DNA & Genealogy
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid, in layman's terms, can be simply described as the molecular material from which genes are made. It is the substance that regulates physical differences and similarities among people. Just a few years ago DNA was virtually unheard of. Like fingerprints in 1920, a short time ago DNA was looked upon as scientific mumbo jumbo that really proved nothing. Now the incredible accuracy of DNA testing is widely accepted.
Why DNA testing for genealogy? Why not just look up the records and be done with it? Let's face it - the paper trail runs cold or is nonexistent before a certain date in time. I am trying to relate all Kisabeths and variant-spelled clans (Kuspert Kispert-Kisseberth-Kissenberth-Kisaberth) from around the world. After working on our family history for almost 20 years and interacting with these various clans, it was clear to me that we might have to test our DNA in order to relate all the clans together.
Our written records show that the surnames Kisseberth-Kissenberth-Kisabeth and Kisaberth come from a common ancestor, Jorg (George) Kuschwert of Wertheim am Main in the mid-1500s. Our records also show that the old medieval name of Keischwert originated in the Fichtelgebirge area of Bavaria about 1400. But to bridge the gap between Kisseberth and Kuspert/Kispert we may need the help of DNA testing.
All men and only men have a Y chromosome. This biological fact allows us to trace back in time a direct, largely unchanged genetic line of inheritance from father to son. Every woman has the same mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) as her mother, her maternal grandmother, and so on. A man has the same mtDNA as his mother, but it will not be passed to his daughters, instead, his wife's mtDNA will go down in their daughter's lines, and in the lines of their daughter's daughters. As surnames are generally inherited along male lineage, this is a possible indication that the male bearers of a particular surname, especially if it is uncommon (like Kisseberth - Kuspert ....) may be related.
I have become very interested in this DNA testing for genealogy. Now that our family history book is complete I would like to do a study on the scientific connection of our various surname spellings.
There are various laboratories capable of performing DNA/Genealogy testing. The only problem is the cost. DNA testing is not cheapil Actually it is quite expensive. The price ranges from about $150 to S300. I am willing to be the first volunteer from the Kisabeth-Kisseberth line. What we need is a Kuspert and Kispert volunteer. If we can get just 1 lone Kuspert and Kispert family member to submit to the DNA testing (and of course to pay the roughly $200 fee) then we will have our connection. Perhaps we can start a DNA Kisseberth-Kuspert Kispert donation fund. Please, all I ask is to at least, think about volunteering. Remember, we need just 1 Kuspert and i Kispert to start the testing. But also remember, you must be pretty positive that you are a continuing Kuspert or Kispert male line. That is, you are quite sure that there is no instance of taking the mother's maiden name or adoption involved. This would be considered a mutation and testing would not show any connection. Also, l understand the extreme need for privacy and confidentiality, even when the goal is simply genealogy rather than courtroom or medical determinants. Most of the testing labs conform to State and Federal privacy legislation.
Some of the web sites that explain DNA-Genealogy testing are:
In this newsletter I wanted to just brief our family members on DNA Genealogy. Please think about it and let me hear from you, both pros and cons. If you wish to telephone or email me please feel free to do so. In the upcoming months I hope to keep everyone informed as to our progress.
Gerald L. Kisabeth