“No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Thomas Carlyle

When I was an ambitious, eager and most importantly, energetic graduate student, I read Thomas Carlyle’s many works.  I had two weeks in which to do it.  His work on the French revolution alone would take that long.  Anyway, I didn’t agree with the quote in title of this post, and I viewed history as the work of individuals who weren’t always aware of the future implications of their actions.  I had a wonderful professor who steered me in such a manner as to see both sides of Carlyle’s statement. Since then, I have always remembered the quote and the class.  The study of genealogy is the search for individuals who were part of a person’s history.  Unfortunately, it has often been looked down on as more a hobby than an accredited profession.  This has changed and genealogy and particularly DNA genealogy is ramping up in a big way.

Once again, DNA testing was on one of the morning shows that I watch before I come to the library.  It was the 23 and Me call center, and all I caught was that they field questions from clients who have purchased their kits and how to read them.  And sometimes the shock of what the results reveal.  Next Wednesday, February 6 at noon, we will have our Brown Bag lunch and the topic is Genetic Genealogy.  Jan Cole will discuss results and how to read them.  The question I have, are these people who take these DNA tests doing so at the beginning of their ancestry research, or do they already have an idea of their family history?  I think some of the ground work has to be done first and that testing DNA shouldn’t be the first tool you use when researching your family.  That’s just my opinion.  I value both methods and however you find out information about your antecedents, that is wonderful.