According to Diahan Southhard, DNA gave you the gift of your mother’s eyes or your fathers hair, your grandmother’s freckles or your grandfather’s nose.
Who Should Have a DNA Test Completed?
DNA test provides a tangible connection to the past, which helps family history appeal to people that otherwise might not consider their heritage. So, in a best case scenario, everyone would be tested. But, lets; be realistic; it is just not cost-effective to test every family member, so who should be at the top of your list?
Understanding just a little bit about DNA and how its inherited provides some clues about how to move forward.
as you may recall from your biology course, each of us receives half of our DNA from our mother and half from our father. So, what happens to the other half? the part your did not get? It is lost. yes. lost! Some of that information might be recorded in your siblings’s DNA if you have sisters and brothers, but the truth is that much of our DNA is lost with each generation. Knowing that brings us to the conclusion that we need to test the oldest generation first. In short, anyone who is alive today, whose parents are not still living needs to be tested (if their parents are alive, test them instead). Don’t forget about aunts and uncles.
What Test Should I Take?
There are three different kinds of test available for genetic genealogist. (the author did not mention the forth test which is X-DNA)
- The Y-chromosome test (Y-DNA). This test provides a DNA profile useful for tracing direct male lines. Only men can use this test. It van help trace your direct paternal line ancestry back 10 generations or more.
- The Mitcohondrial DNA (mtDNA). the test provides a DNA profile useful for tracing a direct female line. (The author considers it moderately helpful) Anyone can take this test. mtDNA is passed exclusively from other to child, and the test reveals information about the test-taker’s direct maternal (“umbilical”) line.
- the Autosomal DNA Test (atDNA). This test traces all of your ancestral lines, but is is generally helpful only 5 or 6 generations. Anyone can take this test.
- For further reading from Diahan Southard go to Family Search Blog “Do You Know Your Great-Great-Great Grandfather’s Nose?