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Last week I wrote about using genetic genealogy databases to identify someone’s surname (see “DNA Could Reveal Your Surname, Of Course.”)Â The article discussed results from researcher Dr. Turi King which suggested that there is a 24% to 50% chance that two men who share the same surname share a common ancestor through that name, with chances increasing if the surname is rare.
Somehow I completely missed “Adoptees use DNA to find surname“, an article at BBC News this June.Â Men who were adopted as children are using genetic genealogy databases in an attempt to identify their biological surname.Â This is Dr. King’s research in motion.Â Family Tree DNA, for example, has a project for Adopted people that is over 2 years old, and has a success rate of more than 30%, thanks in large part to their database of over 130,000 records.Â From Bennett Greenspan:
“We now have a growing number of people who are adopted, who have tested with us and have matched several individuals with a particular surname, and maybe they haven’t matched anyone else with a different surname. From that, they can get the idea that they have at least found the surname they need to start looking for in the town in which they were born.”
The BBC article ends with Mark Jobling predicting what will happen in the future as technology opens doors for adopted individuals, stating that “tests offering better resolution on the whole genome should be able to solve other familial puzzles.”