Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1068213079

Subject: Re: [DNA] Questions, Questions, Questions
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 08:51:19 EST

In a message dated 11/06/03 5:07:29 PM Pacific Standard Time,

> And to make matters more complicated, my father was a Frenchman. I have
> roots in Brittany in the west, Alsace-Lorraine in the east and Toulouse in
> the
> south. Will that make any DNA test impossible to decipher? My beloved
> Yorkshire mother died last week, and I took a lock of her hair. Should I
> send in my
> mother's DNA rather than my own, so as to get a clearer picture of the
> Yorkshire ancestry? Is testing offered on hair samples? Should I look for
> some rema
> ining trace of my father's DNA in personal effects he left when he died 10
> years ago as I have no brothers and his brothers are dead?

Right now, DNA testing can only follow the straight paternal line
(Y-chromosome testing) or the straight maternal line (mitochondrial DNA, abbreviated
mtDNA). That's a tiny fraction of your total ancestry, but you can work with other
people to build up a picture piece by piece. For example, if you want to
learn more about the CARRICK name, join forces with other CARRICK researchers and
invite people with related surnames as well. You will have to find some male
cousins who still carry the CARRICK surname to act as your DNA proxy. When the
results come in, you can see if they all match, or (more likely) that there
are several different Y-chromosome patterns (haplotypes) associated the name.

Your mtDNA will serve just as well as your mother's and be less expensive to
process. The DNA testing companies each have their own kit for collecting DNA
samples, so that's what they prefer to work with. (They all have you rub a
brush or swab inside your cheek to collect cells.) There is a company called
Trace Genetics that will extract DNA from hair and personal effects. It's much
easier to get mtDNA than Y-chromosome DNA, though. You can write to
and ask his opinion about your items. Tell him what they are, how
they've been stored, whether anyone else has handled them, and what kind of
test you hope to do.

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