Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My DNA Sample and Genealogical Pedigree

Just wanted to let you know that I have submitted my DNA sample to the Sorenson lab in Salt Lake. I mailed it March 25, 2009 so it may be a long time before mine shows up on the website.

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is conducting a research study designed "to create a large database of combined genetic and genealogical information. The primary purpose of the database is to link molecular genetic information with written pedigrees." The study "will use molecular testing methods to determine how individuals and populations are genetically related." The database is available to the public on the SMGF website and should be useful in searching for genealogical information.

The instructions information sheet said "DNA will be extracted from your cells and a genetic profile created. The genetic profile derived from your DNA together with your genealogical pedigree (that I submitted along with DNA) will be placed into the SMGF database. All information and samples will be encoded in such a way as to remove your personal identification, however, a link will remain available to the researchers. The information from this study is intended to be used for genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins."

As I understand it, the ‘Y’ chromosome is found in the paternal family name. All male members of a family with the same surname who can trace their ancestry to a common paternal head will have near identical ‘Y’ chromosome marker values (sons, uncles, cousins, grandfathers, fathers, etc)! It takes generations for even small change to occur in these values.

Since I, obviously, am a female my DNA would only be useful in pinpointing the location of origin. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a type of DNA that is carried by both men and women but is only inherited from their mother. Mothers, in turn, inherit their DNA from their mothers ... and so on back in time along one's maternal line.

I know there are numerous GeneaBloggers out there who have already submitted to DNA study through one foundation or another. Most of these are much more informed about this than I am and I look forward to learning from them.

I will keep you all informed as I learn more about my own submission to Sorenson.


Debbie said...


I submitted my DNA to Sorenson in Dec. 2007 and they were posted in January 2009. It was worth the wait, though. You will not get your exact results, but I have something that will tell you how to figure out your results once they are on the Sorenson site.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Hi Debbie,
I'll have to give you a call when I get mine back. It all sounds so confusing to me. Thanks.

Carol said...

I did mine (and my brother's) through Ancestry. Truthfully, I haven't really studied the results in depth.

BTW Judy, my next door neighbor's surname is Richards. I realize that doesn't make you connected in any way, so just throwing it out there. He was originally from MN I believe.

Marie Reed said...

That is fascinating! What an innovative tool! Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Carol, say hi to your neighbor ~ from one Richards to another! Maybe he can find a link on my blog? Let us know what you learn when you study your DNA results.

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