Genetic genealogy or genetic ancestry testing is a DNA-based testing for people keen on finding their family history and heritage. The results can go beyond what people can learn from historical documentation and their relatives. Examining DNA variations can reveal vital information about the original dwelling of a person’s ancestors and which part of the world they moved to. It could also help people find and get in touch with people related to them in some way or the other. The basis of DNA examination are the genetic variation patterns that people from a particular background often share. The more patterns of variation you share with another individual or group, the more closely related you are to them. There are two types of DNA ancestry testing that are used for this purpose:
- Mitochondrial DNA testing helps in recognizing variations in mitochondrial DNA. Both women and men have this type of DNA, which comes from their mothers. So, this DNA test can be used by both the sexes. This test is very useful in acquiring information about the female ancestral line. This type of testing is useful in finding information about female ancestors, which may not have found its place in the historical documentation of a particular family owing to how surnames are passed down.
- Y chromosome testing is used to identify genetic variation patterns in the Y chromosome. This type of ancestry testing examines the DNA passed from father to son, and thus is very useful in exploring the male ancestral line. Unlike mitochondrial DNA testing that can be done on both males and females, this testing is exclusive to males, as females don’t posses a Y chromosome. This testing is usually used by people to know whether another family with the same surname as theirs is related to them or not. Even if the customer is female, samples can be used from a male relative.