DNA Strands

As DNA is passed down from one generation to the next, some parts remain almost unchanged. This creates an unbreakable link between generations and it can be of great help in reconstructing our family histories.

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

  • Determine if two people are related
  • Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
  • Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
  • Prove or disprove your family tree research
  • Provide clues about your ethnic origin


DNA tests have been around for many 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 can be ordered through the mail or over the Internet at a cost averaging $100-$400 per test. They usually consist of a cheek swab or mouthwash to easily collect a sample of cells from the inside of your mouth. You send back the sample through the mail and within a month or two you receive the results – a series of numbers that represent key chemical “markers” within your DNA. These numbers can then be compared to results from other individuals to help you determine your ancestry.

There are three types of genealogical DNA tests, autosomal (atDNA), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA). Autosomal tests for all ancestry. Y-DNA tests a male along his direct paternal line. mtDNA tests a man or woman along their direct maternal line.

Any of these tests can be used to some degree for recent genealogy or forĀ ethnic ancestry.

Offers DNA testing and resources to learn ancestry and personal health information

Family Tree DNA

Offers DNA testing for the purpose of determining ancestral pedigrees

African Ancestry
Offers DNA testing with a focus on tracing the ancestry of people of African descent back to the present-day African country of origin

DNA Heritage
Information on DNA genealogy

AncestryDNA, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com


DNA is for D – working through the alphabet for the April Blogging A-Z Challenge.

This entry was posted in A to Z April Challenge, Genealogy Resources and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DNA

  1. tara tyler says:

    dna! i’ve been studying up on it for my current WIP. how nice i stopped by to read some more about it from you!

    happy d day!

    • Carolyn says:

      Hi Tara! Thanks for stopping by. I visited your site just now – looks like you’re having fun. Looking forward to reading more of Broken Branch Falls – it sounds like a place where I might live.

  2. Stopping by on the 4th day of the challenge. Of the 150 blogs I’ve looked at since day 1 this is one of the best and worthy to follow. I love it already. Congratulations on a really worthwhile contribution to the blogging world. Consider that you have made a new friend. If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics this month. Come and see me. I look forward to learning more from you.

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