RE: bridging the Dark Ages in Europe genealogically

I agree that testing one person, alone, tells you nothing about your genealogy
(though it does tell you something about your ethnicity), which is one reason no
one person can serve as a "reference" sample. Everyone's results have to be
assessed in terms of the results of others.

Two people don't have to have the exact same line to be compared. All that is
necessary is that their patrilineal lines intersect *at some point*. As I said,
the "rub" is in finding patrilineal lines to test. If there are none, then it
was a useless suggestion, and I've let my enthusiasm for DNA testing get the
better of me.

But if there were such a patrilineal (or matrilineal) line, either to royalty or
antiquity, I don't think you would find it difficult to get people to test
themselves to support the connection -- unless they're afraid of proving it
untrue. People are getting tested, now, for much lesser reasons, that is, just
to support their connection to their near kin or, in the case of
European-Americans, who are the ones doing the bulk of the testing, to connect
to their immigrant or to "cross the pond," with no royal or ancient connection
as an incentive. You don't have to pay for someone else's testing or compile
their pedigree to get results, unless you're in a hurry. Otherwise, you can
just wait.


-----Original Message-----
From: gen-medieval-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx On Behalf Of taf@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 10:24 PM
To: gen-medieval@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: bridging the Dark Ages in Europe genealogically

On Oct 5, 5:48 pm, "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <Dian...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
No one has "reference" samples.  We are all testing living
contemporaries.  All
DNA is telling you is with whom you have a DNA match.  It
does not tell you who
your ancestor is, and we do not have DNA from ancestors to
test -- unless you
want to count father-son, grandfather-son test pairs.

I do enjoy it when someone tries to teach me this stuff.

If you have a DNA match with someone and your paper
pedigree shows you have a
common ancestor on your patrilineal line, the DNA results
are strong support for
the pedigree.  If you don't match, it debunks the pedigree
for at least one of
the subjects (and you need to test at least a third
individual to find who's

Yes, that is exactly what I meant by "reference" sample. A reference
sample is something to compare yours to, and for DNA analysis to have
any use whatsoever, you have to have such a sample. Just testing one
person tells you nothing.

The rub, as you say, will be the lack of members with
descents on patrilineal
lines, but lack of "reference" samples is not an issue.  

Tell me, then, how DNA is to be used without a haplotype to which you
will compare a prospective member's DNA? When we are talking about
medieval ancestors, the chances someone else with the same male- or
female-line not only existing but being on file is in deed minute.

As for the cost ($100
to $300), considering what most of us have invested in
compiling our paper
genealogy, the level of support provided by DNA testing is,
to me, the biggest
bargain in genealogy.  YMMV.

And to me, given how little it adds, to require it of people wishing
to join a lineage society adds an unnecessary expense. You would not
only have to test yourself, but document someone else's lineage as
well, and pay for their testing, and if you happen to be the
only male-
line or female-line descendant, then even if you can test yourself
there isn't the slightest point in the whole exercise since there is
nothing to compare your sample to. It just doesn't work for a lineage
society to require this, even if their membership requirements fit
with it in theory.