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Old 11-09-2009, 12:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
People fixate on what tribe they came from, the various supposed inheritied attributes of the many tribes, and take personal pride based on these attributes--then marvel at how it is that we irrationally separate ourselves into "us" and "them." We are a funny lot.
I took over my deceased uncle's genealogy project and came to similar conclusions. You run across some strange morphing of things when you get a look at the lives of enough of your ancestors. I've got more than 3200 names documented of ancestors who include some who wound up on different sides of some major historical issues.

It's one thing to understand the institution of slavery in the historical context, and another to look into your family tree and see a many times over great grandfather's will in which he divided ownership of his slaves between his widow and grown children. It made me wonder if I was somehow tainted by the relationship. Despite the context of the times (1700's) is the evil of that counteracted by the supposed good of my cousin John Brown's activities organizing the Underground Railroad or his raid at Harper's Ferry? Do I have to weigh the number of ancestors who fought for the Union against the number who fought for the Confederacy? Or my still living cousins, the ones who have the same complexion as President Obama, how do they configure in my family's collective weight on the issue of slavery in America?

Like the slavery issue, my family has similar history with the Indians. Before RonBoyd's immigrant ancestors were even born my first immigrant ancestors were busy in New Amsterdam (New York) dispossessing Goonie's relatives. No Indian relatives that I know of, but ancestors and relatives include "Old He Wolf", who was described as a terror on the trail of Indians; Meriwether Lewis who championed Cherokee issues with the whites; and, Daniel Boone who was both an adopted Shawnee and made war against them and their British allies in the Revolution.

IMO, I'm not any more an American than the newest naturalized citizen. Even though many of them may still think of themselves as Ethiopian, Mexican, Indonesian, German, etc., I know that within one to two generations, their children will be just as much a seamless part of the fabric of American Society as my kids and grandkids. There will be noble deeds to be proud of, and a few ignoble ones to be ashamed of. I might get a little extra sense of (undeserved) pride that George Washington is my 2nd cousin several times removed, but I have a greater sense of pride in sharing him as the father of my country and a great leader in the American experiment in democracy that we are all participants in.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:25 PM   #42
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SamClem: You got a good point there and food for thought, for sure.

Some really fascinating histories on you folks on the board. I wish I could trace that far back with my family, but with all the horse thieves and all...maybe we don't know for a reason..ha!
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:53 AM   #43
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I am thinking of taking the testing.

On a more historical note I have a couple many times great uncles from England who have a notation beside their names in the family history that they "emigrated" to Australia at the time England was sending prisoners there. I really would like to know the real story.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:25 AM   #44
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I find the patterns of human expansion as illuminated by the new genetic information fascinating, but there are many things I would pay for before checking into my own genetic history.

Our families are fairly diverse, just as everyone else is discovering. I enjoy learning about our family and people I know. We love to recount our family stories, too. It is good for the kids to know these things.

I am happy that all this new information is helping to destroy prejudice.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:58 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by bruce1 View Post
I am thinking of taking the testing.
Bruce, while I am not apposed to DNA testing for genealogical reasons, I still beleive what I wrote 6-7 years ago on a Rootsweb forum:

Quote:
DNA is an extremely powerful tool for identifying an individual, their parents and siblings. However, going back up the chain of ancestors, the identification process becomes increasingly fuzzy.

The DNA indicators (or whatever they are called) that I share with another person would, I suppose, prove that he and I share a common ancestor. However, it would not tell us which common ancestor that would be unless we could procure a sample of the common ancestor's DNA. The problem is getting hold of 200-300-400 year old DNA -- or whatever the exact number of years backwards to the common ancestor. Even then, if you could get a sample, you are still left with the "genealogy" issue -- proving it with documentation. Which is kind of circular in actual practice... if you knew the location of the common ancestors bones, you would, no doubt, already have the documentation to prove your ancestry. Unfortunately, these things are found only in the rich and famous, and I have seen no evidence that leads me to think I need worry about that.

Therefore, if I had a similar DNA results as another person with the Boyd surname all that would do is "prove" that we share a common ancestor. That, of course, would not be very surprising but, in any event, bring me no closer to the common ancestor.


That continued a conversation in which I later added:

Quote:
Anyway, so that I keep everything on track, I should explain that I was painting with a very broad brush in my earlier post. I was trying to be non-specific and was speaking of "Genealogy by DNA" in general. With that in mind, I have to whole-heartedly agree that simply because my surname is "Boyd" does not mean that I am descended from the same common ancestor as every other person with the same last name. What I said was that I would not be that surprised if I found it to be the case. I further agree that DNA from contemporary individuals would prove or disprove the very existence of a common ancestor and the greater the number of participants the sooner the "odd man out" in the case of "disproved."

A side bar: When I first heard the expression "non-paternal event," I thought "Wow! What a nifty way to explain away the 'unknown father' problem." But then it just didn't stand up under examination and I have been unable to use it thus far. It suggests that the individual belongs in that special group of sixteen (Jesus of Nazareth, for example) who claim origin from Immaculate Conception. I am still waiting to run across one of them in my genealogical research.

I guess what I am trying to say about current DNA research is that I am not convinced that a couple of hundred bucks is equal value for the return. Why, for that kind of money I can go to a movie.

Of course, we Boyd's never disagree. We are too busy spouting our opinion to get involved in anything so petty.
and even later:

Quote:
My point is that I, personally, am unconvinced that a DNA study would provide me any benefit. I do apologize, however, for the unfortunate analogy. I wasn't comparing "going to a movie" with "searching for an ancestor." (Although, in thinking about how you took it, perhaps it wasn't so far afield.) It was only my puny attempt at humor. I could just as easily have said "Why, for $169, I could buy a new pair of shoes." Now, if you think that I would spend that on a pair of shoes, we are really not from the same family. (and we learned that without either of us giving up any body fluids... I hope.) Not any more likely than I will be running out to see a movie in the foreseeable future.

My reluctance to accept DNA analysis doesn't make me a "nay-sayer" (in a pit-fall, perhaps, but...). It simply means that those "people who have been trained and have experience in DNA analysis" have not gotten my attention yet. Someday, perhaps, but not yet. And this would a perfect forum for them to step forward. (By forum, I mean the message thread not the list.)

Certainly, I am happy that one of us is willing to tromp off to the frontiers of science. And I am equally tickled that one of us is willing to pay for the journey. Therefore, I am not trying to discourage one of us in any way shape or form. In fact, I will expect great things to come from this. Until then, I am merely the guy with a ton of questions.

Yes, I agree that your relatives (and many others besides) should get into this conversation. I fear I will not be able to add much more (assuming I have added any).
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:01 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
I am happy that all this new information is helping to destroy prejudice.
Amen to that.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:18 AM   #47
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You can do this for your dog:

Dog DNA Test Doggie DNA Testing and Mixed Breed Canine DNA Testing For Dogs - Dog-DNA.com
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:48 PM   #48
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Can we find out if we are related to our dog? LOL

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Old 11-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #49
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I used to have fun by writing "Hun" into ethnic rubrics. EEO folks would go bonkers.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:28 AM   #50
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Thanks RonBoyd. That is good information to think on. Also I am going to check out the rootsweb site. Our tree is is back to the 1600's in England and we are not sure where to look next.
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