Presentation Notes: 2006-2007

Application of DNA Research to Genealogy

Presented by Richard D. Rich - June 13, 2007

Presentation Notes -

Y-Chromosome DNA testing of men with the Rich surname has answered a number of questions about their ancestry. The results have also raised a number of new questions.

Three apparently unrelated Rich progenitors from Massachusetts were found to be related, although their common ancestor may have never immigrated to the colony. The descendants of Richard Rich of Dover, New Hampshire and Eastham, Cape Cod can all be confIrmed, even though their results do not match exactly. A large group of Rich men with ancestry in North Carolina and Georgia are related even though the paper trail becomes quite confusing before 1800.

In two instances, an apparently well-documented ancestry has resulted in mismatches which indicate an error in research, an undocumented adoption, or other "unrecorded paternal event."

The use of mitochondrial DNA, which tracks the female descendancy, has limited genealogical value. The ethnic heritage of most of the men tested is that of Western Europe. English, Scots, WeIch, Irish, French, German, and Spanish heritage cannot be distinguished by DNA. A few participants have apparent roots in Eastern Europe or Scandinavia, Southern Europe or the Middle East.

See the Presentation Notes Index for summaries of other presentations given at the Society's monthly meetings.