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Help with DNA Testing

DNA testing has become very popular. Thousands of people from all over the world have taken the National Geographic DNA test and have become part of the Genographics Project to find their “deep” ancestral beginnings. Others use DNA to help with their genealogy and have tested with Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA.

Some people taking the commercial DNA tests may feel disappointed because they do not understand their results and have not been able to use this new information to help them with their genealogy. Many do not understand that there are three tests available and each helps with a particular part of your genealogical research. Y-Chromosome DNA testing traces only the father's father's father's line going back generation-by-generation thousands of years. The mitochrondrial DNA test helps research your direct female line, your mother's mother's mother's line going back in time. The third test is an Autosomal DNA test when tests a blend of both your paternal and maternal lines. All three tests match you up with others in the database that share genetic material with you.


Genetic results are just a set of numbers with no names, dates, or places attached. It is necessary to understand the results and use traditional genealogical research to find which ancestor(s) you share in common.

To help you connect with others who have a similar DNA to you, it will be helpful to have a many generational pedigree chart to post along with your DNA results, the more generations the better. Posting the pedigree chart may help you connect with someone researching a near ancestor to you. If you are not a genealogist, creating a pedigree chart and posting it may seem like an impossible task. Janna and Daniela can help you interpret your results, create the chart using the traditional genealogical approaches, and help you communicate with those you match genetically.

Help Me! What kind of DNA test should I take and what information will it provide me?

Help Me! Create a multi-generation pedigree chart to use with my DNA information.

Help Me! How can I use DNA testing to find out about some of my ancestors that are not in a direct line with my father or my mother, like my mother's father or my grandfather's mother?

Help Me! How do I communicate with my genetic matches? 

Help Me! How do I communicate with people who tested with a different genetic testing company?

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.