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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Intro to Genetics on FTF post

Everett Combs family in 1923My latest Family Tree Firsts post is up and you can read it here.  It is the first in a series of posts on genetic testing for genealogy chronicling my families experience with the process. 

The picture is the oldest Combs family picture I have.  It shows my great-grandparents Frank and Sylvia Combs with their children.  My grandfather is on the right, standing next to his mother.  His mother, Sylvia Freeman, is the great-great-granddaughter of John Foote from the previous FTF post.

There is a plethora of information out there on genetic genealogy and I don't want to rehash what you could find easily on your own. You can read up on it to your hearts content online and in books.  However, one thing I have noticed is that these companies don't really give you the tools to understand the results.  Not that I expect to be hand held through the process, but having a bit of a guide so that you understand what all those numbers and letters mean would be a great thing.  I took classes in genetics and was confused at some points.

My absolute favorite class in college was microbial genetics.  LOVED IT!  The lab was like a candy store for me and I couldn't wait to get there (4 hours twice a week).  We studied all sorts of DNA, learned various techniques and procedures, and then for a treat at the end of the semester we cloned our own DNA for a study.  WHOOT!

Now all I wish I could do is get into a lab and do these tests on my whole family... I really wonder what is hidden in our genes.  Could something be in there help us make a connection to another family?  Could I finally get a break in jumping the pond?  So many questions.

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