Summary of Our Recent January 11, 2011 Genealogy Pogram with Jeffrey Bassett on the Topic of DNA and Genealogy (Handout PDF Link Included)

Hi Everyone,

Here is a summary of our most recent Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2011.  Our guest speaker for the evening was Jeffrey Bassett.  Jeffrey presented a program titled “DNA and Genealogy: A Revisit”.

Jeffrey had previously provided an overview of using DNA in your genealogy research in January 2007.  So much has advanced in this research technique since Jeffrey was last here that I thought it would be a good topic to revisit and see what is new in this area for genealogy researchers.

I do apologize early on in this post and let the readers know that I had unfortunately forgotten to bring my digital camera to this program.  Consequently, I do not have any pictures of the speaker or of the participants as I often do include in a summary of the program.  Sorry about that.  I will put the camera by my door on the way out for our next speaker oriented program we will have in February 2011!

Once again, old man winter decided to target our program night for a small snowstorm!  It wasn’t a catastrophic storm but I feel like each winter month this program seems to have snowstorm in the mix for the very evening of the program.  Not the day before or the day after but the very evening!!

Nonetheless, we still had a very good turnout for our program which we started at 7:30 PM.  We had 52 people in attendance.  All were hearty souls that would not be stopped from learning some new genealogy research techniques via DNA analysis.  Our speaker was also able to make the program without any difficulties even though he faced more snow closer to the lake from where he was coming.  His driving conditions actually improved as he headed west away from Lake Michigan.

We had 4 new participants in attendance for the evening.  I had them introduce themselves and provided them with a genealogy introduction handout package for them to use as they embark upon their research.

I then spent some time reviewing our “electronic” handout package that I post within the blog on the right sidebar under the category “Program Handouts”.

I like to include handouts of upcoming genealogy programs that our local to our area so researchers can attend these programs for the topics they have.  I also include our own library’s next upcoming program so attendees can mark their calendars to visit us again at our library.

I also like to make note of some interesting topics I was able to discover from Dick Eastman’s Online Newsletter as well as make note of some key articles I may have discovered that were contained in our library’s recently received genealogical journals.

I encourage those that attended to revisit the PDF file of this information and spend some more quality time reviewing the thoughts I put to paper that caught my eye as being more significant than other things I may have seen.  These notes have bookmarks within the document to make for easy navigation as well as having embedded links that you can visit directly from with the Handout.

Our speaker started his presentation at approximately 8:05 PM.  Jeffrey brought a nice PowerPoint presentation of his material from which I was able to make paper copies for those in attendance to follow.

Jeffrey was kind enough to allow me to post his PowerPoint presentation within this blog post for all attendees and readers of my blog to revisit and look at.  You can see this handout material at:

Jeffrey Basset January 11, 2011 DNA and Genealogy Handout

Thank you Jeffrey for allowing me to post this.

Jeffrey also let us know that the DNA Service Provider he has used over his long time working with DNA is Family Tree DNA.  You can visit this company’s website at:

www.familytreedna.com

Some of the key points made by Jeffrey from throughout his presentation were:

  • Many years ago when DNA testing started to be made available to genealogy researchers, the standard was a 12 marker test.  Today, the standard is more like a 37 marker test.
  • A 67 marker test is also available but Jeffrey believes that is not necessary to obtain great results at less cost with the 37 marker test.
  • The price of DNA testing has dropped significantly over the years.  Today, Jeffrey spends about $149 for a 37 marker test.  Four years ago, that same test cost him $179.
  • If you are looking for an even bigger discount on DNA pricing, check with Ancestry.com in the months before the Christmas Holidays.  They often have some great “sale” prices at that time because these DNA tests are frequently given as presents at that time of the year.
  • The Y chromosome test is used when researching male lines.
  • Mitochondrial DNA is used when researching female lines.
  • Jeffrey indicated there is more willingness today for researchers to participate in DNA research compared to 4 years ago.  The uneasiness of 4 years ago has been replaced with lower costs, confidence in the DNA companies and their results and a sense of privacy that is present from a good track record of those companies providing this service.
  • Jeffrey noted that over time all DNA will mutate.  The higher level of a DNA marker test you use will show this over time with your results more so than will a 12 marker or 25 marker test.  Mutations can explain why a DNA result does not have expected exact matches.  These are still people in your family tree but you have to be aware of mutations that affect the outcome of your marker matches.
  • Haplogroup results of your DNA give you some idea of where in the world your original ancestral connections might be from.  African connections go back the furthest in time (120,000 to 150,000 years ago).  Asian connections go back 40,000 to 70,000 years ago.  European connections go back 35,000 to 50,000 years ago.
  • Jeffrey provided his own web site to visit that deals with his efforts to connect the BASSETT family line through his use of DNA testing.  You may visit the site at www.bassettbranches.org.

All in all DNA and Genealogy is here to say.  We are well past the infancy of this process from just 5 or more years ago.  Jeffrey is by far the most knowledgeable person I have met on the subject of DNA and genealogy.  His presentation really showcases his deep knowledge of the subject and how he has used it to explore and confirm many of his genealogical connections.

We thank Jeffrey Basset for his return visit to our library to share information on this expanding topic of genealogical research.

Jeffrey’s contact information is contained within his handout as well as from the website I mentioned above.

DNA and Genealogy.  Investigate it.  Consider it.  Get “swabbing”!!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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