Family History Discovery through DNA Revelation
When I was a young child I learned the rhyme “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” His explorations became my first understanding about global discovery and the migration of family. Today, as an adult and a genealogist, I know that pathfinders like Columbus were key in spreading populations to the four corners of the earth. In doing so, they and their fellow travelers became intermingled with the blood of people the world over. And through modern science, this global family history can now be found in our Genealogy DNA through genetic genealogy testing. Now it is possible to begin tracing our personal genetic heritage and common ancestry back to these geographical origins and ancestorsif we will but open and use Gods Gift of DNA Revelation.
In the past 150 years since the coming of the science of genetics with Mendels laws of inheritance, scientists have not only discovered a World of Information about genes (basic units of heredity in cells), chromosomes (structures of inherited genetic material in cells) and DNA (coding inheritance, information and instructions in cells), but Universes of Principles relating to how they affect who and what we are and our place on the Family Tree of Man. Literally, we are seeing the Galaxies of the Origins of Man, inherited in our Genealogy DNA, our genetic heredity that comes through the ancestors we descend from. Our roots are in our DNA! And though the use of ancestral DNA testing, this developing science has opened an incredible new door for identifying and documenting family history and kinship revealing our Genealogy DNA and our genetic ancestral matches. Through Genealogy DNA God is revealing the Family Tree of Man.
Gods Gift is in our DNA
God has given us DNA as a cellular encyclopedia of data and instruction. He has instilled this within each of us, inherited from our ancestors, through our mother and father to their offspring. Through our unique sequencing of genes and chromosomes, DNA not only makes human beings different from Apes and Elephants and other species, or even identical twins different from each other (which explains why I fell madly in love with Mary, and not with Barbara); but it delineates our physical traits and gender as well as personal health risks and genetic diseases, and it gives us our family history which genetically matches those who share a common ancestry. Imbedded within our genetic code is this Genealogy DNA, which defines our identities and familial relationships with mankind; who are our parents and ancestors, and the branches and leaves of our family tree and our kinship relationships, and even family health history.
God has given us the means for discovering our Genealogy DNA through the rapidly evolving science of genetics. This Gift of DNA Revelation has come to the forefront in genealogy by the technological and scientific developments that have taken place over the past 15 years since the first genealogical studies using DNA ancestral research and genetic genealogy testing became public. Samples of human DNA are being collected from people worldwide and preserved in computer databases for family history study, collaboration and discovery.
With this advancement and growth, those genealogists who participate, are tested, and collaborate with fellow contributors, are discovering their common genetic heritage and familial relationships; and origins of ancestors are being revealed beyond what we ever thought possible, beyond the paper trail brickwalls and dead ends of traditional genealogy research.
Bear in mind that DNA does not record in English or any written language who our ancestors are. Genetic genealogy testing is a scientific tool that has been given to help us learn more about our ancestors and family by identifying those with commonly- held, inherited Genealogy DNA. We still have to do historical research in existing records to illustrate and document the names and dates, and places suggested by personal ancestral DNA testing match results. Then we must collaborate together in traditional genealogical research and access the family records of living relatives who share the same Genealogy DNA. And like any revelation received from our Father in Heaven, we are expected to study this out in our minds. We must knock at this new door of Genealogy DNA to receive the blessings of DNA Revelation. (D&C 9:8)
Genetic Genealogy Testing Reveals Genealogy DNA
There are three main commercial ancestral genetic tests used to reveal DNA Genealogy, the family history found in our chromosomes, genes, and mitochondrial genomes. They are: autosomal (atDNA) that can reveal both maternal and paternal ancestry a test that can be taken by both men and women to identify family and relatives (Family Finder); mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) for the direct maternal lineage and heritage (mothers mothers mothers, etc) a test that can be taken by both men and women , and Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA) for the direct paternal lineage (fathers fathers fathers, etc). You choose the type, size, focus, and intensity of your test. Remember, in ancestral DNA testing, the larger the test, the greater the information and results you can learn about your Genealogy DNA and zero in on your ancestry.
Testing is a simple matter of obtaining a kit from one of several DNA laboratories specializing in Genealogy DNA or Genetic Genealogy Testing and submitting a small mouth swab sample of your DNA. A kit includes a simple form to record your known genealogy lineages, and a cotton mouth swab with a container to send the swab and form back to the laboratory by return mail. It only takes a short time to complete and to fill out the form; and then up to two to three months to process your DNA sample. When it is analyzed, the laboratory will send a report detailing the scientific results and Genealogy DNA findings, along with descriptive information about other individuals whose DNA test matched, or closely matched your sample.
Some companies such as FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) offer all three tests. Other companies such as AncestryDNA or 23andme offer only the Autosomal Test, because it is a very popular test. Like the FTDNA Family Finder test, these autosomal tests can help identify cousin relationships, and help estimate ancestral relationships back 200 to 250 years. But they dont provide specific Surname genealogy and connections further back, as the Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial tests do. Again, in Genealogy DNA, bigger is better and more markers mean a more focused testing on your direct surname.
