NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection by David R. Dowell

by DerdriuMarriner

NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection by David R. Dowell links atDNA, mtDNA, xDNA, and yDNA genetic testing to family history and health history research.

DNA assists family history and health history problem-solving

NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection addresses the ways in which genetic testing confirms or contradicts family histories, genealogical research, and pedigree charts. David R. Dowell brings to genetic genealogy his expertise as a history and library science multiple degree-holder. Dr. Dowell calls upon experiences as:
• Air Force special investigative officer;
• American Library Association genealogy committee chair;
• Crash Course in Genealogy author;
• Cuesta College, Duke University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, and Pasadena City College academic librarian;
• Dr D Digs up Ancestors blogger;
• family genealogist and historian since the 1960s;
• haplogroup and surname database manager;
• International Society of Genetic Genealogists member;
• Middle Tennessee Genealogical, National Genealogical, New England Historic Genealogical, and Southern California Genealogical Societies member.

*****

Website: http://blog.ddowell.com/2011/10/genealogy-author-david-r-dowell-to.html

*****

Although commonly depicted as an "orange sausage with a blob inside of it" (as shown here), mitochondria may take many shapes.

diagram of mitochondrion
diagram of mitochondrion

DNA exists in every cell's mitochondria and nucleus

 

The info-book divides into eight chapters preceded by a four-page preface with acknowledgments and notes and succeeded by 14 pages of bibliography, glossary, and index.

The 16-page first chapter explains deoxyribonucleic acid as:

  • mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the food-energizing mitochondria surrounded by the cytoplasm between the cell membrane and the cell nucleus;
  • nuclear DNA in 22 pairs of autosomes and one pair of gender-differentiating sex chromosomes in the cell nucleus.

It furnishes questions to answer regarding genealogical research untangling adoption, brick-wall roadblocks, ethnicity or surname origins in order to match genetic test type with genetic testing motivations of:

  • curiosity;
  • data preservation in more durable forms than human memory;
  • family history research;
  • health history and personalized genome medicine. 

 

typical mitochondrial network (green) in two human cells (HeLa cells)

fluorescent microscopy
fluorescent microscopy

DNA identifies ancestors, ethnicity, relatives through four tests

 

The 26-page second chapter goes over Y-chromosome testing of male DNA (yDNA) which disproves relationships more conclusively than it establishes definitive lines of descent and which fathers transmit only to sons.

The 15-page third chapter handles mitochondrial DNA which daughters and sons inherit from mothers, survives after all other DNA expires, and traces female lines back into the deep past.

The 33-page fourth chapter identifies autosomal DNA (atDNA) which daughters and sons inherit at the rate of one each from both parents regarding 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes and which may detect third, fourth, and fifth cousins.

The 11-page fifth chapter juggles X-chromosomes (xDNA) which daughters inherit from both parents and sons from mothers regarding female lines. 

 

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DNA merges eight-generation pedigree charts, extreme haplogroup genealogy

 

The 22-page sixth chapter knits male and mitochondrial DNA into the extreme genealogies of haplogroups (most ancient common ancestors) known as:

  • Y-chromosome Adam 338,000 years ago;
  • Mitochondrial Eve 140,000 years ago.

Extreme genealogy leads descendants from eight-generation pedigree chart ideals to expansions from Africa 120,000 to 150,000 and 55,000 to 75,000 years ago to:

  • Asia 40,000 to 70,000 years ago;
  • Australia 40,000 to 60,000 years ago;
  • Europe 35,000 to 50,000 years ago;
  • Americas 15,000 to 35,000 and 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The 25-page seventh chapter mentions genetic testing as ethnically balancing or imbalancing technology and values.

The five-page eighth chapter notes in conclusion optimal results from testing three-plus generations of as many close relatives as possible. 

 

NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection by David R. Dowell ~ Available now via Amazon

Describes 3 major categories of DNA testing for family history research: Y-chromosome tests for investigating paternal (surname) lines, mitochondrial tests for investigating maternal (umbilical) lines, and autosomal tests for exploring close relationships
genealogy resources

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.

 

Sources Consulted

 

Dowell, David R. 2014. NextGen Genealogy: The DNA Connection. Santa Barbara, CA, USA; Denver, CO, USA; Oxford, England, UK: Libraries Unlimited. 

 

Nuclear versus mitochondrial DNA:

Unlike nuclear DNA (left), mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the maternal lineage (right).
University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) and the National Center for Science Education
University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) and the National Center for Science Education
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Mitochondrial Eve By: PASIEKA ~ Available as Photographic print and as Premium photographic print ~ Available now via Allposters.com

Scientific illustrator/photographer Alfred Pasieka's concept of circular molecule of mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid, only inherited maternally; Mitochondrial Eve lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa, left unbroken line of daughters to present day.
Mitochondrial Eve

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 05/12/2016, DerdriuMarriner
 
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DerdriuMarriner on 04/28/2016

blackspanielgallery, It's so fascinating how far back genetic testing takes one, from the domain of names into the nameless realms of Denisovans and Neanderthals! I hope the surprises all were pleasant for you and your wife.

blackspanielgallery on 04/16/2016

My wife had a DNA test with surprises. My heritage is so varied I cannot imagine anything else would show up, but I may try it one day soon.

DerdriuMarriner on 02/18/2016

Veronica, I hope that it's worth the price since it's my understanding that ancestry kits have been available for free as part of free workshops as recently as fall 2015. But they may not have been as extensive as hopefully yours is. Ancestry offers different levels of payment for their on-line information so the "small things" may follow the same guidelines as the "big things."

Veronica on 02/17/2016

I have an ancestry kit tat I bought recently and it was quite expensive

DerdriuMarriner on 02/17/2016

sandyspider, The book is an interesting read that I keep pulling off the shelf. The author provides examples of autosomal, mitochondrial, X-chromosome, and Y-chromosome testing from his and his wife's background. He says that the DNA testing proves that people that he and the DAR thought were his relatives are not at all and that people that he and the DAR didn't think were relatives really are!
It really serves up a lot of food for thought since, among other things, the extreme genealogy of mitochonrdial and Y-chromosome testing shows that his wife is in the rare haplogroup that includes mysteriously ancient and rare Devonians in prehistoric Siberia.
I understand that Ancestry still may offer free testing kits and workshop trainings, especially if a public library has a genealogy room that includes National Archives materials in their resources.

sandyspider on 02/16/2016

It would be interesting to find out what the DNA reveals in one's genealogy..

DerdriuMarriner on 12/29/2015

lindylou2, It's an important book that is written in a clear, helpful way. The author uses examples from his own family history to clarify everything, even haplogroup tracing back to ancient human species. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Guest on 12/29/2015

Derdrium, you have done your homework on this very well written post. It is so wonderful that the DNA is now a part of finding criminals who think they cannot be found etc. Thank you for sharing such a important project.

Linda

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