by Tina Sansone
BellaOnline's Genealogy Editor
Has Genetic Genealogy become mainstream? ?If it is not yet, it will be very soon...? said Bennett Greenspan, CEO of Family Tree DNA Inc, at the 2nd International Conference on Genetic Genealogy held in Washington DC on November 4th and 5th, 2005. Let us consider the evidence.
When Family Tree DNA -- one of a dozen commercial companies now offering DNA testing services -- was started in 2000 they analyzed some 300 DNA samples. In 2001 this grew to 1700; in 2002 it doubled to 4,800; in 2003 10,000 samples were analyzed. In 2004 Family Tree DNA analyzed 18,000 DNA samples. Between May and October of 2005 more than 64,000 DNA samples were analyzed for the Genographic Project, started by National Geography and IBM in April 2005. As of the end of 2005, Family Tree DNA has on its web side some 2,651 surname projects with 28,697 unique surnames; it maintains a database of 51,120 Y-DNA and 15,212 mitrochondrial DNA records (more on this in the coming series). Genetic genealogy is clearly moving to become mainstream.
In this series of articles we briefly review some basic concepts of genetic genealogy. We will then discuss what DNA testing entails and what kinds of tests and services are currently available. We will also discuss surname and geographic projects and provide a concrete example of one that collects Flemish DNA. The aim of this series of articles is to make you aware of the advances and advantages of genetic genealogy and to encourage you to order a DNA test so as to enrich your own genealogical research and contribute to a surname and the Flemish DNA project.
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