Recent NY Times Article on Genetic Testing Sites

In the recent, Sunday Styles – New York Times (June 17, 2018) article, “Like Facebook, but Based on DNA”, talks about genetic result matches and how features of both 23andMe and AncestryDNA provide a way for connecting with others that do the same DNA test. This part of the article does make a valid point. But is it similar to Facebook?

Though the intent of the genetic companies, from my perspective, is not to be a social network but a scientific tool to find and learn more about how you “might” be related to another living person who is also trying to match or find others that share similar DNA. In other words how many centiMorgans (size of matching DNA segments in autosomal DNA tests) do you have in common?

An aspect that the article does not mention is how Genealogy is more than DNA matching. The article does show how some of the featured individuals do meet relatives they never knew existed or find parents that were unknown to them.

However as a working Genealogists, remember that DNA is one piece to family history searches. The other aspect is the “family story” with support documentation, sources, evidence finding, analysis and genealogical proof.

I support DNA use and have even done it myself but it does not always answer all the questions we have about who we are and where your origins might have begun in the Old World. Just remember that life events also make family stories interesting and explain how we connect.

As the article indicated, there are others who get a DNA test done simply to learn who they are ethnically and not to connect with others who seek them out, no matter how much we may want to meet or talk with them about how much DNA we share. We have to respect that others aren’t ready or have no interest in further pursuit with DNA.

Recent NY Times Article on Genetic Testing Sites

One thought on “Recent NY Times Article on Genetic Testing Sites

  1. Thanks, Bob, for the reminder that good, old-fashioned paperwork sleuthing in genealogy often yields as much or even more useful information than the new-fangled DNA research!


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