Until recent years the genealogist or family historian was dependent on public records, church registers and other archival materials to find evidence of their ancestry.

Genetic techniques can now prove the linkage between individuals and their ‘lost’ family connections and are becoming a powerful tool for genealogists and family history enthusiasts. They also have huge relevance for historians and archaeologists.

Over 50 people attended the BioConnect Ireland event on Genetics and Geneology in Dublin to gain an insight into the technologies and the companies that are offering genetic genealogy services and their approaches.

The event entitled, “Flesh & Blood – Genetics meets Genealogy” was addressed by experts in the genealogy area with the relatively new twist of using genetic research techniques to trace ancestors and relatives.

Professor of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Daniel Bradley provided an overview of the genetic approaches to determination of human origins and familial connections. He is currently researching the genomes of ancient humans and animals, which promises to be a very interesting area of research in the years ahead, both for historians and scientists.

Dr. Maurice Gleeson introduced genetic genealogy, and presented an overview of the companies involved, the services they provide and what the future might hold for this sector.

Finally, Dr Tyrone Bowes explained how the results of a commercial ancestral Y-DNA test can pinpoint where ones direct paternal ancestor lived approximately 1000 years ago. Dr Bowes is an experienced Biotechnologist and the creator of the Irish, Scottish, and English Origenes websites, where he works full time as a Genetic Genealogist. His method of pinpointing a paternal origin exploits the link between the Y chromosome, surname, and land, which are typically passed along the paternal line.