[APG Public List] [APG Members] Exciting New Dimension for DNAResearch

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Thu Oct 29 19:17:28 MDT 2009

just going offline, but interesting point.  You're right, if you got 
dead-ended on the search, that would be one thing to consider, if all else 
was accounted for.  Could be a few surprises waiting!

I'm just guessing that's how it would be, don't know enough about the actual 
DNA testing side of things.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ray Beere Johnson II
  To: LBoswell ; APG Posting
  Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:14 PM
  Subject: Re: [APG Public List] [APG Members] Exciting New Dimension for 

  --- On Thu, 10/29/09, LBoswell <laboswell at rogers.com> wrote:

  > That's a much sounder approach. The ancestral research would have to be
  > verified (in this case done) anyway, but with this approach nothing is
  > taken for granted.

       Actually, there is still one thing that _is_ taken for granted, and 
could cause a lot of confusion. Prior to the development of DNA tests, all a 
genealogist could possibly go on was the written record. If, say, 
great-grandma had a fling with the hired man, no one would know. Even if you 
checked the records, you couldn't possibly know this.
       When you have your DNA tested, if you find a match, but the 
information you have does _not_ match, you'd then have to figure out just 
where the problem is. Is the match a statistical anomaly (no, I don't know 
enough about DNA and statistics to guess how likely this is - and, given the 
relative infancy of this approach, I doubt anyone else does, yet, either), 
or do the records contain inaccurate information, whether due to infidelity, 
unrecorded adoption (which _did_ occur in the past), or some other 
deliberate falsehood - or even inadvertent error? (Yes, I'm sure that last 
possibility is very slight, but in a case where only a single record 
identifies an ancestor, or a slender chain of reasoning that depends on a 
single identifying tidbit, it can't be ruled out entirely.)
       It seems to me the only thing that might clear up this type of 
problem is more information about the accuracy - and the exact potential 
significance - of this matching algorithm. Without those facts, how is the 
individual who discovers a match the records fail to bear out to have any 
idea how to proceed? (_With_ those facts, presumably, there would be _some_ 
avenues: say you find a match with another person but your records indicate 
no common ancestor, each person might seek other matches and compare _those_ 
records to determine whose records are wrong, then that person could use 
that information to estimate - or perhaps even discover - just when and how 
the disparity occurred.)
                             Ray Beere Johnson II

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