11 December 2008

DNA: Genetic cousins meet

A journalist and genealogist for some 30 years, Howard Wolinsky of Chicago was one of the first testees at FamilyTreeDNA. His Ancestry Magazine article on meeting genetic cousins this summer is here.

Although neither of my main families of interest share Howard's haplogroup, it was my pleasure to participate in several activities of Howard's group during the 28th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy back in August. I have the button to prove it!

I'm taking this opportunity to remind Tracing the Tribe readers that FamilyTreeDNA has some major pricing breaks if you order tests before December 31. Maybe your genetic cousins group may be able to hold a reunion at Philadelphia's 29th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in August 2009.

Writes Howard,
We came to Chicago from as far away as London, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area, and as near as Iowa City and the south suburbs of Chicago.

We came for a unique gathering—a new twist on the family reunion.

We are a new kind of cousin. Until a few days ago, we were strangers who just happened to have had our DNA analyzed. Then we discovered we matched one another to varying degrees. Most of us have common Jewish connections. And we learned that we come from relatively rare branches of the human DNA tree. Our mothers’ mothers came from the HV branch. Our fathers’ fathers came from the G group.

We still can’t say exactly how we’re related. Although many of us are traditional gumshoe genealogists who’ve traced our family trees back generations, the historical records don’t go back far enough for us to find each other on the paper trail.

Not a problem. Instead, we are connecting the DNA information with whatever ancestral information we know, tossing in some world history research, and voila! We don’t come up with a common ancestor’s name, but we can find out where our families lived and where they migrated to over the last few centuries.

Read the complete article at the link above.

1 comment:

  1. SHelli,
    Thanks for the mention and for joining our group in Chciago.
    Howard Wolinsky