We Are All Related: November 2000

by | Nov 26, 2000 | Genealogy

I have webbed feet, as do a couple of my brothers. I got them from my mom and she got them from her dad, who got them from his mother, Lula (Williams) Rennie. When I was a kid, my swimming ability was said to be due only to the fact that I had webbed feet. In celebratory victory parties, my brother’s and I would do the “Dance of the Webbed Footed Heaths.” While I took the jibing in fun, I am told my Grandpa Rennie didn’t enjoy any of the teasing he received. Local fold would say he had emerged from the marshes as if he were something lower on the evolutionary scale. I have found though that everyone has some inherited physical trait that they are not pleased with, such as curly, coarse hair, a big nose, height or lack of, and numerous other features.
When I look at the photographs submitted for The Family Album, I am constantly amazed and delighted at the family resemblance. For instance, I recently received a photograph from a descendant of my gggg grandfather John Lampley’s brother Thomas. That descendant, John Ussary, sent a photograph of his own grandfather. The subjects looked remarkably like my brother, Curtis, even though they were at least four generations removed.
For years, doctor’s have quizzed patients of their medical genealogy after proof reveals that heredity and genes were major factors in our own health history. If your Grandmother had breast cancer you are said to be susceptible to the same disease, for instance. Scientists have raised the heredity factor to specific races. For example, if you’re of Scottish descent you have a 65 percent higher chance of suffering from depression than those without that gene. Up until recently that has been as far as science has gone in the field of genealogy. However, in March 2000, Scientists have stepped into the genealogical fold with the release of a study on monecular genealogy. In short, it means that every individual’s DNA holds a genetic record which “reveal import clues as to the Origin and relationship of any individual to other person or populations”* Scientists have found that by studying the DNA of an indvidual they can tell that a certain John Smith came from an ancient tribe of Norway, for example. The idea is so exciting, it’s no wonder that so many genealogical newsgroups are discussing it. In this study, scientis have proven what members on the Heycuz newsgroup have been saying all along….”We are all related.” They say that each individual, at a level of 30 generations, would have 1 Billion ancestors. But at the same time, in the year 1260 AD there were only 400 million living. The discrepency is explained that we must therefore all share common ancestors. The Monecular Genealogy project hopes to “genotype” the world to construct a universal family tree by collecting samples of all 500 world populations.
This means that brick wall genealogies that suffer from the lack of records can now be linked. From there we can come up with dates and names from what is available. But what it doesn’t provide us are the personal family and individual histories that I have come to value most in my research. DNA cannot tell me about the laughter my ancestor’s share following a family meal. It can’t tell me why my ancestors made the decisions they did. I recently recieved an article that did, however, tell me why my Lampley Ancestors immigrated to this country. The Pennsylvania Genealogical Society has granted permission to reprint the article on this website [write link]. Of course, all descendants of Owen Sullivan and Elizabeth Lampley will be interested. Not only does it give great historical information it gives valuable genealogical information and that is why I felt it important to reprint the entire article rather than paraphrase. In addition, it may hold clues for descendants of Sullivans, Worleys, Perkins, Whites, and many more branches of our family tree. Following the article is a link to an article I wrote about these new possibilities.

Heycuz, What’s New?: November 2000