Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ancestry DNA Testing

February 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Ancestry DNA Testing

Made popular in recent years by its use in high-profile criminal investigations and paternity cases, DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, is most commonly used to prove a connection to a particular person. New tests produced in recent years, however, have also turned DNA into a favorite tool for determining ancestry. 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 is usually of wonderful help in reconstructing our family histories.

While it can’t offer you your entire tree or tell you who your ancestors are, DNA testing can:

  • Determine if two persons are related
  • Decide if two individuals descend from the very same ancestor
  • Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
  • Prove or disprove your family members tree research
  • Supply insight about your ethnic origins

DNA tests have been around for numerous years, but it is only recently that the cost of genetic testing has finally come down into the realm of possibility for the average individual interested in tracing their roots. Home DNA test kits may be ordered via the mail or over the Internet at a price averaging $100-$400 per test. They normally consist of a cheek swab or mouthwash to easily collect a sample of cells from the inside of the mouth. You mail back the test by the postal mail and in just 30 days or so you get the outcome – a series of numbers that symbolize important chemical “markers” within your own DNA. These numbers can easily then be compared to outcomes from other individuals to help you establish your ancestry.
There are two basic types of DNA tests offered for genealogical testing:

mtDNA Tests – Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained within the cytoplasm in the cell, rather than the nucleus. This particular type of DNA is actually handed down through a mother to both male and female children with no virtually any mixing, so your mtDNA will be the exact same as your mother’s mtDNA, which could be the exact same as her mother’s mtDNA. mtDNA changes quite slowly so it cannot figure out close relationships as well as it can establish general relatedness. If two individuals have an exact match in their mtDNA, then there is often a quite great chance they share a common maternal ancestor, but its hard to determine if this is a recent ancestor or one who lived hundreds of years ago. It is significant to keep in mind with this check that a male’s mtDNA comes only from his mother and isn’t passed on to his offspring.

Y Line Tests– Much more recently, the Y chromosome within the nuclear DNA is being applied to establish household ties. The Y chromosomal DNA test (usually referred to as Y DNA or Y-Line DNA) is only accessible for males, since the Y chromosome is only passed down the male line from father to son. Tiny chemical markers on the Y chromosome produce a distinctive pattern, known as a haplotype, that distinguishes one male lineage from an additional. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men, though not the exact degree from the relationship. Y chromosome testing is most generally utilised by individuals using the same last name to learn if they share a widespread ancestor.

Markers on both mtDNA and Y chromosome assessments can also be utilised to figure out an individual’s haplogroup, which is a grouping of individuals with the identical genetic characteristics. This analysis may provide you with interesting information about the deep ancestral lineage of the paternal and/or maternal lines.


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