DNA Testing for Ancestry – Utilizing DNA Testing for Ancestry

DNA testing for ancestry has developed over the last 25 years to the point where it is available to the masses at an affordable price. No longer the sole possession of forensic criminologists or medical practitioners, it is now being used by genealogists to gain better insight into their ancestral heritage. If you understand why you want to use DNA testing for ancestry, and what the results might be, it can be a valuable genealogical tool. In this article we’ll discuss the main reasons for using DNA testing for Ancestry.

What Can Be Achieved by DNA Testing for Ancestry?

There are four major reasons that genealogists use DNA testing for ancestry in their ancestry search. They are:

  1. To Confirm or refute whether or not two people share a common ancestor. Oftentimes researchers will meet other genealogists who may be tracing the same ancestral lineage as themselves. This mostly happens while following connections that come from distant generation cousins such as 3rd, 4th, or even 10th cousins. Proving ancestral lineage so far back can sometimes be difficult due to the unavailability of records. In such cases DNA testing for ancestry can prove extremely valuable in proving a genetic connection.
  2. To find out if men having the same surname are descended from a common ancestor. Because surnames are generally passed down through the male line of a family (women often give up their maiden name to take that of their husband), DNA testing for ancestry in this case can reveal new information for a one name study. This data can show if men of the same surname are connected by a common ancestor and so link with an existing family tree.
  1. To gather information regarding ethnic or geographical backgrounds. If your ancestors migrated within previous generations, DNA testing for ancestry can reveal important information that can help you to connect with relatives in the area from which they moved. For example; families in the United States can find out which European families with the same surname are most likely to be related to them. This can save valuable time in an ancestry search, and is perhaps one of the most particularly useful aspects of DNA testing for ancestry.
  2. To find out if there is a genetic connection with historically famous people. Many people have been using DNA testing for ancestry in America for quite some time already. Finding out if one is related to a former US President, Infamous Pirate, or Popular Celebrity, is a distraction that tempts the ego in all of us. To get an idea of how informative and productive this type of DNA testing for ancestry can be, check out the Jackson Surname DNA Study. It provides anyone with the surname Jackson to find out if they are related to any famous Jackson’s such as; President Andrew Jackson, General Stonewall Jackson or any other famous Jackson’s in history.

DNA testing for ancestry can also provide family historians with info regarding their ethnic or geographical origins outside the scope of written records by utilizing the data contained in DNA studies from around the world. DNA testing for ancestry can at least hint if a person contains the chromosome set of Native American, European, and East Asian or African ancestors. This is particularly important to families descended from the illicit relationships between slave masters and slaves, where the blood relationship may have been concealed or deleted from records.

FREE FAMILY TREE REPORTS: See how easy it is to get free family tree reports
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It is difficult to imagine a time when people will rely solely on DNA testing for ancestry for searching ancestors, at it is not a perfect science, and written records will always be needed to validate any data discovered this way. One of the most satisfying aspects of genealogy, besides that of finding your ancestors, is going off on a tangent to enjoy some of the historical data you’ll encounter regarding social history, world events, and the places your ancestors came from. Though DNA testing for ancestry has its place in the science and pursuit of genealogy, it can’t take the place of finding a love letter written by your great-grandfather to a married baroness. It can however help you to find out if they had children or not!

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