Monday, September 21, 2009

Family Inheritance - 23andMe

Here's a chart from the 23andMe website showing how the chromosomes inherit 'traits'.    This inheritance is, at least in part, a method by which I'm hopeful we may be able to learn genealogical information from this test.     As always, judge for yourself.Quoting from Ann Turner, "... You received half of your autosomal DNA from your father and half from your mother.    But your father was only able to give you half of his DNA, so you have just a subset of your paternal grandparents' DNA, and likewise for your mother.    Your siblings will inherit different subsets.    And so it goes for generation after generation, and the chance that you and [a] cousin would have inherited the exact same segment of DNA from a specific distant ancestor is quite small.

On the other hand, all of our DNA came from SOMEwhere.    Some segments you share with another person are long enough that it's reasonable to assume that they came from a relatively recent common ancestor.    Short segments are more nonspecific and could have come from almost anywhere.    For instance, I share some DNA segments with a Bantu and other segments with a Mongolian, and our common ancestor must have lived thousands of years ago."


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