DNA

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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 can be found Here

 

  • What DNA Test Should I Take?  Find Answers Here
  • Where Should I Test: Find Answers Here
  • I Have Concerns 
    • Can I stay anonymous?  Will my privacy (which is different than anonymity) be kept?  Will the results be valid?  Are the safe?
    • Kelly Wheaton has an excellent article addressing many concerns and links to other reliable resources. DNA Testing Concerns
    • Your concerns are unique to you and are very valid. Please take the time to become informed and address all your concerns and questions before testing. The DNAAdoption Team is available to help answer your questions and point you to trusted resources. Join our free group to get help

This Video from the University of Utah explains how we inherit DNA.

We inherit a 50% of our DNA from each parent.  That also means there was 50% of our parent's DNA we didn't inherit.  The same is true for our parents. They received 50% of their from their parents. That means that while we might expect to have received exactly 25% of our DNA from each of our grandparents, it how much will vary, in some cases, alot!

Due to the randomness of how DNA is passed down down, you may only receive  26% from your maternal grandmother and 24% from your maternal grandfather. It still adds up to 50% that you got from your Mom

But on your Dad's side, you may have only received 10% from your paternal grandmother and 40% from your paternal grand father. It still adds up to 50% that your received from your father.

Take a look at the picture. You can see how you received different amounts of your DNA from different grandparents and great grandparents.

This also explains why your siblings, other than identicals, have different ethnicity estimates and look similar but different than you.  You each received some of the same DNA and some different DNA from their parents and grandparents and so on.

How much DNA you share with someone is a critical piece of information in genetic genealogy. The skill of knowing how to use Shared DNA information to either predict possible relationships with a match. The amount of Shared DNA is also used to confirm or refute where you or your match fits in a tree - are you in the right place or not.

The first thing to know is the term "Centimorgan". It is a unit of measure of DNA. Think of a centimorgan like an inch or millimeter.  Each of piece of DNA, or segment, is measured in centimorgans. The DNA companies add up all the different pieces of DNA you share with a match. This total is call your "Shared centimorgans" or Shared cM" or "Shared DNA". Some companies will even give you the length of the longest segment.  For now, let's focus on the total amount of shared DNA.

 

 

 

Ethnicity Estimates are the candy of the DNA world!  They are mostly fun and occasionally they can be helpful.

The first thing to remember is that they are estimates.  Don't go trading in your kilt for lederhosen - but you could trade in your kilt for a kimono! 

Kitty Cooper has written an excellent blog about Ethnicity Estimates, explaining what they are and why they are different between the companies. Click Here

 

Add recommendations and considerations

Trees

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What is a research tree?

How do I build a research at ancestry?

How do I build a research tree at My Heritage?

Single tree or separate trees?

Do I make my tree Public, Private, or Private and Unsearchable?

There are several tools that will automatically build a tree.   They should be used with much caution.

Ancestry ancestor suggestions

My Heritage ancestor suggestions

Genetic Affairs

DNA Painter

What are some of the best practices and considerations?

These companies allow you to build trees or refer to trees for your search / research. Click on the Tabs to learn more.

Individual Trees.  Can use for research and tree building. Trees are integrated with DNA.

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Individual Trees.  Can use for research and tree building. Trees are integrated with DNA.

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Single World Tree.  Can use for research. Tree is not integrated with DNA

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Single World Tree.  Can use for research. Tree is connected with DNA kits on GEDmatch.

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Single World Tree.  Can use for research. Tree is interfaced with kits at Family Tree DNA.

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Individual Trees.  Can use for research and tree building. Not integrated with a DNA company. Plan in place to interface with Living DNA.

Learn how to (insert things and links)

Some DNA companies have trees available. Having integrated DNA and trees is a key feature to utilize. Click on the Tabs to learn more.
AncestryDNA is integrated with ancestry trees. It is the most intuitive of the companies to use. AncestryDNA Thrulines is a key tool that is enabled by the integration.

Several Third (3rd) Party Tools can also help you make using the trees and DNA together even more easier.

Learn how to link a  ancestryDNA kit to an ancestry tree

My Heritage DNA is integrated with My Heritage trees. My Heritage DNA Theories of Relativity is a key tool that is enabled by the integration. It is straight forward to use.

Several Third (3rd) Party Tools can also help you make using the trees and DNA together even more easier.

Learn how to link a My Heritage DNA kit to a My Heritage tree

Family Tree DNA has trees available on some kits. The DNA kit and trees are not integrated. Some kits are integrated with the Geni World.

Several Third (3rd) Party Tools can help you make using the trees and DNA together easier.

Learn how to link a FTDNA kit to the Geni  One-World Tree

GEDmatch kits can be integrated with uploaded trees. It is not intuitive to use. The key tools require a Tier 1 subscription.

Several Third (3rd) Party Tools can also help you make using the trees and DNA together easier.

Learn how to link a kit at GEDmatch to a GEDCOM tree file.

Tools

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DNA2Tree
DNAGEDCOM's GWORKS
AncestryDNA ThrulinesMy Heritage DNA Theory of Relativity

Genetic Affairs
DNA2Tree

Tools offered by the DNA companies that will be useful for your search / research. Click on the Tabs to learn more.

Shared Matches
Thrulines

Shared Matches
How Matches Are Related
Theory of Family Relativity
Triangulated Segments

In-Common-With (ICW) Matches    also called Shared Matches
A-Matrix

Relatives in Common  aka Shared Matches
How Matches are Related
Your Family Tree (discontinued Beta)

People Who Match Both or 1 of Two Kits aka Shared Matches
Are My Parents Related
Triangulation
Multiple Kit Analysis (MKA)

Summary of various 3rd party tools that can be useful for your search / research. Click on Tabs to learn more.

DNAGEDCOM Client
ADSA
GWORKS
Genetic Family

Shared CM Tool
WATO
Cluster Auto Painter
Cluster Formatter
Individual Match Filter

AutoCluster
Auto Tree
Auto Scan

Traditional Search
Books, Blogs, Websites, & More

Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees - Jean A.S.Strauss

Lost & Found – Betty Jean Lifton

Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child – Nancy Verrier

The Girls Who Went Away – Ann Flessler

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self – Brodzinsky, Schechter, Henig

Paper and Spit: How DNA and Genealogy revealed my First Parents Identify – Don Anderson

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA – Richard Hill

 

ISOGG

 

CUB
AAC

Genealogy