ISOGG, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, has a â€œSuccess Storiesâ€ page where it posts short summaries of just a few the many successes that genetic genealogy has helped people achieve.Â Today I noticed that there are several new summaries regarding â€œAutosomal DNA Successes,â€ both of which were the result of 23andMeâ€™s new Relative Finder (currently still in beta testing).
As I recently wrote, Relative Finder is a feature at 23andMe that allows users to compare their autosomal DNA to the autosomal DNA of others to potentially find cousins.Â This has long been done with Y-DNA and mtDNA, but this is one of the first times this has been done with autosomal DNA.
Success Story #1
The first success story is from someone who used Relative Finder to identify a huge number of potential cousins.Â After connecting one of his or her potential 4th cousins, the individuals discovered that they have similar surnames from a certain location in common (in addition to DNA on chromosomes 3 and 10).Â This individual also wisely noted that s/he now has â€œa good idea of the path that two of my DNA segments took through my pedigree to get to me.”Â This is something I wrote about recently in â€œThe Future of Genetic Genealogy â€“ Tracing DNA To Individual Ancestors.â€
Success Story #2 â€“ A First?
The second success story is about two Relative Finder users who worked together to identify a line that they had in common, potentially identifying segments of DNA passed to them from a couple who were born in the 1730â€™s.Â This is a very interesting result, and I wonder if it is the first time that genealogists have identified a segment of DNA that they inherited from distant autosomal ancestors (i.e. not their Y-DNA or mtDNA lines) outside of the medical realm.
I know Iâ€™ve mentioned this a great deal lately, but I again emphasize that geneticists and genealogists will be seeing much more of this type of success story in the future.