Written by two of the country's top genealogists, Trace Your Roots with DNA is the first book to explain how new and groundbreaking genetic testing can help you research your ancestry According to American Demographics, 113 million Americans have begun to trace their roots, making genealogy the second most popular hobby in the country (after gardening). Enthusiasts clamor for new information from dozens of subscription-based websites, email newsletters, and magazines devoted to the subject. For these eager roots-seekers looking to take their searches to the next level, DNA testing is the answer. After a brief introduction to genealogy and genetics fundamentals, the authors explain the types of available testing, what kind of information the tests can provide, how to interpret the results, and how the tests work (it doesn't involve digging up your dead relatives). It's in expensive, easy to do, and the results are accurate: It's as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek and popping a sample in the mail. Family lore has it that a branch of our family emigrated to Argentina and now I've found some people there with our name. Can testing tell us whether we're from the same family? My mother was adopted and doesn't know her ethnicity. Are there any tests available to help her learn about her heritage? I just discovered someone else with my highly unusual surname. How can we find out if we have a common ancestor? These are just a few of the types of genealogical scenarios readers can pursue. The authors reveal exactly what is possible-and what is not possible-with genetic testing. They include case studies of both famous historial mysteries and examples of ordinary folks whose exploration of genetic genealogy has enabled them to trace their roots.
Two leading genealogists explain how the latest techniques in genetic testing can help readers research their ancestry and family history, discussing what kind of information DNA testing can provide, how to interpret the results, what is and is not possible with genetic testing, and more. Original. 15,000 first printing.
Two leading genealogists explain how the latest techniques in genetic testing can help readers research their ancestry and family history, discussing what kind of information DNA testing can provide, how to interpret the results, what is and is not possible with genetic testing, and more. Original. 15,000 first printing.
Scientists in the news speak out from opposite sides of the fence on the question of DNA testing for researching family history and ancestry. How do you interpret your own DNA test results? How do you work with or research oral history? What's the cultural component behind a trait as biological as your genes? If you're a beginning family historian, an oral history researcher, or a person with no science background fascinated with ancestry, here's how to understand and use the results of DNA tests. Scientists, media, historians, and business owners share different opinions on whether DNA testing is a useful tool in the hands of family historians. Steve Olson, author of the book, Mapping Human History in a telephone interview with me answered my question, "What do you say about using DNA as a tool for genealogy-to extend family history research?" Does Steve Olson think DNA testing as a tool is useful to genealogists? What does Bryan Sykes, author of the best-selling, The Seven Daughters of Eve have to say? Sykes's book has a very different opinion about DNA testing and genealogy/family history research. The two have opposite views. Numerous scientists comment. Sykes is associated with Oxford Ancestors, the world's first company to harness the power and precision of modern DNA-based genetics for use in genealogy. The motto on the Oxford Ancestors Web site reads: "Putting the genes in genealogy." Use these resources and easy to understand explanations for family history research.
"The genetic trail an ancestor leaves behind is every bit as important as his paper trail. Though Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA testing, the modern genealogist has a powerful new tool for researching his roots" -- back cover.
Easy to read and hard to put down, Finding Family is the first book to chronicle the paradigm-shifting application of genetic genealogy to adoption search. Whether you're searching for your own roots or just craving a darn good read, Finding Family is a book you will likely devour in one sitting...and wholeheartedly recommend to others.
Why does my sister's DNA make it look like she has different ancestors from me? How reliable is that paternity test? What about the one that is supposed to tell me whether my brother and I share one or two parents? If a DNA test says you and I are first cousins, is that all we could be? Dr. Starr answers these and many other questions by explaining the science behind the tests in a simple and entertaining way and then by going through what the tests can and can't tell you about yourself and your relatives using plenty of real stories. If you are thinking of getting a DNA test that looks at relationships or ancestry, this book can help you decide which test to take and then help you interpret the result.
