02 April 2007

"Stalking Strangers DNA"

The New York Times ran a piece today on "Stalking Strangers DNA" which has also been posted on the Herald Tribune's website. I'm all for genealogy, as anyone well knows. However, I don't think anyone should be forced to give up their DNA, much as someone would not be forced to show me an old family bible or other heirlooms and memorabilia. Given the current uses of DNA, which indicate a direct line male or direct line female relationships, the situations where DNA are really helpful are not all that many.

Time would be better spent on preserving paper records that have not been microfilmed or digitized. We stand to lose all the Union Civil War pensions if they are not preserved in some fashion. DNA provides some evidence of a connection, but still does not provide the vast body of personal history and insight that other records and materials do.

And not to mention...the article makes genealogists look a little nutty.