Project 8 Goals:  1: Basic Genetics and Research   2: Learn about DNA Testing   3: Take a DNA Test   4: DNA Matching   5: Ethnicity and Family Relationships   6: DNA Research Tools   7: Adoption and DNA   8: Help with Questions        SEARCH

Project 8: DNA

Find relative matches and evidence for ethnicity with DNA testing.

  Tracker:   Online  or  Word  

Goal 1: Learn about basic genetics and DNA research. Vault

DNA testing can provide you with some interesting and unexpected clues about your ancestry and ethnicity.


A Get an introduction to genetics for family history.

  1. Read these articles for an overview of genetics and genealogy.
    FE—Genetics and Genealogy
    | FS—Introduction to Genetic Genealogy
  2. Watch this video for an introduction to genetic genealogy.
    Genetic Genealogy for Beginners, Part 1
  3. Learn the basics of chromosomes and inheritance on the Learn Genetics site at the Univ. of Utah. There is a series of helpful animations and videos on the site.
  4. Learn how to trace family traits with a genogram.
    Tracing Family Traits Using a Genogram

B Learn the basics of DNA research for family history.

  1. Read these blog posts to learn about DNA research techniques. FS—Introduction to Genetic Genealogy"> | Beginner's Guide to Genetic Genealogy
  2. Get an introduction to DNA and family history.
    How to Get Started Using DNA Research—8:17
    | DNA for Beginners—52:22
  3. Explore the site for an introduction to DNA research.
  4. Explore this glossary of DNA terms.
    DNA Glossary of Terms

CLearn more about DNA research.

  1. Watch this video for an insider's look at the research process.
    AC—DNA 101: An Insider's Scoop—52:43
  2. Explore the ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists) website for help resources.
  3. For more information on using DNA results for family history, see these YouTube videos.

Goal 2: Learn about DNA testing.


ALearn the basics of DNA testing.

  1. Learn about DNA Testing.
    DNA Testing, Part One

    Understanding DNA Testing for Genealogy Research—5:00
  2. Get an introduction to different types of DNA tests.
    The Three Tests—54:33
  3. Here are "five truths" about DNA testing.
    5 Truths about DNA Tests—4:49
  4. Review the links in the blog article or watch the video for FAQs about DNA testing.
    DNA Testing, Part One

    Three Genetic Genealogy Misconceptions and Answers—9:57
  5. The DearMYRTLE YouTube Channel has a series of videos called "Demystifying DNA Tests".
    YT—Demystifying DNA Tests

BLearn about autosomal (recent ancestry) DNA testing.

  1. Get an overview of autosomal DNA testing in this video and article.
    PBS: Unlocking Deval Patrick's Past with Autosomal DNA—3:10
    | Autosomal DNA
  2. Learn about autosomal DNA for genealogy.
    BYU—Autosomal DNA for Genealogy—20:58
  3. Learn more about autosomal DNA in these videos.
    AC: The Power of Autosomal DNA—7:51
    | Autosomal DNA: A Step-by-Step Approach—55:08
  4. Learn how to use autosomal DNA research in practice.
    Autosomal DNA: How to Use It in Practice—56:31

  5. Get tips about autosomal DNA tests on the Autosomal DNA Facebook page.
  6. Explore the Autosomal DNA page on the ISOGG website for help resources.
  7. Take advantage of free Autosomal DNA research tools on the Gliesians page.

CLearn about mitochondrial (maternal line) DNA testing.

  1. Get an overview of mtDNA testing in this Geni blog article.
    mtDNA Testing
  2. Get an overview of mtDNA in this brief video.
    Mitochondrial DNA—1:04
  3. Learn more about mtDNA and what it can tell you about maternal ancestry.
    Genetic Ancestry Testing: Mitochondrial DNA—4:53
  4. Explore the Mitochondrial DNA page on the ISOGG website for help resources.

DLearn about Y-DNA (paternal line) testing.

  1. Get an overview of Y-DNA testing in this article.
    Y-DNA Testing
  2. Watch these videos to learn more about Y-DNA testing for genealogy.
    BYU—Y-DNA Training—10:58
    | BYU—Y-DNA for Genealogists—50:56
  3. Explore the Y-DNA page on the ISOGG website for help resources.

Goal 3: Select and take a DNA test.


ALearn the basics of choosing a DNA test.

  1. Read the article for tips on choosing a DNA test.
    Most Bang for the DNA Bucks
  2. Watch this video to learn about what test might be best for you.
    Which DNA Test is Best for You?—56:34
  3. Get tips about different types of DNA tests on the Facebook page for DNA Testing Adviser.

BLearn about DNA tests available through Ancestry.

  1. Read the Ancestry DNA website page for an overview of Ancestry DNA tests.
  2. Learn about DNA tests from
    Introducing Ancestry DNA—1:46
  3. Get answers to common questions about Ancestry DNA tests.
    Ancestry DNA FAQs, Part 2—17:49

CLearn about 23andMe and DNA tests.

  1. Get an introduction to genetic genealogy and 23andMe.
    Genetic Genealogy Basics—61:03
  2. Visit the 23andMe site for an overview of genetic science.

DLearn about FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) and DNA tests.

  1. Learn about FTDNA.
    Introduction to Family Tree DNA—1:23:39
  2. Learn about autosomal tests with FTDNA.
    Autosomal Tests at FTDNA—62:05
  3. Learn about Y-DNA testing with FTDNA.
    Y-DNA Markers, Matching, and Genealogy—50:56
  4. Learn about mtDNA (mitochondrial, or maternal-line) tests with FTDNA.
    DNA Results Explained—77:30
    | mtDNA Matching and Genealogy—1:55:51

ELearn about MyHeritage and DNA tests.

