Hiring a DNA Testing Company
DNA testing has become an accepted tool for identifying ancestors. Information stored in the Y-chromosome passes virtually unchanged from father-to-son for centuries. Analysis of this genetic information, found in living people, can help you determine whether or not you share a common ancestor with another person alive today. Computer algorithms predict approximately how long ago the common ancestor lived. These results have many genealogical applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can DNA testing help me in my genealogical research?
- Which company should I pick?
- How much does it cost?
- Who can be tested?
- How do I interpret my DNA results?
A lecture given at RootsTech 2012 by FamilySearch staff can help you answer these questions:
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.
- Ancestry DNA
- Family Tree DNA
- Oxford Ancestors
- Sorenson Genomics
- Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (formerly sponsored by Brigham Young University)
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
Thousands 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:
- Britton International DNA Project at Ancestry
- Britton International DNA Project - main website
- Kevan DNA Project
- Harrison DNA Project
- Spencer DNA Project
- Kerchner DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy
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.
- International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). Site includes newsletters, a DNA Wiki, list of DNA consultants for hire, list of DNA speakers, DNA signatures of famous people, and much more.
- GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems Lecture Syllabus (accompanies lecture given by Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG at RootsTech 2012)
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.