Thursday, May 17, 2012

All Ireland DNA Project Study and Atlas

This just in from the Fair Coane.  The subject study is a combined genealogical and medical/scientific
study of all test subjects living in Ireland or if not, whose eight great grand parents all lived in Ireland.

They will study Y-DNA, mtDNA and whole genome.  There is to be no cost to the participants for the test other than the cost of a postage stamp to return the DNA sample(s) to the study center.  There are a couple of downsides to this.  The biggest one is that the person providing the sample will not get the results of his or her tests but rather they will be grouped with other DNA in communities that may
even cross county lines.  The other is that no mention is made of the testers testing for deep clades
and therefor, they cannot even get down to the whole haplogroup level.

In short, it doesn't come anywhere close to appealing to those of us tested by Family Tree DNA so
does it have an upside?  Perhaps.  The biggest problem for Americans of Irish descent trying to find
ancestors in Ireland has been identifying their names and where they lived.  I find it very frustrating
that I can spend hundreds of dollars on DNA and other research and still not make a connection even
with having engaged genealogists with excellent track records.

For example, how did they locate Barack Obama's ancestor in Ireland without a whole lot of input
being furnished by Obama?  John Kennedy was probably much simpler to research.

At best, the all Ireland DNA study can probably show hot spots where specific haplotypes are concentrated and thus give a clue as to where research may be most productive---but still it seems
to me that this is still like looking for a needle in a haystack and wondering if you found the right