I may not know much, but what I do I will help others with. Yesterday I shared with my genealogy society some basic knowledge of DNA testing and how it can be used with traditional genealogy. I’ve tested at all of the big companies so I don’t have an issue telling others about my experience. It was my first speaking engagement about genetic genealogy, squee!
I love research. That may seem odd, but I do. In preparation for the presentation I dusted off some information about autosomal DNA and it’s reach, about five generations was what I found, but what did that really mean? I looked in my family tree that I have been building in my research. I had went a little overboard it seems. I have it back to some 5x great grandparents.
Some long nights, some just one more document, and there I am. I know at least with some certainty who my 5x great grandparents are. I looked at the dates. He was born in 1749, well before the Revolutionary War. Knowing the other members of the group are all older than me, we could safely say that we were all living breathing DNA examples of people who lived between 1689-1750.
That is the part of genealogy that blows my mind. For me it’s actually being a part of history. I read the documents, I can see their lives, their struggles, everything they left to make a life here. I can see the loss of children and homesteads. Picking up again and moving further. Challenging what was expected with what was needed to survive. Until finally it ends with me.
I look through those records and find those stories so it’s not all lost. I help others to find new ways to find connection because our stories are important. DNA will help us to tell stories that were thought lost. Our voices will be heard again, our stories our not lost, they are just waiting to be told.