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Table of Contents
Discover the answers to your family history mysteries using the most-cutting edge tool available. This plain-English guide is a one-stop resource for how to use DNA testing for genealogy. Inside, you'll find guidance on what DNA tests are available, plus the methodologies and pros and cons of the three major testing companies and advice on choosing the right test to answer your specific genealogy questions. And once you've taken a DNA test, this guide will demystify the often-overwhelming subject and explain how to interpret DNA test results, including how to understand ethnicity estimates and haplogroup designations, navigate suggested cousin matches, and use third-party tools like GEDmatch to further analyze your data. To give you a holistic view of genetic testing for ancestry, the book also discusses the ethics and future of genetic genealogy, as well as how adoptees and others who know little about their ancestry can especially benefit from DNA testing.
Whether you've just heard of DNA testing or you've tested at all three major companies, this guide will give you the tools you need to unpuzzle your DNA and discover what it can tell you about your family tree.
Who Should Get This Book
You'll love The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy if...
- You've got brick walls that traditional research methods haven't been able to break down
- You want to take advantage of the hottest tool in genealogy
- You've already taken a DNA test and want to know what comes next
The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy features:
- Colorful diagrams and expert definitions that explain key DNA terms and concepts such as haplogroups and DNA inheritance patterns
- Detailed guides to each of the major kinds of DNA tests and which tests can solve which family mysteries, with case studies showing how each can be useful
- Information about third-party tools you can use to more thoroughly analyze your test results once you've received them
- Test comparison guides and research forms to help you select the most appropriate DNA test and organize your results and research
Excerpt: Sample Tips
Here are some tips you'll find in The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy:
- Learn about your ancestors--both those who gave you DNA and those who didn't. Genealogists study ancestors of all sorts, but not all of your genealogical ancestors (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.) are also genetic ancestors who passed down DNA to you. DNA testing can only give you information about your genetic family tree: the ancestors who contributed to your genetic makeup.
- Think more broadly when looking for testing candidates. If you're struggling to find someone who can take a DNA test that will help you learn about a particular ancestor, look for any more distant relatives (such as second or third cousins) to test. While you might not have a living relative willing to take a DNA test on your branch of the family tree, your ancestor may have had a descendant through another family line that has the DNA you need to study.
- Don't accept your ethnicity estimates as absolute fact. While the ethnicity estimates provided by testing companies can be interesting and somewhat informative, they're just that: estimates that should be taken with a grain of salt. The ethnicity percentages in your results can be flawed due to a number of factors, including the size and distribution of the sample size for each continent or country. Furthermore, they likely won't represent the ethnicity of all your genealogical ancestors, as the test only estimates the rough geographical background of ancestors who gave you a detectable amount of DNA.
- Download and analyze your raw data. Testing companies can provide you with interesting and important insights, but tools from many other websites and organizations can help you interpret your DNA results. Get your raw DNA data from the testing company, then look for third-party tools in which you can upload for data and receive a more detailed, multifaceted analysis.