08 March 2019

DNA Standards - Part 5

For "DNA Standards - Part 1" see https://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/2019/03/dna-standards-part-1.html. In the first part I paraphrased the standards for using DNA evidence for genealogy into bullet points.

This is the post for "DNA Standards - Part 5."


Prior bullets are discussed in other parts of this series:

In "DNA Standards - Part 5" I further discuss the sixth bullet. The main bullet indicates considerations when using DNA to help answer a research question; sub-items explain what is needed to accomplish the tasks defined in the main bullet:

  • support every parent-child link in the line from all test takers to the hypothesized ancestors with documentary evidence (Standard 2)
    • this applies to all parent-child links in all lines in our study group (even the parent-child links we see in someone else's online tree) and not only the line from the main/focus test taker back to the hypothesized common ancestor
    • this evidence may be presented in the narrative; the reader will likely be able to follow more easily if the evidence is summarized below a descendant chart
    • my preferred method is to use note references as seen in the image below (a, b, and so on); locating the footnote letter or number in the chart and in the list of citations is much easier for me than reading "For parentage of person XYZ see [list of documents]" then finding person XYZ in a chart; the reference numbers are much easier to locate than names, especially when a writer does not use the same exact name in the chart and the text

    • some publication venues may only need one or two sources to support each parent-child link; more sources may be needed to illustrate thorough research meeting the GPS
    • if no documentary evidence for a link can be found, explain what records were searched, search criteria used, any theory as to why no documents support this link, and why this link may be true in the face of no supporting documentary evidence
    • some parent-child links might ultimately be based on DNA evidence, but a thorough search for the documentary evidence should be demonstrated
    • for a large study group we may be able to use genetic networks to support some of the links so that we still have time to research our own family tree and extend it (as opposed to spending all of our time researching the trees of our DNA matches); some time researching the trees or adequately documenting the trees of others will be necessary, but we all need to manage our time to achieve our own goals most efficiently

Additional bullets will be discussed in other parts of this series:

BCG, Genealogy Standards, 2nd ed. (Nashville: Ancestry, 2019)


Only BCG provides official answers on what it expects to see in application portfolios. No one, not even members of the BCG Board of Trustees or associates helping at exhibit hall booths, speak officially for BCG. For specifics on what BCG expects to see in portfolios, please use BCG’s website, blog, newsletter, and other means of communication:

All statements made in this blog are the opinion of the post author. This blog is not sponsored by any entity other than Debbie Parker Wayne nor is it supported through free or reduced price access to items discussed unless so indicated in the blog post. Hot links to other sites are provided as a courtesy to the reader and are not an endorsement of the other entities except as clearly stated in the narrative.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "DNA Standards - Part 5," Deb's Delvings, 8 March 2019 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2019, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

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