Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: The Genetic Strand - Exploring a Family History through DNA.

I've been waiting for over a year now for the latest book by Edward Ball, author of the best-selling Slaves in the Family, a book I much admired. I had participated in a webinar of sorts last year when he spoke of his latest project -- using genetic genealogy to explore his roots. The trigger for this exploration intrigued me -- his discovery of 9 old hair samples from his family. I was curious about this since it's fairly well known that he'd only be able to test for mtDNA on these samples, and that the odds of success were far from guaranteed. In fact, I wrote about this in July 2006.

So now [2007] the book is out: The Genetic Strand - Exploring a Family History through DNA. What surprised me was the randomness of his genetic journey. He avoided all the major genetic genealogy companies and only took a test or two from companies like DNAPrint Genomics, Trace Genetics and African Ancestry. He also almost willfully ignored common knowledge about genetic genealogy, taking a meandering course of testing that leaves one sort of baffled.

To continue reading this insightful review: Click Here.

Note: Among other things, the book under review illustrates that stereotypes concerning genealogy and those of us who pursue it die hard.

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