In recent years you might have come across a topic that raised a lot of storm in the teacups. The crux of many discussions has been whether the DNA test is the best and the most trusted way to identify your ancestry. There are many myths, half-truths and misinformation floating around taking a DNA test and nearly every day you might find articles about someone who has successfully found information about his or her ancestors using a DNA test. Before we go a bit deeper into this topic let’s first try to understand why we need a DNA test.
Why do you need a DNA test?
DNA test is used to determine whether two individuals are biologically parent and child. The DNA test establishes genetic proof whether a man or a woman is the biological father or mother of an individual. DNA testing is also used to ascertain the claim of a person claiming to be the grandfather or grandmother of an individual.
Before we jump into DNA testing let’s understand and talk about DNA.
Full form of DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. It is found in every living cell. It contains genetic instructions for the development and functions of any living organism. It also stores long term information in your cell.
How many types of DNA tests are there?
There are 3 types of DNA tests that are available which can be useful in family history.
- Autosomal DNA: This is the most popular DNA testing method that is utilized to trace biological origins. It is also effectively used to connect us to living cousins. You get autosomal DNA from both your biological father and mother in equal proportions. The test inspects the DNA you inherited from every line in your family tree. The test provides an estimate of your ethnicity. You will get to know where your ancestors lived in the past few hundred years and also matches you with your distant relatives.
- Y-DNA: Y-DNA or Y chromosomes are passed without any modifications from father to son. This test can help you to answer genealogy questions back to at least 10 generations. You can use this test to trace your paternal lineage Since women do not have Y Chromosomes this test is not suited for females. If a female researcher is keen to know about her paternal lineage she can ask her father, brother or paternal uncle to take the Y-DNA test.
- mtDNA: mtDNA or Mitochondrial DNA, unlike Y-DNA, is used to trace the direct maternal line. Mothers pass their mtDNA to their children but only daughters pass their mtDNA to the next generation. Typically genealogist will use this test to eliminate people who are not related to your maternal lines. So if your mtDNA does not match exactly with someone else then probably you are not closely related to that person.
The internet provides you with a plethora of choices when it comes to the best DNA tests and if you read their claims it is enough to confuse you. If you are eager to trace your family tree and are confused about which is the best DNA test then this guide will give you the answers you require. We have mentioned a comparison table for your help:
Family Tree DNA
23 and ME
Standard Automation Test
|Saliva||Cheek swab||Cheek Swab||Saliva||Cheek swab|
|Indefinitely||25 years||25 years||Indefinitely||Indefinitely|
|5 mil||850K||1.4 mil||1 mil||None|
|No||No||No||For extra cost||No|
|350+||24||42||150||80-indepth for UK|
Raw Data upload
DNA test can tell a lot about you. It holds the key to all the information related to your health and lifestyle and the trends among populations. DNA can pinpoint locations where your ancestors lived or the tribes they belonged. Locating your ancestors and the tribes they belonged is the desire of every genealogist and can help to evaluate how and from where your ancestors moved out.