Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: "Genealogy at a Glance: Genetic Genealogy Basics" by Angie Bush

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Genetic Genealogy Basics by Angie Bush.  

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

The description of the 
Genetic Genealogy Basics booklet includes:

Contrary to popular belief, DNA testing is not the final word in determining your ancestry, but it is extremely helpful. It is most effective when it’s used to confirm that documentation concerning your family relationships is accurate. It is also used to test hypotheses about ancestors for whom little or no documentary evidence exists. Equally important, DNA testing can be used as “cousin bait” to identify previously unknown cousins who may be able to add information to your genealogical research and/or confirm your ancestral connections.

In this handy four-page guide, author Angie Bush gives you the simple facts about (a) DNA testing, (b) DNA testing companies, and (c) DNA testing results. She provides a simple overview of the three types of DNA tests: Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA, or autosomal DNA, the most popular type of testing for genealogists. She goes on to explain which test is right for you and then launches into a description of the testing companies and what you can expect from them. The companies featured in this At a Glance guide were chosen because they are the only companies that provide a list of “genetic cousin” matches based on DNA analysis.

Most crucially, DNA test results give information about where your most ancient ancestor originated and his ethnicity. But equally important for resolving questions of a genealogical nature is the list of genetic cousins that the companies provide as matches. Proper evaluation of match lists within the context of how that particular type of DNA was inherited is key to using DNA as a genealogical record. In the end, the author cautions, DNA testing does not provide proof of relationship without genealogical research to support the findings, but knowing your ethnicity, place of origin, and previously unknown cousins is a very good place to start.

The booklet has these subjects:

*  Contents

*  Overview
**  Confirming Relationships
**  Fishing for Cousins

*  Quick Facts

*  Types of DNA Tests
** Y-DNA Test (paternal lineage)
**  mtDNA Test (maternal lineage)
**  Autosomal DNA Test (all ancestors)

*  DNA Testing Companies
**  Family Tree DNA
**  23andMe
**  AncestryDNA

*  DNA Testing Results
**  DNA Raw Data
** Haplogroup and Ethnicity Estimates
** DNA Cousin Match Lists

*  Tips for Getting the Most From DNA Testing

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who has little experience and understanding of genetic testing for genealogy purposes, and provides an overview of the basics of genetic genealogy.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated 
booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling. You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the Genetic Genealogy Basics  booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2016.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review.

No comments: