The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Chris Pomery.
How some Y-chromosome DNA testing programs are turbo-charging their results by running a parallel documentary reconstruction project
I’ve been running a Y-chromosome surname project now for ten years, which is only a little bit less time than I’ve been researching my surname’s history. So I’ve got used to doing documentary research at the same time as recruiting participants for the DNA project: the two activities have always gone together. That connection became even more intense a few years ago, when I took over an international documentary project collecting data not just on my own surname but also on several other related ones. In the space of a few years, I’d moved from researching just my own line, to my surname, and then to several more, and not just in Britain but also in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all points in between.
Of course, when I started thinking about family history, I had no idea what I was taking on board or how long it would take to “finish” it. Since then, the two kinds of projects have just kept on getting bigger and bigger. So if that’s the case, and if adding the documentary project to the DNA creates a lot more work, why am I recommending doing it? Simply because family history starts and ends with documentary evidence to support the reconstruction of each particular line. However large and well run a Y-chromosome project is, its members will still need to prove their lineage the old-fashioned way: by documenting how they all link together.
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