Tri-City Ledger -

By Jim Stanton
Guest Writer 

Improvements made to DNA testing


March 12, 2020

Several years ago when I first took a DNA test to trace my ancestors only a few hundred people showed up on it that I had shared DNA with. When I checked again just a few days ago the number of people in the world that I had shared DNA with was just over one hundred thousand.

According to my DNA I have almost three thousand five hundred fourth cousins or closer, and over ninety eight thousand fifth to eighth cousins in the world. As far as I can tell the test are pretty accurate, several of the ones on my list of relatives are people that I personally know and know how I'm related to them.

I've found that I'm related to people right here in the local area that I would have never suspected of being related to. DNA is a new tool that for me has taken a lot of travel out of doing family research, back in the 1990's doing research usually including a trip to some place that contained the local records stored from years ago.

It looks like as DNA testing advances and who knows in the not to far distant future they might learn how to tell a person exactly how they are related to anyone in the world, by tracing ancestors through various lines. When I took my DNA test health was something that wasn't even mentioned with a DNA test and now it's one of the popular options available with the test.

I know there are a lot of good and valid privacy concerns over having a DNA test done. I'm a person that believes that if they want your DNA they will find a way to get it. If you have one of these test done, don't be surprised by who you may learn you are related to, you may even be related to someone famous. One surprise to me was the amount of Irish DNA that I have, I have always known that I have Irish ancestors but I didn't realize that more than half of my DNA comes from Ireland.

We are just a few weeks away from a couple of events in Century that we are looking forward to. The first one will be Saturday April 25 at Lake Stone, the Blackcat Reunion, where Century Blackcats from the old Century High School of all years get atogether for good food and fellowship. People of all ages usually come to see friends they haven't seen in some cases for dozens of years.

The following Saturday May 2 will be Sawmill Day and The Car Show. There are vendors of all types and food and refreshments available.

The Alger Sullivan Historical Society meets the third Tuesday of the month at 6 PM at the Leach House Museum at Fourth Street and Jefferson Avenue. This months meeting is March 17th and our guess speaker will be Claudia Campbell who will be speaking about Ft. Mims in Baldwin County. Everyone is welcome to attend and to join the ASHS.


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