Let's DO Genealogy
I've been a Rutledge Research addict since 1980. You probably know me, I am the one always asking "What sources do you have for that?"
The journey has brought me from the physical world of genealogy (libraries, archives, cemeteries, etc) into the science of DNA. I started with autosomal tests, found lots of cousins, and grew the tree wide. Lots of questions were answered and the tree grew roots. My cousin network works together to theorize about our hardest questions and we welcome and mentor newcomers who reach out for help.
In my perfect world, DNA backs up paper sources. Because I've been doing this a long time.... and momma could name anyone as the father of that child:) Or the 'cousin' was not a first cousin at all, but the cousin of the wife of a 2nd cousin, but everyone called him 'cousin' because his name was really Bill and there were already three Bills in the family.
Puzzling out the biological relationships between atDNA matches is addicting, but just like a brick wall, one question answered leads to two more.
I was pushing the limits of atDNA when I stuck an apprehensive toe into the pot of Y-DNA. Y-DNA testing was handy for confirming surnames, but it was tough to get much more out of the matches. The matches will probably be people that will not have the paper trail to prove their connection to the family tree. But I may get lucky and puzzle out a shared ancestor, location, or era. While the archeological information is interesting, I am not a big ancient history buff. I did not care that the surname migrated from Asia, I just want to find my immigrant Ancestor!
I read blogs and books and tinkered. But the 'lightbulb' never came on until I read David Vance's book "The Genealogist's Guide to Y-DNA Testing for Genetic Genealogy." David is a genealogist who knows how to explain Y-DNA in a way a genealogist can understand.
Family Tree DNA's Big Y-700 test changed my opinion. Y-DNA testing is becoming more genealogically relevant, and educational resources have improved. Y-testers are becoming a friendly group going down the path together and helping to grow the science. Only males can test, but the surname projects welcome everyone who has an interest in the surname and a 'test of interest'.