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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Deciding Which DNA Test To Get

When dealing with genealogy, it seems inevitable that genetics will scramble some of the things that we genealogists use as our premise. Regardless as to how the mix of chromosomes that one inherits from their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. plays-out, those people are still their ancestors! The lack of the ability of modern DNA tests to represent, the incorrect documentation by a census enumerator, or the denial of relationship by a relative does not change the facts! The facts are based on what actually happened...not what some test is capable of confirming or what some document seems to disprove.

Just like faulty research practices, genetic tests that are used for purposes other than what they were designed to accomplish, will result in questionable genealogical conclusions.

I submit to everyone, that this new science (genetics for genealogy) can be misleading, especially if it's not clear what the tests can and/or cannot tell us about our ancestors. So, maybe each of us should ask ourselves, are we interested in the tests for genealogical reasons, or for answers about our personal genetic makeup? There is a big difference between the two.

As time goes on, the DNA tests will probably get more precise and become more helpful to genealogists (not saying that they aren't helpful now) in our research. But right now we need to be sure of the reason(s) we test because the results may not be capable of giving the answers that we seek.

My personal reason for testing, was because I wanted to establish a 'baseline' (so-to-speak). Seeing as the vast majority of the tests are based on samples taken from today's people (not our ancestors), I thought that this would be a good time to establish 'my' genetic make-up. Of course though, everyone has their own personal reason for having the tests done.

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Deciding Which DNA Test To Get
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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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