Tuesday, May 05, 2009
The case for DNA testing
I recently received this message from a disappointed DNA tester, "I now see that I was naïve in thinking I would be able to find a Barry relative through the submittal of my DNA." I thought it might be educational to share my response to 'disappointed'. Here it is:
On the contrary, DNA testing was an excellent way to find a Barry relative. Just because you haven't yet done so doesn't mean that the next person who tests might not be the one. My family is the Augusta/Washington Berrys, color coded purple. Despite the best efforts of several excellent researchers we have never been able to pin down the boat, port or date when our immigrant ancestors arrived, and only assumed that we are Scots-Irish. Through DNA testing we have discovered closely related persons in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland to those places over 100 years after our folks came here. We still don't know boat, port or date but we can work at it from both ends now.
The other benefit we've gotten from DNA testing is telling us which avenues of research were just futile. For the longest time most of us were convinced that we were related to Samuel Berry, the 'founder' of the Benton Co. Berry family, color coded gold. We were all in Washington Co., Virginia at the same time. But DNA testing has shown us that we are not related so we can give up that disappointing, and sometimes expensive, pursuit.
And anyone you find through your regular genealogy, encourage them to DNA test also. A good way to confirm or disprove your genealogical research.