Tackling DNA

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This is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time. I’ve been looking at those DNA advertisements on Ancestry.com, but I always thought something horrendous was involved with it–like squeezing blood from my finger. The thought of pricking some area of my body put my exploration on hold–that, plus the price.

I noted in an earlier entry that Ancestry had a New Year offer available. I think the price of their kit is normally $99 plus shipping. Over the holidays, they had an $89 price for the kit (plus shipping). I finally decided this was something I wanted to do for a long time, so I was going to take advantage of the offer. When I accessed Ancestry that morning, a $79 (plus shipping) short-time special popped up. It was only available one more day!. Well, I would never get it that cheap! So I took advantage of the offer. And I began waiting for the kit. About mid-week, Ancestry created a DNA page for me. I would activate it when the kit arrived with the code. But where was my kit?

I’ve heard some amazing stories about DNA and family history over the years. DNA has solved numerous problems genealogists were unable to figure out. One big discovery occurred about ten years ago when DNA proved the South Carolina Spencers were connected with the Virginia family! DNA was also used to prove whether the real Jesse James was buried in his grave in Missouri. A man in Texas claimed for years that he was Jesse James. So, to settle the matter, the court approved a DNA study of the bodies of the two men. Jesse James’ body was exhumed in Missouri. The DNA sample showed a 97-99% proof that this was Jesse’s body. The wrong body was exhumed in Texas, so they have no proof. (I know groups have wanted to exhume the body of John Wilkes Booth in Baltimore, Maryland and conduct a DNA study on his remains–but courts have blocked any such attempt. Some people believe the real John Wilkes Booth is not buried in that grave.)

Years ago, I was standing in a bus line in Denver, waiting for my bus to arrive and take me home. A young woman approached the line, carrying a huge chart. She was so excited about the chart. Her biology professor had the class conduct a genealogical study on their lines. They were to go back as far as possible. In addition to finding names and dates of people, they were also supposed to find out what killed them–whether they died of disease or of something else. They were to see how many similarities exisited between the deaths. That knowledge would provide them with a clue as to what they should watch out for. Well, this young woman had spent most of the semester working on her tree. When finished, she had it matted and ready for framing on her wall. I remember thinking what a great idea that was. The diseases would definitely create a map and define similarities between the generations. Now that Ancestry and other sites have made death certificates available online, I have found this a useful tool as well. But I wanted to know about my DNA. Just who am I–really?

Yesterday the postal carrier delivered my kit to my mailbox. Of course, I could not wait. I had to open the kit and read the instructions. The kit utilized a saliva test, so I went ahead with the test and sealed the results inside its return box. Today, I will mail it to Utah. It will take six to eight weeks to get the results.

I don’t think this test will cover my whole tree. I think it will look at my main name, which is Inman. I’m an Inman on both sides of my family, however. On my father’s side, I descend from Edward Inman of Rhode Island (the Immigrant). On my mother’s side, I descend from the Southern Inmans who settled in North Carolina and Tennessee. I’ve always been curious as to whether those two lines connect. If so, how and where.

So now, I begin the waiting period for the results.

I am waiting!

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