Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Workflow Wednesday

Finding Cousins Using
Genetic Genealogy and Genealogical Research

Progress is being made in identifying my Lee ancestors, their descendants and extended family. My paternal grandmother was Alice Lee born in Wetumpka, Elmore County, Alabama on the 09 November 1887. Identifying the Lee family in which Alice Lee descended is important and I am working diligently to determine the correct line. So, these days’ genetic genealogy is on my mind. As I use this newest record to identify my ancestors and their families, educating myself in DNA testing is ongoing.
I have tested with all three DNA testing companies, and have tested my brother 67 Marker YDNA and autosomal – atDNA, two sisters, one paternal Lee cousin the YDNA 67 Marker and Autosomal – atDNA, one second cousin atDNA, two half cousins, a double first cousin, and a nephew. When I first became involved with DNA testing and learning how to interpret the results, I worked diligently learning all I could about genetic genealogy and using it with genealogical research.

Using YDNA test results, genealogical research, and family members with knowledge of the story, a family story was laid to rest. Matches from the autosomal DNA tests results and genealogical research for my paternal Meadows line has been successful in verifying that family line. Working with Edwards cousins, autosomal tests results, and genealogical research a common ancestor was identified, and the Edwards family has their rightful place in my family tree. These are just a few of the successes that I have experienced using DNA testing along with the fifteen years of genealogical research.

It was time to lay genetic genealogy aside for a while and gather information about others who were involved in the lives of my ancestors; that is, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, and so forth. I will do that by using cluster genealogy and get to know the family, extended family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances of my direct line ancestors. Until I have information on those “other” people in my ancestors’ lives, using my atDNA results will be painstakingly slow; and even frustrating at times.

All of us who have researched for very long soon learned that our ancestors had siblings. I haven’t come across one ancestor in my research who was an only child. They had brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, step-moms, step-dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and the list goes on. By researching the family I really get to know them.

Genetic genealogy was put aside for about a year, and researching my maternal line Kuhn (Coon) family was a priority. That was fun while it lasted. I periodically checked the Family Tree DNA website to look at the YDNA results. Recently when I checked the account of my paternal Lee cousin. Low and behold, after almost three years there is a name that showed up. I was elated to learn he had one person on the 37 Marker YDNA with a genetic distance of 2. That piqued my interest in DNA testing again. That was one of those “aha” moments. The happy dance was on!

This Lee cousin tested in 2013 and he died January 2016. He would be happy to know he has helped in finding a new Lee cousin and furthering the research on the paternal Lee family line.  Having a Lee paternal cousin YDNA tested was very important in verifying my Lee line and the all-important paper trail.

Working on this project continues. ■


The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger is a resource that is invaluable for genealogists and a book that is easy to read and understand. Other learning aids that I have used in research in addition to the one by Blaine T. Bettinger are: 
DNA & Genetic Genealogy:  An Introduction by Diahan Southard
Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne
NextGen Genealogy The DNA Connection by  David R. Dowell
Genetic Genealogy The Basics and Beyond by Emily D. Aulicino
Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Ann Turner
The Stranger in My Genes by Bill Griffeth 
Family History in the Genes by Chris Pomery
The DNA Testing Advisor: Finding Family:  My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA by Richard Hill
Forensic Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick, Phd
Unlocking Your Genetic History by Thomas H. Shawker, M. D. 

Webinars for DNA that I have subscribed to are Legacy Family Tree Webinars:
Family Tree DNA has webinars in the Learning Center about each test YDNA, Autosomal (atDNA), and Mitochondrial (mtDNA).
Ancestry DNA also has webinars in the Learning Center.

Blogs that I follow for DNA:
The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine T. Bettinger
DNAexplained - Genetic Genealogy by Roberta Estes
Kitty Cooper's Blog
Your Genetic Genealogist CeCe Moore
The Legal Genealogist by Judy Russell
Segmentology by Jim Bartlett He doesn't blog often but when he does his articles are very good.
Cruwys News by Debbie Kennett

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