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DNA and Genealogy - A Primer
Created on 2013-10-30 21:47:56 GMT
Last updated 2013-10-30 21:48:20 GMT
by John Hendrix
I am sure most members of the HHFO realize that our organization sponsors a Y Chromosome DNA project on the Hendricks surname. With this project we can prove or disprove a connection to our earlier paternal ancestry. With the exception of mutations, Y Chromosome DNA is passed from father to son for many generations and even multiple centuries. Therefore if you have a common direct male ancestor and that ancestry is connected thru the male line only (same surname), then you should have matching Y Chromosome DNA.
Of course obtaining your own DNA without having someone else’s DNA to compare with is fruitless. In our case, the HHFO has numerous male Hendricks that have proven ancestral lines dating back to Abraham Hendricks and beyond. Therefore when I came upon information that strongly suggested that my great grandfather William George Hendrix (1854-1933) was the same person that was the great grandson of Abraham Hendricks (1763-1848), then that connection could be proven by obtaining a sample of my Y Chromosome DNA and comparing it to one of the direct male descendants of Abraham Hendricks with the Hendricks surname. For instance, my Y Chromosome DNA should be the same as Harold Hendricks with the exception of a few mutations since we are connected by male descendants of Abraham Hendricks (a total of 7 generations back).
The Genetics Department of the University of Utah has a few easy to understand videos on the different types of DNA and how they relate to genealogy. The following link goes directly to the video on Y Chromosome DNA but there are also videos on the other types of DNA used for genealogical research. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/extras/molgen/y_chromo.html