Use Genealogy DNA to Reveal Family History
One of the wonderful aspects of ancestral DNA testing results is that Genealogy DNA provides the possibility to identify, clarify, or verify if a paper trail family line is correctly identified in relation to other family lines of the same surname. For instance, my Wife Mary is descended from a 3rd Great Grandfather, James Gleason and his wife Drusilla Wight of Dorchester, Massachusetts (married in 1795). James, according to his grave marker, was born in March 1772 (parents unknown), and died August 10, 1805 in Dorchester, MA.
A variety of Internet genealogy websites and online pedigrees list this James Gleason with parents James Gleason and Huldah Wight of Oxford, Worcester, Massachusetts.
They say he is James Jr. born in Oxford November 3, 1772, married to Drusilla, and died in Worchester in 1831. Genetic genealogy testing helped us resolve the conflicts with these two James Gleasons.
When the descendants of James Gleason and Huldah Wight of Oxford were tested, their Genealogy DNA matched with the lineage of Thomas Gleason, an immigrant ancestor from Sussex, England; whereas multiple descendants of James Gleason of Dorchester tested as descendants of a Gleason family from Tipperary, Ireland; with no DNA connection to the line of Thomas Gleason at all. Our James of Dorchester was a completely different person from the James Jr. of Oxford. Genealogy DNA testing cleared up the confusion and answered the mystery of the Irish geographical origins of our James Gleason and that he was definitely a Gleason as we mentioned in DNA Revelation! Part 1: Family History Is In Our Genes!
Collaboration is Key in DNA Revelation
DNA Revelation, like traditional genealogy research requires collaboration between genealogists to be successful. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been at the forefront of this co-operative movement in ancestral research throughout its history, and most prominently, now with its free Family History Library system and online FamilySearch portal. They have set the standard for collaboration.
Ten to fifteen years ago they introduced New Family Search as their primary pedigree recording project for traditional genealogical research. This Internet based program involved participants submitting their family history, and where the information differed from the details in the Churchs genealogy databases, the genealogists could then present their documentation to correct the entries. In many cases family historians were guided to other participants to collaborate and discover accurate information and resolve differences in data. The Church has since instituted “Family Tree”, where there are even greater opportunities for users to freely collaborate together to find and resolve ancestral questions. Collaboration and sharing through many such mediums and Internet venues are common practice and very acceptable, and easy to do today because of these valuable resources and historic programs. Everybody is doing it their Genealogy!
Heavenly Father reveals line upon line, even in genealogy; and after years of such worldwide collaboration in traditional genealogy research, genetic genealogy is the next door for the willing genealogist. Through DNA Revelation, family historians can solve lineage problems and unlock the way to discovering tens of thousands of ancestors who might previously have been unknown to their descendants due to unclear, limited or non-existent paper trail genealogy. Such identification and documentation of the Family Tree of Man requires collaborating with living descendants of those ancestors in order to make the kinship discoveries; and genetic genealogy opens up limitless worldwide collaboration on Genealogy DNA.
Our Gleason Genealogy DNA Success Story Can Be Yours Get Tested
The science of Genealogy DNA is new, and can be intimidating; but it should also be recognized as a Revelation from God. It is His family history gift to us, revealing reveals knowledge of loved ones forgotten over time. We have the opportunity to open both our hearts and our minds and receive the blessings of a loving Father in Heaven, if we are willing to put aside fear and take on hope; and if we are willing to sacrifice time, and means, and provide our efforts to open the doors of Eternity to both our Fathers, and our families throughout the World by turning our hearts through DNA Revelation.
Our Gleason Genealogy DNA testing results revealed a whole new family history world for us. Marys fathers yDNA 111 marker test matched an Australian and an American and together they all matched with a Gleeson in Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. Comparing and sharing information with them and other DNA contributors has meant new opportunities for all to expand our family trees and knowledge about relatives on multiples branches and lineages. We encourage all to get Genealogy DNA tested!
Open and Use This Family History Gift From God
In the coming months read more in this 3 part series “DNA Revelation!” and learn how to do genealogy research and use DNA Testing so you, too, can discover your origins, do family history work, and make the journey home. If you have had a success in genealogy using DNA testing that you would like to share or have any questions, please contact us through Meridian or here:
For the Latest Genealogy and Family History News, Updates and Tips – Contact Information:
James W. Petty, AG, CG, is the Board-Certified and Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally, since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the “Salt Lake City, Utah BBB Accredited Business” trusted professional genealogy research services firm, providing US and International genealogical and historical research for a world-wide clientele.
For Heirlines-Quality professional genealogy services, resources, and products including expert family tree research, LDS family history assistance, and answers to genealogy questions, please see Heirlines website www.Heirlines.com, and blog Heirlinesprofessionalgenealogy.com. For more genealogy and family history help and advice, please follow James W Petty, AG, CG and Heirlines Family History & Genealogy on Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.
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