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Song of Joy Song of Joy is offline
 
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Philosophical Observation About DNA Testing
Old 05-19-2019, 06:15 AM
  #1

I'm hearing from several of my younger relatives that are very interested in their ancestry and DNA. Yet, a good portion of these relatives don't make the effort to attend family events and reunions.

To me, this is a disconnect that I don't understand. If they truly want to know about their ancestors, wouldn't they want to attend events where they can meet their family tree in person, hear stories first hand, and observe quirks and mannerisms for themselves?

Has any one else experienced this? What is your take on this trend I'm seeing?


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Old 05-19-2019, 06:19 AM
  #2

My observation has been that they arenít really interested in the ancestry part. They are interested in the DNA part. The kits give you lots of personal information and it is interesting from a scientific perspective.
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DNA testing
Old 05-19-2019, 06:21 AM
  #3

I would agree with you...go out and meet your family face to face.

My issue with all this DNA testing is that itís the latest, trendiest way to spend your money. If you donít know your family background, or itís quite diverse, I see a use. But my youngest DD did it and found out sheís 100% Irish.

Duh. Both DDs know our family history: 100% Irish on my side and my DHs side. No variation.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:33 AM
  #4

I agree that it is very trendy to get DNA testing. Personally, I would not do it. Someone would have/own my DNA. I thinks it's a slippery slope.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:00 AM
  #5

I think attending reunions is about listening to/interacting with others, whereas the DNA testing is all about that person. Does that make sense?


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Old 05-19-2019, 07:05 AM
  #6

Letís say it found sisters or brothers you didnít know about? A father you didnít know about? Would it find it for you and let you know?
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:20 AM
  #7

Yes and no, knitting987!. The company that does your DNA breakdown doesn't reach out to others who have significant similar DNA. However, there is an exception to that if you use ancestry.com. They will list others who have used ancestry.com to do their testing and who are openly investigating their ancestry, unless you indicate that you want it kept private. That's easy to do if you don't want anyone to see anything. Also, you don't have to use your real name. You can use a name like knitting987!.

I can go to my DNA results on their page and it will show others who belong to ancestry.com who have a strong possibility of being first cousins, second cousins, etc. I see my son's user name on there and my two first cousins. I've seen some third cousins and gotten in touch with them since they are also researching family histories. We've have some lovely conversations through e-mail, pictures and information exchanged, and I've even become "friends" on facebook with one who I find to be extremely compatible with my sense of humor and viewpoints.

Genealogy is my #1 hobby. I love history, and I like that I can make it personal.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:25 AM
  #8

My friend found out that she has half relatives that know one "knew" about. People knew, but it was never shared.

People sanitize family histories. My family is incapable of keeping any family secrets because everyone has a big mouth. So..the chances of me having a step brother/sister is basically nil. My friend on the other hand, darn near gave her mom a heart attack at Christmas because she gave DNA testing kits as gifts. There is some family history that was never shared.

Who knew in 1968, there would be DNA testing to that anyone else logged into a data bank could track you down, or at least get a name?

I did the Family Tree DNA instead of the others because of privacy concerns, and you can get the actual copy of your DNA to upload to other sites. What is amazing is there are 1st and 2nd cousins of my grandmother from Finland, who contacted me.

I know more people who do the testing to find out how true the family history stores are, than just wonder if they are Spanish or Irish.

Testing can be a real Pandora's box.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:37 AM
  #9

Iím not interested in family gatherings. I went as a child when my grandparents were alive. Now that they are gone, itís only extended family that I share zero in common with besides being related.

I am, however, interested in the genealogy aspect. We only went back two generations, then nobody seemed to know anything. I have traced back to the 1600ís on my grandmotherís side.

I did the DNA testing years ago through a university study. It was before everything was as popular. It was interesting because I knew nothing about my heritage.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:46 AM
  #10

Quote:
Both DDs know our family history: 100% Irish on my side and my DHs side. No variation.
My DH was led to believe his entire life that he was mostly German with some English. According to ancestry.com he is only 2% German and 75% Irish. His siblings haven't done any DNA tests, but before anyone suggests that perhaps he was adopted, he and his brothers look like triplets.

