Introduction to Ancestry DNA Testing

Whether you are a beginner who is just getting interested in your family’s genealogy, a bit more advanced, or just need a little more help to break down the proverbial ancestral brick wall, familyancestree.com can assist you in discovering how deep your ancestral roots really go using our ancestry DNA testing products and services.

Ancestry and Genealogy

Genealogy is the study of families, and the tracing of their familial lines (ancestry), throughout history.  For thousands of years, individuals have traced their lineages for various reasons including, ensuring that the family has a place in the historical record, preserving past records for future generations and to ensure that familial stories stay true to their original meanings.  In studying a family’s genealogy, most genealogists start out by creating a family tree. A very basic family tree might look something like this:

Family Tree

In building a family tree, some individuals have information readily available and can go on for generations and generations, while some have trouble getting past their parents.  This is called a Genetic Brick Wall.  In these instances, family historians and amateur genealogists turn to many places such as census records, church records, family friends, etc.  Anything to break down that wall and continue on the hunt.  Once that first or second brick wall gets broken down (there are many more to come), researchers might start to uncover challenges to their beliefs and to the stories that they have been told about their family, such as heritage, where they immigrated from, etc.  It is then a good idea to turn to DNA testing to assist in confirming or discovering heritage as well as true maternal and paternal lineage.  While family historians and genealogists usually start today and work backward, Ancestry DNA Testing starts at the beginning and works forward to today.  It makes for a good compliment to an individuals research.

What you can learn through Ancestry DNA Testing

Ancestry DNA Testing allows researchers to discover their heritage.  Maybe there are family stories stating that a relative came from Asia, Europe or Sub Saharan Africa but no one in your present family share any of those physical features or traits.  DNA testing allows you to go back through your entire family lineage to see if you share common DNA with any of those populations. It is generally thought that for an individual to show physical traits of any particular population they must share 30%-40% of that populations DNA, so for those that do not, ancestry DNA testing is a way to find out their ancestral makeup.

Additionally, Ancestry DNA Testing allows researchers the ability to trace maternal and paternal lineages back tens to hundreds of thousands of years.  This is done by determining an individual’s Haplogroup.   It is believed that Biological Adam, or the father of humanity, lived in Africa approximately 330,000 years ago. Biological Eve, or the mother of humanity, also lived in Africa sometime between 140,000-200,000 years ago.  Their Maternal and Paternal DNA has been passed down to every human being that has lived since.  As their DNA passed from person to person throughout history, unique and distinct genetic mutations occurred that carried throughout the generations.  These mutations caused branches to form in humanity’s family tree.  Individuals that share these mutations are grouped together in haplogroups as they share a distinct history in the way that their population migrated throughout the world.  Scientists are able to determine both maternal and paternal haplogroups.