Which DNA test should I do? Expert weighs in.


And there’s no easy answer because it
depends on their goals. It depends on what they’re trying to discover about
themselves. Are they just out there fishing for something interesting or do
they have a specific genealogical question they’re trying to answer? And
knowing that will then help you decide which DNA tests you should take. If you
are experienced in genetic genealogy, then you’d be able to address that
question by considering the inheritance pattern of the particular ancestor that
they’re targeting. If it’s along the direct maternal line then mtDNA might
work. We don’t use that a lot, but it’s good for targeted research where you’re
trying to figure out, if say, two women were sisters.
Say they’re theorized sisters, you could test descendents of each along the
direct maternal line and see if they have matching mtDNA. Y-DNA, if it’s the
surname line for the male and you’re trying to get past a certain brick wall or
determine, if say, two Travis families from the same county were related, and no
one’s ever been able to resolve it with a paper trail, you could resolve that
with Y-DNA testing. But for the majority of people, autosomal DNA testing
is going to be the test. Not all, but most of the time it’ll be that. And I
love all three companies, long time companies. I’m having to change how I say
that, ’cause I’m used to saying three and now it’s four. MyHeritage, I would wait for that
database to grow some, you know, before I’d probably start recommending them, except for in adoption cases or where people need to fish in every single pond.
Most the time, the answer right now is AncestryDNA. It’s the place to start. it’s
by far the largest database, and even though they don’t have the chromosome
browser that so many of us advanced genetic genealogists wanted, they are
giving us some pretty amazing tools to work with, so I am resolving most of my
genealogical questions and unknown parentage cases at AncestryDNA right
now. So, I have to give them the hat tip.

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