Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DNA Testing - Genetic Genealogy

As an adult adoptee, I've spent most of my life wondering where I came from.  What had always seemed impossible has become possible with the progress and affordability of D.N.A. testing.  I sit here today with a family tree of my own - which is something that had really impossible until now.  I have photos of some of my ancestors, family history, and actual biological cousins!

I want to share some basic info and links that I had found helpful in my search:

Where to test first?  I would advise testing at Ancestry first.  Wait for a sale, which they have fairly regularly.  When those results come in, transfer your results to Family Tree D.N.A. (ftdna).  The transfer is cheaper than taking another test.  Also, be sure to upload your Ancestry D.N.A. test results to http://www.gedmatch.com, which is free and offers additional tools not available on Ancestry.  (More on Gedmatch here.)

If you're interested in health reports, you can also use the tool at https://www.promethease.com/ to get health reports using your Ancestry results.

There was a time I would have recommended testing at 23andMe first, but with changes recently made to their web site, and the doubling of their price, I'd recommend leaving this for the last...  and only if you don't find what you're looking for after taking the Ancestry test (and transferring to ftdna and Gedmatch).  If it's health reports you're interested in, you'll likely get more bang for your buck with the Ancestry test and the Promethease tool.

Some links I've found helpful:

Here is a simple video explaining autosomal d.n.a.:


...and about the X Chromosome:


More about the X:


Autosomal d.n.a. info, charts (how much d.n.a. do you share with your cousins?):


There is tons of info and blogs out there about D.N.A. testing, and I don't intend to re-write any of it. Whether you're adopted and searching for family, or just interested in Genetic Genealogy, a great place to start reading is here: