Book Review – Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry Through DNA Testing

I am going begin posting the occasional book review. I will primarily review books that have something to do with genealogy, family history, family document preservation, etc., which have also been independently published. As an independent author myself, I know the importance of book reviews and word of mouth recommendations. If you are an independent author and you have written a book in the above genres, please contact me.

[DISCLAIMER: I did download a free copy of this eBook when it was offered in mid December 2014, but was under no obligation to review it. This review was previously published in the Root Cellar (Sacramento Genealogical Society)’s newsletter PRESERVES (February 2015).]

Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing. By Richard Hill. Published by Atrax LLC; Sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.; 2014, 33 pages. Kindle eBook. $0.99.

This DNA guide book is a quick read, and is the perfect book for someone who knows ABSOLUTELY nothing about using DNA for genealogy research. Written by Richard Hill, the award-winning author of the best-selling memoir Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA, Mr. Hill’s latest book provides a brief overview of the field of genetic genealogy.

Providing a summary of current options in DNA testing, the book is geared towards the most basic of genetic genealogy beginners, especially someone who has never previously tested. The book provides good descriptions of the three major types of DNA testing available: Y-DNA, Autosomal DNA, and Mitochondrial DNA. Summaries of the three major testing companies are also included as well as advice for testing strategies and money saving tips. Despite the assertions of the book’s subtitle, it will not help a family researcher identify their ancestors or confirm relationships. While there are sections on using DNA to find relatives, such as “Powerful Tools for Adoptees,” and “Uncovering Previously Unknown Relatives,” these sections gloss over the methodology and hard work needed for achieving such goals. Mr. Hill’s focus on using DNA to guide adoptees in finding their families is apparent throughout the book, with the last few pages dedicated to promoting his memoir.

As with most ebooks, Guide to DNA Testing is a quick read and geared towards a specific audience. A reader hoping to learn more about the uses and methodology of genetic genealogy will be disappointed, and would be better served by reading books like Emily D. Aulicino’s Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond, or many of the excellent blogs by industry leaders such as CeCe Moore, Judy Russell, Roberta Estes or Blaine T. Bettinger. Overall, the book reads like a power point presentation from a one hour lecture and would be a good gift for that family member who is undecided about testing and keeps asking the question “Why should I test?”

I am currently reading He Wrote Her Every Day by Gail Lindenberg, published by CreateSpace, 2013. Look for the review in the coming days!

©2015 copyright by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/03/20/book-review-guide-to-dna-testing-how-to-identify-ancestors-confirm-relationships-and-measure-ethnic-ancestry-through-dna-testing/

4 thoughts on “Book Review – Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry Through DNA Testing

    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      I have written three reviews so far! And I am working on reading my next book for review, the first book in a forensic genealogy mystery series.
      Writing a book review was one of the chapters we studied in my ProGen Study group.

      Reply
    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Thanks! This review was one that I had to write for my ProGen class last fall, then I submitted it to the local genealogy society. My group mates and I were joking around that we should create a blog to post genealogy related reviews. Obviously we didn’t get around to it, but I like the idea. There really isn’t a single good place to read genealogy specific reviews.

      Reply

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