36 - Editorial

07:44PM BST - Monday, 22 October 2007

Contributed by: Jerry Green

In this issue we attempt to drag the Bunting Society, though not necessarily screaming and kicking, into the 21st Century with an introduction to DNA testing as a means of tracing one's ancestors - or at least those on the legitimate (literally) paternal line. David Bunton's article spells out the genetic genealogy techniques used to establish present and therefore past relationships.
Under the aegis of an organisation called Family Tree DNA, formed in 2000, over 4000 surnames are now subjects of genetic genealogy projects. Most have been initiated in the United States, where FTDNA has its headquarters. But because so many US citizens, including the many Buntings, Buntons, Buntens etc across the water, boast - albeit, until now, hazily -European ancestry, it is only natural for those participating in DNA projects to want to involve their namesakes on this side of the Atlantic. - - —
It follows that FTDNA is eager to expand its database through the addition of DNA records from as wide a geographical spectrum as possible. In its modest way, the Bunting Society has, since its creation in 1990, sought to establish family-to-family connections, which appear from time to time in GoneA-Hunting under the 'LINKS' heading.
Using DNA techniques it should be possible to verify far more of those vital links, not just between BS members living on opposite sides of the Atlantic, but also those within the UK where, at present, circumstantial evidence suggests that there is a blood relationship, but which cannot be confirmed by traditional genealogical research.
Needless to say, Family Tree DNA is a commercial organisation, and testing of a DNA sample - from a simple 'cheek scrape' - might appear costly to those just idly curious about their genetic family links. Pricing is in US dollars which means that, at today's exchange rate with the pound sterling, the figures look slightly less daunting.
Nevertheless, the simplest 21 'marker* test costs US$149.00 to process. David Bunton recommends, for more meaningful results, a minimum 37 'marker' test, at US$259.00, while real enthusiasts can go for the premium 67 'marker' test, costing US$349.00. You can learn more about the procedures, and about the background to DNA testing as a genealogical tool on the website familytreedna.com

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