TSGS Cruiser Blog

Monday, January 18, 2010

Genetic DNA News



At our TSGS monthly meeting last Tuesday night, Larry Goss made a report about having all put the last 2 issues of the Tri-State Packet on a CD. I asked a somewhat dumb question as to how many issues he had on that CD with his reply: “all of them!” After the laughter subsided, I mentioned that the day had been unlucky for me and jokingly stated that Larry was just adding to it. I told everyone about my fall on my back as I stepped on a sheet of ice... I did not injure myself. Former TSGS President Karin Kirsch stated that it was not an unlucky day, because I was actually lucky not to get hurt. I thought she was right! - I had the wrong perspective of the incident.

Perspective comes into play when we consider a glass with a substance at the half-way mark... is it half full or half empty? If you dislike buttermilk, but have to drink a glass of it, the glass being half empty sounds best. However, if you love buttermilk, the glass being still half full is best. Simple perspective!

Perspective of how we view things changes the meaning of the results and is true with our genealogical research. We often get very disappointed when we get a “hot new lead” only ending up proving that that person or family is not ours. However, with the right perspective, it should be good news, since you just eliminated one family to be confused with your correct line... you are narrowing the search. That is an important discovery concerning your ancestry.

This happens all of the time with genealogical DNA testing. You seem to wait forever for the results only to discover that you did not match with anyone. Very disappointing! Sometimes this is a result of not having very many with your surname taking the test, yet. But if there are larger numbers testing in your group with no matches... you can eliminate the (documented) families from further research by you. I put "documented," since some may think they are descended from someone, but has not proven it. That might mean they are not descended from that line.

Other reasons you may not match is that back in time your surname was different than it is today. Anglicized names occurred often in America, especially with German names in Colonial times and both World Wars. Adoptions & illegitimate births ended with name changes from the original father. Sometimes people changed their names to escape the law or their past. This is always a perspective that you must look for when doing your genealogical research. It would be important to find any name changes as it will affect your family history and might just make it an interesting story!

Remember to always keep your genealogy in perspective!

- Written by JGWest


Terry Winchester said...

As to the "glass half empty, half full" perplexity, I say there's too much glass for the amount of liquid one has.


John G. West said...

Terry, you have an interesting "perspective" on the "glass half empty, half full" puzzle. A smaller glass would result in the glass being more full than empty!