Special Services - DNA Ancestry Test
"I have heard amazing things that families are doing with Surname Projects. What is a Surname Project?"
A surname project is a project which involves a large group of people (often from all over the world) with the common goal of researching a particular surname using Y-DNA tests in order to piece together the puzzle of how individuals with that surname are related to one another.Learn more »
DNA Ancestry Test can be divided into two main branches: Paternal Ancestry and Maternal Ancestry.
Trace Your Paternity Ancestry (using Y-DNA Tests)
The most popular test for genealogists is the Y-DNA (or Y-Chromosome) test. The Y-DNA is passed down along the male lineage, from father to son to grandson, and so on. For most cultures, this is exactly the way that the surname is passed down (e.g. from father to son, along the male line). Thus, the Y-DNA test is a powerful test which allows genealogists to trace the origins of their surname.
Take the surname "Smith" as a hypothetical example. The "Smith" surname is passed down from father to son for many generations. A "Smith" male from 300 years ago may have many male descendents, who then had male descendents, and so on. Over the centuries, this "Smith" male may have thousands of descendents with the "Smith" surname spread throughout the world. The Y-DNA test can allow genealogists to trace the surname and match together individuals with the Smith surname and tell them if they came from the same line and originated from the same common male ancestor. This is because all males with the same male ancestor along the paternal line should have the same Y-DNA. Thus, a "Smith" male may choose to have his Y-DNA tested and matched against other males with the "Smith" surname. This type of testing can allow large groups of individuals with the same surname to be linked together. With some surnames, there are different male ancestors (lines). By testing the Y-DNA, you can reconstruct the picture of your ancestry, determine which line your surname came from, and determine which other family lines you are related to.
The Y-DNA Surname Project is an exciting and powerful project which is becoming immensely popular with genealogists and allows genealogists to piece together puzzles in their family tree and unite with distant relatives from the same line. Genealogists who have used this powerful test have constructed Y-DNA family projects with hundreds of members. Join the fastest growing branch of Genealogy, "Genetic Genealogy" and make exciting discoveries about your family tree.
Trace Your Maternity Ancestry (using mtDNA Tests)
Another test which is popular with Genealogists is the mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA) test. mtDNA test is useful for tracing the female lineage, for example, your mother's mother's, mother's, mother... and so on. mtDNA is passed down from the mother (not the father) to all of her children. Her female children will then pass it down to all of her children. Because the mtDNA is passed down from the mother along the female line, mtDNA testing allows you to uncover the female line of your family tree. The reason that mtDNA tests are not as popular as Y-DNA tests is because most genealogists are more interested in researching the origins of their surname (hence the paternal line). However, for those who are interested in furthering their research by uncovering the female line, the mtDNA test will be able to accurately trace their female lines.
Furthermore, mtDNA test allows you to determine the part of the world that your female line originated from as well as migration patterns of your ancestors along your female line. If your female line is of Native American descent, the mtDNA test will be able to detect this. Thus, the mitochondrial DNA test is useful for genealogists who want to piece together a larger puzzle for their family tree.
Traditional DNA Test
The third type of test which is used by genealogists to solve questions is the use of traditional DNA tests (e.g. paternity, grandparentage, aunt/uncle test). This test is applicable to those who have precise questions about the relationship of their immediate family and will precisely answer these questions. Unlike the Y-DNA test and the mitochondrial DNA test described above, the traditional DNA test will not be able to provide you with information about your distant relatives and deep ancestry. The traditional DNA test is useful to genealogists for very special situations when they need to solve very precise questions about close relatives.Next: About Genetic Genealogy »