Genetic research has jettisoned genealogical research into the 21st century with a flourish. The two studies go hand in hand now, almost inseparable! As in the old song, “Love and Marriage”: You can’t have one without the other.
Yes, love and marriage are integral aspects of our genealogical research, along with the resultant birth, death, military service, land transactions, probate records, and so forth. Those records were created for legal purposes, NOT as tools for future genealogists. As great as they are, they have their limitations.
In the last twenty years or so, genealogists have been given a new research tool, another arrow in their quiver. It is just one of several arrows in our quiver, but a very unique arrow that can pinpoint our genetic ancestry.
At Heritage Consulting Genealogy Research Services, we receive phone calls almost daily about DNA testing and analysis. The terminology is new to most of us. The targeted application of each of the different types of DNA tests can be confusing. Deciphering our DNA results and analyzing their implications in our genealogical questions is not an easy shot!
We recommend testing at all four main testing labs: FamilyTreeDNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and MyHeritage. Most people only test at one company. They may be missing out on some very relevant connections. Someone said that testing in more than one company is like going fishing in more than one pond. You will most likely catch different fish! Testing at all four companies greatly expands your ‘pool’ of matches.
Once you receive your test results, then what? The jargon may feel like a foreign language. Some terminology may be vaguely familiar from high school biology. What’s a Centimorgan, and why do they matter in determining my ancestry? How can a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism get me to my third great-grandmother? Who are these people in my match list, and how exactly am I related to them?
We at Heritage Consulting can walk you through the ambiguities of DNA testing and analysis. Even if your matches don’t have a tree attached to their DNA account, we can usually trace their ancestry with the aim of targeting your ancestor in common with that person. One or more of your matches may have information that you need to further your pedigree building.
Let Heritage Consulting help you with your DNA questions and to formulate a strategy. With targeted testing and analysis, you can hit the DNA bull’s eye!