I suppose having became indoctrinated in what I think of as METHOD, or traditional genealogy, (before the advent of the internet and DNA genealogy), instills a different perspective for me personally.
Everything we hear and see these days, or so it seems, regarding ancestry and genealogy screams , “Take this DNA test, and learn everything you always wanted to know!!” What, if anything, anyone commonly really “learns” genealogically seems more than a little ambiguous to me, and practical usage of DNA in actual genealogy has only proven helpful to me in once having proven who I don’t connect with in the case of the Orcutt/Urquhart question, which has been further borne out ever true as more Orcutt men have been Y line DNA tested that prove we Orcutts ARE NOT Urquhart descendants.
There is a ton and a half of articles breaking down the pros and cons, and after viewing several (or 50, or 100), it’s obvious everyone has their own ideas about what DNA testing, genealogically, is actually worth. To me personally it has very little, or limited use and value. I deal strictly in actual records that establish solid evidence and proof of connections that at the same time yields names and as much personal information as can be ascertainable concerning every link (individual ancestors) in my ancestral chain. If I have a “missing link” I am interested in proving, I need to work on it via an avenue that actual documentation can reasonably, ultimately, be achieved, not a generalization that often as not could be any of a thousand, or hundreds of thousands of other persons.
Just knowing some certain percentage of my ancestry came from a particular region is of little actual value to me personally, as I already know where the oldest, or farthest back ancestor I have proved came from via THE RECORD I have for them. It isn’t glamorous, or particularly quick, and involves some times literally years of digging to uncover the relevant documents, but it is accomplished within the tried and true SCIENCE of Genealogy, which like any other science requires extensive experimentation to prove formulated theories, (which are nothing less than searches for information and documentation predicated on the previous PROVEN information complied), and testing the resulting conclusions, (adding contemporary or corroborating evidence, when it can be found) , and having something tangible, provable, as a result.
My goal, or interest, in genealogy has always been on a very personal level. I don’t expect to learn or know every aspect about the lives of every ancestor I have as obviously, when doing the math, that quickly becomes an astronomical number of persons back beyond even just a few generations. I have concentrated on a few specific ancestral lines, and my goal has thus been a documented history of a rather select group of people. Beyond that, we are all related to everyone else if you go back far enough, and I have never needed a DNA test to tell me that.
DNA testing can certainly be used as a tool in accomplishing meaningful genealogy, and thus has it’s place, and I can perceive times when it certainly can be advantageously applied, and even just a fun thing to do for many persons, but there is no substitute or quick fix for getting down in the trenches and making the effort to get the actual records, and obtain a documented history. When the smoke clears after the fad of DNA genealogical testing has subsided those old dinosaurs like myself will, without a doubt, still be doing just that.