Yeah. Me, too. Every time I try to learn something new in genetic genealogy, it is all Greek to me. This week, I’m trying to understand something called Visual Phasing. Visual Phasing is a tool that allows a genealogist interested in genetic genealogy (or Γενετική Γενεαλογία in ancient Greek) to determine from which ancestor three related persons received each portion (by chromosome) of their DNA.
I am a fairly well-educated person but trying to follow the explanations available online for most genetic genealogical processes is like having to learn a completely new language. Languages are not something I do well, but when the Army taught me Korean, it was a whole lot easier than some of this stuff. And believe me, Korean for me was like giving birth on a daily basis.
In my role as editor of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly journal and with my first issue, I instituted a segment on genetic genealogy because it is all the rage for today’s genealogist and I believe it is an area which many of our 1200 readers nationwide are interested in learning more. It is one of the few segments of our journal that receives constant reader applause. I had lined up a nationally-known genetic genealogist to write our Summer issue who wound up having to beg off and so I stepped in to write the article. The response was unlike any I’d seen in the total of three issues I have produced thus far.
So, put these two things together and I think it’s time to write–in understandable English–what I am learning about genetic genealogy; what can be done with it and, more importantly, why. I’ve read Wikis and blogs and books on these tools and I get lost. Every single time. I have no idea if I can really produce something more understandable but I think it worth a try. It’s not that I believe I’m any better than any other author of genetic genealogy information but perhaps, since I am as neophyte as anyone and with more than three decades of teaching adults, I may have a more useful approach. If I join the crowd and find I can only replicate the Γενετική Γενεαλογία I feel I find elsewhere, I will beg my readers’ pardon and give up the ghost.
Wish me luck!