37 - Editorial

08:39PM BST - Friday, 13 June 2008

Contributed by: Alan Bunting

Those members of the Bunting Society hoping to establish ancestral connections with others sharing the same surname now have a new genealogical tool at their disposal, namely DNA testing. In the last issue of Gone A-Hunting we introduced the concept and there is now felt to be a need to give DNA testing by Buntings a 'kick start', by attempting to overcome the not inconsiderable obstacle of cost. A recent decline in the value of the US dollar against the pound sterling has made DNA testing less financially daunting from a UK perspective. Nevertheless, in an approximate conversion from the US dollar fees charged by the North American based Family Tree DNA organisation, an outlay of around £95.00 is implied for a 'worthwhile' test, that is one based on a minimum of 37 Y-chromosome 'markers'.
It has been agreed that £30.00 should be made available from Bunting Society funds towards the cost of such a DNA test on a (necessarily male) individual from one of the Society's established, geographically identified, family trees. A female member of the Society could nominate a male Bunting (or name variant) relative — who might or might not himself be a member -to undergo the test which, as most people now know, involves for the participant simply taking a swab from inside the cheek.
Members should be reassured that the DNA information obtained has no medical relevance or any connection with the well-publicised DNA analyses undertaken by the police nowadays in tracking criminal activity.
As an encouragement for members to make an early positive decision to go ahead with a DNA test, the £30.00 funding contribution will be available just until the end of 2008. It is hoped that the £65.00 balance of the cost could be amicably shared among several Society members on the tree.
Any Society member in the UK interested in pursuing their ancestral connection via the DNA testing route should make contact with Michael Bunting, the Society committee member in the UK ( e-mail ) responsible for liaising with FTDNA's Bunting family representatives in the US.
It is hoped that DNA results will prove fruitful in establishing new links between different Bunting family trees and identifying trees into which so far 'unattached' individuals can confidently be placed. The likelihood of linking some of the Buntings long resident in Scotland and Ireland, as well as in countries like the US and Australia, should also be greatly strengthened.

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