Know Your Ancestry

There has been an up-tick in people that are in dire need to know their ancestry…..so bad that they are willing to pay companies to track down the DNA for them.

As far as I knows there is no record of my DNA and that is the way it will stay as long as I am breathing…..I do not trust these companies to keep my DNA secret……and my fears were well founded…..

A distant relative of Joseph James DeAngelo hoping to learn more about their family submitted a DNA sample to a genealogy website. They now know that they’re related to a suspected serial killer. Police say they tracked the suspected Golden State Killer by comparing DNA from one of his many crime scenes to genetic information freely available online, the Sacramento Bee reports. They traced family trees for possible suspects and singled out DeAngelo, a 72-year-old ex-cop, last Thursday. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert says DeAngelo was placed under surveillance, and DNA collected from discarded items provided “astronomical evidence” that he was the killer.

Schubert tells the Bee that when she was informed of the DNA test results, “I probably used a few words I wouldn’t put in a newspaper, but basically said, ‘You’d better not be lying to me.'” She adds: “There were a lot of holy s— moments.” DeAngelo was arrested outside his home Tuesday. The San Jose Mercury News reports that investigators used the open-source genealogy website GEDMatch.com to search for the suspect who committed 12 murders and more than 50 rapes between 1974 and 1986. Other genealogy websites, including Ancestry.com and 23andMe, say they weren’t contacted by police about the case and that they never provide customer information to law enforcement unless they’re legally compelled to

I will stick to the stories my relatives have told…father’s side….1325 France, the Champagne Region……mother’s’ side goes back to Wales about 1100….that is what I got from all the stories of the old ones so I will stick with what I learned from them……

I would never trust anything as important as my DNA to some for profit company to do what they want with it.

After I wrote this draft for a weekend posting more about this situation came out……

Investigators who used a genealogical website to find the ex-policeman they believe is a serial killer and rapist who terrified California decades ago call the technique groundbreaking. But others say it raises troubling legal and privacy concerns for the millions of people who submit their DNA to such sites to discover their heritage, reports the AP. With “fewer privacy protections than convicted offenders whose DNA is contained in regulated databanks,” these people “are unwittingly becoming genetic informants on their innocent family,” says Steve Mercer, the chief attorney for the forensic division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. According to STAT News, most genealogy websites say a customer’s genetic information can be shared with law enforcement as long as a warrant is provided.

But the Verge reports Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested Tuesday after investigators matched crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored by a distant relative on GEDmatch, a website that publicly shares a person’s full genetic information, making a warrant unnecessary. “While the database was created for genealogical research, it is important that GEDmatch participants understand the possible uses of their DNA, including identification of relatives that have committed crimes or were victims of crimes,” the site says. The statement reflects a warning shared by the FTC in December, per Fortune. DNA data “can be very enlightening personally, but a major concern for consumers should be who else could have access to information about your heritage and your health,” it reads, noting family members can also be affected

Time for me to enjoy the garden and a beer……maybe two…..have a day my friends.  chuq

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12 thoughts on “Know Your Ancestry

  1. I am from London. So my DNA might suggest Roman, Saxon, and Viking heritage. But I can already guess that. Almost everyone I know who has paid for a test in this country comes back as predominantly ‘Viking’. Those seafaring Scandinavians got around, especially in Britain.
    And I read that the Mormon’s are buying up all the samples too. Maybe they are planning a programme of Eugenics?
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. I watch The Expanse. The Mormon episode/s was kind of funny & disturbing at the same time.

      2. So true….especially the one bearing witness on the flight with the major character…..got me to chuckling….chuq

  2. Exactly!!! I got into a HUGE fight with my stupid, naive, mother over this at Christmas. She wanted to give her DNA away (and mine by extension!) to one of these over-hyped outfits.

    The idea of paying money to hand over the most personal details of my existence (including details even I don’t know) to a for-profit company in a virtually non-existant regulatory environment is…insane!!! It’s just WAY too much of a minefield. And for what? To find out I’m the 45th removed cousin of Adolf Hitler???

    If any of the info contained in my DNA wound up in anyone else’s hands….Depending on my genes (even dormant ones), getting insurance could become impossible, jobs might not come my way, all kinds of discrimination, etc…And that’s just right now! Who knows what’s down the road in our Gattica-like, increasingly Eugenics-based, future where our genes dictate our personal futures. Today’s “character traits” are tommorrow’s diseases, or even criminality.

    Ain’t NO motherfucker getting my DNA! (Well…except for that way….but I sure ain’t paying for it!)

    1. I agree with you and like I said I will just go with the stories of my ancestors from my old ones….my DNA stays where it is….in my cheeks….chuq

      1. Good point. That’s another disturbing underbelly to all this. The family has been “cut out of the family”, so to speak. Like everything else these days, this is all technology driven. Instead of making personal connections to aging relatives who are desperate for your attention & have real life, detailed, stories of past relatives & the world they lived in….and similar stories told to them by their past relatives…we’d much rather have some lab-nerd e-mail us reports full of cold, impersonal, stats.

        People today just are NOT that interested in history (or their living relatives, for that matter) to be THAT interested in their family history. I see it as some kind of twisted attempt at personal validation & self-worth in a completely disconnected society….Once again, trying to use technology to counter the isolating effects of technology and modern life in general. It’s a sad barometer, I fear.

        “My 17th great uncle was a Russian Czar, so I must be worth something.”

      2. According to family mythology my 17th removed cousin was Jefferson Davis……can I claim the Confederacy for myself? LOL chuq

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