What immediately stands out is that genetic genealogy has been around much longer than people realize, especially given the recent media attention. I began my exploration of genetic genealogy in 2003, but by 2000 there were already as many as 4 surname projects begun by hobbyists! As of September 2007, one company (Family Tree DNA) had over 4,200 surname projects that contained more than 66,000 surnames. There are even more surname projects hosted by other companies, including Heritage DNA.
The timeline also shows that genetic genealogy was first developed by geneticists and anthropologists to analyze a wide variety of problems facing researchers.
The technology was later embraced by genealogists who saw that it could be used to answer some of the problems faced by other genealogists.
DNA Timeline: "This Timeline began when I could not find an informal context - a simple history - to use when called upon to explain the new field of DNA and genealogy to those who knew less about it than I (a beginner in October 2002 - and not a scientist). This contains items I've found as well as contributions by others, primarily Ann P. Turner and participants of the RootsWeb GENEALOGY-DNA discussion list and members of the ISOGG community. The emphasis here is on “traditional” genealogy - rather than “anthrogenealogy”. The Timeline also attempts to record the contributions of pioneer genetic genealogy hobbyists who helped make this field respectable before it was accepted by the mainstream genealogy community. A few key DNA milestones not directly related to traditional genealogy are included in the Timeline." G.K. Bopp