Genetic Genealogy, the use of DNA testing to aid traditional genealogical research, is the newest and, perhaps, the most accurate research field for the family historian as it can prove or disprove family connections. DNA testing can support a paper trail which might be in question due to missing, vague, ambiguous, misleading, mistaken, false, unreadable, damaged, or misinterpreted records.
WHY Test Your DNA?
- Paper sources are often unreliable or missing. For example:
- Living in a census household with the same surname is not proof of a relationship
- Letters or deeds calling someone a father or sister are not proof.
- Adoptions and illegitmate children are not always recorded as such in written or oral history.
3. Name changes might not have been formally recorded. For example:
- a. An ancestor sought to escape from the law
- b. An ancestor wished to distinguish himself and his descendants with a variation of his surname, but regarded formalizng the change as unnecessary.
- c. Spelling errors occurred and became accepted.
How DNA helps Genealogists
- Determine if two people are related
- Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
- Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
- Prove or disprove your family tree research
- Prove or disprove oral history of relationships to famous or infamous people
- Provide clues about your ethnic origin
- Find researchers interested in the same family lineage
- Use to document DAR lineage
- Save money not researching the wrong lines