All posts by Charles McKnight

Irish Genealogy online

Company Releases Free Irish Genealogy Records Online

By uploading the latest tranche of historical records to irishgenealogy.ie, the Irish government reaffirmed its commitment to the digitization of historical records.

The Irish Times reports that the new records cover births from 1864 to 1918, marriages (1864-1943), and deaths (1878-1968).

These files, which are free to access, present a welcome development to people keen on researching their Irish roots.

Other than births, marriages and deaths, the site also contains other files such as church records. It’s an important resource for both hobbyists and academics looking for historical information.


Why genealogy is a big deal in Ireland (and for

Read the rest >>
King Albert II and Queen Paola

Just In Time For Father’s Day, King Albert of Belgium Agrees To Paternity DNA Test

The concession, as reported by the SF Chronicle, is the latest twist in an intriguing decades-old tale.

King Albert II has had this scandal hanging over his head since his ascension to the throne in 1993. Although it was always the subject of rumor mills, it wasn’t until his abdication in 2013 that things came to a head.


Anatomy of a royal scandal

Royal scandal

King Albert wasn’t always destined for the throne. As King Leopold III’s second son and youngest child, he was content with being a Prince.

Their father’s abdication in 1951 saw his brother Baudouin ascend the throne, … Read the rest >>

DNA Genealogy

Genealogist Who Caught Golden State Killer Continues Solving Cold Cases

The Golden State Killer’s capture in 2018 was made possible through groundbreaking innovation in genealogy. Most observers called it the most significant advance in the field since DNA testing became widespread in the 1980s.

Barbara Ray-Venter, a genetic genealogist, is credited with pioneering this new method.

Other than the Golden State Killer’s case, she has assisted law enforcement with tens of other cold cases.


GEDmatch’s role in solving cold cases

Golden State Killer case

In identifying Joseph DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer, Barbara and her team depended overwhelmingly on GEDmatch.

They built a DNA profile from a sample collected at a crime Read the rest >>

DNA Test Inconclusive

Identical Twins Both Forced to Pay Child Support: DNA Test Inconclusive

Identical twins have been a source of curiosity since time immemorial.

Although known mostly for using their uncanny similarities to engage in harmless pranks, some commit serious crimes.

When one is caught, he or she can pin the blame on the other, causing confusion among law enforcement.


Double trouble

identical twins DNA testing

The Brazilian twins who were both forced to pay for child support are just one example of this mischief.

Although they were both held equally responsible, others have gotten away with crimes precisely because they were identical twins.

In 2009, drug smuggling charges against Malaysian identical twins were dropped after police Read the rest >>

23andMe, FTDNA and AncestryDNA, the three best DNA tests, all allow you to delete your DNA data

Scammers Using DNA Tests to Defraud Medicare, Steal Identities

Authorities in some states have reported a significant rise in DNA test related scams. Perpetrators trick the elderly and other vulnerable groups into handing over their insurance details.

They mainly do this by pretending to offer free DNA tests. In some instances, they offer cash to those who provide their DNA for “testing.”


Why DNA tests have become popular

DNA Test

Although genetic testing has been around since the 1980s, it has received renewed public interest in the recent past.

Ancestry sites have been advertising heavily online and on TV about the benefits of home test kits. These enable you to collect … Read the rest >>

ancestryDna

AncestryDNA Does The Right Thing & Pulls Controversial Ad

Popular DNA testing company AncestryDNA recently took down one of its ads after an intense online backlash.

It showed a white man asking a black woman named Abigail to run away with him to “the North.”

Critics took offense with Ancestry.com’s supposed tone deafness to America’s convoluted black history.


The Controversy

Controversial Ad

The main source of controversy surrounds the ad’s theme.

It alleged that Abigail was in a romantic relationship with the white man, who even gives her a ring to suggest a marriage proposal. Some black commentators found the idea absurd.

They pointed out that interactions between white men … Read the rest >>

reasons for a dna test

Top Reasons to Get a DNA Test

On the fence about getting an ancestry or health DNA test? Here are five reasons to go for it.

1. It Will Tell You Plenty About your Ancestry and Ethnicity

How much do you know about your ancestors beyond the family stories you’ve heard and the family pictures you’ve seen?

The chances are that your knowledge goes only 2-3 generations back. Beyond that, it’s either a black hole or fuzzy details you can’t make head or tail of.

An ancestry DNA test can go further back, tracing your maternal or paternal lineage hundreds of years into the past.

An … Read the rest >>

Interesting Facts About DNA

5 Interesting Facts About DNA

DNA is one of the most exciting things we don’t yet fully know about.

It has helped us understand more about human history, opened up new opportunities in medicine, and led to a vast new consumer DNA testing industry.

Before you send your spit to 23andMe, how much do you know about this material that is present in virtually all living things?

For example, did you know that genes – the information contained within DNA–play a smaller role in genetic diseases than was once thought?

That’s something to think about as you get a health DNA test.

Here are five Read the rest >>

how can genetics help to predict diseases

How Accurate are DNA Tests at Identifying Health Risks?

Because this is such an important topic, I’ll start with the bottom line for those who want a quick answer before they order a DNA health test.

Consumer DNA tests, the kind you order online not the one you get at a hospital, are sometimes accurate at identifying health risks.

But they do not provide a full picture of your health, and sometimes, they can result in a false positive.

A DNA health test is useful if you are worried that there is a hereditary disease such as breast cancer running through your family. But do not act on … Read the rest >>

how can genetics help to predict diseases

Here’s What You Need to Know About Dog DNA Tests

Dog DNA tests have become just as popular as human DNA tests thanks to better and cheaper genome technology.

A dog DNA test can help you find out about your dog’s ancestry, breed mix, and physical traits. It can also predict which genetic diseases your dog is at risk of.

If you are thinking about having your dog’s DNA tested, here are the most important things you need to know.

1. All Dog Genes Have Been Sequenced

Back in 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed after 15 years.

Researchers had sequenced all the genes in human DNA. This greatly … Read the rest >>

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