both male and female). The problem is that mapping Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms will trace only two genetic lines on a family tree in which branches double with each preceding generation. For example, Y chromosome tracing will connect a man to his father but not to his mother, and it will connect him to only one of his four grandparents: his paternal grandfather. In the same way, it will connect him to one of his eight great grandparents and one of his 16 great-great-grandparents. Continue back in this manner for 14 generations and the man will be still be connected to only one ancestor
in that generation. The test will not connect him to any of the other 16 383 ancestors in that generation to whom he is also related in equal measure."
. . .

Identify and Genetic Ancestry Tracing by Carl Elliott & Paul Brodwin, Associate Professors


Alan Savin has an article on the subject, [Genetic Genealogy: An Introduction], posted 14 Jan. 2005. Alan Savin "has been a genealogist since 1986 and initiated the world’s first DNA surname study in 1997."

Genetic Genealgoy: An Introduction by Alan Savin

PLEASE NOTE: "as long as there has been an unbroken father to son transmission throughout the lines." Thus, scientific DNA studies appear to be subject to historical marital
happiness within the set of any given ancestry. [DNA testing relies on unbroken male lineages. It can be foiled by unknown breaks in the blood line. Sources of breaks include:
(1) hanky-panky with the neighbor,
(2) a pregnant bride marrying the wrong man
(3) unrecorded adoptions.

Martin DNA Project

Again, if the husband had been absent from his wife for a number of years, and she had a child in his absence, was it a bastard? According to Coke, as long as the father was alive and in England, the child was his and legitimate (Burn, I, p. 110). Or, what was the position of a woman impregnated by one man who then proceeded to marry another man and the child was born after the wedding to the latter? It was apparently believed that the child was legitimate and must be accepted as his by the man who married the pregnant woman. (16) If there was doubt about the paternity, but both 'paters' were legitimate, when a husband died and the wife remarried, for example, then the child could choose which husband was to be his lawful 'father' (Burn, I, p. 110). Thus there seems to have been an attempt to ensure that the child had a legally recognized father wherever possible, even though it might be well known that he was not the genitor. The situation is quite different in certain African societies where the physical genitor is of very little importance and where illegitimacy in the European sense is practically impossible since the child is always welcome and always belongs to somebody. (17)] PAGE 4 AND PAGE 5

Illegitimates and Illegitimacy in English History by Alan Macfarlane


A study of the List of extinct states suggests also that the family was reshaped by powerful outside forces: changing national boundaries [even down to modern times].

List of Extinct States


REFERENCE: REGIONAL GENEALOGY - WORLDWIDE

Regional Genealogy and Local History - Worldwide


CONCLUSION:
Early Church - Civil LAWS and historical common group PRACTICES present a great hindrance in accepting DNA projections as conclusive or genealogically practical.

Respectfully yours,
Tom Tinney, Sr.
Who's Who in America, Millennium Edition [54th] - 2004
Who's Who In Genealogy and Heraldry, [both editions]
Genealogy and Family History Internet Web Directory

http://www.academic-genealogy.com

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