Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Debbie Kennett's "DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the 21st Century"

One of the few imaginable pleasures of being crowded in the middle seat of the last row of the coach section of a completely packed airplane on the way back from the FTDNA Conference in Houston is having the time to read Debbie Kennett's new book "DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the 21st Century" published by The History Press. When the renowned Chris Pomery writes in the foreword, "This is a book that has been waiting to be written, and Debbie is the right person to write it", those aren't just empty words. The genetic genealogy community is sorely lacking in publications with updated information on DNA testing and there are few with more knowledge on the subject than Debbie.

Fortunately for all genealogists, this book is an easy read, while still being exceptionally informative. Debbie splits her time equally between two genealogy subjects of which she has expertise: DNA testing and social networking. She is very thorough and systematic in her coverage, yet never tedious, holding my interest until the very last page. I can imagine genealogists using this comprehensive book as a reference long after they have read it cover to cover. It would take a substantial amount of time just to investigate the many valuable links contained in the body of the book and the extensive appendices.

Of special interest to me, Debbie spends eighteen pages discussing the subject of autosomal DNA testing. To my knowledge, this is the first book to address this complex subject since both 23andMe and Family Tree DNA began offering autosomal testing for genealogy. Since Debbie has been an active participant in the initial investigations of this new tool for genealogists and is an integral part of the genetic genealogy community, she is fully qualified to explain the subject to the rest of the genealogy world, which she does clearly and intelligently.

Although the book's focus is on the UK reader, the majority of the information presented is applicable to all genealogists. Since both topics are technology based, the subject matter is a fast-moving one with Debbie doing necessary updates right up to the last minute. Although there will inevitably be changes and additions in our industry, I suspect the lion's share of this book and its chief tenets will stay relevant for years to come.

Very often I am asked for my recommendation on an up-to-date book about genetic genealogy and autosomal DNA. I am happy to report that I finally have found one that I can highly recommend!

The tires roughly hitting the tarmac at Orange County Airport jolted me into the grim reality of having just spent three and a half hours crammed in the back of an oversold jetliner. I have Debbie to thank for making the flight, nevertheless, an enjoyable one.

Debbie Kennett's "DNA and Social Networking" will be available November 28. It can be ordered from Amazon. (Listen to an interview with Debbie here.)

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  1. Thanks for the review, CeCe. I have this book on order through Amazon UK. I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive!

  2. Thank you, CeCe. I have it on order through Amazon US, and it won't be released here until spring. I look forward eagerly to having it as a much needed resource.

    Kudos to Debbie!


  3. Thanks for reading and commenting, Ladies!

  4. My book just arrived from amazon.ca
    it looks good so far and is the latest available book covering genealogy DNA. It will be a hit. Bargain price for me to, $18.40 Cdn included free dilivery.

  5. Just ordered, thanks for keeping us informed!