Just over a week ago, I first heard about this sensational new book that had just been published – Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies by Debbie Parker Wayne, Editor.
Imagine my chagrin when I ordered it on Amazon, only to have a delivery message stating it would arrive between 1 May and 11 June 2019! It had already apparently sold out. A few days later, though, a delivery update made me very happy and the book arrived last week.
To begin, the book is a bit hefty in price, but it is way more hefty in its 382 pages of information and worth every penny. It would be the perfect textbook in a class on genetic genealogy. That is a big compliment because, as a retired teacher, I see textbooks as a source of lots of great learning.
Take a look at the Table of Contents:
Methods, Tools & Techniques
1. Lessons Learned from Triangulating a Genome, Jim Bartlett, PE
2. Visual Phasing Methodology and Techniques, Blaine T. Bettinger, JD, PhD
3. X-DNA Techniques and Limitations, Kathryn J. Johnston, MD
4. Y-DNA Analysis for a Family Study, James M. Owston, EdD
5. Unknown and Misattributed Parentage Research, Melissa A. Johnson, CG
6. The Challenge of Endogamy and Pedigree Collapse, Kimberly T. Powell
7. Parker Study: Combining atDNA and Y-DNA, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
8. Would You Like Your Data Raw or Cooked? Ann Turner, MD
DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard
9. Drowning in DNA? The Genealogical Proof Standard Tosses a Lifeline, Karen Stanbary, CG
10. Correlating Documentary and DNA Evidence to Identify an Unknown Ancestor, Patricia Lee Hobbs, CG
11. Writing about, Documenting, and Publishing DNA Test Results, Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
Ethics, Emotions, and the Future
12. Ethical Underpinnings of Genetic Genealogy, Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
13. Uncovering Family Secrets: The Human Side of DNA Testing, Michael Lacopo, DVM
14. The Promise and Limitations of Genetic Genealogy, Debbie Kennett, MCG
The chapters are followed by the Glossary and Recommended Reading. The List of Figures and Tables is SIX pages long!
Each of these chapters is a high-powered read as a stand-alone. Depending on one’s levels of technical expertise and genetic genealogy needs of his/her own genealogical research, some chapter topics will be of more interest than others.
However, everyone will learn something and most of us will learn a lot from each of these authors, who are well respected names in the genealogical world.
There are two things, on the surface, that I love about this book. The first – many color charts and tables – might not seem significant, but color adds so much clarity and understanding to factual information presented. Second, I really love the number of case studies found in most of the chapters. Like color, case studies help bring all the data into perspective in a way that doesn’t overload the brain.
This book is not in any way a beginner’s guide to DNA – after all, the opening chapters cover triangulating genomes and visual phasing. Personally, I consider myself to be on the beginning edge of intermediate understanding in my DNA knowledge and some of the material covered is beyond my grasp right now. Yet, I am enthusiastically jumping into reading each and every chapter because each topic seems approachable and written in a style that offers new knowledge in ways that I can process and understand without a DNA teacher by my side.
Yes, $50.00 is an expense, but I highly recommend this book to anyone beyond a beginner’s level in genetic genealogy.
Okay, I did say that I am looking forward to reading all the chapters, so why am I recommending a book that I haven’t entirely read? Between my years as a teacher and my 40 years doing family history, I recognize a quality book when I see one. I’ve skimmed through the chapters enough to get a feel for it. This is a book that readers will reference time and again as their genetic family trees blossom and expand. It’s most definitely a keeper. 🙂