ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2007-01 > 1169303815
From: Ruth Aylett <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Family History Research - by DNA
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2007 14:36:55 +0000
> Occasionally, I have heard of people trying to use DNA to prove ancestry
> - for the purposes of family history research.
> Has anyone ever heard of that type of research being successful?
It depends what you mean by successful. Y-chromosome analysis can answer
questions like whether two males with the same surname are likely to have a
common ancestor, but not who that common ancestor was. With a large enough
sample, analysing mutations in conjunction with documentary evidence may
help to show where branches split.
The AYLETT analysis I am working on has suggested that the name may not have
a Saxon origin as suggested in most dictionaries of names: at least the
haplotype of the samples so far is not the typical Saxon one.
DNA analysis has been used to demonstrate to a high level of certainty that
Thomas Jefferson has black descendants via a relationship with one of his
Whether these are successes depends on what you were trying to find out.
Ruth Aylett Professor of Computer Science
Mathematics and Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK Tel: 44-131-451-4189 Fax: 44-131-451-3327
http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/ "Life is beautiful"
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