Like Genealogy and politics, religion and so on they did not mix. Some did. But for the most part, for ages and ages many of us were able to keep our distance and not let politics or religion enter into the search for dead people.
It isn’t just the GDPR thing, there is also now DNA for catching criminals, so if finding out you are a father in your old age is not enough of a shock, you can also learn what serial killer genes lurk in your cousins.
Over the past decade I have said to a few people who were considering testing – you need to remember the possibility NPEs (non-paternity events) can turn up, and I added, if you think you might be wanted for an indictable crime you might not want to do this.
I was laughed at many times at my suggestion that there was any possibility of the police using this – but I said from the start – what a tool.
I was helping my friend and we learned the birth records for her ancestor born in the mid 19th century were available. Folks might not realize but BMDs (birth, marriage and death records) for this period are quite rare to non-existent in many places. Many areas of the USA do not have full records until the early 20th century. Yes, there are some early records before the country stopped with the Parish records. And some areas kept and retained records. But many areas besides there not being careful record keeping, many areas experienced floods, storms, fires, rot and other maladies of paper but my friend’s county had them all.
When she called to tell me the news of the record, she read off where the clerk had written the name of the child and the name of the mother. And, which was wonderful, there was the name of the maternal grandmother who reported the birth. But then written in bold letters across the page was – ILLEGITIMATE.
My friend was crying, but I did not miss a beat – test for y-DNA we will identify the father.
And we did. The match came back with an old Maryland and Virginia colonial shoreline family, who had a male descendant living down the road from our mother who was not only a viable male himself but he also had three sons who were all young males at the time of conception.
But, y-dna is not a tool for police all the time. We have countless males who can match exactly, no variation mutations at all, and still the match could be several generations away – in other words – two R1b y-DNA haplogroup males could match exactly and they might actually be just distant cousins with an in-common male ancestor many generations back over and down from a 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th or 6th great grandfather and the results likely would not tell you how near or how far it is – too many people. But autosomal DNA can tell you just about exactly how closely related two people are.
Beyond all this fuss and fun – DNA for genealogy offered a person an opportunity to prove by DNA all their ancestral lines. Find a male from any and every one of your family lines. Verify the man is your correct family member using autosomal DNA and then test their y-DNA and so work to verify his male-line ancestral family and haplogroup.
The task of proving family lines and reaching across the pond and finding one’s long lost Old World ancestry was limited only by money and the time to research to find candidates to test – but with GDPR – several DNA companies just shuttered their doors – websites.
One of the most wonderful websites for DNA and learning about your haplogroups was Ancestral Journeys – and now poof – gone. I am searching high and low to find out what happened, so reserve my thoughts about the whys.
The site had page after page, era after era, of information on the DNA sequenced on ancient skeletons and you could find your own haplogroup(s) in the lists and learn about where near relatives lived through time all around the world.
This is still an issue of research and money but the press is really bad for people being excited about testing their DNA – now more than ever.
I don’t give a flip about the genealogy for society membership, they can kiss my semi-multi-colored-rear. If they were free, I probably would join something but the snob value is not my interest.
I want that lost Irishman, or was he a Scot, or maybe an Englishman. Our Wisconsin to Massachusettes to Lancashire, to Down family has an up-and-down match with a wonderful family in Giggleswick in Craven in England.
Will this kind of searching and matching remain available — free finding and matching for all who can buy a test? Or will all our data be owned and controlled by the likes of governments and authorized research groups?
My friend wants her African homeland, as close as we can get, as much as we can learn and find to touch as much ancestry as can be grasped. And with the amazing understanding that as many Africans were taken North and East from their homeland as were taken west then there is a vast diaspora who must join the search for lost family and test for matching DNA and of course we must test all of the South American countries as well.
My friend wants more of her genetic picture from Asia. She is haplogroup D but what more can we know? And we must hope countless peoples from Asia and Europe and Africa and everywhere will still join in to find the world of family.
The demise of websites over this GDPR alone is angering. I envision this being some do-gooding, uninformed people and a bunch of white males telling us still what to do. They got their profits and research out of data but don’t let peons have more than a crumb of joy in finding family history. Maybe the loss of family history is an unintended consequence of an attempt to make people more safe but add this to the rest of the new issues and one has to say politics is in complete control of DNA and we can be grateful for crumbs.
I will miss Ancestral Journeys. I am H10a1 and there were two ancient skeletons sequenced as H10 – one in Latvia on the river island. I forget the other. I had wanted to get around to looking up others to share with their holders – like my father’s H1ag1 or my other relatives H3k1a. We are a bunch of Hs. But there are T2s and U5 and U3a1bs in the family and it would have been so fun to explore the world of ancient DNA from their ancestral lines also.
Ancestral Journeys, y-search, mito-search, Oxford Ancestors and who all else has and will bite the dust? And what am I free to say and not say with 23andme saying they own the idea or the something of matching DNA amounts in a database, or something? Am I allowed to write about it? That is how-to 101.
But we need all these different websites and tools for genealogy and other traits – not just one of them.
I tell folks sometimes we might not find an adopted person’s family but when we learn your haplogroup we will be able to go to this wonderful website and see the places where your near family lived through history. Now no more for easy one stop shopping website.
Y-search gone? OMG. What a precious place to go and see international relatives y-search was – the distance of y-dna only limited by your setting of how many mutations to allow. At least hints at distance that you can judge for yourself based on what markers might mutate faster than others. Y-search and partner mito-search can be memorialized here.
Jean Manco’s pages of Ancient DNA is preserved on archive
See my story about Jean’s work – and then discovered this archive.org will preserve but we need this updated.
And I have been called and questioned by reffering to Gedmatch as my beloved Gedmatch.
All know I say to start with familytreedna for testing – (now true if you are looking for biological and you can only afford one test – or the budget is tight you must do AncestryDNA – they have soooooo many people you might find a…. sister.