Mike Elgan—who finds genealogical research "boring"—looks forward to "The Mother of All Genealogy Databases," which he expects to appear in ten years or so.
Such a database would enable you to do absolutely amazing things. For example:Boy, that'll be great.
- Enter your unique ID info (probably your Gmail username) and that of any other person, and the site would trace you both back to the most recent common shared ancestor.
- Follow a timeline that shows the locations and migrations of ancestors all leading up to the descendant that is you.
- Track down every living relative.
Here are a few quick observations:
- Not all ancestries are traceable.
- DNA cannot solve every genealogical mystery.
- Records, even if digitized, require interpretation.
- Data submitted to websites—even Web 2.0 sites—can be incorrect, inconsistent or incomplete.
- That computer algorithm that can reveal your genetic ancestry "in minutes" won't reveal your ancestors' names—even if you give it a couple of hours. Finding common genetic ancestry ("We're both Chinese!") is not the same as finding a common ancestor ("We're both descended from Jackie Chan!").