Sunday, November 28, 2010

The DNA Journey - Getting Started

I think I have finally calmed down a bit after more than 100 messages via Facebook and Twitter with my DNA Testing Buddies, Joan Miller and Carole Riley. A couple others have joined our Gene Pool Party, but I'll wait until they have publicly blogged before introducing them.

Two days ago, we each ordered a DNA testing kit from since the price of the kit was reduced to $99 from a whopping $499. To participate at the $99 fee, a customer also has to sign up for a $5/month subscription for one year. What the heck - a long time ago I discovered that genealogy is a hobby that can be even more expensive than golf! There's also some postage costs involved, which was much higher for Joan in Canada and Carole in Australia, as compared with mine in the U.S.

I am, by far, the least knowledgeable of this trio when it comes to DNA testing for genealogical purposes. So I have the most to learn. I'll share what I learn as we go through this journey.

After logging in to my account at 23andMe, I see that "Your order is being processed and will be shipped shortly."

Unlike some of the other DNA testing services, 23andMe requires users to spit into the container rather than doing a cheek swab. We are already joking about this being our "spitting contest."

In addition to the potential for making connections with living individuals who share a common ancestor, the results from 23andMe provide information regarding health and disease risk factors and some predictability to one's reaction to certain drugs. As my prescription costs seem to increase with age, and as there are some health issues that run in the family, this makes the test even more valuable to me.

As far as genealogy, no, you don't spit in a cup and automatically have a bunch of family tree charts appear! But it may put you in touch with others who share a similar lineage and provide information regarding your global origins. What little I've seen in television programs about the origins and migratory patterns of humans has fascinated me, so it will be fun to see how I fit in the big picture. I already know that my ancestors are from Ireland, England, Denmark, and Germany - but where else did my ancestors come from?

Related sites and blogs

The DNA Testing Buddies:
Joan Miller's blog - Luxegen Genealogy and Family History
Carole Riley's blog - Carole's Canvas
Kerry Farmer's Family History Research

All of my posts on this topic

Blog roll of our posts and other blogs about DNA testing for genealogy
The Spittoon - blog from 23andMe

1 comment:

  1. I am so looking forward to this. I've not paid much attention to testing, since I thought one needed a male to get useful results. Can't wait to see what you learn.