Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"They swab the cheeks of strangers and pluck hairs from corpses. They travel hundreds of miles to entice their suspects with an old photograph, or sometimes a free drink. Cooperation is preferred, but not necessarily required to achieve their ends.
If the amateur genealogists of the DNA era bear a certain resemblance to members of a “CSI” team, they make no apologies. Prompted by the advent of inexpensive genetic testing, they are tracing their family trees with a vengeance heretofore unknown.
“People who realize the potential of DNA,” said Katherine Borges, a co-founder of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, “will go to great lengths to get it.”
Unlike paper records, which can be hard to come by and harder to verify, a genetic test can quickly and definitively tell if someone is a relative. But not all potential kin are easily parted from their DNA. Some worry about revealing family secrets. Some fear their sample could be used to pry into other areas of their lives. Some just do not want to be bothered.
Those cases inspire tactics that are turning the once-staid pursuit of genealogy, perhaps second only to gardening among American hobbies, into an extreme sport." By Amy Harmon, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 4-10-07 NVS)