Today having your DNA tested is one of the best ways to continue a different angle in researching your family tree. It’s great if you have a family tree already started and want to get more information on your ancestors. Doing so enables you to check out potential distant cousins and discovering more about where you actually came from.
I have had my DNA tested twice with both AncestryDNA and MyHeritageDNA. The results from both are very similar and I have connected with 2nd and 3rd cousins putting faces to names in my tree and also discovering more facts about my extended family.
It’s amazing in the discoveries and where it will lead you. Taking your genealogy research to another level is something that I personally feel that you should endeavour to expand your resources. You just never know where it will take you.
Some information about DNA Testing that you should be aware of before you get it done is described below.
There are about 60,000 billion cells found in the human body. It includes muscle cells, cheek cells, and white blood cells. Each cell contains the whole genetic information which is the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The nucleus inside the cell holds the DNA or chromosomal DNA that consists of Y chromosomal DNA, X chromosomal DNA, and autosomal DNA. The external part of the nucleus holds mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The autosomal DNA comes from both the mother and the father, Y chromosomes is inherited by a son from his father, and mtDNA comes from the mother only.
There are advancements made in testing DNA to meet various areas of interests. For example, the most common uses of DNA are related to finding criminals and proving paternity. But today, genealogy research also uses DNA testing.
For so many years, genealogy has become an important element of the society and a favorite hobby of some enthusiasts. Although this is more rewarding, somehow it brings frustrations even to expert genealogists. It can be very time consuming when doing paper research. More often, it can lead to illegible and damaged documents. But, DNA testing provides quick results without questioning its authenticity or quality. Moreover, the genetic genealogy results can endure the tests of time.
1. Mitochondrial testing is utilized for tracing the maternal heritage of a person. The mtDNA testing is very important since genealogists are mostly females. When they marry, maternal lines are often lost because of changing their surnames. In this manner, they can learn and trace their maternal ancestry. There are advances made in understanding genetics and using laboratory techniques in helping a person to identify maternal lineage through mtDNA tracing services. The distinct mtDNA of person is analyzed and compared to the databases of other samples of mtDNA worldwide, revealing information about the lost ancestry.
The mtDNA remains nearly unchanged even for so many years. You can share the same type of mtDNA with your mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal great grandmother. The same exact mtDNA code can track your direct maternal lineage way back from the time where mtDNA code’s natural mutation occurred. Women who are living today can trace their origins 150 thousands years ago through natural mutations or mitochondrial eve. In connection with matrilineal descent, Eve is the common ancestor. But it doesn’t necessarily imply that Eve is the only woman who lived in that era. There were also other women alive but only the lineage of Eve has survived.
2. Y chromosomal DNA testing is the most common used form of genetic genealogy testing. Some people can even trace if a deceased man is related to them by conducting this test. Like mtDNA, Y chromosomes can be also traced back from one prehistoric father, Adam. The DNA mutation of the first Y chromosomes naturally occurs over many generations. Determining the present Y chromosomes can trace your paternal lineage through searching the Y database worldwide.
Moreover, genealogists can find out if two people are related because they have similar surnames through Y chromosomes testing. It is not impossible since in most cultures, surnames or family names are inherited by children from their fathers like the Y chromosomal DNA.
A successful genealogy research lies on DNA testing because its usefulness is proven as time has passed by. Expanding your ancestry research through your DNA and also researching potential family tree hits on the Internet (Online Genealogy Websites) are worthwhile goals.
Finding relevant original sources is the main goal of any genealogist where I hope you as a family historian will succeed.
DNA Testing is another resource for you too utilize in your quest and continuing family saga.
Link to AncestryDNAAncestryDNA
Link to MyHeritageDNA
For further reading check out the article ‘The Best DNA Testing Kits for 2021’ at PCMag By Molly McLaughlin Updated February 3, 2021
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