Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interesting Possibility on Alford Side of Family Tree

This morning I was poking around a bit on the family tree and exploring my great-great-great-grandparents on the Alford side.  Well, it looks like my GGGGrandmother Nancy Cole Moytoy was the daughter of Cherokee Indians.  I'd always heard hints of this in family stories, but I'd always thought it was a stretch.  Now I'm thinking that it would be interesting to get my dad to do a DNA test to see if we really are descendants of Native Americans.  

Which brings me to the topic of DNA testing.  I've been listening to podcasts by Lisa Louise Cooke who does Genealogy Gems and has a packed website at that has all kinds of cool tidbits.  Well on Episode 29 she interviews a representative of the  Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation which back in 2007 was offering free DNA testing.  Too bad I wasn't interested in that back then!  Anyway, they are basically trying to prove that ultimately we are all related (at a guess, some kind of Adam & Eve type deal) with the hopes that once we all realize this we'll all be a little more peaceful and understanding.  I like the overall idea of it despite the possible religious connotations.  

So far, I've learned that getting your oldest male relative on that particular family line is your best bet for finding matches.  They basically take a cheek swab (or a swish of mouthwash) worth of DNA to get the Y-chromosomes which can be traced back in the paternal line of your family.  There are a large number of companies that now offer this service with varying levels of detail and many claim to have great databases to match your data.  I did a simple Google search for "largest DNA database in the world" and came up with Family Search which is associated with the Mormon Church.  I've been stumped on the Krueger line of the family for a while, so I checked their database to see how many datasets they have in that line.  They had 43 which was the largest group I've found of the sites I have checked so far.  Plus, they offer a discount for those joining their "project".  It's quite a pricey deal all the same.  The most basic test is $99 and the most expensive is $518 which gets you the anthropological history of your line as well.  I'm pretty sure that we're European in our line, so that seems a bit ridiculous to me.  The middle of the road test is $149 and looks to contain most of what I am interested in learning.

I still have a bit of a learning curve on all of this, but I think that I may be getting more serious about getting the DNA testing done as I hit more and more brick walls in my research.  I've been fortunate that so many of my relatives have shared their memories, family names, birth dates, death dates, and so on that my tree keeps expanding.  I love playing amateur detective and expanding my knowledge of the family history!

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