Hiring a DNA Testing Company

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DNA is a revolutionary new way to discover your family history. Instead of relying solely on fallable historical documents, as is traditionally done in genealogical research, DNA testing involves analyzing the DNA of living individuals to reconstruct ancestors' DNA and find relatives. DNA projects are being conducted throughout the world.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can DNA testing help me in my genealogical research?
  2. Which company should I pick?
  3. How much does it cost?
  4. Who can be tested?
  5. How do I interpret my DNA results?

A lecture given at RootsTech 2012 by FamilySearch staff can help you answer these questions:

Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems.

DNA Testing Companies

Some major testing companies, which charge fees for their services, are listed below in alphabetical order. Please visit their websites to learn what services they offer.

The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to building the world's foremost collection of DNA and corresponding genealogical information. SMGF is making some information available on their web site. Finding matching DNA results and pedigrees in the Sorenson Database can help you make new family connections throughout the world and across generations.The Foundation is a world leader in DNA research with direct application to genealogy. Their work complements other studies that focus on the "deep ancestry" of humankind.

Public DNA Databases

DNA Projects

Hundreds of DNA Projects, usually focused on a particular surname, location, or ethnicity, are active around the world. To determine if a DNA project is underway for your ancestor's surname, start with World Families Network.

Other DNA projects can be found on the Internet by using a search engine, such as Google, with the words "Genealogy DNA". Contact each organization for additional information.

Examples of individual projects include:

What is DNA?

DNA research is based on the 46 chromosomes that every human being has (with few exceptions). The gender determining chromosomes are X from the mother and either X or Y from the father.  If X from the father, the child is female and if Y from the father the child is male.  The Y-chromosome can be traced from father to son to son and so on.  The mother has a mtDNA which is something of an energy source for the cells.  All children of one mother have the same mtDNA as do all children of that mother's daughters, though not of her sons since mtDNA can't be passed by men.  Since the mutation of chromosomes is very slow the study of the Y-chromosome or the mtDNA trail forms the basis of the DNA genealogy.



Neither The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor the Family History Library is associated in any way with any DNA studies. As a non-profit organization, FamilySearch cannot recommend a specific DNA-testing company to you.