DNA Consultants’ blog

Read reviews of science articles, new research and news reports on ancestry testing, ancient DNA and popular genetics

Patrick Henry and Johnny Depp


What Do Patrick Henry and Johnny Depp Have to Do With Each Other?
They are both mentioned in a new genealogy book….

Not everything you were told in school about the Pilgrims, George Washington and the other brave, white Christian founding fathers of America is true. In fact, according to Elizabeth Hirschman Caldwell and Donald N. Yates’ new book, some of the familiar figures were not even Christian. Appearing in 2012 after many years in development, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America ($45.00) offers a fresh perspective on the early American experience, with chapters and emigrant lists on all the original colonies, from Virginia to Georgia.

Rare Genes from History Revisited


It’s been a year and a half since DNA Consultants introduced Rare Genes from History. We republish here the original press release from October 2012 as a means of familiarizing new and old customers with this unique autosomal marker test, exclusive to our company. Purchase now for only $149 ($134.10 with your customer discount).

Back to the Future of DNA


From Teresa Yates’ work-in-progress, here is a post from eight years ago that still strikes a timely note. Yates’ new book is titled DNA and You and reprises fifteen years of the blogosphere from the early, heroic days of DNA testing. It is expected to appear this summer.

Anomalous DNA in the Cherokee, the Secret History


The third chapter of Donald Yates’ history of the Cherokee (Old World Roots of the Cherokee, McFarland 2012) contains the genetic story of the Cherokee Indians based on DNA Consultants’ 2009 study”Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA in the Cherokee,” but it is no easy read, being written for an academic audience.

Daniel Defoe, Jew


Author’s Famous Chair Preserved by Quakers Tells All

A chapter in the new book from McFarland The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales: A Genetic and Genealogical History (April 29, 2014) proposes on the basis of original genealogical research by Donald Yates that Daniel Defoe (in engraving), the author of Robinson Crusoe, came from an old Sephardic Jewish family, the De Foas.

Virginia Surnames and Families with Possible Jewish (and Muslim) Roots


In our continuing series of notes on colonial genealogies, we give here the the complete appendix containing all early lists of emigrants to Virginia, taken from Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America (2012). This was the second volume in a series that began with When Scotland Was Jewish (2007) and concludes this month (May 2014) with the publication of The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales: A Genetic and Genealogical History.

Was Your Colonial Forebear Jewish?


One of the remarkable suggestions in our book Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America (McFarland 2012) was that both the First Families of Virginia and Pilgrim Mothers and Fathers of Massachusetts included many colonists of Jewish ancestry (usually Sephardic). There were, in fact, Jews, ex-Jews and crypto-Jews (and Muslims and crypto-Muslims) hidden in the ship passenger lists and early tax rolls of all thirteen colonies, with Georgia (chapter 9) proposed to be the “most Jewish.”

Bering Land Bridge Research from the Kankakee Swamp


Research by a Valparaiso University geography professor and his students on the creation of Kankakee Sand Islands of Northwest Indiana is lending support to evidence that the first humans to settle the Americas came from Europe, a discovery that overturns decades of classroom lessons that nomadic tribes from Asia crossed a Bering Strait land-ice bridge. Valparaiso is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research.