DNA, GPS & Proof: Tightening the Loose Screws on our Tripod
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Oh, joy! Testing Company XYZ has just posted a new match for me! It confirms just what I thought! He and I both descend from Will Whoozit and his wife Alice!
Hmhh. Confirms? How?
Why do we take DNA tests? Reasons vary. Many people hope it will “tell me who I am.” That’s a reasonable expectation for adoptees and others with questions about their own parents and siblings. Others swab or spit because they think it will tell them where their ancestors come from. Experienced family historians turn to DNA to help resolve questions for which paper-trail research has turned up no explicit answer.
Inquiring minds have asked, “About DNA and the GPS: How is DNA related as to source, information, and evidence with regard to the match and the most recent common ancestor?"
Yesterday, we tackled the first issue: separating two different tools that are often mentally merged:
Of course, DNA is evidence. Prosecutors and defense attorneys use it daily to build cases for guilt or innocence. Forensic genealogists and police use it to build cases for the identity of human remains. Some historians and millions of genealogists use it to build cases for historical identity and kinship.