Anyone gone in for this sort of thing. Part of me would love to identify relatives from way back when… part of me is not so sure…
Not something I would go for personally - not for the reason that it sometimes lets skeletons out of closets but it certainly has the power to do that.
Did you know that, in the 'States, criminals have been found because the authorities approached private DNA testing firms to ask for matches to relatives and then worked that back to find the individual they were looking for - effective but a moral quagmire.
This is, I think, a good story about finding oddities in the family tree, but it’s easy to see how it might go wrong and cause a lot of pain and anguish as long-buried secrets are brought out into the open.
I know people who have done this and it’s not as accurate as the adverts say, they were very disappointed
Yes - I was tempted to try this so read up a little about it - and found that for most people it’s meaningless, for a whole range of reasons - among those I recall off-hand were:
the apparently odd mixture of genetic links you have is not really unique to you, but typical of most people
most of the databases of providers are small and skewed towards certain populations, particularly in the ‘developed’ world, so not very accurate anyway
they link you to where populations are now, not where they were at the time of the link (so you don’t really have, say, Irish blood - because that genetic marker was actually somewhere else entirely when it passed into your family tree).
I found my DNA results fascinating. I used National Geographic which had at the time (maybe still) limited results. I believe the competitor Ancestry .com goes further and enables you to find close relatives subject to their allowing their results / identities to be published.
Someone I know who was adopted was able to resolve many questions through this means.
Like some have said, skeletons could come out of the closet. I passed on my recent news of finding a cousin in New Zealand to another cousin who is a fanatical genealogist and has done a DNA test, he was contacted by someone who claimed to be a match and was given a story along the lines of ‘I am the illegitimate son of X and was adopted at birth’, both my cousin and I know X and his children so we are now not sure what to believe, whether to investigate further or just ignore the person who is keen to maintain contact.
I’m not into the genealogy nonsense - I much prefer a pair of flannels tbh
As my wife says, ‘I wish you’d take as much interest in your living relatives (ie her) as the dead ones’.
No to the DNA test, so far, although mildly interested.
Digging up ancestors, became obligatory and very interesting, when I decided to investigate German citizenship. Before I began that search, years ago, to discover my grandfather’s birthplace and German family, I felt much less solid than I do now.
Everything I discovered about him, and it was all quite costly, so I haven’t achieved as much as I will one day…told me so much about my own character, and everything that had had happened to me, and my own parents and sister.
I never knew any of it before, because no one had dared to talk about “being German” in those years - from mid 19th C. to now.
Small details that I remember, from infancy, became bright lights in deep shade.
Doing some family tree stuff today and discovered I have an ancestor with the Christian names Bendigo Septimus Hoppington
What a fantastic name! If truly a “seventh son” as his name suggests, you have a lot more family to investigate.
He was one of 13 children, 8 daughters and 5 sons. He died before he was a year old as did some of the others. Not a pleasant existence in the east end of London in the late 19th century!
I hadn’t noticed your post…but historical digging is fascinating isn’t it? I’m in the middle of a German quest too. Originally just for european status and a German passport, but it has become much more absorbing than that now. But why oh why didn’t I ask more questions when people were alive! (And why oh why did my mother through all the family papers away!)
Seems like a major tragedy, Jane! I feel as if I have been only half alive, to ask so little about everyone.
I think it all, for me, had much to do with the social pressures to belong somewhere, and that meant a somewhere that was usually completely unknown to me. Was my gran really descended from Gypsies? Her long black hair was with her till she died, and her character was original and very loving, I will investigate later, but she would have told me everything. Instead we were supposed to look for aristocratic connections! Zero appeal… ! Its easy to find the census information and a bit beyond that, have you got the German birth certificates etc? That was hard for me to begin, but more and more info gradually became available. There was an absolute block against German questions when I was small. My uncle took me aside before he died and said on no account mention his father to anyone. My g’pa was in Egypt WW1, No questions ever answered… He built racing bikes when he was younger…Its impossible to imagine how those folks were affected by circumstances of their lives. How lovely it would be to see them all again, and just listen!
Perhaps future generations will wish there was less stuff as will be buried in video’s and photos and so on. But we have very little, and no certificates apart from the deaths that were recorded in the UK.
After days, literally, of wading through online archive images of yellowed registry book pages with fading gothic script I think I have found the reference that will lead me to my grandmother’s birth certificate. And I have made contact with a Polish man who will visit the Polish archives for me, as where my grandfather was born is now in Poland. So I remain hopeful. And it’s fascinating.
(My G’Pa was in German army in WWI, and ended up as a french prisoner of war…I have requested details from French military archive!)