What use is DNA testing in Genealogy?
Please take a few minutes and view the video of Terry Barton explaining the usage of DNA in genealogy. It is a great video for anyone to watch, but a must if you are new to the idea of Genetic Genealogy.
What is Genetic Genealogy?
by DNA Ancestry.com
By comparing your DNA Ancestry test results with others, you can determine to what extent you are related. For example, the more closely your result set matches another's, the narrower the range of generations between the two of you and your common ancestor.
In addition to finding genetic cousins, your DNA test can also reveal your ancient origins. Beginning over 170,000 years ago, our ancient human ancestors migrated out of Africa and began their slow and steady spread across the continents. Over time as these ancestors spread throughout the world and adapted to their new surroundings and environments, their DNA diversified and they became genetically distinct from one another. Today, these differences can be traced through DNA and provide insights on how your ancient ancestors migrated and diversified into distinct populations.
Y chromosome testing is the most widely used application of genetics in genealogy. The Y chromosome is passed practically unchanged from father to son, generation after generation. Therefore, it is an ideal candidate for genealogical testing as in most western cultures the Y chromosome follows the same path as the surname. Thus, direct paternal descendents of a common ancestor will have the same or similar Y chromosome. The Y chromosome test can verify current genealogy and establish direct paternal links in the absence of written information. The limitations of Y chromosome testing are that any female interruptions in the line will negate the test and the specific relationship of the individuals tested cannot be established. The Y chromosome test will be able to determine if you are a descendent of a common patriarch, but it may be difficult to distinguish between the lines of two brothers. Testing more markers may assist with this issue. It is also important to keep in mind that the marriage of genetics and genealogy is absolutely essential to a successful genetic testing experience.
Currently we are using DNA Ancestry for our project. If you participated in the project with Relative Genetics, your information has already been transfered to Ancestry (when they merged/partnered with Relative Genetics). If you are a male, and you have taken a dna test with a different compnay you can still join the group and a participant and manually input your test information.