Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Genealogists and Geneticists

I got a phone call a few days ago from a woman whose father is named Pikholz -. or at least he had been until he changed his name at age twenty-one. I had not met him but I had met the grandfather and knew names of family members. She wanted information on her family.

She interrogated me about my credentials, especially regarding genetic genealogy. Where had I studied, with what institution am I affiliated (university? hospital?), etc I explained patiently - as most of us have to do from time to time - that genetic genealogists do not have to have studied genetics in order to do genealogy and geneticists do not always understand what genetic genealogy is and how it works.

She had done a DNA test with 23 & Me, as had her daughter, but she said she knew that this could not help regarding her father's family - since she is a woman and the women's test is not relevant. And I began to explain about Y and MtDNA and autosomal tests and she cut me off. "My daughter is a medical student and she said..."

Which demonstrated my point.

(Eventually I'll get both of them on GEDmatch.)