Monday, February 17, 2014

Sumner County Genealogical Society

Where DID I Come From? 
What DNA indicates about Ancient and Recent Human Migration

On Monday, February 24th, Pam Robinett, Wellington, will present the program, “Where DID I Come From?  What DNA indicates about Ancient and Recent Human Migration”  to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 South Washington, Wellington at 6:30 p.m. Contact Jane Moore at 620-447-3266 in case of inclement weather.

“The title of the book “Seven Daughters of Eve” by Brian Sykes, caught my eye, made me curious, and piqued my curiosity in using DNA for genealogy,” Robinett said. Robinett, former Wellington High School math instructor now works with the high school diploma completion program for the Sumner County Detention Center.

 “I have done genealogy since I was in high school,” Robinett said, “I am the kind of genealogist who is interested not only in the names and dates of the individuals, but also the context, or the setting that the person lived in.”

“It’s one thing to know that a person was born, married, died and was buried in certain years,” Robinett said, “But it’s quite another, to me, to think of her as the woman who held down the farm, literally, while her husband went down the Cherokee Strip as a paid hunter at certain times of the year; and to discover that they nearly lost the farm over taxes one year when he was late returning.”

Robinett said she believes DNA is a tool that can put “flesh on the bones on a bigger scale,” and give us the “ability to track migration patterns over a period longer than recorded history can offer,” as well as the provide the opportunity to find cousins that could not easily be found with traditional sources.

 “As more and more people take advantage of this tool, more and more data will become available,” Robinett said, adding that this will make the picture/story of our species and each of us clearer.

Robinett said that with DNA research you may learn that there was an infidelity at some time in your family tree’s history, adoption(s) that were not recorded, and you may be able to add cousins that you didn’t even know that you had, allowing you to “fill in the blanks in your family tree” as well as “learn the migration path that your family tree took over the last 60,000 years or so.”

Robinett said that while she is curious about what DNA research can provide for genealogists she “hasn’t acted on it yet.”

 “If you and I have the same mitochondrial sequence, then you and I had a common female ancestor sometime in the last 10,000 years,” Robinett said.

“The opportunity to put your family in the biggest picture is pretty exciting,” Robinett said, “It lends a historical perspective.  It’s kind of cool when you can do that!”

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