Thursday talks – “Who do we think we are?”

Jeff Johnson, Mike Neal and Gloria Quigg are members of the SBR Ranch genealogy club.

Jeff Johnson, Mike Neal and Gloria Quigg are members of the SBR Ranch genealogy club.

Talk of DNA analysis is an everyday occurrence. Whether it’s watching the news, reading a magazine or watching a cop show on TV, understanding our DNA is part of today’s world. Three members of the SBR Ranch Roots Genealogy Club, Jeff Johnson, Mike Neal and Gloria Quigg, were our speakers for the October 15 SBR Thursday Talks. They gave us an insight on this rapidly evolving science called genomics and its impact on tracing our family history, as well as the wider impact on our health, privacy and personal choice these tools could provide.

Mike provided a brief introduction to DNA, showing the group a short video to help explain.

Genealogy and DNA was the focus of Gloria Quigg’s presentation. She talked about the process of DNA testing; Y-DNA (Y-chromosome), mt-DNA (the mitochondrial genome), Autosomal-DNA (non-sex chromosomes) and X-DNA (the X-chromosome). Each of these test’s path provides different links to our genealogy. She mentioned a few companies that provide DNA tests that may help you link to your family history search: AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andME and discussed the differences in their testing.

But you might ask, “What are the benefits in doing a DNA test to find out more about your genealogy?” Jeff Johnson shared his finding from his test. The first page of your results gives you an Ethnicity Estimate, what percentage from what country. There are DNA Circles, which can give you a lead to finding other people that might be related to you, if they have also done DNA testing. Jeff was able to verify a mother-daughter relationship that could not be proven otherwise, found a number of “missing” families, extended several lines by multiple generations and identified immigrant ancestors on several lines.

DNA testing is rapidly becoming inexpensive and accessible to all of us. Mike discussed that it can provide highly personal information with personal, social and familial impact. It provides insights about our health, behavior, family history and other traits. It provides information about genes and traits directly to our search for more family history. But there are challenges we need to be prepared to deal with in doing DNA testing.

Thanks to the SaddleBrooke Ranch Genealogy group, Ranch Roots, for presenting to the neighborhood. If you would like to join the group they meet the last Monday of the month at 1:00 p.m. Check the SBR Calendar.