Genetic Genealogy for the Digital Age
, 2021-11-29 02:00:00,
Rabbi Jason Miller talks about his experience with ancestry.com and how he was able to identify relatives.
Several years ago, I was contacted by a representative at ancestry.com who offered me the opportunity to submit my DNA using a saliva collection kit. I figured I would be able to get the results and then complete my family tree going back many generations. I set up an ancestry.com account and started to add relatives to my family tree. When I received the DNA test results back, they did not yield any surprises (99% Ashkenazi Jewish), and, unfortunately, there were not any matches of my close relatives or ancestors. This is because there were not enough people paying for and submitting the saliva DNA to the website.
Fast forward to this past summer when I received an email alert from ancestry.com. I had actually forgotten I ever set this account up. The alert told me that my first cousin was a DNA match and was likely my first or second cousin. This was not earth-shattering news to me since I already knew my first cousin was related to me, and I also knew how she was related. However, this piqued my interest yet again in my genealogy.
I returned to the website, and sure enough, more DNA matches showed up for potential cousins. I began looking through other family trees that distant cousins had set up as well as 100-year-old documents that gave me hints about my long-lost relatives.
I immediately got lost in the…
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