Saturday, May 13, 2017

Test That DNA~ Do Not Delay!!

Have you yet to delve in to the world of DNA to aide in your genealogical research? Or have you tested yourself or other relatives, but still have others whom you’d like to test? I’m here to remind you, DO NOT DELAY!

My Great-Grandmother had a large number of “double first cousins”-- 3 brothers & sisters from one family married 3 brothers & sisters from another family. Leaving a whole bunch of first cousins who shared both sets of Grandparents with one another. My Great-Grandmother was one of the oldest cousins and has been deceased since the 1930’s…. however, she had cousins who were much younger-- including the last living one, a kindly gentleman born in 1919.

Late last year, I inquired of this cousins daughter, if she thought her Father would be willing to be tested. As he was the final living relative from this triple family marriage & share the same DNA that my Great-Grandmother would.

I’d thought about having him tested the last couple of years, and as he was in his late 90’s, I realized I shouldn’t delay. Since he lived 100’s of miles away, it wasn’t as logistically handy; it required mailing the test & then having them mail it in turn to the lab, themselves.

Lucky for me, this cousin was happy to provide a sample and had daughters nearby who would ensure the test was completed & sent in properly.

Delayed results, because of the large influx of holiday kit purchases, had the sample processed in the Spring. Finally, the day arrived when I received notification that the results were in!

The next day, I received word that this 97 year old cousin had passed away! Sadly, I was unable to share his results with him.

My paternal Grandmother came from a small family. And her parents came from a relatively small family each. Small families and a rather large number of relatives who remained unmarried/childless kept the pool of relatives rather small.

My Grandmother passed away nearly 30 years ago, while I was still a young child. Her only sister, 12 years younger, would pass away only 6 years later. This left my Great-Uncle, the only remaining sibling. A huge asset in my genealogical quest over the last two decades, I’d been meaning to ask him to test DNA, as he was the last living relative of that generation. As is often the case, I procrastinated until this Uncle in his late 80’s suffered a stroke and his health no longer gave the option to obtain a sample, until his death some months later.

Once you test that DNA, you have the results forever. Sadly, our relatives (especially the older generation) are not going to be around indefinitely. As a strong supporter of DNA as a tool in genealogy research, I can’t recommend enough getting samples as soon as possible!

You won’t regret having the test done… but you will regret if you wait too long…


  1. How fortunate that you were able to get a sample from your 97-year-old cousin. Here's hoping it helps advance your research. Your examples are a good reminder to jump to.

    1. I'm so glad to have been able to get it. At this point, it hasn't opened up too many research opportunities but I do have the results now. He's the "purest" of our deeply Alsatian family line that is left.