Is DNA Testing for Genealogy Worth It?

From the Greek  genea  and  genos,  meaning race and family, the usage of the term Genealogy dates back to the 14th century. By using genealogy software, as well as online applications and even dedicated genealogy libraries, you can trace your family lineage back to the 14th century and beyond.

You can use genealogy software to find a plethora of information that will allow you to make exciting discoveries. People want to know where they are from and where their ancestors came from. Having that link into history is crucial to some. However, if you want more than just names and dates, this is where DNA testing comes in. By moving away from the computer and going to the actual source of information   you   this more extreme genealogical venture may prove to be the key to unlocking deep family history.

Before you decide if taking a genealogy DNA test is the right path for you, you should know about the geological DNA testing process. There are three main types of DNA testing including Y-DNA testing, mtDNA testing and Autosomal testing.

Y-DNA   This type of testing is specific to the male line, or Y chromosome (Ycs), and only males can take it. From the gathered data, you can find paternal ancestors that are still alive.

MtDNA   The Mitochondrial DNA test provides data analyzed from your maternal line. Unlike the Y chromosome, the mtDNA gets passed to both females and males, but only through their mothers. This test can help you discover the origin of ancestors on your maternal side.

Autosomal   According to, Autosomal DNA is found in 22 pairs of our nuclear chromosomes. While the information provided by an Autosomal test yields deep-root data, it can also be difficult to understand.

Whatever test you choose, and with whatever company you choose to do it with, you need to know that you are in charge of assembling the kit yourself, mailing it in and then, when the results come back, deciphering the results.

There are several companies who are in the DNA-testing business. Each company has a fee attached to the test and data. A few genealogical DNA testing companies include AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.

AncestryDNA and 23andMe both offer the Autosomal DNA test but that test only, and both come with a $99 price tag. Family Tree DNA has six different tests to choose from, each touting a deeper understanding of your heritage. The price range is from $69-$359, which includes a basic mtDNA test all the way up to the  Y111  test for males only.

If you are desperately seeking to learn more about your ethnicity, including a deeper look at your line s origin, then DNA testing may be for you. Remember that it won t be easy, however. Once you get your results, you will still have homework to do as you interpret the results. Once the process is over, you may find yourself going back for more, jumping from the basic test to one that can provide even more information regarding your family tree.