Genealogy testing – The whats and hows

Genealogy testing – The whats and hows

If you are someone who is interested in their family, you might be keen on doing genealogy testing. Genealogy testing will give you information beyond family history and more information than your family historical documents can provide. Genealogy testing is a testing of the genes that is done by examining the DNA. By looking at the variation of DNA, you will get some idea about where your ancestors came from, your ethnicity and the numerous relationship between families. This is done by studying the patterns of variations in the DNA. More closely the patterns match, more closely two people are related through family ties.

Genealogy testing are of three types:

Single nucleotide polymorphism testing: This test is done to identify the overall ethnic background of a person. For instance, this test will indicate that a person if 45 percent European and 55 Asian. This test studies a huge number of pattern variations in an individual’s genome. The results are stored in a database. These results are then compared with the results of other people who have taken the same test.

Y chromosome testing: This test is done to investigate whether two families with the same last name are related or not. This is because family names are passed on in the same manner as the Y chromosome: from father to son. Since the Y chromosome is not present in women, this test can be done only on men. This test can be used to explore the direct male line in the family. This is because variations in the Y chromosome are passed from father to son.

Mitochondrial DNA testing: This is the opposite of Y chromosome testing. This test is done to test the direct female line in the family. However, unlike Y chromosome testing, mitochondrial testing can be done by either of the sexes. The mitochondrial DNA is passed on by the mother to both sons and daughters. Hence, this test is useful to investigate the line of female ancestors.

Genealogy testing has its limitations. The results of the tests are compared with pre-existing results in the various databases. The genetic information of every person in the world has not yet been stored. Hence, it becomes difficult to give a 100 percent accurate genealogical information. However, these days, many genealogy testing services provide information-sharing platforms to their subscribers. Using these platforms, subscribers who have similar genealogy test results can contact each other and obtain information about unknown family relationships.