  1. Visit the MyHeritage site for an overview of DNA testing.
  2. Get an introduction to DNA testing with MyHeritage, from the Genealogy Insider.
    MyHeritage DNA Autosomal Testing
  3. Learn about DNA matching with MyHeritage, on Kitty Cooper's blog.
    MyHeritage DNA Matching Is Here
  4. Learn more about DNA testing with MyHeritage in this video.
    MyHeritage DNA Testing

Goal 4: Learn about DNA matching for your test results.

DNA matching helps you find others you are related to, based on the results of your DNA test.


ALearn the basics of DNA matching.

  1. Learn how to manage matches from your DNA test results.
    You've Received Your Results—Now What?—39:30

    Managing Matches
  2. Read this article for tips on sifting through DNA matches.
    Sifting through DNA Matches

BLearn about DNA matching with Ancestry.

  1. Learn about DNA matching with test results.
    Ancestry Shared Matches—5:32
    | What to Do with All Those Matches—53:02
  2. Use filters to focus on surnames or locations in Ancestry test results.
    Focus on One Family at a Time—23:47
    | Surname and Location Filters—19:02

CLearn about using the GedMatch database.

  1. Watch these videos for an overview of how to use the Gedmatch database for match results.
    FE—Genetics and Genealogy— 42:58
    | GEDMatch Basics—42:59
  2. Here are some tips for using Gedmatch in your DNA research.
    3 Ways to Use GEDMatch in Your DNA Research
  3. Learn how to upload Ancestry match results to the Gedmatch database.
    Upload Ancestry DNA Results to GEDMatch—5:51

DGet help with your DNA matching questions on Facebook.

  1. Visit the DNA Match Facebook page.
  2. Explore the GedMatch User Group page on Facebook.
  3. Explore the DNA Gedcom page on Facebook.
  4. Visit the GedMatch Product Group page on Facebook.

Goal 5: Learn about your ethnicity and how to find family relationships.


ALearn about ethnicity and matching.

  1. Get an introduction to discovering ethnic ancestry with DNA testing.
    AC: Cousin Matches and DNA Circles—27:55
  2. Learn how to track ethnicity with your Ancestry DNA match results.
    AC: Ethnicity and Matching—37:20
    | Ethnicity, Cousin Matching, and Family Trees—28:03

BLearn about DNA circles and finding cousins.

  1. Learn about cousin matches and DNA circles with Ancestry DNA.
    AC: Cousin Matches and DNA Circles—27:55
  2. Learn about connecting with cousins through Ancestry DNA.
    AC: Making the Cousin Connection—30:57
  3. Search for your biological family with Ancestry DNA results.
    AC: The Search for Biological Family—26:19

CFind other possible family relationships through your DNA test results.

  1. Learn about finding possible family relationships through DNA testing.
    AC: Possible Relationships—26:36
  2. Get tips on other possible biological relationships.
    Extending Family Trees with DNA Testing
  3. Get tips on other possible biological relationships.
    AC: More Tips for Identifying Biological Family—31:31
  4. Learn about DNA circles and triangulation in this article from The Genetic Genealogist.
    More Tips for Identifying Biological Family—31:31

DLearn how to solve family history challenges with DNA results.

  1. Learn how to handle unexpected results from DNA testing.
    AC: Handling Unexpected Results—26:04
  2. Learn how DNA test results can help you break through genealogy brick walls.
    Breaking through Brick Walls—27:14
  3. Learn about solving family mysteries with DNA results.
    AC: Solving Family Mysteries with Ancestry DNA—5:12
  4. Watch this case study in breaking genealogy brick walls with DNA testing.
    AC: Genealogy Brick Wall Case Study—21:26

Goal 6: Learn about DNA research tools.


ALearn about DNA research tools you can use for family history.

  1. Explore the Kitty Cooper site for DNA research tools.
  2. Explore the DNAGedcom site for DNA research tools.
  3. Join a DNA project Haplogroup on the ISOGG site to connect with others with similar mitochondrial or Y-DNA results.
  4. Experiment with the Ancestry DNA Helper tool for Chrome.

BGet help with your DNA tool questions on Facebook.

  1. Visit the DNA Tools Facebook page.

Goal 7: Learn about adoption and DNA.


AGet an introduction to DNA research for adoptees.

  1. Get familiar with the benefits of DNA testing for adoptees.
    DNA Testing for Adoptees
  2. Learn about how DNA testing can help with adoption searches.
    Adoption Search

BLearn more about adoption and DNA research.

  1. Explore the Beginner's Guide on the DNA Adoption site.
  2. Explore the DNA Explained site for adoptee information.

CGet help with your adoption DNA questions on Facebook.

  1. Visit the DNA Adoption Facebook page.
  2. Explore the Adoption-DNA Facebook page and blog site.

Goal 8: Get additional help with your DNA research questions.


AUse Facebook pages and blog sites to get help.

  1. Follow the DNA Newbie page on Facebook.
  2. Visit the DNA for Dummies page on Facebook.
  3. Visit these additional Facebook pages for help:
  4. Visit these blog sites for more information:

BUse message boards and forums to get help.

  1. Use the RootsWeb message boards to read or post questions about DNA research.
  2. Get free help with your DNA testing questions from members of the RootsChat forum.