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Procedure for a Paternity Test Finding Ones Roots with Ancestry DNA

Finding Ones Roots with Ancestry DNA

Just as parents and children share common DNA, so do ancestors. The DNA taken from a 9,000 year old skeleton was linked to a modern man through DNA, as reported by CNN. By conducting a dna test on a person, his pedigree can be traced.

There are some things that DNA can and cannot tell a person. An exact family tree cannot be replicated from a DNA sample, but two people who have been tested can be told if they are related, as the modern man and the ancient skeleton were. Ethnic origin and relationships among those sharing a last name are also traceable using ancestry DNA. It is important to note that ancestry DNA is not a tell all for ones family lineage, and to create a family tree still requires old fashioned searching through records coupled with more modern techniques such as scouring the Internet.

Every person has two parents, and there are two types of ancestry DNA tests which can be conducted: Y Line DNA tests and mtDNA. Both look at distant relations from years past. The only way to tell if two people are closely related is if both submit DNA samples for an ancestry DNA test, then a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) can be found. This cannot tell the exact relation, but it does inform both that they share a recent ancestor.

Paternal lineage can be traced through a newer ancestry testing method: the Y Line DNA test. This traces ones line through the Y-chromosome found only in men. Since only men have Y chromosomes, this test is only administered to men, but this test has the advantage of being able to determine relationships between men with the same last name. If a woman wants to examine her paternal lineage, she must get a sample for the ancestry DNA test from either her brother or father.

Women must use the older method known as mtDNA testing because they lack the Y chromosome necessary for paternal ancestry testing.  Also known as maternal lineage, this tests the mitochondrial DNA which is passed from the mother to all of her children. Unlike DNA, mitochondria does not change as much over several generations. This is why mtDNA is the best test to determine if people are share a distant mother. It is not as reliable as a test for examining the level of relatedness of two people, but it is best to tell if an ancestor along the mother's side of two people is shared.

An ancestry DNA effort called the Genographic Project seeks to trace people through their DNA to ancestral roots. This looks to collect data from thousands in order to organize it into a cohesive source of information about human DNA. Researchers hope this to shed light on the genetic roots of humans. This is just one of the many applications of ancestry DNA testing which is contributing to the database of knowledge concerning the histories of both individuals and larger groups of peoples.