Saturday, January 19, 2008


Excited! That's how I'm feeling right now. I'm thrilled to share with you that I have won Blaine's "Win a FREE Genetic Genealogy Test"!

I've never considered myself a lucky sort when it comes to winning contests. In fact, I think this is my first one. I don't remember ever winning a contest before...

Anyway, I'm in the process of trying to decide who's DNA I would like tested. Should I have my own tested or ask one of my relatives? It's a tough decision!

The first thing I did was ask Blaine's advice. He offered to help me figure it out depending on what kind of information I want. Hmmm. Got to give that a little more thought.

Then I watched Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's video addressing the question, "Did I marry my cousin?" (recommended by Blaine, The Genetic Genealogist). Megan ended her piece suggesting that everyone should do a Google search for one of their family surnames "+ DNA + genealogy" to find databases where others with their same surname might have their results posted (for Y-DNA). That sounded good to me! Maybe I could find a DNA match with someone that has the same surname... family that I'm not aware of!

I did Google searches for the surnames of my eight great grandparents and not a single one of them came up in one of the major databases. Hmmm. Well, that's not gonna help me decide.

Then I remembered that I'd written a blog post a while back announcing a Polish DNA Project. Perfect!, I thought. All my ancestors were Polish so I'll check that database!

Well, none of my eight great grandparent's surnames were in there either. Hmmm. This is going to be a little harder than I thought.

The Polish DNA Project web site had a page with the results listed so I figured maybe I could find someone from one of the same villages my great grandparents were from. You never know where you might find a connection, right?

No such luck! I couldn't find anyone from any of my great grandparents' villages. Hmmm. OK then. Time for a different strategy...

I then went to the DNA Heritage web site (sponsors of the contest) to see what I could learn about their tests. Right on the home page they have links to sample reports. I read over the samples and began to see what Blaine meant by "it depends what kind of information you want". The mtDNA and Y-DNA reports are nothing alike. Hmmm. There are interesting features in each report. I'm not sure which I'd be happier with.

I'll have to sleep on it and do some more reading on the DNA Heritage web site tomorrow. Before I call it a night I'd like to thank the folks at DNA Heritage and Blaine, The Genetic Genealogist. I'm really excited to have this opportunity to learn more about my family's history!