How Y-DNA Can Work in Your Genealogy Search

How Y-DNA Can Work in Your Genealogy Search

For a good example of integrating genetic genealogy into your family history research, see this USAToday article (Tweeted by Blaine Bettinger and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak) about Chris Haley’s DNA connections with a Scottish man.Haley is a Maryland State Archives research administrator and the nephew of the deceased Roots author...

For a good example of integrating genetic genealogy into your family history research, see this USAToday article (Tweeted by Blaine Bettinger and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak) about Chris Haley’s DNA connections with a Scottish man.

Haley is a Maryland State Archives research administrator and the nephew of the deceased Roots author, Alex Haley.

Haley took a Y-DNA test, which examines the paternal line (the father’s father’s father, and so on), and found a couple of matches through Ancestry.com’s Y-DNA database. One match was a man in Scotland, whose daughter June Baff Black had just started doing genealogy (talk about beginner’s luck).

Though Haley and Black haven’t yet been able to find a paper trail leading to their common ancestor, the match on 45 out of 46 markers confirms they’re on the right track.

Roots Television has a video about their first meeting, which happened in March at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show in London.

You can order a DNA test through Ancestry.com. It’s free to search Ancestry.com’s DNA database by last name (via a search box at the bottom of the DNA landing page) or enter your test results from another company.

The USAToday story also mentions a limitation of Y-DNA testing. Since it’s a relatively new science, you may not find a close match in online databases as quickly as Haley and Black did.

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