Genetic Genealogy Resources

It can be overwhelming to try to turn 1,000+ DNA cousins into genealogical discoveries. We have outlined three levels of “next steps” below: Begin, Build, and Explore. Wherever you are at in your genetic genealogy experience, follow these steps to get closer to making those family history discoveries.

 
 

Begin


Add A Family Tree at AncestryDNA

Let's face it: genetic genealogy needs GENEALOGY to be successful. That means including a family tree with your DNA profile, even if you don’t know much about your family history. Here’s how to do that at AncestryDNA.

 
 

Sharing DNA Results from AncestryDNA

Don’t keep your amazing DNA test results to yourself! Share your AncestryDNA results with anyone who has an AncestryDNA account. Here’s how.

 
 

Adopted?

Are you (or one of your relatives) adopted? You might be able to identify biological family through DNA testing. Here are a few tips to get you started.

 
 

Ethnicity Results

All DNA testing companies provide you with ethnicity results. Ethnicity results give you estimated percentages of where your ancestors may have come from. Here’s what you should know about DNA ethnicity reports.

 
 

mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a very unique piece of DNA. It comes to you only from your mother, and she got it from her mother, and so on. Here’s how it may help you research your maternal family history.

 
 
YDNA Y-chromosome DNA

YDNA

Y chromosome DNA, or YDNA, comes to men from their biological fathers. Here’s how YDNA (your own or a man’s from the right part of your family tree) can help you trace a direct male ancestral line.

 
 

Build


 
 

Shared Centimorgans

Centi-WHAT?! Centimorgan. It is a unit of measure for DNA that better defines our genetic relationships with our DNA matches. There’s a centimorgan table I use EVERY DAY in my genetic genealogy projects to help me determine possible relationships to matches. Check it out here.  

 
 
 
Transfer2.JPG

Transfer your results

One of the best things you can do to maximize your genetic genealogy dollar is to transfer your results from one company to another. Many people test first with AncestryDNA, then transfer (for FREE!) into Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage. For a full tutorial on how this is done, click below.

 
 
 
DNA matches Tracking sheet

DNA Match Tracking

If you have been doing genetic genealogy for any amount of time, you know you need to keep track of your genetic matches and how you are related (or how they are related to each other). One way I do this is by using an Excel spreadsheet.

 
 
 

Organizing Matches Using the Leeds Method

The Leeds Method is a simple and colorful way to organize your DNA matches using color coded clusters.

 
 
 

Blogs We Follow

There are a few blogs we follow whose authors we respect as other esteemed members of the genetic genealogy community.

 
 
 

Explore


 

Chromosome Mapping

For those who are a little more advanced, or those who just want to make a pretty picture out of their DNA, try chromosome mapping!

 
 

X-chromosome DNA

Your XDNA is tested as part of your autosomal DNA test, but not every company is using or reporting the results.

 
 

GEDmatch

You really don't NEED GEDmatch to do good genetic genealogy work. But it can be a great place to collaborate with those who have been tested at other companies, and to gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others.

 
 

ISOGG

International Society of Genetic Genealogy is a great resource for all things related to genetic genealogy! They have additional resources for all stages of learning.