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DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-First Century Hardcover – Apr 1 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 1 edition (April 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752458620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752458625
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 762 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #444,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Genetics is a complicated subject, and most geneticists are profoundly incapable of explaining the subject clearly. Debbie Kennett is unparalleled in her ability to make complex science beautifully clear, and in her enthusiasm to explain how this subject really works. If you're interested in using genetics for your family tree, or even if you re already grappling with it, this book is guaranteed to make an immense and refreshing addition to your knowledge."  —Anthony Adolph, author, Tracing Your Irish Family History

About the Author

Debbie Kennett is an editor, genealogist, and researcher who is well known in the field of DNA research. She organizes two projects at Family Tree DNA and writes for many family history magazines.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Debbie Kennett filled a recent gap in creating a new book on DNA and Social Networking. Since there does not appear to be any more recent publications on the subjects this book is the most current and worth reading. Lots of resources referenced so interested readers can check out many internet sites referred to. Since the book is current and up-to-date it is well worth a read and possibly a good addition to the genealogist's library. Well done Debbie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and Accurate March 6 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hold a Ph.D. in Biology and have taught at the college and university level for over 30 years. Debbie Kennett's new offering DNA and Social Networking is a great guide for anyone interested in understanding the link between our genes and our ancestry including the deep ancestry of our beginnings as a human race. The text is written for ease of understanding and she clearly explains what DNA studies can provide and what they cannot provide to the participant. If you don't want to bog down in the details of molecular biology then this is a good book to expand your understanding and knowledge in a field that is going to be one of the growth areas for genealogists for decades to come.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Perfect timing July 24 2012
By BeverlyD - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Just as I was considering having my DNA tested for genealogy purposes, along came this book to take all the mystery out of the process. I have a medical background and am not unfamiliar with the difference between Y-DNA and MtDNA, yet there is so much more to know that she clearly outlines in this book. She has clarified what to expect at this point in the evolution of this as yet very young science, in terms of how to choose a company and what results mean. Her hyperlinks to resources are very helpful.

The second half of the book deals with social networking and its usefulness to the family historian, a subject which she also details in clear language and a straightforward attitude. The primary message here is, use it! It's not just for kids, get on Facebook, Twitter, UTube, and anything else where you may find answers to genealogy questions. She also tells us what NOT to do with some of these tools as well, such as giving too much personal information in a public forum.

The only caveat is that the author is clearly British and the book is written with a British reader in mind. Many references are to British archives familiar to a British reader and not so much to an American. That said, I had no difficulty "translating" to my American needs.

I first bought this on my e-reader and now am buying it in the print version because I know I will refer to it again and again in my research.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Lots of information. Dec 19 2012
By Saelj A Nilsson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have personally done a DNA test and this book helped me to figure out some of the results and all the information I got thru this test. The book brings out also how to do genealogical research in the US and Great Britain, which is not relevant to me, but the other information made very well up for it.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Who knew? Dec 21 2012
By Earth Wisdom For You - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a facebook user, I have used Wikipedia, but genealogy wikis? Who knew? Online bookmark storage? That sounds like a dream come true to me when I am so disgusted with Internet Explorer which won't even let me put them in alphabetical order. And the computer stuff as amazing as it is, takes backseat to the DNA stuff.
A totally mystifying subject made plain (after I read this, I realized I am not even sure which type of test I took already). She makes the very valid point that the more we all use it, the better it will get. She gives the background information on the different companies so we know who is doing what. I have been doing genealogy for 10 years extensively, but I feel like a naive beginner who this wonderful author has helped to grow up a bit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Informative, yet most useful for newbies July 17 2013
By Carolina Magnolia - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is ideal as a primer for someone who is just now integrating technology and social media into their genealogical pursuits. As with anything relating to technology, much of the content is outdated (broken links, discontinued products and services, revised products, new products). Many of the sources are UK-based. The value of the book, however, is in the author's explanation of balancing the potential benefits of incorporating social media with the need to be aware of how much information one is sharing (personal and research).

I have been researching genealogy for 20 years, using software for 17 years, and using social media for 10 years. I have had my work stolen and presented (with portions written in the first-person copied verbatim) as the thief's own work. I highly recommend this text for those who are wanting to incorporate social media. Social media is wonderful! But, please, follow her pointers.

For those with a similar background incorporating technology and social media into your research, you may find the appendices of sites most valuable. I found a link to a DNA chart most valuable. It was information I already had, but presented in a visual that "clicked" with me more than the pie charts, etc. I believe there are many other hidden gems - like the DNA chart - for the experienced users, too.

This would make a great gift for someone who is new to genealogy, using DNA results, or incorporating social media/Web 2.0 with their research. The digital version (for Kindle or Kindle apps) allows the reader to click on the hyperlink and immediately explore the referenced site.

I would have given 5 stars if there was a link to a blog with updated information.