Monday, June 17, 2024

Why You Should Use DNA Testing For Ancestry Research

March 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Ancestry DNA Testing

In this age of computers and instant access to any type of information you want, how necessary is it to use DNA testing for your ancestry research? Especially when you can just go to the Internet and find out anything you want. A few years ago it was estimated that everyone is within 6 people of knowing everyone on the planet. That means that if you reach out and touch 6 people that you know and they each reach out and touch 6 people that they know and they each reach out to 6 more people, eventually everyone in the entire world would be connected. And that estimate is a few years old. I think I heard recently that with advances in technology we’re now down to being only 4 people away from knowing everyone in the world. If that’s the case, why is DNA testing for ancestry research even necessary? Shouldn’t we just be able to reach out and touch our ancestors, too?

The simple answer is that you may know 6 people or 600 people or even 6000, but you don’t know if those people are your ancestors. You could be living right next door to someone who’s DNA figures prominently in your genealogical background and never know it. It happens all the time.

DNA testing for ancestry differs from other forms of DNA testing in that it’s a more specific test and your results are entered into a DNA database. Don’t worry though. The actual results are kept confidential. But the reason your information is entered in to that database is so your data can be compared with other people from all over the world to determine if any of them are your ancestors. Isn’t that amazing!

I recently read an incredible story about a gentleman name Chris Haley, a nephew of the famous author Alex Haley. Apparently in Alex Haley’s book “Queen” he made a brief mention of a European ancestor with the last name of Baugh but the family had never been able to track down any proof of ancestry or even that the Baugh family existed. So Chris Haley decided to have DNA testing for ancestry performed.

Now it just so happens that a young woman in Scotland, half the world away from Chris Haley, whose last name was Baff, was also researching her family history. She had run up against a brick wall due to the unusual spelling of her name and had run out of ideas, so she, too, decided to perform DNA testing for ancestry.

Because both sets of information were entered into the database, even though they were half a world apart, these two people were connected by matching their DNA information. How amazing is that?! To think that they had both spent years and years searching for information about their ancestors and by simply conducting DNA testing for ancestry they found each other. They now each have a whole new family to get to know and a wealth of information can be shared between them that will further help their search into their ancestry.

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