27 July 2008

Breaking Brick Walls with DNA

Many times people ask me how to use DNA to get through their brick walls in genealogy. The late Randy Pausch said, "Brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something, because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough." Very wise words indeed! Brick walls are a test of our strength in pursuing what we want.

Frankly, there are as many methods for this as there are walls. However, below are some basic steps to help a researcher use DNA testing to get past those bricks.

Tips for Toppling Bricks

1. Know the basic rules for testing DNA.
Tutorial Information to assist you in understanding DNA Testing:
Books below can be found for under $10. Some may be in your library.

Click on TUTORIALS on the right

World Families Net - many topics

Genetics & Genealogy - An Introduction
Genetic Genealogy DNA Testing Dictionary
Genetic Genealogy Glossary

The Genetic Genealogist...a wonderful blog
Free booklet from Blain T. Bettineger, Ph.D. (Click on icon to the right)

Wonderful beginners book on Genetic Genealogy:
Family History in the Genes by Chris Pomery

Also,find in your library or used book store:
Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner

2. Review your research sources carefully. Note areas of doubt or conflict.

3. Dig deep into the county records checking all resources.

4. Expand your lineages to include siblings and cousins.

5. Test others with the same surname that you find in the counties where your ancestors lived.

6. Test the mother to find the father when the father is in question.

7. Join forces with other related researchers.

8. Be pro-active.

©Aulicino 2006