Just who is on your family tree?

Charlemagne DNA GenealogyI’ve just come across a fascinating website http://nautil.us/ , it’s theme is “What Makes You So Special: The Puzzle of Human Uniqueness”. It is a science based website, but several of the pages concern themselves with DNA and other subjects dear to a genealogists heart. One page in particular addresses the fact that statistically it can be proved that we are all related to one another.

A particular sentence caught my attention – “anyone who was alive 2,000 – 3,000 years ago is either an ancestor of everyone who is now alive, or no one at all”. This makes sense when you think that working backwards each generation doubles the number of direct descendants, so when you go back 40 generations (not likely on a typical family tree) then you would have a trillion direct ancestors when the world population is estimated to have been only about 300 million.

So we are all related to Charlemagne, Edward 1st, Cleopatra and so on. Makes for a colourful family tree!

Here are links to two articles I think you’ll find thought provoking –



DNA now available through The Genealogist

DNAThe press releases seem to be coming in twos today!

David Osborne of The Genealogist sent me the following information about the new DNA service that they are offering. The prices start from £64.95, not sure what level of DNA investigation this is for, but their website is bound to give all their details.

Here’s the press release……

DNA testing made affordable
As more and more people research their family history, there comes a point when it becomes very difficult to go any further with your family records and the trail go cold. However, there is now a possibility of going much further and the use of genetics has helped Family Historians create new lines of research.
The Genealogist has started offering these DNA tests to the public to help trace family lines with prices starting at £64.95 with other packages available.

“I see this as another tool that not just genealogists but anybody interested in family history could use to discover a lot more information,” says Mark Bayley, Head of the Online Division at TheGenealogist.co.uk  “When you research a line, there’s only so far back you can go when the paper trail ends. DNA can bridge that gap and get you past those brick walls. Many people are interested in genealogy and don’t have time to research the full family history themselves. Now they can learn more about their family than they ever thought was possible. We have access to the largest DNA Database and it can really help expand your family history knowledge.”
DNA Testing from
TheGenealogist can allow beginners to the world of genealogy to make big strides in developing their family history in much quicker time and discover key leads, also allowing you to connect with other genealogists and family members you never knew existed.
Many thousands of users have purchased DNA testing and the demand is increasing as people decide to take their family history research that step further. It’s a quick , painless process involving a swab in the cheek that can give you a wealth of information on your past!

It is a fascinating way to really retrace your roots.


Price of DNA testing reduced

It’s not something that I think would help me in my research, but perhaps I don’t know enough about it. Anyway www.ancestry.com has reduced the price of it’s DNA testing to $79US. Their press release states….

Provo, Utah, January 27, 2009 — Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history, has reduced the prices of its genetic genealogy DNA tests, allowing consumers more affordable access to the family history information provided by these tests.
Effectively immediately, the 33-marker paternal lineage test is now only $79 (down from $149). The paternal lineage test analyzes DNA in the Y chromosome, which is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. Advanced paternal lineage tests, maternal lineage tests (which looks at mitochondrial DNA passed from a mother to her children), and combination paternal and maternal lineage testing options are also part of the product suite.

So if you think it would help, then it’s just got cheaper !!!