Genealogy Continues

Liturgically the Christmas season is about genealogy, bookended as it is by the Christmas eve genealogy of Jesus about so-and-so begetting so-and-so and the Gospel on the Baptism of the Lord wherein God declares of Jesus, This is my beloved Son, revealing of whom Jesus is truly begotten. For me this Christmas was also one about genealogy as I finally got around to ordering my haplogroup deep ancestry test kit from National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project. FamilyTreeDNA will do 12 (or more) short standard repeats on the DNA of my Y-chromosome in order to reveal my direct paternal ancestry. My mitochondrial DNA upgrade test will then look at HVR1 in order to reveal my direct maternal ancestry. This all works because any male’s Y-chromosome is directly inherited from his father, and his from his father, and so on. One might assume, therefore, that all men have the same Y-chromosome, except that small, naturally-occurring mutations have happened throughout history; it is those differences that we have inherited that allow us to identify our distinct paternal lineage. In an analogous fashion mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, are inherited directly from our mothers and contain no genetic information from our fathers. This characteristic of mitochondrial DNA lead to research into our common origin being referred to as the Ancestral Eve project. The same evolutionary process of mutation in mtDNA allows us to see maternal lineage. While all this should be quite exciting, it does raise some interesting questions in a timely manner given Michelle and my previous post commenting on a recent Vatican instruction on bioethics. Anyway, I will keep you posted on my deep ancestry when I have some results.

2 thoughts on “Genealogy Continues

  1. This all sounds very complicated! All I know is that I was very aware when and where and how you were born – Dad & I watched with our own eyes! That was one of the happiest days of our lives!

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