Why Should You Consider Testing Older Relatives Before Exploring Your Own Genetic Genealogy?

Why should you consider testing older relatives before exploring your own genetic genealogy? The answer lies in genetic inheritance patterns. There are four types of genetic inheritance patterns which genetic genealogists apply to family history research: mtDNA, Y-DNA, X-DNA and autosomal DNA. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited from an individual’s mother. She, in turn, inherited it from her mother in a […]

Going Beyond Ethnicity Estimates in DNA Testing 1

As a specialist in genetic genealogy, one of the most frequent topics I address in my conversation with others is ethnicity estimates. Someone might say something like: “I’m not really sure how much to trust those genetic tests since my grandmother was Italian, and I only came back with 15% Italian in my results. If they can’t even get the ethnicity […]

Developing a DNA Testing Plan

You have taken your DNA test, and you have your ethnicity estimate, but how does genetic genealogy testing actually help you with your genealogy? Where do you even begin? Even though ethnicity estimates get a great deal of attention, the most genealogically valuable element of your DNA test results is the match list which connects you to others based on […]

Ashkenazic Shared DNA Survey

When you are Jewish or from another endogamous population (examples include Pacific Islanders, French Canadians, Cajuns, and other communities that were segregated due to religious, geographic or other reasons), predictions by DNA companies about how closely related you are to your matches are often significantly closer than are the actual relationships. Since people in these communities all descend from a […]