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Title: DNA helping to untangle roots of family trees
Post by: Marilyn Teaff Barton on March 04, 2005, 04:29:22 PM
Tuesday, February 08, 2005

By Bob Batz Jr., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Say you get to visit the old country to explore your ancestry. You might think to take something to give your relatives. But would it be a DNA test?

Genealogy, it is a-changing.

Research is going genetic.

"Genetealogy" is what genealogist and writer Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak calls it. That's her real name, as she is by birth and by marriage Smolenyak, a surname that hails from the town of Osturna in Slovakia.

She had identified four lines of Smolenyaks and traced them back to the 1700s but couldn't find a connection among them. When DNA testing became available to the public in 2000, she used it to determine that none matched and, further, that one line was actually Vanecko.

On a subsequent trip, she and her husband furthered their quest by arriving in the village with 20 test kits and swabbing samples from men with 20 different surnames.

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