DNA Revelation Powerful Genealogical Tool

In the Immutable Law of Genealogy we know all mankind is on the Family Tree of Man; we are all related to one another. God has ordained the importance of turning the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers and so these genealogical relationships have been recorded within each of us and shared through ancestry since time began. Where this knowledge is desired, or must be proven or has been lost to memory, traditional genealogy research has been used to identify and document family history. Unfortunately, for much of history, when brick walls have come up and the ancestral paper trail ends either permanently or temporarily, climbing the family tree has been stumped. With the development of genetic genealogy testing, God has given us DNA Revelation to help us discover our inherent genealogy and recognize the brotherhood of man.

In two recent DNA Revelation articles for Meridian Magazine we have discussed how this powerful genealogical tool reveals our Genealogy DNA and human kinship. We have shared our personal thrill of discovery in finding living relatives, jumping the pond, and breaking through brick walls on my wife Mary’s Gleason Family: as descendants of James Gleason of Dorchester, Massachusetts (1772-1805) we have learned we are descended from the Gleeson family of Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. And, because of my father-in-law Herbert Lester Gleason, Jr’s genetic genealogy testing at FTDNA for his Autosomal DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosome DNA, we have been able to join what Bennett Greenspan, President and CEO of FamilyTreeDNA.com, calls The Worldwide Census of the Family Tree of Man.

Here our Gleason Genealogy DNA and research contributions are now actively helping mankind’s genealogical knowledge grow. Through this participation in ancestral DNA testing, we are collaborating, expanding and developing the scientific and traditional genealogical and historical research and family connections on our Gleason Lineage in the Gleason Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project and the Family Tree of Man.

Everyone has Genealogy DNA and can participate and contribute in this global genetic genealogy census. All can benefit from the opportunities and assistance available through DNA testing and grow this remarkable database of family history and kinship.  

How do you join? How can you participate in this census and contribute your Genealogy DNA and traditional genealogy research? How do you join a Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project for your lineage? Learn how in this third DNA Revelation article.

Traditional Genealogy Research

First, we must know something about our family history and this begins with traditional genealogy research. This family tree study derives from family traditions and from detailed research in records found in government archives, libraries, and private collections. Prior to the development of ancestral DNA testing, this traditional genealogy research often could only carry family lines back to an immigrant ancestor, or to a point where records were inaccessible or ceased to exist. Learning ancestral origins, who came before, or jumping the pond, was quite the challenge with this dearth of written records in pre-genetic genealogy days.

For example, most immigrants to America prior to 1800 did not leave a specific record of where they originated or about their family. Early passenger lists, where they existed, usually consisted of a list of names only, of individuals or sometimes of family groups. Prior to 1780 people arriving in America from countries in the British Commonwealth, did not even have to be on such a list, because they were going from one English governmental entity to another (much like crossing a State line within the modern United States). Other Individuals arriving from countries not connected to Great Britain only had to swear loyalty to the English government.

In addition to these early immigrants to Colonial America, prior to 1783 England transported prisoners to America from their jails to relieve the social and financial pressures of keeping such people in England. Following American Independence, England set up similar prison colonies in Australia and other countries to replace America. Consequently, tens of thousands of additional Englishmen, Scots, Welsh, and Irish citizens were scattered to the four corners of the Earth. With the brick walls in genealogy created by this lack of immigration records and the spreading of families across the globe, inquiring genealogists ask, “How can these diverse immigrant families be brought together again or known on the Family Tree of Man?

It Takes a Village to Discover and Build the Family Tree of Man

When we pursue genealogy research into situations like this today, we have the benefit of having additional record sources in the extensive document collections such as those of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah that are available through microfilm and on-line digitization. Billions of genealogical records are accessible for free and commercially in these ever-enlarging repositories; but, despite this large number, such collections only scratch the surface of the multitude of worldwide ancestors we descend from and our kinship relationships.

After we have exhausted our traditional genealogy research efforts using these resources, how can we find our family history? It takes a village to discover and build the Family Tree of Man. It starts with a very simple step – “Join the Worldwide Census of the Family Tree of Man”. Get DNA tested and join a Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project. You can learn genealogy, ethnicity and deep ancestry through such testing, participation and collaboration within the ancestral DNA census community as participants share their combined Genealogy DNA and documented traditional paper trail research. You will find your family history in the worldwide DNA census on the Family Tree of Man as you test and contribute to its discovery and documentation.

This genetic genealogy testing is available through a variety of commercial identity and genealogical DNA companies. Some offer tests covering male/paternal specific lines (Y-DNA) and female/maternal specific lines (Mitochondrial or mtDNA), but most only offer what is commonly known as “Family Finder” tests (Autosomal or atDNA) which can identify ethnic origins and connections to closer relatives.We recommend getting all three at the highest level of testing available to ensure that your results will give you the most information that is currently obtainable for you in this rapidly developing field of Genealogy DNA. All of these tests involve professional fees ranging from under $100 to over a $1000 (US dollars). Family Surname Genealogy DNA projects are free to join but you must have DNA testing results to share in the genetic genealogy census database.


