Michael Cooley's Genetic Genealogy Blog GEN • GEN
12 May 2016

About Michael Cooley

Genealogy has been one of my hobbies since 1977. Although I've never worked as a professional genealogist, I published The Pettit Correspondent, The National Queries Forum, and premiered one of the early non-.edu genealogy websites, Genealogy Online, in 1994 (since purchased by RootsWeb and, from them, Ancestry.com). My personal genealogy website is ancestraldata.com.

The news about the mitochondrial DNA extraction from Ötzi the Iceman in about 1990 was an eye opener for me. A few years later I read about the Y-DNA research on the Cohens and what is now referred to as Y-chromosomal Aaron and recognized the potential of DNA for genealogical research. It wasn't until 2006, however, that I discovered that DNA testing had become affordable for us peons. I now maintain or help maintain thirteen surname DNA projects at Family Tree DNA, including the Cooley DNA Project. In fact, I started this blog with a collection of emails written to Cooley project members during the spring of 2016. For that reason, the name Cooley is frequently mentioned in these articles. However, the site is not intended to be specifically for and about any one surname. I'm now including my studies of other names (Duncan, Whitfield and Strother, for example). Although I outline specific examples, the techniques are ubiquitous. It's my hope that anyone interested in genetic genealogy will find some use among these articles.

In my spare time, I teach seminars in genealogy, genetic genealogy, history, and film for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Humboldt State University and have given presentations about genetic genealogy in Oregon, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, and at various venues in Humboldt County, California. I graduated with a degree in history at HSU in 2013 and received my MA in English (creative nonfiction writing) through Southern New Hampshire University in December 2017.

I have, of course, other interests. See my personal website at newsummer.com for more information.