Taking the DNA Plunge

I have made a goal to post to this blog at least once a week this year. This could be tricky, because I still don’t have anywhere near the time and energy I’d like to spend on genealogy research.

I can start, though, by admitting I barely know what I’m doing with the Family Finder test I had done with Family Tree DNA a few months ago. I’ve looked at my matches a number of times, but the nearest ones are, of course, 2nd-4th cousins, and so far I have no idea how any of them are related to me. Very few have even surnames listed, let alone a family tree.

But then, I know my surname list is not complete, and I still need to finish preparing a version of my family tree for posting, so I can’t complain too much.

I’ve been interested in DNA since 10th grade biology class and making Punnett square after Punnett square. I found the whole genetics thing fascinating, and might have pursued a career dealing with genetics if it wasn’t for all the chemistry. I enjoyed my 11th grade chemistry class, but I was definitely not very good at it. I felt like a had a pretty good understanding of the basics, though, so it took me a bit by surprise that I’m not picking up whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing more easily.

Right now I’m trying to figure out where to focus my what little time and energy I have. Should I work on collateral family research so I can better figure out how my matches are connected to me? Should I study up on the science so I can better understand how to use the chromosome browser? Is there some other piece of the puzzle I’m missing entirely?