by Gladys Tovrea-Brandstoettner wbrand@gj.net

I noticed a little article in this week's "Missing Links" [under "Web Links" in ML 6:4] regarding DNA testing for genealogical research. This is becoming more and more prominent in the field of genealogy, and in fact one of the categories at Ancestry.Com is DNA results that have been used by individuals for proving descendancy (this is under vital records and is called Gene Pool Individual Records).

I have had a blood-clotting problem for many years, and so did my father. I am now on anticoagulants for life (like my father). The doctors had tested us both for a disorder, however none was discovered, and my clots were chalked up to "coincidence." This past summer, my 33-year-old son threw a clot in his leg, and at that point I insisted that further testing be done. It was then that we were both diagnosed as having a newly found inherited blood-clotting disorder called "Factor V Leiden." This disorder had not been found when I was tested five years ago, and only recently has a test been developed for the disorder. I have no doubts that dad inherited it from his TOVREA line, but at what point it came into our line is another question. It may have come down from the TOVREAs for many generations, or it may have been brought in by a female spouse. That is something that I will probably never find out unless some other TOVREA has had similar problems and is diagnosed with the same disorder.

If any of you have had a problem of blood clots in your family or several generations of strokes, you might suggest a test for the Factor V Leiden. It is done with a simple blood draw. This disorder does not skip a generation; you have to receive it from a parent who has it as well, but not all children will inherit it. The statistics are that only two percent of the total population has this disorder, and it is found mostly in those who have European ancestry, or descend from the Sephardic Jews in Spain.

What does this mean to me as an individual? With this knowledge, I can help future generations of my own family. What does it mean to me as a genealogist? I am definitely my father's daughter, and there is no way I can deny that my son is mine. Now if I can find out where it came from, that would be all the information I need. Talk about documentation!