Thursday, June 25, 2015

Genetic Genealogy for Irish and Scots

My recent book Finding the McCains, a Scots-Irish Odyssey has garnered excellent reader reviews and peer reviews, of which I am very pleased.  There is an aspect of the book that is important to family historians and genealogist that I would like to highlight.  I receive many emails asking me about how to begin a genetic genealogy project.  Many people are not familiar with genetic genealogy; how does it work?  What can it do for our family history?
Finding the McCains  has good tales, lots of stories, Irish and Scottish history, and all that, but it is also a very good account and How-To guide for those interested in genetic genealogy.  The book goes into great detail into how I found our kinfolk in Ireland and Scotland and how I used the DNA results to discover the family's point of origin and eventually locate them in the primary sources of the district where they lived prior to 1600.
This was no easy task.  Our family left Ireland in 1718.  They were Gaelic and Lallans speaking.  There were no records prior to that date only oral histories.  So, how does one go from that little amount of data to finding one's family in the old countries, going over to visit them and reconnecting the family after almost three centuries of separation.  And how does one uncover the story of the family's progenitor from the 1400s? 
We can use genetic genealogy to do this.   In Finding the McCains I go through each stage of the journey that I made, how I used the DNA results to test each family origin theory, how I used DNA results to disprove various theories until I came down to the one that proved correct and success followed. 
You can find your family in the old countries and you can recover lost family history.  And, best of all, you can go over to visit them.  That moment when you walk into a room, full of your kinfolk that stayed in the old country is the golden moment.  It makes all those years of genealogy research all come together in a moment of perfection.  
 Finding the McCains is available through Amazon and can be ordered through your local book shop.

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