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DNA TESTING OF AUSTRALIANS FOR GENEALOGY

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  • jreakes@familytreeresearch.net
    I must correct a mistake the DNA Testing is NOT a project of the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS but a project of Brigham Young University
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2001
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      I must correct a mistake the DNA Testing is NOT a project of the
      CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS but a project of Brigham
      Young University privately funded by multim millionaires. The Church
      is just allowing the Scientists to utilisie their building.
      I had an interesting snippet about DNA testing helping with
      identifying missing soldiers in the Korean War.
      Thought I'd reprint it
      With regard to the BYU Molecular Genealogy Project happening in Perth
      on Thursday 31st May and how it will help people doing family history
      research, the following article appeared in RootsWeb Review Missing
      Links Vol. 6, No. 18



      REVERSE GENEALOGY TO FIND FAMILIES OF KOREAN WAR SOLDIERS

      by Megan Smolenyak Megan_Smolenyak@...

      Recently I had the thrill of finding the 100-year-old mother of
      one of "my" soldiers alive and hoping for word of her son. She
      was born at the turn of the 20th century and had lost her son at
      the mid-point (the sad date of 2 November 1950 is still firmly
      engrained in the family's collective memory), but she never lost
      hope that she would at least learn what had become of him or be
      able to give him a proper burial. Now, she may finally get her
      wish.

      Half a century after the conflict, there are still approximately
      8,100 servicemen unaccounted for from the Korean War. Of these,
      6,318 served in the U.S. Army. The Repatriation and Family
      Affairs Division is responsible for locating and re-establishing
      communications with the families of these soldiers, and I am
      fortunate enough to be one of the genealogists to help them with
      this undertaking. When a family is located, mitochondrial DNA
      (mtDNA) testing is used in an attempt to make an identification,
      and when a match occurs, the soldier can finally be put to rest
      with full military honors.

      The work is often challenging, given that the soldiers' files
      generally have rather limited family information. In most cases,
      they include the names of a parent and perhaps another relative.
      Not surprisingly, many of these kinfolk have passed away over
      the last 50 years. Others have left the area where the family
      lived around 1950. Since mtDNA testing requires following the
      soldier's maternal line, the researcher also has to deal with
      several generations of name changes for the women in the family.
      By way of example, one case of a soldier from Illinois resulted
      in six DNA-eligible people with five different surnames (none
      of them the same as the soldier) now living in Illinois,
      California, Arizona, and Oregon. Because of the need to work
      from the past to the present and the emphasis on maternal lines,
      I refer to this kind of research as "reverse genealogy."

      Because of the intensive nature of "reverse" genealogy, I get to
      know these families quite well over time -- sometimes learning
      more than they know about their own extended clan -- and I
      consequently develop a sense of connection to "my" soldiers.
      After having resolved more than 40 cases, I am still elated each
      time I make contact with a family for the first time.

      Even so, there are still more than 4,000 soldiers whose families
      have not yet been located and just maybe you hold the key to one
      or two of these. If you know of anyone who served in Korea and
      did not return, please visit http://www.koreanwar.org .

      On this site, you can search for any soldier by his name. Once
      you locate him, you can leave a remembrance. By doing so -- and
      providing any details you can recall about the soldier's family,
      or at least your own contact information for follow-up -- may
      help solve a case. The tiniest tidbit -- an old address, a
      middle initial, the soldier's school -- can be that vital,
      missing clue. If you see a "DNA" tag next to the soldier's name,
      this means that this family is actively being sought at this
      moment. If it is, it is even more urgent for you to leave a
      remembrance or contact the U.S. Army directly at 1-800-892-2490.

      Written by Megan Smolenyak

      Megan_Smolenyak@...

      Previously published by Julia M. Case and Myra
      Vanderpool Gormley, CG, Missing Links, Vol. 6, No. 18,
      2 May 2001. RootsWeb: http://www.rootsweb.com/
      Colin and Chris Hannan
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