DNA Tests and Your Family History

The holidays are a time when many families are together to share meals, stories, and special events.  The memories which result can bring both pleasure and pain but form the core of our family histories along with vital documents and other official records.  In recent years DNA tests for discovering family ethnic origins have become more affordable and more available to the average consumer.  There are many companies which offer these tests.  But which one is best for your needs?  What do I do with the results?  How accurate are the results?  A genealogist with 30 years of experience offers some answers in this article.  In the Library’s Harold Weary Genealogy Room there are several books which explain the variety of DNA tests, what the results mean and how to use them to enrich the understanding of our family histories. Books from 2017 include Swabbed and Found: An Adopted Man’s DNA Journey to Discover His Family Tree  and The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.  The book Genetic Genealogy in Practice from 2016 is considered by expert genealogists to be one of the best sources for understanding how to use DNA results in genealogy. So, when you see those advertisements for DNA tests from Ancestry or 23andMe, consider sending away for the kit.  The Library is here to help as you take this next step towards understanding your family history.