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African American DNA Research Forum

Testing Hair Samples

My uncle died last Fall before I could do the y-chromosome test on him. With his passing I lost all information about my maternal GF's line since he was his father's only son and I haven't been able to find any descendants of my GF's brothers. He was from Jamaica and his broothers were much older so, thus far anyway, those branches of the family are lost.

Anyway, I queried several companies to see whether they could perform the y-chromosome test on hair samples since I found one of my uncle's wool watch caps with strands of hair still intact. The consensus was that, no, it wasn't possible because, 1) too much time has elapsed (5 months) because DNA breaks down quickly, and 2) would have to hair follicle intact because need nuclear dna for y-test.

I'm so disappointed. Was initially bouyed when I found the hair. Had a lock of cut hair and thought that was worthless for this purpose (and that was confirmed) but htought I was onto something. Will have to resume search for paternal uncles and male descendants. Complicating that, however, is the "fact" that GF was the "outside child" in the family, supposed to have been the son of a local (Euro) magistrate. That was one a story I wanted to confirm or dispel.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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