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Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Authors

Keywords

Switzerland, Swiss history, European history

Abstract

This article presents my personal experience with genetic genealogy, that is, the use of DNA analysis-in this case Y-DNA analysis-to trace the deep ancestry of my Swiss-American male line. DNA analysis is used today for countless applications, from the exoneration of inmates on death row to determination of paternity, as well as genetic genealogy (Fitzpatrick and Yeiser 2005). Such DNA "fingerprinting" is relatively new having begun in 1984 with the pioneering work of Sir Alec Jefferys and his group at Leicester University. One of the first important genetic genealogical applications of DNA analysis was that by Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona who, in a series of articles published in Nature beginning in 1997 , presented evidence that descendants of the Jewish priestly lines Cohan and Levi share a common set of DNA markers.

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