Marynell Bryant presented Thursday night's program on DNA Testing in
Genealogical Research and answers a question from the audience.
Genealogical Society Hears Program
on Using DNA in Researching Your Ancestors
by: Bobby McDonald
It was very informative program heard by the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, on Thursday night, as local genealogist, Marynell Bryant, told the organization about her use of DNA testing in research for the past 10 years. "I happened on the relatively new tool of DNA testing, some ten years ago, when I was researching my mother's family and had hit a 'brick wall' in my research," advised Bryant. "It was a maternal grandfather that was called by his initials and I knew that I had one male cousin, that I could possibly use to link my ancestors to others with the same surname. Everyone agreed to be DNA tested and I would love to tell you that there was a match, but the ones I was hoping to be linked to did not work out!"
"However, the experience allowed the information to be but in a large data base, with Family Tree DNA Testing, in Houston, Texas, and eventually, I hit 'pay dirt' with some matches to my family line, and have been able to continue my genealogical research," continued Bryant. "You're not going to get names or anything like that, but you're hoping for some matches to lines of ancestors, who will help you by sharing information. We've connected with other people who have the same DNA links and have continued to correspond and search, and now have narrowed the search to three brother's who came to this country from the East Coast, back in the 1700's and eventually some of us will find the clues to the connection in a land transfer, a deed, or possibly a will in some remote courthouse, on the East Coast!"
Bryant told the group that the Y-DNA Test is very accurate and can link your family matches to the male line for as many 500 generations, with exceptions of slight "mutations" that occur in family lines. She told them that the test is relatively simple and takes only a short time to "swab" the inside of the cheek and send the sample to the lab in Houston. Then, you wait approximately 6 weeks for an e-mail that will tell you about the "matches" that you have with other researchers.
Bryant also told the group that the cost of the tests are "coming down" and more reasonable, than they were in the infancy of the program.
Others in Thursday night's crowd related some of the successes that they had experienced using the DNA Testing as a tool in their research. "It's a tool, not a 'cure-all' for research!" expressed Bryant. "You still have search and continue to try to find pieces of the puzzle in your research, but this can at least get you on the proper trail for your research!"
Bryant also discussed the various marker tests within the Y-DNA data base and told researchers to use at least the 37 marker test or the 67 marker test, for better results.
She also discussed the Mitochondrial DNA Test ( for the maternal line) and the new Autosomal DNA Test, that can give you additional clues in your research, but gave higher marks to the use of the Y-DNA, because of its broader chances for matches.
Marynell Bryant was available following the meeting to answer additional questions and invited anyone interested in applying the tool to their research to come by the local Genealogical Library, on Main Street, when she volunteers, and she will aid you in getting the necessary kit to complete your own DNA sampling.
Following Bryant's presentation, the local Genealogical Society discussed the upcoming African-American Research Seminar, scheduled for February 2nd, 2013, at League Street Church of Christ.
Hopkins County Genealogical Society President, Ronny Glossup, discusses the upcoming African-American
Research Seminar, scheduled for February 2nd, sponsored by the local society.