Ancestry Search – DNA Testing and Your Ancestry Search

Ancestry Search buffs are increasingly incorporating DNA testing as part of their genealogical arsenal. More and more people are making use of the ease of the availability of DNA testing to the general public, and the convenience of modern self-test kits. The science of DNA is both fascinating and dependable, and many people of used it to find ancestors during their ancestry search. The following article may shed some light as to whether DNA testing is appropriate for you and your ancestry search.

Genetic Genealogy and an Ancestry Search

Genetic genealogy is becoming increasingly popular amongst family historians involved in an ancestry search. DNA testing is basically the analysis of a person's genetic makeup, and may be used to uncover important information pertinent to your ancestry search. It can reveal where your ancestors originated from, and how you are connected to other people around the world through that genomic inheritance. You won't find DNA testing useful for searching ancestors in the present, though it can be used to determine if you are actually related once you find them. As an addition to conventional research methods and resources however, DNA testing can prove valuable to an ancestry search. The science of DNA is progressing all the time, and may be something you want to consider as you gain more experience in your ancestry search.

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Taking a DNA Test During Your Ancestry Search

Don't worry, if you're afraid of needles, you needn't fear a DNA test. Taking a DNA test is quick, easy, and pain-free. All that's involved is taking a sample from inside your mouth with a cotton swab, much like you may have seen on Law and Order or CSI. The swab is then placed inside a sealed tube, and sent off to the lab for analysis. You can purchase a DNA test kit online if you desire to enhance your ancestry search with such testing. Costs vary depending on the type of testing you want to do and your geographical location. The three most popular types of ancestry search related tests are:

  1. Total Genomic Ancestry Classification – This test allows you to examine your complete ancestry profile across all of your genes, not just the ones you inherited from your parents. Your DNA is compared with individuals from around the world, to determine a possible origin of your earliest ancestors, valuable knowledge for an ancestry search.
  2. Haploview Test – This is a complete Y-chromosome test used to determine your paternal ancestry. The test analyzes markers on the Y chromosome – a piece of DNA only carried by males, and only passed from father to son. Once your “Y signature” (your unique Y chromosome DNA) is determined, it is then compared with a huge database of ancient DNA to determine which historical grouping you most resemble. This could be Viking, Neolithic Farmers, the Picts or Celts, etc., and makes a fascinating addition to any ancestry search.
  3. mtDNA Test – This is a DNA test that analyzes your maternal lineage. Using what is known as Mitochondrial DNA, a DNA set only passed from mother to child, it can be used to establish your historical grouping on your mother’s side.

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Using Your DNA Test Results in Your Ancestry Search

After receiving the results of your test, you may wonder how they can help with your ancestry search. For one thing, you can use the results to take your ancestry search to another level, add another dimension to it. By uploading your DNA test results to one of the many websites such as the DNA Ancestry Project or Ethno Ancestry, you can share your results with others applying DNA to their own ancestry search. Doing this allows you to configure a historical snapshot of where your ancestors originated from, and where they may have migrated to. Overall, DNA testing adds a very interesting historical aspect to any ancestry search, taking your ancestry search much further back in time than traditional research methods can.

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