Announced this week, Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit scientific organization, has been named by Family Tree magazine to its annual list of the 101 best family history Web sites in the Sept. 2007 issue. The free, online SMGF database (www.smgf.org) is unique because it can link an individual’s genetic profile to specific ancestors by name going back a half-dozen generations and further.
Any individual can query the SMGF database for genetic-genealogy information for free by obtaining his or her DNA profile from a commercial genomics laboratory and then entering the results into the Web site’s database search menu. A DNA sample is usually taken with a simple swab of the inside of the consumer’s cheek. For those who wish to contribute their records to the foundation’s database, the process is free, convenient and confidential. Simply request a kit on the SMGF Web site and then submit a DNA sample and an accompanying four-generation pedigree chart. As SMGF’s free database grows, personal genealogy success stories become more frequent.
For those who are still a little fuzzy on all this DNA stuff, the Sorenson web site also provides a great teaching tool, helping the lay person understand how it works. The site provides information to help you learn as little or a much as you care to know, from the very general, Understanding DNA to the specifics on Y-Chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA, plus a heads-up for the new kid on the block, Autosomal DNA -- where did you get those big brown eyes?