Author Topic: DNA Why I urge caution  (Read 16791 times)

Offline Guy Etchells

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DNA Why I urge caution
« on: Tuesday 30 January 18 08:41 GMT (UK) »
Many people seem to think I am against the concept of using DNA for family history research, I am not.
I am however concerned the DNA is promoted as the panacea that will solve all the researchersí stumbling blocks and provide the answers, it won't.
As it stands now DNA testing is improving but it is still flawed.

That is why I am pleased to see this latest blog by My Heritage announcing major updates and improvements to their DNA Matching.

http://www.rootschat.com/links/01lfq/

It shows they have recognised the failings in the systems in use and how they are attempting to produce more accurate results.

As the years go by and the various companiesí knowledge and DNA banks grow the science will grow and mature.
We may even reach a stage where some or even many of the claims of some companies will be valid, until that time comes please understand DNA testing does not provide the answers. As with any record set it may provide clues to the answers but as the above blog shows more work has still to be done.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline Pheno

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 30 January 18 08:58 GMT (UK) »
It is best used I find as a guide to possible connections and helps whittle down the long list of possible matches provided by your dna service.  Surely most people interested in their genealogy are aware of the pitfalls - I think it is those interested only in their ethnicity that are likely to trip up.

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Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 31 January 18 01:49 GMT (UK) »
It may not provide absolutely certain answers, but in my case it showed an almost certain connection that revealed an answer I had been searching for almost 10 years, and would have had difficulty finding, let alone being confident of, using paper alone. This is often the case where there have ben undocumented adoptions, irregular parentage or deliberate name changes (this latter being my case). For me, DNA was the answer, though of course I had to have the documented information as well.

Offline shellyesq

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 01 February 18 00:04 GMT (UK) »
Like Eric, DNA was the answer for me.  I'm an adoptee, and autosomal DNA testing is the only way I would have discovered who my birthfather was.  It also helped to verify my research on my and my husband's tree. 

Offline Falkyrn

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 01 February 18 13:45 GMT (UK) »
To a certain extent I agree with you Guy ... DNA analysis is simply one tool in your search and should be regarded as such (I know several adoptees who have had great success with DNA results) - My own use of analysis was to try and corroborate or refute a result thrown up in an Uncles DNA results and while it answered that particular question it threw up a lot more some of which can be answered with a reasonable knowledge of UK history.

Unfortunately the claims made by some of the service providers in the Genealogy market don't stand up to scrutiny in many areas DNA related or not.
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Offline Lweston

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 03 February 18 23:53 GMT (UK) »
I like to use DNA matches to verify relationships on my tree.  On my motherís side, I have many DNA matches that link to common ancestors dating back to the early 1600ís.  I feel pretty confident about those branches.

On my fatherís side (maternal), it took a while to get further back than my great grandparents.  Then, I thought I had broken through that wall - on one line I got back to the 1600ís.  It has been months, and no DNA matches to common ancestors.  Now, I interpret that as meaning that I went off track somewhere.  So, Iím going back to the certain ones and lookin for more documentation.
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Offline Robin Orchard

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 04 February 18 17:28 GMT (UK) »
Many people seem to think I am against the concept of using DNA for family history research, I am not.
I am however concerned the DNA is promoted as the panacea that will solve all the researchersí stumbling blocks and provide the answers, it won't.
As it stands now DNA testing is improving but it is still flawed.

That is why I am pleased to see this latest blog by My Heritage announcing major updates and improvements to their DNA Matching.

http://www.rootschat.com/links/01lfq/

It shows they have recognised the failings in the systems in use and how they are attempting to produce more accurate results.

As the years go by and the various companiesí knowledge and DNA banks grow the science will grow and mature.
We may even reach a stage where some or even many of the claims of some companies will be valid, until that time comes please understand DNA testing does not provide the answers. As with any record set it may provide clues to the answers but as the above blog shows more work has still to be done.

Cheers
Guy

I don't quite understand your argument - in what way is DNA testing flawed when used to trace ancestry?

Offline StanleysChesterton

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 04 February 18 17:41 GMT (UK) »
I've not done it.  Maybe one day, but it's still a tad pricey for me :)

As I see it - it's a chance to have your name in the hat....

If others who have their name in the hat have a connection, it'll flag up a "clue" as to how you could change your thinking and change what you're researching to find the elusive link.

I see it as something you can pay for today if you want ... and expect 10-15 years of waiting/researching to be able to nail it .... and even then some will be unnailable.

Related to: Lots of people!
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Offline Jill Eaton

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Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« Reply #8 on: Monday 05 February 18 12:47 GMT (UK) »
I would certainly urge taking your time and gaining some confidence and understanding before launching into the more involved aspects of DNA matching.

As soon as you (well me) upload a kit onto Gedmatch you may well find a very enthusiastic and far more experienced user who wants to get in touch.

In my case a possible DNA match to my husband that falls into the realms of 5th to 8th cousin and doesn't match any of the contactees maternal or paternal matches simply scared me off. I've had to politely point out that I'm simply too inexperienced to be of any help at present.

And to be honest, I haven't got back as far as gt gt gt grandparents in my husband's tree yet.
The urge to rush ahead and skip proper research is indeed very temping when faced with a possible DNA match but I'm personally not prepared to fall into what feels like a very easy trap.

Also, not every one who makes the contact is aware of the possible pitfalls and I'm concerned that they will keep pushing and trying to make connections where none actually exist.

DNA research is simply another tool to help in the search but I don't believe it should replace good, slow, sometimes rather tedious, research.
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