Finally, in the rapidly evolving field of genetic genealogy an up-to-date resource is here! A Genetic Genealogy Handbook: The Basics and Beyond provides genealogists with the knowledge and confidence to use DNA testing for family research. The book guides genealogists in understanding various tests and determining what DNA segments came from which ancestor. The book explains how DNA testing helps when written records stop and discusses how testing proves or disprove oral family history. Learn which tests help adoptees; understand why you resemble your relatives and how testing can connect you with cousins you never knew. Discover how to encourage potential cousins to test and learn guidelines for becoming a project administrator, genetic genealogy speaker or facilitator for your genealogical society’s DNA interest group. A Genetic Genealogy Handbook: The Basics and Beyond helps experienced and fledgling researchers become genetic genealogists able to use DNA testing to resolve genealogical roadblocks.
There is an underlying desire in most men and women to know their history; not the history of their culture alone, but their personal background — their ancestors. We often ask ourselves: who are we; from where did we come. Just as most adoptees realize, you may learn that not knowing your roots can leave a hole in your psyche. Psychologists will tell you that we are grounded when we have roots in our past. Perhaps this is why so many choose to do their genealogy and why genealogists are becoming involved with DNA testing to verify their research and to know the truth about their personal history. All genealogists find their lineage stops at some point — the proverbial brick wall. As records have been lost, burned or never existed, a new tool in the genealogist’s toolbox just may help us tear down those brick walls. That new tool is DNA testing. DNA testing for genealogists officially began in 2000 and has rapidly grown ever since. Each cell in our body contains our DNA, and that DNA is an accumulation of all our ancestors and the history of their journey since our species existed. We hold within us the story of our own history, an amazing story that geneticists are just beginning to understand. When you test your DNA you are matched to other testers with whom you share a common ancestor. The phrase “common ancestor” is used in genetic genealogy and throughout this book, but it can be misleading to some people. Understand that it actually means “the most recent ancestor that we share". The person you match may have a documented family tree that could add to your information. By working together you can focus on the missing generations between your families to link to that common ancestor and perhaps go beyond that brick wall. DNA tests rule out persons who are not a genetic match, allowing you to focus on lines that are definitely related to you. I have been speaking about genetic genealogy since 2005, and as a retired teacher I know that most of us are visual learners; therefore, listening to a presentation is not as helpful as also reading about the topic. As a result, this book was born of necessity — the necessity for new and seasoned genealogists to more clearly understand the benefits for their research and for me to streamline the time I spend helping others with the basics. The genetic genealogy world has not had a new book on the basics of DNA in years, and in this fast-paced field, one is needed almost yearly! No doubt this book may need periodic updating to keep stride with the ever-advancing field of genetic genealogy. However, for the most part, the basics will remain the same. This work is an attempt to bring together, in an informal manner, information to help the layperson understand this powerful tool; the most accurate tool a genealogist has. For this reason, information may be repeated in different locations where it is relevant since repetition enhances learning. It is outside the scope of this book to delve deeply into all aspects of genetic genealogy, but rather to focus on giving a basic understanding of how DNA testing can help genealogy and to stretch the reader’s knowledge beyond the basics. This is a book to be studied; not just read. Although the learning curve is steep in the beginning, everyone can acquire enough understanding about testing to benefit from it. Genetic genealogy does become easier over time and with repeated doses. So jump into the gene pool and discover that book within you!
Emily Aulicino, a genealogist who has researched her lineage both nationally and internationally since 1970, is the Northwest speaker and regional coordinator of the International Society of Genealogy (ISOGG). Aulicino manages 13 DNA projects and a surname study at the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS). She has given presentations on genetic genealogy and has been a guest speaker for a large variety of audiences, including: Who Do You Think You Are? Conference 2013 (London), Family Tree DNA’s International Conference; Southern California Genealogical Society’s DNA Day at Jamboree; a DNA surname project conference in Virginia; the All Cultural Society of Ireland, a Jewish Genealogical Society, the West Coast Summit on African-American Genealogy, the Left Coast Eisteddfod, and various genealogical and lineage societies. She also created a DNA interest group at her genealogical society where she teaches several times a year. Aulicino's blogs on genetic genealogy and writing have received numerous awards. She has been interviewed about her genetic genealogy work for television and for various newspapers. Aulicino’s article on "DNA Testing ̶ Solving Mysteries and Uniting Families" appeared in Irish Roots (Dublin, Ireland). Aulicino was selected to preview National Geographic's Geno 2.0 test and to participate in an autosomal research study that is exploring the reasons for the significant difference in match probabilities between Jewish and non-Jewish populations. Among Aulicino’s published works are a family history, a handbook for writing family and childhood memories. Emily Aulicino remains current in her knowledge of genetic genealogy and in the latest techniques for exploring genealogy by attending yearly conferences and continuing family research. Aulicino assists Family Tree DNA at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live conference annually by explaining how DNA testing helps genealogists, what tests can assist researchers and in collecting DNA samples.
Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond is a very well-written resource providing information for understanding DNA, DNA testing and more. Emily Aulicino does a superb job of explaining technical matters in such a way that a beginner can grasp. This book is a valuable guide on your journey to becoming a genetic genealogist. For the beginner or the experienced, this is a must-have book for your personal reference library.