DNA Testing for Genealogy — To Do or Not to Do?


Recently you may have heard on television how for $99 ancestry.com will test your DNA for family history information. Ever since I have heard about this, I have to admit it has peaked my interest.

However, it can bring up a whole level of complications and even conundrums. What if I find out that I am not really that Russian on my mother’s side or mainly English on my father’s side?

I am happy with what I have found thus far in my family history and I am not sure I want to take the chance of bursting that bubble.

Not that I really think there is something out there that I am not aware of. It’s just that probability head game. Do you do this?

You know it is very unlikely that something will happen, but you just know even with a slight probability, this situation will be the one time it occurs or happens to you.

You know…. the same odds as winning the multi-million dollar lottery — you know you will never be lucky enough to win. But when it comes to something unlucky with the same odds you know that is when you will be the “winner”!

Well, regardless of my head problems, I found some good research information on DNA testing for genealogy I want to pass on for your reference.

1. dna.ancestry.com/

On the ancestry.com website link above… page down to the section, “Get the most comprehensive family history experience”.

They list the genealogy info available with their DNA testing results:

  •  your unique ethnic origins with interactive map, pie charts, graphs and explanations
  •  DNA member matches with real-time updates, leading to new relatives, ancestors and answers to your family history
  •  Continued updating of results with current ancestryDNA family history data
  •  Integration with ancestry.com tools
  • Supported with latest findings, research and science using advanced analytical techniques and powerful algorithms
  •  Private and securely stored with passwords and encrypted database settings
  •  Ran by a team of experts: population geneticists, statisticians, data scientists, engineers and molecular biologists

2. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogical_DNA_test

In a Wikipedia entry, “Genealogical DNA Test”, information is provided for these areas:

  • procedure
  • types of tests
  • audience
  • benefits
  • drawbacks
  • medical information
  • DNA in genealogy software

NOTE: A key quote I found in this entry is interesting, “Some users have recommended that there be government or other regulation of ancestry testing to ensure more standardization.” This implies that ancestry DNA testing should always be taken with a grain of salt. It is not a standardized process at this point and can yield varied results as tested over time.

3. ://genealogy.about.com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/dna_tests.htm

About.com genealogy has an on-line article, “DNA Testing 101”. They state, “As DNA is passed down from one generation to the next, some parts remain almost unchanged, while other parts change greatly. This creates an unbreakable link between generations and it can be of great help in reconstructing our family histories.”

They offer this additional info as well in the article:

DNA testing alone can:

  • Determine if two people are related
  • Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
  • Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
  • Prove or disprove your family tree research
  • Provide clues about your ethnic origin

DNA testing alone will not:

  • Provide you with your entire family tree
  • Tell you who your ancestors are

In Closing…

I hope this helps a little if any of you are thinking about doing family history DNA testing.

And regardless of the results, we have to remember we are each our own individuals with our own freedoms and decisions for our future. Nothing in the past can ever change that.


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