CategoriesGenetic Genealogy

Genographic Project

Speaking of genetics and genealogy, I caved a bought one of those DNA tests from National Geographic for their Genographic Project. I find the tracking on ancestors and evolution via DNA very interesting. It turns out that I am part of the Haplogroup R1a which are believed to have been nomadic farmers in the steppes of northern Central Asia about 10,000 years ago. Current theories point to them being the first speakers of the proto-Indo-European languages and the first ones to domesticate the horse.

Along with this great knowledge of my paternal ancestors, it also allows you to transfer your Y-DNA info off to sites such as Family Tree DNA, which will then allow you to search other individuals who have submitted their DNA info. In some circumstances you can find a distant cousin who is directly related to you. Most of the time you’ll find a perfect DNA match with someone with a different surname, they say that these people are more than likely not directly related to you in the recent past, but more likely from the time before surnames were used frequently. Your genealogical DNA test would not show that information and you would not be able to be informed since medically related information is not revealed by genealogical DNA testing. “The testing lab would not know be able to find you positive for a genetic disease, as the lab is only testing your DNA and looking at  specific loci on the Y Chromosome, or in the case of the mtDNA, the markers associated with that test, which are located at different positions on your DNA molecule than where the genes for known gene related diseases are located. Genetic Genealogy DNA markers are located in the vast areas of “junk DNA” in between the genes.” [1]

Give it a try, it’s fascinating and it could help you get over that brick wall, or even find new distant cousins.

Published by Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.