Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Thoughts on "Scientific" and "Traditional" Genealogy

I expressed my opinion on this issue in Thoughts on Classical and Scientific Genealogy, and then published Tamura Jones guest post in Tamura Jones Guest Post: Scientific and Traditional Genealogy, both of which generated some interesting comments from readers.

Tamura sent me a list of his related blog articles about this subject, including:

I was happy to see that Michael Hait, on his excellent Planting the Seeds blog, had written about the topic of Scientific and Traditional genealogy today. 

Michael has two posts published so far:

Traditional vs. Scientific Genealogy? (with 11 comments, including one of my own)
Traditional vs. Scientific Genealogy, round two

*  The Minnesota Family Historian blog author has this post:  Scientific vs. Traditional Genealogy

*  Denise Spurloc on Reflecting on Genealogy has this post:  Scientific vs. Traditional Genealogy

I hope that other geneabloggers will offer thoughts and opinions about this issue.  If they do, I will try to add their blog posts to this post.  Please email me ( or make a comment to this post so that I can add your blog post to this list.

Last updated:  22 June, 8:45 p.m.


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Most people seem to agree that although scientific and traditional genealogy seem to have different goals, they are complimentary to each other. The ultimate case to prove this point was an article in the June 2006 Mayflower Quarterly. It was the first time the Mayflower Society accepted DNA as proof for an application to the Society. However, the application was backed up with lots of traditional genealogy and citations, as it usually does for acceptance into this very traditional lineage Society. This particular lineage came through Mayflower passenger John Howland, and a grand son John Hawes who seemed to disappear from Massachusetts and appear in North Carolina. Using DNA it was proved that he was the same John Hawes, and now his descendants have an acceptable line for inclusion in the Mayflower Society. Ann Lainhart was the historian for the Mayflower Society at the time (she is a noted genealogist in her own right) and wrote up the article for the MFQ. The Mayflower Society will not accept a member on DNA proof alone, but a mix of the scientific and traditional genealogy was the perfect solution for this case, allowing hundreds of new people to consider membership in the Mayflower Society.

Tamura Jones said...


You are aware that I stay out of the comment threads on these blog posts,
to let everyone read, think and discuss the thoughts for themselves.
At this rate, I can't even read them all anyway, let alone comment upon them.

However, I do thank you for commenting on Michael blog post that it is not an "either-or" or a "versus" discussion.
Scientific genealogy includes both biological genealogy (DNA) and official/legal genealogy (records). It combines both in a logical way.

Cousin Russ said...


Great discussion. My only comment is, that it's a shame that Tamara Jones does not allow for his readers to comment on his blog posts.

Thank you,


Caroline Bloss said...

Every field has skeptics that question passed-down wisdom and naysayers that oppose every change just because they do not want to learn anything new.
Unlike many who are commenting, I have actually read Tamura Jones's many thoughtful blogs on this important subject.
I came away truly impressed by how his so-called "genealogy framework" moves our thinking about genealogical evidence, conclusion and proof forward by elegantly combining DNA evidence and the GPS.

There is some deep thinking behind his deceptively simple solution to that problem.
I think he nailed it. Ten years from now, his "genealogy framework" will be in every genealogy textbook.