Moving West: Thirteen Generations of a Smith Family

 Smith DNA Project

Popularized in recent years by its use in high-profile criminal investigations and paternity cases, DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is most commonly used to prove a relationship to an individual. New tests created in recent years, however, have also turned DNA into a popular tool for determining ancestry. As DNA is passed down from one generation to the next, some parts remain almost unchanged, while other parts change greatly. This creates an unbreakable link between generations and it can be of great help in reconstructing our family histories.

While it can't provide an entire family tree or tell you who your ancestors are, DNA testing can:

Recently, Dennis Heath, a direct descendent of Chandler Sanborn Heath, participated in DNA testing through the Heath Surname DNA Project. The goal of this project is to create a database of male Heath descendents and determine which lines descend from a common ancestor. The testing can determine that there is a common ancestor but cannot determine which ancestor that is. The common ancestor can be further narrowed down by testing additional people and/or additional markers. In addition, the DNA project has participants provide a family tree which can further help narrow down the identity of the common ancestor.

The results of Dennis Heath's testing put him in Group 3 which are descendents of Bartholomew Heath. Hopefully as other male Heath descendents participate in the project it will be possible to narrow down Chandler Sanborn Heath's ancestral line.

For those who are interested in a more detailed explanation of DNA Genealogy Testing this link provides some excellent resources and articles.

Kerchner's DNA Testing & Genetic Genealogy Info and Resources Page

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