Ancestry results also change as more people submit samples. It is still heavily European-dominated, and there isn't enough data yet for those with ancestry outside of Europe, like Africa or Asia. For now they are mostly approximations.


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Old 05-19-2019, 09:08 AM
  #11

Song of Joy, yes, good points! But it's obvious your particular relatives just want the stats of their make-up and don't choose to see the other relatives.

I personally don't experience this with my family and extended family. Now I don't know who has an interest in my family to know their DNA, but it's just not an issue.

It would be a bit interesting, but it's nothing that important for me and I don't know what whoever out there does with our DNA once they're done what they need to do. I know others expressed this concern as well.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:11 AM
  #12

It really doesn't matter to me. I was raised culturally Polish. If I did DNA testing and discovered I was actually French or Vietnamese or whatever (which would be bizarre but it's just an example), I would still identify as 100% Polack.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:39 AM
  #13

Interesting you should mention this. It was a 4 page spread in this morningís paper....how several people discovered other families via DNA testing. Some were not happy.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:41 AM
  #14

I'm one that doesn't care for family events and have thought about doing the DNA testing. Growing up, the family we actually spent time with was my mom's family. Unfortunately, at this point they've all passed away except for her.

My dad comes from a larger family, and to put it mildly, they're a bunch of jerks. I knew from a very young age (maybe 4-5) that that I wasn't viewed or treated the same as the other grandchildren. Although my parents live only about 40 minutes from them, at this point the only time they seem them is at a yearly Christmas Eve gathering (they made more of an effort when I was younger). Some years I've decided I'm an adult and I simply don't have to go. Other years, my mom has guilted me into going as her "buffer."

My dad's family also has NO idea where they are from. Once in elementary school, we did a project where we were supposed to report out on it, and was told by all of my dad's relatives that they simply never asked .

I think it would be interesting to see the results- I've just never been quite curious enough to pay for a kit. I budget very carefully and I just have other things I'd rather spend the money on. I also would think that since I have absolutely no information from my dad's side at all, there wouldn't be much I could do with DNA results once I found them- all I'd know was a country/countries of origin, not like really interesting facts about my heritage.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:49 AM
  #15

Loved doing this. I thought I was half Irish and half French but there was some Scandinavian (6%) and also some Iberian peninsula which is apparently very common in those who think they are French. My relatives had been in Canada for hundreds of years but it was cool to see evidence of where they started. I was still more Irish than French.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:50 AM
  #16

I think attending events of living people and researching ancestry through the available sites offer different things for different people.

My thinking is more along the lines of what "timeforbed" expressed. I'm interested in going way back and finding tidbits of information of my ancestors and then matching the information up with history. It gives me a clear picture of what my ancestors had to deal with and why, perhaps, they left an area and moved to another.

Through DNA, I was able to connect with distant relatives, and just as "timeforbed" , experienced- we've had wonderful conversations, shared photos, stories, etc. Zero chance of getting this rich, way in the past, history of my relatives at a family gathering. I can now get a greater understanding of why/how my ancestors chose their professions, etc.

I shocker that surprised me was that I found out, through DNA, that my grandfather (deceased) fathered a child out of wedlock and kept it a secret from his wife and children. As other posted have mentioned, there are "shockers" in out family trees!

I've been able to go back to the 1500's and find the exact towns in Europe where my ancestors lived. It's truly amazing for those of us who are interested in this sort of thing!

I guess it depends on what one is interested in, as to if they choose to go with the DNA/genealogy research, or not.
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My DNA
Old 05-20-2019, 05:49 AM
  #17

I had my DNA tested because even though I knew I was French, I wanted to see if it showed any other nationality.

When I was younger, my dad's side of the family always said there was an indian maiden that was married to one of my relatives. We have been looking for that connection for years.

Well, my DNA didn't show us so we will keep checking.

I see my relatives quite often now, but there was a period of time in my 20's and 30's that our relatives never got together. We are making up for it now.

This summer I am planning to get on ancestry.com and add in lots of info so that relatives can see and share.
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