Need book recommendation on DNA, on a learning curve [closed]

+5 votes
Hi Cousins,

Blisteringly hot here, so in the home office for a while.

After reading several posts today and further back, I realize I’m in need of some help. Does anyone know of a good book on DNA? I mean one that will take me step by step in learning the nomenclature (all those darned abbreviations!!!). Not highly technical. I have no science background as a history major and student for 40+ years.

No websites with multiple links, please. I need paper in my hands. Easier on the eye-sight!

Many thanks ahead of time.
closed with the note: Got enough. Thanks!
in Genealogy Help by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
closed by Pip Sheppard

Try this one:

It is the most well written one that I have read. 

P.S. I am off out the door now, so there won't be any more fast responses Pip wink

Thanks, Lynda. Much appreciated!

Both of Blaine’s books are excellent. I would recommend starting with this one and then the one Doug recommends below. That one is set up as a workbook like Thomas Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof if you are familiar with either of those.

Excellent! Thanks, Erin. Y’all are gonna cost me a fortune on Amazon! smiley It’s worth it, though. 

If you are not familiar with Thomas Jones’ Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof, they are excellent. I've worked through them and learned a lot. Earlier this summer I took a writing class from Tom (at IGHR) and learned a lot. He is an excellent writer, genealogist, teacher and really nice person. He used to teach at Gaulladet University but has spent the past few years as Editor of the NGSQ..

I agree Doug! Now if I could just find the time to apply what I've gleaned from Matering Genealocpgical Documentation to all my profiles still showing all that GEDCOM imported gobbledygook, I’d be a happy camper.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer
Another Blaine Bettinger book is Genetic Genealogy in Practice (

I've just started working through this one.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (447k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
Thanks to both Doug and Lynda. I was hoping to find recommendations from folks who had read (or just started to read) the books. Much appreciated!
Karen Stanbary recommended this one to me to prepare for her DNA class at SLIG in January since I haven't been through the beginning class. So far, so good
+2 votes
While not specifically only about DNA, I recently read a very interesting book called "The Gene / An Intimate History" by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  

The first 60% (maybe more) is a detailed history of the belief systems/ideas that lead to the progression of scientific research on genetics - starting from early religious ideas of inheritance, to Darwinism (theories of evolution, etc.), to the discovery of DNA, and many other historical events in between, to future things like encoding computer programs on DNA strands.  The book is very interesting especially if you like to follow the logical progression of ideas, as people build on each others discoveries, to advance our knowledge and understanding of questions that seem very simple (like how can a child look  a lot like both their parents?).
by Tannis Mani G2G6 Mach 1 (18.5k points)
Thanks, Tannis. I’ll check it out.

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