Friday, August 21, 2009

DNA Testing

For some time I've been considering the possibility of taking a DNA test, to see what if anything I might uncover about my genealogy. I had previously understood that a Y chromosome test would be the most useful, as it tracks the paternal line and would enable to me to test some proven links along with those that remain theoretical. However, having someone spell everything out in black & white rather than in a dazzling display of techno-geek intermeshed with sci-babble is one very important aspect I've been in need of. Thankfully then I've come across the UK National Archives Podcasts, and one in particular focusing on DNA testing as applied to genealogy, and presented by Chris Pomeroy. I heartily recommend it as being both an interesting listen and one that is also highly informative.

As to why I'm interested in DNA testing, that I can answer in three parts. The first is that I am curious just how closely I am related to various kin (those who are my distant cousins via tribal links). The second is the question of my Patten family, one that is predominantly an Aboriginal one, and if we are at all related to those Patten families that came from Europe, as has been suggested by some among them from time to time.

The third part is the most exciting, but also most unlikely prospect, and that is the possible link to having Tasmanian Aboriginal or even African ancestry. There are several anecdotal pointers to this, but without any DNA evidence to support the suggestion and circumstantial evidence so far unearthed, it's a leap in the dark.

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