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Hiring a Professional Researcher Hiring a DNA Testing Company
DNA testing has become an accepted tool for identifying ancestors.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can DNA testing help me in my genealogical research?
- Which company should I pick?
- How much does it cost?
- Who can be tested?
- How do I interpret my DNA results?
A lecture given at RootsTech 2012 can help you answer these questions:
CeCe Moore's "DNA Testing for Genealogy - Getting Started" series is a great place for beginners. Read her posts at the Geni blog:
Information stored in the Y-chromosome passes virtually unchanged from father-to-son for centuries. Analysis of this genetic information, found in living people, can help you determine whether or not you share a common ancestor with another person alive today. Computer algorithms predict approximately how long ago the common ancestor lived. These results have many genealogical applications.
Autosomal DNA Testing
DNA Testing Companies
Some major commercial DNA testing companies are listed below in alphabetical order. Please visit their websites to learn more about their services:
Public DNA Databases
- Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (formerly sponsored by Brigham Young University)
The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the world's foremost collection of DNA and corresponding genealogical information. SMGF is making some information available on their web site. Finding matching DNA results and pedigrees in the Sorenson Database can help you make new family connections throughout the world and across generations.The Foundation is a world leader in DNA research with direct application to genealogy. Their work complements other studies that focus on the "deep ancestry" of humankind.
Result Interpretation Assistance
Organizations, such as The Genetic Genealogy Consultant, provide services to help you interpret your DNA results and get the most out of what they can tell you about your roots.
Thousands of DNA Projects, usually focused on a particular surname, location, or ethnicity, are active around the world. To determine if a DNA project is underway for your ancestor's surname, start with World Families Network.
Other DNA projects can be found on the Internet by using a search engine, such as Google, with the words "Genealogy DNA". Contact each organization for additional information.
Examples of individual projects include:
- Britton International DNA Project at Ancestry
- Britton International DNA Project - main website
- Global Adoptee Genealogy Project
- Harrison DNA Project
- Kerchner DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy
- Kevan DNA Project
- New Mexico DNA Project
- Spencer DNA Project
What is DNA?
DNA research is based on the 46 chromosomes that every human being has (with few exceptions). The gender determining chromosomes are X from the mother and either X or Y from the father. If X from the father, the child is female and if Y from the father the child is male. The Y-chromosome can be traced from father to son to son and so on. The mother has a mtDNA which is something of an energy source for the cells. All children of one mother have the same mtDNA as do all children of that mother's daughters, though not of her sons since mtDNA can't be passed by men. Since the mutation of chromosomes is very slow the study of the Y-chromosome or the mtDNA trail forms the basis of the DNA genealogy.
DNA in the news
- DNA blog posts at EOGN.com
- With DNA Testing, Suddenly They Are Family by Rachel L. Swarns (New York Times, 23 January 2012). Discusses DNA tests for adopted people.
- DNA solves a Joseph Smith mystery by Michael De Groote (Deseret News, 9 July 2011)
- DNA shows Joseph Smith was Irish by Michael De Groote (Deseret News, 8 August 2011)
- When in Doubt, Spit It Out by Allen Salkin (New York Times, 12 September 2008). DNA testing parties.
- Sorenson compiling huge DNA database by George Anders (Wall Street Journal, 27 April 2005)
- International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). Site includes newsletters, a DNA Wiki, Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree, list of DNA consultants for hire, list of DNA speakers, DNA signatures of famous people, and much more.
- Genealogy DNA Mailing List (RootsWeb). Active conversations about genetic genealogy.
- Chris Pomery: DNA & Family History. Online resources include DNA talks, books, papers, articles, blogs, presentations, podcasts, and websites by an expert in the field.
- Journal of Genetic Genealogy. Free articles from leading scholars in the field.
- ↑ Dick Eastman, "Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy Part #4," Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, 11 August 2012, http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2012/08/getting-started-in-genetic-genealogy-part-4.html.
Neither The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor FamilySearch is associated in any way with any DNA studies. As a non-profit organization, FamilySearch cannot recommend a specific DNA-testing company to you.
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