Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Combine DNA And Genealogy Research To Fill In the Missing Branches Of Your Family Tree

March 12, 2010 by  
Filed under DNA Testing

By combining DNA and traditional methods of genealogy research you’ll get a much more accurate picture of your family tree. DNA testing can often fill in those gaps in information that you’ve been fruitlessly searching for. But don’t be surprised if that same DNA test creates another gap. Advances in technology are quickly leading us to realize that most family trees have many more branches than was originally thought. Combining DNA research with your genealogy research that you’ve done by more traditional methods will open up a whole new world.

You never want to rely on just DNA testing alone for your genealogy research. By using ancestry DNA testing you will be able to locate people from around the world with whom you share DNA markers. But those will only be the people who have also submitted a DNA sample for comparison. And Y-Line DNA tests and Mitochondrial DNA tests will also only tell you if you are in some way related to another person but only if they have also submitted a DNA sample for comparison.

So your first steps in your family tree research will most likely have to begin with your own family. Research records of marriage, births and deaths. Look through attics and basements for old family Bibles, service records, medical records and insurance records. As your search progresses don’t forget that over the years someone may have changed the spelling of their surname, too. As you start filling in those branches on your family tree you’ll know when it’s time to turn to DNA to help further your research.

You may come to a point where you’ve found someone with the right surname you’ve been looking for but you’re not sure you’re related. That’s when DNA can help you in your genealogy research. Now that you have someone you can compare results with, both of you can take a DNA test to find out if you share the same lineage. And if you do, then it’s back to the traditional research methods on that person’s branch of the tree until you run up against the same problem. So you see, you can use DNA testing to prove your research findings but you’ve still got to do the research first.

But that’s the fun part anyway. The research. Hearing all those old family tales and tracking down the comings and goings of everyone. And then finding another person you’re related to! Well, how exciting is that? In this day and age when everyone moves around all the time and we never know our neighbors anymore, anytime you can make a family connection with someone you never even knew existed is wonderful. But you already knew that didn’t you? That’s why you’re doing all this research in the first place. To make that connection.

It’s easier now than ever before to trace your family tree. Not only is the world a much smaller place now but we have all of this technology like DNA testing and the Internet to help us out. Use DNA to back up your genealogy research and keep that family tree growing.

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