DNA testing allows us to reach beyond traditional record research to discover a genetic connection to other people in the World who descend from a common ancestor. As we collaborate scientifically and through combined historical and genealogical research efforts, we are able to identify and document the Family Tree of Man. Everyone with brick walls needs a Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project. Even my Petty Family!

The Petty Family Name

My Petty ancestor, Hubert Petty (or Paty), came to Maryland in America in 1651, as an Indentured Servant to the family of William Turner of England. Hubert was likely hired in London prior to making the trip to Colonial America. He served his required five or six years, and then sued for release from his indenture, and moved south into Virginia, where he lived, married, became a father, and died by 1688. His son Thomas Petty raised a large family, and those children, in turn, multiplied, and today number in estimated millions of descendants. But the original indenture contract signed by Hubert Petty no longer exists, and no documented record of his birth is found in any database, nor has it been identified in England. We do not know his ancestral origins. He may have been related to a Christopher Petty who settled near him in neighboring Richmond County, Virginia, or to a Theophilus Petty, who settled in the Barbados Islands, and whose descendants moved up to the American Colonies contemporary with Hubert’s family. Interestingly, Hubert also had grandsons named Christopher and Theophilus.

Like all male Petty descendants, I possess the same paternal DNA signature ( coding and marker sequence) as my father, and his father, and so on back to Hubert Petty. DNA testing would help us prove a possible connection to the aforementioned Christopher and Theophilus Petty; and beyond that to descendants of other Petty families whose ancestors originated in England. We definitely need a Petty Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project!

One of the benefits of such a project is we have a good chance of connecting to people whose ancestors could have been siblings or cousins to Hubert, and for whom records would exist today. Why? Because Hubert Petty was born around 1630, and considering the history of his day, he probably was from England. And Mother England is a country rich in genealogical records, including parish records that for the most part, exist back to the 1500’s. And these records in combination with DNA studies can help us discover Hubert’s origins, family history, and kinship relations.  

By Christmas

Oh we need to test today! By Christmas we would know more about Hubert Petty’s family history!!! At our upcoming family reunion, I plan to organize a Petty Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project and do an FTDNA Y-DNA 111 marker test, as well as the Full Sequence MTdna and Family Finder ATdna. We are going join the worldwide census on the Family Tree of Man and discover our Petty origins.

And as DNA testing takes place for members of the Petty surname, branches of the family tree will begin to be identified around the World, wherever Englishmen have been planted throughout the British Empire. Over time we may discover a common connection between the Paty family of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Petty family of New Jersey, and the Petty/Paty families of Virginia and the Pettys of South Carolina; and families of a dozen other places; family connections previously unknown through traditional documentary evidence.

DNA Genealogy isn’t limited to the Petty family. Remember, we are all related on the Family Tree of Man. If your name is Updike, Robbins, Nesmith, Proctor, Roberts, Obama or even Osterbauer, there are ancestors waiting for you to seek them out; and one very incredible way to discover them is through DNA testing. We encourage all to get Genealogy DNA tested and to join a Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project! Do it today and see what you can learn by Christmas! We might even discover how we are related!

It is a simple test think what Genealogy DNA would reveal on your family history!

Whether you are of African American descent, or have a family tradition that you are Native American, or you are adopted or you have Oriental eyes with an English sounding name, or your family has traced your ancestry back to Adam, your God-given Genealogy DNA is available to you today through genetic genealogy testing to reveal your true family history. How can you become part of this new generation of genealogy research? Get DNA tested through one of the genetic genealogy testing companies identified online and join the worldwide census of the Family Tree of Man. Participate and contribute in a Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project. With Genealogy DNA testing you can bring together a Genealogy Family Organization and you can expand your genealogy and document your place and kinship on the Family Tree of Man. By collaborating with representatives of each family line tested you can share your verified lineage and develop plans for promoting new genealogy research based on the results of the DNA reports.

We’d like to see today’s global Genealogy DNA census grow from one million individuals to hundreds of millions of families represented through DNA testing. Then millions and millions of new family connections can be made through family history research, and this work would spread like wildfire. Oh – how the Family Tree of Man will grow!

And if you have a Petty on your family tree Contact me about the Petty Family Surname Genealogy DNA Project.   Come join us in discovering our ancestors!

For more assistance: Use this Meridian Magazine Turning Hearts three part series on “DNA Revelation!” 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, is the Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally, since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the <a href="https://utah.


bbb.org/Find-Business-Reviews/name/heirlines/”>“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 and Heirlines Family History & Genealogy on Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

Heirlines: We professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions. We’re ready when you’re ready!