DNA Testing – Part 1: Autosomal DNA

This starts a four part introduction to the subject of DNA testing. I’m not an expert. Like many of you, I am still learning this stuff. Some of it is pretty easy to understand, but once you get down into the weeds it can get pretty complicated. I highly recommend exploring and bookmarking the following blogs that cover Genetic Genealogy:

Roberta Estes – DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy Genealogy – Roberta is Administrator of the Muncey Project at Family Tree DNA

Kitty Cooper – Kitty Cooper’s Blog: Musings on Genealogy, Genetics and Gardening

One thing is certain. Genetic Genealogy is the future. It can help answer family mysteries and offer new paths when traditional research comes to a dead end. If you or other family members have not been tested — well, you will eventually want to be tested. Trust me. It’s important.

The Basics

If you have turned on a television in the past few years, you will have seen advertising for Ancestry.com and 23AndMe – two services that offer DNA testing used in genealogy research. Your may not have seen advertising about Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), but we will talk about it later.  I haven’t used 23AndMe, but I’ve been a long time user of Ancestry – but I didn’t take advantage of DNA testing until a few years ago. Once I took the test and saw how important it can be to family research, I immediately tested my father (now deceased), my mother, and my sister. I’ll get my brother to test eventually.

Continue reading DNA Testing – Part 1: Autosomal DNA

Frank Andrew Munsey: Pulp Fiction, Dime Novels and Munsey Magazine


A descendant of William Muncy, Frank Andrew Munsey grew up in Maine and lived in New York where he became rich and famous.  I won’t repeat all of the details that you can read here in Wikipedia, but he was definitely the most prominent man of the early 20th Century to bear the Munsey name. He made money in dime novels, invented pulp fiction, owned newspapers, and Munsey Magazine. He became very rich due to his hard work and ambition and became a friend of President Teddy Roosevelt, but he admitted near the end of his life that money does not bring happiness.

Before his death Munsey himself summed up his life this way: “I have no heirs. I am disappointed in my friendships. . . . I have forty million dollars, but what has it brought me? Not happiness.”

Frank Andrew Munsey was very interested in his past and his ancestors, and we are fortunate that he hired D.O.S. Lowell to prepare a genealogy – “A Munsey-Hopkins Genealogy: Being the Ancestry of Andrew Chauncey Munsey and Mary Jane Merritt Hopkins” (the parents of Frank Muncy.) The book is now in the public domain and a reprint can be obtained through Amazon. The Munsey portion of the book is available here at Muncy Family Info – a free 10MB download.

D.O.S. Lowell was a very learned and respected genealogist. He was careful in his research and despite the obvious attempts in the book to flatter the family of Frank Andrew Munsey, we should be thankful that this book was commissioned. We don’t know a lot about the early descendants of William Muncy, and we would know a lot less without this book. Descendants of William Muncy will definitely want to review the section on the Munsey family.