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  • Get to know more about my ancestors and family

    Hello everyone.

    I got interested in finding more about my family and ancestors recently. I started drawing a family tree on paper.

    Now I’m looking for information about my surname, Pollock. Searching in the internet I came across this post about the name Pollock, from a guy named Tristan Pollock. It was in interesting read.
    I wonder whether I can use DNA somehow to get to know more about where I come from.

    Nice being here. Thanks

  • #2
    Did you do the National Genographic's test, Geno 2, and is that why you posted in this subforum for it? You may get more feedback about beginner DNA testing for genealogy if you post in the "DNA and Genealogy for Beginners" subforum.

    You've made a good start by drawing a family tree with what you know. It's best to gather as much as you can from records (both those saved by you or your relatives, and others such as censuses, BMD/birth, marriage, death, military, etc.), talking with your relatives (especially the older ones), and keeping notes on all of that. DNA testing is another tool for genealogy, not a magic answer. Many people find that having genealogy software is helpful to keep up with their research, but you can also keep paper files; The FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding Systemis one method.

    Otherwise, here are some good sites to learn about DNA for genealogy:
    • DNA-explained.com - many, many topics for beginners; you can search using the search box at the top of the page, or use the topics in the right hand column
    • Kitty Cooper has another good blog for using DNA for genealogy
    • The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) has a page with links for Beginners guides to genetic genealogy, and their ISOGG Wiki (genetic genealogy encyclopedia)
    • FTDNA has its own Learning Center, with a glossary
    • If you are a beginner with DNA testing for genealogy, these video animations may be helpful to learn about the different types of DNA used for genealogy
    At first it may seem like a steep learning curve, but keep reading and learning, and seeking out resources, and soon things will become more clear.

    Re: Tristan Pollock; it is an interesting read. But unless you have proof (paper or DNA) that you are related to his Pollock line, I wouldn't assume that your Pollock ancestors came from the same origins.

    If you are not a male Pollock, but you have a male Pollock relative who could do a DNA test, such as your father, brother, male cousin, or uncle in that line, you could see if they will do Y-DNA testing. Most would recommend a Y-37 or even a Y-67 STR test to start, and then have that male relative join a surname or other project at FTDNA.

    But I would also advise doing autosomal (Family Finder) testing over time for parents, grandparents (if living), and siblings, if your budget allows and the individuals agree to do it. The reason for testing relatives is that the older generations in your family are genetically that much closer to the ancestors, and you may get more matches who share a common ancestor to them. Testing siblings or other relatives can be helpful when parents are not available, or will not do a DNA test. This is because your siblings inherit different segments of DNA from your parents, so will get some matches that you won't (and vice versa).

    If you decide to delve into testing DNA for genealogy, your DNA testing plan will depend upon your situation and what you want to find out, to determine what your goals are, which types of DNA testing to do, and who to test. You should give it all some serious thought, learn about DNA testing, and get advice before proceeding.

    Also, a warning: many people do autosomal DNA testing only for the admixture results (myOrigins at FTDNA, also known as ethnicity or biogeographical results). These results are entertaining, but you need to take them with a grain of salt, and not interpret them as definitive for your ancestry. The companies try to update them and improve them, so they will change both as time goes on, and between results from different companies. But the ancestries of the people in your match list is a better indicator of your own ancestry (i.e., if you know you have German ancestors, or Irish and Italian, etc., you should see people in your matches who also have those ancestries). Try to build your family tree out as far as you can, including collateral relatives (siblings of your ancestors and their children and grandchildren, in other words your cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc.). This will help you to know how a match may be related to you.

    FTDNA currently is having a sale on most if not all of their DNA tests, through Dec. 1. They may have another sale during December, but we have to wait and see for that. There are also periodic sales throughout the year for various types of tests.





    Last edited by KATM; 29 November 2020, 01:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Paper files might be the right thing for me. Never thought of that.

      Thanks for the detailed answer. I need to study it now. Literally.

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      • #4
        Paper files are fine, and also good for backing up information saved on a computer; you will certainly need to save original documents that you have or those you order, so could also save printed copies of family trees, family group sheets, etc. that a software program produces.

        Since you obviously have a computer, you might consider trying out either a free trial version of a genealogy software program, or a free program such as Gramps, which is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. There are plenty of videos online showing how to use Gramps.

        Reviews for some genealogy software programs can be found at the following, and other places:
        • GenealogyTools (although some reviews are dated), as well as other advice for starting out with genealogy.
        • A different blog post has general advice for choosing software.
        • The New England Historic Genealogical Society has a page for choosing genealogy software with a table comparing different software programs for both Windows and Mac, including a video presentation from 2016 (small, and can't be enlarged to full screen, but you can use the "Zoom in" feature on your browser a few times to make it larger). The video may give you an idea of the interfaces and features available in some programs, at least.

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        • #5
          For paper record keeping for genealogy:You can find many other sources for genealogy forms by doing a web search for "free genealogy forms," or checking the list for Printable Charts & Forms at Cyndi's List. There are forms for just about any type of genealogical record you can imagine (passenger lists, anyone?): to transcribe information, keep a log of correspondence or other logs, questions for interviewing relatives, form letters in foreign languages, and even for individual state censuses. You never know when there will be a computer failure, so it's good to have paper backups of important information.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KATM View Post
            For paper record keeping for genealogy:You can find many other sources for genealogy forms by doing a web search for "free genealogy forms," or checking the list for Printable Charts & Forms at Cyndi's List. There are forms for just about any type of genealogical record you can imagine (passenger lists, anyone?): to transcribe information, keep a log of correspondence or other logs, questions for interviewing relatives, form letters in foreign languages, and even for individual state censuses. You never know when there will be a computer failure, so it's good to have paper backups of important information.
            I have tried Ancestry and i think it is good but will to explore more. Its just that you have to input manually

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