Monday, June 18, 2012

Deep Genealogy

After much research and thought, I have decided to take the plunge and begin the next phase of my genealogical hunt for my ancestors. I am going to participate in a DNA test that will among other things, help determine distant relatives outside what records can show and provide me with a deeper understanding of where my ancestors came from.

I have wanted to do this for some time but the prices were just too high and as more and more genealogists succumb to the temptation, the prices have dropped. In fact, they are about a third of what they were just a couple years ago. I also wanted to advance my family tree to the end of written records as far back as I can go before taking the test so that I have something to compare with distant cousins I am matched up with in hopes of perhaps identifying a common ancestor. I haven't 100% done this but I have more than picked the lowest fruit. The remaining ancestors that I assume I will be able to identify in this lifetime will come at a much slower pace due to the massive amount of research and time traveling to far parts of the country to search through non-digitized records at the place they lived their lives. It is a process that I enjoy and intend to do but due to time constraints, just not all this year or maybe even this decade.

The test which just arrived was easy to take. You simply spit into a plastic tube until your saliva filled it up to the line, closed the lid which punctured a container of DNA preservative, shake the tube to mix and mail it back. I'm not sure how long it will take for a result but I'm guessing I might be lucky to receive it by the end of summer. I'm certainly looking forward to the results and I'm sure it will provide me with some blogging fodder to post on here.

On a slightly related note, one of those journeys for researching a particular ancestor is going to take place next week so if this blog stops functioning for a few days longer than normal, that is why. I am researching my hardest brick wall, my third great grandfather Joseph Baker whom I have blogged about extensively if anyone cares to search for past posts using his name. My plan is to spend a few days retracing his short life on this earth and poking through old records. I hope my trip will turn up a clue or two but if not, it will be exciting just walking this earth in his footsteps and imagining a life that I never met but which I am intimately connected too.


R. Sherman said...

Good luck on your quest.

BTW, I assume you've availed yourself of the Mormon archives in Utah. They're big on genealogy and have a ton of resources.


Vince said...

I'm uncertain about the dna test. I have a weird feeling about it for the future.

PhilippinesPhil said...

dang dude, where you find the time?

Bone said...

Just be sure not to commit any felonies in the future, because now "they" have your DNA.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - I have spent a lot of time with their online archives plus their local center where I can view microfiche on demand.

Vince - Why is that?

Phil - I don't find a lot of time but when I do have a few minutes, it is a good release. Better than other vices for sure.

Bone - These tests only test specific genes relating to ancestry and not your entire spectrum which a crime lab would test. Thus, even if the 'government' were to access my results, it wouldn't do them any good because I wouldn't show up as a match. They would have to obtain another sample and retest it. It would be much easier for them to do that by just following me around and swabbing drinking glasses or picking up stray skin particles that I leave behind. Saying that, I probably won't plan on committing any felonies anytime in the near future.

Vince said...

I'm less bothered about governmental retention of such data than I am about insurance companies putting a question on their forms about whether or not you ever had a DNA test. And it won't matter a damn what the test was for, implications will be drawn.