Thursday, March 19, 2009

Genetic Genealogy?

The genetics of genealogy have never been of any interest to me. I know it is viewed as the "new frontier" and cool kid on the block by a lot of researchers, but it just never got me excited. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the best I can do is a mitocondreal DNA test. My father or my maternal uncle would be the only two immediate family members who could do the y-DNA kit and it isn't a subject I've ever brought up (how do you even mention it? Do you just go up to a relative and say "I'd like it if you took a DNA test?" That's a little "Maury Povich" don't you think?). I'd be over the moon if my dad agreed to take the y-DNA test, but I know him and I'll bet dollars to donuts that he wouldn't go for it (bad blood and hard feelings between family members have made him wary and uncomfortable with a lot of aspects of genealogy). My interest in genetic genealogy has started to take off a bit in the last few months and you'll never guess why. I actually found my first grey hair when I was fifteen- yes, I said, FIFTEEN- years old. It was only one so I never gave much thought but then the other day I actually went looking for some and by golly if I didn't find a few more than one this time! It certainly freaked me out and made me peeved at my mother and her cursed Shinn genes (she was grey by the time she was thirty). Since there is always hair dye, it isn't such a big deal anymore and the shock has worn off, but it has certainly got me interested in genetics... For a high school science class one year I had to do a family health tree and I'm planning on hunting for it just to learn a little more about some of the other genetic treats in store for me. I remember I got really indepth with the family tree and while I'm sure my aunt wouldn't appreciate the fact that I wrote about her endometriosis for a school assignment or the male pattern baldness in my family, I'm glad I did because it is a very thorough family health history I can refer to now. And by the way, I know genetic genealogy isn't really concerned with the health aspect of genealogy, it is just the only thing close to genetic genealogy I've ever been involved in (and I think a good starting place for learning more about genetic genealogy).

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