Understanding DNA


Why has the use of DNA testing become the newest tool in the Genealogist’s toolbox?

In short, the best answer is that provided by FamilyTreeDNA.

DNA was created for the serious amateurs and the professional genealogists who wish to extend their family trees by confirming a link where no conventional source records exist.

It has been my own experience (within our project) that suspected and sometimes even unexpected connections have been found. Confirming that there was, in fact, a common genetic ancestor. Time, patience and proven methods of research will help determine just who that ancestor was.


For some interesting videos, with easy to understand explanations of DNA in genealogy, visit FtDna’s video section.

Additional Reading

Here are some very useful sites on DNA & it’s use in genealogical research:

Probably the MOST comprehensive and complete site on DNA and it’s use in genealogy is Dean McGee’s site, The McGee Surname DNA Site.  Dean has not only provided comprehensive information for those of his family lines, but has generously shared his “tools”, which enables other project administrators to understand, create, upload and share our information. When I grow up, I want to be just like Dean!

FTDNA’s Genealogy Forum, an open forum to ask all those questions.

YBase.org – A searchable “Y” database

Kevin Duerinck’s DNA site

Chris Pomeroy’s DNA Portal

The Blair DNA site~ DNA 101 – From The Blair DNA Site “DNA 101 is the first in a series of three articles that attempt to take the extremely complex and confusing subject of Genetics and DNA and simplify it into layman terms. These articles addresses DNA only as it applies to Y-Chromosome testing and genealogy. Technical terms are defined in this same context.”

Family Tree DNA ~ Pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to finding answers to your questions!

Marty Grant’s DNA Testing

Ancetry’s DNA Testing

Ancestry Family Tree DNA 

DNA Tests for Genealogy

Ancestry.com DNA Tests