That keeps on giving…
A family member The Legal Genealogist will call DFC first provided a YDNA sample in 2008, and had his autosomal DNA tested for the first time in 2010 when the test first became available.
Since the 9th of July 2019, he has had 106 matches on one DNA testing site where his autosomal DNA can be found. Of those 106, 18 have segments longer than 15 centimorgans (cM), so long enough to be reasonably sure these are real matches, potentially within a genealogical time frame where the common ancestral couple might be identified.
Another family member we’ll call CCC first agreed to have her autosomal DNA tested in the spring of 2012.
Since the 15th of October 2012, she has had 7,131 matches on that same DNA testing site. Putting aside the known kin — siblings, nieces, nephews and close cousins, more than 1,700 of those matches come in at the 15cM+ range, meaning there’s a good change the common ancestral couple might be identified.
Another family member we’ll call JLC first agreed to have his autosomal DNA tested in the fall of 2016.
Since the 22nd of November 2016, JLC has had 7,302 matches on that same DNA testing site. Putting aside the known kin — siblings, nieces, nephews and close cousins, more 1,900 of those matches come in at the 15cM+ range, meaning there’s a good change the common ancestral couple might be identified.
So… why am I emphasizing these dates?
Because these are the dates on which we lost each of those family members.
And on which — had they not already agreed to test — we would have lost all of the evidence of our family history that was tucked away in each of those folks’ individual genetic codes.
Each of them is from a generation older than my own. Each a generation closer to whatever common ancestor we might be interested in identifying. Each offering a unique combination of segments on individual chromosomes that the others might not share.
Each of them offering the entire family a unique gift for research.
It gives us a view into our past that simply can’t be duplicated by the most diligent of paper-trail research.
It gives us the chance to connect with cousins even more distant and exchange photographs and documents and stories.
It gives us the chance to learn about heritable disease patterns … and more positive or even amusing heritable traits.
It gives us a tangible link to our common past.
All of us in my family who are interested in family history today, and those who follow us in the years and even generations to follow, will be eternally grateful to these relatives and to all the other cousins who have agreed to grant us the privilege of having and using this amazing evidence of our common ancestry.
It’s a gift beyond price from each of these family members.
And a gift that keeps on giving after each of them is gone… and will continue to give long afterwards.
Test your oldest family members.
Do it today.
Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The gift,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 18 Aug 2019).