For Immediate Release
DAR Begins Accepting DNA Evidence and Launches New Online DNA Genealogy Class Family Tree DNA Offers Special Discount on Y-DNA Testing for DAR Application Purposes
WASHINGTON, DC – With the new year comes a new policy adaptation for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) regarding accepting DNA as evidence of lineage submitted with DAR membership applications. DAR staff genealogists will now consider Y-DNA evidence along with more traditional genealogical sources during the verification of member-related applications. With this change in policy, DAR recognizes the importance of DNA in genealogical research, but also that DNA evidence alone is not definitive enough to prove the exact relationships of remote ancestors. Although various types of DNA tests are commercially available, DAR staff genealogists will only consider Y-DNA 37 Marker test results.
“We are very excited to take our DAR membership verification process to a new level by allowing the submission of Y-DNA test results as part of the genealogical analysis of evidence for membership applications,” said DAR President General Lynn Forney Young. “I look forward to this policy adaptation opening the door for more prospective members to apply to our great organization.”
Y-DNA as evidence to support DAR applications
DAR begins accepting Y-DNA evidence, effective January 1, 2014, in support of new member applications and supplemental applications. DNA evidence submitted along with other documentation will be considered along with all of the other source documentation provided to prove heritage. Y-DNA will not be considered as stand-alone proof of linage because, while it can be used as a tool to point to a family, it cannot be used as absolute proof for an individual. For those applicants wishing to submit DNA evidence as proof of lineage along with their other traditional proof documentation, they must submit Y-DNA test results from at least two test subjects following criteria outlined in the guidelines and test requirements for Using DNA Evidence for DAR Applications.
Of the three types of DNA widely available through a number of genetic genealogy testing companies – Mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA, and Chromosomal or Autosomal DNA – at this time, only the Y-DNA is applicable to the DAR verification process. Y-DNA is the most attractive test for genealogical purposes because of the lack of complexity and its mutation rate. However, it must also be noted that Y-DNA is passed only through the male line, therefore, women applying for DAR membership will need to find appropriate male surrogates for whom the test results can be used to link the applicant to an ancestor and linage already completely verified by the DAR. Identifying the specific types of situations in which DNA can be accepted by the DAR, as well as the testing and reporting methods for the surrogate Y-DNA test subjects, are outlined in documents that can be found at www.dar.org/DNA.
Family Tree DNA discount on Y-DNA 37 Marker Test
A special discount for Y-DNA testing has been set up for those wishing to use the results for DAR application purposes. Family Tree DNA, the DAR’s preferred testing partner, is offering $30 off their Y-DNA 37 Marker Test as a special DAR discount. Family Tree DNA is not the only provider of genetic genealogy tests, but they have the largest Y marker database in the world. The Y-DNA 37 test offered by Family Tree DNA includes a designated marker set that meets the reporting criteria outlined in the guidelines and test requirements for Using DNA Evidence for DAR Applications. For more information and to take advantage of this special offer, visit the DAR page of the Family Tree DNA website at www.familytreedna.com/DAR.
DNA and DAR online genealogy course
The DAR genealogy staff routinely studies trends in all aspects of genealogical research. These may involve advances in methodology or the availability of records. One noted trend is the use of DNA evidence in genealogy. Over the last ten years, the use of DNA evidence for genealogical purposes has increased. Similarly a growing group of genealogy staff members at the DAR have studied the potential use of DNA in support of DAR applications and supplemental applications. Although no single DNA test can point to a specific ancestor, advances in the science and interpretation of DNA testing have placed the DAR in a position to begin accepting DNA evidence in a limited manner within the context of traditional genealogical evidence.
Many advances have been made in the testing and interpretation of DNA results for use as evidence in genealogical research, but the information is still very complex. With the new DAR policy, DNA test results can be used for evidence of lineage for DAR applications or supplemental applications, but specific criteria must be met. To help navigate how individuals can use DNA as a piece of evidence for a DAR application, the DAR is launching an online genealogy class “DNA and DAR.” This special DNA online course is similar to the other DAR Genealogical Education Program (GEP) online courses, but it does not require any prerequisite classes before taking this course.
The “DNA and DAR” online course will provide an introduction to the basics of DNA and applying DNA to genealogical research along with the impact of DNA on the process of documenting a DAR application. The course will cover other topics such as guidelines for using DNA for DAR applications; case studies for determining whether DNA evidence is an appropriate avenue of research for a particular application and the steps you would take to take the test and how to interpret the results; along with specific instructions for submitting the application with the DNA report. The “DNA and DAR” online course is open for anyone to participate and costs $100. For more information and to enroll, visit the DAR Genealogical Education Program website.
“We are proud that many years of research by our DAR genealogists on the potential use of DNA in support of DAR applications has led to the adoption of this new policy,” said Darryn Lickliter, Director, Office of the Registrar General and Head Genealogist for the Daughters of the American Revolution. “We will continue to look for ways to reliably incorporate other DNA evidence into our verification process to help assist women in joining the DAR.”
The DAR genealogy staff’s DNA study group will continue to use all types of DNA evidence in their own research as well as monitor developments in the science of genetic testing. As with any new endeavor the initial procedures and expectations may be changed at a future time. These changes might be in response to new science, new interpretations of existing data, or the workload of the genealogy staff.
Additional information for members and the public to help them learn about this new policy for the DAR application process, including communications, educational materials, guidelines and procedures, can be found at www.dar.org/DNA.
For more information about joining the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit www.dar.org/membership.
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The DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) is a free resource provided by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to aid general genealogical research and to assist with the DAR membership process. The GRS is a collection of databases that provide access to the many materials amassed by the DAR since its founding in 1890. To access the DAR Genealogical Research System, visit www.dar.org/GRS.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. With more than 175,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world's largest and most active service organizations. Encompassing an entire downtown city block, DAR National Headquarters houses one of the nation’s premier genealogical libraries, one of the foremost collections of pre-industrial American decorative arts, Washington, D.C.’s largest concert hall, and an extensive collection of early American manuscripts and imprints. To learn more about the work of today's DAR, visit www.dar.org.