19/04/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Top ten reasons to do a DNA test for family history

b0d22998-56cc-47c2-982c-a032aae61d7d

Taking a DNA test can transform our understanding of the past, helping you to smash brick walls and find long-relations. Discover why you should take a DNA test to enhance your family history, with our top ten guide.

1 Discover your ancestry

Take your family history research to a new level, using DNA testing to complement your paper-based findings and help you to find living relatives and solve age-old family history puzzles in a way which traditional documents never could.

2 Break through a brick wall

Family tree brick walls which were unsolvable before the advent of DNA testing can now be solved with the help of a test. By finding living relatives who share your DNA, a brick wall such as an ancestor with unknown parents could soon be solved.

3 Connect with your kin

An autosomal DNA test can be taken by both males and females, placing your details into a matching database to connect you with genetic cousins on your family tree. These new-found relatives may have documents and photos relating to your family tree, allowing you to help each other with your research.

4 Testing is simple

Taking a DNA test couldn’t be simpler. Most family history DNA tests require just a cheek swab or a sample of saliva, which you submit to the testing company, and then sit back and excitedly wait for the results (which are usually available in not a great deal more than a month).

5 Test now and help future researchers

The more family historians who take a DNA test, the higher the chances of everyone finding matches for their tree. The databases become larger with each person who tests, and so even if you don’t immediately solve your family history mystery, there’s always the chance someone new to DNA testing will be connected to you – with great results.

6 Make sure you’re on the right track

Whether you’re new to tracing your ancestors, or have been building your family tree for many years, a DNA test is the perfect way to be sure that your research is rock solid and you’re tracing the correct ancestors.

7 Research your surname

The latest advances in DNA testing and the growth of DNA surname projects can allow you to narrow down your paper-based research. If your male-line surname is fairly common, your DNA results will allow you to be sorted into a sub-set of that surname, giving you a more focused group of men among whom the DNA predicts will be your ancestors.

8 Follow the trail of migrant ancestors

A DNA test is a great way to see when and where your ancestors migrated over the centuries, providing information which traditional paper-based sources often can’t. For example, if your ancestor migrated to the USA during the Colonial era, there will be few records showing where they came from – whereas a DNA match can help provide a location to search for records for your immigrant ancestor.

9 Find your personal ethnic mix

One of the most exciting things about receiving the results of a family history DNA test is discovering your own ethnic mix, with results that show the percentages which make up your own ethnicity. For example, you may believe your ancestors have lived in the UK for hundreds of years, but when your results arrive, you might be surprised to find you have 25% Italian ancestry, and a tantalizing 3% Scandinavian ancestry.

10 Affordability

DNA testing is now much more affordable than in previous years. Modern DNA tests can provide you with more information and details about your ancestry than ever before, so now is the perfect time to take the plunge and begin your DNA family history adventure.

Find out more about understanding family finder DNA tests in the June issue of Family Tree magazine, available to pre-order today.

Back to "Next steps" Category

19/04/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Step away from your family tree!

Why not get out and about on a family history adventure? There are so many different ways to discover your ...


Spotlight on the Family and Community Historical Research Society (FACHRS)

Rob White introduces a society which helps and encourages its members to find out more about the communities ...


Make that start - record your family stories & memories

Okay folks - no more excuses! We don't mind if you're having a bad hair day or feel a little shy. Make that ...


How to use a magnifying sheet for family history

On our ancestor-hunting quest we don't want to let a single clue pass us by, right? Well this simple ...


Other Articles

3 great days at WDYTYA? LIVE 2017

What a cracking three days at Who Do You Think You Are? Live, NEC, Birmingham, 2017. It was great to see ...


How to draw up your family tree

Draw up your family tree for free, online or on paper, with our guide for family history researchers who'd ...


Visiting a cemetery for family history research - top tips from York Cemetery

Make the most of a trip to the cemetery to discover the site where your ancestor was buried, in a guest blog ...


Explore free World War I record collections on the FamilySearch website

FamilySearch has marked the centenary of America's entry into World War I by highlighting its millions of ...