Monday, September 3, 2007

Genetic Genealogy - How is it different?

Genetic Genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between individuals.

The two most common types of genetic genealogy tests are Y-DNA(paternal line) and mtDNA (maternal line) genealogical DNA tests.

These tests involve the comparison of certain sequences of DNA pairs of individuals in order to estimate the probability that they share a common ancestor in a genealogical time frame and to estimate the number of generations separating the two individuals from their most recent common ancestor.

Either Y-DNA or mtDNA test results can be compared to the results of others via private or public DNA databases.

Additional DNA tests exist for determining biogeographical and ethnic origin, but these tests have less relevance for traditional genealogy.

Genealogical DNA testing methods are also being used on a longer time scale to trace human migratory patterns.

Genetic genealogy gives genealogists a means to check or supplement the historical records with information from genetic data A positive test match with another individual may:

  • provide locations for further genealogical research
  • help determine ancestral homeland
  • discover living relatives
  • validate existing research
  • confirm or deny suspected connections between families
  • prove or disprove theories regarding ancestry
Genetic genealogy is a rapidly growing field. As the cost of testing continues to drop, the number of people being tested continues to increase. The probability of finding a genetic match among the DNA databases should continue to improve.

No comments: