How can a DNA test help me with my search for my ancestors?
Completing your family tree can take many years of tireless research. There are many web sites and other resources that can help you with your search to find long lost relatives or to trace your family's place of origin. Once you find your possible ancestors or relatives, testing their DNA can give you more concrete answers.
There are many reasons why someone might want to trace their ancestry and then follow up with a DNA test to prove the information's validity. Many people hear stories from grandparents and parents as they are growing up that explain where their family came from. DNA tests can add truth to these stories by confirming and elaborating on information gathered during genealogy research. DNA tests can be performed to find out if the familial relationships that are uncovered are, in fact, biological. Many times, as stories are passed down through generations, the story might change or evolve, often becoming a combination of fact and fiction. Family members might fabricate parts of stories that they can't remember or don't know, or the stories themselves are embellished and exaggerated.
A DNA profile, which is a record of an individual's genetic makeup containing a unique combination of DNA markers, can verfiy some of these significant stories.
What about people who don't have access to their oral history? People who have been adopted seldom know much about their biological ancestors. A child's adoptive parents usually do not have access to information regarding the child's biological family. Once a possible family member is found, it would be beneficial to test them to make sure that they are actually biologically related.
Genetic testing is also useful for providing evidence to support history. For example, many people came to United States without records of their entrance into the country. Their names were often "Americanized," either voluntarily or by force. People who immigrated to the United States, especially from Africa and Europe, would benefit from plugging their DNA profile into online databases. These databases might even be able to trace your family's migration across the world. Some databases even claim to be able to match genetic markers that would place your family within a particular African tribe or region of Europe.
DNA testing can also help confirm ancestry for people who think that they may be a descendant of a Native American tribe. A few DNA testing companies have departments that specialize in dealing with Native American parentage testing, family relationship testing, and DNA profile banking.
Pg. 1 >> How can a DNA test help me with my search for my ancestors?
Pg. 2 >> How do I begin my search for my ancestors?
Pg. 3 >> I have located my lost family members. How can DNA tests help?
Pg. 4 >> What do I do with the results of the DNA test?