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The Beginner's Guide to Interpreting Ethnic DNA Origins for Family History: How Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi & Europeans Are Related to Everyone Else

1.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595283064
ISBN-10: 0595283063
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Hart is the author of 35 books in print, holds a graduate degree, and specializes in writing about DNA origins, roots, and archaeogenetics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (July 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595283063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595283064
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,132,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Other than copying and pasting from various Web sites, no attempt was made to structure the material or coordinate its flow in different chapters. No editing work can be traced in the whole text. A good alternative to buying this book is to type in Google a few words from the title. An average reader should be able to do a better job compiling the references than the author did.
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Several things this book is not:
1) Beginner's guide - madding cryptic on DNA, good beginner's guide to genealogy. (Which I did not need).
2) The title doesn't completely lie, there are some discussions of Europeans, especially Jewish Europeans, just not much about the non-Jewish ones.
3) Better than Ethnic DNA, title it mitochondrial DNA... that is, the non-nuclear cellular DNA that is passed on from mothers to daughters. If you are interested in a beginner's guide to Y-chromosome DNA that is passed on from fathers to sons, that portion of the book fills about one page.

The title is over-broad and deceptive; however, perhaps the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi are a clue to the emphasis on Jewish Ethnicity, but if you are a BEGINNER, how are you supposed to know that?

There is no real discussion on genetic markers, how multiple alleles are typed, and how and why some occur singly and others as multiples. How many generations it takes for most of the marker shifts or how to compare two similar people's DNA to gauge when their ancestral lines diverged.

If you are interested in tracing Jewish roots (which my understanding after reading is that for American Jews, this can be somewhat challenging due to the different branches re-uniting in this country) and if you are intent on tracing Maternal lineage (which again is more difficult since Males keep the same last name) then this book may be of use to you.

But a general beginner's guide it is not.
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OK two stars -- only because it is dated ...
The terms used for the groups were state-of-art when book was written, but have been changed ... the Standards Group has renamed (dispensed with) the EU designations. That said, it is an ideal beginners guide. It will give a want-a-be-new-be a feel for the subject matter and a place to start. However, the field is moving quickly and things are changing ...with an abundance of data on the Ashkenazi and Icelandic ... which relates them back to Central Asia and the founders of the Aryan founders of the Indus Valley Civilizations. For the rest (Far Eastern/African/Native American) -- much is still missing. But you need not concern yourself with that -- this book will give you what you need to go there too.
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The Beginner's Guide to Interpreting Ethnic DNA Origins for Family History: How Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi & Europeans Are Related to Everyone Else
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