DNA is the biggest thing to arrive in genealogy, so far.
What is DNA?
DNA is Deoxyribonucleic Acid, what makes us, us! What gives us certain traits, like hair or eye colour or that crazy ability to roll your tongue. (I can’t but the kids can, blame their dad.) It also contains ‘bits’ of our ancestors and that is why genealogists are now using it.
I did my DNA test in 2014, with Family Tree DNA; https://www.familytreedna.com/ because I was curious about what I’d find. When I got my results back, my reaction was, “well that didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know!” Speaking to friends, who have also done their DNA, the reaction was, “no it has confirmed your research.” For some it is finding a link, that they have been searching for. Some test several family members, looking for common links. Some to identify illegitimate ancestors. The reasons are as varied as family trees.
Is it a benefit?
Only you can really answer that. It comes from your reasons for doing your and others DNA. It can confirm your research, like I did, or it can blow it apart. Think seriously about it before you decide.
What company should I use?
This is your choice BUT read all the terms and conditions, first, look at how long they store your test and results. What else do they do with them, like sell the results to medical companies. Remember your test will be done overseas, not in Australia.
I found Family Tree DNA to be one of the better ones and have had no problems with them. Cost is a factor but again, “cheap and cheerful” might not be that good. Below are some companies that offer DNA tests, have a look at all of them then choose.
23andMe – http://www23andMe.com
Ancestry.com – http://dna.ancestry.com
Family Tree DNA – http://www.familytreedna.com
Genebase – http://www.genebase.com
Oxford Ancestors – http://www.oxfordancestors.com
Search for others as new companies arrive all the time.
Once you have your results, the company you have chosen should email you any matches they find. Remember this is only the people, that used that one company. I’ve had several matches but as we are cousins, we knew the links, anyway.
I uploaded my results to GEDmatch.com – http://gedmatch.com and can now compare them to people from other companies. It is only if you have uploaded your results and they have done the same. I’ve found some connections but back 5 generations, so I’m still considering contacting them. I also go back and look, once a month, to see if there is any new links.
Go online and search for articles about DNA testing and what to do with the results BEFORE you do the test, you don’t want to open that can of worms and mess things up.
Bye for now,