RQG member Laura House will be taking part in a panel discussion on DNA Testing, its ethics and applications at #RootsTechLondon with Maurice Gleeson; Debbie Kennett; Michelle Leonard and Donna Rutherford. Friday at 4.30pm.
We asked Laura what got her interested in family history:
“I first became actively interested in genealogy when I was eighteen. There was a mystery on my father’s side of the family concerning a Dutch-Jewish ancestor who had changed his surname to conceal his cultural heritage. Nobody alive knew the original surname. On my mother’s side there was a mystery concerning my great-great-grandmother, who had apparently abandoned her two children with relatives and then disappeared forever. I set out to solve these mysteries, but quickly discovered that there was so much more about my heritage that I didn’t know. Each new name on my tree almost moved me to tears as I realised that I had lived through eighteen long years without even knowing the names of my great-grandparents. I felt like I had done them a terrible disservice and resolved to spend the rest of my life learning as much about my ancestors as I possibly could. Four years later, I decided that I wanted to pursue genealogy academically and professionally, and I finally completed my studies this year.
I am sitting on a panel at RootsTech with five other professional genealogists, discussing the ethics and practical applications of genetic genealogy. DNA data is an indispensable tool in genealogical research, and the more educated the general public are about the benefits and pitfalls of genetic testing, the more useful it will be as a resource for all test-takers. If it is moving to discover the names of our ancestors, it is overwhelming to know how much each ancestor contributed to the fabric that makes us who we are.”