“The Adoptee’s Guide to DNA Testing” could be valuable tool for many

AJC file photo
AJC file photo

DNA tests available through genealogy sites aren’t just used by people who want to find out which parts of the world their ancestors came from.

Sometimes, they’re used by those who were adopted and are now trying to find their birth parents.

I have worked with several people, and all have been successful in finding out information about their birth parents through a DNA connection. A new book should help others in the future. Tamar Weinberg’s “The Adoptee’s Guide to DNA Testing: How to Use Genetic Genealogy to Discover Your Long-Lost Family” was published this summer by FamilyTreemagazine.com. The 240-page, softcover book is truly a goldmine of information and techniques. Her first two chapters are about how to research your origins using what you know and using adoption records per state, as it often depend on where you were adopted and the accessibility of the records. The middle of the book covers the basics of DNA testing and the four major DNA testing companies (AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage DNA) and how to understand and evaluate the matches you have there. Then she discusses “Advanced Tools,” exploring “Establishing a Biological Connection” and using the Third Party connections like GEDmatch to compare results from more than one company. There are seven case studies from adoptees who have been successful in finding biological parents. This is an extremely important addition to DNA research tools and is a must-have for anyone seriously trying to learn their birth story. It is available from the publisher for $29.99, at major bookstores, or online.

The History Makers

TheHistoryMakers.org is considered the largest African-American Video Oral History Collection in the nation. There are all kinds of links to interviews they have done, as well as to fellowships with various research institutions, including Emory. Well-worth checking out.

Were your ancestors in the circus?

Richard Goms has an interesting article in YourGenealogyToday magazine’s September/October issue — “Circus and Vaudeville: A Family Act.” Clearly many circus folks had descendants. So how to research these ancestors? One reference is circushistory.org. There, he he learned the Ringling Brothers Circus routes in 1891 and verified a family tale. See the Circus World’s Parkinson Library at circusworldbaraboo.org, go to “Our Treasures,” and its research center library. Many circus stories can be verified via various digitized newspaper sites. So if you have a circus story in your family, maybe you can prove it using one of these.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O.Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or gagensociety.org.