DNA Testing, Genealogy and Land Research
One of the reasons I have not posted for a good while is that I became quite busy when I started serving as a co-administrator of two DNA projects last year. My particular focus with both projects is with autosomal DNA testing rather than the y-DNA and mt-DNA testing. Autosomal testing looks at all of your DNA, not just that inherited from a strictly male or female line. Our autosomal DNA is the mixture of DNA we each receive from both of our parents. It will contain significant segments of DNA from all 16 of our second great-grandparents and some DNA from random ancestors further back.
One of the DNA projects I work with is the Orangeburgh District DNA Project (no surprise?). As the co-administrator responsible for the Family Finder (autosomal) tests, I encourage participants to provide me with a copy of their direct lineage. If they are willing to do this I then create a chart of their Orangeburgh District Ancestors and post this to a password protected site that is shared with all of the project participants who contribute their data.
My extensive research background into so many of the Orangeburgh District families and their land records has had several interesting tie-ins with the DNA testing. For one thing, I sometimes recognize family surnames that had connections back to Orangeburgh District that their descendants might not be aware of. Another helpful factor is that I often know approximately where in Orangeburgh District many families lived prior to the Civil War. This means that when two people with Orangeburgh ancestors match but they don’t know why (i.e. who is their common ancestral couple), I can sometimes recognize families from each party to the match who may have lived near each other at some distant time in the past. This is one way some of our unknown ancestors, particularly females, might be identified. DNA testing is basically another source we can use to discover and document our ancestors.
I won’t be doing posts on this blog about the basics of DNA testing as there are many good places to find that information. I will occasionally be doing postings about some of the connections between DNA testing and my land research, though. If you have any Orangeburgh District ancestors and are not already a member of our project, I would strongly encourage you to join. You can find more details about the project at the Orangeburgh German-Swiss Genealogical Society’s website at the Orangeburgh District DNA Project Homepage.
The other DNA project that I am working with is for any descendants of Edward Bolen (ca. 1740- ca. 1805) and Ann Elizabeth Salley (1757-1832) of Orangeburgh District. We are hoping to find one or two missing female lines among their descendants. Quite unexpectedly, we are also getting some interesting glimpses into Edward Bolen’s Irish lineage.
Contact me through the link on this website if you would like to know more about either project. In the meanwhile I will try to get back to more frequent postings on my land research!