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Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History P&S History

By John Cleary, Graham S Holton, Michelle Leonard, Alasdair F Macdonald, Iain McDonald
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 17.3 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 80 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526733108
Published: 17th June 2019


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Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA Paperback Add to Basket £11.24

DNA research is one of the most important and rapidly advancing areas in modern science and the practical use of DNA testing in genealogy is one of its most exciting applications. Yet there is no recent British publication in this field. That is why this accessible, wide-ranging introduction is so valuable. It offers a clear and practical way into the subject, explaining the scientific discoveries and techniques and illustrating with case studies how it can be used by genealogists to gain an insight into their ancestry.

The subject is complex and perhaps difficult for traditional genealogists to understand but, with the aid of this book, novices who are keen to take advantage of it will be able to interpret test results and use them to help answer genealogical questions which cannot be answered by documentary evidence alone. It will also appeal to those with some experience in the field because it places the practical application of genetic genealogy within a wider context, highlighting its role as a genealogical tool and suggesting how it can be made more effective.

"This is an accessible and wide-ranging book on the subject which explains the principles and purposes of DNA testing and explores the ethical and legal issues raised by genetic genealogy."

Journal of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society - June 2023 - Number 192

As featured in

Family Tree

"The work is a highly authoritative and well-structured book by five specialists from this complex scientific field of microbiology."

Halifax Antiquarian Society

As featured in: 'How to use living DNA'

Who Do You Think You Are

If you are new to DNA testing this book will help you understand what can and cannot be learned from your DNA, how to choose a test and how to interpret the results with many examples to guide you. If you have already dipped your toe into the mysteries of DNA you will still find this a useful guide and reference book not only to the basics but also the more advanced aspects of DNA research.

At £14.99 for 272 pages this is excellent value!

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society Journal, September 2020

I wish this book had been around about four years ago when I was struggling to find my granddad. It was DNA which finally helped me to solve a 25-year-old brick wall. Just imagine - I spent my time advising others on their family history but I couldn't find my own grandfather, who came from Ireland, even though I knew him in real life. However, the advent of DNA research gave me hope.

This book is ideal for serious genealogists who are getting to grips with DNA. It explains how to decide which test to take and how to interpret the results. It might seem a bit of a heavy tome at first, but if you drill down into the detail, the explanations are clearly understood.

Gay Oliver, Family History Society of Cheshire, June 2020

"This book is aimed not only at those hoping to solve ancestral conundrums, but also adoptees and other individuals seeking to identify their birth parents."

Review by

Sheila Duffy, Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society

As featured in

Cumbria Family History Society

I suddenly feel like I've got countless new possibilities to explore!

See the full Instagram review here

Hisdoryan, Claire Miles

The book is as enthusiastic as it is informative. Perfect for reading for enjoyment, referring to time and again, and equipping yourself with the knowledge you need to access all that DNA has to offer on your ancestral hunt.

Family Tree, November 2019

Overall, an essential addition to the library for anyone serious about using DNA testing in family history research, that benefits from having contributions from some of the experts in the field on the different types of DNA.

Read the full review here

Professional Family History

Featured in

Northumberland and Durham FHS

Featured in

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Society

Featured in

Glamorgan Family History Society

As featured on Anglo-Celtic Connections

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, John D Reid

"For those simply fascinated by military history and the factors that shaped military campaigns and their outcomes, this is a meticulous and highly readable account that, 55 years after its first publication, absolutely stands up to the test of time."

Reviewed by Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

Featured in

Clywd Family History Society

Graham S Holton featured as expert part of Jonathan Scott article in 'Best Websites' feature

WDYTYA? magazine October 2019

'New guides for family historians'

Family Tree, October 2019

... an extremely welcome book that will be useful for years to come.

WDYTYA? Magazine, August 2019 – reviewed by Jonny Perl

At just £14.99 for the paperback edition, a fraction of the cost of even one DNA test, this book is likely to prove a very worthwhile investment - wherever you are on the spectrum between the enthusiasts who trying to persuade as many as possible of their living relatives to test, and the sceptics who are still trying to make up their mind whether it’s all hocus-pocus.

Read the full review here

Lost Cousins

Featured in

East Yorkshire Family History Society

Featured in

Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society

I was impressed by how I came away having learnt a lot, even though it is a quite complex subject to tackle. I will admit, however, that it did need some careful reading in some cases before I experienced a number of those “light-bulb” moments when I realised that I now understood more about Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA.

Recommended for anyone thinking of doing a test – this is an informative volume that most will find interesting to read.

Read the full review here

The Nosey Genealogist

The first of its kind, "Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians" is as thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation as it is invaluable as a complete and comprehensive course of instruction in the role DNA can play for family historians and genealogists. While absolutely and emphatically recommended as an indispensable core addition to personal, professional, community and academic library Genealogy instructional reference collections.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

This is the key text that the genealogy community has been waiting for.

Not only does it cover all the ground, but it does so in a way that is readily understandable and bedded in genealogy. The language was very appropriate and it introduced new topics and terminology in ways that enable to reader to keep up and follow what was being said.

Congratulations to the editor and contributing authors.

Amazon Customer, Lizzie

This is a complex read, but well worth making the effort to further my understanding about DNA testing for family history purposes. The book is presented as a series of papers by experts in the various fields, explaining the differences, science, meaning and background to the various DNA tests currently available. I found I had to read and digest it a chapter at a time, but am very happy that I have read it. Having tested my immediate family through Ancestry DNA and now beginning to meet up with relatives who share my DNA, I now have a greater understanding of the tests. If you haven't yet chosen a DNA test provider, this book would help you to choose the most appropriate one for your needs. Interesting, informative read.

Amazon Customer, Jayne

Overall, Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA is an indispensable guide from a team that knows its stuff, and a book which I would thoroughly recommend.

Read the full review here

The Genes Blog

Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA referenced in Make The Most Of Your DNA Matches article for

WDYTYA?, July 2019

If you are intrigued by this new family history tool, buy the book, and then share it around.

Dudley George, Alnwick family history society

About John Cleary

John Cleary is lecturer at Heriot-Watt University with specialist interest in Y-DNA and ancient DNA.

About Graham S Holton

Graham S. Holton (editor) is principal tutor in the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Programme in Genealogical Studies, co-author of Discover Your Scottish Ancestry: Internet and Traditional Resources and leader of the Battle of Bannockburn and Declaration of Arbroath Family History Projects. John Cleary is lecturer at Heriot-Watt University with specialist interest in Y-DNA and ancient DNA. Michelle Leonard is a professional genealogist and DNA detective specializing in unknown ancestor mysteries. Alasdair F. Macdonald is a lead tutor in the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Programme. Iain McDonald is an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester and specialist in the advanced analysis of Y-DNA for genealogy.

About Michelle Leonard

 Michelle Leonard is a professional genealogist and DNA detective specializing in unknown ancestor mysteries. 

About Alasdair F Macdonald

Alasdair F. Macdonald is a lead tutor in the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Programme. 

About Iain McDonald

Iain McDonald is an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester and specialist in the advanced analysis of Y-DNA for genealogy.

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