DNA & A Question of Paternity: Part 5 – Bringing together Autosomal & Y-DNA Results

Last week, I described using autosomal DNA matches, their relationships to each other, and their trees to start to construct a new family tree for someone (“Bob”) with uncertain paternity. The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for Bob and some of these matches appears to be a woman born about 115 years before Bob, who... Continue Reading →

DNA & A Question of Paternity: Part 4 – Building a New Family Tree

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been describing a problem I’ve been working on: using DNA to learn about the ancestry of someone (“Bob”) who was uncertain of the identity of his biological father. After examining what the paper records suggested for Bob’s maternal and paternal ancestors, I looked at Bob’s top DNA matches. Some... Continue Reading →

Questioning the Question

Thinking carefully about a research question before diving in can help to a) highlight what I already know and b) define what, precisely, I want to answer with my research.

Chromosome Mapping – A First Pass

I’ve seen some of the wonderful chromosome mapping images that others have generated, but I hadn’t yet gotten around to mapping any of my own DNA. Letting the perfect being the enemy of the good, I figured I hadn’t done enough analysis to be ready to map my own data yet. This week, I gave it a try.

Try to Prove Yourself Wrong

If we honestly try to find flaws in our assumptions and in our theories with every piece of evidence we examine, and if our hypothesis stands, then we can feel much more confident that we have come to a reasonable conclusion.

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