Finally a good basic book on genetic genealogy

There is finally a really well-done book on understanding and using autosomal DNA testing, so of course I have been wanting to review it. At last on the plane to Rootstech 2014 I had the time to read it:  Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by Emily Aulicino. I thought that I would know most of what was in there but was pleasantly surprised by a number of helpful insights.

I will reread chapter 6, “Convincing a Person to Test” several more times. I have found that the DNA match ups of my 2nd cousins who have tested are extremely useful for figuring out which line a new relative is related on. Thus I need advice on how to get few more of them to test!

As I feminist, I was particularly pleased by the appropriate prominence given to Rosalind Franklin in the section on the history of the discovery of the structure of DNA

Emily gives detailed instructions on many aspects of working with DNA test results, both autosomal and others. She has lots of online references embedded in the text, so I would highly recommend getting the Ebook to anyone interested in this topic. I was particularly pleased to see a reference to my chromosome mapping tool in chapter 12, even if I was called by my maiden name Kitty Munson, a natural error since the tool is hosted on that site.

All in all, I recommend this book highly. Emily has a blog at where you can learn more about her and the book.

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  1. I only have one complaint about the book, she uses the term IBS differently from the way I understand it and uses the term false positive for what I would call an IBS match. To me an IBS match is one that does not match others who match me on that segment and when it does match lots of others but goes too far back in time to find the ancestor, I refer to it as an old segment, but still IBD.

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