Polk/Pollock DNA Tests, etc
Hi, Polks and Pollocks
DNA testing of Polk and Pollock descendants really slowed down this past year; we have had but a few people tested.To build the DNA database and possibly help answer the many questions we still have about this or that person's ancestor, we need anyone (male Polks, cannot have female Polk in the line)in any Polk or Pollock (or variation, for that matter)family line to have his DNA tested.The best test, I believe, is the 67 marker test at Family Tree DNA, and if you do that, please be sure to join the Polk/Pollock group there, as you get a better price for the test.
You may be absolutely sure about your Polk ancestry and think you do not need DNA testing.Read on.A couple of years ago, I was in this camp.I was absolutely sure of my Polk ancestry.Then I took a DNA test (three of them, actually).These tests all showed that I was of the William Polk/Margaret Taylor line of Mecklenburg Co., NC, but my ancestry went back to an ancestor before this William.The bottom line was that I was not as close kin to the Mecklenburg Polks as my paper trail had indicated.I was quite aggravated/upset by this (see all my postings in this forum re DNA back in 2009).Thinking at the time that DNA results were absolute, I began to have doubts about my own research ability (20 + years of doing genealogy), my conclusions, etc.But I knew nothing about DNA then.Through educating myself about DNA, and by asking the experts at FTDNA exactly what my results meant (they provided an explanation to me above and beyond the standard provided in any DNA test), I found out that it was entirely possible, despite the number of markings I had different from the supposed ancestor (4 markers different from William Polk who m. Margaret Taylor), I could still fit into that family as I had always thought I did.This was explained by fast mutating DNA markers from my 2greatgrandfather (Benjamin Polk, son of Taylor Polk) and on to me, which did not affect other descendants of Taylor Polk, son of John Polk/Eleanor Shelby.All this did not come to light until several descendants of Taylor Polk and John Polk (who m. Eleanor Shelby) had their DNA tested (these tests done after my tests were done and erroneous conclusions drawn by me from my DNA tests), these tests proving that John Polk was a son of William Polk/Margaret Taylor and that Taylor Polk was a son of the said John Polk.If you check my previous posts, I was so sure of my research that I concluded that John Polk/Eleanor Shelby must not be the correct John Polk, that the correct son of William/Margaret was one John Polk of Burke Co., NC.All these DNA tests and research done (previously by me and others)threw that theory out.I have no doubts now that John Polk who m. Eleanor Shelby was a son of William Polk/Margaret Taylor.My paper trail was fine all along; my ancestry back to William Polk/Margaret Taylor was okay. The problem was my ignorance of what DNA test results meant, coupled with the standard explanation of the DNA results, that set me off on the wrong track.Lessons learned.
With this posting, I want to clarify how this whole thing about how the question of whether John Polk/Eleanor Shelby was or was not a son of William/Margaret got started and my part in it.I am glad this happened because it opened my eyes to the very important point that DNA tests can be misleading.It also led to the formation of our Polk DNA group at Ancestry.com and many DNA tests on Polk descendants being done.DNA is a very important genealogical tool, but one must have an understanding of what the results mean, and the results must be used with thorough research of one's ancestry.If doubt about DNA results, ask questions.
My story is just one example of why all of you male Polks, Pollocks or variations out there ought to get your DNA tested.The results may surprise you, maybe not; but you can be assured that the test will tell you whether or not you fit into this or that group (see our Polk/Pollock chart at http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/polk/results)http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/polk/results).
Any questions about this posting or Polks in general/specific or how to get your DNA tested, just let me know, either here at this forum, or directly at email@example.com.Bill Polk, Kansas City, MO.