Friday Serendipity

Diane Southard has a way of teaching and explaining difficult things with ease. At least to my eyes and ears. By way of a live webinar, she gave the presentation at the January 2019 meeting of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society on the topic of DNA. While I understand very little about the math of deep-DNA-digging, I can grasp some simpler concepts.

One thing she said quite clearly was that “autosomal DNA works best only six generations back or closer. If your target is beyond six generations, try the other DNA tests.”

Diane taught us a bit about using Match Lists. “Your genetic relationship may not match your genealogical relationships.” Translation: You may not really be related to those grandparents, etc.

“You must really evaluate the online posted pedigrees and remember the further back you go, especially beyond 4-6 generations, the DNA connections are less.” Translation: You really don’t carry more than a microdot of DNA from your ancestor, Charlemagne.

“When evaluating matches, if you don’t recognize or see any matching surnames, look to match places.” Translation: If your Dingwhistle is from Teenytown, Ireland, so likely are all other Dingwhistles.

“Your DNA results should support, not supplant, your previous genealogical paper work. They work together, “proving” each other. Translation: You have a problem if you paper-online-database find you have a Mayflower ancestor and your DNA shows that G-G-G-G grandfather was born in Mexico.

Diane’s book, Your DNA Guide, available from her website, is a good study text if you be so inclined.