Friday, 3 January 2014

Book Review: Forensic Genealogy (revised)

Forensic Genealogy
By Colleen Fitzpatrick and AndrewYeiser
Rice Book Press, Fountain Valley, CA
ISBN-13: 978-0976716075

This is following up on a post from July on the revised edition of Forensic Genealogy. I've finally been able to see the old and new versions side-by-side.
Superficially the revised 2013 version is much like the original published in 2005. Colleen Fitzpatrick is now joined by her partner Andrew Yeiser has an author and there are eight more pages, now 228.
Up front are a page of acknowledgments and a forward to the revised edition where it is explained that the major changes are in the DNA Detective section.

The book retains the same basic structure with sections on Digital Detective, Database Detective and DNA Detective. Some material from the previous version is now relegated to appendices. Throughout the book you'll find minor changes in the way things are expressed. The opportunity is taken to correct errors such as the identity of the playwright of Charlie's Aunt. Most of the images are the same, there are a few additions and the washed out appearance of many images in the original has been corrected.

The DNA Detective section is substantially updated with 5 1/2 pages on autosomal DNA testing which was not available at the time of the original publication, and their is substantially revised information on genetic genealogy testing companies and testing options.

As with the original publication the strength of this book is the examples showing how the techniques discussed can be employed. It's unfortunate this is not carried forward to the discussion of autosomal DNA.

While I'd certainly recommend the purchase of the revised edition rather than any of the older version still in stock the updates are relatively modest.

Owners of the original need not rush to purchase. There is the option of purchasing just the DNA Detective chapter at For the additional DNA content you might do as well reading the ISOGG wiki at which is even more up to date.

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