You've heard of the Dog Whisperer? Meet the Ancestor Rescuer. Part forensic scientist, part master sleuth, Megan Smolenyak has solved some of America's oldest and most fascinating genealogical mysteries. You've read the headlines; now get the inside story as the "Indiana Jones of genealogy" reveals how she cracked her news-making cases, became the face of this increasingly popular field--and redefined history along the way. How did Smolenyak discover Barack Obama's Irish ancestry--and his relation to Brad Pitt? Or the journey of Michelle Obama's family from slavery to the White House? Or the startling links between outspoken politicians Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond? And why is Smolenyak's name squared? Test your own skills as she shares her exciting secrets. Whether she's scouring websites to uncover the surprising connections between famous figures or using cutting-edge DNA tests to locate family members of fallen soldiers dating back to the Civil War, Smolenyak's historical sleuthing is as provocative, richly layered, and exciting as America itself. "Thank you for taking the time to lay out our family map. . . You're practically family. You certainly know more about us than we do." –Stephen Colbert "Megan is a genealogist's dream, a forensic investigator who can also tell a great story." –Sam Roberts, The New York Times "Megan is a blessing to cold case detectives and a master genealogist." –Julie M. Haney, special agent, NCIS Cold Case Homicide Unit "The Indiana Jones of genealogy. . . Megan Smolenyak is a national treasure." –Buzzy Jackson, author of Shaking the Family Tree "In this breezy narrative, Smolenyak allows us to look over the shoulder of a relentless genealogist as she works the puzzle pieces of her craft. Whether unearthing evidence from Internet databases, newspaper offices, court houses, libraries and cemeteries, consulting translators, historians or her vast network of fellow genealogists, pioneering the use of genealogical DNA testing, solving the mystery or occasionally hitting a brick wall, Smolenyak remains wholly committed, curious and cheery, eager to share her methods and excitement. Bottom-up history from a top-shelf researcher."-Kirkus Review Megan Smolenyak is an incurable genealogist who loves solving mysteries, making unexpected discoveries, and pushing the boundaries of conventional genealogy. A popular writer, speaker, and TV guest, she does all she can to get the g-word out there and inspire others in their quest for roots. She has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today show, CNN, NPR, and the BBC, and consulted on shows ranging from Who Do You Think You Are? to Top Chef. Megan is the author of six books (including Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History, companion guide to the NBC series), a Huffington Post contributor, and former chief family historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.com. She lives in southern New Jersey with her husband and lots of research tools.
DNA testing is now being used by thousands of genealogists around the world. DNA and Family History is the first guide to this pioneering subject, designed for family historians and surname study organizers at any stage in their research. In simple language aimed at non-scientists, Chris Pomery examines the background and the issues.
With over 100 true stories of the amazing luck, unexpected kindness, and unusual serendipity encountered by researchers as they explore their roots, In Search of Our Ancestors offers an inspirational look at the rewards of family history. No story is longer than a few pages, but most are such touchingly personal tales that you may find yourself reading just one or two at a time. The photo of a great-great-great grandmother's "free pass" (that proved she was not a slave) and its accompanying story of being made into a medal and touring the country is a definite tearjerker, as are the multiple stories of lives being saved through families passing on information about genetically inherited diseases. To lighten the mood a bit, laugh along with the researcher who discovered his wife was also his fifth cousin, or with the fellow who managed to ruin his family's tales of famous ancestors, uncovering a war deserter instead. A few stories have relevant research information at the end, but the book isn't aimed at your practical side. More than anything, this collection is designed to simply share the warmth and surprises that genealogical research can bring if you stick with the hunt, keep your sense of humor, and listen to your heart.
"Honoring our Ancestors provides 50 stories that hold one common thread--the seemingly endless ways to creatively pay tribute to those who came before us. One man built a Viking ship and sailed across the Atlantic; another devoted decades to collecting slavery memorabilia. One family passed a diaper down through four generations, while another staged a scavenger hunt that helped family members get to know their ancestral hometown"--Back cover.
Finally, in the rapidly evolving field of genetic genealogy an up-to-date resource is here! A Genetic Genealogy Handbook: The Basics and Beyond provides genealogists with the knowledge and confidence to use DNA testing for family research. The book guides genealogists in understanding various tests and determining what DNA segments came from which ancestor. The book explains how DNA testing helps when written records stop and discusses how testing proves or disprove oral family history. Learn which tests help adoptees; understand why you resemble your relatives and how testing can connect you with cousins you never knew. Discover how to encourage potential cousins to test and learn guidelines for becoming a project administrator, genetic genealogy speaker or facilitator for your genealogical society’s DNA interest group. A Genetic Genealogy Handbook: The Basics and Beyond helps experienced and fledgling researchers become genetic genealogists able to use DNA testing to resolve genealogical roadblocks.
The companion how-to guide to the hit TV series-with advice for anyone starting their own genealogical search. In the groundbreaking NBC series Who Do You Think You Are? seven celebrities-Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmitt Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, and Spike Lee-went on an emotional journey to trace their family history and discover who they really are, and millions of viewers caught the genealogy bug. With the official companion guide, anyone can learn how to chart their family's unique path. Featuring step-by-step instructions from Megan Smolenyak2, one of America's top genealogical researchers, this book offers everything readers need to know to start the journey into their past, from digging through old photos, to finding the best online resources.
