Gene Surfing

Adventures in Family History

Gene Surfing

Farmer BullshotI have often been asked what I am doing at the weekend and the response is often “researching my family history”. But this does not sound like much fun to most people – at least those that don’t understand.

I have also used the phrase “pond-dipping in the family gene pool” – which usually gets blank looks – or my wife just refers to my obsession as “looking for dead people”, which is close to the truth.

None of these, though,  are particularly trendy and hip [!] and usually need further explanation – so I started to look for other terms.

Treesearch is probably my favourite.

But although it sounds okay when you say it, when written it loses something.

So I settled on my second choice “Gene Surfing” and as most of my research is on the internet it does fit quite nicely.

All I need now is a nice surfing motif and the Hawaii 5-0 soundtrack.


Gene Surfing is also a term used by genetic scientists to describe an phenomenon where some genes become dominant – especially during times of migration or invasion, such as the Norman conquest.

Gene surfing is a process in population expansion whereby certain variations become prominent and dominant in a short time, appearing to skip the slow, steady, uniform accumulation of variegation and diversification.

[More here]

 Chris Sidney 2014


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