Copyright Brooking Society 2020

12 November 2020


This article written by Mary Logan about the Brooking Genetic Programme and and the use of DNA analysis as a tool .

This complex science is led by our DNA expert Dr. Ian Logan.

The Booking Society considers itself amongst the leading groups in the use of DNA for Genealogy study.  Ian Logan is our principal scientist for the society and has commissioned several Brooking studies over the years. As with all good scientific research all of our results and analysis are freely available on this site. Not everyone understands the analysis the same way Ian does so Mary Logan has written the following notes to advise readers of the success and relevance of analysis programme for the society.

To put it very basically, DNA is found in every one of the cells in our body.  Some small parts of the DNA have been identified as being helpful in genealogy.  These are called ‘markers’ and are found on the Y (male) chromosome.  A random change occurs over time in each marker, and this is what we call a mutation.  In Family History Research we are looking at Brooking males’ DNA for similarity and differences in markers.  When the police look at DNA as evidence of a crime, they are comparing DNA linked to the crime, with DNA taken from a particular person.  We are comparing the DNA of different people.

For example we tested two men from Branch N who have almost identical DNA.  One lives in Devon and the other in Hawaii, but clearly they have a common ancestor, with slight random changes over the past 200 years.  But their DNA has no similarity at all with members in Branches I and S.

As these markers are passed down through the male line only, the use of DNA is only relevant to some Brookings.  It cannot be used for Branches that we know are descended from an illegitimate line.

But what it does  show us is how two people are linked by a common ancestor, and how two people with the name Brooking, appear not to be related at all.  Does this mean that we have several “family trees”, from different ancestors, all named Brooking, but not related at all?  It certainly does not mean that some people are less of a Brooking than others.

The first tests we did looked at 12 markers, and now the science has moved on, so we are able to analyse more markers and therefore more mutations.  Thus we have found that Branches B, J, X, Y, G and N are very closely linked, but Branches I, S, and SR appear not to have common ancestors.

This is fascinating, and of interest to the Society, but of course we are continuing to research through the traditional methods of records and census returns.