The unexpected story of how genetic testing is affecting race in America We know DNA is a master key that unlocks medical and forensic secrets, but its genealogical life is both revelatory and endlessly fascinating. Tracing genealogy is now the second-most popular hobby amongst Americans, as well as the second-most visited online category. This billion-dollar industry has spawned popular television shows, websites, and Internet communities, and a booming heritage tourism circuit. The tsunami of interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African American community has been especially overwhelming. In The Social Life of DNA, Alondra Nelson takes us on an unprecedented journey into how the double helix has wound its way into the heart of the most urgent contemporary social issues around race. For over a decade, Nelson has deeply studied this phenomenon. Artfully weaving together keenly observed interactions with root-seekers alongside illuminating historical details and revealing personal narrative, she shows that genetic genealogy is a new tool for addressing old and enduring issues. In The Social Life of DNA, she explains how these cutting-edge DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including grappling with the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations specifically based on ancestry. Nelson incisively shows that DNA is a portal to the past that yields insight for the present and future, shining a light on social traumas and historical injustices that still resonate today. Science can be a crucial ally to activism to spur social change and transform twenty-first-century racial politics. But Nelson warns her readers to be discerning: for the social repair we seek can’t be found in even the most sophisticated science. Engrossing and highly original, The Social Life of DNA is a must-read for anyone interested in race, science, history and how our reckoning with the past may help us to chart a more just course for tomorrow. From the Hardcover edition.
Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots, the companion book to the hit PBS documentary series. As scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. clearly demonstrates, the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research now allow us to learn more about our roots and look further back in time than ever before. In the second season, Gates's investigation takes on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries, including Ken Burns, Stephen King, Derek Jeter, Governor Deval Patrick, Valerie Jarrett, and Sally Field. As Gates interlaces these moving stories of immigration, assimilation, strife, and success, he provides practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families' roots and details the advances in genetic research now available to the public. The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.
Finding Oprah’s Roots will not only endow readers with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history’s unsung but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own past. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, the book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one’s distant tribal roots in Africa. For Oprah, the path back to the past was emotion-filled and profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and “anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience. From the Hardcover edition.
What a fine long pedigree you have given the human race. Charles Darwin to Charles Lyell, 1863. How is the Royal Family descended from fish? How distantly are we related to dinosaurs? How much of your DNA came from Neanderthals? How are the builders of Stonehenge connected to great-grandpa? According to science, life first appeared on Earth about 3,500 million years ago. Every living thing is descended from that first spark, including all of us. But if we trace a direct line down from those original life forms to ourselves, what do we find? What is the full story of our family tree over the past 3,500 million years, and how are we able to trace ourselves so far back? From single-celled organisms to sea-dwelling vertebrates; amphibians to reptiles; tiny mammals to primitive man; the first Homo sapiens to the cave painters of Ice Age Europe and the first farmers down to the Norman Conquest, this book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors but also our 40,000-year-long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world-shaping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from the Genetic Adam and the Mitochondrial Eve. This is the amazing story of our ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain s leading genealogists."
An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity: Who are my people? “A thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are . . . and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans.”—Barack Obama “A rich and revealing memoir . . . Futureface raises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity.”—The New York Times Alex Wagner has always been fascinated by stories of exile and migration. Her father’s ancestors immigrated to the United States from Ireland and Luxembourg. Her mother fled Rangoon in the 1960s, escaping Burma’s military dictatorship. In her professional life, Wagner reported from the Arizona-Mexico border, where agents, drones, cameras, and military hardware guarded the line between two nations. She listened to debates about whether the United States should be a melting pot or a salad bowl. She knew that moving from one land to another—and the accompanying recombination of individual and tribal identities—was the story of America. And she was happy that her own mixed-race ancestry and late twentieth-century education had taught her that identity is mutable and meaningless, a thing we make rather than a thing we are. When a cousin’s offhand comment threw a mystery into her personal story–introducing the possibility of an exciting new twist in her already complex family history—Wagner was suddenly awakened to her own deep hunger to be something, to belong, to have an identity that mattered, a tribe of her own. Intoxicated by the possibility, she became determined to investigate her genealogy. So she set off on a quest to find the truth about her family history. The journey takes Wagner from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases and high-tech genetic labs. As she gets closer to solving the mystery of her own ancestry, she begins to grapple with a deeper question: Does it matter? Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble it’s caused us? The answers can be found in this deeply personal account of her search for belonging, a meditation on the things that define us as insiders and outsiders and make us think in terms of “us” and “them.” In this time of conflict over who we are as a country, when so much emphasis is placed on ethnic, religious, and national divisions, Futureface constructs a narrative where we all belong.
This book combines linguistic and historical approaches with the latest techniques of DNA analysis and show the insights these offer for every kind of genealogical research. The book will be welcomed by all those engaged in genealogical research, including everyone seeking to discover the histories of their names and families.
A plain-English guide that explains the how and why of genealogy DNA testing. Bettinger gives you advice on choosing the right test to answer your specific genealogy questions, and helps you demystify and interpret the test results. He also discusses the ethics and future of genetic genealogy, and how adoptees can benefit from it.

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