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Different Types of DNA (AT, Y,MT)

There are three (3) different types of DNA: Autosomal DNA or At DNA, Y Chromosome or Y DNA, and Mitocondrial DNA or Mt DNA

  • Autosomal DNA or At DNA:
    • This is the type of DNA you will primarily do your searching with.
    • At DNA is made up of 22 of your chromosomes and sometimes the X chromosome is included by the DNA company.
    • At DNA is inherit from both of your parents.
    • You get some At DNA from all your close ancestors – out to at least great great great grandparents – on all branches of your tree. You may or may not get At DNA from more distant ancestors.
    • Parents pass down different At DNA to each child which is why siblings (except identical twins etc) don’t have identical At DNA. The amount of At DNA you get from each of your ancestor varies.
    • At DNA tests are provided at AncestryDNA, My HeritageDNA, Family Tree DNA, and 23andMe as well as other companies.
    • PLEASE LEARN MORE HERE:  Search Step 5: Learn About DNA
  • Y DNA:
    • Y DNA or a Y DNA haplogroup might help your search. Beginning searchers should not start with a Y DNA test
    • Y DNA is one of the sex or gender chromosomes. It is only found in males and is what makes them male.
    • Y DNA is passed from father to son to son. It is not inherited from any other close or distant ancestors on any other branch of your tree.
    • If you are a male searcher or a male descendant of a male adoptee, donor conceived, or person with an NPE, a Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA might be helpful in determining a birth father’s surname or who he is. It can also be used to separate paternal from maternal At DNA matches.
    • Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) provides a comprehensive Y DNA test with matches. 23andMe and Living DNA provide Y DNA haplogroups but no Y DNA matches.
  • Mitochondrial DNA, or mt DNA:
    • With rare exception, this type of DNA is not helpful in a search. Searchers should consult the DNAAdoption Team prior to purchasing this test.
    • Mt DNA is primarily passed down from a mother to all of her children but recent research has shown that fathers also can pass down Mt DNA to their children.
    • Mt DNA remains largely unchanged through the generations.
    • FTDNA provides a comprehensive Mt DNA test with matches. 23andMe and Living DNA provide Mt DNA haplogroups but no Mt DNA matches.


More information can be found HERE 


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