Thursday, July 26, 2012

DNA Research - Trying to Get Over My Fright

My partner in genealogy crime, my Uncle Ronnie, is probably one of the smartest people I know.  He is well read, loves new technology and gadgets, and is always willing to be an early adopter of the latest and greatest.  He has turned me into the Mac geek I am today.

We have two main brick walls within our genealogy research.  One is memorialized in the title to this blog:  John Gannan, my great great great grandfather, who seemed to spring from nowhere in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in the early 1800"s.  The other is my great great great grandfather, Jeremiah Robertson.  We have tantalizing clues about each of them, but have never been able to find that one connection which would tear down the brick walls.

Several years ago my uncle decided to take a DNA test to see if he could gather new clues around the Robertson side of the family.   Unfortunately, the test has proven unsuccessful in helping him determine who Jeremiah's family is, but it has introduced him to a whole new group of potential "cousins" who are also waiting for that one piece of info to clear up the Robertson mystery.  As for me, I did take a limited test at the same time, but it has proven to be of no value.

My uncle became very interested in the technology of DNA testing, and has read many articles and journals on the subject.  At the same time, he has tried to educate me and set my expectations regarding DNA testing and the chances of finding a second cousin who has the family bible and a fully sourced family tree that he or she would be willing to share.  Not going to happen, or if it has happened, I've never heard of it! 

I know there are several blogs devoted to the subject of DNA research as it relates to genealogy, plus the information my uncle has been kind enough to share over the years.  I suppose now that I've ordered the new Ancestry DNA test, it's time to get serious and really understand what it's all about.   Time to get over my fright!

I would love to hear from anyone who has taken a DNA test and the results have proven successful in finding what I'll call "near time" ancestors (within the past five to ten generations).     

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